Capturing Hyun Jin Ryu has been Danny Jansen’s job ever since the ace signed with the Blue Jays. Ryu had pitched Jansen in 22 of his 23 starts, but with Jansen on the injured list, he was # 18 prospect Riley Adams behind the pot in Thursday’s 5-2 defeat to the White Sox, a tall order for a rookie.
This was not the plan for 2021. However, as injuries continue to pile up, the Blue Jays are benefiting from their large pool of receivers. Adams has earned the shot of being next in line with a hot start in Triple-A, and his appearance represents the depth the Blue Jays have in a tricky position.
“Catching is like throwing – you can’t get enough of it,” said manager Charlie Montoyo. “This is such a difficult place, where people get hurt all the time. It’s such a challenging position. Having so many options is great for us. You don’t know who will step up and take the job, but right now I’m excited for what Riley has done in her first two games. We hope it continues like this. “
Ryu conceded three runs in the first, but found his rhythm. He was still looking for his best gear, but it looks like he’s reverting to his usual form after a couple of offbeat releases and he liked what he saw from Adams.
“Before the game, we talked a lot,” Ryu said through an interpreter, “and Jansen talked to Riley throughout the whole process. I noticed he was trying to focus a lot on his setup. During the six innings I pitched, I felt pretty good about him. “
This is some kind of audition for Adams. When Jansen and Alejandro Kirk return, they’ll have their shot, but the Blue Jays aren’t the only team watching. A third-round pick of the Draft in 2017, the big, athletic receiver has been a constant development project for the organization, with his powerful club being the most attractive piece of the puzzle. It is now completing the final stages of its development in the big leagues.
“I’m working on both sides. There is always something to improve, “Adams said.” In terms of receiving, I am trying to move forward with my trajectory in receiving and managing the game, working with pitchers who have been around much longer than me and understanding opposing hitters and how to attack them. From a hitting standpoint, I’m trying to stay in the zone and keep that bat on plane for as long as possible. I know I’m a stronger hitter and power is my skill, so I’m just by finding a way to get that rod on the ball. Good things will happen. “
Here’s a look at how the overall capture image is formed:
The best prospect: Gabriel Moreno
Forget the Blue Jays organization, Moreno is one of the hottest prospects in Minor League Baseball right now. The Blue Jays have seen it coming for some time, but it’s no longer a secret. If the Blue Jays aim high at the next commercial deadline, the 21-year-old will be at the top of many teams’ wish lists.
Hitting .375 with 1,032 OPS in 22 games, Moreno wasn’t challenged much in Double-A. It’s easy to slap the “catcher of the future” tag on Moreno, and as we’ve seen with many recent prospects increases in Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Alek Manoah, you have to nitpick to find something for the youngster. receiver work at this point.
“He’s so talented with the club against the ball, the club speed, the contact rates, I think his ability to better control the zone is what we will focus on with him,” said general manager Ross Atkins. “It doesn’t mean he has to stay in Double-A to do it. We will absolutely evaluate whether it is better for him to take another step forward ”.
Injuries: Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk
Jansen recently hit IL with a right hamstring strain, but only scored 157 to 42 games to open the season. Now a .200 career hitter with a percentage of .289 on base and .645 OPS in four MLB seasons, Jansen is no longer the alleged starter in the future. The Blue Jays love his ability to manage a staff, but with so much offensive talent in these younger receivers, Jansen’s stats will matter more when he returns.
Kirk will be able to return from 60-day IL (left flexor strain) in early June and should have plenty of opportunities when he does. Offensively gifted, Kirk may not be considered a starter who plays more than 140 games, but his bat is so valuable, especially considering the current status of this position.
The Depth: Reese McGuire
McGuire is getting another run with the Blue Jays amid this recent spate of injuries and has the confidence of the coaching staff. Hitting .209 during his first 18 games, McGuire will need to hit harder to stay in this picture in the long run, but the same can be said for others. For now, McGuire handles pitchers well and provides some defensive stability, which Montoyo appreciates.