Blue Jays Weekly – Keeping Optimistic

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Here at Jays Journal, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the performances of Jays players to monitor who impressed and disappointed each and every week.  Although the past week has been disappointing for Jays fans, optimism remains and there is still plenty of baseball to play in 2015. This pas week, there were even some impressive performances by Jays players.  Here’s this week’s round up:

Stock Up

Edwin Encarnacion: What’s up with EE finding his groove in the month of May? In 2014, Encarnacion hit an incredible 16 home runs and drove in 33 runs while posting a not-too-shabby .478 wOBA. Now, while the Jays slugger probably won’t match those numbers again in 2015, Encarnacion is having another good month of May. This month, he’s hit .293/.406/.621 and is leading the club in May with 5 home runs and 15 RBI’s. At the end of April, some fans were concerned with Edwin’s below-average month at that the plate, but he’s known to be a slow starter (Edwin has missed significant time in Spring Training the past two years and that may be a factor). Thankfully, EE looks to be getting back into his groove this month. Here’s hoping that the Jays All Star can keep things rolling and continue to build upon what’s been a strong May.

Chris Colabello: The great story that is Chris Colabello continues to win Jays fans over as May rolls on. The Independent League journeyman is making the most of his time with the Jays and hasn’t finished working over Major League pitchers just yet. In May, Colabello has posted a .396 batting average and leads the Jays with a .435 wOBA this month. What might be most impressive is that Colabello is 5-7 with runners in scoring position in May and has been a great addition to a lineup that has struggled at times to score runners on base, especially on the past road trip. While it’s still up in the air where Colabello will hit when Jose Bautista and Jose Reyes return, for now he continues to be a surprising addition to the Jays offence.

Josh Donaldson: The Jays’ free-agent acquisition has again showed us that he’s the Jays’ best hitter in 2015 and has continued to stay hot in May. Although hitting a very respectable .313, what’s been most impressive is Donaldson’s flexibility in the batting lineup. With the Jays experiencing a variety of injuries to everyday players, Donaldson has been forced to hit in some unfamiliar spots in the order. While he may be best suited to hit 5th behind Edwin Encarnacion, with injuries to both Jose Reyes and Devon Travis, John Gibbons has had no choice but to stick Donaldson in the leadoff spot. Hitting first, the former Oakland Athletic slugger has hit .625/.700/1.125. Sure…small sample size, but those are great numbers.

Stock Down

Aaron Loup: Loup’s last two outings have been ugly. In those two appearances, Loup has given up 6 hits, 4 earned runs while recording two total outs to boost his ERA to 6.28 for the year. Although the southpaw was projected to be one of the more reliable arms in the Jays’ bullpen, Loup has not been impressive of late. Whether or not he is being put into the right situations by John Gibbons is another question, but Loup doesn’t seem to have the same control of his sweeping breaking ball that has been such a weapon in years past. Though Loup has struggled in the early season, because of his unconventional delivery and performance in previous years for the Jays, I expect him to rebound as the season continues on.

R.A. Dickey: Like Loup, R.A. Dickey’s, last two appearances haven’t been inspiring. Dickey has given up 13 earned runs on 17 hits and 4 home runs to inflate his ERA to 5.76 for the year. Simply put, the knuckleballer is being hit hard and hasn’t found the pitch that can be so inconsistent and frustrating for Jays fans. Inconsistency has plagued Dickey since arriving in Toronto and with the club relying so heavily on young arms to carry the rotation, it’s disheartening to see the veteran innings-eater being lit up in the early parts of 2015.

Next: Blue Jays recall Scott Copeland

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