Every Monday during the 2016 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 11.
Week 11: June 13 – June 19
Record: 4 – 3
Season-to-date: 39 – 33
AL East: 3rd, 3 games behind Baltimore
Wild Card: 0.5 games behind Kansas City
- Down Goes Bau
Just when everything seemed to be going Toronto’s way, along came news that Jose Bautista was going on the DL. In what looked like an innocent play, Bau hyperextended his left big toe after crashing into the outfield wall against Philadelphia and was placed on the 15-day DL the next day. By most statistics Bautista is having a down year in 2016. He only has 12 HR, a .230 batting average, and is striking out more than usual. But there’s no denying the presence he brings to the Jays lineup. He also is getting on base a ton, leading the AL in walks at the time of his injury. It took almost two full months for the Jays to finally start clicking and it’s a shame that a key piece has gone down right when they hit their stride. Let’s hope he’s not out for long.
- About Time
The Blue Jays entered 2016 with the most fearsome offense in the game, with expectations of bludgeoning opponents to death day in and day out. Then they suddenly stopped hitting. A team that was expected to put up 10-run games quite often had only reached double digits twice by June 10th. Well, it seems like things are finally happening. The Jays erupted for 10+ runs twice against Baltimore, before reaching that plateau three more times last week. On Tuesday they destroyed the Phillies 11-3 then fully crushed them again on Thursday 13-2. They followed that up by slaughtering the Orioles in Baltimore 13-3 on Friday night. Toronto scored 52 runs in seven games, and that includes being shutout on Monday night. It took over 60 games but it seems that the bats are finally catching up to the arms.
- Saunders Erupts
Quick – who leads the Jays in average, OBP, SLG, OPS, is tied for first in doubles, and is third in HR? If you guessed Edwin, Jose, or Josh, you’re wrong. The answer is Michael Saunders, the Canadian who was an afterthought entering 2016 and was almost dumped to the Reds in spring training. Very quietly Saunders has put up a .309 / .385 / .596 / .980 slash line, hit 15 HR and 17 doubles. He has done it by hitting in a variety of different spots in the batting order, and he has done it against right handers and left handers. His 15 HR are only 4 back of his career high and we aren’t even in July yet. He had the game of his life on Friday night, swatting 3 HR and driving in 8, and came within a few feet of hitting a fourth HR. A case can be made for a bunch of Blue Jays to get the call for the AL All Star team (EE, Sanchez, Estrada), but Saunders might be the most deserving of all.
Player of the Week
Josh Donaldson, 3B
A huge week: 12 for 27, 11 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 2B, 1 SB, .444 / .545 / 1.000 / 1.545
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
AAA – Buffalo: 37 – 33, 4th place, 7 GB
AA – New Hampshire: 29 – 39, 4th place, 19 GB
A+ – Dunedin: 30 – 36, 5th place, 11 GB
A – Lansing: 36 – 34, T-5th place, 5.5 GB
A (Short Season) – Vancouver: 2 – 1, T-1st
The Look Ahead
A short 5-game week.
June 21 – 22 vs. Arizona
June 24 – 26 at Chicago White Sox