I meant to get this done on the weekend but there was so much for news and so much for bad baseball that I didn't get to it. Our bats were ok through April, picking it up as the month went on (much the opposite of the bullpen). We averaged 4.52 runs per game in the 27 games in April. As a group they hit .253/.327/.416.
I'm putting in a 'player of the month' poll at the end of the post.
Dioner Navarro: played in 23 games, starting 22. He hit .311/.340/.389 with 1 home run, 14 RBI, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts and 1 stolen base. The 5 walks might not sound like much but it took JP until June to get his 5th walk last year (but then the 'run producer' drove in 16 last April). Dioner hasn't shown much power yet, he only had 4 doubles and 1 home run. Almost as unproductive a .311 batting average as you can get. But then an unproductive .311 is better than JP's .194 from last year. Defensively? Well, the pitchers seem to like him which, to me, is what's important. He's only thrown out 15% of base stealers, down from his career average of 29% and there have been 3 passed balls and 7 wild pitches on his watch. He's not exactly great at blocking the ball in the dirt.
Josh Thole: played in 10 games, starting 7. He hit .478/.500/.522 with 2 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts and 2 time caught stealing (were both of those botched hit and runs?). I'd note that it was a pretty empty .478 but then any .478 is good. What a difference a year makes. In the interest of strange small sample size stuff, he's hitting .500/.538/.500 against lefties. He's 1 for 4 in throwing out base stealers.
Edwin Encarnacion: played in all 27 games, starting 26. He hit .250/.333/.413, with 2 home runs, 1 triple, 9 doubles, 15 RBI, 12 walks, 25 strikeouts and 1 stolen base. Not the start to the season you'd want out of Edwin. He improved as the month went on. He played first base 26 times and DHed 4 times. I think he's doing a great job with the glove, I'm hoping the bat is coming around.
Ryan Goins: played in 24 games, starting 19 and then was cast away. He hit .150/.203/.217 with 1 homer, 1 double, 1 RBI, 4 walks and 13 strikeouts. 2 sac bunts. He was just awful at the plate. I didn't expect him to be good but then I didn't think that bad. 0 for 7 against lefties. And he wasn't getting better as time went on, so he had to be sent down.
Jose Reyes: played and started 11 games. He hit .200/.250/.333 with 1 home run, 3 double, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts, no stolen bases. It was a bad way to start the season, hitting the DL with a bad hamstring on opening day. I'm sure he'll do better as the season goes on.
Maicer Izturis: played in 11 games, starting 10 before going on the DL. Was hitting .286/.324/.314 with 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 steal, 2 walks and 4 strikeout. He was looking so much better than last year, then he has to fall on some stairs. I really feel sorry for the guy. He's under contract for one more year and then there is a team option for 2016.
Jonathan Diaz: played in 22 games, starting 9. Hit .176/.282/.206 with 1 double, 4 RBI, 1 steal, 3 walks and 12 strikeouts. Had 2 sac bunts. He hit just like you would have expected him to and then was sent down. His defense looked good, but his bat isn't good enough.
Brett Lawrie: started 26 of the 27 games. Started very slow, hitting .192/.243/.384 with 6 home runs, 1 double, 20 RBI, 6 walks, 20 strikeouts. He has been getting better as the season goes on. I think he's always going to be a slow starter. Lots of moving parts to his swing. Did lead the team in RBI for the first move, showing guys were getting on base in front of him.
Melky Cabrera: started all 27 games. Hit .342/.368/.567 with 5 home runs, 2 triples, 8 doubles, 11 RBI, 4 walks, 20 strikeouts and, amazingly 3 stolen bases. I'm never going to be a fan of his defense, but he seems to be hitting the ball hard almost every time up. It would be ok by me if we DHed him more. I imagine there will be some cold stretches ahead, but he must be the odds on favorite for comeback player of the year.
Colby Rasmus: played in 26 games, started 24. He hit .194/.242/.387 with 4 home runs, 6 doubles, 7 RBI, 5 walks and 33 strikeouts. Another one that always seems to start slow, but he does seem to be coming around. He looks great on defense. Every time I'm asked who my favorite player is, I'm pretty sure I give a different name, but Colby is one of my favorites. I always like the ones that get written off by fans. Very curious to see if the Jays try to get him signed before the end of the season. There is a question in my mind about whether the Jays will have money to sign guys to extensions or if Rogers will want to cut back if the team isn't successful this year.
Jose Bautista: started all 27 games in April. Hit .293/.467/.598 with 8 home runs, 4 doubles, 18 RBI, 30 walks, 21 strikes. There was 1 caught stealing in there and at least 2 or 3 other misadventures on the base paths. Sometimes he is too aggressive for his own (or the team's own) good. That's one amazing batting line, and it seems to me that he's hitting the ball the other way far more often than in the past. He started 3 games in CF and 2 games at DH. I'd DH him more. I'd like to keep him rested and healthy, but since we don't have a fourth outfielder, at the moment, I guess that won't be happening. An amazing start to the season
Adam Lind: played in 13 games, starting 10 before hitting the DL. Hit .324/.465/.500 with 1 home run, 3 doubles, 6 RBI, 9 walks and 8 strikeouts. Very sad that he had to go on the DL, after starting so strong with the bat. Gibby is smart enough to keep him on the bench against lefties. I hope that continues when he comes back from the DL.
Juan Francisco: started 10 games. Hit .313/.353/.625 with 1 home run, 1 triple, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts. I wouldn't expect many more triples. I wouldn't have guessed that he would be an early call up, when we signed him this spring, but he's been great. We haven't lost a step a DH with Lind's injury. It will be interesting to see what they do when Lind comes back.
Moises Sierra: played in 13 games, started 8. Hit .059/.086/.056 with 2 RBI, 1 walk and 9 strikeouts. I wasn't a big fan but I didn't expect him to be that bad. Sort of surprised the White Sox picked him up. I don't know if it was the lack of playing time or something else that caused his troubles, but he wasn't likely to get more playing time with the Jays.
Munenori Kawasaki: played in 3 games and was sent back out. Hit .250/.308/.333 with 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 1 sac bunt. I'm sure he'll be back at some point.
Chris Getz: called up at the end of the month and got in 2 games. hit .333/.429/.500 in 8 PA, with a double, a walk, and a bunt. I liked him in spring training. Hope he stays around for a bit.
Erik Kratz: played in 7 games, starting 1. Hit .200/.200/.500. Had the home run in his first at bat. 2 strikeouts. I wanted him over Josh Thole, showing what I know.
Anthony Gose: played that 1 game in April, called up for the second game of the incredibly fun double header against the Twins. He went 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI. I wonder how many up and downs he'll have this year? I'd like to keep him around spell the outfielders, and keep everyone fresh, but that won't happen.