Struggling Jays Offense Needs Vlad Jr.
On Sunday, the Cleveland Baseball Club completed a four-game series sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, which dropped the Jays to a 3-8 record to begin the second full week of MLB action.
While the Jays have gotten good outings from their starting pitching, their bats have been frozen. Toronto was nearly no-hit by MLB’s #1 jackass Trevor Bauer on Thursday night. Fans around North America breathed a sigh of relief when he was pulled after seven innings and 117 pitches, thanks to issuing a total of six free passes along with his eight strikeouts. The combined no-no effort was broken up by Jays SS Freddy Galvis with a single off RP Brad Hand in the 9th inning.
The Toronto offense ranks 22/30 and is actually ahead of #23 Cleveland, which opted not to retain many of its power hitters and is currently doing without the services of the injured INF Francisco Lindor, who hit 38 home runs for Cleveland last year. The Jays are slashing just .191/.270/.331, and Galvis, who is off to a .333/.394/.667 start, is currently leading the team in most batting stats, such as batting average, OBP, OPS and hits. However, Galvis has never been an RBI machine (averages 61 per season) and has a below average career OPS+ of 81. Relying on a career .246/.291/.377 career hitter to carry your offense is not a recipe for winning ballgames.
New Jays manager Charlie Montoyo is well aware the offense is not up to scratch:
Charlie Montoyo on the #BlueJays offence:
“Our approach has not been really good. I’m not going to sugar coat, it’s been really bad. But I promise you one thing, we’re friggin’ going to work on it.”
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) April 7, 2019
It’s pretty clear the struggling bats need a spark plug to drive in runs and inspire respect in opposing pitchers, which will be helpful to hitters like OF Randal Grichuk. Top prospect INF/DH Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would fit the bill. Guerrero is currently rehabbing a left oblique strain sustained in early March, which gave the front office an easy out from the impending decision on whether to promote him to the Opening Day Roster or manipulate his service time to gain an extra year of team control. The injury means he will not be able to join the big club until sometime this month at the earliest. Guerrero slashed .330/.413/.528 with an OPS of .941 in the minor leagues, and this type of production will be more than welcome once he is recovered and able to join the team.
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