Gurriel will start playing in the outfield at Triple-A Buffalo to work towards becoming a super-utility player, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports. Gurriel struggled through the first couple weeks of the season with a .525 OPS in 44 plate appearances, leading to his demotion in mid-April. The 25-year-old has since found his groove at Buffalo with a .367/.406/.700 slash line and four home runs, but Eric Sogard has emerged as an everyday option in the infield for the Blue Jays. Gurriel has spent the bulk of his 78 career games in the majors playing shortstop and second base.
Gurriel will be sent to Triple-A Buffalo on Monday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports. He went 0-for-1 in an 8-4 loss Sunday against the Rays before being removed in the top of the fourth inning. Gurriel has really struggled at the dish and in the field to open up the 2019 campaign and is hitting .175 with seven RBI over 13 games. The Blue Jays will call up Eric Sogard to replace the scuffling infielder.
Gurriel went 1-for-3 with a double, two RBI and a run scored Friday against the Rays. Gurriel cut the deficit to five in the seventh inning with a two-run double, but Tampa Bay would secure an 11-7 victory with the help of three ninth-inning runs. Following Friday's performance, the 25-year-old second baseman has notched a base knock in three straight games and has collected two doubles along with three RBI over that brief stretch.
Gurriel is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Indians, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports. Both of Gurriel's hits this season have come in one game, with the young infielder going a combined 0-for-22 in his other six appearances. The Blue Jays haven't pulled the plug on Gurriel in an everyday role just yet, but if he fails to turn things around soon, there may be some risk of a demotion to the minors once top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (oblique) gets the call to the big leagues. Guerrero plays third base, but Toronto could bump Brandon Drury over to the keystone to replace Gurriel for regular duties at the position.
Gurriel will start at second and bat ninth in the order Saturday against Cleveland. Gurriel began the season batting in the fifth spot but has worked his way to the bottom of the order after starting the season hitting .087/.125/.130 with eight strikeouts in his first 24 plate appearances. The 25-year-old had a .755 OPS last year, so presumably he should turn it around as the season progresses.