Who would Orelvis Martinez replace if the Blue Jays call him up?

Top prospect would squeeze someone out of a roster spot if he were to reach the majors.
Orelvis Martinez rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 2022 Spring Training game at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Fla.
Orelvis Martinez rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 2022 Spring Training game at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Fla. / Mark Brown/GettyImages

If Orelvis Martinez's current rampage has accelerated the timetable for his big-league debut, then someone else's time with the Blue Jays is inching toward an end. Because of the way the active roster was constructed, it may be obvious who the Jays Journal No. 3 prospect would replace.

Martinez's ascension to the majors may be drawing closer after the monster week he just had. Martinez crushed five home runs and drove in 13 runs to help the Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, take four out of six games against the Columbus Clippers. The weeklong performance earned Martinez a spot on the MiLB Prospect Team of the Week.

The week continued Martinez's hot start to the season, which sees him currently slashing .333/.392/.681 for an OPS of 1.073. That kind of production is exactly what a team like the Blue Jays would want, a team that is scoring only 3.96 runs per game, well below the MLB average of 4.40. Toronto has only hit 21 home runs in 23 games.

As for who Martinez would replace on the active roster, the answer would probably be utility man Daniel Vogelbach. Vogelbach, 31, is the likely candidate for a few reasons. First, the left-handed slugger has hardly played this year, appearing in just eight games, primarily as a pinch hitter while making only three starts at DH. He has a total of 18 plate appearances, suggesting he is serving in the very narrow role of "left-handed pinch hitter." He's managed only two hits, one of which was a double, but he has drawn five walks.

It is unlikely the Jays would exchange a pitcher for a position player, given how much the bullpen has been used in the early going of the season. So, because the team needs all 13 pitcher spots, the odd man out will be a position player. The only position players with minor league options are also unlikely candidates to be sent down, as the group includes Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Alejandro Kirk, Cavan Biggio and a resurgent Daulton Varsho.

Davis Schneider also has options, but he's probably not going anywhere. While he got off to a slow start, Schneider has a batting average on balls in play of .219. That's well below the major league average of .296, which suggests he may have been a little unlucky so far this year. His average exit velocity is 91.4 mph and his hard hit rate is at 45.7 percent, well above the MLB average of 39.4 percent. Schneider also plays multiple positions, which is another reason to keep him around. Vogelbach only plays first base or serves as a designated hitter.

Toronto wouldn't want to lose any other player on the active roster, which is what would happen given few Jays actually have options left. Without options, a player would have to clear waivers to be sent to the minor leagues, be designated for assignment or released outright. The only player without options who may be a candidate for any of those situations is Ernie Clement. But that's probably not happening either, as Clement has appeared in 17 games and has an OPS of .804. Like Schneider, Clement plays multiple positions as well. Both homered on Sunday in San Diego.

So, Vogelbach is the likely choice to lose his spot if Martinez earns a call up from Buffalo. Since Vogelbach is out of options, such a move would mark the end of his second go around with the Blue Jays. He'll probably land with another MLB team though, as guys who can draw a walk or hit with power can usually find a spot on a roster.