Granderson, Grichuk excited to get started with Toronto Blue Jays

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Randal Grichuk
ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 21: Randal Grichuk /

For the first time since joining the Toronto Blue Jays, outfielders Randal Grichuk and Curtis Granderson spoke to the media about their roles on the team.

For the 2018 Major League Baseball season, this will not be the same Toronto Blue Jays outfield that fans have been accustomed to.

While Kevin Pillar will be an opening day starter for the team for the fourth consecutive season, both corner outfield starters from last year will not be out there on Opening Day in 2018.

Jose Bautista hasn’t found a new team yet, and with new acquisitions, Ezequiel Carrera will find himself coming off the bench this season.

This leaves both corner outfield positions up for grabs in Spring Training, although, it sounds like the Jays have a clear-cut favourite for right-field.

Randal Grichuk, who was recently acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals, talked to the Toronto media for the first time via conference call on Tuesday.

Grichuk said he has already spoken to manager John Gibbons and general manager Ross Atkins, and has been told he will be assuming the everyday role in right-field this season:

"“Right is actually my favourite position. I won the minor league gold glove in right, but I’ve obviously moved around. I’m excited to stick with one and field flyballs and groundballs in right and throwing to the bases from right.” Grichuk said to reporters."

The 26-year-old brings a lot of power to the Jays. He hit 22 homers last year with the Cards, in what he said most players considered a pitcher-friendly ballpark:

"“In St. Louis, you think you’d crushed one and it should have been a home run and it was caught at the track. I’m thankful to get another opportunity elsewhere, but more so in a hitter-friendly ballpark and a hitter-friendly division.”"

Grichuk said he bought a pitching machine to practice his plate discipline with this offseason. He also told reporters he took a course on vision training, to better determine balls and strikes before they reach the plate.

Curtis Granderson also had a conference call with the media on Tuesday. Although he was uncertain what capacity he would be utilized in with the Jays this season, he was open to anything the team wants him to do:

"“Whatever they say, I’m going to be in a position to do what they want me to do. Of course, if you ask for my feedback, I’ll make some reccomendations but I’m excited to be wherever they happen to put me. If they give me an opportunity to pitch, watch out! I haven’t had a chance to do that one yet.”"

The 14-year veteran looks most likely to feature in a left-field platoon with Steve Pearce. Granderson said he was excited to get into the Jays’ clubhouse and see some guys that he has met from playing in the AL previously:

"“I got a chance to play with Russell Martin in the past, so getting to re-match up with him is pretty cool. Happ is from Chicago. Donaldson I remember talking to a lot when he was in the AL with Oakland. Pillar has reached out to me. Just excited to continue to watch him be Superman out there in the outfield and just sit back and watch him go.”"

Granderson also said he’s looking forward to playing with Gift Ngoepe in the future. The two first met when the former coached the latter during an ambassador trip to South Africa in 2007.

Next: Blue Jays taking better approach to offseason

Both players will meet their teammates in under a month when the Toronto Blue Jays report for the start of camp in Dunedin in February.