The Blue Jays finished the final week with some good stories as they went 4-2 by winning their last two series against both the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles.
The disappointment was not getting to see two of the big bright parts of the future as the team had to shut down both Bo Bichette and Lourdes Gurriel Jr due to health issues. Fans were able to have a nice goodbye to one of the good guys in baseball in Justin Smoak as his future with the Jays looks all but done. After some really disappointing performances by Clay Buchholz he was able to finish the final game of the year with five quality innings.
The individual bright spots on the week go to:
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I want to recognize Justin Smoak. Smoak got into just two games, but went 3 for 7 with two doubles and three RBI. From everything I’ve heard, Smoak is an amazing teammate and mentor.
Teoscar Hernandez has had a lot of speculation surrounding what his role will be next season. He doesn’t hit enough for contact and strikes out a lot, but he has a ton of power. This past week, Hernandez got into five of the six games and went 7 for 17 with three home runs and six RBI. He also struck out just three times in 21 plate appearances, adding two walks and two stolen bases. Hernandez was able to raise his average seven points on the home stand to finish at .230.
Rowdy Tellez started all the games over the week and led the team in hits (8), doubles (3) and extra base hits (5). Tellez finished the week 8 for 23 and added two walks, but did strikeout seven times. Tellez finishes the year batting .227 with 21 home runs. I’m assuming he’ll get first crack at first base to see if he can take the role next year.
Ryan Tepera had a frustrating season as he missed almost the entire season on the disabled list, but he can celebrate his finish. Tepera got into four game this week, pitching four perfect innings as he did not allow a base runner.
Elvis Luciano had a similar fate that Tepera had this year as he spent the majority of the season on the disabled list. Luciano had a near perfect month of September when he came back to the Blue Jays bullpen. He pitched six shutout innings in September with just three hits and one walk, while striking out five. During the home stand he pitched twice for three innings and allowed just one base runner.
I would just prefer the Jays sign Ken Giles to a long-term contract, as long as the cost isn’t overly heavy. ‘100 Mile Giles’ looked very good this week as he picked up two saves over three appearances. Giles pitched three innings, striking out four and giving up just one base runner. He finishes 23 for 24 in save opportunities with a 1.87 ERA.
Jacob Waguespack was struggling coming to the end of the season, but he made his final start of the season one of his best. Last Wednesday Waguespack threw six innings, surrendering just four hits and two walks on five strikeouts. The rookie right-hander finishes the season 5-5 with a 4.38 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 78 innings pitched. Waguespack completely outperformed Aaron Loup who he was traded for last year.
In total, the Blue Jays had seven different pitchers who pitched at least three innings and did not surrender a run. Trent Thornton pitched five shutout innings on Saturday in his final start that included eight strikeouts. Jason Adam pitched 3 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and Buddy Boshers is looking like a lefty specialist out of the pen in 2020 as he threw 3 1/3 IP with six strikeouts.
The offseason is here and the Jays management have a lot of work to do, some of their players did what they could to finish the season on the right note. Who were you most impressed with on the last home stand.