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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-man: Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. signed a seven-year contract worth $22 million with the Blue Jays back in 2017, which runs out after the 2023 season.

Gurriel played in 65 MLB games in 2018, hitting .281/.309/.445 with 11 home runs. He was up and down a couple of times. He also missed time with an ankle injury.

In 2019 Lourdes hit .277/.327/.541 in 84 games. He was sent down to the minors to find a defensive position. The team decided that since he was having trouble making the short-throw from second to first, the long throw from left field would go better. They were right. Again he would miss some time with injury and missed the last five games after having his appendix taken out.

In 2020, he was able to play the full season. Unfortunately, the full season wasn’t a full season. In 57 games, he hit .308/.348/.534 with 14 home runs.

And he was a runner-up for the Gold Glove. Now I don’t think he is anywhere close to being a Gold Glove type outfielder. He has shown a good arm, and I think he’s better coming in on a ball than going back. That dive/slide to the right of a the fly ball is strange, but it always seems to work. Lourdes doesn’t go back on the ball well and, too often last year, fired the ball back into the wrong base.

The team is talking about having him work at third and first base this spring because positional flexibility is all-important, especially when you plan to carry 9 or 10 guys in the pen. It is funny how things change over time. I remember 4 and 5 man bullpens, and that fifth guy wouldn’t pitch for days at a time. Now we can have 9 in the pen and it seems they all pitch every night.

I worry about moving Gurriel back to the infield when it seemed he had the yips on throws from the second base. I will admit, in OOTP, I have guys learn new positions in the minors and spring training (I figure they aren’t real people. They won’t have issues with trying an easier position).

PECOTA figures Lourdes to play in 144 games, hitting .263/.309/.460 with 24 home runs.

ZiPS has him at 126 games, .272/.311/.492 with 25 home runs.

With four outfielders looking for playing time, the 126-144 games seem fair. He has a bit of an injury history too.

Poll

If the over/under on Gurriel’s home runs is 25 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Over
    (192 votes)
  • 40%
    Under
    (128 votes)
320 votes total Vote Now

Poll

With Lourdes getting work at first and third this spring, of the two spots I think he’ll get more inning at

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    First
    (39 votes)
  • 32%
    Third
    (101 votes)
  • 54%
    Neither, he won’t play either spot
    (169 votes)
309 votes total Vote Now

Poll

I would bat Gurriel

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    First
    (4 votes)
  • 5%
    Second
    (16 votes)
  • 11%
    Third
    (36 votes)
  • 5%
    Fourth
    (18 votes)
  • 39%
    Fifth
    (125 votes)
  • 29%
    Sixth
    (94 votes)
  • 6%
    Seventh
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    Eighth
    (2 votes)
316 votes total Vote Now