The Blue Jays made a couple of roster moves today. One wasn’t a surprise, as Kendrys Morales was activated from the 10-day disabled list as had been reported a couple days ago, the other was a little out of left field, as Lourdes Gurriel was recalled from Double-A New Hampshire. Heading down to Triple-A Buffalo will be Tim Mayza and Gift Ngoepe, both of whom have options.
Roster Move: DH Kendrys Morales reinstated from 10-day disabled list and IF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. recalled from New Hamshire; LHP Tim Mayza and IF Gift Ngoepe have been optioned to Buffalo.— Blue Jays PR (@BlueJaysPR) April 20, 2018
We all knew Mayza was going to be going down as the Jays didn’t really need to be operating with an eight-man bullpen, but the Gurriel promotion wasn’t expected. But with Gift Ngoepe struggling mightily at the plate to the tune of a .161 OPS, the Jays figured it was time to give one of their top prospects a shot to show what he can do.
Gurriel will immediately slot into today’s lineup as the second baseman, giving Devon Travis a day off. After a tough first season in the Blue Jays system, Gurriel is 17-for-49 with one homer and 11 RBIs. That’s a tiny sample size, but it’s an improvement on last year’s plagued results. I mean, this is obviously shiny new toy syndrome, but it should be fun to watch a top prospect join the team. Gurriel, like Yangervis Solarte, plays a bunch of different positions and gives John Gibbons a lot of options to work with when it comes to pinch hitting in later innings.
Where does Kendrys Morales fit into the lineup? Honestly, he’s probably best, at this point, as a big bat coming off of the bench while Steve Pearce and Curtis Granderson platoon as the designated hitter. That gives the Jays a lot of flexibility and a very strong defensive outfield. But I would guess Morales still, at the very least, has the starting DH job against lefty pitching.
Okay, so that’s that. But what happens when Josh Donaldson is back? Uhhhhh. John Gibbons has made it clear he wants Teoscar Hernandez around, and Teoscar Hernandez has made it clear with his bat that he wants to stay the fuck away from Buffalo, but sending Gurriel down when Donaldson returns would ultimately give Toronto one backup infielder in Solarte on the 25-man roster.
Regardless, the Jays have a lot of options when it comes to putting together a lineup any given day. Obviously it isn’t going to be easy to get everyone playing time, but this is a good problem to have. I would much rather be stressing about how to ensure Yangervis Solarte is getting into the lineup every day than figuring out which random, computer-generated player is going to come up if Chris Coghlan hits the disabled list.