The Blue Jays announced on Saturday that they have made a pair of notable reinstatements, adding both Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Luke Maile to the active roster. Gurriel’s return to the lineup will mark the first time he has suited up for Toronto in more than a month. For Maile, it’s been even longer: he hasn’t played since late July, when he went on the injured list with an oblique injury.
Gurriel landed on the injured list on August 8 after suffering a strained left quad, interrupting what has been a fine follow-up to an impressive rookie campaign. After a sluggish start to the season—for which a position change to second base may have been at fault, Gurriel turned himself around in June, tapping into his power as his OPS climbed to .879, a considerable improvement over the .755 mark he posted as a rookie last year.
After beginning his career as a shortstop, Gurriel entered his second year tasked with manning second base, an experiment that quickly went awry and was abandoned just weeks into the season. He’s subsequently transitioned to left field, which may turn out to be his best spot: advanced defensive metrics prefer the 25-year-old in left, where he’s credited with -2 DRS, a step above his -9 DRS from a year ago.
One of the members of Toronto’s promising young core, Gurriel’s workload will be closely monitored by Charlie Montoyo and company, reports Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith. Though he’s been the team’s everyday left fielder, he should get a fair number of at-bats as a DH with the club looking to minimize any chance of re-aggravating the quadricep.
As for Maile, he’ll likely re-enter the mix as the third catcher for the Jays, who have been rolling with a combination of Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire behind the dish. Jansen hasn’t yet translated his offensive skills to the bigs, but has been a positive defender at catcher. McGuire has posted gaudy offensive numbers—albeit in a small sample—and at just 24 years old, both Jansen and McGuire are ahead of Maile in the pecking order.