Blue Jays: Evaluating the first half of a difficult 2019 season

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 20: Teoscar Hernandez #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a 2 run home run and celebrates with Marcus Stroman #6 in the first inning during a MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Rogers Centre on June 20, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 20: Teoscar Hernandez #37 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a 2 run home run and celebrates with Marcus Stroman #6 in the first inning during a MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Rogers Centre on June 20, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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SEATTLE, WA – AUGUST 04: Randal Grichuk #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays breaks his bat on a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on August 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – AUGUST 04: Randal Grichuk #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays breaks his bat on a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on August 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /

The offence

I’m not going to sugar coat it, the Blue Jays’ lineup has been straight-up bad this year. There have been individuals who have had hot streaks, and some are worse than others, but as a collective unit, they’ve been flat out terrible.

They’re 13th in the AL and 25th in baseball in runs scored, last (AL) and 29th (MLB) in team batting average, 14th (AL) and 28th (MLB) in OBP, and 14th (AL) and 27th (MLB) in OPS. That’s a recipe for disaster, and the Blue Jays have the record to prove it.

As I mentioned on the previous page, there have been some positive highlights that we can focus on. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is hitting .305/.351/.615 with 12 home runs in 44 games and has been a revelation since returning from Triple-A. Eric Sogard has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball with his .301/.369/.495 slash line in 52 games, and Cavan Biggio is sporting an on-base percentage of .373 in his first 28 games.

Beyond that, I would say that we can celebrate that Guerrero Jr. looks like he can “handle” the big leagues, but isn’t quite ready to dominate at just 20 years old (although that could change any moment). Randal Grichuk and Rowdy Tellez each have 14 home runs, and Justin Smoak collected 12 before hitting the IL. Freddy Galvis also recovered from a long cold-snap enough that the Blue Jays may be able to trade him this summer after all.

Overall though, things have been a mess for Charlie Montoyo to sort out in his first year at the helm in Toronto. I don’t blame the rookie skipper by any means, and it’s good to see him putting the youth at the top of the lineup lately, even if it was just to get them more at-bats, which hasn’t been the only reason.

As bad as things have been, I expect that we’ll see some improvement in the 2nd half. There’s really nowhere else to go.

First-half rating: D-

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