The Toronto Blue Jays have lots of players who will be looking to be part of the future and some should get lots of consideration
The Toronto Blue Jays are heading into a season where they are taking steps forward, but not enough that they will compete for a division title or even a Wild Card spot. Instead, they will use 2020 to make some key decisions on players who they feel will be part of the competitive window when it opens. That means that there will be players who will be looking to have a good showing during Spring Training, some of whom will be afforded a longer look.
We know that the Blue Jays’ outfield has some question marks around it. On the outside of the messy mix sit guys like Anthony Alford and Derek Fisher. For a few reasons, we can expect these two to get long looks from management.
In the case of Alford, they will be looking to see if he can contribute offensively at the big league level. Spring Training isn’t always the best litmus test for this given the quality of pitching, etc a batter is likely to face. That being said, Alford could help himself by putting together quality, productive at bats while maintaining his defensive prowess. In just over 30 games (a total spread over 3 different seasons), he has slashed .145/.203/.218, leading many to wonder if his natural athleticism will translate to big league success. Alford, though, is out of options, so if the club is going to decide he is not suited to the big league club, they’ll have to expose him to waivers and risk losing him. For that reason, he should get a long look.
Joining Alford in this situation is Derek Fisher. Though, Fisher is likely in a bit of a better spot in that the front office seems to really high on him, which may not be unreasonable, as I wrote previously. We have been told multiple times that Toronto has tried to obtain Fisher for a while and are thrilled they were finally able to do so. But, like Alford, he is out of options. He has had a larger big league sample size from which to draw and it has resulted in a career slash line of .191/.279/.369. Throughout his minor league career, he has been able to put up much better numbers, so there is hope that he will turn things around and he’ll get lots of time this spring to do so.
Anthony Bass is also out of options, so he’ll need to be given more consideration. That is especially true since it can be rather difficult for a reliever to collect enough of a body of work during Spring Training to really give the front office enough to make a thoughtful decision. For that reason, and that he’s out of options, Bass is likely to see a long leash. He collected 6 holds and 5 saves last season in Seattle, so his situation in Toronto could very much be linked to the fortunes of Ken Giles. If Giles is traded, Bass could be called upon to close, which means he should be around for quite a while.
Wilmer Font is also out of options. He’s a guy who’s bounced around over his career, including playing for 3 teams in 2019. He started 17 games last year, which adds an extra element to his situation. He could use this spring to earn the long man job out of the bullpen. He could also be used as part of an opener strategy. He does have some minor league experience at the back end of the bullpen as well. Throwing mid 90’s and having relatively high strike out results, Font is likely to see a lot of action as the Blue Jays try and figure out what to do with him.
The above 4 players all have question marks surrounding their future with the Toronto Blue Jays, making for an interesting Spring Training. With all four out of options, the club will have to put some serious thought into what to do with them. If they don’t see them on the big league roster, they will have to expose them to waivers and risk losing them. For that reason, you can bet they will get lots of time this spring to show what they can do.
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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.