TORONTO — Cavan Biggio might not be the loudest voice in the Blue Jays’ clubhouse, but he’s one of the most important.
The Blue Jays don't know where their 2020 home field will be, and they aren't being penciled in by many as a playoff candidate, but to a man, the club’s young core thinks they should be taken seriously. This isn’t empty bravado, either. They believe it.
“Everybody in that locker room knows that we’re a better team than most people think we are,” Biggio said Tuesday. “I think we have a lot of guys that are going to take a lot of steps forward this year, and a lot of guys that are underrated.”
That echoes Bo Bichette, his double-play partner who opened Tuesday’s intrasquad game with a home run on the first pitch he saw.
"Short season, long season, I’ve told you guys plenty of times that I think we're going to compete, regardless of 162 or 60,” Bichette said last week. “I believe in everybody in here. I believe we’re a lot better than people think.”
Biggio was just getting to the point of feeling “game ready” when the season was suspended with two weeks left in Spring Training. He was fortunate to be able to keep his work rolling through the shutdown, and he decided to adopt the mentality of preparing for a season that was always one week away. Eventually, it was, and he’s resumed comfortably.
The 25-year-old has emerged as a clubhouse leader, one who coaches say knows when his teammates need a nudge and the right way to do it. Biggio is coming off a 2019 debut that was overshadowed by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bichette, but it shouldn’t have been. Biggio did a bit of everything, with a .364 on-base percentage, a .793 OPS, some pop (16 HR) and quietly swiped 14 bags without being caught.
In a lineup that could feature some streaky performers, Biggio could be that steady hand it needs. Defensively, his 2020 outlook remains what it was at the end of spring.
“Mainly second base, then going out to the outfield when the time calls for it," Biggio explained. "Whether that’s center field, left field or right field, I don’t know, but all three of those have been put in my head. For me, personally, I’m prepared to play all three whenever.”
A big variable remains, though: Where will the Blue Jays play their home games? Biggio isn’t particularly concerned with something he can’t control.
“The situation we’re in now, where we’re hoping we can play here in Toronto, but we know that can change,” Biggio said. “Our mindset is to continue to get better and continue to get ready for Opening Day. Wherever we end up playing is where we end up playing.”