Grichuk's debut delayed as precaution for foot

February 25th, 2019

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk is not expected to make his spring debut until at least Tuesday as the club wants to make sure he doesn't develop plantar fasciitis, an ailment that has affected him in the past.

Grichuk is not expected to require a lot of time off and may return for the Tuesday game against the Red Sox.

Grichuk hit .245/.301/.502 in 124 games for the Blue Jays last season. He got off to a slow start in 2018, with a .435 OPS in April, which likely was at least partially because of a wrist injury that caused him to miss most of camp. That's something Toronto would like to avoid this year.

"We're taking our time with him," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. "It's a communication between the trainers, Randal and me."

Battle in left

Teoscar Hernandez made a positive first impression with his new manager in Saturday's 4-0 loss to the Tigers by hitting a double off the wall in the bottom of the first inning. He also singled to left-center field to cap a 2-for-2 afternoon at plate while also making a couple of routine plays in left.

Hernandez is competing for the starting job in left field alongside Billy McKinney. Other outfielders in the mix for a reserve spot include Dalton Pompey, Dwight Smith Jr. and Jonathan Davis, but Hernandez and McKinney are the favorites to make the team and form some sort of platoon.

"It seems like every time I see this kid, he hits the ball like that," Montoyo said. "Good approach. As long as he doesn't chase bad pitches, he's going to be all right. It was good."

The debut

Rule 5 pick Elvis Luciano got through his Grapefruit League season debut unscathed after tossing a scoreless sixth. The 19-year-old Luciano, who is competing for a spot in the bullpen, topped out at 95 mph and pitched out of some trouble to record the scoreless appearance.

Luciano retired the first two batters he faced before allowing a single to Jordy Mercer and a walk to Grayson Greiner. Just when it looked like Luciano's outing might be on the verge of falling apart, he induced a ground ball to escape the threat.

"He's another kid who impresses me with how cool and collected he is, and that young. He came out to the mound like nothing happened, and I like that," Montoyo said. "You can't teach that. Some kids have it, and that kid had it."

Up next

Right-hander Sean Reid-Foley will get the start when Toronto plays its first road game of the spring on Sunday vs. the Orioles. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. Top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will make his Grapefruit League season debut in this game as he is tentatively scheduled to start at third base.