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Blue Jays Year in Review: July

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July was a good month and it ended on such a great note. If only the season had followed suit.

Tom Szczerbowski

June was rough and July started off the same way.

The Jays lost eight of 12 games heading into the All-Star Break, before exploding out of it with an 11-3 record to give the fan base the requisite amount of false hope it would need to survive a trying trade deadline.

Record: 15-11

A misleadingly normal record for a month of extremes.

Best Position Player (by fWAR): Melky Cabrera (1.1)

HR

RBI

BB%

K%

AVG

OBP

SLG

wRC+

3

17

9.6%

7.0%

.356

.417

.538

169

Melky Cabrera didn't set the world on fire with an awesome display of power, but he did simply refuse to strikeout. His elite contact rate and a some luck on balls in play (.369 BABIP) made him an offense force. I may be alone here, but I think it might be nice to have Melky back next year.

Best Pitcher (by fWAR): Marcus Stroman (1.1)

IP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

ERA

FIP

xFIP

31.2

8.81

2.27

0.28

1.71

2.34

2.99

July was when Stroman really settled in as the best pitcher on the Jays. He had some good fortune in terms of balls staying in the park, but pitched absolutely brilliantly all month with hitters managing a meagre .193/.246/.246 line off of him.

The Team Hit Like... Starlin Castro

Player/Team

BB%

K%

AVG

OBP

SLG

wRC+

Starlin Castro

6.2%

17.6%

.292

.339

.438

115

Blue Jays in July

7.6%

17.4%

.281

.340

.430

114

Starlin Castro has taken a fair amount of flak for his defensive acumen and base running, but he's a pretty good pure hitter. When you have an entire lineup putting together a 114 wRC+ that's going to get you where you want to go more often than not.

The Team Pitched Like... Ryan Vogelsong

Player/Team

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

ERA

FIP

xFIP

Ryan Vogelsong

7.36

2.83

0.88

4.00

3.85

3.96

Blue Jays in July

7.69

3.00

0.83

3.90

3.71

4.02

We are talking back-of-the-rotation guy Ryan Vogelsong here, not playoff deity Ryan Vogelsong. The Jays were a bit better than the Giants hurler in July, and a 3.71 FIP is pretty respectable, but it's clear the bats were doing the heavy lifting over the course of the month.

GIF That Best Summarizes the Month

I might need to change this the name of this section to "things Nick remembers vividly", because I don't think this really summarizes July. However, this was a big moment as Aaron Sanchez got his first career strikeout freezing Daniel Nava with a very pretty hook.

Given that Sanchez is the one of the "Lansing Three" that the Blue Jays kept, it would be really nice from a PR perspective if he was really good. So far, it looks like he might be.

This year Jays fans will probably get to see if he's ready to start in the big leagues at some point. It's not a given with his history of control problems and uninspiring minor league track record, but I can't look at this GIF and not give the man the benefit of the doubt.

So concludes part four of the "Blue Jays Year in Review" series. As promised it has come at very random intervals, and considering how awful August was, there's no hurry to give that month a second look.