A day after suggesting that Rowdy Tellez was in line to receive more playing time down than Justin Smoak down the stretch, Blue Jays skipper Charlie Montoyo has walked that assertion back a bit. “Maybe it came out like he’s going to play more than Smoak, but it’s still the same way,” Montoyo told reporters, including Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. “Smoak will DH, play first. I don’t see that much of a difference.” Smoak himself was caught off guard by Montoyo’s initial comments, but the first baseman said Montoyo took him aside in an effort to sort things out. It seems that Smoak and Tellez will share first base/designated hitter duties down the stretch, though Montoyo has no shortage of other players he’ll need to try to work into the mix at DH. Davidi adds that the Blue Jays “seem to have no intention” of placing Smoak on outright waivers in the manner they did with Freddy Galvis, who was claimed by the Reds earlier this week.
More out of Toronto…
- The Blue Jays didn’t find much in the way of trade interest for Galvis prior to the trade deadline, writes The Toronto Sun’s Ryan Wolstat, but the arrival (and immediate success) of Bo Bichette prompted the club to give the veteran Galvis an opportunity to be claimed by a club that’d play him every day at his natural position. General manager Ross Atkins said the club and Galvis were open and honest with each other leading up to the move. Montoyo effused praise for Galvis’ professionalism and leadership, and teammates such as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. expressed some sadness in seeing Galvis depart. “He taught me a lot, not just to me, to the rest of the guys and I will always carry that with me,” said Gurriel of Galvis. “Freddy’s a huge mentor for any player.” The Reds will now have the ability to exercise Galvis’ $5.5MM club option for the 2020 season, though they’ll also be on the hook for the $1MM buyout should they not decide to bring him back.
- While Danny Jansen is still the favorite to serve as the Jays’ primary catcher in 2020, TSN’s Scott Mitchell writes that Reese McGuire will be given an opportunity to show he can be a significant piece of the catching puzzle in the season’s final six weeks. Both Jansen and McGuire drew heaps of praise for their defensive prowess from catching coordinator John Schneider, and Jansen indeed ranks among the game’s best backstops in terms of pitch framing, pitch blocking, Defensive Runs Saved and Baseball Prospectus’ fielding runs above average. Jansen has also salvaged what was shaping up to be a miserable season at the plate, hitting .252/.316/.484 dating back to June 1. As Mitchell points out, the Jays have a number of other catching options coming up through the system, giving them some potential trade commodities to address other holes on the club if the Jansen/McGuire pairing is indeed determined to be the long-term catching tandem.