Heading into the season, it’s safe to say that one of the Blue Jays biggest weaknesses was their outfield. And that was before they traded Kevin Pillar to San Francisco.
What this brief two game series in Boston has proven is that Toronto’s outfield isn’t just a weakness, but a serious work in progress. A work in progress where not one outfielder, with the exception of Randal Grichuk, has solidified their place on this ball club.
Fenway Park is by no means an easy place to play, especially these days with the Red Sox being so talented. One little mistake can often be the difference between winning and losing to a quality team like Boston. That game changing mistake happened yesterday when an easy fly-ball was hit to Grichuk in center field. Socrates Brito who was playing in right field, drifted into Grichuk’s territory, thus prompting him to drop the ball. Grichuk was clearly calling for it, so why on earth did Brito get so close that he ended up distracting his center fielder. It brought back memories of when Ezequiel Carrera (God love him) would fail to give way to Kevin Pillar when those two were playing together in the Blue Jays outfield.
If there was a school for baseball, this sort of play would be taught in ‘Outfield 101’. Every outfielder should have learned as kids playing this game how to clear out of the way of a teammate (especially one with priority) calling for the ball. So why does this sort of play continue to haunt the Blue Jays?
I believe it has something to do with the Blue Jays having so many young players who are trying to prove themselves and earn a spot on the team. Unfortunately, many of these same players are making plenty of mistakes by trying to do too much. Despite how poorly he’s played during his brief stint with Toronto, Brito is a solid player. His numbers in the minor leagues prove that. But on a new team, with a rare opportunity to play in the big leagues, he (along with several teammates) are forcing things and it’s costing the Blue Jays. Just like it did last night in a game they should have won against the World Champion Red Sox.