JAYS FROM THE COUCH CONTINUES TO BRING YOU THE BLUE JAYS PITCHER AND HITTER OF THE WEEK, INCLUDING THE FAN VOTE.
The Blue Jays were back at home this week, facing off against two struggling American League East teams. After an off day on Monday, the Jays started their series off against the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels came into play holding the worst record in the AL West and the third worst record in the American League. The Blue Jays offense would go cold in the series against some weak pitchers and the Jays would drop two out of three to the Angels. This was not the start to the week the Jays were hoping for, but with the Red Sox and Orioles struggling at the same time it didn’t hurt their position. Next was onto the Minnesota Twins, who hold the worst record in the American League. The offense would come alive, as the Blue Jays would score 32 runs in three games on route to a sweep of the Twins.
The Jays are currently 2.0 games ahead in their division, and are in the midst of a series against the Baltimore Orioles. If the offense from the Twins series can continue onto the struggling Orioles starting pitching, there’s no reason the Jays could almost bury Baltimore in the standings this week. With a so-so week for the Blue Jays in the book, here are your players of the week.
Hitter of the Week – Josh Donaldson .391/.517/.1.043, 5HR, 10RBI
The reigning 2015 AL MVP would have another MVP sort of week. Collecting hits in all six games this week, working six walks throughout the week, and he topped off his great week with his first three home run game of his career. Donaldson became the 16th Blue Jay in history to have three home runs in a game, and would propel himself into the Player of the Week conversation. Hitting close to .400 for the entire week, Donaldson certainly continues to perform on both sides of the field, week in and week out.
Runner Up – Edwin Encarnacion .316/.462/.526, 1HR, 5RBI
This one was a close one, but I gave the edge to Encarnacion who didn’t have his greatest power week at the plate, but found a way to be efficient when he was at the plate. With only one home run this week, Encarnacion continued to collect hits no matter what, and was able to walk in 23.1% of his plate appearances. Encarnacion’s play has been simply amazing this week, and it should be noted that his increased playing time at first base has actually been a plus this season. His improvements on defense and one of his best years at the plate continue to find him in these articles every week.
Pitcher of the Week – Joaquin Benoit & Jason Grilli
This week, we didn’t have the same jaw dropping performances we have been getting from our starters. Rather it was the clean seventh and eighth innings from Benoit and Grilli, that helped the Blue Jays pitching staff. The two veterans combined to pitch 5.1IP, not allowing a run to cross home, allowing five hits, striking out five, and only allowing two walks. With the bullpen being a major concern earlier in the year, the Blue Jays have acquired pieces that have found their roles comfortably in the bullpen. The combo of Benoit, Grilli, and Osuna have proved they can be a pretty steady rotation to close out close games.
Fan Vote – Josh Donaldson
This one was another landslide vote. Josh Donaldson’s performance Sunday afternoon solidified his position in the fans’ hearts as their player of the week. Some fans wanted to give some love to Melvin Upton Jr., who returned to form this week hitting close to .300, and had an inside the park “triple” to drive home the game winning run on Saturday’s game against the Twins. Fans also thought Russell Martin deserved some love, who had some huge games this week. Although Thole caught two games this week, Martin’s bat was so valuable, John Gibbons had no choice but to DH him. His ability to come up in the clutch with men on base continued, as he drove in seven runs.
Thanks again to all who voted and shared, we had our third consecutive record breaking week in the polls! Make sure you go to @Spenred on Twitter after the game on Sunday to have your say.
#BlueJays player of the week time!!! Let's share this as much as possible!
— Spencer Red (@Spenred) August 28, 2016
*FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: KEITH ALLISON-FLICKR-CREATIVECOMMONS
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