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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 two weeks.

Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Blue Jays went 4-9 over the past two weeks.

But the offense has been pretty decent, hitting .260/.326/.464 with 24 home runs. They averaged 5.5 runs per game. The last 6 games they’ve scored 6.2 runs a game. And they have been playing some pretty good teams lately.

Hot

Lourdes Gurriel: Played in 13 games, starting 12. Hit .352/.368/.793 with 6 home runs, 2 walks and 16 strikeouts.

He’s a streak hitter, but when he’s hot he’s really hot. Yeah, he could walk a little more, but when he’s hitting like this I’m happy that he doesn’t take a walk. Someone on Twitter told me he would ‘regress’.....thanks for the info, I thought he would would slug .800 for the rest of his career. Yes, he’s going to have bad stretches too, I’m going to enjoy the good ones. He’s had 2 or more hits in his last 5 games. His arm in the outfield has been a huge surprise. It seems funny that he couldn’t make a throw from second to first, but he can throw from deep left and hit the strike zone. His UZR/150 is -5.7. He hasn’t played enough for UZR to get a good reading. I’d rather they not be playing him so deep. All our outfielders have negative UZR numbers.

Eric Sogard: Played in 12 games, starting 11. Hit .362/.429/.574 with 2 homers, 1 triple, 7 walks, 5 strikeouts and 2 steals.

In the 12 games he has DHed 6 times (he had never started a game at DH before this season), 4 games at second, and 3 games at third (he switched from second to third in one game). I don’t know what’s going on. He’s had a long enough career that we thought we knew what he could do. This is well outside the realm of possibilities for him. I would love to see an interview with him asking what he is doing different. He has 8 home runs this season, his previous career high was 3. Career he had 11 home runs before this season. He’s slugging average is .495, his career high before this season was .378. I don’t have an explanation, but he looks like the definition of what broadcasters would call a professional hitter. He’s been taking pitches and waiting for something he can hit hard. Maybe something a hitting coach told him has clicked?

Cavan Biggio: Played in 13 games, starting 12. Hit .311/.396/.533 with 2 homers, 7 walks and 16 strikeouts.

Played 8 games at second, 2 at second, 2 games in right and 2 games in left. Playing OOTP Baseball, I find the players who can play all over the place to be worth their weight in gold. I really never expected him to be this good. He looks so relaxed at the plate. He’s willing to take pitches. I always think the guys who will take a walk can smooth out some of the cold stretches. I’m really looking forward to watching his career. He’s looked good defensively too. He got a later start than his dad, Craig started his MLB career when he was 22, so he has a bit of work to do to catch up.

Freddy Galvis: Started all 13 games. Hit .385/.418/.596 with 3 homers, 11 RBI, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts and 1 steal.

He’s hitting like he did at the start of the season again. He’s having a better season than I expected, but it isn’t totally out of line for his career. His defense has looked good to me, but FanGraphs has him at a -2.7 UZR/150. It does seem like there are a lot of balls that are just out of his reach. I’d think the team will be looking to move either Freddy or Eric at the deadline. I’d guess Freddy would bring the better return and it would free up second for Bo. There must be a contender who could use a dependable shortstop. He seems like a good teammate

Rowdy Tellez: Played 13 games, starting 12. Hit .227/.300/.545 with 4 home runs, 5 walks, 16 strikeouts.

With Smoak out, Tellez has been playing first. He’s looked ok there defensively. This is kind of a marginal up arrow. but I slugging over .500 is a good thing. I’m glad he’s getting a lot of playing time. He’s actually hitting lefties (.264/.286/.500) better then right-handers (.210/.281/.545). His home runs aren’t exactly wall scrappers, he tends to crush them. I don’t think his defense has been bad. He’s made some excellent plays. The more playing time he gets this year the better.

Cold

Danny Jansen: Played in 9 games, starting 8. Hit .185/.267/.333 with 1 homer, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts.

He had a good day yesterday, 3 of his 5 hits for the two weeks were in yesterday’s game. I’m going to hope it is part of a turn around. I guess we’ll see over the next few days.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: Played and started 12 games. Hit .191/.283/.234, 0 home runs, 5 walks and 12 strikeouts.

Played third 7 times, DHed 5 times. I’m ok with him DHing some, I know Joe Siddal had a bit of a rant about it, but I’m good with it. Yeah, he isn’t hitting like we expected he would. I know he’ll come around, but he’s a little lost at the plate at the moment. He does seem to have a very good eye at the plate, and sometimes, when a close call goes against him, the at bat goes bad. When baseball people say they like to see how a prospect deals with a cold stretch, this is what they mean. I’m interested to see how he deals with this. Sometimes it seems he’s taking his offensive troubles into the field, but his fielding hasn’t been as bad as advertised. The strong arm does help cover up some mistakes. FanGraphs has him at a -3.1 UZR/150.

Brandon Drury: Started 8 games. Hit .138/.167/.138 with 1 walk and 10 strikeouts.

Started 5 games at third, 2 in right, 1 at second. I’ve been hoping the bat would come around but it hasn’t. Often they talk about how much easier it is to hit when you play everyday, but Brandon didn’t hit all that well playing every day. And really, this is his role, if he can’t hit playing like this, then we will have find someone who can play two or three times a week and hit ok.

Luke Maile: Played in 7 games, starting 5. Hit .059/.111/.059 with 1 walk and 7 strikeouts.

One single and 1 walk in 18 PA. I think that counts as cold.

Inbetween

Teoscar Hernandez: Played in 9 games, starting 8. Hit .172/.294/.483 with 3 home runs, 5 walks and 12 strikeouts.

The .172 average doesn’t look good, but getting on base 30% of the time and slugging almost .500. That’s about what we should hope for from him, but I’d like him to get a few more hits. He’s had 5 hits, 3 of them home runs. In left he seemed to drop an easy fly ball every few days, but I haven’t seen him do that in center. UZR hasn’t liked his play in center, has a -37.0/150, but it generally takes long a fair bit of playing time before I start believing UZR number. I’m still not sure he’s the answer in CF, but I think we should give him a good long look.

Randal Grichuk: Started all 13 games. Hit .259/.310/.426 with 2 homer, 4 walks and 18 strikeouts.

Hitting better than he has been, but some where short of ‘hot’. Maybe he’s slowly digging his way out of his slump. He seems to have a Kevin Pillar disease, get behind and then chase off the plate. I do wonder about his defense in right. UZR doesn’t like it, -22.0 this year. UZR needs more playing time. And perhaps Charlies’ idea of playing the outfielders so far back is messing with their ratings. There must be some reason Randal’s gone from +4.9 to -22 in a season. I have a hard time believing that he’s forgotten how to play defense.

Also played

Billy McKinney: 5 games, 2 started. Hit .111/.273/.444 with 1 home run, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts in 11 at bats.

The walk-off homer was nice, but he’s mostly been pinch running since coming back. I’m betting he’ll be going back to Buffalo when Smoak comes off the IL.

On the IL

Justin Smoak: Apparently, he’s just about ready to come back to play.