The message the Blue Jays were trying to send with the demotion of Teoscar Hernandez yesterday wasn’t just for him. Any young Blue Jays player struggling to hit, of which there are a good many, risk losing their job if they don’t start playing better.
Rebuilding team or not, you have to perform at a certain level and at least show some improvements as a hitter.
Hernandez should be commended for the improvements he’s made on defense. His glove work is better. He’s taking better routes to the ball. And he leads all left fielders in assists with five. Unfortunately, his improvements defensively seem to have come at the expense of his offensive game.
If you struggle much like Hernandez has this season (.189/.262/.299), there’s a good number of young and hungry players down in the minors who would be more than happy to take your place on the Blue Jays. No one more so than Richard Urena, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Cavan Biggio.
In fairness to Urena, he never should have been sent down when he was in April. Not when he was one of the only Blue Jays actually hitting well.
Since his demotion to Triple-A Buffalo on April 19, Gurriel has hit for a .287 AVG, including 4 HR and 24 RBI in just 25 games. With 2 walks to 19 strikeouts however, hopefully he’ll work on his walk-to-strikeout ratio. But as long as he continues to hit for the AVG and power he’s been displaying, one has to think as soon as Gurriel proves himself to be a capable enough outfielder, he’ll be back with the Blue Jays.
As for Biggio, it’s only a matter of time now before he gets the call. With each season, and each promotion, Biggio continues to get better. If he keeps on playing like he has in Triple-A (.316/.449/.530), it’ll be an easy (and possibly not far off) decision for the Blue Jays to call him up.