Gurriel Jr., first-round pick Martin arrive in Toronto to join Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays youth takes batting practice for the first time at camp as the newly signed Austin Martin and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. take a few hacks.

TORONTO – Another wave of reinforcements arrived at Rogers Centre Monday afternoon, bringing with it six Blue Jays including outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and first-round pick Austin Martin.

Outfielders Jonathan Davis, Josh Palacios and Forrest Wall were also among the arrivals, as was pitcher Hector Perez. All six arrived at Rogers Centre around 2:00 p.m. ET after flying in from Florida.

The arrival of Gurriel Jr. has the greatest short-term impact on the team, while Martin’s presence represents the first of many steps in his professional career. In recent days, infielders such as Ruben Tejada, Joe Panik and Andy Burns patrolled left field while Gurriel Jr. remained in Florida for unspecified reasons.

The return of Gurriel Jr. suggests the Blue Jays are one step closer to getting their starting left fielder back. Considering that the 26-year-old has 31 home runs and an .819 OPS in 149 career games, that would be a significant addition.

Martin, meanwhile, will get the chance to play in a competitive environment for the first time since the college baseball season was cancelled in March. While his chances of contributing to the 2020 major-league team seem quite remote, nothing’s impossible at a time that players can suddenly become unavailable due to COVID-19. At the very least, Martin gets to continue his development in a professional environment.

Even though Davis and Perez are now in Toronto, they’ll remain on the injured list for unspecified reasons as they work their way back into baseball shape.

Last week, manager Charlie Montoyo said the Blue Jays had about 12 players remaining in Dunedin, Fla. Since then, 11 players have returned: the six players mentioned above plus Randal Grichuk, Cavan Biggio, Billy McKinney, Anthony Alford and Derek Fisher.

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