Jumping to Conclusions – April Edition
We are a month into the season and have had plenty to talk about, as the Toronto Blue Jays have sputtered out of the gate to start the season. There have been difficulties hitting, in the bullpen, and elsewhere as the Jays have struggled primarily with consistency. We will discuss some of those topics from April in this month’s edition of Jumping to Conclusions.
Lack of offense
Lets get the big topics out of the way. The Blue Jays offensive juggernaut has been slowed down to a snails pace.
For a team that finished in 1st in most offensive categories for the 2015 season, more of the same was expected for this season. Thus far the teams bats have been dead silent. So far Josh Donaldson has been the leader and still looks like the league MVP. Edwin Encarnacion is in a close second and Jose Bautista is up to his usual tricks as well.
This would lead everyone to think business is as usual among the Blue Jays lineup. The three mashers have hit 17 homers and collected 55 RBIs in the early going.
Issues may lie deeper, though, seeing some of the Toronto hitters have yet to hit their stride. Is it the rising number of strikeouts? Could be the lack of base runners. Edwin Encarnacion has only walked seven times this season where Jose Bautista just keeps on strolling as he has already walked 22 times. The shocking rise in strikeouts now sits at 240 total and is the 3rd most in baseball. The biggest reason for the change in the number of strikeouts is Michael Saunders and Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo has 28 thus far and Saunders is already at 20 also.
Opposing pitching staffs have also changed a ton around the league. There are formidable aces in the East to start the season as David Price is now in a Red Sox uniform. There are also younger players stepping up early this season. For example, Jake Odorizzi is off to a 3.12 ERA through his first 6 starts.
These examples don’t even mention the Kansas City bullpen blue print that is being applied to numerous teams through out the league. The New York Yankees have Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in the back end of the game, plus they will be adding Aroldis Chapman when he comes off his suspension.
Things may not be going the Jays way thus far, but this offence is to good to keep down for long.
Next: What is up with the bullpen?