Over the past 13 games, the Blue Jays are 9-4. The batters haven’t been great, hitting just .237/.283/.390, averaging 3.85 runs a game.
I figured the hitting would carry the pitching this year, but it has been the other way around.
George Springer: Played in 12 games, starting 11. Hit .310/.388/.619 with 1 double, 4 home runs, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts and 1 steal.
He started 6 games in center, 3 games at DH, and 3 in right. He’s been great, making Pillar-like catches in the outfield. The team seems to have a complicated plan to keep him playing. He’s getting some games in right to take some of the pressure off his legs. There is far less running in right. He is a lot of fun to watch. He’s happy and smiling and cheering on his teammates. I guess it is easy to be happy when you are hitting like he is.
Santiago Espinal: Played in all 13 games, starting 11. Hit .268/.311/.488, with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts, and a steal.
It is a tough call if this is Hot or Inbetween. He looks great with the glove too. His 11 RBI is fourth on the team, which is a surprise.
Lourdes Gurriel: Played in all 13, starting 12. Hit .277/.314/.468, with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts and 1 steal.
He had 9 starts in left, and 3 at DH. Yeah, not really hot but someone has to fill out this column. In this past week, he’s hit .304/.360/.522. This has been a much better start to the season than he’s had in the past. Always a good thing. Now if he heats up as the season goes on, life will be really good. He has looked much better going back on the ball than he has in the past.
Alejandro Kirk: Played 11 games, hit .267/.333/.267, with 1 walk and 3 strikeouts.
He started 8 games at catcher and pinch-hit 3 times. He isn’t hitting the way we hoped/thought, but he’s doing a better job behind the play than expected. They have been alibiing his offensive troubles by saying that he’s doing a lot more catching than planned, and he’s had to spend more time on dealing with pitchers and strategizing than they planned (sort of the same excuse we got for Danny Jansen’s offensive struggles when he came up). He hasn’t caught a base stealer yet (7 steals against), but the framing seems good. He hasn’t allowed a passed ball and had just one wild pitch against. He’s had more infield hits in the first month than I expected all season. He’s going to have to start making hard contact soon.
Vladimir Guerrero: Played 12 games, hit .262/.353/.357, with 1 home run, 7 walks and 8 strikeouts.
After a hot start, he’s had a rough go. He’s still getting on base. And his glove has looked very good. Fouling that ball off his foot can’t have helped. But, if this is his worst two weeks of the season, we can live with it. He always gets more crap than he deserves for a minor slump, but he’ll be hitting great soon.
Bo Bichette: Started all 13 games. Hitting .208/.250/.321 with 2 home runs, 3 walks, 16 strikeouts and 3 steals.
I always say ‘start the season on a hot streak’. Bo isn’t listening. When you swing like Bo, timing will always be the issue. It will come. If you want to know the good part, he is making good contact when he, you know, does make contact. His soft contact rate is only 8.5%. But then he is striking out 26.7% of the time (I would have guessed higher). His BABIP is .265, which seems low, considering he is hitting the ball hard. He’ll get there. On the glove side, he has 5 errors in 23 games, which would have him somewhere around 35 on the season. I’ve never been a fan of his glove, but he’s better than he’s shown.
Matt Chapman: Started all 13 games. Hit .216/.259/.392, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 3 walks and 15 strikeouts.
He’s hitting much the same as he did last year. But then he has a 41.1% hard contact rate, up 11% from last year. I figured Rogers Centre would help his bat, and it likely will. His glove (and arm) has been everything advertised. I’m giving the batters a bit of a mulligan, considering the shortened spring.
Raimel Tapia: Played in all 13, starting 12. Hit .240/.264/.340 with 2 doubles, 1 home run, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts and 3 stolen bases.
Started 7 games in right, 3 in left and 1 in center. I’d like to see him take some walks. If he got on base a reasonable amount of the time, he’d be pretty useful. But if he gets on base just 25% of the time, that’s not going to cut it. I think he is fine as a fourth outfielder. When Teoscar Hernandez comes back, it will be interesting to see if it is Tapia or Zimmer that goes away or if they cut back to two catchers.
Zack Collins: Started 7 games. Hit .185/.241/.407 with 2 home runs, 1 walk and 14 strikeouts.
He started 4 games at DH and 3 at catcher. The poster boy for ‘always start hot’ for this season. After 6 games, he had a 400/.429/.800 line, which bought him a lot of playing time. Since then he’s hit .130/.200/.261. In his last 7 games, he’s hit fourth 4 times and fifth 3 times. All baseball fans (and managers) should have to type ‘never trust fast starts’.
Bradley Zimmer: Played in 10 games, starting 7. Hit .091/.167/.227 with 1 home run, 1 walk and 10 strikeouts.
Started 9 of those games in center, 1 in right. His defense is something else. I really enjoy watching in play in the field. Not enjoying watching him at the plate. It is only 32 PA, so I’m willing to give him time, but he might not have much time left. The team will have to make a decision when Teoscar comes back. 2 hits in 30 at bats might make the decision easy.
Gosuke Katoh: Played in 6 games, starting 4. Hit .143/.400/.286, 1 double, 3 walks and 1 strikeouts.
He’s back in Buffalo. He was fun to have around. Seemed like his teammates liked him.
Tyler Heineman: Played in 3 games, starting 2. Hit .500/.500/.667 with 1 double, and 1 strikeout.
Vinny Capra: 1 games, 2 at bats, 1 strikeout.
On the IL
Cavan Biggio: Went on the Covid IL back on April 25th so he should be able to come back soon, but then he was hitting .043/.214/.043 in 28 PA. So I don’t know if they will bring him back to the major league team. He has options.
Teoscar Hernandez: Oblique injury. They are saying he will be back soon, maybe by the weekend. I know they will want to send him to Buffalo, but I don’t really see the point. If they are sure he’s ready to play, skip that. He was hitting .316/.435/.526 before the injury.
Danny Jansen: Oblique injury. He should be back in mid-May.