As both Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman aim to return to the lineup soon to help the Toronto Blue Jays down the stretch, the upcoming decision on which two players will be demoted in a corresponding move will be a tough one. After all, many of the recent callups have been performing admirably in the absence of the two Jays’ superstars.
Of all the options available, the first of the two demotions may be an easier choice, as Mason McCoy has been used sparingly so far in his time with the Jays. McCoy has been called upon mainly in a pinch-running, defensive replacement role in the games he has appeared in, with only one official at-bat to show for so far in which he struck out. With many of the other callups providing greater value and production, it should definitely be a no-brainer that he would be the first one optioned back down to the minors when one of Bichette or Chapman returns.
But what happens when the other returns? Who is up next for demotion? This is when the decision becomes a lot more trickier.
It can’t be Tyler Heineman, unless the Jays want to start using Daulton Varsho as a catcher, because Heineman is serving mainly as Alejandro Kirk’s backup until Danny Jansen returns from his injury. It also won’t be either Cavan Biggio or Santiago Espinal. As much as they have struggled during the first half of the season, both players have really picked up their game as of late. So if they weren’t sent down earlier when they were struggling mightily before, they certainly aren’t going down now since they are producing.
That leaves us with the fab three of Ernie Clement, Spencer Horwitz, and Davis Schneider. All three have had a great impact on the Jays recently with their incredible play. Clement has hit a stellar .410 with a .979 OPS, with seven runs scored, one double, one triple, one home run and eight RBI in just 39 at-bats in 22 games played. Horwitz has been just as impressive, with a .300 batting average, .917 OPS, three runs scored, one double, one home run and four RBI in eight games. Then of course, there’s Schneider and his .385 average, 1.358 OPS, with 18 runs scored, seven home runs and 19 RBI in 20 games of action.
There would probably be a huge uproar from the Jays’ fanbase if Schneider ends up being the one sent down to Buffalo. As a result, it will probably come down to between one of Clement or Horwitz. If the Jays were looking to keep positional flexibility, then Clement definitely provides that as he could play all around the infield, in addition to the outfield and even pitching if needed, as shown by his pitching appearance against the Miami Marlins back on June 19th. If the Jays prefer to have a consistent bat that could provide good contact and plate discipline, along with being able to bat left-handed, then Horwitz will be the man of choice.
Moreover, if Brandon Belt starts becoming healthy once again, look for Horwitz to most likely be the unlucky candidate sent down so that the Jays could keep Clement’s utilityman ability on the team. But if Belt ends up being out for a longer period of time than expected, Horwitz may be kept instead to fill his role and Clement would be the unfortunate one optioned. In either case, the Jays will have someone that can get the job done remaining on the roster, as they make their desperate push for the playoffs in the final few weeks of the season.