Every Monday during the 2015 season, 500 Level Fan will take a look back at the week that was, giving readers a snapshot of all things Blue Jays, including three top stories and the Blue Jay player of the week.
This is what happened in week 1.
Week 1: April 6 – April 12
Record: 4 – 2
Season-to-date: 4 – 2, T-1st AL East, Tied for 2nd Wild Card
1. Flip Flop Batting
Coming into the 2015 season the Jays were thought to have one of the most powerful and fearsome top-5’s in all of baseball….and then a significant drop off at the bottom of the order. Through one week of the season, that hasn’t materialized. Primarily due to slow starts by Donaldson, Bautista, and Martin, the Big 5 (including Reyes and Encarnacion), have combined for a .250 average, .700 OPS, 3 HR, 18 RBI, and 31 strikeouts. The rest of the team, led by Devon Travis, have combined to hit .235 with a .678 OPS, 3 HR, 14 RBI, and 19 strikeouts. If you remove Jose Reyes from the equation, the other members of the Big 5 drop to a .202 average and .631 OPS. Of course, there is no reason to be concerned – as the weather warms up, the power numbers will start to increase. On the contrary, this can be seen as relatively encouraging: if the rest of the team can stay within 100 OPS points of the Big 5, it will give the team a much more balanced lineup than first anticipated.
2. Fireball Arms
The Jays bullpen was considered a real weakness heading into the season, and through one week of the season, not much has happened to ease those concerns. Aside from unbelievable starts for rookies Roberto Osuna and Miguel Castro (and also Liam Hendriks), the bullpen has looked shaky. Not including the kids, Toronto relievers have pitched 13.1 innings, posting a 6.75 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 2.0 K/BB ratio. But let’s talk about those kids. What a start to two careers! Osuna and Castro have combined to pitch 7 innings, with zero earned runs, a 0.57 WHIP, 8 strikeouts, and a 4.0 K/BB ratio. The week culminated with Castro being named closer and going 2 for 2 in save opportunities. Unfortunately the two of them can’t pitch everyday, so the rest of the bullpen arms will need to step it up.
3. Don’t Get Him Angry
Since his breakout 2010 campaign, one thing is very obvious about Jose Bautista: don’t get him angry. When pitchers throw at him or when umpires call borderline pitches against him, more often than not Bautista takes out his anger on the baseball. Nobody should know that better than Orioles reliever Darren O’Day. On more than one occasion, O’Day has riled up the big Toronto slugger only to watch his next pitch sail 350 feet over the outfield fence. You’d think he would have learned by now. But yesterday, in the 8th inning of a one-run game, O’Day was called in to face Bautista with a runner on base, and showed to the world that he still likes to play with fire. He threw behind Bautista with a pitch, which resulted in an angry glare back to the mound. With steam coming out of his ears, Bau delivered the ultimate statement by hitting yet another bomb off O’Day, effectively putting the game out of reach. It’s not often that a non-closing reliever vs. a hitter becomes must-see TV, but this rivalry has definitely reached that plateau.
Player of the Week
Jose Reyes, SS
It was tempting to go with Castro or Osuna, but Reyes couldn’t be overlooked. He paced the Jays with 10 hits in the week, finishing with a .417 average, .444 OBP, .944 OPS, 2 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI, and a stolen base.
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: 1 – 2, 4th place
AA – New Hampshire: 3 – 1, T-1st
A+ – Dunedin: 2 – 2, T-2nd
A – Lansing: 3 – 1 , 1st place
The Look Ahead
The Jays return home, with the Home Opener set for tonight against Tampa Bay.
April 13-16 vs. Tampa Bay
April 17-19 vs. Atlanta