Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

So, uh, Troy Tulowitzki

The Blue Jays have an impending roster crunch on their hands. When Josh Donaldson is eventually activated from the 10-day disabled list they’re going to have to send a player down to Triple-A Buffalo in a corresponding move. You’re welcome for explaining that very complicated reality of baseball roster moves.

But the bigger issue is how they’re going to find playing time for the players they want to have on the field. Teoscar Hernandez has been arguably the team’s best hitter since being recalled. Do you send him down because he has options? Do you try to slide Randal Grichuk through waivers so he can remember how to hit in Buffalo? Do you fire Kendrys Morales into the sun?  Who knows! It’s a difficult decision, though, it is, I guess, a good one to have. You’d rather be trying to figure out how to deal with your hoards of depth rather than asking fans in the audience to be your backup shortstop.

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The issues don’t end with the Donaldson roster decision either. Here’s another problem — Troy Tulowitzki. As we all know, Tulo rolled into spring training with bone spurs in his heel. It wasn’t going to be an issue, they said, but we knew better. It was an issue. Tulo would be ready for Opening Day, they said, but we knew better. He wasn’t ready for Opening Day. I think we all just sorta assumed the worst-case scenario with Tulo and figured he wouldn’t be back this season.

Then Shi Davidi drops this bomb…

Woah! Tulo could be playing baseball for the Blue Jays in 2018? I don’t know if anyone actually expected that to happen!

The Jays have been operating with Aledmys Diaz at short this season while Yangervis Solarte and Gift Ngoepe, who was optioned to Triple-A for having a noodle bat and replaced with Lourdes Gurriel, have also filled in. Diaz has been pretty good, providing solid defence and some pop and Gurriel has also been a pleasant surprise.

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So, so long as this Tulo is resuming baseball activity tweet doesn’t follow the pattern of other Tulo-related updates from the spring, we’ll be seeing the veteran back with the Jays this year. That creates an issue as to who plays when and where. With a healthy Donaldson and Tulo, where do Diaz and Solarte fit? Could Devon Travis, who’s struggled mightily through the first month to the tune of a -0.5 WAR, be sent down to Triple-A?

Like I said, it’s not a bad problem to have. But given the fact it’s already difficult enough to figure out who goes when Donaldson’s back, I’m really not sure what the 25-man roster looks like with a healthy Tulowitzki because, to be honest, it’s not something I expected to see in 2018.

  • Dexxter

    Still a long ways to go before Tulo is back. Things could work themselves out by then. A trade. an injury. A cold streak from a player with options.

    If everything stays as is though I still say they fire Morales into the sun. Contract be damned if the team is competitive you need to keep the best lineup on the field.

  • Regulator Johnson

    I’m not losing any sleep over Diaz not playing every day and potentially sending Travis to Buffalo. The big issue with the 25 man has nothing to do with the injuries and everything to do with having too many outfielders. Something’s got to give there no matter who plays in the IF.

  • Knuckle Balls

    It was indicated by Blue Jays Brass that Tulo is clear for “LITE” baseball related activities. Therefore based on this is hitting off tee, flat foot throwing and straight on in-fielding practice. So he is still at least a Month away – Look at sometime in June at best. So the Jays will know what they have by then and make moves accordingly. Lets focus and hope Acestrada is at it tonight. Fastballs up in the zone is speciality and HAPP and Sanchez shown from the last two game the sons are vulnerable to the high pitch. So lets win this Jays

  • MysteryWhiteBoy

    Tulo still has over 30 days on the DL, I’m sure we will know more about Gurriel and Diaz by then before any decisions need to be made, and most likely Gurriel is sent down when Donaldson comes back

  • Terry Mesmer

    Sending players to Buffalo: it’s harder than you think.

    Travis has options but also three years of MLB service time. If he cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA, he could decline the assignment and become a free agent.
    Grichuk has no options but also has three years of service time, therefore, he could also decline the assignment and become a free agent.
    (I think the difference has to do with salary. Grichuk might keep his salary if he declares FA. But I haven’t researched this. Anyone know?)
    Diaz has options but only one year and 100 days of service time. However, because he was DFA’d in July 2015, he has the option of declining an assignment and becoming a free agent.

    • Terry Mesmer

      Travis and Grichuk can only decline being “outrighted” to AAA (that is, they have to be DFA’d first). This will be an issue when Tulo and Pannone need 40-man spots and someone has to get bumped.
      But the Diaz information is correct.
      (Thanks to Ryan Mueller for helping me straighten that out.)

  • Cincinnatus C.

    I figure it can’t be long until Randal Grichuk hits the DL with Chris Coghlan Syndrome. Also apparently it is now an annual tradition for us to wonder whether Devon Travis should be sent down before he catches fire. (Maybe this year he can be put out before he burns to the ground.)

    • Knuckleballs

      Based on Travis performance at the plate last night it looks like he is starting to come around and yah that is one way to get Grichuk some at bats in minors is to have come down with shitty syndrome

  • El Cabeza

    Travis is in his last option year, but he’s going to break out and mash doubles like nobody’s business starting now. We saw this last year and I’m confident we’ll see it again. Martin has gone 4 for April the past 3 seasons, and I expect him to even out into a league average hitter for a catcher this year too.

    The way things are looking right now – it’s Morales and Tulo. Who cares how much money they make? Would you rather be paying them to prove their still big league hitters in AAA or paying them to hurt your MLB club?

    That being said, it’s likely there will be more injuries before JD and then Tulo are healthy that will make this problem moot. Yay depth.

  • fred2

    Kind of seems pointless worrying about something none of us has the remotest control over. I get that baseball fandom, and media content, is 90% built on hypotheticals, but … just cannot find it in myself to get interested in this one, especially as the chances of someone else getting injured by the time Tulo comes along is pretty high.

    This time a year ago, we were worrying about Tulo and Donaldson returning too, and talking about where Mike Bolsinger, Leonel Campos, Salty Saltalamacchia and Darrell Ceciliani were going to fit. The difference being, of course, the debate was which garbage can they’d fit in best.

    First world problems, as they say.