Vibe Check: Toronto Blue Jays catcher Gabriel Moreno shines in first three MLB games
Photo credit:Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing1 year ago
The Gabriel Moreno era is upon us.
Recalled last Friday from the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, Moreno got his first start behind the plate Saturday against the Detroit Tigers. He showed well behind the plate helping steal some calls, and got his first-ever hit — a line-drive single to centre field.
While the Sunday matinee saw Moreno earn his first walk, it was Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre where he shined for the first time in his major league career.
In the bottom of the third, he singled on a line drive to the right-field advancing Matt Chapman to third base. In the bottom of the sixth, Moreno singled on another ball to right-field bringing home Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as the rookie catcher snagged the first RBI of his career.
In the bottom of the eighth, he singled on a ground ball to left-field bringing home Santiago Espinal home for his second RBI.
While Moreno’s night ended there, his play through his first three games has spoken for itself. He showed elite pop time Saturday taking just 1.83 seconds to get a ball to second base ending a stolen base attempt, and he did it again last night.
In the top of the second, Jorge Mateo took off for second base on a steal attempt only for Moreno to unleash an absolute cannon stopping the speedster in his tracks.
I’m still learning a lot about the game of baseball as this is genuinely my first year watching with intent, but even for me, I can see the talent that’s there. It’s raw, no doubt, but Moreno looks like something special. He is baseball’s fourth-ranked prospect for a reason.
As noted by my colleague Noah Vande, it opens up the conversation and a legitimate argument for carrying three catchers on the team.
Part of me even wonders if someone like Danny Jansen could be moved in part of a deal to secure another pitcher in the wake of Hyun-Jin Ryu’s impending surgery that could end his time in the Six. This, of course, is also made possible due to what’s been a solid stint for Zack Collins in the organization as a callup for third.
It gives the chance for Kirk to continue to DH and Moreno to grow as a catcher, too.
Nonetheless, through his first three games in the big’s, Gabriel Moreno passes the vibe check.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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