We Toronto Blue Jays fans tend to be a fickle group, hit a homerun one day you’re a hero, commit an error or strike out in a key situation and you’re forever shamed and should be DFA’d immediately. In order to satiate the love or hate desires of the Toronto Blue Jays faithful, I will be taking a look at what players have provided the greatest contribution to the Jays’ chance of winning over the past week, and whom was the greatest detriment and therefore worthy of the vitriol that tends to spill out after every loss.
How I create this list on a weekly basis is quite simple, I will head over to the always helpful FanGraphs where I will aggregate the WPA of all Blue Jays players for the week that was. The player whom has provided the greatest WPA for the week will become this week’s GBOAT, while the player with the lowest WPA will be bestowed with the Omar Vizquel Honour for Ineptitude.
For a rundown of what WPA is and how it is calculated, head over to FanGraphs for an easy to understand explanation.
What went down:
The Blue Jays compiled a 3-4 record over the past week; splitting a 4 game-set with the Chicago White Sox, and managing just a single victory in a 3 game weekend series with the ever loathed New York Yankees.
Batter: Adam Lind
The man who has faced the ire of the Blue Jays faithful over the past few seasons had a very solid week at the plate for the team, taking baby steps towards quieting his critics by posting a WPA of 0.256 over 3 starts. In 9 PA Lind managed 4 hits, including 1 double, adding an impressive 5 walks for the week. Mr. Lind can hold his head high knowing he is no longer the target of fans ridicule, at least until his next GIDP.
Pitcher: Casey Janssen
Casey Janssen did everything you could hope for from a high leverage reliever, posting a 0.389 WPA for the week. Appearing in 3 games, including 2 save situations, Mr. Janssen faced 9 total batters allowing no one to reach base and striking out 3. As long as Janssen can continue to paint the outside corner and rack up strike out numbers that seem to defy his somewhat average ‘stuff’ the Blue Jays can feel comfortable heading into the 9th inning with a lead.
The Omar Vizquel Honour for Ineptitude:
Batter: Maicer Izturis
Maicer Izturis continued his early season struggles this week posting a WPA of -0.436. Looking lost at the plate just like the namesake of the honour I am bestowing upon him, he posted a .136 batting average (3-22) with no walks and 4 strikeouts, Izturis’ ugly week was mitigated slightly by the home run he hit on Monday off of White Sox starter Gavin Floyd. With new fan favourite Munenori Kawasaki continuing to string together solid plate appearances, those enamoured with small sample sizes have already begun to call for Izturis’ job.
Pitcher: Aaron Loup
An ill-advised throw to a vacant third base on a Ichiro bunt attempt was enough to give Loup the title of the Jays least valuable pitcher for the week. In 3 appearances Loup posted a WPA of -0.321 in 2.1 IP. Loup faced 13 batters, giving up 4 hits and striking out 1. While not credited with giving up any earned runs Saturday against the Yankees, Jays fans would agree that he definitely earned the loss after his errant throw that ended up in RF plated two Yankee runs and sealed the extra innings victory for the Bronx Bombers.
Ending the week with a solid victory over the Yankees helps alleviate some of the bubbling frustration of the vocal minority of Blue Jays fans already hitting the panic button and making for some fantastic listening with Mike Wilner on the Fan 590. Adam Lind and the Blue Jays head to Baltimore looking to build upon Sunday’s victory in a 3 game set with the Orioles before reacquainting with the Yankees over 4 days in the Bronx.