I’ve never really been the type of person that takes April baseball too seriously. Sure the calendar claims that Spring is here but the Toronto Blue Jays bats have remained in hibernation. Early press coverage has been less than favourable (Canadian spelling represent!) but I refuse to any longer even use the “P” word.
Fans may recall the Ricky Romero commercial earlier this season reminding us that baseball is a game of inches. Based on Romero’s need to retool his delivery as these “inches” soon turned into “feet” maybe this isn’t the best example but the Blue Jays have proven his point early this Major League Baseball season.
Travis Bateman had a great insight during yesterday’s Game Thread about the Blue Jays bad luck, comparing Edwin Encarnacion’s baffling BABIP to line-drive ratio that defies statistical logic. His research backs up what we as fans presumed was bad luck for the Jays with this data. However based on all of these pull hits I had to take a look at Edwin’s Spray Chart. I can’t share the picture but I would recommend taking a quick look at Fox Sports.
To summarize my findings, Edwin doesn’t have any kind of hit to right field at Rogers Centre this season to date. Based on this I think the Jays are lucky opponents haven’t tried to pull some sort of crazy right-handed shift when he is up to bat. At the moment he’s not missing his pitches but this type of spray chart is typical of a .206 BABIP guy. Here’s the comparison of his career BABIP from Fan Graphs:
To quote one the best post-game press conference meltdowns of all time, as former Arizona Cardinals’ coach Danny Green would say “They [the Jays] are what we thought they are!” That being said didn’t everyone think this team would be a World Series favourite? Nothing is different now – just our daily changing expectations.
I laugh at the headlines I read today calling this a “must-win” game for the Blue Jays. I’m not even going to talk about the result because to me it doesn’t matter. For now all we can do as fans is watch these games on a pitch-by-pitch basis. And today the Jays looked okay.
R.A. Dickey allowed only 4 hits and after concerns with his achy back he sure looked to be in fine form today. The Yankees have drastically overachieved early, which has led to rumblings in New York that the Yanks are not opposed to adding salary. Maybe Derek Jeter might be done after all, but word is the Yanks may possibly go over the $189 million or so they sit at now. Not sure what the long-term plan is but I can’t see this shortsightedness doing anything but further confuse the direction of the storied Yankees franchise.
And just so you know, I called the Blue Jays going 9-18 on my own blog April 13, 2013 and STILL think they will win the AL East and World Series. It’s better to go into the final exam battle-tested and that’s exactly what this season is doing for our Toronto Blue Jays.
— Michael Wray (@Wrayzerblade) April 7, 2013