June 24, 2024

Ernie Clement, a somewhat unexpected contender, is reportedly the frontrunner in the race for a utility roster spot with the Toronto Blue Jays. According to recent roster projections in ‘The Athletic,’ the battle for the utility role is primarily between Clement and Santiago Espinal, with Eduardo Escobar also in consideration. Clement’s performance in spring training, boasting a .967 OPS in five games, has put him ahead in the competition. Additionally, Clement’s lack of minor-league options further complicates the decision for the Blue Jays, as he would have to clear waivers if he were to be optioned to Triple-A, potentially risking him being claimed by another team.

The 27-year-old native of New York has made appearances in games over the past three seasons, suiting up for the Cleveland Guardians, Oakland Athletics, and Blue Jays. While he holds a career batting average of .231, he notably recorded a .380 batting average in 29 games for the Jays last season.

If he manages to outperform Espinal and Escobar for the roster spot, it would be a significant achievement, especially considering that both Espinal and Escobar boast All-Star credentials.

After finishing third in the American League East last year, the Blue Jays were eliminated in the wild card round of the playoffs by the Minnesota Twins. They are set to kick off the new season on March 28 with an away game against the Tampa Bay Rays, followed by their home opener against the Mariners on April 8.

Surprising Player Emerging as Leading Candidate For Toronto Blue Jays' Roster Spot

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