Over the past two weeks our batters have hit .273/.334/.438 with 15 home runs. After a terrible first week, we’ve been much better.
Justin Smoak: Started 11 of the 12 games. He hit .405/.542/.784 with 13 RBI, 4 home runs, 10 walks and 6 strikeouts.
I think that counts as hot. On April 12 he was hitting .194. Now he is hitting .313. He played 7 games at first base and 4 games at DH. It is funny how the team as a whole (minus Galvis) started so cold and how so many of them got hot at the same time.
Freddy Galvis: Started all 12 games. He hit .309/.309/.455 with 2 homers, 6 RBI, 0 walks and 10 strikeouts.
He’s not as hot as he was at the start of the season, but a .455 SLG% is better than I expect from him. He’s still tied for the team lead in home runs. Defensively, he’s been a lot of fun to watch. That barehanded catch made my whole month.
Billy McKinney: Started 10 of 12 games. Hit .300/.310/.475 with 1 homer, 3 RBI, 0 walks and 9 strikeouts.
Played 8 games in RF, 2 in LF and finished 1 game at 1B. He isn’t very hot but he hit better over the past 2 weeks than I expected. April 12th he was hitting .171, now he is hitting .246. He had no walks the last two weeks, which worried me some, I figured part of his value was his ability to take walks and get on base. He looks good in the outfield.
Rowdy Tellez: Played in 9 games, starting 8. Hit .276/.290/.517 with 2 home runs, 7 RBI, 1 walk and 12 strikeouts.
Started 4 games at 1B and 4 at DH. I’d like him to walk more than once every two weeks but he’s been doing pretty good. I really hope he proves himself as a major leaguer this year. He’s had such a rough couple of years. His defense has been pretty decent, from my eye test. He’s not as good as Smoak, but he’s ok and he’ll likely continue to get better.
Eric Sogard: Started 5 games. Hit .409/.435/.500 with 5 RBI, 2 steals, 1 walk and 3 strikeouts.
His defense has been great and he’s hitting great. I’m sure the hitting great won’t last, but he seems to have brought a spark to the team. I have a feeling he’ll lose his job a second when Vlad gets the call.
Brandon Drury: Started 9 of the games. Hit .242/.306/.515 with 2 homers, 2 walks and 12 strikeouts.
Kind of a marginally falls in the hot pile. He has been excellent for the past week (.368/.429/.789 the last 5 games) before that, not so well. He started so slow, he had us wanting him sent to Buffalo. But, if he can keep this streak going, he’s a valuable hitter. His glove has looked good at third base. I’m not sure he’ll be as good at second base, but it looks like that’s where he’ll end up when Vlad comes up (assuming he keeps hitting and that the last few days isn’t a mirage). As a group, we really should learn to have a bit more patience. But then, I always say that fans don’t need to have patience, while the front office should have a lot of patience.
Danny Jansen: Played in 9 of the 12 games, starting 8. Hit .214/.333/.286 with 2 RBI, 4 walks and 11 strikeouts.
In those 9 games, he DHed once and pinch hit once. he’s hit better this last week. Catchers have so many other things to do, besides hitting, that a slow start shouldn’t have been too surprising. He’s thrown out 25% of base stealers. I’m sure his bat will come around as the season goes on. No matter what, I want the team to have patience with him. We need to give him 500 at bats.
Randal Grichuk: Started all 12 games. He hit .250/.321/.375 with 1 home run, 3 RBI, 5 walks and 15 strikeouts.
Not really “cold” but definitely not “hot”. He had a very slow start last year. I’m hoping he turns things on in May. He played 10 games in CF, 1 in RF and 1 at DH. He’s striking out more than he did last year. We’ve been spoiled by having Pillar in CF. Grichuk isn’t as good as Kevin was, but I think he’ll improve as the season goes on. I kind of think that we should be planning on Anthony Alford playing CF in the long run but Alford is hitting just .167/.231/.354 in Buffalo. He’s going to have to show he can hit in Triple A before he can expect to come up to the majors.
Alen Hanson: Played in 8 games, starting 6. Hit .192/.214/.192, with 4 RBI, 1 walk and 8 strikeouts.
It would be nice if he could go down to Buffalo to get his timing down. He’d likely clear waivers. Started 5 games at 2B, 1 in RF, 1 at 1B. I don’t think he’s as bad as he’s looked.
Luke Maile: Started 5 of the 12 games. Hit .188/.278/.375 with 1 home run, 2 RBI, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts.
He’s thrown out 2 of 4 base stealers.
Socrates Brito: Played in 7 games, starting 4. Hit .071/.235/.071. 1 RBI, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts.
He has some skills. I’d be happy if they could get him through waivers, and let the team work with him in Buffalo. I’m ok with him as the fourth outfielder, for now, but playing less than he has. He seems to have the defensive skills to play any of the three outfield spots. When he has hit the ball he’s hitting it reasonably hard (FanGraphs has him 7.7% soft contact, 69.2% medium and 23.1% hard), but then he’s striking out almost 40% of the time.
Teoscar Hernandez: Played in 11 games, starting 10. He hit .256/.318/.436 with 2 homers, 9 RBI, 3 walks and 12 strikeouts.
Not really hot, not really cold. His defense, especially his throwing, has been much better than last year. He has 4 assists already. He started really slow, but he seemed to be trying to control the strike zone better than he had in the past. I’m always a skeptic when it comes to players remaking themselves mid career, but maybe Teoscar can be the one in a hundred. His walk rate is 11.6%, up from 7.8 last year, and his strikeout rate is 24.4%, down from 31.2.
Richard Urena: Played in 3 games, starting 2. Hit .143/.143/.143, with 2 strikeouts.
He’s been to Buffalo and back. I hope he gets to stay for a while.
Now in Buffalo
Lourdes Gurriel, Jr: Started 5 games. Hit .385/.467/.615 with 5 RBI, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts.
He was hitting great when he was sent down. He isn’t the first player to have troubles throwing the ball. Even pitcher Jon Lester has troubles throwing to first base. The problem seems to come when you start thinking about throwing. We’ve all thrown balls since we were young. We don’t have to think about it. When you start thinking about it, it becomes hard. I’m the same with a golf swing. I can hit the ball fine if I don’t think about it, but if I start thinking it all goes to hell. Hopefully Lourdes figures it out quick, because his bat is pretty good, I’d like him to be back with the club.