Believe it or not but the Toronto Blue Jays postseason aspirations are already circling the drain as the Jays have faltered out of the gate with a 3-12 record as numerous players are striking out at an alarming rate.
The Blue Jays veteran backstop tandem of Russell Martin and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have struggled mightily to make consistent contact as the duo has combined for 26 whiffs in 53 at-bats thus far, striking out nearly 50 percent of the time.
Martin who always seems to struggle in April is batting a paltry .103 in 39 at-bats with 16 strikeouts. Thankfully Martin is still drawing walks having earned 9 free passes boosting his on-base percentage to a modest .271 clip.
Saltalamacchia who is in his first season north of the border is batting an uninspiring 0.71 with 10 whiffs in 14 at-bats including the “Golden Sombrero” yesterday versus Chris Sale and company.
Earlier this week the Blue Jays cut ties with Buffalo Bisons catcher Juan Graterol trading him to the Los Angeles Angels for future considerations. Graterol was thought to be valuable catching depth in case of an injury on the big club. The 28-year old was hitting .429 in 14 plate appearances with the herd before the trade.
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To say the team is struggling would be an understatement as the backstops are not the only April “K” victims. Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has looked lost at the plate for much of the season and the former home run champ is batting .109 with 22 strikeouts of his own.
Martin has shown signs of life of late hitting the ball hard while blasting his first homer of the young campaign this week while also ringing a double off the top of the wall.
The boys in blue are not going to go down without a fight as Martin recently reiterated in an interview:
"We’ve got guys that aren’t going to quit. We’re going to keep working, at times it’s challenging and frustrating and you have to battle through the adversity. It’s not an easy game. But this team, we have so much talent and so much heart and so much grit that we’re not going to let this type of start dictate the whole year. We just have guys that have too much character. Our guys care too much.”"
The pair of Martin and Salty have 2,328 combined major league games under their belt so slumps and the ability to withstand and trudge on is nothing new for these crafty vets. Soon enough the whiffs will turn into home runs as the catchers fine tune their strokes and get back on track.
Until then there may be a few more “Golden Sombrero’s.”