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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Rowdy Tellez

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into last season many of us thought that Rowdy Tellez would end up with the Blue Jays first base job. And then, when Tellez his two home runs, in the Bison’s opening game, we thought it was going to happen soon.

But Justin Smoak figured things out and Tellez, well he did quite the opposite. Rowdy would go on to hit .222/.295/.333, with 5 home runs, 47 walks and 94 strikeouts in 122 Triple A games.

It was a surprise. After a 2016 where he hit .297/.387/.530 with 23 homers, 63 walks and 92 strikeouts in New Hampshire and climbing up to the 6th spot on our top prospects list, we were picturing him in the Blue Jays lineup, hitting, well, much like Smoak did last year.

There were extenuating circumstances that could explain the less than terrific numbers Rowdy posted. His mom had ‘stage 4 melanoma’, which would make playing hard for anyone. His mom is now cancer free, so hopefully Rowdy can make up for lost time

The Jays put him on the 40-man, back in November, protecting him from the Rule 5 draft.

The problem now is that, with Smoak being an All-Star and having a good start to this season, it isn’t so easy to see how Tellez would fit on the major league team. He could DH, but but there are a half dozen guys who he would have to clearly beat for the job, if it were open. If Morales was hurt for a significant period of time (or if the Jays tired of him and decided to release him) it is far more likely that the Jays would call up one of the half dozen outfield prospects to fill the roster spot or someone else who has a little more defensive flexibility then Tellez.

Tellez is going to have to have a terrific season to force the Jays to consider him for active roster. If he doesn’t get off to a great start, he might be a DFA candidate, should they need a spot on the 40-man.

With the Bisons losing many of their first few games to weather issues, we don’t have much for stats to go on. He’s 1 for 7 with 2 walks.

ZiPs figures Rowdy to get 60 PA and to hit .241/.305/.407 with 2 home runs. If Smoak stays healthy, I can’t see him getting 60 PA. Since he is on the 40-man, there is always the chance of a September call up.


Will we see Rowdy Tellez in a Blue Jays uniform this year?

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