Throughout the opening part of the season it has been well-publicized that although the Blue Jays pitching has seen some shining moments with both Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman providing cases as Cy Young candidates, the offense has been disappointing.
Recently the Blue Jays have put together an eight-game winning streak which has included sweeping both the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox, with the key factor being the bats coming alive. Here is a look at how each of the hitters has done through the stretch.
The 23-year-old Alejandro Kirk is seeing time both behind the plate and as the designated hitter. During these eight games, Kirk has started six games, while also coming in as a pinch hitter once. Kirk has gone 12 for 25 (.480) with six extra-base hits, including a pair of home runs on Tuesday night. Kirk has seen his batting average jump 33 points as he now sports a slash line of .301/.379/.429 on the season.
Danny Jansen is giving the Blue Jays exactly what they need from him: sound defense, good leadership, and an above-average bat. Jansen led the team in home runs during the win-streak with four and in total went 6 for 22 (.273). He has walked just once but has also struck out just four times.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr
It seems like Vladimir Guerrero Jr is the only player that has struggled at the plate through the winning streak. Guerrero Jr started seven of the game eights, while coming in as a pinch hitter once, but has gone just 6 for 30 (.233). On the upside, Guerrero Jr has collected three home runs and a pair of doubles. Despite the slow start to the season, he is still on pace for more than 30 home runs this season.
Vlady isn’t the only player struggling right now. After starting the season on fire, Santiago Espinal has come back down to Earth. Espinal had just three hits over the first seven games but posted a solid performance in the series finale against the White Sox as he went 3 for 5 with three RBI. However, during the stretch, he is now just 6 for 32 (.188).
When the Blue Jays acquired Matt Chapman, I wasn’t looking for a superstar, all I wanted from his offense was to be good enough to go with his elite defense. Chapman struggled to start the season but has been hitting a little better which has helped the team over the stretch.
Chapman collected eight hits in 32 at-bats (.296) and the team cashed him in when he got on base as he crossed the plate seven times. He has seen his season batting average creep over the Mendoza line heading into the upcoming series against the Twins.
It wasn’t just the winning streak, Bo Bichette was on fire for the entire month of May as he posted a slash line of .296/.339/.537. He has continued this streak over the eight-game winning streak and collected two or more hits in five of the eight games to go 12 for 35 (.343) with six extra-base hits. His current stretch has helped him lift his season batting average by 18 points.