The Toronto Blue Jays sit eight games below .500 after the first 40 games of the season with little hope for optimism thus far.
The bad stretches have far outnumbered the good ones as the Blue Jays continue to hold open auditions to evaluate what players will be apart of the cast moving forward beyond 2019. Unfortunately, few players have asserted themselves as building blocks for the future with their performances to date.
The Blue Jays rank fifth in the majors for the most strikeouts as a team with a combined 384, good for an inflated 9.6 K’ rate per game. Only the Mariners, Brewers Nationals, and Padres have whiffed more than the Jays hitters.
On the flipside, the Jays also rank 25th in home runs connecting for only 38 round trippers on the season. The Marlins, Pirates, Tigers, and Indians are the only teams in the majors with few big flies. The offence also ranks 29th in batting average, the Blue Jays are hitting just above the Mendoza Line as a team at .219, with the last place Reds three percentage points lower at .216.
Billy McKinney and Teoscar Hernandez have failed to produce offensively leaving question marks on the outfield complexion. Hernandez is a below average defender and may require a stint in the minors to reacquire his power stroke. The 26-year old is hitting just .197 with three homers while fanning 37 times in 37 games.
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McKinney is hitting .240 with a pair of homers but has shown signs of life with the stick of late hitting .353 over this last seven games. Regardless, neither player has taken advantage of their current opportunity. Anthony Alford could have challenged for their playing time, however, he has struggled mightily at the Triple-A level.
Former Blue Jays outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. was shipped to the Baltimore Orioles prior to the start of the season to free up a roster spot. Smith Jr. is hitting .286 with eight homers and four stolen bases, nobody on the Jays current roster has that many homers or stolen bases. Randal Grichuk leads the team with seven home runs and Freddy Galvis and Eric Sogard are both tied with two swipes.
To add insult to injury, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. became a defensive hazard at second base, Devon Travis is hurt yet again and Danny Jansen is struggling offensively as the everyday backstop. Ryan Borucki has yet to pitch this season, Sean Reid-Foley is struggling in the minors and Bo Bichette is sidelined after breaking a bone in his hand.
Bright spots thus far would have to be Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez although they have both struggled a bit of late, Stroman has lacked any type of run support each and every time he is on the mound. Ken Giles, Freddy Galvis, and Eric Sogard have also overachieved, however, I am not sure if any of those five players are in the team’s plans moving forward.
Tradewinds continue to swirl around both Stroman and Sanchez and it is obvious they will be traded if the right package is offered in return.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. looks like he is ready to take off after getting better results since being moved to the number two hole in the batting order. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays are going to have to find a lengthy supporting cast to couple his talents.
Things can only go up from here……right?