Photo Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Randal Grichuk gets the day off amidst struggles

The Blue Jays will open their three-game series in Baltimore with the Orioles tonight with J.A. Happ on the mound against the Dylan Bundy.

The big news of the day is that Randal Grichuk is getting the day off in favour of Steve Pearce. I don’t think this is something we should real very far into nor do I think it’s a sign that the Jays are inching towards cutting bait with Grichuk and calling up Teoscar Hernandez in his place. Grichuk doesn’t have options. He can’t be sent down to Triple-A without going through waivers. The Jays aren’t giving up on a player with that much talent because of a one-week stretch. Also, Hernandez hasn’t even played a game in Triple-A this season as the Bisons’ games have all been postponed due to snow.

That said, it is a good thing that Grichuk is getting a day off in order to take a step back from what’s been a horrendous stretch at the plate. The newly-acquired outfielder has had a hell of a time since joining the Blue Jays this season. He had a homer in his second game and a hit in his third, but, since then, he’s been plagued by a 0-for-24 run with 10 strikeouts.

There’s obviously no way he’s going to hit, like, .050 all year, but for a guy with the reputation of being a free swinger without much plate discipline, this start has been somewhat worrying. I feel for Grichuk, of course, because when you join a new team you immediately want to show the other players, the manager, the front office, and even the fans that you can contribute. Would this be as big a deal if it happened in the middle of June?

In other news, Russell Martin and Devon Travis are back in after their schedule off days, and Justin Smoak is being given a day at DH while Kendrys Morales will play at first.

  • Knuckle Balls

    If Bundy is on his game Happ is going to have match him. Happ has looked ok so far, but the rust still seems to be there. As for Grichuk probably a good thing. He looked decent in the spring but had an minor injury had still seems to be looking for his timing. The eye thing does not seem to be helping.

  • TorontoBaseballGuy

    I know he’s had some painful strikeouts, but I like having Grichuk around.
    -he’s already made a couple of outstanding plays on defence and he should be able to run the bases well. These are plus skills that are relatively slump proof.
    – His “ball in play” outs have been pretty loud on several ocassions, possibly getting hung up in the cool Texas air, or having a bit too much upward trajectory in a few cases. With minor differences, some of these could be getting past fielders and going off, or over the wall… especially as the air begins to heat up.
    – He’s struck out a bunch, but at least one of those came from being given the green light on a 3-0 count in an attempt to get him jump started. Left to his own devices, I suspect he’d be taking all the way on 3-0s. This could produce some walks, putting him on as a dangerous base runner.
    He does seem to struggle with pitch recognition, so we can’t expect the same Jose/Edwin magic to work on him, but perhaps he could simplify his approach. I remember Cito tutoring Jose Cruz not to swing at all strikes but to swing at the ones he “liked” ie a specific pitch coming to a specific part of the plate. Perhaps something like that will put less emphasis on overall pitch recognition and help him get going. Again, he doesn’t need a tonne of hits, he can make up more value with legs, glove, and power when he does get hits.

  • Chappy

    This is why i never liked this trade. Leone was excellent so why trade a good bullpen pitcher for a piece that is very similar to a lot of guys you have in the minors, guys that are basically ready to go, like Hernandez, or Alford or Ramon Fields, or Pompey, or, or… He just didn’t the stats to suggest he was that much better than internal options, certainly not good enough to give up on Leone.

      • Guzman's Jheri Curl

        0-2, 7+ ERA and handful of hrs against in less than 5 innings. Relievers are volatile with performance and Leone was found money. Gruchuk has been a breath of fresh air in the field and while he’s been very painful to watch at the plate so far he brings solid depth and upside.