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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 Cleveland Indians - Game Two Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

The Blue Jays didn’t have the greatest time of it the last two weeks.

They went 5-8, but the batters hit pretty well, .295/.358/.511, and scored 5.3 runs per game. This last week was very good for the offense.

Hot

Marcus Semien: Started all 13 games. Hit .377/.459/.736 with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 9 RBI, 8 walks, 16 strikeouts, and 1 steal.

He played short twice, second base the other 11 games. We complained about him hitting leadoff. Now, if they try to move him, there will be a revolt. He seems to fit in well with the team. We all would like him signed to an extension, but maybe we should wait until he isn’t hitting like Babe Ruth.

Vladimir Guerrero: Started all 13 games. Hit .333/.400/.708 with 3 doubles, 5 home runs, 12 RBI, 5 walks, and 6 strikeouts.

He started 4 games at DH and 9 at first. It seems like Vlad has a permanent spot on the hot side. He’s been so good. When he has a game where he doesn’t have a couple of hits, it seems like he’s slumping. His defense has been surprisingly good. Add in that he had a lot of fun, and I think we will enjoy watching him play for a long time.

Lourdes Gurriel: Started 11 games: Hit .341/.357/.561 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts.

He started 1 of the games at first base. I thought he did a pretty good job. When a player has a slow start, it takes a while to realize when he starts hitting well. Defensively, he is what he is. He doesn’t get charged with errors, and he has an excellent arm, so people that don’t see him play think he’s a good outfielder, but I see his UZR is good, 6.4 to the positive side. UZR needs more games to balance out, but we’ll see how it all goes.

Randal Grichuk: Started all 13 games. Hit .333/.345/.611 with 6 doubles, 3 home runs, 9 RBI, 1 walk, and 10 strikeouts.

He started 5 games in right, 5 in CF, and 3 at DH. Speaking of being slow to notice someone on a hot streak, I didn’t realize how hot Randal’s been, especially over the last week (1.061 OPS in the past 7 games). I like him best in right, but he makes all that plays he can get to in center, so I can live him there too.

Teoscar Hernandez: Started all 13 games. Hit .365/.400/.596 with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 11 RBI, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts, and 2 steals.

He started 8 games in right, 3 in left, and 2 at DH. Our outfield has been pretty impressive. When George Springer comes back, it will be interesting to see how everyone gets at-bats. It looks like poor Rowdy will geet the short end of the playing time stick. His trade has to be on the list of great transactions in Blue Jays history. When you get a guy who has hit 80 home runs for Francisco Liriano, it is a good trade.

Rowdy Tellez: Played in 10 games, starting 4. Hit .353/.500/.647 with 1 triple, 1 home run, 4 walks, and 3 strikeouts.

Started 3 games at first, 1 at DH. If they ever pinch-hit Santiago Espinal for him again, I will revolt. I’d like him playing every day until Springer is ready to return.

Joe Panik: Played in 5 games, starting 4. Hit .545/.583/.818 with 1 home run, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout.

Started 1 game at second, the others at third. Back from the IL, he had a great time in Cleveland. I said I would have played him in game two of the double-header yesterday. I know it is just a hot/lucky stretch, but I’d be happy to ride it as long as it lasts.

Cold

Bo Bichette: Started all 13 games. Hit .226/.293/.415, with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 7 RBI, 5 walks, and 13 strikeouts.

DHed twice, played SS 11 games. He’s been chasing a lot lately. We all have the odd slump. On defense, he’s seemed to have righted the ship. He had 1 error in the last two weeks. We make quick judgments as fans. A guy has a couple of bad games. He shouldn’t be playing short anymore. Thankfully team management has to take the longer view. But I’m ready for him to get hitting again.

Jonathan Davis: Played in 12 games, starting 8. Hit .160/.600/.160 with 4 walks, 7 strikeouts, and 1 steal.

That throw last night, he has to be smarter than that. He is playing because of his defense, and he can be making mistakes like that. If he makes the right throw, the runner doesn’t advance to third and doesn’t score the tying run on the double-play ball, and we are saved watching the rest of that mess (space-time continuum issues aside). Trying to throw out the runner at the plate, when there was no change, and when that run didn’t matter, well, he’s got to know better.

Santiago Espinal: Played in 12 games, starting 8. Hit .167/.211/.222 with 2 doubles, 2 walks, and 10 strikeouts.

Started all 8 games at third. He was hitting .350 on May 1st (very limited at-bats), and half my Twitter feed figured he was Pete Rose without the gambling issue. Since then, he’s hit .174 (again, in pretty limited at-bats). He likely isn’t this bad with the bat. But he shouldn’t pinch hit for anyone. In case you are interested, he is 0 for 6 as a pinch-hitter. Defensively, he’s made 4 errors at third base in the last two weeks. FanGraphs shows 3 fielding errors and 1 throwing. Last night’s blunder, well, I don’t have to tell you, but it was huge. When you aren't hitting, you better make all the plays. He’s a better player than he’s shown, but he will have to show it soon. Utility infielders are a dime a dozen.

Reese McGuire: Played in 7 games, starting 4. Hit .188/.235/.250 with 1 double, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout.

5 games playing catcher, 2 pinch-hit appearances. Only 18 PA, so a tiny sample. Lucky for him, Kirk won’t be back for a while, so he’ll have time to put up some better numbers before being DFAed again. There have been 3 stolen bases against him in the 5 games he played as catcher.

In Between

Danny Jansen: Played in 10 games, starting 8. Hit .217/.379/.304 with 2 doubles, 6 walks, and 7 strikeouts.

I’d take .379 OBP anytime from a guy at the bottom of the lineup. I’d put him in the ‘hot’ group, but a .684 OPS isn’t great. But he is doing well, having long at-bats, and has been working walks. On a team that hasn’t been great at doing that, it is nice to see. After only allowing one wild pitch in the first month and a half of the season, he was out there for 5 in the past two weeks. And there have been a lot of steals against him, 5 in one game and 7 in the other games, with just 1 caught. That is after not allowing a stolen base for 21 games. It makes it a little harder to put him in the hot pile. I’d like him to control the running game than hit, but some of both would be nice. I wonder why teams started stealing on him. Likely they saw the 5 steal game, and thought ‘we could do that.’

IL

Cavan Biggio: Played in 4 games, in this period, before going on the IL. He last played May 21, so his 10 days will be up tomorrow. I haven’t heard if they expect him to be back soon or not.

Alejandro Kirk: On the 60-day IL, so can’t return until early July at very best.

George Springer: There is still no date for his return or even a suggestion on when he could start a rehab assignment.