For much of the 2023 season, the Jays’ offence often struggled to score runs, especially when runners were in scoring position. There was far too many times when we witnessed’ rallies coming up short as the Jays failed to produce in the clutch, leaving many stranded runners on base in frustration. Ultimately, that became their downfall during the AL Wild Card Series against the Twins that ended in a two-game sweep.
However, that was certainly less prominent during the years when Teoscar Hernández was around. Usually batting behind Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Hernández often came through in clutch situations. Not only that, but his overall offensive output that he gave the team year in and year out made quite the difference in terms of their success. Many Jays fans fondly remember his huge breakout season in 2021 when he hit 32 home runs and drove in 116 runs while hitting close to .300 in the process.
Even during this past season with the Seattle Mariners, he has come up clutch in hitting .300 with 67 RBI in 170 at-bats with RISP. It was this type of hitting the Jays sorely missed throughout the 2023 season that could have been a game-changer for the ballclub.
There’s no doubt that his defence still leaves a lot to be desired, but if Hernández can be back in the capacity of a designated hitter with the occasional spot start in the outfield, the Jays would certainly be more than happy with that scenario. So perhaps having one of his buddies back again would be enough also to jumpstart Guerrero and his prolific offence once again. After seeing some of Guerrero’s struggles this season, we have learned never to underestimate the value of Hernández in providing the right protection for him in the lineup.