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Jays Need a Change at First

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This hurts to write. I've been one of the biggest Justin Smoak fans since he came to Toronto, but it might be time I finally admit that we need to try something different.

Smoak started off the season well once he got his shot. After the Colabello suspension, Smoak became the Jays' everyday first baseman. During the month of May Smoak played unbelievably well as he slashed .309/.375/.521. Smoak was hitting in the cleanup spot for the Jays for a while. But, that all quickly faded and over the last month Smoak is slashing a meager .224/.305/.376. While he's defense has been good, it hasn't been enough to compensate for his poor production at the plate.

Unfortunately, when it comes to making a change there isn't really a clear solution. But here are a few of my ideas.

Option 1: Encarnacion/ Bautista

Bautista just went on the DL with a sprained toe. But, when he comes back the Jays should really consider rotating him and Edwin through at first base and DH. Bautista and EE are in the same boat as their both players struggle in the field but excel at the plate. Edwin is 33 and Joey Bats is 35, couple that with the fact that both have battled injuries the past few years and it becomes clear that both are true DHs. But, since you're only allowed one DH, the Jays should consider rotating both at DH and first base.

This means the Jays would need another outfielder. But, that shouldn't be an issue as the outfield is greatly considered the Jays' deepest group. Carrera has played well in his chances, and will get the opportunity to be their everyday right fielder for the next few weeks. Jays could also turn to long time prospect Dalton Pompey to come up and fill the outfield void. Pompey has been exceptional in Buffalo as he's slashing .296/.369/.358 for the year, including hitting .372 in the month of June.

Option 2: Jesus Montero

In a perfect world the Jays would have some young stud waiting in the wings. But, sadly, this isn't the case. What they do have though is Jesus Montero. Montero is a former top prospect who fizzled out and eventually the Jays claimed him off waivers. Montero has been in Buffalo and has easily been their best hitter this season. The 26 year old is slashing .300/.331/.460 on the season, and has hit over .280 every month. His splits have also been good as he's hitting .287 against lefties, and .309 against righties. Whether Montero is finally becoming the player we thought he could once be, or he's simply on a hot streak is irrelevant. He's hitting the ball well right now and could provide an upgrade at first.

Montero might not get a chance though as there are complications to bringing him up. For starters, he isn't currently on the 40 man roster, so someone would have to be removed in order to add him. Additionally, if you bring up Montero, you have a similar situation that the Jays struggled with when they had both Colabello and Smoak on the roster. Neither can do much besides first base so it limits your bench. But, if the Jays could make it work with those two, then they could make it work with Montero as well.

Option 3: Trade for Someone

This is the least likely option as the Jays seem reluctant to trade any of their few young players for big league help. But I include it for the sake of thoroughness. But, even if the Jays did decide to pursue a first baseman, the market is thin. Danny Valencia and Chris Carter are both attractive options. But, it's unlikely the Jays would be willing to part with enough to acquire either.

I know many who are inclined to point out the Colabello will be back by the end of the season so we only need to deal with this for a little while longer. But, I didn't have much faith in Colabello back before he got popped with PED's. My confidence surely hasn't grown since.