Blue Jays Utility Player Begs Manager For More Playing Time

The Toronto Blue Jays are in win-now mode. To that end, they beefed up their defense in the outfield tremendously this winter, adding defensive talents Kevin Kiermaier and Daulton Varsho. George Springer will shift from center to right field.

Where does that leave veteran 2B/OF Whit Merrifield, and utilityman Cavan Biggio? Playing time could be tight.

According to Blue Jays beat writer Ben Nicholson-Smith on the At The Letters podcast, Biggio actually took the initiative to call up manager John Schneider during the offseason, pleading for more time in the outfield this year. 

'Hey, don't be afraid to play me in the outfield, I want more reps!'

Last year, writes Nicholson-Smith, “there was some frustration for Biggio because he felt limited to playing second base, where he started 36 times, and first base, where he started 32 times," while only getting the call in the outfield nine times.

“I understand my role,” Biggio said. “But it was a good conversation. Schneids, I have a personal relationship with him dating back to when I was drafted in 2016, so I feel like I can express my feelings to him and I know that he's going to listen.”

And the manager certainly feels the same way, and took Biggio's request to heart. "I love it,” Schneider said. “I mean, I've known him for a long, long time. And I've always been one to want feedback from players, whether it's good or bad … I love the fact that he was outspoken about his desires, his wants, and how he can contribute. We've always had a pretty good back-and-forth."

And indeed, Biggio now is slated for an equal amount of playing time in '23 in the infield and the outfield. 

"He's worked really hard,” Schneider said. “We definitely feel comfortable with him out there."

 Photo: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports