Blue Jays 2B, Cavan Biggio- Credit: DaveMe Images

Blue Jays & the Biggio Blues

The Toronto Blue Jays have not seen the Cavan Biggio of old and he’s starting to fall behind in the early goings of the 2022 season


Featured Images Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase


 


The Toronto Blue Jays had a trio of MLB sons looking to grow into stars in their own right. Two of them have done so, but Cavan Biggio is yet to get back to his early career effectiveness and his return to a steady piece of the roster is looking more and more difficult for him.

 

Drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 Draft, Biggio has always been a guy who will get on base at a high rate, flash some home run power and hit for a lower than you’d expect average. But, hitting .230-.250 isn’t so bad if you’re getting on base at a rate approaching .400. That is particularly true if you’re hitting 15 home runs and stealing 15 or so bases. In fact, Biggio is widely known as a player whose ‘Baseball IQ’, the definition of which is broad and difficult to quantify, but you know when you see it.

 

In 2019, Biggio brought his smarts to the big leagues and played 100 games for the Blue Jays. In that time, we saw exactly the profile we’d been hearing about. He put up an OPS of .793, buoyed by his .364 OBP (16.5% BB%). He put up 2.6 fWAR that season and earned his spot in the Blue Jays’ future plans. We haven’t seen that since.

 

For their part, Toronto’s management loved his tools so much, they thought they could give him a go at the Hot Corner in 2021 so that a) Vladimir Guerrero Jr.could move to first base and b) Marcus Semien could sign in Toronto and still hold a middle infield job. We all know how that experiment went as we watched 411.2 innings yield 9 errors and -3 OAA. To make matters worse, Biggio would battle elbow, back and neck injuries that, for all intents and purposes ruined his 2021 season. Normally, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. Normally, a team would simply plug him back in to his natural position once healthy and allow him to get back to what brought him to the dance.

 

Unfortunately for Biggio, while all of the above was happening to him in 2021, Santiago Espinal emerged and won over a good number of fans and front office personnel alike. The 27 yr old was called up to Toronto and provided defensive stability to the third base and solid relief at short. Indeed, he came up and never looked back as he put up 1.9 fWAR and 115 wRC+ by season’s end. There were even some who considered making him the everyday third baseman in 2022. It was an idea that had merit if Toronto used its offseason resources elsewhere. Of course, that is moot with the acquisition of Matt Chapman, but it displays how impressive Espinal seemed to be.

 

For his part, Espinal bulked up over the winter and has already contributed 2 homers, 7 RBI and 2 stolen bases and has come through in some pretty big spots already. Biggio has seen half the plate appearances that he has. Biggio was making his was back from an elbow issue this spring and that likely kept his playing time short at the beginning of the season.

 

Looking at his Game Log (via Fangraphs), there is an interesting pattern emerging with regard to Biggio’s playing time…or lack thereof. He has played games in RF (3), 2B (3) and 1B (3, including Sunday’s start in Houston). What is also telling is that he has PH/PR/DH 4 times. Typically, you see this kind of usage on a lower end bench piece. Credit has to be given to Charlie Montoyo, who is likely spreading the playing time around for Biggio to get him in games so he can play his way out of his funk.

 

And, what a funk it is. To start the 2022 season, Biggio has just one hit, a single, and three walks in his 26 plate appearances. He has scored 2 runs. His wRC+ is 3…THREE. Obviously, the small sample/ it’s only been 16 games caveat(s) should be applied here, but for fans of Cavan Biggio, there are certainly a number of things joining together to create some doubt and/or worry.

 

Like a band needs several instruments to really play some Blues, Cavan Biggio is seeing a number of things come together to create a situation that makes his return to solid everyday contributor that much more difficult.

 

 

 

 

*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.

*****
HEAD ON OVER TO THE JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS STORE AND GET SOME GREAT SWAG THAT YOU WILL LOOK GREAT IN AND YOU CAN FEEL GREAT ABOUT.
YOU CAN ALSO HEAD TO OUR JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS FUNDRAISING PAGE TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION DIRECTLY TO ALS CANADA.
*****

THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO

 

 

 

Shaun Doyle

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.