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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 Boston Red Sox Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

About halfway through June. The weather is hot (it is very hot here, one of the few Calgary nights of the year where the heat and sweat kept me up, so I’m moving very slow today).

Our Jays have gone 6-5 in their last 11 games. Considering the opposition we’ve had, that’s not all that bad.

The offense has been pretty good, hitting .289/.344/.514 averaging 5.5 runs per game (though removing yesterday’s game the runs per game is down to 4.2). I’m sure yesterday’s game moved a few guys into the Hot section too.

Hot

Vladimir Guerrero: Started all 11 games, hit .447/.543/.947 with 5 home runs, 8 walks, 9 strikeouts, a triple, 13 RBI, and a stolen base.

He had 3 days at DH, likely a good ratio of first base to DH game. In the 11 games, he had 3 with no hits, 4 with one hit, 3 with three hits, and 1 with 4 hits. Just one game where he was kept off base. I had three none baseball-type friends email me yesterday to say how much they have been enjoying watch Vlad play. I think he is helping Sportsnet’s TV ratings in Canada. It is much better than hearing how overrated he is, like I did the last two years.

Bo Bichette: Started all 11 games, hit .362/.400/.574 with 2 home runs, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts, and 1 steal.

DHed in one of those games. He had hits in 10 of the 11 games. In his last 6 games, he hit .444 with a .741 slugging average. We’ve been waiting for him to get hot. His swing looks so violent, I’m always worried he will hurt himself. Because Buck and Pat and Dan keep talking about it, I went to look at his numbers after two strikes. They aren’t good .191/.224/.255. They talk about his ‘two-strike approach’, but he does still strike out a bunch.

Lourdes Gurriel: Started 10 games, hitting .351/.390/.568 with 2 home runs, 3 walks, and 12 strikeouts.

He DHed in one game and finished one game at first base. His first two games and last two games of this section are bookends, he had 3 hits and a home run in the first game, 2 hits in the second. In the last game, he had 3 hits and a home run, and the second last he had 2 hits. In between wasn’t so good. On May 12 he was hitting .193, today he is hitting .266.

Joe Panik: Played in 10 games, starting 8, hitting .281/.294/.438, 1 home run, 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts.

Start two games at second, the other six at third. Sort of a ‘hot streak for him’ listing, but I think we’d be happy with that batting line from him on the season. He could walk occasionally.

Cold

Randal Grichuk: Started all 11 games, hit .200/.217/.467 with 4 home runs, 1 walk, and 16 strikeouts.

Started 2 of the games at DH, 1 in right field, 8 in center. If you are only going to have nine hits over two weeks, you might as well have four to them be home runs. 16 strikeouts in 45 at-bats isn’t exactly performance. Don’t read too much in a hot stretch, or a cold stretch. I want to buy that he has had a change in how he does things, but he has a .795 OPS this year, .793 last year, .738 in 2019, and .803 in 2018. His walk rate is down this year, 3.9% from 5.6 last year. I guess it is early, we’ll see if that changes.

Teoscar Hernandez: Started 11 games, hit .222/.271/.378 with 2 home runs, 3 walks, 18 strikeouts, and 1 caught stealing.

Started 2 games in left, the rest in right. 3 hits and 2 home runs yesterday (along with 6 RBI). He is kind of a hot and cold hitter. Hoping that yesterday’s game is the start of a hot stretch. He has looked better in the outfield, to me. FanGraphs likes him better too 3.4 UZR this year, -9.2 last year.

Reese McGuire: Played in 7 games, starting 6, hit .190/.261/.381 with 1 home run, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts.

I think he’s been swinging the bat better than the numbers suggest. After not allowing a passed ball in May, he’s had 2 in these two weeks, along with 3 wild pitches. In the 7 games there have been 5 stolen bases with 1 caught.

Jonathan Davis: Played in 9 games, starting 3, hit .100/.286/.100, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, and 1 steal.

I like the idea of him as a defensive replacement.

Riley Adams: Played in 5 games, starting 3, hit.071/.133/.143 with 1 walk and 8 strikeouts.

I think he is swinging the bat better than his numbers throw. He hit a ball a long way to center yesterday but it was caught. 404 feet, .460 xBA. He’s had 4 steals against with no caught stealing. No wild pitches, no passed balls.

In Between

Marcus Semien: Started 11 games, hit ..283/.333/.435 with 2 home runs, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts, 1 caught stealing.

Not exactly cold, but not having the month he had in May. Had 1 start at short, the other 10 at second. He hasn’t had a DH day in the past two months. It seems like most of the others are getting the odd DH day. Maybe they figure they only have him for the one season, why not get everything out of him. OOTP Baseball lists him as a leader/captain type, Which really

Rowdy Tellez: Played in 10 games, starting 7, hit .241/.290/.414 with 1 home runs, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts.

Four of the starts were as DH, three at first base. The other day in Boston he had 4 batted balls above 100 MPH, and a .760 xBA on one of the outs, and only got one hit. But he seems to be making better contact.

Also Played

Cavan Biggio: 3 games, hitting .500/.471/1.167 with 2 home runs, 2 walks, and 1 strikeout.

Not enough games to count it as hot but....he was heating up before going on the IL. I’m hopeful.

Santiago Espinal: Played in 6 games, starting 2, hit .429/.500/.429 with 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 1 steal in 8 PA.

I still can’t get over using him as a pinch hitter for Rowdy, but such is life. I’m thinking it is likely he’ll be back at some point, but I’d rather they give Kevin Smith a look if they need a third baseman for an extended period.

IL

Danny Jansen: Out with a hamstring issue. Had 4 at-bats in this two weeks before going on the IL, with 2 hits, including a double. I don’t suppose I have to put up his batting line.

Alejandro Kirk: Won’t be back until July.

George Springer: We are hoping for an announcement today saying he is starting a rehab assignment.