Apr 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielderKevin Pillar
(11) hits an RBI single during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Blue Jays (12-14, .462)
Overall Record & Last 10 games:
Playing .500 at home and earning seven wins out of sixteen opportunities in away games, no wonder Blue Jays fans have to scratch their heads. On paper, their lineup is one of the most potent in Major League Baseball, and they have proved it on the field. However, their young prospects on the mound combined with two aging veterans have really made a mess of things for a team that wanted to be contending for the playoffs, this fall.
Playoffs? You thinkin’ about playoffs? Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Mora and Toronto manager John Gibbons just want them to win a game! Well, maybe not Mora, but definitely Gibbons. The Blue Jays have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games.
- Infielder Maicer Izturis would have been a major blow to the Blue Jays if it were not for the emergence of Devon Travis at second base. Izturis’ right groin strain has gone from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL, but likely will not be remembered by most Blue Jays fans, unless Travis falls of the map in the summer.
- Starting pitcher Marcus Stroman injured his knee in Spring Training, to the devastation of Blue Jays fans. He was expected to be one of the young stars on the rotation, after having a very successful 2014 season. After having surgery to his left ACL, the StroShow will be out of action until 2016.
- Shortstop Jose Reyes has been sidelined as of April 28th with a cracked rib. There is no report on his return, although he was placed on the 15-day DL. The feeling in Toronto is that, instead of a major crisis brewing, they will wait it out by using sure-handed infielder Ryan Goins to play shortstop until Reyes is back in the lineup.
- Catcher Dioner Navarro was a lost soul, having All-Star Russell Martin sign in Toronto and taking over the backstop duties. Then, after being a very useful and potent designated hitter, with the ability to give Martin a break, Navarro tore his left hamstring. An MRI revealed that the tear was slight and was placed on the 15-day DL as of April 22.
- Starting Rotation – Drew Hutchison, R.A. Dickey, Daniel Norris, Mark Buehrle, Aaron Sanchez
- Dead last, closely followed by the Red Sox, with a team 5.13 ERA being the worst in the entire American League, let alone in the East division. The team has given up 33 home runs and 129 total runs to start the season.
- The Blue Jays, as a team, have walked exactly 100 batters, at this point, with only the Cleveland Indians anywhere near them in that category, with only 86 walks. A number of those walks have been across home plate, with the bases loaded, compounding the problem in Toronto.
- With opposing bats hitting .276, second highest only to the Chicago White Sox, the Blue Jays just can’t stop letting runs go by, which makes it harder and harder for the team to be able to come back to win the game. Much of that blame lies on their ace. Hutchison recently blew another big lead by allowing 6 runs on 8 hits in 4.1 innings. The only reason why he didn’t record the loss was that the Blue Jays tied the game, only for the club to lose later in the outing.
- Offensively, the team is not hurting too bad at all. In fact, no team in the American League has scored more RBIs (138) or total runs (144) so far this season. The Blue Jays are only second to the Houston Astros in terms of home runs, 40 to 32.
- However, when you are only hitting .253 as a team, you tend to not play as aggressively on the base paths as you are capable. The Blue Jays only stole 14 bases in 16 attempts. The Blue Jays are living and dying by the long ball again, hoping to bash runs into home, instead of manufacturing runs. So far, it’s working, at least if the pitching would hold on a bit better.
Keep Your Eyes On:
- Kevin Pillar – Last season, some Blue Jays fans wanted Pillar to take his young, limp bat and go back to Buffalo. This season, the herd of Toronto fans cheer insanely for Pillar’s bat and glove. In his last 10 games, Pillar hit .282, with 6 RBIs and some highlight-reel catches in center field. When Jose Bautista came back from injury, instead of staying in left field, Pillar was moved to center, with Bautista returning in the designated hitter role. So far, it has benefited Pillar, immensely in terms of his exposure to fans and the game. Look for Pillar to stay consistent after April, putting up good numbers in May to add to the rest of the veterans’ production.
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