Blue Jays: Four roster moves the club should already be considering
By Edward Eng
3. Matt Chapman should be hitting cleanup behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Both Matt Chapman and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have been off to blazing starts in the 2023 season. Chapman is hitting .410 with an OPS of 1.209, along with 12 runs scored, four home runs and 16 RBI, whereas Guerrero is not too shabby either; hitting .364 with an OPS of .919, with 12 runs scored, two homers and eight RBI. Those numbers sound amazing, but can you believe that they are even more productive when Chapman bats cleanup behind Guerrero? It’s a small sample size, but in five games played in such a setup, Chapman is 11-for-21 with five runs scored, three walks, two home runs, eight RBI, and one stolen base for an AVG of .524, and Guerrero is 10-for-21 with six runs scored, two walks, and an AVG of .476.
So basically Guerrero is setting the table and Chapman does mega damage to drive runs in. As good as Daulton Varsho has been in the cleanup spot behind Guerrero, Chapman appears to be providing stronger protection for Guerrero, and Varsho, who usually hits fifth behind those two in that setup, provides strong protection for Chapman. As much as lefty-righty matchups are important, in the long run, it would be interesting to give the Guerrero/Chapman combo in the 3/4 slot a run to maximize power and production, and if it gets everyone going, it should be the optimal setup for long term success.