In need of some outfield depth, the Toronto Blue Jays have promoted MLB.com's 62nd-best prospect, Anthony Alford, to the majors prior to the start of their weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. With center fielder Kevin Pillar's short suspension and injuries to Darrell Ceciliani and Steve Pearce leaving manager John Gibbons empty handed, the Jays are hoping that their top outfield prospect will come to the rescue.
Alford is coming off a stint in Double-A New Hampshire in which he slashed .325/.411/.455 with an OPS of .867, three home runs and nine stolen bases. Since May 11, he's gone 11-for-25 (.440) and has scored five runs — propelling him to the Eastern League Top-10 in batting average (.325), on-base percentage (.411) and stolen bases.
A bench role isn't ideal for the former Ole Miss safety as it could corrupt precious development time for the youngster, so Gibbons is wasting no time getting him into the lineup. Alford is batting eighth and playing left field tonight against right-hander Chris Tillman (1-0, 2.89 ERA).
Looking beyond Friday's contest, a platoon situation with Ezequiel Carrera in left field could be the best way to give Alford frequent time — although Pillar will return from his suspension soon.
No matter how long or short this stint with the big boys is, however, Blue Jays' fans will get a delightful look at one of their organization's best young stars and a sneak