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Inbox: Is Biggio entrenched at 2B for Toronto?

Beat reporter Keegan Matheson answers fans' questions
@KeeganMatheson
April 28, 2020

TORONTO -- While we’d all love to be at the ballpark -- where the Blue Jays were scheduled to be hosting the Red Sox, Yankees and Orioles over a long homestand this week -- there’s still plenty of curiosity around the 2020 Blue Jays as we await baseball’s return. Here

TORONTO -- While we’d all love to be at the ballpark -- where the Blue Jays were scheduled to be hosting the Red Sox, Yankees and Orioles over a long homestand this week -- there’s still plenty of curiosity around the 2020 Blue Jays as we await baseball’s return.

Here are your latest questions for this week’s Inbox.

Where does Biggio fit defensively in a few years? If there was a super-utility role (Ben Zobrist?), is that more natural for Biggio or Gurriel?
-- Samuel D.

Manager Charlie Montoyo continues to say that Cavan Biggio is his second baseman, and that seems to be the plan going forward. Versatility is great, but there’s a difference between being able to play multiple positions and being able to do it well.

That isn’t to say Biggio isn’t capable of doing it. Even experimenting with him in the outfield this spring made plenty of sense -- besides, that’s what spring is for -- but the Blue Jays can’t be nine revolving doors at all times. Just like Bo Bichette is entrenched at shortstop, Biggio should be given a full opportunity to run with the job at second. If that doesn’t work out as Plan A, then his versatility makes for a fine Plan B. That’s why it’s easy to picture Biggio in the big leagues for a decade-plus.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. looked surprisingly sharp in left field in 2019, but Biggio’s solid infield ability gives him that super-utility edge. Don’t sleep on the possibility of Gurriel playing some first base down the line.

Any insight on who the Jays are targeting at No. 5 in the Draft?
-- Glen A.

The Blue Jays have a massive opportunity with the No. 5 pick in this year’s Draft. They will have their pick of college and high school arms, but also a college bat like New Mexico State second baseman Nick Gonzales, who MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo selected for Toronto in MLB Pipeline’s recent mock draft.

You can also check out full scouting reports on MLB Pipeline’s Top 150 list. It wouldn’t be surprising to see this No. 5 pick leapfrog Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans to become the Blue Jays’ No. 2 prospect behind No. 1 overall, right-hander Nate Pearson.

I’m trying to figure out if this helps or hurts Grich [Randal Grichuk]. He usually starts slow, then heats up. Would he be peaking at the right time if the season started later this summer?
-- Braiden F.

Here’s a great example of how unpredictable (and exciting) a shortened season could potentially be. A hot streak would suddenly become even more valuable, while cold streaks could swing a team in the other direction much more than before. Grichuk is a perfect case study for that.

Grichuk owns a career .716 OPS in the first half of the season, compared to .843 in the second half. He won’t have the benefit of heating up through the summer with live game action, but I’d still bet on him to perform down the stretch. These should be his peak physical years coming up on this contract.

Will Trent Thornton still make the Blue Jays when the season starts again, or do they restart the pitching competition?
-- Amanda M.

Yes and yes. Thornton earned the inside track on the No. 5 starter’s job in Spring Training, and by the end, it didn’t look particularly close. Granted, Shun Yamaguchi is the great variable here and should return looking much more comfortable.

Spring Training will still carry weight, and if the season started today -- or sometime soon -- Thornton would be Toronto’s No. 5. That rumbling you hear in the distance, though, is Pearson.

Keegan Matheson is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter @KeeganMatheson.