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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 first two weeks of the season.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks in, the Blue Jays are 6-6, second place in the AL East, 3 games back of the Red Sox.

On the offensive side, we’ve averaged 4.50 runs per game, slightly below the league average of 4.61. Not exactly what we were expecting. We are tied for third in home runs, with 16. In OPS+ they sit at 96.

Hot

Bo Bichette: Started all 12 games. Hitting .327/.358/.653. 16 hits, 4 doubles, 4 home runs, 2 steals (halfway to his career high), 2 walks and 13 strikeouts.

He’s hit in 11 games in a row, but he’s gotten hot in the past few games, hitting .500 in the last four games. His swing seemed a little wild early, but he’s been a bit more under control. We should enjoy this hot streak. Defensively, he is what he is. He’s had 3 errors, 2 fielding, 1 throwing. I think he’ll make fewer errors, but his range isn’t exactly what we’d like.

Vladimir Guerrero: Started all 12 games. Hitting .390/.519/.585. 16 hits, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 1 steal, 9 RBI, 9 walks, and 9 strikeouts.

Yeah he’s been great. Lots of hard hit balls. Mostly singles, but a home run every 6 games is ok. I’m sure there will be streaks of extra base hits. Defensively, he’s improved on last year. He’s dealt with more bad throws than we’d like but he’s been pretty good doing it. I think he’ll continue to improve. We haven’t seen him overrun a popup yet this season. I’m sure it will happen, but he’s been much better at getting them. DHed in 3 games, which is likely about the right ratio.

Randal Grichuk: Started all 12 games. Hitting .310/.375/.476 with 4 doubles, 1 homer, 1 caught stealing, 5 walks and 8 strikeouts.

He started the season great, but his bat seems to have slowed up lately. He’s striking out less (16.7% from 21.2 last year, it is early). He’s always been a streak hitter. Every time he’s on a good streak, we get told he’s figured it out. But enjoy the good streaks and try to live through the bad. He started 9 games in center, 2 in right and 1 as DH. He is kind of a constant in the outfield. Doesn’t have the range you’d like in center, but he’s consistent, catches what he gets to, and doesn’t make glaring mistakes.

Cold

Danny Jansen: Played in 8, starting 7 of 12 games. Hitting .091/.200/.136. 2 hits, 1 double, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts.

He’s had some good long at bats, but he hasn’t been hitting the ball hard at all. On defense he’s been fine. He hasn’t caught a base stealer yet, but then only 5 have tried. I know Kirk is equally cold, but I’d like to see him play a bit more.

Cavan Biggio: Started in 11 games. Hitting .179/.304/.385. Has 1 triple, 2 home runs, 6 walks and 15 strikeouts.

He’s been doing better in the last five games, hitting .235/.381/.529, so hoping his season starting slump is over. Striking out too much. Still taking close pitches with 2 strikes. He has made a couple of errors at third, one fielding, one throwing, which makes his fielding average slightly better than league average at third. Vlad has made some nice catches to save him errors, but his throws haven’t been all that bad. Started all 11 games at third, but played 7 innings in right.

Lourdes Gurriel: Started 10 games. Hit .167/.211/.167. No extra base hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts.

He’s been a streak hitting since coming up. I’m hoping there is a hot streak coming. His defense is still not very good. Every fly ball hit towards him is an adventure, but he hasn’t made any official errors. He’s not great going back on balls. And sometimes coming in he defaults to the infielders more than I’d like. But, when he gets hitting, we’ll overlook the defense.

Rowdy Tellez: Played in 10 games, starting 8. Hitting .121/.171/.212 with 1 homer, 1 walk and 10 strikeouts.

He has hit in his last three games, 4 for 12. And he has hit a few balls hard in these last few games. He’s got the sort of power that you’ll wait around for. Started 5 games at DH and 3 at first base. He’s better at first than I thought he would be. Let’s see what he is hitting in a month’s time.

Alejandro Kirk: Played in 7 games, starting 5. Hitting .063/.167/.250. 1 home run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts.

I’d like him to get 3-4 games in a row at some point, but it doesn’t seem to be happening. He seems fine behind the plate, 3 steals again, none caught. He shouldn’t be the runner on second in the extras ever.

Teoscar Hernandez: Started 7 games. Hit .207/.207/.310. 6 hits and 1 home run, 0 walks and 14 strikeouts.

Now out with Covid. Hopefully he’s healthy and he won’t be out more than the ten days.

In between

Marcus Semien: Started all 12 games. Hit .212/.281/.442. 11 hits, 4 home runs, 5 walks, 15 strikeouts and 2 steals.

Hitting right at a 100 OPS+. Kind of weird there haven’t been any extra base hits that haven’t been home runs. Striking out more than I expected. 26.3% of the time, up 5% from last year. His defense at second has looked really good. He turns the double play nicely. Played DH in one game and short in one game. Really shouldn’t be at the top of the lineup. Springer has to come back at some point.

Joe Panik: Played in 7 games, started 5. Hit .278/.278/.333. 5 hits, 1 double, 2 strikeouts.

About the best you could expect, other than he hasn’t had a walk. He should never DH, he shouldn’t pinch hitting, but he has 1 games at DH, 3 at second, 1 at third.

Also Played

Josh Palacios: Started 5 games. Hit .375/.500/.375. 6 singles, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts.

The four hit game was fun. I’d like to see more than singles out of him and I’m sure they will come if he hangs around long enough. His defense is well, much what we expected. Not great, not awful. Him not making that catch yesterday was not good. But one play. He is getting playing time. Started 4 games in right, 1 in left.

Jonathan Davis: Played in 8 games, started 3. Hit .000/.154/.000. 13 PA, 0 hits, 1 caught stealing, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.

He hasn’t impressed in his limited time and has lost playing time to Palacios. If Hernandez comes back before George Springer, it will be interesting to see if they keep Davis or Palacios. Davis is the better pinch runner and better defensive player.

Santiago Espinal: Started 1 game. Went 3 for 5, with a double, strikeout.

Yeah, I’d have him over Panik any day.