Joe Siddall said it perfectly yesterday when trying to explain the sorry state of the Blue Jays yesterday in Boston…their roster construction is a problem right now. No disrespect to Yangervis Solarte, Gio Urshela, or Russell Martin, but not one of them is a big league level shortstop.
In case you didn’t see the post-game show yesterday with Joe Siddall, Kevin Barker, and Jamie Campbell, they weren’t trying one bit to mask the confusion they felt about how this roster is set-up.
Toronto went out and did some serious preparations this off-season by acquiring Solarte and Aledmys Diaz as a contingency plan in case something were to happen to Troy Tulowitzki or Devon Travis. Unfortunately, with Diaz being injured, along with Tulowitzki and possibly now Donaldson, its as if the Blue Jays need a contingency plan for their contingency plan. Which is asking a lot, but when you’re as old and injury prone as the Blue Jays, perhaps they need to consider having a big league quality back-up for their back-ups.
This problem with how the Blue Jays roster is handled doesn’t solely have to do with the front office. Yesterday John Gibbons had Martin playing in left field. Martin can handle his own in the outfield well enough, but what’s most concerning about moves like this is that Gibbons is pretty much saying that Martin (a catcher by trade) is one of the best options Toronto has at shortstop and left field. I don’t care if a left-handed pitcher is on the mound yesterday for the Red Sox and you want to load your line-up with right handed hitters. When you have both Curtis Granderson and Dwight Smith Jr., you put one of them in left field instead of your 35-year old catcher who’s hitting .165 on the season and .185 against lefties.
The Blue Jays roster is a complete mess right now. In the past ten days, Kendrys Morales has pitched, Martin has played shortstop and left field (both career firsts), and they don’t have a legitimate shortstop. Some of these roster deficiencies have to do with injuries, while some of it relates to having so many older players well past their prime under big contracts. Right now its as if the Blue Jays have one band-aid but are bleeding in five different places (my metaphors blow). There’s so many problems to address that it’s overwhelming. Where Ross Atkins should start when it comes to the multitude of roster issues he’s dealing with is to go out and find a big league shortstop capable of playing most days until either Diaz or Tulowitzki returns.