Toronto Blue Jays News

Who are the unsung heroes for the Blue Jays in 2022?

Jul 26, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider in the dugout before a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 26, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider in the dugout before a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 14, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Raimel Tapia (15) runs towards the dugout against the Cleveland Guardians during the pregame at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

A full-time, part-time player

One of my favourite moves of the last offseason was one of their less headline-grabbing acquisitions when they added Raimel Tapia to the fold. The Jays sent Randal Grichuk to Colorado in order to acquire the speedy left-handed hitter, and also picked up a prospect in the swap as well.

Tapia was never supposed to be a star for the Blue Jays, or even a full-time player, but he’s quietly been very important to the success of Canada’s only MLB team. Unfortunately it’s been another year of inconsistent health for George Springer, and Teoscar Hernandez missed some time earlier in the year as well. As a result, Tapia has already played in 96 of the 121 games the Blue Jays have played this year, and he’s slashed .271/.293/.383 with five home runs, 17 doubles, and 38 RBI.

While it would be nice if his on-base percentage was a little higher, otherwise I think the Blue Jays have to be pleased with what he’s done since the trade. He offers a different look as a left-handed hitter, and one that doesn’t necessarily look to hit for power. He’s also capable of playing all three outfield positions on defence. He’s never going to win a Gold Glove award for his defensive work, but it’s certainly helpful that he’s able to move around.

As I write this, I also understand that some people may look at his -0.3 bWAR and tell me that I’m wrong. In this case, I think the intangibles of what Tapia has provided are enough for me to like what he brings to the roster. In a perfect world he wouldn’t be playing more than a few times a week, but for a team that’s needed him more frequently than that, I’m thankful to see a different look for the lineup with a lefty bat that puts the ball in play.

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