Toronto Blue Jays News

Why the Blue Jays don’t need to prioritize a lefty bat

Apr 9, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Raimel Tapia (15) hits a single on a fielder's choice against the Texas Rangers in the sixth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Raimel Tapia (15) hits a single on a fielder's choice against the Texas Rangers in the sixth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays are a team built around their lineup. Guys like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., George Springer, and Bo Bichette are expected to anchor the lineup every day and have done that so far this year.

However, there have been surprises as well. Alejandro Kirk has blossomed into an all-star and one of the biggest threats in one of the best lineups in the game. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has rebounded after a rough start and is now hitting over .300.

The biggest surprises in my opinion have been with two left-handed bats, in particular, Raimel Tapia and Cavan Biggio.

With the emergence of Raimel Tapia and Cavan Biggio, the Blue Jays should focus on pitching over getting a lefty bat at the trade deadline.

Cavan Biggio got off to a brutal start this season after a rough campaign in 2021. After starting this season off by getting just one hit in his first 23 at-bats and a COVID-19 IL stint, Biggio has responded by slashing .264/.377/.446 with two home runs and 13 RBI since June 1st, a 36-game sample size.

Biggio has returned to the Biggio of old with his .377 on-base percentage in that stretch. His versatility allows the Jays to find different ways to plug him in against righties. He can play first on days Guerrero Jr. is the DH, he can play second when Santiago Espinal needs a day off, and he can play the outfield if needed as well. Biggio’s return to form has been a pleasant surprise, but isn’t overly shocking.

The other lefty bat the Jays have has been an even bigger surprise.

Raimel Tapia is a guy I thought would be a fine fourth outfielder who can play defense and run well, but I didn’t view him as much of a hitter. I was wrong.

When healthy, an outfield of Gurriel Jr., Springer, and Teoscar Hernandez is one of the better outfields in baseball. When Springer needs to DH or is hurt, Tapia has been as good of an addition to this outfield as there could be for a bench outfielder. He didn’t get off to the best start but has been raging hot for a long time. In the month of July, he’s hitting over .400 with a 1.055 OPS.

Since June 1st he’s slashed .339/.350/.559 with four home runs and 22 RBI in 37 games. When the Jays have dealt with injuries, Tapia has stepped up and has been a huge contributing piece.

Neither Biggio nor Tapia is expected to play every day when the Jays are fully healthy, but both have shown they’re able to produce when their number is called.

Next. Chapman heating up at the right time for the Blue Jays. dark

The Jays desperately need arms. They need one or two for the bullpen and a starter as well. In a perfect world, this Jays lineup would include another lefty, but it’s not like they’ve been hurt without it. Their 4.89 runs per game are ranked third in baseball and second in the AL. Pitching is needed, Tapia and Biggio are good enough to get them through the season.

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