Blue Jays: Yeah, Socrates Brito and Alen Hanson were that bad

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21: Alen Hanson #1 of the Toronto Blue Jays is congratulated by teammates after he scored against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the third inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 21, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21: Alen Hanson #1 of the Toronto Blue Jays is congratulated by teammates after he scored against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the third inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 21, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Socrates Brito and Alen Hanson have both been DFA’d, and while both were the subject of ridicule from Blue Jay fans, it was for good reason.

The Blue Jays may have dropped their series opener against the White Sox on Saturday, but for some fans there was still a silver lining in the7-2 loss. Socrates Brito was nowhere to be found.

It sounds cruel to pick on the 26-year-old like that, but his performance as a Blue Jay was truly dreadful, and his presence on the roster felt like a cruel joke at times. The front office and coaching staff preached about the tools he possessed, and yet he looked completely lost at the plate against big league pitching, striking out a staggering 17 times in 39 at-bats.

He ended his tenure in Toronto (at least for now) with a slash line of .077/.163/.128, picking up just two singles, a triple, and four walks in 43 plate appearances. In that very short sample size, he still managed to post a bWAR rating of -0.7, which is impressive when he only appeared in 17 games. I had to do a double take when I saw that his OPS+ is at -18.

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And as bad as Brito was as a Blue Jay, Alen Hanson, the man that was acquired on the same day in a different trade, wasn’t a whole lot better. The utility player managed to appear in one more game than Brito with 18, and slashed .163/.229/.163 in 43 at-bats. Like Brito, Hanson struggled to put the ball in play and picked up 17 strikeouts of his own against just four walks.

Hanson had a little more “value” as a utility player, but he showed that he’s not really an outfielder, and with the glut of infielders looking for playing time with the Blue Jays these days, his dismissal was obvious enough that it even came before Brito’s.

Adding insult to injury, the Blue Jays didn’t have enough room on their 40 man roster for Dwight Smith Jr. this spring, and as a result they shipped him off to Baltimore in a trade that brought back some international signing bonus pool money. Blue Jay fans have winced at the sight of Smith Jr. outperforming pretty much the entire outfield in Toronto, as he’s hitting .275/.322/.471 with six home runs, 23 RBI, and a bWAR rating of 0.7. He was gone from the 40 man roster long before Brito or Hanson were ever in the picture, but don’t try and tell some folks about that.

In the grand scheme of things, neither player’s impact will make the difference between the Blue Jays being a playoff team this year or not, but moving on from the two failed experiments is good for a number of reasons including the development of their young players, the recent juggling of the 25 and 40 man rosters, and most importantly, for the sanity of the fan base.

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The Blue Jays have found lighting in a bottle before in the form of guys like Jose Bautista, and even Edwin Encarnacion to a lesser extent, but it was very clear that neither Brito or Hanson were going to turn into an All-Star. At least not until they’re in a new uniform, with my luck.

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