Toronto Blue Jays Roster
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Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette had a tough day in Thursday's 8-2 loss to the Tigers. Bichette went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and made a throwing error in the field. The 22-year-old shortstop has played three games so far in the spring and is 0-for-7 with three walks, though he still has plenty of time to get himself right before Opening Day. The talent is undeniable, as Bichette has slashed .307/.347/.549 in 75 career games, with 162-game averages of 108 runs, 35 homers, 95 RBI, and 17 stolen bases. We have yet to see a full season from Bichette- due to injuries- and a late call-up in 2019, but he could be a five-category contributor in 2021, albeit with a high strikeout rate. He's currently one of the first shortstops off the board at his 25 ADP.
The Toronto Blue Jays' top pitching prospect Nate Pearson(groin) suffered a Grade 1 groin strain in his last outing, according to general manager Ross Atkins. The injury news is a tough blow for the Jays rotation, which was already considered the weakest area on the team. Pearson missed time last year due to a flexor strain in his elbow. Although the timeline is not clear, the Blue Jays will need to consider alternatives, which could open up an opportunity for Anthony Kay or Thomas Hatch. Both of those young hurlers spent a good portion of 2020 in the majors while pitching out of the bullpen. The players were developed as starting pitchers and have No. 3/4 starter upsides.
Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect Alek Manoah struck out four Yankees batters in Wednesday's 4-1 loss. Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 260 pounds, the right-hander was up to 97 mph and whiffed numerous big-league hitters including Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres. The former first-round pick from 2019 hasn't officially pitched above A-ball due to the pandemic but he spent last summer at Toronto's alternate training site and could see an accelerated time frame -- and a possible ETA is late 2021 or 2022. With the strong fastball, good breaking ball, and improving changeup, Manoah has No. 2/3 starter potential.
Toronto Blue Jays ace Hyun-Jin Ryu is expected to make his 2021 Grapefruit League debut on Friday against the Orioles. The left-hander was a finalist for the American League Cy Young last year after he posted an excellent 2.69 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 67 innings in his first year in Toronto. His 26.2 percent strikeout rate in 2020 was the second-best of his career. Many fantasy managers expected Ryu to regress considerably with the move to Toronto and the tough American League East, but he has proven to be a solid SP2/3. The good news is that the Blue Jays will be playing their home games away from hitter-friendly Rogers Centre in Canada for at least the first month of the regular season.
Newly signed outfielderGeorge Springer will likely hit in the leadoff spot for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021. The news doesn't come as a huge shock, but Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo hinted at the decision on Tuesday. Montoyo stated that it was the spot where Springer was most comfortable. The rest of the lineup remains in flux, but the top two-thirds of the order should also include Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr.and Teoscar Hernandez. Along with being one of the Blue Jays best hitters, Springer hasn't posted a walk rate below 10% in his career, which makes him a natural fit atop the order. Biggio, with a career 16% walk rate, is also in consideration to hit near the top.