Eight games into the 2014 season and the Jays are sitting at .500. There has been plenty to get excited about, plenty to think about, and plenty to be downright worried about.
Without further ado, here is an early look at The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly through 8 games….
Four straight games with a homer, and his four bombs in the season’s first 8 days have already surpassed his total from the entire 2013 season. Melky also has 11 hits for a .314 average, and his .971 OPS ranks 18th in the AL. More important than numbers is the fact that Melky looks happy. He is energized, he is motivated, he is smiling – all a far cry from 2013 when he was a slow, limping, mopey mess. He might not be an ideal leadoff hitter, but there’s no denying that Cabrera is raking right now. Think of how much more dangerous the lineup will be if he sustains this pace when (if?) Reyes comes back.
Honourable Mention: Jose Bautista; John Gibbons managerial moves
I thought J.P. Arencibia was gone? Even without the former catcher’s dead weight, Toronto’s OBP is an awful .286 through 8 games, well below the league average of .324 and good for second last in the AL and fifth worst in all of baseball. The main problem is that they have only drawn 25 walks, middle of the pack in the AL but with one extra game that many other teams. That total is a bit misleading, however, as Jose Bautista is responsible for 9 (!!) of those walks, meaning the other 13 players who have registered an AB have only drawn 16 walks…in 8 games. That is one of the main reasons why 6 of Toronto’s 10 HR have been solo shots.
Honourable Mention: Back end of the rotation; Run support
Many expected big things from Colby this year, but this is definitely not the start he envisioned: 2 for 27, 12 strikeouts, .074 average, .315 OPS. Gibbons has tried bumping him to second in the lineup to no avail. He tried sitting him against a lefty to no avail. He tried dropping him back to 7th in the order to no avail. Colby has looked lost at the plate, and even looked a bit lost in the field in Tampa before having a nice defensive series against the Yankees. It is very early, and he has traditionally been a slow starter so there is no need to panic yet. But things might get very ugly, very quickly.
Honourable Mention: Brett Lawrie; Reyes Injury