Alford was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday. Socrates Brito, who was acquired from the Padres earlier in the week, will take Alford's spot on the active roster, while the Blue Jays will likely proceed with an outfield consisting of Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk and Billy McKinney on most days. The 24-year-old appeared in just one game during his brief stint with the Blue Jays, going 0-for-3. Alford hit .240/.312/.344 with five homers and 17 stolen bases in 105 games for Buffalo last season. He'll remain a top candidate to join the big club should there be an opening.
Alford is starting in center field and hitting seventh Tuesday against the Orioles. He was recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day following the trade that sent Kevin Pillar to the Giants. It seems pretty clear that Alford is now going to be given a chance to establish himself as Toronto's center fielder of the future. He has had trouble staying healthy and he has failed to consistently produce in the upper levels of the minors. That said, Alford's above-average speed could allow him to steal double-digit bases and he has enough raw power to approach 20 home runs this season if he maintains an everyday job.
Alford was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Tuesday's game against the Orioles. This move was inevitable after the Jays traded Kevin Pillar to the Giants earlier in the day. Alford now appears poised for a shot at everyday work in center field for the big club. He has had trouble staying healthy and productive in the upper levels of the minors, but he has the raw tools to hit 20-plus homers and steal around 20 bases, so he is worth an add in many formats. Don't expect him to hit for a very high average as a rookie.
Alford could soon be in line for a promotion to the big leagues after the Blue Jays traded Kevin Pillar to the Giants on Tuesday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports. Alford had been vying for a spot on the Blue Jays' Opening Day roster during spring training, but the lack of an available full-time role for the 24-year-old may have influenced the organization's decision to send him back to Triple-A Buffalo. Now that Pillar is out of the picture, the Blue Jays don't have a natural center fielder on the roster, so it shouldn't be long before Alford is summoned to fill the void. While Alford should acquit himself fine defensively, how he might perform at the plate is more of a question mark. Alford does boast some impressive raw power, but it didn't show up in games last season, as he managed an underwhelming .656 OPS while striking out in 26.9 percent of his 417 plate appearances at Buffalo.
Alford won't be recalled from Triple-A Buffalo ahead of Thursday's season opener against the Tigers, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports. In the aftermath of Wednesday's trade that sent Kendrys Morales to the Athletics, multiple reports suggested Alford would assume Morales' spot on the 25-man roster. Instead, the Blue Jays elected to bring on a similar first-base/designated-hitter type in Rowdy Tellez to fill the void. Though he won't crack the Opening Day roster, Alford should be near the top of the list for a callup if the Blue Jays should require an extra hitter at any point this season.