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Every Monday during the 2018 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.
- Maile the Magnificent
19 hits. 2 home runs. 7 RBI. .407 OPS. 130 at bats. Those were the numbers posted by Luke Maile in 2017, stats that made Maile the American League’s worst hitter by a fairly significant margin. But what a difference a winter makes. Maile has turned into a hitting machine this season, making the most of the opportunities he’s been given. He continued his hot start with a monster game last week against Chris Sale and the Red Sox, going 3-for-4 with a game-tying HR in the 7th followed by a walk-off 2-run bomb in the 12th. He has now appeared in 18 games and has already smashed his 2017 totals with 2 HR, 14 RBI, 20 hits, and a .902 OPS. That OPS ranks as the 19th best in the entire American League for players with at least 50 plate appearances. Now if only he can pass on his hitting magic to one of Toronto’s many slumping hitters….
- How Low Can We Go?
It has been repeated constantly, but let’s say it again: starting pitching was supposed to be the strength of this team. Unless a market correction is coming soon, the next question to ask is how bad can the rotation possibly get? Hopefully not much lower than last week. In the six games against Seattle and Boston, Jays starters were pitiful. They combined for an ERA of 7.14, a WHIP of 1.86, walked 16 batters, surrendered 6 HR, and lasted less than 5 innings per start on average. Worse is that the rotation allowed runs in the first inning of four of the six games (a total of 8 runs), meaning the offense was behind before even coming to the plate. Now with Marcus Stroman on the DL it means the return of Joe Biagini as starter, a role that in which he has struggled immensely. The saving grace has been the performance of the bullpen, but with Roberto Osuna gone indefinitely (possibly forever), it’s only a matter of time until that is stretched thin. Things are……not good.
- Is Kendrys Cooked?
Kendrys Morales never stood a chance in Toronto. Fans viewed him as the front office’s cheap replacement for Edwin Encarnacion, a person he never could have hoped to replace. Even if he clubbed 40 HR each year of his contract, it still wouldn’t be enough. Now that he is performing like one of the worst hitters in all of baseball? Oh boy. Morales seems to be stuck in a funk that he can’t get out of, seemingly looking worse with each passing at-bat. He snapped a dreadful 0-for-28 slump last week but still finished the week going 2-for-12 with a huge rally crushing GIDP on Sunday. For the season Morales is batting .154 with a .525 OPS – not at all the types of numbers any team wants to see from its DH. It might only be a matter of time until Kendrys is handed his walking papers.
Player of the Week
Luke Maile, C
5-for-12, 1 BB. 1 3B. 2 HR, 2 R. 5 RBI, .417 / .462 / 1.083 / 1.545
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
Reminder: Better Days Are Ahead
Stats as at May 13 (AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats)
The Look Ahead
May 15 – 16 at New York Mets
May 17 – 20 vs.Oakland Athletics