Here’s something that wasn’t expected.
After beating the Phillies in the first half of Thursday’s doubleheader, the Blue Jays have designated Anthony Alford for assignment ahead of the second game. The move, of course, opens up room on Toronto’s active roster for Trent Thornton, who’s starting the nightcap, to be activated from the 10-day Injured List.
Once one of Toronto’s top prospects, Alford simply wasn’t ever able to figure things out at the plate. This season, in limited action, he’s managed three hits (one homer) over 16 plate appearances, striking out seven times and not taking a single walk.
It seems the organization figured that, at 26 years old, Alford just wasn’t going to pull it together. But, the somewhat strange thing here is that he never really got an extended look at the Major League level, even in 2019 when the team was fully in rebuild mode.
Since making his debut in 2017, Alford has only had 75 plate appearances in the big-leagues. Of course, he didn’t exactly command more opportunities, as he slashed a .155/.200/.245 line over that time.
Given the fact teams have more wiggle room with 28-man rosters this year, it seems pretty likely that Alford will get claimed by somebody. There’s going to be a team out there that can utilize him as a defensive outfielder who can pinch run, as the Jays tried to early this year, and somebody might give him a legit run to see if he can figure things out with the bat.
Alford has always been a player to root for. I’d love to see him somehow sneak through waivers and remain with the Jays, but it would also be nice to see him get a chance to thrive elsewhere.