Blue Jays: Good, Bad and (Not so) Ugly in Boston

The Blue Jays finished up a two game series with the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night, which they split one game each.  Here is a look at the Good, the Bad, the Ugly and not so Ugly from the Series.

The Good
The bullpen continues to be impressive and they pretty much shut the door throughout the two games.  The most impressive arms in the series had to be Anthony Castro and Ryan Borucki.  Castro appeared in both games, pitching a total of 1.2 innings, which included collecting the final out on Wednesday night to record his first career save.  Castro was a waiver claim this past offseason from Detroit and appears to be found money, as he has been used four times this year and hasn’t allowed a run in five innings.  Borucki came and recorded six outs in the second game of the series allowing just two base runners and striking out a pair.  The last time Borucki pitched two complete innings was on July 27, 2019.

I feel like we can just keep putting Vladimir Guerrero Jr in this category.  VGJ has been nothing short of dominant this year, as stated in previous articles, the ball just seems to be in slow motion for him.  During this series VGJ went 2 for 6 with three walks and did not strikeout.  He now leads the league in on base percentage (.513) and has walked almost as many times in 18 games this year as he did in all 60 games last year.  Despite walking almost double the amount as the next player on the team he still leads the club with 23 hits while posting a .383 batting average.

The Bad
There is no hiding it, I think Cavan Biggio is a very valuable piece in the Blue Jays lineup and I was glad to see him moved into the lead off position.  On defence, Biggio is very versatile as he can play all over the field, however I don’t think third base is one of those positions.  He made another error in this series, which instead of ending the inning allowed runners to be on second and third, but fortunately Biggio was saved by Rafael Dolis who got the next hitter to ground out.  One solution would be putting Santiago Espinal at third base full-time, but you would still want Biggio in the lineup, and long-term he is the likely second basemen for the club.  Another option would be to put either Marcus Semien or Bo Bichette to third, but I’m not sure how much longer Biggio can continue to be put at the position.

Danny Jansen has to start producing, I am not sure how much longer you can put an automatic out in the lineup.  While he provides good defence at some point, he needs to start hitting.  He went 0 for 6 in the series, has just two hits on the season which his last hit was a double back on April 7.  Dating back to the start of the 2019 season, Jansen has a batting average of just .192 with only 36 extra base hits in 163 games.  Jansen may start losing more playing time to Alejandro Kirk who has a better bat.  Kirk is now 5 for 15 (.333) over his last seven games, which includes a pair of walks and included a key pinch hit RBI on Wednesday.

Not So Ugly
Rafael Dolis appeared for one inning in the Boston Series and gave up a home run and a walk.  If you look at the box score you likely shake your head and think the return of the early season struggles for Dolis, but his performance was better than what the line shows.  What you can’t get from the box score is that Xander Bogaerts put an incredible swing on a good pitch and put the ball over the fence.  A few batters later after getting a ground ball to end the inning, Biggio threw it away allowing the tying run to get to third and the go-ahead run to second.  Dolis buckled down and got the next batter to ground out to end the inning.  The home run was the first run Dolis had allowed since April 5, which saw five appearances between runs.

The Ugly
There has been no question that offence has been the Achilles heel to the Toronto Blue Jays struggles this season and Charlie Montoyo has refused to adapt his game.  There have been opportunities to move runners up with the bottom of the order at the plate and he lets them swing away.  Most notably in the series, the team got the first two batters on base with Josh Palacios at the plate in the eighth inning on Wednesday.  Instead of moving them along, Palacios had a lazy flyball out to left field and the Red Sox would eventually get out of the inning unscathed.  There is the argument that players need to starting executing, but until the team starts to get the offence going, Montoyo needs to start manufacturing runs.

The Blue Jays will have their second day off this week on Thursday before going to face the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday with Steven Matz starting against Tyler Glasnow.