When the Blue Jays acquired Yangervis Solarte this off-season, I thought to myself how great is that to get such a quality player who’ll be used primarily as a utility infielder.
You never really know what a player’s on-field persona is like until they start playing for your team. In Solarte’s case, I knew he was a solid ball player, but never did I know how much fun he has playing the game. And that he’s most certainly not afraid to hide that enjoyment.
It’s so hard to know what a player is like without talking to them, or at the very least listening to them on TV. But after just five regular season games in a Blue Jays uniform, I have as good an understanding of Solarte as I do almost anyone on that team.
Most of the better professional athletes take themselves very seriously. It’s not so much a bad thing, it’s simply what they need to do in order to be at their best come game time. As a fan, you don’t realize how lucky you have it until you get to watch a Solarte or Munenori Kawasaki or Junk Yard Dog. I don’t know about you, but many of my favourite Blue Jays over the years haven’t been the star players, but the ones who had the most fun playing the game. Guys like Kawasaki, Jason Grilli, and you can now add Solarte’s name to that list.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 3, 2018
I don’t know if it was a concerted effort on Ross Atkins’ part to target such a player this winter, but if it was, talk about a genius move. The Blue Jays were in need of an upgrade when it comes to their utility infielders to provide some added insurance for Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis. Well, not only did they get that upgrade in Solarte, they got what appears to be one of the most energetic and entertaining personalities in baseball.