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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette to flip spots in the lineup early in the season

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Photo credit:Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Georges
19 days ago
The top of the Blue Jays lineup will look a little different in 2024, with Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. flipping their spots in the batting order. Guerrero will now hit second, with Bichette hitting third. John Schneider also noted that George Springer will continue to leadoff, with Justin Turner assuming the clean-up spot.
This move makes a lot of sense for the team, as the two hole in the lineup has gained steam in recent years as a spot where the team’s best hitter typically bats. Virtually all projection systems agree that Guerrero will be the better offensive player in 2024, as his power is expected to return, while his walk rate will likely continue to exceed that of Bichette’s. Given his 9.7% career walk rate, the Jays’ first basemen offers a much safer on-base floor compared to Bichette (5.5%). Somewhat surprising is the fact that both players have nearly an identical career slugging percentage, with Guerrero narrowly edging him out (.490 to .487).
Based on appearance alone, it just kind of seems like Bichette would be a top-of-the-order guy, with Guerrero being more of a middle-of-the-order bat, doesn’t it? Well, body type obviously doesn’t tell the whole story of a player, as the numbers suggest the opposite is the better lineup decision.
As for the rest of the lineup, there’s a lot that still needs to be worked out regarding who will bat where. Springer is locked into the leadoff spot, and Turner is probably a lock to at least be a top-five hitter in the lineup. One guy to watch out for who could possibly be a cleanup hitter would be Daulton Varsho. He definitely has the raw power, but tapping into it during games proved difficult last year, as he struggled to the tune of a .674 OPS in 2023. A big step forward could do wonders by providing a bit of balance in the lineup in 2024.
Alejandro Kirk is another guy who could easily crack into the top four lineup spots this year. Kirk will try to recreate some of the magic that made him one of the best-hitting catchers in the league in 2022. Allowing him to hit in the 5 or 6 spot should be a good place for him to get into a groove in 2024. If the Jays are desperate for a little thump in the middle of the lineup, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Daniel Vogelbach hit in the middle of the order at times as well.
As for the rest of the lineup, There are a number of guys that are probably best suited for the mid to bottom of the lineup, like Davis Schneider, Kevin Kiermaier, Cavan Biggio, or Isiah Kiner-Falefa. We could easily see someone get hot and rocket up near the top, as Schneider did in 2023, but for the most part, these guys will man the bottom of the lineup.
The construction of the lineup will be one of many things that will be under the microscope for the team, as 2024 promises to be a very important year for John Schneider and the Blue Jays.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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