Baseball MLB

Blue Jays Spring Training – Midway Point

With each passing spring training game, we get closer and closer to the start of the 2021 MLB season. The Blue Jays currently sit tied for second in the Grapefruit League which means absolutely nothing, but these spring training games do give us the chance to see new players suit up for the first time. We get the chance to see up and coming prospects and most of all, we get to put on our coaching hat as we speculate who will earn a spot on the opening day roster.

The Jays are 6-4 so far this spring, but again, don’t focus on the win-loss record. This is all about the boys of summer finding their groove in preparation for the upcoming season. The fact that Bo Bichette hasn’t gone yard yet, or that Cavan Biggio has only a .167 batting average shouldn’t be taken too seriously as these guys are locks for the team. I will, however,  focus on some fringe players who with a good spring training could force their way on to the opening day roster.

The Blue Jays have gone out and acquired some big names this off season and with the continued development of their younger players, this has led to one of the deepest 40-man roster the Jays have had in a long time. According to MLB.com, this is what they have as the projected opening day lineup for Toronto:

(C) Danny Jansen

(C) Alejandro Kirk

(1B) Vladimir Guerrero Jr

(1B) Rowdy Tellez

(2B) Marcus Semien

(2B) Joe Panik

(3B) Cavan Biggio

(SS) Bo Bichette

(OF) George Springer

(OF) Teoscar Hernandez

(OF) Lourdes Gurriel Jr

(OF Randal Grichuk

(SP) Hyun Jin Ryu

(SP) Nate Pearson

(SP) Robbie Ray

(SP) Steven Matz

(SP) Tanner Roark

(RP) Kirby Yates

(RP) Jordan Romano

(RP) Rafael Dolis

(RP) Ryan Borucki

(RP) Tyler Chatwood

(RP) David Phelps

(RP) A.J Cole

(RP) Ross Stripling

(RP) Thomas Hatch

The strength in this team on paper is definitely it’s potential offensive firepower, but to be rolling with only 12 position players might be risky. I know they have a few guys in that lineup who are extremely versatile, but I think one more utility player might be necessary over a 9th reliever.

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis would be a great option for the Jays to have off the bench this season, particularly in close games. Davis’ speed is his best asset and in a tight spot, he can be used as a pinch runner to steal a base in the late innings. He also has the versatility to play all three outfield positions, and could be a defensive substitute for either Teoscar or Lourdes.

In the small sample size we have to go by, Davis has some fairly good numbers. In 6 games, he’s batting .455 and has an on base percentage of .571. If a guy with the speed of Davis is getting on base every second at bat, you’ll be in good shape. Don’t expect much power out of Davis, but with the lineup Toronto has at the moment, that won’t be much of an issue. Davis’ skillset could be exactly what the Jays need coming off the bench throughout the season.

Francisco Liriano

Liriano just signed a minor league deal with Toronto and will be looking to squeeze into one of the final 26-man roster spots. This will be Liriano’s second stint with the Blue Jays after he played roughly a year in Toronto from 2016-2017. Francisco Liriano brings with him tons of experience and the ability to slot in both as a starter or as a reliever. 

The gamble on Liriano is that he opted out of the 2020 season and he hasn’t started a game since 2018. Normally, a lefty like Liriano would be a unique fit for any organization, but the Jays currently have Ryan Borucki who is less experienced then Liriano, but is also a lefty and can also start if needed or come in as a relief pitcher.

Whatever the case may be, I can’t wait for the 2021 season to begin. Spring training always has me hyped up for a fresh start and I’ll be counting down the days to opening day. Fingers crossed to the rest of the spring training going down injury free!

As Always, make sure to check out all the latest posts at Hot Sauce Sports and stop by our Youtube channel for all the podcast and interviews.

And check out this amazing interview Peeze and Terry had with former Montreal Expos and Miami Marlins executive Vice President David Samson.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: