Blue Jays Player of the Week— Jose Bautista
Not surprisingly, during a week that saw the Blue Jays go 5-1, there were many players who contributed at a high level. On the heels of a five game winning streak, the Jays are still 2 games below .500 but are trending in the right direction and are beginning to live up to their potential. After suffering through many hard luck losses early in the season, the Jays seem to finally be getting some bounces, and wins, go their way.
Perhaps the biggest reason the Jays were able to go 5-1 this past week was the performance of their rotation. Collectively they had a 1.76 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2.89 K/BB and 3.21 FIP. Recently, the starters have shown a massive improvement over the first few weeks of the season.
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Mark Buehrle’s start took the cake putting together a shutout. He managed that with only 2 Ks. He made up for the lack of strikeouts by relying on his infield defence with a sky-high ground ball percentage of 69%.
Aaron Sanchez’s start was nearly as effective. He pitched into the 9th, allowed one earned, had a 60 GB% and most importantly for him, walked nobody. Drew Hutchison’s didn’t go as deep as Buehrle or Sanchez but was very effective in his 6.1 innings of work allowing one earned (Hutchison was actually the highest in terms of WAR and WPA for Jays pitchers this week). Marco Estrada and R.A Dickey weren’t as sharp as their counterparts but were solid and kept the team in the game.
The bullpen was excellent aside from Bo Schultz and Steve Delabar. Roberto Osuna shone once again with 4 Ks in 1.1 IP, Liam Hendriks had 3 Ks in 4 IP, Aaron Loup had 2 Ks in 1 IP, Brett Cecil had 4 in 2 IP and none of the four relievers just mentioned allowed a run.
As good as the pitching generally was this week, the player of the week was a position player (as is usual). Kevin Pillar had a resurgent week at the plate getting 8 hits in 20 ABs, 2 HRs and a double. Jose Reyes went 9 for 26 with a HR, 2 BB and 5 steals. However it was Jose Bautista attaining PoW honours with 4 HRs, 5 BB, going 9 for 23, 2 SBs and a slash line of .391/.500/.913.
Ryan Goins had a terrible week, in spite of his defence, going 1/18 but the Razzie goes to Bo Schultz for giving up 4 critical runs (2 earned). We’re not overly upset with him as the Jays came back to win that one.