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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 9.
- Happ For Life!
Thank goodness for J.A. Happ. In a season where everything had to go right for the Jays to become serious contenders, virtually everything has gone wrong except for the performance of Happ. For a guy that was never in the conversation of Blue Jays ace (all the talk was always Stroman or Sanchez; Sanchez or Stroman) his 2018 season has been fantastic. Last week saw the big lefty make two starts and earn two wins, striking out close to a batter per inning, and limit the high powered Angels and Phillies to a grand total of four earned runs. For the season Happ now has a 7-3 record, 3.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and a 10.8 K/9 ratio. Toronto’s SP have combined for 15 wins total, meaning Happ is responsible for almost half. It’s hard to imagine where the Jays would be without him, yet that might be exactly what happens as Happ is making himself mighty attractive as a potential trade deadline acquisition.
- Sam Who?
When the Blue Jays called up Sam Gaviglio in early May the news got lost amid a flurry of roster moves. Perhaps more attention should have been paid. The 28-year old has certainly impressed in his brief tenure in Toronto, providing the Jays something they have been sorely lacking – stability in the rotation. After making two relief appearances against Boston, Gaviglio made his first start May 19 vs. Oakland before pitching in Philadelphia last week. He posted a quality start against the Phillies, going 6 innings with 6 strikeouts and 3 runs allowed. He also added a double for good measure. With Stroman still hurt and the Biagini-as-starter experiment seemingly coming to an end, we might be seeing much more of Gaviglio as the season wears on.
- Versatile Russ
Russell Martin is having a miserable season at the plate. As we approach the end of May he is hitting a mere .165 with a .616 OPS, a far cry from what fans are used to. But he is making a name for himself in the field. With the Jays decimated by injuries, they have found a valuable utility infielder in the most unlikeliest of places. Martin has made four appearances at 3B thus far in 2018 and last Saturday made his first career start at SS, registering a putout and an assist in his two chances. Now comes news that he will be making his first career start as a LF in Fenway Park of all places. One wonders if an “around-the-horn” afternoon is on the horizon.
Player of the Week
J.A. Happ, SP
2 Starts, 2-0, 13.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 5 BB, 13 K, 2.63 ERA, 1.02 WHIP
Down on the Farm
A look at how the minor league affiliates are doing
Reminder: Better Days Are Ahead
Stats as at May 27 (AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats)
The Look Ahead
May 28 – 30 at Boston Red Sox
June 1 – 3 at Detroit Tigers