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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.

Washington Nationals v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Over the last 11 games, the Blue Jays were 5-6. Our hitters had a really rough time of it, hitting .217/.283/.359, averaging 3.6 runs per game. Pretty sad work.

Hot

Vladimir Guerrero: Started all 11 games. Hit .297/.422/.757 with 3 home runs (in 3 consecutive at-bats), 8 walks, and 6 strikeouts.

That one game pushed him from ‘in between’ to ‘hot.’ He’s been so good. His defense has looked excellent. He played the two innings at third base but didn’t get a fair ball hit his way. He was intentionally walked for the first time this season yesterday. I am sure it won’t be the last. 9 starts at first, 2 at DH. He might end up playing first every day now with Tellez sent down. I don’t mind him playing every day at first. He seems in shape to do it.

Randal Grichuk: Played in 11 games, starting 10. Hit .263/.300/.500 with 3 home runs, 2 walks, and 10 strikeouts.

A pretty marginal up arrow, but I didn’t want Vlad all alone in this section. I think he’s been ok in center field (and ok on this team is about the best we can do defensively). Sometimes he seems to get a slow start on balls. I’d rather Davis out there in center, but then I don’t want Davis in the batting lineup.

Alejandro Kirk: Played in 8 games, started 6. Hit .316/.381/.368 with 1 double, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts.

I have no complaints, other than he could play a bit more, but that will come. He isn’t the smoothest behind the plate, but I think that will come. Threw out his first base stealer in his MLB career this week, with 8 steals against (this year). And I think more power will come. Buck and Pat often talk about the hit and run. Kirk is one of the few batters we have who I’d think it was a good idea to hit and run with.

Cold

Danny Jansen: Played in 8 games, starting 7. Hit .000/.091/.000, with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.

The poster boy for cold. On the occasion that he does hit the ball hard, it finds a glove. His hard and soft contact rates are almost exactly the same as last year, but, via FanGraphs, he hasn’t barreled a ball yet. He sees a lot of pitches, he’s having long at-bats, but they don’t end well. He is 1 for 6 in throwing out baserunners.

Bo Bichette: Started all 11 games. Hit .167/.239/.333 with 1 double, 2 homers, 3 walks, 15 strikeouts, and 1 steal.

Almost 1 out of 3 PA ended in strikeouts. He had an 11 game hitting streak, starting the second game of the season, and since has been cold. I’m hoping yesterday’s home run is the start of something good. He DHed one game. His throws have been better the last couple of days. I think sometimes players go through hot and cold streaks on defense too. I’m not so much worried about his errors. He’s generally been about average for error rate. My worry has been that he doesn’t have the range I’d like from a shortstop.

Marcus Semien: Started all 11 games. Hit .231/.311/.308, with 1 home run, 5 walks, 12 strikeouts, and 4 steals.

He’s yet to have an extra-base hit that wasn’t a home run. In the last 5 games, he’s hit .333/.400/.500, so maybe he’s about to go on a hot stretch. Defensively he’s been nearly flawless at second. There doesn’t seem to have been any troubles transitioning to the new position. Made 1 start at short.

Cavan Biggio: Played in 9, started 8, of the 11 games. .222/.313/.259 with 1 double, 4 walks, and 10 strikeouts.

Started 3 games at third, 5 in right. I’d imagine playing in right will end when Teoscar Hernandez returns from the IL. It has been an interesting 9 games. He had 3 hits in each of 2 of the games and no hits in the other 6 starts. I’m hoping he finds some consistency.

Lourdes Gurriel: Started 10 of the 11 games. Hit .229/.256/.343 with 1 double, 1 home run, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts, and 1 steal.

I think he is a warm-weather hitter. In 2019 his OPS was .525 in April, then 1.378 in May, 1.063 in June. It might not be warm weather. It might just be it takes him a while to get his swing together at the start of the season. Either way, I’m not going to worry about him unless he continues his slow start through May.

Rowdy Tellez: Played in 8 games, starting 7. Hit .259.286/.333 with 2 doubles, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts.

I’m not all that thrilled about him being sent down. I think he’s earned a long leash, but I can understand that he wouldn’t get many at-bats in the next while. Maybe work at the Alternate site, and some time in Triple-A will help him find his swing.

Joe Panik: Played in 8 games, starting 6. Hit .261/.292/.348 with 2 doubles, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts.

He played 6 games at third, 1 at second, and he was a pinch-runner once. Pretty much the batting line you’d expect from a utility infielder. He gets more than his share of complaints, many of them from me, but he’s been ok. He should never pinch hit for Alejandro Kirk.

Also Played

Josh Palacios: Played in 5 games, started 4. Hit .083/.143/.083, with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.

The four-hit game bought him some playing time. Got sent back down. I hope we don’t see him again, only because it would take injuries in the outfield to get him back up with the team.

Jonathan Davis: Played in 8 games, started 4. Hit .182/.308/.455 with 1 home run, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, and 1 steal.

Might be going down when Teoscar comes off the IL, unless they are worried about not having a backup in center field. He seems the perfect fourth outfielder. Plays great defense, good pinch-runner, and not a total black hole with the bat.

Santiago Espinal: Played in 8 games, 3 starts. Hit .200/.200/.200 with 1 strikeout.

He is a very likable player. I definitely would take him over Panik, but I don’t think the edge is as huge as most of us do.

IL

Teoscar Hernandez: He should be back on the weekend, I hope.