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 2.
Week 2: April 13 – April 19
Record: 2 – 5
Season-to-date: 6 – 7
AL East: T-4th, 1.5 GB of Baltimore/Boston
Wild Card: 1.5 GB of 2nd Wild Card (Baltimore/Boston)
1. Home Woes
The Blue Jays celebrated the launch of the new home season in style on Monday at the Honda Home Opener. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was in town, there was a nice player introduction ceremony, and the dome was packed. The team then went out and lost to the Rays, dropped 3 of 4 overall to Tampa, and followed that up by losing 2 of 3 to the Braves. You have to go back to 2010 to find the last time Toronto started 2-5 at home, and that team didn’t have visions of contending like this one does (not with Kevin Gregg and Fred Lewis on the roster). Whether it’s the new playing surface, the fact that it’s the first time playing at home for a bunch of guys on the roster, or the added pressure of playing in front of their own fans, the Jays did not look good all. In a very tight AL East, defending your home turf will be critical, so the Jays need to turn things around in a hurry.
2. Travis to the Top
Most of Toronto’s hitters have gotten off to very slow starts, which makes what Devon Travis is doing all the more remarkable by comparison. The rookie was tearing it up in the number 9 hole, and was rewarded with a promotion to the leadoff spot when Jose Reyes went down. Travis went 10 for 25 last week with 2 HR and 2 doubles, good for a .400 average and 1.143 OPS. For the season, his OPS of 1.053 puts him 8th overall in the American League, and his 12 RBI are tied for third. He was forced to leave yesterday’s game after taking a pitch to the ribs, but the x-rays came back negative, which is good news for the Jays. At this point, they need his bat in the lineup.
3. The Catch of the Year
Kevin Pillar is turning out to be quite a pleasant surprise early on. He is swinging a pretty hot bat, but it is his glove that has become the talk of the league. After making a few highlight reel plays in Baltimore, Pillar turned in a catch of the year candidate on Wednesday night. It was one of the best catches I have ever seen.
Player of the Week
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Donaldson was bumped up to the 2-hole and responded by going on a tear: 11 for 29, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, .379 average, 1.143 OPS, and one massive walk-off HR.
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: 7 – 3, 2nd place
AA – New Hampshire: 5 – 6, 5th place
A+ – Dunedin: 5 – 6, T-4th
A – Lansing: 8 – 3 , 1st place
The Look Ahead
A day off on Monday, before finishing the 10-game homestand against the Orioles.
April 21-23 vs. Baltimore
April 24-26 at Tampa Bay