The 2023 Blue Jays, Position by Position: A deep dive into how the team’s outfield has improved defensively

The off-season is all but done, which means that it’s time to look at the Blue Jays, position by position, once again.

Four months ago, I took a look at the bullpen, the starting rotation, the catching situation, the infield, and the outfield situation (which we’ll look at today). What has changed? Who occupies each role? That’s what the redux of the series will look to answer.
The outfield changes:
The Blue Jays outfield is the position that has seen the most significant change. The original series came out at the end of October, so at the time, here’s what it looked like for the Jays.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – Left field
George Springer – Centre field
Teoscar Hernández – Right field
Raimel Tapia – Fourth outfielder
Jackie Bradley Jr./Bradley Zimmer – Defensive replacement outfielder
Only one player remains from this group, George Springer. Here’s the outfield heading into the 2023 season.
Daulton Varsho – Left field
Kevin Kiermaier – Centre field
George Springer – Right field
Otto López/Whit Merrifield/Cavan Biggio/Nathan Lukes – Fourth outfield
Let’s compare players in the old outfield to their replacements. It’s worth noting that it won’t be a direct replacement. Varsho was not brought in to replace Gurriel, despite playing the same position.
Teoscar Hernández out, Daulton Varsho in:
In 2022, Hernández slashed .267/.316/.491 with 25 homers in 535 plate appearances. Moreover, he had a 6.4 BB% and a 28.4 K%, leading to a 129 wRC+ and a 2.4 Fangraphs WAR (fWAR). Defensively he struggled, as he posted a -3 Defensive Runs Saved and a -5 Outs Above Average in 966.2 innings in right field.
The 2023 s …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

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