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

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Taking a look at the Jays offense over the last four weeks.

Toronto Blue Jays v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I haven’t done one of these for a while, so instead of looking at the last two weeks, let’s look at the last four weeks

Over the last 21 games, the Jays are 9-12. Our batters have hit .271/.335/.466 with 32 home runs. We have averaged exactly 5 runs a game.

Hot

Russell Martin: ..341/.449/.683 with 4 home runs, 7 RBI, 8 walks and 9 strikeouts.

Russell played in 13 of the 21 games, starting 12. He started one game at third and finished a game at third. At catcher he threw out 1 of 8 basestealers in that time. It is nice to see him hitting. His average is up to .199. He might be hitting his way into being a trade target.

Justin Smoak: .321/.380/.536 with 4 home runs, 9 RBI, 8 walks and 21 strikeouts.

Justin played in 20 of 21 games, all at first base. Nice to see him bringing up his average too. I’m glad he wasn’t traded, I think he’s a good player to keep around while we are rebuilding. Justin is on a 12 game hitting streak, hittnig .353/.400/.549 over the last 12 games.

Aledmys Diaz: .328/.344/.707 with 6 home runs, 12 RBI, 1 steal, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.

He played in 17 games, starting 15. He seems to have a strong arm at short, but maybe not the range we’d like to see, but, compared to what we would have gotten from Tulo, he’s Ozzie Smith. He’s hit better than I expected. As always I’d like him to walk more but the power is nice to have. I kind of like the idea of him as a utility infielder in the future.

Randal Grichuk: .310/.363/.560 with 4 home runs, 11 RBI, 5 walks and 17 strikeouts.

Played in all 21 games, starting 20. I thought he did a good job in CF in Pillar’s absence. Since coming back from his injury, he’s hit .274/.326/.543 with 13 home runs in 56 games. If that’s the player he is, we made a very good trade. It is too bad he started so bad, first impressions take a while to overcome.

Kevin Pillar: ..360/.346/.600 with 1 home run 7 RBI, 1 steal, 0 walks and 7 strikeouts.

He’s played in just 7 games, with the injury, but he’s hit great since coming back. An OBP below his batting average is a very Pillar thing. He kind of scared me, running into that scoreboard part of the fence yesterday, so soon after coming back from the DL. He has no fear. I wonder if that will become a bad thing as he ages. A younger player can bounce off a wall, bounce off the turf, I’m not sure if an older player will. I’m still of the opinion that I would look to trade him. I’m not sure he’ll age well, and I’d rather trade him too soon than wait too late.

Cold

Devon Travis: .177/.214/.241 with 1 home run, 5 RBI, 3 walks and 16 strikeouts.

Devon played in 16 of the 21 games, starting 14. Sort of a marginal down arrow. His last five games have been much better, hitting .304/.333/.609. I’m liking him in the 2 spot in the lineup. His defense hasn’t been good. FanGraphs has him at a -9.1 UZR/150 on the season, which is a change. Before this season he was a slightly above average defensively. Last year he had a 5.6 UZR. I’m hoping he improves as the season goes on.

Yangervis Solarte: .250/.308/.500 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 8 RBI, 4 walks and 8 strikeouts.

Yangervis played in 20 games, starting 19. I liked him better when he was taking walks. His defense has been awful (-10.0 UZR/150 at third this year). His baserunning as been equally awful (FanGraphs has him at a -7.4 runs on the bases). I’ve wondered if he’s hiding an injury, he seems to be limping a fair bit. If he is hurt, he should go on the DL. Thing change, at the start of the season I thought I was going to like him. He seemed to have fun playing the game (of course, he’s was playing much better), now I just wish there was a way we could trade him. Still just 1 home run behind Smoak for the team lead.

Teoscar Hernandez: .185/.276/.415 with 3 home runs, 7 RBI, 9 walks and 32 strikeouts.

Teoscar has played in 19 of 21 games, starting 16. Rarely have I seen a more maddening player (Moises Sierra?). He seems to have all the skills, decent speed, good arm and yet he has trouble with the easiest of plays. FanGraphs has him at a -.12.3 UZR/150 in the outfield and I think that’s being generous. I thought he looked better in left field, but nope, he seems just as bad there as in right. He doesn’t seem to be throwing to the wrong base as much anymore, so maybe he can be taught. A future DH? I don’t know. Let’s see how his numbers look at the end of the season. His numbers are still looking pretty good, but they are a little inflated from his great start. Since May 1 he’s hitting .233/.285/453, numbers that aren’t good enough, but maybe he has another hot streak in him. He drives me nuts, and I think ‘let’s send him to the minors and look at one of our other outfield prospects’, but maybe it is best to leave him in the majors, keep working with him and see how he does the rest of the way.

Curtis Granderson: .212/.263/.327 with 1 home run, 3 RBI, 1 steal, 3 walks and 16 strikeouts.

Played in 15 of the 21 games, starting 12. He started the season great, but has slowed since, pretty much the opposite of most of the rest of the offense. People tell me there is ‘no leadership’ on the team and I think that a time with Granderson, Martin, Morale, Estrada must have enough leadership. Teams lose and people blame leadership, because it is easy. I’m thinking the team is losing because there aren’t enough good players. I really expected Curtis to be traded before the deadline, but I’m still expecting him to be traded.

Dwight Smith: .190/.308/.381 with 1 home run, 3 RBI, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts.

I have a hard time remembering if he is in Toronto or Buffalo at any given moment. Buffalo now, I think. Before going down, he played in 10 games, starting 7. Kind of a small down arrow. I would like the team to give him a good look, but that’s not likely to happen.

Inbetween

Kendrys Morales: .257/.371/.378 with 2 home runs, 9 RBI, 1 caught stealing, 13 walks and 12 strikeouts.

Started 20 of 20 games. One game at first base. He’s hitting ok, but he needs to hit with power to be valuable. Everyone says he’s great in the clubhouse, great with the younger Spanish speaking players. I don’t know how to value that stuff, but there is a value to it. Sometimes it is hard to separate the numbers from the person. He’s a good guy who isn’t playing very well this year. If he had a tiny bit of speed..... I was talking to someone about player’s speed and he said that you would be surprised that even the slow guys can outrun most of us. I’m sure Kendrys could out run me, he’s an athlete and I’m not. But it would be interesting just to compare, just to see what slow means in baseball terms.

Luke Maile: .243/.317/.324 with 6 RBI, 1 steal, 4 walks and 11 strikeouts.

Started 10 of the 21 games. Not exactly a hot stretch, but pretty ok for Maile. Thrown out 2 of 10 basestealers over those 10 games.

Also played

Darnell Sweeney: Played in 1 game, went 0 for 2 with 2 walks.

On the DL

Brandon Drury: Played 8 games for the Blue Jays before going on the DL. Hit .154/.241/.231 with 3 RBI in those games.

Since he’s had a broken hand, I won’t read anything into his numbers. Pretty hard to hit well with a broken hand.

Lourdes Gurriel: Played in 9 games before hitting the DL. Hit .500/.523/.762 with 3 homers, 9 RBI, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts.

We all know he was on a hot streak before getting injured (isn’t that always the way). It sounds like he’ll be back soon, hopefully he’ll continue to hit the way he had before the injury.

Josh Donaldson: Who knows when/if he will be back.

Troy Tulowitzki: See above.