TORONTO – The signing of Freddy Galvis by the Toronto Blue Jays is as significantly about the ongoing uncertainty above where Lourdes Gurriel Jr., plays in the area as it is about the freshly arrived veteran Venezuelan shortstop.
Devoid of a question a gifted defender like the 29-year-old will be much more than welcomed by a pitching staff members that played behind a collection of fielders that rated 29th of the 30 massive-league teams in both Defensive Runs Saved and Greatest Zone Score very last year.
The Blue Jays were also lifeless very last in Defensive Runs Higher than Regular, which adds in a positional adjustment to the DRS and UZR ratings. (All desk information courtesy of FanGraphs).
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Not superior, and when you break things down by place, things were specially troubling for the Blue Jays at shortstop, the most essential location in the area.
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Now, innovative defensive metrics – at the very least the publicly out there ones – never paint a entire picture and should not be study as gospel. They are, nonetheless, usually quite fair indicators of effectiveness and you can be absolutely sure the Blue Jays, with their increasingly sturdy analytics division, have far superior things than that to break down the challenges with Gurriel’s glove.
And if you want to give your pitchers a real prospect to triumph, significantly groundballers like Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, the possible variation in effectiveness at shortstop concerning Gurriel and Galvis is an essential component in the blend.
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So where then does that go away Gurriel?
Very obviously, the Blue Jays felt much too uncovered likely into the new period with Gurriel and Richard Urena up the center, obtaining traded Aledmys Diaz to Houston for pitching prospect Trent Thornton and releasing Troy Tulowitzki, who ended up with the New York Yankees.
At 25, Gurriel could continue to make gains defensively – he definitely seemed superior towards the end of 2018 than he did at the commencing – but he’s not likely to be as gifted up the center as Galvis.
Offensively, they are the inverse of just about every other. Gurriel strike .281/.309/.446 in 263 plate appearances as a rookie and seemingly offers far much more offensive upside than Galvis, who has batted .246/.290/.374 in 3,096 profession plate appearances.
A person teach of believed is to operate with the superior offensive player, permit him endure developing pains in the area and hope the reps enable him to boost with the glove. If the mistakes pile up, perfectly it’s a rebuilding period anyway, so no biggie.
The problem with such an tactic is how corrosive unmade outs are to a pitching staff members above the study course of 162 games, and the cumulative impression of both the more pitches that adhere to and the more operates surrendered.
Provided that the Blue Jays expect to have heaps of youthful pitchers possibly component of the potential working as a result of the staff members all year lengthy, that’s not optimum for their improvement. And if the Blue Jays can not groom some pitching above the up coming few of seasons, any hopes of a short turnaround are likely to vanish quick.
Which is why typical supervisor Ross Atkins and the entrance business office feel to have opted for defence up the center because Galvis – a verified, exceptional defender regarded as a positive clubhouse existence – likely would not have signed without some assurances about his participating in time.
Shortstop, then, appears to be largely out of play, at the very least on an daily basis, for Gurriel, who barring injury has no apparent route to a common infield part, significantly when Vladimir Guerrero Jr., arrives.
He played some 2nd base very last year, much too, but the Blue Jays also have Devon Travis there and that’s where Brandon Drury is predicted to end up when Guerrero’s provider time has been lessened enough to push back his no cost company a year. Urena is continue to about, much too, though he’s just been dropped down yet another notch on the depth chart.
When he was signed, some in the sector felt Gurriel would in the end end up in the outfield and perhaps that’s a risk. But the Blue Jays have heaps of depth there, as perfectly, with Kevin Pillar, Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez, Billy McKinney and prospect Anthony Alford as a commencing position.
Intriguingly Dalton Pompey – who doubled in a operate to aid Canada conquer Panama 5-1 Tuesday in its opener at a Pan American Games qualifying event – remains on the 40-guy roster, with reliever Danny Barnes finding selected for assignment to clear place for Galvis.
A Mississauga, Ont., indigenous, Pompey is out of options and the Blue Jays keep on to insist that he continue to has some sector price – he has all the actual physical equipment to be a dynamic player – so it makes you wonder if they’d contemplate breaking camp with him if he reveals perfectly. The staff has invested heaps of hard work in Pompey above the previous three many years and is cautious of looking at him blossom somewhere else.
Both way, the Blue Jays’ outfield is just as overflowing with puzzle pieces as the infield, all of which may possibly or may possibly not inevitably aid form a done established.
Amid the sorting to appear, the most challenging piece to place remains Gurriel, the only player continue to on the roster with assured money in 2020 (his deal operates as a result of 2024), who may possibly end up relegated to bouncing from place to place to get his at-bats.