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Who’s Hot, Who’s Cold: Blue Jays Batters

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Yeah the hot list is pretty short.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I have been doing this every two weeks, in seasons past, but, after the week we’ve had, I wanted to decide which Blue Jays players I’m worried about and which I’m not.

Let’s start with:

Hot

Josh Donaldson: .348/.444/.652, with 1 double, 2 home runs, 3 RBI, 4 walks and 10 strikeouts.

So, of course, he’s the guy that came out of yesterdays game with ‘calf tightness’. I’m not expecting him to be out long. I will note that people keep saying that players should “run hard on every ground ball hard”, thinking that players don’t understand baseball better than we do. I’ve only seen two Jays ever that ran everything hard, Vernon Wells and Brett Lawrie, and those two were the kings of this type of injury. Staying healthy is worth a lot, most players are smart enough to know when going all out matters and when it is just trying to show off. Anyway, Josh has been great. The 3 RBI, off 2 homers and 6 other hits is interesting, and I can see the point of considering flipping him and Jose in the order, but I like the idea of the better hitter getting more at bats.

And that’s the end of the hot list.


Cold

Russell Martin: .000/.300/.000, no hits, 6 walks, 4 strikeouts.

He had a slow start last year too. He was hitless in his first 3 games It took him until June 10 to get over .200. One of the underlining themes of spring training was that the team was going to let the veterans set their own pace...and Martin took time off to help with team Canada and they didn’t have him catch much. I think being careful, with the guys who are going to play everyday isn’t a bad idea, but maybe we could do a little more to make sure they are ready. I keep saying I’d like to see him make good contact once. It still hasn’t happened. At least he is taking some walks, but there is a difference between hitting in bad luck and not giving yourself a chance at a hit.

Devon Travis: .130/.167/.130, 1 RBI, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. No extra base hits.

You know, he was so good, when he finally got into spring games, I expected it to carry over into the season. You think I would know better by now. Anyway, I’m expecting him to start hitting soon.

Troy Tulowitzki: .125/.160/.292 with 1 double, 1 home run, 6 RBI, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.

The 6 RBI tie him for the team lead, so that’s something, I guess. He had a slow start to last season too, he didn’t get his average to .200 until May 15. I was hoping for a big year from him. I should say I’m still hoping, but I’d like him to get started on it. He had a really tough game yesterday, making a rare error and having the little lapse on the rundown.

Jose Bautista: .136/.286/.182 with 1 double, 1 RBI, 5 walks and 9 strikeouts.

Jose had a great start to last season and he was very good this spring. He hit .414/.469/.759 with 2 home runs, in 11 spring games. He also played in the WBC. He missed a couple of spring games with a tight back, but that’s apparently gone away. He seems a little unsure at the plate. Maybe it is taking a bit to get his timing back.

Steve Pearce: .176/.176/.176, 0 walks, 0 extra base hits, and 4 strikeouts.

Maybe he’s had a bit of bad luck, but the ball isn’t exactly rocketing off his bat. Steve didn’t have a great spring training, hitting .250/.311/.300, with 2 doubles. He turns 34 on Thursday. I do think he’s been talked up a bit too much, maybe we are expecting too much from him.


Guys who are somewhere between hot and cold

Justin Smoak: .278/.316/.389, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.

Minus yesterday’s 0 for, he could have been on the hot list, which has has more to do with limited expectations, than his actual performance. As much as we really don’t like the guy, he could be kind of ok for us. Hitting near the bottom of the order, I’m kind of in the ‘let’s enjoy his good moments’ mode. At least for now.

Kevin Pillar: .273/.304/.273, no extra base hits, 1 walk, no strikeouts.

His numbers aren’t all that far off last year’s (he hit .266/.303/.376) other than he hasn’t had an extra base hit yet. I never buy the ‘he’s made major changes to his approach’ until we’ll seen enough at bats to prove it. He is right at his 1 walk a week rate from last year.

Kendrys Morales: .208/.296/.417, 1 home run, 2 doubles, 2 walks, 6 RBI, 5 strikeouts.

His grand slam was almost the only good offensive moment of our first week. In the long run I’d like to see him hit better than this, but, comparatively, he’s been ok. He seems like the ‘professional hitter’ type, if we want to get into Buck and Pat terminology.


Guys that had a few at bats this week:

Ezequiel Carrera: .250/.250/.333, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts.

Darwin Barney: .500/.600/.500 (2 singles, 1 walk, 1 k in 5 PA).

Jarrod Saltalamacchia: .200/.200/.200 (1 single in 5 PA) .

Ryan Goins: 0 for 1.

Poll

Who’s slow start concerns you the most?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Russell Martin
    (169 votes)
  • 9%
    Devon Travis
    (63 votes)
  • 9%
    Troy Tulowitzki
    (68 votes)
  • 29%
    Jose Bautista
    (207 votes)
  • 3%
    Steve Pearce
    (21 votes)
  • 23%
    None of them, it’s only 6 games
    (164 votes)
692 votes total Vote Now