JAYS FROM THE COUCH BRINGS YOU A COLLECTION OF TORONTO BLUE JAYS NEWS & NOTES, INCLUDING Sanchez, Danny Jansen and TEOSCAR HERNANDEz
Rather than attempt to force a few ideas into long winded, wasteful posts of their own, Jays From the Couch presents a collection of observations on recent events and situations involving the Toronto Blue Jays.
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The Blue Jays shocked absolutely no one by making it officially official: Aaron Sanchez will not pitch again in 2017. Having not appeared in a game since July 19, Sanchez really didn’t look like he would be coming back this season. It’s not like the club is in a playoff position where they need to force him to return when he’s not ready. They tried that this year already.
The real issue with this is whether the Blue Jays front office feels that Sanchez can return to 100% in 2018. While you would think that a whole winter off would be enough, it is hard to say for certain that his blister issues will be behind him. It is entirely possible that this is a nagging concern. If Ross Atkins et al feel discomfort with relying on Sanchez in the rotation, their efforts this winter will need a boost.
Already looking at Marco Estrada hitting free agency, this group of starters is in need of some stability. At this point, one has to wonder if Sanchez can provide that. For that reason, Estrada very well could be retained. But, is that enough? We know that starting depth has been tested (and failed) this season, so perhaps this is a major areas of focus this winter.
I will come out and admit it, even if it isn’t that much of a secret: if I were to choose the starting lineup for next season, Teoscar Hernandez would be my starting right fielder. We know that Jose Bautista is highly unlikely to return. While a lot can happen over an offseason, Ezequiel Carrera and Steve Pearce look to join Kevin Pillar as the only likely returnees, assuming Zeke gets tendered a contract. That means that Hernandez is probably a needed asset.
Of course, it is easy to say this after the 24 yr old hit two home runs against the Tigers. Right now, I look smart. But, the question remains as to whether he can be an everyday outfielder at the major league level. He brings speed and some pop, which could very well help balance out this lineup. That said, according to Fangraphs, his defensive metrics aren’t exactly stellar. In right field, he’s put up a total of -84 UZR/150 in 58 big league innings, which…yikes.
The problem is that the only current alternatives are Anthony Alford, Dwight Smith Jr and maybe Dalton Pompey. So, if the Blue Jays don’t feel comfortable with any of those, we can add an outfielder to their growing offseason shopping list.
As hot as catcher Danny Jansen has been, it looks like he will be in Buffalo in 2018. Recently, Ross Atkins commented that getting consistent playing time for the 22 year old is the priority for this front office. In 104 games this season, Jansen has slashed .323/.400/.484 with 10 HR, 48 RBI and the glasses have helped him to 41 walks to 40 strike outs.
With that kind of success, one might be tempted to get him up next season to back up Russell Martin. But, the playing time wouldn’t be enough for him to continue his development. There will be those that shout about Martin needing less playing time and some might even whisper “platoon”. But, that is not going to happen. So, he’ll head to AAA, continue his learning and wait for his time.
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