Jays From the Couch brings you a collection of Blue Jays quick hits to start your morning. Today: Season Numbers, Tesocar & Urshela
Quick Hit #1
The Toronto Blue Jays just got swept by the Boston Red Sox. SWEPT. So, they’ll close May with a record of 9-17. So, for our first quick hit, let’s look at how the month breaks down. To help with this quick hit, I turned to our good friends at Baseball Reference.
- The Blue Jays’ win percentage for May is .346, which probably doesn’t surprise you
- They scored 100 runs in May and gave up 147. Overall, they sit 23rd in baseball with 256 runs scored and have given up the 6th most runs with 281. Raise your hand if you thought the separation would be worse than that.
- Toronto has been shut out only twice this season, which given their record, you would think that total would be higher. They have shut out their opponent exactly zero times. Not. Once.
- Being 4 games under .500 is the worst their record has been in 2018. As is the 12 games back they find themselves in the division. *cough* They were 7 games ABOVE .500, but whatevs.
- They’re longest win streak was 4 games. They’re longest losing streak is also 4 games.
- The most runs they’ve scored in a game is 15, while the most they’ve given up is 13. So, that’s…something.
Quick Hit #2
Teoscar Hernandez has looked somewhat questionable at times in the outfield with prolonged playing time. But, his bat has been one of the few highlights Toronto’s lineup has seen, so they aren’t about to sit him. Part of his success comes from how hard he hits the ball. If you look at Baseball Savant, you find that he is among the league leaders in barreling up the ball. He sits 3rd in all of baseball with 13.7 Brls/PA.
What about the rest of the team? Well, it’s not looking so good. You have to scroll quite distance to find the next closest guy. In 67th place, Justin Smoak has himself 6.5 Brls/PA. Yangervis Solarte is 112th at 4.9 Brls/PA. For all of the talk the TV broadcast does about how hard Kevin Pillar is hitting the ball, he’s 163rd in baseball at 3.2 Brls/PA. After that, there is not a single Blue Jay above 0.0 Brls/PA.
It is worth mentioning – because Jays From the Couch stats professor, Jeff Quattrociocchi reminded me – that the above information is based on a minimum of 100 batted ball events. So, guys like Steve Pearce, Randal Grichuk, etc are excluded. If you lower the search on Baseball Savant to 50 batted ball events, you find Kendrys Morales (7.5 Brls/PA), Pearce (9.7Brls/PA). Also, it should be noted that ‘Barreling’ the ball depends on hitting the ball in the air, so when Pillar hits a ground ball, it doesn’t necessarily help his Brls/PA, even though as Buck says, he’s hitting the ball hard. Hit tip to Jeff!
Quick Hit #3
Can we talk about Gio Urshela? It was rather difficult to figure out why he was put on this roster to begin with. Yesterday, I highlighted why I am dying to see Troy Tulowitzki return. Essentially, the issue lies in the revolving door at short stop that has resulted in little to no value out of the position. Toronto has tried Lourdes Gurriel, Richard Urena, Solarte and Russell Martin, but nothing is working. So, I get why they feel they need a solution at such an important position. But, Urshela?
Heading into the 2018 season, he had a grand total of 27 AAA games at short and 5 MLB games with Cleveland. It’s not like his past experience made him a shoe in. He’s a third baseman. It can’t really be his bat that makes him valuable. He’s hitting .148/.179/.296 for a wRC+ of 22. That’s worse than Ryan Goins or Darwin Barney.
Now that he is on the roster, and other options have been removed, I can see why the club keeps him. It’s the ‘what other choice do we have’ scenario. That is especially true when Josh Donaldson‘s calf acts up and Solarte needs to play third (or Martin does). But, the real question is why the team got him in the first place. One has to think it is to fill the role of ‘Red Shirted Star Trek Guy’. They can give him playing time and when he’s no longer needed, he’ll be jettisoned for the greater good. The risk of doing so is minimal to those in AAA, etc. The problem is that the risk to the big league club’s performance seems to be significant. Man, Tulo can’t come back fast enough.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.