The Toronto Blue Jays finally capitalized with runners in scoring position last night versus the Texas Rangers, an absolute area the Jays must improve upon if they plan on making a run and contending in 2017.
The Blue Jays rank 24th in the majors hitting .237 as a team with runners in scoring position only ahead of the Marlins, Cubs, Nationals, Rays, Mariners, and Giants. The San Francisco Giants rank last in the majors hitting .219 while the St. Louis Cardinals lead the league batting at a .290 clip with runners in scoring position.
The Blue Jays homer-reliant style of play does not necessarily bode well with clutch hitting when you are always waiting for the round tripper to save the day.
According to Stats MLB the Jays have 95 home runs that have accounted for 163 of their 291 runs scored going into play last night. That breaks down to 56% of their runs have been scored via the homer and would be the highest rate in MLB history. Let that stat sink in for a minute.
The Jays have a cast of players who have struggled mightily this season when it’s mattered most, here are some ugly stat lines below. Viewer discretion is advised.
Kevin Pillar has been atrocious with runners in scoring position going 5 for 44 with 7 strikeouts and only 9 runs batted in. The centre-fielder has mustered a .113 batting average with runners on but rebounds to .280 when the bases are empty.
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Catcher Russell Martin isn’t much better than Pillar going 4 for 31, good for an uninspiring .129 average with no home runs and 17 whiffs with runners on.
Kendrys Morales is hitting .196 going 11 for 56 with men in scoring position, however, Morales does have 4 home runs and 26 runs batted in which at least makes his stat line respectable.
Jose Bautista is 12/55 with 6 home runs and 24 runs batted in while batting .218 although Joey Bats has whiffed 16 times in the process.
As you would expect Justin Smoak is hitting .309 going 17 for 55 including 4 home runs with runners in scoring position on the season. Smoak continues to impress all over the field showing no signs of slowing down as fans slowly forget about his disastrous 2016 campaign.
John Gibbons and company will need to find the recipe for success with runners in scoring position moving forward if the Jays plan on climbing out of the AL East basement and making a run at the postseason once again.