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The Blue Jays are responsible for 25% of baseball's increased strikeouts in 2016

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays have struck out a lot to begin 2016. Coming into Monday's game, they led baseball with a 28.6% strikeout rate, with almost starter well above their career rates and projections save Kevin Pillar and Darwin Barney (who has all of 16 plate appearances). Last year the Jays as a team only struck out 18.4% of the time, so they're striking out in an extra 10% of all plate appearances - roughly an extra strikeout each time through the order.

Of course, it's only midway through April, and there's no reason to panic since it's unlikely these mostly veteran hitters collectively forgot how to make contact. But in the mean time, their struggles are having an outsize impact on MLB's overall statistics.

In 2015, non-pitchers struck out 35,407 times in 178,221 plate appearances, a 19.9% strikeout rate. In 2016, the league strikeout rate is up to 21.4%, which is a 1.5 percentage point increase and 7.5% increase in the number of strikeouts. There's the caveat of smaller early season sample sizes, but with over 13,000 league plate appearances, that's a significant bump - even in the context of the league strikeout rate having climbed almost continuously since 2005, from 16% to 20%.

Back to the Blue Jays. Their team strikeout rate differential in 2016 is 10.2% (28.6%-18.5%). To get a rough sense of how that's pushed up the league rate, the total league increase is 1.5% multiplied by 30 teams, for a total 45% team-season strikeout rate increase. The Blue Jays' 10.2 is 22.6% of the overall increase.

But it's actually a little higher than that, since the 15 NL teams have pitchers hitting once through the order, so end up weighed lower in the non-pitcher totals. So let's drill down a little further.

In 2016, there have been 2,802 strikeouts in 13,118 (non-pitcher) plate appearances. If hitters instead struck at the same rate as in 2015, they would have only struck out 2,606 times (ignoring dynamic effects: fewer strikeouts means more hits and walks, thus more plate appearances, and a few more strikeouts). So that's an extra 196 strikeouts in 2016 due to the higher rate.

The 2016 Blue Jays have struck out 136 times in their 475 plate appearances, and if they instead struck out at the same rate of 2015, they'd only have 88 strike outs (actually 87.56). That's an extra 48 strikeouts which, using the unrounded numbers, constitute 24.7% of the extra 2016 strikeouts.

So there you have it: the Blue Jays are responsible for 25% of baseball's increased strikeouts in 2016.