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News and Notes: Former Blue Jay Jordan Groshans DFA’ed, Kevin Kiermaier and George Springer to debut Thursday, and more!

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Photo credit:David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
Who doesn’t love news AND notes?
In the latest edition of News and Notes, we’ll be looking at some mumblings surrounding the Blue Jays Spring Training, including injury updates, who’ll appear in games on Thursday, and a transaction!
Let’s dig in.

Cavan Biggio’s shoulder update

According to MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson, Cavan Biggio is starting to hit off a machine and his timeline for game action should be clear in the coming days.
Last season, Biggio slashed .235/.340/.370 with eight home runs, along with an 11.8 BB% and a 26 K% for a 103 wRC+, his best since the 2020 season. The 28-year-old had a great second-half, slashing .272/.404/.361 with two homers in 183 plate appearances, along with a 15.8 BB% and a 21.9 K% for a 124 wRC+
There are two pathways for Biggio in 2024. Either he’ll play the super utility role that he did in years prior, splitting time between first base, second base, and the outfield (and maybe even third!). The other option is dependent on how Davis Schneider performs, but it’s Biggio and Schneider platoon at second base.

Kevin Kiermaier and George Springer to play on Thursday

It appears that Kevin Kiermaier and George Springer will make their Spring Training debuts on Thursday, according to the Matheson Tweet.
In another tweet, Matheson quotes manager John Schneider as saying that the Jays are “keeping the old horses in the stable a little bit”, evidently in a joking manner.
Kiermaier had a great season in 2023, slashing .265/.322/.419 with eight homers in 408 plate appearances, along with a 7.1 BB% and a 21.1 K% for a 104 wRC+ and a 2.2 fWAR. Where he excelled was defensively, as he posted 18 Defensive Runs Saved and 13 Outs Above Average in 981.1 innings in centre field. Kiermaier re-signed with the Jays on a one-year, $10.5 million deal.
The big question heading into the 2024 season is whether or not Springer’s 2023 was regression, or simply unlucky. Last season, the 34-year-old slashed .258/.327/.405 with 21 homers in 683 plate appearances, along with an 8.8 BB% and an 18.3 K% for a 104 wRC+ and a 2.2 fWAR. This was by far his lowest wRC+ in his career, as his previous lowest was 119 back in 2018, and the lowest as a Blue Jay was 133 the season prior.
Hopefully, this was an anomaly and not the start of his decline, as he still has three seasons left on his contract.

Ricky Tiedemann played catch on Wednesday

The Blue Jays top prospect Ricky Tiedemann was supposed to open Spring Training for the Jays, but had hamstring and calf inflammation that didn’t allow him to start. Matheson reported on Wednesday that he is playing catch now and that his timeline will be clear in the next few days.
Tiedemann has ace potential, posting a 3.83 ERA and a 1.98 FIP in 47 innings pitched between Single-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. This included a 43.7 K%, the second-highest total with a minimum of 20 innings pitched, but the 21-year-old did have an elevated 12.2 BB%. To add to his résumé, Tiedemann won the Arizona Fall League pitcher of the year with a 2.50 ERA in 18 innings pitched.
The left-handed pitcher sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and has touched a tick below 100 mph. On top of that, he features two plus pitches in a changeup and a slider. If all works out, Tiedemann can front a rotation.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a home run off Kevin Gausman in a sim game

Going from being all-in on Shohei Ohtani to signing Isiah Kiner-Falefa was a bit of a let down. However, it’s an encouraging sign that Matt Chapman’s replacement hit a home run to centre field against one of the league’s best pitchers in Kevin Gausman, reports Matheson.
Kiner-Falefa is a great defender, posting a career 19 DRS and 22 OAA in 1207.1 innings at third, as well as 25 DRS and -6 OAA in 2691 innings at shortstop. However, the bat is very light, as he has a career slash line of .261/.314/.346 with 26 home runs in 2415 plate appearances for an 81 wRC+. His highest-career wRC+ came in 2020 when he had a 91 wRC+.
Maybe, just maybe, he can figure out the bat with the Blue Jays. I’m not holding my breath though.

Jordan Groshans designated for assignment by the Yankees

Moving on to former Blue Jays news, former top Blue Jay prospect Jordan Groshans has been designated for assignment by the New York Yankees.
Groshans was selected with the 12th overall pick by the Jays in the 2018 draft, with his last season in the organization coming in 2022. That year with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, he slashed .250/.348/.296 with a homer in 279 plate appearances, before the Jays traded him to the Miami Marlins for Anthony Bass, Zach Pop, and prospect Edward Duran.
The shortstop hit his first career big league home run in a September call up that season, but slashed just .243/.339/.330 with six homers in 528 plate appearances with Miami’s Triple-A team in 2023 before being designated for assignment.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.

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