Inbox: Which Blue Jays will get routine rest?

Beat reporter Gregor Chisholm answers questions from fans

April 5th, 2018
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) celebrates his solo home run during sixth inning baseball action in Toronto on Monday, April 2, 2018. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)Nathan Denette/AP

Can you see this two days on, one day off rest policy for and being extended to other Blue Jays, like Josh Donaldson or ?

-- @birdingvicar

The Blue Jays will keep a close eye on Donaldson's wonky shoulder, but he definitely won't need as much rest as Travis and Martin. When Travis and Martin get the day off, they will be kept out of the lineup entirely and likely wouldn't pinch-hit. Donaldson, on the other hand, would get his "rest" days at the DH spot.

A realistic expectation for the upcoming Texas series is for Donaldson to DH once and start the other two games at third. It won't be a set routine, but John Gibbons did say earlier this week that he intends on going to Donaldson on a semi-regular basis to ask when he needs a day off his feet. Tulowitzki is so far away from returning that it doesn't make sense to speculate on playing time.

:: Submit a question to the Blue Jays Inbox ::

Is ' time with Toronto dwindling? It doesn't look like there is a spot for him, with and 's hot starts.

-- @newtandtoot

There were lots of questions this week about moving Morales, but it's no more realistic now than it was during the offseason. The only way the Blue Jays could facilitate a move is if they picked almost the entire amount remaining on his contract through 2019.

The market for aging power hitters is not promising, and only a contending team in the American League would even remotely consider this possibility. There may come a time when Toronto looks to buy out this contract. But it's not going to be when there's more than $20 million remaining on the deal. The Blue Jays have to extract whatever value they can, and that means rolling Morales out whenever the DH spot is open.

Does a good first half increase or decrease the chance of a new contract for Donaldson, especially with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. needing a spot on the field in the not-too-distant future?

-- Art S., Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia

The only impact that a strong start has on Donaldson's situation is that it decreases the chances he will be moved prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Outside of that, Donaldson has been pretty clear that he intends on testing free agency after the two sides didn't make any progress on an extension during the offseason.

Guerrero does not have much of an impact on this situation, either. If Donaldson sticks around, Guerrero would either transition to a corner-outfield spot, first base or even DH. If Donaldson leaves, the Blue Jays' No.1 prospect will stick right where he is and likely gets promoted at some point early next year. Nobody is going to block Guerrero's path to the Majors, but it wouldn't take Donaldson leaving town to get him there, either.

Why didn't the Blue Jays take a chance with one of their many catching prospects as their backup? They would have gained experience under Martin and have a better bat than .

-- @girish_acharya

A lot of fans wanted to see crack the roster, but he still needs more time to develop. Prior to this season, Jansen had appeared in just 21 games above Double-A, and he needs regular reps at Buffalo before a promotion should be considered. Jansen has to force his way onto the roster as opposed to the Blue Jays rushing him through the system just to fill a need.

also deserves a mention, too, but he also needs some more time to hone his skills, with this season being his first look at Triple-A. The Blue Jays want to maximize their playing instead of only being able to get them into the lineup every third game when Martin needs a break.

The Blue Jays are getting by with their rotation, but the offense needs to be better. If they keep playing in these close low-scoring games and hang in the playoff race, is it reasonable to think they will make a big move for some more power/speed?

-- Alex H., Richmond, British Columbia

What you see is what you get with this Blue Jays roster. Some minor tinkering is always possible and players will go back and forth between Toronto and Buffalo, but don't expect a major move any time soon. Teams typically don't start making big deals until at least June.

This season will go in one of three ways: Toronto will fall out of it and become sellers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, it will hang around the fringes of the race and decide to stand pat or it will re-invest in this roster and look to make some of the moves you mentioned above. Either way, the health and performance of this team over the next two months will ultimately make that determination.

and have been good so far, but do you see them sustaining this success through the whole year?

-- Justin Y.

Relievers are notoriously difficult to predict from one year to the next. Realistically, the Blue Jays are not going to get strong years from the entire righty group of Clippard, Axford, , and Danny Barnes. Someone is going to falter and ultimately lose a spot on the roster, but the number of alternatives bodes well.

Axford's success will come down to command. He filled the strike zone during Spring Training but he has been wild so far this year with three walks over 2 1/3 innings. Walks were his downfall last year and could lead to his downfall again this year, but with his upper-90s velocity, the Blue Jays are going to give him every opportunity early on to work things out.