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 7.
Week 7: May 18 – May 24
Record: 3 – 4
Season-to-date: 20 – 26
AL East: 5th, 4.5 GB of Tampa Bay
Wild Card: 6.5 GB of 2nd Wild Card (Detroit)
1. The Walking Injured
On Thursday the Blue Jays placed Devon Travis on the 15-day DL, retroactive to May 17. The move is certainly a big blow to the team, but sadly is just the latest in what is becoming a season full of them. He joins Dioner Navarro, Marcus Stroman, Maicer Izturis, Michael Saunders, and Jose Reyes on the disabled list, and the list might possibly grow even further. Jose Bautista has not been the same since making an ill advised, temper and rage filled throw to first from the outfield against the Orioles. In fact, that was the last throw he has been able to make, as the slugger has been limited to DH duty only. With news leaking that he received a cortisone shot today, there are fears that the injury is actually worse than he is letting on. The good news is that Jose Reyes is expected back tonight. Hopefully there is no bad news to go with it.
2. Close Game Blues
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the Toronto’s ever growing wounded list is the impact it is having on the team’s ability to win close games. Research has shown that a team’s record in one-run games is more a factor of luck than of skill, but there’s no denying that when a team is within a single run, they are only one swing of the bat away from tying it up (or taking the lead). However, when big difference makers like Travis, Reyes, and Bautista are not 100%, that one swing of the bat is often in the hands of players like Kawasaki, Pillar, and Valencia – not exactly who a fan wants to see in a high pressure situation. The Jays lost four straight one-run games last week, and now sit a woeful 2-10 in those contests in 2015. It’s time for some of that bad luck to turn around.
3. Silver Lining
For all of you out there who are still hoping for some good to come out of this season – listen up. There is a silver lining to Toronto’s recent struggles, and it’s this: the AL East is awful. A decade ago, the terms “AL East” and “Awful” would never go together, but my how things have changed. The Blue Jays are six games under .500, yet sit only 4.5 games back of first place Tampa. The Yankees have lost six straight and are 1-9 in their past 10. Both Boston and Baltimore are under .500. The Jays would be 9.5 out in the AL Central and 11 out in the AL West. In either of those divisions, a 5 or 6 game winning streak would barely make a dent in their deficit. But in the East? That might just be good enough to move them into first! And that, my friends, is your silver lining.
Player of the Week
Chris Colabello, OF
He just keeps on hitting. At some point it’s either going to all fall apart, or we will have to admit that he is the real deal. His numbers last week: 8 for 24, 2 HR, 5 R, 4 RBI, 6 BB, .333 / .467 / .667 / 1.133.
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: 23 – 21, 3rd place
AA – New Hampshire: 22 – 21, 5th place
A+ – Dunedin: 19 – 24, 5th place
A – Lansing: 25 – 19 , T-1st place
The Look Ahead
Two AL Central opponents on deck, including the surprising Twins.
May 25-27 vs. Chicago White Sox
May 29-31 at Minnesota