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 15.
- The Legend Returns
For 10 seasons, for over 1,200 games, and for over 5,200 plate appearances, Jose Bautista was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. He was one of Toronto’s most loved athletes, and was responsible for some of the club’s most iconic moments. When the Blue Jays said goodbye to Jose at the end of the 2017 season most of us thought we’d seen the last of him. But this past week the legend returned to Toronto as a visiting player for the New York Mets. He was greeted with an emotional tribute video and a raucous ovation from the crowd. While Bautista will never regain his position as one of the most feared sluggers in the game, his performance with the Mets proves that he still has some gas left in the tank. He went 2-for-7 with 3 walks in his two games back in his old stomping grounds and has posted an above-average .880 OPS in New York. Long live the King.
- Borucki Dominates
Ranked by MLB.com as Toronto’s 8th best prospect, LHP Ryan Borucki made his major league debut on June 26 in Houston before coming home for two starts in the Rogers Centre last week. With the Blue Jays in the midst of a lost season and with a huge selloff on the horizon, Borucki’s performance is offering Jays fans something we sorely need: hope for the future. On Monday against the Tigers Borucki was terrific, allowing only 2 ER on 6 hits over 7 innings. He struck out 8 and didn’t walk a single hitter. He then one-upped himself yesterday by taking on – and shutting down – the powerful New York Yankees: 5 strikeouts, 7 innings, 1 run allowed. He now boasts a 2.25 ERA in his brief career and is making a case to be a front of the rotation starter for the rest of 2018 and beyond.
- Struggling All-Star
After beating the Astros on June 25th, J.A. Happ was 10-3 with a 3.62 ERA and was considered the most attractive available option on the trade market. His name was being thrown around in rumours on a daily basis – Yankees! Cubs! – with fans dreaming of a return of a few decent prospects. Perhaps the pressure of pitching among trade rumours is getting to him, because Happ has struggled mightily recently. On Saturday against the Yankees he lasted only 2.2 innings while allowing 6 runs on 4 hits and a staggering 6 walks. He has allowed 13 runs in only 8.1 innings over his past two starts (14.04 ERA), increasing his season ERA almost a full run to 4.44. Despite his recent struggles he was named to the American League All-Star team on Sunday night marking the first time he has earned the honour.
Player of the Week
Ryan Borucki, SP
2 Starts, 14 IP, 3 ER, 13 K, 2 BB. 1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
Reminder: Better Days Are Ahead
The Look Ahead
July 10 – 11 at Atlanta Braves
July 12 – 15 at Boston Red Sox