Blue Jays Scapegoats: 1 to fire, 1 to put on the hot seat, 1 to be patient with

Who should be responsible for the Blue Jays performance to date?
Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays
Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages
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Guillermo Martinez (Blue Jays hitting coach) could be in the hot seat

Guillermo Martinez was the Jays’ minor league hitting coach until his promotion to the major leagues in 2018 when he replaced Brook Jacoby for the hitting coach role with the Jays. Prior to being a hitting coach, Martinez had a less than stellar baseball career in which he spent six seasons in the minor leagues and never ended up reaching the majors.

With the team, Martinez has helped guide the rebuilding Jays right back up in their ascension to contender status once again in recent years. In doing so, he was now entering his fifth season as the team’s full time hitting coach in 2023. However, during his tenure, the Jays had also hired special assistants (Dante Bichette back in 2020 and 2021, and Victor Martinez for 2023) to also help with their hitting, sort of serving as the de-facto second hitting coach for the team. Both Bichette and Victor Martinez have lifetime batting averages close to .300, and both were once finalists to the MVP award, so they sure know a thing or two about hitting, which was probably why they were recruited in the first place.

Looking back, the young Jays happened to have their best hitting years while Bichette was present with the club. In particular, this included Cavan Biggio, who seemed to have regressed ever since Bichette’s departure, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who had his MVP-caliber year in 2021. Not to mention the great work he has done personally with his son Bo in making him the prolific hitting machine he is today.

This year, in 2023, the Jays’ offence has been struggling mightily at times ever since their hot start back in April, and has become even more pronounced in recent weeks. Moreover, they continue to come up short with hitting with runners in scoring positions, which has been a team problem not only this year, but in recent years. How often does one see a Jays’ hitter flailing at a pitch out of the strike zone, staring at strike three and ending a rally, or coming just short of that big hit to win the game? This can really be attributed to bad approaches at the plate and bad pitch selection, which can be rectified by a good hitting coach. Unfortunately, Martinez appears to be unsuccessful in accomplishing that thus far and haven’t gotten the best out of his players in his tenure.

Taking away their sudden offensive outburst the previous weekend against the bottom-feeding Oakland Athletics which was expected, if the Jays’ offence doesn’t wake up soon, it doesn’t matter how well they have pitched, they would be in tough to win many games. Therefore, Guillermo Martinez should be in the hot seat in that if there isn’t any significant improvement any time soon, the Jays should consider promoting Victor Martinez, or even try getting back Dante Bichette to see if either could jumpstart the misaligned, sleeping offence for the ballclub.