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Who’s Hot, Who’s Cold: Blue Jays Batters

A look at the Jays hitters over the past two weeks.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Over the past two weeks, the Jays are 4-8. Our batters hit .253/.305/.367 and averaged 3.4 runs per game.


Kevin Kiermaier: Started 9 games. Hit .419/.471/.646 with 4 doubles, 1 home run, 3 steals, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts.

Add in terrific defence, he’s been great to watch, even when the rest of the team hasn’t been. That catch at the wall yesterday must have been one of the handful of best catches by an outfielder in team history.

Danny Jansen: Plays in 10 games, started 8. Hit .257/.297/.486 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts.

He was catcher in 7 games, DHed once and pinch-hit twice. And he had a sense of the moment, getting us a couple of big hits. And seemed to work well with Alek Manoah (small sample size warning). On the negative side, teams are running on him. He’s only thrown out 13% of base stealers (last year, he was at 27%). The league average for caught stealing has gone down too (last year 25%, this year 21), but not as much as Jansen’s numbers have dropped. Kind of marginal hot, but hot compared to how he was hitting, and I need someone in the hot category.

George Springer: Played in 11 games, starting 10. Hit .310/,383/.476 with 1 double, 2 home runs, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts and 3 steals.

The reverse of starting hot, is when you start cold, people are very slow to realize when you at no longer cold. I was sure that George overslid second base once and was caught stealing. And he overslid it yesterday but wasn’t caught. Hopefully, this hot streak continues for the next several months.

Brandon Belt: Played in 12 games, starting 11. Hit .303/.439/.485 with 3 doubles, 1 home run, 7 walks and 114 strikeouts.

Started 4 games at first. When the Orioles walked Belt to face Chapman I was surprised, but they were paying attention and I wasn’t. Belt is clubbing the ball lately and Chapman hasn’t been.


Vladimir Guerrero: Played in 11 games, starting 10. He hit .211/.289/.316 with 4 doubles, 4 walks and 13 strikeouts.

Played first base 8 times, DHed twice, and pinch-hit once. I don’t know what is going on. Maybe his knee has lingering soreness, but he seems to be chasing a lot more than normal. Maybe the pressure of the team not scoring is getting to him. I can understand that, it is getting to me too.

Whit Merrifield: Played 12 games, starting 11. Hit .209/.259/.209 with no extra-base hits, 6 steals, 4 walks and 10 strikeouts.

He started 7 games at second base, 3 in left field and 1 in right. A smart hitter will start the season hot, and people won’t notice when the hot streak ends. Hopefully the next hot streak will start tonight.

Matt Chapman: Started all 12 games. Hit .170/.231/.277 with 2 doubles, 1 home run, 3 walks and 17 strikeouts.

Played every game at third base. His terrific April has been allowed by a pretty terrible May (so far). Again, always start the season hot, no one will notice when you go cold. When you start hot, reporters will talk about how you’ve figured things out, without thinking for a moment that maybe it is just a hot start.

Daulton Varsho: Played in 12 games, starting 11. Hit .114/.152/.205 with 1 double, 1 home run, 2 walks, 14 strikeouts, 1 caught stealing.

Started 3 of the games in center, the rest in left. Unfortunately, this two-week period came right after a 7-game hitting streak, where he hit .444/.448/.889. I wonder what causes hot and cold stretches. Everything is great for a bit and then everything is terrible. I guess we all have them but we don’t all have the statistical evidence it happening. Wouldn’t that be a weird life? Your boss comes in one day and says ‘Geeze two weeks ago you are amazing, now you aren’t even close to replacement level’.

Alejandro Kirk: Played 10 games, starting 8. Hit ..172/.200/.241 with 1 double, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.

Started 1 game at DH, and the rest as catcher. Seems to be losing his starting role to Jansen lately. I don’t know what’s going on. He’s hit the ball hard into gloves a bit, but I don’t know what’s going on.

Cavan Biggio: Played 7 games, starting 2. Hit .000/.125/.000 with 1 walk, 3 strikeouts and 1 caught stealing in 8 PA.

He’s lost out on playing time,


Bo Bichette: Started all 12 games. Hit .294/.333/.451 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts and 1 caught stealing.

Started all 12 games at short. Not exactly hot for him, but he’s been one of the few who have been consistent so far this season. After not making an error in a month, he made one at a very bad moment back on May 9. But his defense has looked better than ever before (to me at least). FanGraphs agrees, they have him at a +8.4 UZR/150, much, much better than the -27.6 last year. Whatever he’s doing, he should keep it up.

Santiago Espinal: Played in 7 games, 5 starts. He hit .316/.316/.368 with 1 double, 1 steal, 0 walks and 3 strikeouts.

And now he’s hurt. It’s nice to see him starting to hit.

Also Played

Nathan Lukes: Played in 5 games, starting 1. He had 2 PA, 1 hit, 1 walk. OBP 1.000.

I wonder if he’ll get more playing time.