2021 Blue Jays: Positive Signs From Prospects
Toronto Blue Jays management and staff have plenty to be excited about in terms of the positive steps taken by players early on in spring training. Blue Jays prospects have been showcasing their talents and abilities regularly throughout the team’s eight games played. Pitching prospects Alek Manoah and Simeon Woods Richardson have looked confident in their Grapefruit League appearances.
Alek Manoah, the first-round selection for the Blue Jays in 2019 has pitched in two innings of Grapefruit League action. The now 23-year old right-handed pitcher has four strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA, he currently has a 0.50 WHIP in those two innings of work. The six-foot-six right-hander looked confident in his appearance, showing good velocity and command. There is plenty to get excited about and early on it would appear Alek Manoah is knocking on the door to make his MLB debut in the very near future.
Simeon Woods Richardson showcased exactly why the Blue Jays expect the 20-year old to make his debut in the near future. In his one Grapefruit League appearance, he had one strikeout, allowed no earned runs, and has a WHIP of 0.50. Woods Richardson took the mound to start for the Blue Jays making it through two innings of work showing good command, confidence, and velocity.
Outfielder Josh Palacios has been a pleasant surprise for the Blue Jays during spring training and grapefruit league action. Toronto’s fourth-round selection in 2016 has been impressive in the outfield and has been extremely impressive in the batter’s box. In 11 at-bats this spring Josh has five hits, three runs, one home run, six RBI’s, and an outstanding .455 batting average.
2021 Blue Jays: Pitching Still The Question
The Blue Jays biggest question mark resides around the starting pitching rotation and the strength of their bullpen. It’s still early in spring training to make any major decisions as the Blue Jays have only played eight games of their grapefruit league schedule. The pitching has looked really good at times, the pitching has also looked shaky as well.
Hyun-Jin Ryu looked good in his 2021 grapefruit league debut, showing good command with his off-speed pitches, and told media that he felt good physically afterward. The 2020 Warren Spahn award winner has pitched two full innings giving up one hit which resulted in a home run, leaving the left-hander with a 4.50 ERA. On a positive note, he gave up one home run during spring training in 2020, he went on to have an outstanding season and earned the title of the best left-handed pitcher in 2020.
Robbie Ray is returning for his first full season with the Blue Jays and he is expected to be in the starting pitching rotation to begin the season. The 29-year old right-hander has pitched the most innings in Grapefruit League action so far and has shown velocity and command, he has also struggled with his command as well.
Nate Pearson looked good in his only appearance in grapefruit league action. The good fortunes came to an abrupt stop as bad news followed when it was revealed that the number one pitching prospect has a pulled groin and will be sidelined due to the injury, there is no timetable for his return. With high hopes for Nate Pearson beginning the season in the starting pitching rotation this is a big blow to the Blue Jays, hopefully, he is able to return without missing regular-season games.
Ross Stripling appears to be the next in line with Nate Pearson being sidelined. Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro told TSN radio that Ross Stripling will get the opportunity to make the starting rotation to begin the regular season.
2021 Blue Jays: Building Versatility
The Toronto Blue Jays are just weeks away from opening day and there is still plenty to figure out before April 1st. The Blue Jays are building versatility throughout their lineup as they are giving Lourdes Gurriel Jr. reps at first base, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been taking reps at third base when not playing first. Cavan Biggio still looks like the choice at third base for the beginning of the 2021 season, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. will also spend time in the outfield to help get him in the lineup as much as possible.
Catch all of the 2021 Blue Jays Spring Training Games with the new field Cam. Toronto has announced there will be a live feed of all home games not being aired on Sportsnet, there will be a camera in centerfield and behind Homeplate, there will be no audio.
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