Ben Revere adds speed and a reliable glove to the Toronto Blue Jays
It’s easy to overlook the acquisition of outfielder Ben Revere given all of the other trade activity surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays these days. With the additions of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, the Jays quickly went from a fading afterthought in the American League East to one of the best teams in the entire league.
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Revere adds to this sudden transformation, giving the Jays another useful tool in the outfield where he’ll join regulars Kevin Pillar and Jose Bautista. Left field duties will now be split between Revere, Ezequiel Carrera, Chris Colabello and Danny Valencia according to manager John Gibbons, but that doesn’t disguise the fact Revere instantly becomes the third best outfielder on the team.
Of the four reserve options, Revere is the only one to post a positive Defensive Runs Saved rating in the outfield at plus-three. Valencia ranks second at minus-three with limited playing time (37 appearances) while Carrera (minus-10, 67 appearances) and Colabello (minus-14, 46 appearances) rank further south.
Jul 9, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Ben Revere (2) makes a catch off a ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
It gets even better, however: Revere hasn’t committed any errors playing outfield this season across 91 appearances and boast five assists, which can’t be said about the others. Carrera has committed two errors and has one assist; Colabello has committed three errors with no assists; and Valencia has committed one error with no assists.
I’m mentioning the total outfield stats for all four players because this speaks to another advantage Revere holds: his versatility. The Jays can finally afford to rest Pillar or Bautista for a night knowing they have a capable backup in Revere. This is important when you stop to consider the fact Pillar has appeared in every Jays game this season save three. The man deserves a break.
From an offensive perspective, Revere doesn’t pack a lot of power, but he’s quick and can hit for a high average. He’s currently batting .298 on the season with 24 stolen bases in 29 attempts. He’ll replace some of the speed lost in the Jose Reyes trade and can cause havoc on the base paths if placed at the top of the batting order or close to Pillar, who’s one of the few other quick runners on the team (Pillar has 15 stolen bases in 18 attempts – the most on the team prior to the acquisition of Revere).
Jun 22, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Gibbons has already stated his intention to use Revere at the bottom of the batting order and he’s made it clear that Pillar, not Revere, will play in centre field. This is important because it signals a vote of confidence from Gibbons in Pillar (the two have disagreed in the past) and it reflects Pillar’s rather impressive defensive numbers on the season. Pillar has collected nine assists while committing two errors in 101 appearances so far this season; he has a Defensive Runs Saved rating of plus-16. (I really think he’s one of the key difference makers on the Jays this season.)
Paired with Pillar (and Bautista) in the outfield and placed near him in the batting lineup, the two outfielders represent a dynamic punch of pure athleticism. This breaks from the usual mold of the team, which places a premium on power, but it also speaks to the new depth of the roster and an overall well-rounded team. I can’t wait for some October baseball.
What are your thoughts on the addition of Revere? Let us know in the comments section below.
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