Blue Jays prioritize playing Revere every day

The Blue Jays failed to capitalize on a 5-1 lead and three home runs, falling 7-6 to the Royals after Mark Lowe gave up three runs in his first relief appearance with Toronto.

TORONTO – After a busy week that saw the Toronto Blue Jays turn over one fifth of their roster in trades, John Gibbons and Alex Anthopoulos finally got the chance to sit down and take stock of their team late Friday night.

The manager and GM met to discuss their roster, and it was at that point that Gibbons explained that he wanted newly-acquired outfielder Ben Revere to play every day in left field instead of in a platoon with Danny Valencia, as originally planned. That decision prompted the Blue Jays to unexpectedly designate Valencia and his seven home runs for assignment.

“Danny’s been awesome. Danny’s been great. He’s playing great,” Anthopoulos said. “Danny was ten out of ten. Tremendous. Well-liked. Well-liked in the clubhouse. It’s not an easy decision to make.”

So why did they make it? Once Gibbons decided he wanted Revere in the lineup every day, the Blue Jays had to make a tough decision between Valencia and Chris Colabello. Both are right-handed hitters in the midst of productive seasons at the plate, but the Blue Jays ultimately settled on Colabello’s bat and ability to play first base.

“Giving Revere everyday at bats in left field, there wasn’t going to be that playing time for Danny with Colabello here as well,” Gibbons explained.

Revere has actually hit left-handed pitching better than right-handers, and he offers speed, a career .326 on-base percentage and the ability to cover ground.

“One thing he does is provide tremendous range out there in left field,” Gibbons said. “That’s been an issue at times out there.”

That means Valencia will be placed on waivers Saturday despite a .296 batting average, an .838 on-base plus slugging and seven home runs.

“He’s been very productive,” Gibbons said. “Somebody will grab him. He’s too good a player not to.”

The Blue Jays expect Valencia to be claimed early next week, at which point Anthopoulos could work out a trade quickly. American League teams have waiver priority on Valencia, who owns a career .864 OPS against left-handed pitching.

“I have no doubt in my mind he’ll be claimed on Monday,” Anthopoulos said.

The Blue Jays also optioned Ryan Tepera while calling up Munenori Kawasaki and activating newcomers Mark Lowe and Ben Revere. Ezequiel Carrera, who was also designated for assignment, will be placed on outright waivers Saturday.

The roster shuffling likely isn’t over the the Blue Jays, who prefer to have a seven-man bullpen but need additional arms following Friday’s extra-innings win.

“We have some other moves we might make here in the next few days from a roster standpoint,” Anthopoulos hinted.

The Blue Jays aren’t saying what those moves could be, but they don’t presently have a fourth outfielder on the roster. Dalton Pompey’s batting .365 with a .968 OPS since being promoted back to triple-A in July, but the Blue Jays prefer for him to play every day.

“We always give consideration to him. Dalton’s a big part of the future of this organization. He’s playing really well,” Gibbons said. “He’s right where he needs to be right now and he’s moving in the right direction. He’s going to be a good player for a lot of years.”

The Blue Jays could also attempt to work out a minor trade or make a claim of their own. One way or another, it’s safe to say they aren’t done finessing their roster just yet.

DAY OFF FOR TULO: There won’t be many days off for Troy Tulowitzki, but he got one Saturday. The thinking: a day of rest now will keep him fresh for the stretch run.

“The key is to keep him on the field,” Gibbons said, admitting that the decision “won’t make me a popular guy in town.”

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.