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

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Taking a look at the last couple of weeks of offensive offense.

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Over the past two weeks, the Jays are 4-8, which is a marked improvement over the start of the season.

Our batters have hit .239/.301/.384, and we’ve average 3.4 runs per game, which again is an improvement.

Hot

Russell Martin: .281/.395/.500, 1 double, 2 home runs, 2 RBI, 6 walks and 13 strikeouts in 9 games.

It took Martin forever to get his first hit of the season, but, since then, he’s been very good (even counting the strikeout on the pitch well off the plate last night). The trouble is that his start was so bad, no one has noticed that he’s actually hitting. First impressions are hard to get past. Always start the season hot, it takes people months to know you have cooled off. The interesting stat is the 2 RBI, on 2 home runs, and 7 other hits. That shows just how bad our offense has been.

Justin Smoak: .298/.350/.649, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 8 RBI, 3 walks and 7 strikeouts. He played all 12 games, starting 9.

See, Smoak knows how to do it. Start the season hot (he started last season off well too), by the time people notice you’ve cooled off they will have signed you to another contract extension. I’m not buying that he’s really changed yet, but I always enjoy his hot streaks. I hope this one keeps on going.

Ezequiel Carrera: .333/.353/.485, 1 triple, 1 home run, 4 ERA, 1 steal, 1 caught, 1 walk and 8 strikeouts in 10 games, 7 starts.

I think he must lead outfielders in throwing to the wrong base. He’s getting a lot of playing time, since Pearce isn’t hitting at all. I don’t mind Ezequiel as a fourth outfielder, I hate him as an everyday player. He really doesn’t do anything well enough that you’d want to see him play so much.

Kevin Pillar: .340/.377/.620, 5 doubles, 3 home runs, 5 RBI, 2 steals, 2 caught, 2 walk and 13 strikeouts. Started all 12 games.

Got his 2nd walk yesterday, putting him at a 3.7% walk rate. That’s basically where he was last year. If he keeps hitting like he has, he’s going to get more walks. Pitchers are going to be afraid to walk him. He really looks locked in lately. And he’s started making some of his usual highlight reel catches again. He’s been terrific. If I’ve got a complaint, I’d suggest he stop trying to steal, or pick his spots better.

Ryan Goins: .300/.333/.550, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. Played in 10 games, starting 7.

He’s on a nice roll. And he’s looked excellent on defense too. He’s had these little stretches before, we really should enjoy them. Every time he has this sort of run, we start hearing that he’s figured it out. It will take more than 20 good at bats for me to believe that, but I’m always willing to hope. He seems like a great guy.

Cold

Devon Travis: .139/.184/.250, with 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBI, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts. Played in 10 games, starting 9.

This spring, when he finally healed up enough to play, he was great, hitting everything hard. I thought he was ready to have a great season. I think everyone else did too. Then the season starts and he looks lost at the plate. I don’t know what’s going on.

Jose Bautista: .133/.264/.222, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBI, 7 walks and 16 strikeouts. He’s started all 12 games.

I was hoping that the home run, to win the first game of the Angels’ series, was going to get him going. It is hard to figure out what’s going on. He’s chasing pitches out of the strike zone and he’d not catching up to pitching in the middle of the strike zone. He hasn’t look awful on defense, which is a bit of a saving grace, but he’s gotta get hitting. It always interests me how different players get different treatment when slumping. Devon gets moved down in the lineup, and Gibby has sat him out a fair bit. Jose is still hitting 3rd and plays every day. I don’t know that what Gibby is doing is wrong, I think he’s right in saying that if the team is going to win, Jose has to start hitting. But perhaps a couple of days off wouldn’t hurt. Maybe batting at the back of the order would take some pressure off. I don’t know.

Darwin Barney: .240/.269/.240, no extra base hits, 4 RBI, 1 steal, 1 walk and 7 k. He played 11 games, 7 starts.

The poster child for why to start off a season hot, he’s still getting praise from Buck and Pat for his great start from last season. He’s a good utility player, but he’s getting more playing time than we’d like.

Kendrys Morales: .213/.275/.340, 2 home runs, 4 RBI, 4 walks and 13 strikeouts. Started all 12 games.

He’s, ummmm, slumping better than most of the guys that are slumping (if that make any sense). He is making hard contact (FanGraphs has his Hard Contact at 43.9%, better than last year). And his line drive rate is up too (24.6%, from 20.1 last year). His strikeout rate is up too. And yet....I don’t feel like he’s being robbed all the time. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m hoping that, given time, things will come around for him.

Steve Pearce: .174/.208/.174, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts. Played 7 games, starting 6.

He seems to have found his way into Gibbys doghouse, and we can understand why. He still doesn’t have an extra base hit this year. He only has 1 single in 11 PA with runners in scoring position. He’s looked totally lost. He’s not even hitting left-handers (.105/.150/.105). I really didn’t have the high hopes that everyone else had for Pearce, but I thought he would be ok against lefties. And, I thought he was the kind of guy who could be good as a late game pinch hitter. I know it is early and all, and I should be singing ‘All we are saying is give Pearce a chance’, but I’d love to see the team bring up Dwight Smith and see what he can do.

Chris Coghlan: .167/.273/.167, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts. 7 games, starting 5.

I was going to list him under ‘guys that had too few at bats to rank’, but.......that bunt effort, last night, was terrible. He is the type of guy that should have been practicing his bunting in the minors and throughout his career. When you hit like he does, you should be able to bunt. Course, when he shows he can, STOP ASKING HIM TO DO IT. Added into the fun of watching him at the plate, he has made 2 errors at third base. If Josh isn’t going to be returning to the lineup soon, I’d love us to try someone else.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia: 0 for 13, 11 strikeouts. played in 7 games, starting 3.

Again, I was going to list him under having too few at bats to rate, but......0 for 13 and 11 strikeouts? If that’s not cold, nothing is. I haven’t been charmed by his defense either. He’s been behind the plate for 7 steals without throwing out a runner. He’s also watch 2 wild pitches go past him.

Inbetween

We didn’t have anyone straddling the line....everyone was either hot or not.

On the DL

Troy Tulowitzki: .333/.375/.367, with 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts in 9 games, 8 starts before going on the DL.

Before pulling up lame, he seemed to be finding his stroke. I hope he’s not out long.

Josh Donaldson: .200/.429/.400, 1 double, 1 RBI, 2 walks and 1 strikeout. He played 2 games before going on the DL.

Please get well quick Josh, we need you.