The Blue Jays have been firing on all cylinders on offence lately, and have been particularly successful at hitting the long ball. As always, this group is at their best when power comes into play.
It was the talk of the offseason that the Blue Jays needed to add some speed, defence, and OBP ability, particularly in the outfield positions. Obviously we all know how things turned out, and despite missing on some of the targets of those description, you have to like how this group looks when it’s healthy.
The Blue Jays have been on fire lately and now sit at 17-10 for the month of May, with just the series finale remaining against the Reds later tonight. They’ve already guaranteed themselves a 3rd straight series victory, having swept the Brewers in two games prior to this series, and taking two of three from the Rangers in Arlington.
A common theme lately has been the long ball, something that’s very familiar to this Blue Jays’ roster. Jose Bautista is a two-time AL home run champ, and they have as many as 7 roster players who’ve hit 20 or more home runs in a season, so it’s definitely part of the repertoire.
You wouldn’t have known that if you’d only watched the Jays in April, as the club struggled out the gate in every way including in the power department. That’s changed in a drastic way lately, with the latest example being Tuesday night’s homer barrage, including Bautista, Russell Martin, the go ahead shot from Kendrys Morales, and an absolute bomb to the upper deck from Josh Donaldson.
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During Monday night’s 17-2 drubbing of the Reds, the Jays included 3 home runs in their 23 hits, with blasts coming from Justin Smoak, Troy Tulowitzki, and another from the suddenly hot Martin. That’s six different players homering in a two game span, and that’s not even discussing the hitting antics of Devon Travis this month. He’s only broken the Blue Jays record for doubles in May, and turned his .130 batting average in April into a respectable .266 average overage, .380 in May.
The pessimistic Blue Jay fan is enjoying this power surge, but knows that they don’t last for every game over the course of 162 games. That said, the Blue Jays have enough weapons that it’s a consistently threat for opposing pitchers, almost all the way through the lineup. If a healthy Steve Pearce is in left field, there’s a realistic chance anyone from 1-9 could go yard, and even light-hitting Ezequiel Carrera has added 3 home runs for good measure this season.
The offseason narrative in many circles was that the Blue Jays can’t win in the playoffs with this style, and only time will tell if that’s true again, as it was over the last two postseasons. What I do believe is that this team is at it’s best playing this way, for better or for worse. Lately it’s obviously been for much better, but the opposite seemed to be the case in the season’s first month.
There is still a couple months for the Blue Jays’ brass to add more balance to the lineup if they see fit, but for now I say “bombs away”. It seems to be the Blue Jays’ way, and considering the Jays have the oldest roster in the baseball, maybe they should just embrace the adage that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”