Blue Jays’ Luke Maile channeling his inner Ryan Goins

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 17: Luke Maile
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 17: Luke Maile /

It would appear that Toronto Blue Jays backup catcher Luke Maile is going to be the 2018 version of Ryan Goins while hitting with men in scoring position.

The light hitting catcher rewarded his manager on two occasions during the nightcap of the Blue Jays twin bill with the Kansas City Royals yesterday. Luke Maile paced the Jays to a 5-4  extra-inning victory with two hits and three runs batted in. The most important of those ribbies coming in the 10th inning walking it off in front of the home crowd.

Maile who is not normally known for his stick is hitting .421 with 7 ribbies in 19 plate appearances on the young season. Not bad considering the backstop tied his runs batted output from last season in 117 fewer plate appearances. In 2017, Maile hit an uninspiring .146 with seven runs batted and a -0.2 WAR in 136 plate appearances backing up Russell Martin.

Maile looks to have grabbed the torch from the now departed Ryan Goins who was also not known for his offensive prowess. However last season Goins asserted himself as somewhat of a clutch hitter batting .330 with 55 runs batted in with runners in scoring position. Not bad for a career .228 hitter over the course of six MLB seasons.

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There was much talk throughout the offseason as to whether or not the Blue Jays would look to upgrade at the catcher’s position, however, the brain trust was confident in Maile’s receiving abilities and stuck with the 27-year old in 2018.

The move appears to be paying off early on as Maile has come up big on more than one occasion. The added offensive boost is a welcome addition seeing Martin sits every third game thus far projecting Maile to start at least 54 contests this season. For the record, Martin has six runs batted in this season, one less than Maile.

Next: Blue Jays: The small sample size analysis of Jaime Garcia

The Blue Jays are not expecting All-Star like numbers from the backup catcher but if Maile can duplicate some of “GoGo’s” magic with runners on while donning the tools of ignorance, myself and the rest of Blue Jays nation will be more than content.

Stay hot Luke!