The Toronto Blue Jays have been setting off fireworks far before the Canada Day long weekend as the offence has erupted recently. After a slow and sluggish start to the season, the Blue Jays’ bats have finally shown the firepower we have fantasized about for months.
The Blue Jays are 6-6 over their last 12 games and entered their series with the Boston Red Sox by coming off a series win against the Kansas City Royals when they took three of four over the Canada Day long weekend.
Those celebrating Canada’s Day were not the only ones setting off fireworks, as the Blue Jays have lit up opposing offences recently, scoring over five runs in 13 of their last 15 ball games.
Giving a quick glance at the MLB leaderboards shows that the Blue Jays are still just 24th in the league in runs per game, with a measly 4.31 runs per game. But like any sport, the MLB is a ‘what have you done for me recently’ league and the Blue Jays’ impressive display during the month of June is hard to ignore.
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From June 1st to Canada’s Day, the Blue Jays have hit 51 home runs, tied for second most in the majors as only the Atlanta Braves have hit more home runs during this span. Their 148 runs over the last month also cracks the top ten, as the Blue Jays have outscored juggernaut teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins.
Two questions – where has this firepower come from and where has it been all season? While the obvious answer is to look at the red-hot bat of Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who has hit .360 with an OPS of 1.151 since being recalled, it has really been a team effort. While Gurriel Jr. has been the focal point of the offence, others have also quietly done their part over the last month.
Heading into June 13th, Cavan Biggio was slashing just .146 with an OPS of just .547. Since then, the rookie second baseman has been showing the Blue Jays fanbase why he was such a heralded prospect to begin with. Since June 13th, Biggio has hit over .300 and is also sporting an OPS north of 1.000.
The kids have led the way and the veterans have followed suit. Freddy Galvis and Randal Grichuk have also seen their bats heat up over the last little while. Galvis has recorded a hit in 15 of his last 18 games with a batting average of .357 and an OPS of 1.036.
While Grichuk frustrated many with his play earlier in the season, he has turned it around over the last couple of weeks. Over his last 14 games, the right fielder has hit over .300 and has had five multi-hit games, including his four RBI day on Canada’s Day.
This also goes without mentioning the likes of Eric Sogard, who has been a pleasant surprise this season or Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is looking like he is about to break free from a brief cold stretch. The Blue Jays brass has to be impressed as the young, one-time prospects are hitting to (or even above) their expectations while the veterans are chipping in as well.
With more offensive firepower such as Bo Bichette waiting for a call to action, the future has never seemed brighter. Let the recent stretch of offensive firepower serve not as an indicator of what the team’s future ceiling may be but perhaps what could be expected for the team moving forward.