TORONTO -- As the Toronto Blue Jays looked to the future at their annual Winter Fest this weekend at Rogers Centre, some alumni and current players remembered franchise icon Roy Halladay, who is on track to be elected to the Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Roberto Alomar Jr. was the first Blue Jays player to earn the honor in 2011, but hopes that he soon has company in Cooperstown.
"I think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and I think he deserves to be inducted, just like me, with the Blue Jays hat," Alomar said.
Halladay's 16-year career included 12 seasons in Toronto, where he won the first of his two Cy Young Awards, in 2003. With 67 complete games over 390 career starts, Doc was the quintessential ace. In November 2017, Halladay passed away at age 40 in a small plane accident.
"It's going to be an honor to see his name and see his family being inducted into the Hall of Fame," Alomar said. "As a player and as a person, he meant a lot to us. I never had a chance to play with him, but I played against him, and it's well deserved."
To those who did play with him, Halladay was a model teammate. Former Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor barely saw Halladay at the ballpark most days, as the big right-hander bounced constantly from the film room to the weight room to making another protein shake.
Frasor also joked that the relief pitchers were able to have an extra beer the night before a Halladay start, because they knew that he was going at least seven innings. The Blue Jays never reached the playoffs in Halladay's tenure, but he performed on the big stage with a no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS, as a member of the Phillies.
"Those years he was here, it's too bad we weren't better as a team," Frasor said. "How does that guy not win 25 games? He was that consistent, that reliable."
Halladay's legacy stretches well beyond his teammates to youth baseball and the next generation, including Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez, who studied Halladay as a young pitcher.
"There's no doubt he should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer," Sanchez said. "As a person, he's way beyond Hall of Fame."
Montoyo throws support behind Jansen
Danny Jansen is the catcher of the future in Toronto, and new manager Charlie Montoyo didn't shy away from setting high expectations for the 23-year-old.
"I'm very excited about Danny Jansen," Montoyo said. "Watching him from the other side, I think he's going to be very good. I think he's going to be an All-Star someday, an All-Star catcher."
Grichuk eyeing defensive alignments
Randal Grichuk knows that defensive shifts hurt his own batting average, so there's value in doing it when he's playing the field. Just how extreme the Blue Jays shifts will be in 2019, though, is still to be determined.
"I'm interested to see. Obviously with outfielders, you can't shift too, too much, but I'm interested to see if we do any of the four-man outfields or two-man outfields."