With an apparent injury and the Trade Deadline looming, the Toronto Blue Jays’ outfield could look very different throughout the remainder of the 2018 season
The Toronto Blue Jays are staring down the barrel of trading off a good number of pieces in a couple of weeks. One such piece is Curtis Granderson, who was traded last summer when the Dodgers gave up Jacob Rhame, who hits 96 with his fastball and sees his share of weak contact. The Blue Jays very well could see a similar return for the 37 year old who is having a somewhat better offensive season.
If we pair this with the recent injury to Kevin Pillar, we could be looking at a very different outfield in Toronto over the remainder of the season… and into 2019. He dove for a ball on Saturday and we were told he has suffered a shoulder strain before further tests were done:
Kevin Pillar left today's game with a right SC (sternoclavicular) joint injury. He is undergoing imaging and further evaluation.
— Blue Jays PR (@BlueJaysPR) July 14, 2018
Depending upon the severity of his injury, Pillar could be out for a very long time. Immediately, that means that Dwight Smith Jr.will be sticking around for a while longer. And, that’s great news.
At the time of writing, Fangraphs had DSJ slashing a line of .303/.368/.606 with a wRC+ of 159. Obviously, the small sample size hooligans will be yelling at the top of their lungs. They have a point, but in the most recent sample size, DSJ has done his best to show what he can do at the plate. For example, he went into Boston and all he did was hit. He picked up 2 hits, including a home run, scored twice, drove in 3 and did not strike out at all. Looking at his page on MLB, there is more up to date info on the 25 yr old. His OPS sits at 1.019, hitting .314 with a .390 OBP.
With Pillar out, DSJ has a spot on the big league roster. The potential for trading Granderson only serves to solidify this. Moreover, it may actually serve to open the door for a AAA speedster to get his chance to see what he can do in the big leagues.
Roemon Fields has been on fire lately, tallying seven stolen bases in his last four games. Seven! His speed is something that this club could definitely use. At 27 years old, is there a better time to provide him an opportunity to showcase his talent? He would have to be added to the 40 man roster, and would likely end up being removed again at some point, which would possibly expose him to being snatched up by another club. Of course, as stated by our MiLB Guru, Ryan Mueller, other teams likely view him as a career minor leaguer, and he could pass through easily. It is worth noting that the Blue Jays are likely not going to compete next season, but certainly not the remainder of this. No better time than right now to bring up Fields.
There is also Dalton Pompey to think about. He’s listed on Toronto’s 40man roster, but as inactive. Assigned to AA New Hampshire, Pompey has seen limited action there, but is slashing .286/.444/.286. It’s odd how we often forget about Pompey when we talk about the Blue Jays outfield, and it may be for good reason. It seems he’s been relegated to an after thought due to frequent DL stints and failure to string his talents together for an extended period of time. That said, his speed would be entertaining in Toronto.
26 year old, Jonathan Davis is riding a rather successful 2018 season all the way to Buffalo. His 2018 line of .300/.385/.439 has put his name well in the conversation of seeing big league time. Like many of the names that might be considered, Davis doesn’t possess a lot of power, but he does have 20 steals to his name already this season. He has a minor league total of 370 SB.
And, of course, we cannot forget about Anthony Alford. If he were healthy this season, he would likely be first on the list to fill an outfield spot in Toronto. The front office has chosen to call him previously, so they wouldn’t hesitate to do so again. Unfotunately, 2018 has not been kind to Alford, or his chances of being promoted any time soon.
Assuming there is not an immediate outfielder brought back in any deal, the Blue Jays could run with Randal Grichuk in center, Teoscar Hernandez in right, Dwight Smith Jr. in left and have Fields on the bench to take some reps, pinch run, etc. If the club wants to really test what it has for the future, then expect to see Davis called up. Regardless who gets the nod, the outfield in Toronto will look very different to close out the season. It could look very fast and athletic. There is a lot of speed to use to cover a lot of ground. That speed would also be welcome on the basepaths.
And, the way this season has gone, why not go ahead and experiment a little? Fans could get a glimpse of some exciting players and possibly find something to cheer for.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.