Due to a protest by the Boston Red Sox that was supported by the Toronto Blue Jays, their series in Buffalo was ended at just two games, which the teams split. Here is a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the series.
The group that the Blue Jays are moving forward with for the most part are having a successful season. Even Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who has drawn a lot of people’s frustration, is currently batting .255 with eight extra base hits and 13 RBI over 29 games. If you consider his totals are accompanied by him being just 21 years old and learning a new position, you have to be at least satisfied with the production.
If you are curious who led the team in hits over the two-game span, it was rookie Santiago Espinal who went 5-7 with a double. Charlie Montoyo has failed to utilize Espinal so far this season, but of late he has been getting more and more at bats. Due to the lack of playing time pairing up to this two game set, Espinal saw his average raise from .167 to .270.
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During the matchup with Boston the Blue Jays used 10 different pitchers, eight of which I thought threw quite well, Chase Anderson was average and one (Wilmer Font) was not good. In the group of eight, you have to continue to get excited about Julian Merryweather. He started his first career major league game, albeit just a two inning opener position, but he looked really good. Over his two innings he was able to get his fastball up to 97 mph and struck out three, while allowing just one hit. Merryweather has now pitched in three games for 5.1 innings and has struck out 9.
Shun Yamaguchi followed Merryweather from the bullpen in the second game and pitched four innings allowing just one run. His performance earned him his first career win. During the month of August, Yamaguchi has now pitched 11.2 innings, striking out 11 while posting a 1.54 ERA and 0.86 WHIP which is vast change from his July numbers.
While the guys that are part of the future have been doing well, the ones that are here for the year have been downright lousy. Travis Shaw continues to get at-bats and continues struggling as he went 0 for 5 in the series and is currently two for his last 23. While you could suggest it is just a slump, he batted .157 last season with just 12 extra base hits, so his .205 average this year doesn’t give you any signs of encouragement. Shaw currently sits second on the team in strikeouts despite missing over a week at the beginning of August.
Another player that continues to struggle is Brandon Drury and it baffles me how he has stuck around so long. Drury was 0-4 in the one game he played with a pair of strikeouts and is now batting .152 on the season with one extra base hit in 46 at-bats. Over the last three seasons split between the Yankees and the Blue Jays he is batting just .205 with 16 home runs. It is time to move on from Drury.
Not giving Rowdy Tellez a full-time split role of designated hitter and first base is downright ugly. In the last four games, Tellez has started just one of them as he watches other hitters who struggle play in front of him. In the one game Tellez started he went 3 for 4 with two home runs and four RBI.
Tellez and Guerrero Jr. should be sharing the two noted positions with other players splitting time at third base. The only time another player should be at designated hitter is if you are trying to keep Grichuk and Hernandez in the line-up by giving them a break in the outfield.
Do you think Travis Shaw should get any time as the Designated Hitter?