Blue Jays: Is Rowdy Tellez starting to get out of the slump?
Known for his power in the batter’s box, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman/designated hitter Rowdy Tellez is struggling to put the ball in play this season.
Drafted back in 2013, Tellez made his major league debut back in September in 2018 and has played 178 games since then, slashing .240/.300/.469 with 33 home runs, 91 RBI, and 43 walks in 578 at-bats. The left-handed slugger was performing well last season before suffering a right knee strain in early September and would miss the rest of the regular season, returning to play in the A.L. Wild Card series against the Tampa Bay Rays, mustering a hit on his only plate appearance in the series.
To put it bluntly, the beginning of the 2021 season has been nothing short of a nightmare for the Blue Jays infielder. Prior to yesterday’s game, Tellez had one hit with a slash line of .040/.111/.040 with nine strikeouts and one walk.
So why hasn’t Tellez been optioned to the alternate site yet?
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Tellez does have the capability of putting the ball over the fence on any solid contact and is also left-handed, something the Blue Jays do lack in the lineup other than Cavan Biggio and Joe Panik. Not to mention that the Blue Jays currently have some roster players on the injured list in George Springer and Teoscar Hernandez, allowing Tellez to keep his roster spot and give him an opportunity to hit out of his slump until at least one of them is healthy again before reassessing.
While he has been struggling to begin the season, it appears that he may have finally turned a corner when he got his first hit of the season on Monday and hit a home run yesterday, a no-doubter over the right-field wall off left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge. He would finish the game going 1-4 and would see his average climb 29 points to .069 and add his first RBI on the season.
This was a positive thing to see for Tellez, as he appeared to be in a major funk after the first two weeks of the season. While hitting a home run is no guarantee that the slugger is set to turn it around, it must be a major confidence boost for the Blue Jay’s first baseman to put a number other than zero in the home run column and finally string together a few hits over a series.
There is no question that when Rowdy Tellez is playing well, he is a scary hitter in the batter’s box. He has the ability to hit the ball hard and hit for extra bases, not to mention that his left-handedness goes well with the plethora of right-handed hitters on the Blue Jays roster.
Considering time might be running out for Tellez to turn things around before Hernandez and Springer return to the roster, here’s hoping that the California native can continue to put the ball in play and find a rhythm that fans know he is capable of doing.