Embed from Getty Images
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 13.
- Kendrys Comes Through
Through the middle of May Kendrys Morales was having a nightmarish season. Already unfairly vilified by Jays fans for not being Edwin Encarnacion, Morales wasn’t doing himself any favours by carrying a .146 average and .499 OPS. But Toronto’s DH kept plugging away and was finally rewarded with a signature moment yesterday. Summoned off the bench in the top of the 10th, Morales hit Toronto’s first pinch-hit home run of the season, propelling the Jays to a 7-6 win and a series split in Anaheim. The HR wrapped up a great week for Morales, and keeps him on what has been a fairly sustained hot streak. Since that low point on May 17, Morales is hitting .347 with a .978 OPS, 5 HR, and 14 RBI in 29 games, and his season average is now up to .246 with a .735 OPS. Better late than never….
- The Stro Show Returns
Morales wasn’t the only member of the Jays who got off to a horrific start. Marcus Stroman came into the 2018 season with high expectations only to scuffle badly in the early going. At the end of April Stro’s ERA was 8.88, easily the worst in baseball among starting pitchers, before he was shuffled to the DL in mid-May with shoulder irritation. Well, Stroman made his anticipated return on Saturday and the results were very encouraging: 5 shutout innings with only 1 walk and 5 strikeouts. He kept the Angels off balance all night long with electric stuff, finally resembling the pitcher we all expected. At a time when the Jays rotation is seemingly changing by the day (Sanchez to the DL! Garcia to the DL!) a healthy and effective Stroman is a very welcome sight.
- 75 Games
While no official legal punishment has been handed out, Major League Baseball finally commented on the Roberto Osuna situation last week, handing the Jays closer a whopping 75-game suspension for violating the league’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy. Osuna is ineligible to return until August 4th, but it remains to be seen whether he will ever return to the Toronto lineup. Speculation exists (from Jeff Blair among others) that the Jays will be actively looking to trade Osuna before the July 31 deadline, with the hopes that a contending team may be willing to accept the public repercussions in order to acquire a solid relief option. Hopefully the price tag will be decently high to accelerate the rebuild.
Player of the Week
Kendrys Morales, DH
7-for-14, 4 BB, 1 2B, 3 HR, 5 R, 4 RBI, .500 / .611 / 1.214 / 1.825
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
Reminder: Better Days Are Ahead
Stats as at June 24 (AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats)
The Look Ahead
June 25 – 27 at Houston Astros
June 29 – July 2 vs. Detroit Tigers