Blue Jays Player of the Week: Russell Martin


All season long the Blue Jays have had a large positive run differential. Even before this winning streak, Pythagorean win/loss% estimated that the Blue Jays should be several games above .500 and leading the division. Now the first part of that prediction has become a reality. The second part is on the horizon. Finally the close games are going the Jays way. Finally the offence, pitching and defence are working in concert from game to game. From the beginning of the year the expectation has been that if the pitchers could perform even just decently, the Jays would be nigh unstoppable with their behemoth offence. That’s exactly what’s happened this past week and throughout this winning streak. The pitching has been decent and the offence relentless. The Jays have put together 53 runs in the past 7 days. They now lead the league in almost every offensive category. Perhaps the most telling is their runs per game: 5.56. That is nearly a full run better than the next best team.

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The roster was chock full of deserving candidates for player of week honours. This week though, the PoW had to be exceptional. Danny Valencia, Russell Martin, Justin Smoak, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, Ryan Goins and Jose Reyes all hit above .900 OPS. All Jays batters except Jose Bautista, Chris Colabello, Ezequiel Carrera and Dioner Navarro had batting averages greater than .300.

To sum up the pitching end of things briefly, the bullpen was mostly great and the starters sub-par. The only hurler to put up enough value to be in the conversation for player of the week was, oddly, a temporary fill-in. Scott Copeland tossed a sparkling 7 innings with 1 earned run, 6 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts spot starting for Aaron Sanchez. Aaron Loup was the highlight of the bullpen throwing 3.2 innings, no runs against, no hits/walks and 4 strikeouts.

In spite of the glut of great performances from the Blue Jays’ position players, Russell Martin rose above his teammates with a huge week. He slashed .429/.500/.857. He had 9 hits in 21 ABs with a double, a triple, 2 home runs, 8 RBIs and 3 walks. Danny Valencia put together a better slash line but only had 10 ABs and doesn’t provide the defensive value that Martin does. He lead all Blue Jays with a 0.7 WAR, 0.68 WPA and a 7.69 RE24. He had the game winning home run in the 11th against Boston saturday. This is second PoW this year.

It’s difficult to select a player for a Razzie in a week where the team went undefeated but Drew Hutchison’s miserable 2.1 IP start made winning that game very difficult for the team. They did manage to storm back from a 8-1 deficit but putting the Jays in that situation earns Hutchison Razzie dishonour.

Next: MiLB Recap