What a difference turning the page on the calendar makes.
Over the past two weeks, the Jays are 10-3. The batters hit .269/.343/.493 and averaged 5.5 runs per game, a nice jump over the 4.0 runs per game from the two weeks before.
Vladimir Guerrero: Started all 13 games. Hit .407/.448/.648 with 4 home runs, 4 walks, and 5 strikeouts.
2 starts at DH. An example of how good it is to turn the page on the calendar. One of the rules of baseball is all players slump. There was a lot of overreacting to his slump, but if you can find a player who never slumps, you’ll be the first. Two RBI short of 100, over 105 runs scored. Before the season, I had the over/under on home runs at 25, most picked the over, but I doubt anyone would have picked the over if I said 40. Defensively, I think he is good. I don’t think Gold Glover, but plenty good enough. I do like that he takes charge of popups.
Marcus Semien: Started all 13 games. Hit .288/.373/.788 with 8 home runs, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts, and 1 steal.
In the last one of these, Marcus hit .188. The fun part of watching baseball is people are playing it. You never know how the next week is going to go. But I’m happy that he’s doing great down the stretch.
Alejandro Kirk: Played in 10 games, starting 9. Hit .324/.410/.706 with 4 home runs, 4 walks, and 2 strikeouts.
He’s been great. He has such a great swing. And, so far, he doesn’t strike out much (11.3% this season). He is one of the few guys I’d consider for the ‘hit’ part of hit and run. It was driving me crazy that we would pinch-hit for him earlier in the season, but that won’t happen anymore. He hasn’t shown a great arm. 17 stolen bases again, 3 caught. I’d imagine those numbers will improve.
Lourdes Gurriel: Played in 12 games, starting 11. Hit .308/.393/.564, with 2 home runs, 1 triple, 14 RBI, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts, and 1 caught stealing.
He’s been hot for long enough now that even Buck and Pat are noticing. His strikeout rate is down, 18.4% from 21.4 last year. He seemed to be getting the short end of the outfield rotation until lately. He does always seem to start slow. I thought it was a warm-weather thing, but the Jays started the season in Dunedin. It is pretty warm there in April. Whatever it is, I hope the team takes note and plays him every day next year, even if he starts slow. Trust he’ll get there.
Bo Bichette: Started all 13. Hit .321/.368/.453, with 1 home run, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts, 2 steals, and one caught.
Hitting right about his season numbers, not truly hot, though I can’t complain about a .321 BA. He seems to be going hot or cold on a day-to-day thing. One day he gets 4 hits, the next day, 0 for 5. But he is getting on base. Had two errors in that time. Vlad saved him from one yesterday. By his standards, he’s not having a great season, but finishing strong would save that. He’s still just 23, has another few years before he hits his prime. I would like him to stop ‘fighting off pitches’ when they are inches off the plate. I get that Buck and Pat love it, but swinging at pitches that have no chance of being strikes isn’t a good plan.
Corey Dickerson: Played in 11 games, 8 starts. Hit .333/.355/.433 with 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, and 1 steal.
Kind of marginally hot, but still getting on base 35.5% of the time is pretty good. He’s made 3 starts in center. He has looked ok out there. We haven’t seen him having a tough play yet. I think he is fine as a fourth outfielder type, but I think he’s going to get too much playing time for my liking.
Danny Jansen: Played in 4 games, starting 3. Hit .444/.500/1.333 with 2 home runs, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout.
Just 10 PA, so there's not enough playing time to really call him hot, but when you get 2 home runs in 10 PA, that’s hot. Good to see him back. If he can hit a few more home runs, he’ll make next year’s decisions more interesting.
Breyvic Valera: Played in 8 games, starting 3. Hit .250/.333/.500 with 1 home run, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts.
Not much playing time, but he’s done well with the time he’s had.
Randal Grichuk: Played in 12 games, started 7. Hit .129/.200/.161 with 3 walks and 9 strikeouts.
He seems much the opposite from Gurriel, starts great and slows. This year the ‘slows’ part started earlier than normal. And, normally, he had a hot stretch later in the season too. I don’t know. I’d imagine that confidence has a role to play in it all. It will be an interesting off-season. If Springer ever gets healthy, we are up to our armpits in outfielders.
Teoscar Hernandez: Played in all 13 games, starting 12. Hit .184/.273/.388 with 3 home runs, 4 walks, 18 strikeouts, and 1 steal.
He played a little CF in the last two weeks, but the team seems to have decided that Dickerson is the better choice in center. Teoscar hasn’t had more than one hit in a game since August 18th (right at the end of his Player of the Week). And he’s striking out a lot more than usual lately. Hopefully, there is a hot steak in his near future.
Reese McGuire: Played in 5 games, starting 4. Hit .214/.200/.214 with 0 walks and 5 strikeouts.
His playing time has dropped since Jansen returned. He’s been hot and cold as a hitter. Overall the .263/.320/.360 line is ok as a backup catcher, but he’s played more than I’d like from a backup. It is good to be a lefty batter in a platoon. He has hit RHP ok .288/.348/.390 and, of course, lefties not at all .175/.241/.250.
George Springer: Started 7 games. Hit .192/.300/.269 with 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, and 1 steal.
It would be tough to hit with sore knees. He had a couple of doubles in the one game, and he looked healthy, but then he hasn’t looked healthy since. He’ll likely be day-to-day for the rest of the season.
Kevin Smith: Played in 12 games, starting 8. Hit .100/.250/.250 with 1 home run, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts.
Yeah, he hasn’t had a good time with the bat. I still would like to get him playing time. 34 PA isn’t much of a sample. But likely to be sent down if Cavan or Santiago come back from the IL. Shown an excellent glove.
Jarrod Dyson: Played in 8 games. Hit .200/.333/.200 with 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 2 steals, and 2 caught in 6 PA.
It looks like he’s going to be a defensive replacement and perhaps pinch-runner/Manfred Man.
Jake Lamb: Played in 3 games. Hit .000/.400/.000 in 5 PA.
I’m ok with a left-handed bat with power on the bench.
Josh Palacios: Played in 2 games, 3 hitless PA.
Back in Buffalo.
On the IL
Santiago Espinal: Had 1 hit and 1 walk in the 10 PA he had before going on the IL. ‘Might’ be back before the end of the season. I have my doubts but hip flexor things are all different.
Cavan Biggio: They say he might be back before the end of the season. Apparently, hurt his elbow diving for a ball in Buffalo.