Top Blue Jays News
Blue Jays' Randal Grichuk: Sidelined with foot pain
Grichuk is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his foot and won't be available to play in Grapefruit League games for at least a few days, John Lott of The Athletic reports.
For now, Grichuk appears set to tend to the injury through rest and rehab rather than through any injections or surgery. The Blue Jays should provide an update on his progress later in the week along with a potential target date for his spring debut. Grichuk is expected to open the season as the Blue Jays' starting right fielder.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez: Possibly entering season in platoon
General manager Ross Atkins suggested that Hernandez may be a part of a platoon in left field with Billy McKinney to start the season, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
Prior reports suggested that there would be a straightforward job battle for the starting gig in left field. However, the Blue Jays' plans appear to have changed in a way that hurts Hernandez. As a right-handed hitter, Hernandez would get the short end of the stick in a platoon with the left-handed-swinging McKinney. Hernandez's .239/.302/.468 slash line across 523 plate appearances in the majors last season hardly does him any favors, either, though it's hard to ignore the decent power he brings to the table (22 homers, .229 ISO in 2018).... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Billy McKinney: Potential platoon candidate in LF
General manager Ross Atkins suggested that McKinney could be part of a platoon in left field with Teoscar Hernandez, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
The initial thought was that the two young outfielders would jockey for the starting job this spring, but the plans appear to be shifting so that both players can be on the active roster. Naturally, this new development would benefit McKinney more, as his left-handed bat would find the lineup more often than Hernandez's right-handed bat. Additionally, McKinney seemingly has some momentum from last season, as he produced a .252/.320/.470 slash line with six home runs in 128 plate appearances for the Blue Jays last season.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' T.J. Zeuch: Won't pitch again this spring
Zeuch (lat) will be shut down from pitching again during spring training, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
The right-hander has been dealing with a lat strain for a week, and it seems like the issue hasn't gotten better. Instead of rushing Zeuch back, the Blue Jays will instead take the cautious approach and wait until he's completely past this issue before returning to pitch again. Once he's fully healthy, Zeuch will likely spend 2019 at Double-A and/or Triple-A. However, his availability for Opening Day seems unlikely at best given this development.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Freddy Galvis: In line for top shortstop job
Galvis said Monday that he was told to prepare for an everyday role at shortstop during spring training, John Lott of The Athletic reports.
The fact that manager Charlie Montoyo hasn't asked Galvis to work out at multiple infield spots suggests that the Blue Jays aren't envisioning the 29-year-old as a utility player, at least to begin the season. Galvis should at the very least provide a upgrade in the field after Aledmys Diaz (90 starts) and Lourdes Gurriel (40 starts) graded out as negative defenders while working as Toronto's primary shortstops in 2018. Diaz has since departed for Houston, while Gurriel is set to battle Devon Travis for the top job at second base.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' T.J. Zeuch: Sidelined with lat injury
Zeuch is dealing with a mild lat strain, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports.
It's unclear how the injury cropped up, and the team is still looking into the severity of the issue. If he's able to begin the season in full health, Zeuch figures to spend much of 2019 in the upper levels of the minors after posting a 3.17 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 27 starts between High-A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire last season.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: Nearly certain to start at Triple-A
Guerrero is expected to begin the season at Triple-A Buffalo, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
General manager Ross Atkins didn't rule out having the top prospect on the Opening Day roster, but he also said that the most likely starter at the hot corner for the first game is Brandon Drury. This is almost certainly a trick to get an extra year of team control over Guerrero, so the most likely scenario is that he will be up with Toronto after a few weeks.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Brandon Drury: Named likely starter at third base
General manager Ross Atkins said Drury will likely begin the season as the starter at third base, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
All things considered, this isn't too surprising. The Blue Jays are fully expected to keep top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the minors until they can get another year of control over him, meaning they need someone to man third base in the interim. Drury will assume those duties for the first few weeks of the season and then presumably move into a reserve infield role for the rest of the season. Drury put up respectable numbers in two seasons with the Diamondbacks in 2016 and 2017 (.275/.323/.453), but his playing time was limited in 2018 while with the Yankees and Blue Jays.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Julian Merryweather: Won't be ready by Opening Day
Merryweather (elbow) is expected to begin the season at extended spring training, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in March of 2018 and still seems to be on track in his recovery program. As a starter, his rehab naturally takes a little longer than that of a reliever, but it doesn't seem like the Blue Jays have any concerns over his progress so far. Once he's healthy, Merryweather will likely head to Triple-A Buffalo after posting a 6.58 ERA in his first 78 frames at the level back in 2017.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Ryan Borucki: Fighting for final rotation spot
Borucki is in the running for the last spot in the Blue Jays' rotation, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
According to general manager Ross Atkins, four pitchers are guaranteed spots in the rotation: Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, Matt Shoemaker and Clayton Richard. That leaves one spot for a number of young starters, none of whom were mentioned by name. Borucki seems like the frontrunner for the time being after posting a 3.87 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 17 starts -- 11 of which were quality starts. Others in the mix likely include Sean Reid-Foley, Thomas Pannone and Sam Gaviglio, though the players with a realistic shot to grab the final spot will likely become clearer as spring training rolls along.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Clayton Richard: Tabbed as no. 4 starter
General manager Ross Atkins said that Richard is assured a spot in the Blue Jays' starting rotation to begin the season, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
The veteran lefty struggled mightily in 2018, posting a 5.33 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP in 27 starts before undergoing surgeries on both knees in September. Despite the lack of results, Richard's experience seems to be winning out in the race for the final spots in the rotation. Even with a rotation spot in hand, however, his poor showing in 2018 and low strikeout upside keeps him from being a viable fantasy asset until he can prove otherwise.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez: Enters camp in job battle
Hernandez and Billy McKinney will compete for the Blue Jays' starting left field job, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports reports.
Hernandez and McKinney are set to battle for the final starting spot, with Randal Grichuk and Kevin Pillar expected to round out Toronto's outfield to open the season. The 26-year-old Hernandez hit .239/.302/.468 with 22 homers in 134 games last season, though he struck out in 31.2 percent of his plate appearances and graded out poorly on defense.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Billy McKinney: Competing for starting role
McKinney and Teoscar Hernandez will compete for the starting job in left field, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
Kevin Pillar and Randal Grichuk are slated to start in center field and right field, respectively, leaving McKinney and Hernandez to battle each other in camp for the final starting spot. McKinney seems like the frontrunner, as he started 31 games for the Blue Jays down the stretch last season after being acquired from the Yankees and slashed .252/.320/.470 with six homers in 128 plate appearances.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' John Axford: Back with Blue Jays
Axford signed a minor-league contract with the Blue Jays on Wednesday that includes an invitation to spring training, Keegan Matheson of Baseball Toronto reports.
Axford is back in Toronto, where he opened the 2018 campaign before being traded to the Dodgers in July. The veteran reliever posted a 4.41 ERA and 8.8 K/9 across 51 innings with the Blue Jays last season. Axford figures to have a good shot at winning an Opening Day relief role with Toronto.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Ryan Tepera: Loses arbitration case
Tepera signed a one-year, $1.525 million deal with the Blue Jays on Friday after losing his arbitration case, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
Tepera was pursuing $1.8 million but will be forced to settle for the lower salary following the arbitration hearing. The 31-year-old has a 3.60 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 149:55 K:BB in 141 appearances with Toronto over the past two years, and figures to enter the 2019 season as one of the top arms in the bullpen behind expected closer Ken Giles.... See More ... See Less
Blue Jays' Andy Burns: Rejoins Toronto
Burns signed a minor-league contract with the Blue Jays, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports.
The 28-year-old Burns made his MLB debut with the Blue Jays in 2016, logging seven plate appearances. He hasn't surfaced in affiliated ball since that time, instead spending the past two seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization. Assuming he sticks in the Toronto organization at the conclusion of the spring, Burns will likely report to Triple-A Buffalo and fill a depth role in the infield.... See More ... See Less