Grapefruit League Action...The Important Part

Monday, March 09 2020 @ 07:32 PM EDT

Contributed by: Gerry

There is a little over two weeks left in spring training. The Blue Jays have 15 games left before they count. This is the time you want to see players round into form. It doesn't matter if they hit .100 over the first half, its how they end that should matter.

Spring training exists primarily for the starting pitchers to build up their stamina. The starters are now targeting close to 5 innings per start, and hope to stretch to six and seven before spring ends. The starting lineup will get an extra inning or two as well so they are ready to go nine in two weeks.

The fifth starter job is up for grabs. It seems that it's Trent Thornton's to lose. Shun Yamaguchi has been inconsistent. Jacob Waguespack hasn't been given a long look, he has been coming in in relief for a couple of innings. Anthony Kay has been good, but probably not good enough to claim a job. Nate Pearson has, of course, been excellent, but he will not make it for previously discussed reasons. Thomas Hatch is another who has pitched well. Chase Anderson is in the rotation but has been the shakiest in spring. If a starter gets injured Yamaguchi would likely be next in line, with Kay and Waguespack close behind.

On the hitting side, the outfield seems to be set with Gurriel, Grichuk and Teoscar. The infield is also set. Its the bench jobs that are up for grabs. Derek Fisher is out of options, and was traded for by this front office, so he has the inside track for the fourth outfielder spot. Jonathan Davis continues to catch the managers eye, and is a good centre-fielder, so he could grab a bench spot. Joe Panik is hitting well, do you need Drury and him? And who is your DH? Reese McGuire could pay the price for his extra-curricular activities with Caleb Joseph getting the backup job.

The Jays start the regular season with four games against the Red Sox. That is followed with the Reds, Yankees and Phillies so the Jays have to be ready to go.