The coaching staff
Speaking of the Jays offense coming up short in 2023, that was certainly one of the major flaws to a rather strong season for the ballclub this year. In reality, it wasn’t the fact that the Jays couldn’t hit. As a matter of fact, they actually ranked eighth in all of baseball with a .256 team batting average and were sixth overall in hits with 1,423. Their actual Achilles’ heel was the fact that they floundered and failed miserably to come through whenever hitting in the clutch in the biggest moments of the game.
Often when the Jays were rallying and threatening to score, the opportunities would end up being wasted as they would strike out chasing pitches outside the zone, ground into double plays, or outright just pop the ball up for outs. Their failure to make good contact in those situations also included the best hitters in the Jays’ lineup, as they would usually come up short in the end.
In such cases, as much as it had to do with the individual ballplayer himself, the hitting coach should be held partly accountable for their lack of success in delivering in high leverage situations. Being able to instruct the hitters to have right approach and focused mentality entering those situations could potentially make a huge difference in the overall outcome of an at-bat.
Despite being the Jays’ hitting coach since the 2019 season, apparently Guillermo Martínez’s hitting approach hasn’t been working too well, especially with what we have witnessed during the 2023 season. As a result, it may be time for a change to see if a new fresh approach and instruction would provide the right boost to re-ignite the Jays’ potent bats for the near future.