Over the past 13 games the Jays are 8-5.
It isn’t the bats that are carrying them. They hit .237/.316/.379. But they averaged 4.3 runs per game, not all that far off the 4.7 they have averaged on the season.
George Springer: Played in 11 games, starting 10. Hit .341/.408/.500 with 1 home run, 1 triple, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts, and 1 steal.
Started 4 games in CF, 6 at DH. He seems to have two settings: Hurt or Great. We have been saying the same thing for a while: he will have to move out of center. Also, he needs to start picking his spots to make amazing plays and throwing his body around. And pick his spots to lay up and protect himself. He is more important to the team than one great catch in a blowout.
Alejandro Kirk: Played in 12 games, starting 11. Hit .286/.380/405 with 1 home run, 7 walks and 8 strikeouts.
He started 7 games at catcher, 4 at DH. Kind of a hot lite. Maybe warm, but I need someone in this group. It seems like his bat is coming along. Baseball is played by people who have ups and downs. Unfortunately for them, we have stats that show it. But then the rest of us have ups and downs too. If he could go back to being the same guy he was before the All-Star break, it would help a lot. Base stealers are 1 and 1 against him the past two weeks. He had the bad moment yesterday. On the whole his defense has been fine, but that one hurt.
Danny Jansen: Started 6 games. Hit .286/.385/.619 with 2 home runs, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts.
In those 6 games he played at catcher, opponents stole 7 bases, and caught 2 times. There weren’t near as many steals attempted when Kirk was behind the plate. Likely just random chance. He is buying himself some playing time. He was losing out when Springer was filling the DH spot, but after this past week, he’ll be playing more.
Matt Chapman: Started all 13 games. Hit .255/.364/.447 with 1 home runs, 7 walks and 13 strikeouts.
Played all 13 games at third. His glove is terrific. His bat is inconsistent. In July, he had a 1.095 OPS, August .685. I’m hoping September will see another switch. If could hit like July again, I’d feel far more confident about making the playoffs. But he does seem to be warming up at the moment. Buck will alternatively tell us the team needs leaders, and then Chapman is a great leader. I wish he’d pick a side.
Santiago Espinal: Played in 9 games, starting 7. Hit .125/.250/.167, 4 walk and 1 strikeouts.
I hopeds he was starting to hit again, but he’s had 3 hits in the past 3 weeks. And even with his glove, that’s not good enough. He’s lost playing time with Whit Merrifield arrival. I tend to think Espinal is a much better player, but he has to show it.
Bo Bichette: Started all 13 games. Hit .255/.333/.333 with 3 home runs, 5 walks and 13 strikeouts.
Played all 13 games at short. I thought he was turning things around with the bat (and he was, the first half of August, he had a .818 OPS). But that stopped. He does seem to get his errors in bunches. He’ll go a month with no errors or one error, and then he’ll have 5 in 10 games. Shortstops do make errors. When you have to throw on the run, mistakes will happen. And his fielding average (.964) isn’t much worse than the league average (.971). But when you are in the middle of one of his bad stretches, and you know that he doesn’t have the range that your average SS has, you do want to see him moved. I really would like the team to tell him, going into spring training, that he is now a second baseman. Learn the position, you could be great there. And it might help his offense.
Lourdes Gurriel: Started 11 games. Hit .160/.208/240 with no home runs, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts.
Played left in all 11 games, with a couple of innings at first to finish a game. Another who seemed to have turned things around, but another who has stopped hitting. The problem with moving guys around the batting order by whether they are hot or not is that hot streak end suddenly.
Raimel Tapia: Played in 7 games, starting 4. Hit .105/.150/.105 with 0 home runs, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.
He played all three outfield spot. His playing time has dropped with the arrival of Jackie Bradley. Of course, if he wants to play more, he’s gotta get hitting again.
Whit Merrifield: Played in 10 games, starting 7. Hit ..143/.280/.286 with 1 home run, 4 walk, and 3 strikeouts.
We have a half dozen guys playing the fourth outfielder, second base spots and it seems none of them are hitting. Whit had 9 at-bats last week, without reaching base. He hasn’t impressed me.
Jackie Bradley, Jr.: Played in 11 games, starting 6. Hit .143/.250/.238 with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts.
I don’t know if he has been an improvement on Bradley Zimmer, but he’s getting more at-bats.
Vladimir Guerrero: Started all 13 games. Hit .298/.333/.491 with 2 home runs, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts.
Played 11 games at first, 2 at DH. Not hot by Vlad standards, but not terrible. His defense has been a worry lately. He has made 3 errors in the last 11 games at first. No one in baseball has more than 9 at first. I like that he is aggressive defensively. I like that he takes charge. He’s as fun to watch as any player the Jays have ever had.
Teoscar Hernandez: Started 12 games. Hit .250/.313/.425 with 2 home runs, 4 walks and 18 strikeouts.
DHed once. Had a rough go around the time he fouled a couple of pitches off his foot. He seems to have recovered, at least enough to make the plays now. It is funny that commentators never have any sympathy for a hurting player. In other sports, we celebrate players who fight through injury. When Teoscar plays at 70%, people complain. He seems to be hitting the ball hard again and has been getting them to fall in some, in the last 5 games he’s hitting .333/.444/.533, but then he was moved down the batting order. Time to move him back up.
Cavan Biggio: Played 8 games, starting 5. Hit .211/.286/.474, with 1 home run, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.
He’s played second and first base. Yesterday’s home run should buy him some playing time. He has a .725 OPS against RHP, .575 against LHP. Another who has lost playing time with the addition of Whit.
Bradley Zimmer: He’s back, or apparently he will be back.