The votes are in! Jays From The Couch takes a look at the Blue Jays best individual performers from this past week of play.
Week three, was yet another “okay” week for the Blue Jays after going on a three game win streak, taking the final two games against the Boston Red Sox, then winning the first against the Baltimore Orioles. The Blue Jays would slide right back, losing the next two to the Orioles, and losing the first game of the series to the Oakland Athletics. The offence seemed to click in the second game of Athletic series, scoring nine runs with three home runs, and the Blue Jays might be going on an upswing. Like every week though, there still were some great individual performers, so here are your players of the week.
Hitter of the Week: Michael Saunders .381/.458/.524 8H, 0HR, 1RBI, 3BB, 3SO
After struggling to look at pitches all season, John Gibbons decided to switch up the lineup in Boston. Switching leadoff man Kevin Pillar to the ninth spot, and inserting the lefty Michael Saunders into the leadoff role. Michael Saunders had been quietly effective this season, but inserted into his new role, he flourished. Of Saunders eight hits this week, three of those were doubles, a sign to why Donaldson batted in seven runs this week. Saunders might not be your “typical” leadoff batter, but his ability to work the ball to the opposite field (2016- 37.5%), his 0.46BB/K, make Saunders a great option to take the first at bat any game.
Runner Up: Kevin Pillar .370/.393/.407 10H, 0HR, 2RBI, 1BB, 4SO
On the other side of that role change, Kevin Pillar moving to his prototypical eighth/ninth spot was huge for the Blue Jays this week. Pillar really struggled in the leadoff spot, not able to work a walk in the first three weeks of the season. Since moving back to his regular role the pressure is off, collecting 10 hits this week, and even working one walk! Previous to this while in the leadoff role, Pillar’s season numbers looked something like this: .188/.235/.271, 52PA, 9H, 3RBI, 0.0BB%. It doesn’t really matter where you are placed in the lineup, every role serves a vital purpose to the flow of the offence. Pillar’s “demotion” doesn’t really matter if he continues to put up numbers like he did this past week.
Pitcher of the Week: J.A. Happ 14.0IP, 11H, 4ER, 2BB, 5SO, 2.57ERA
While all the starters seemed to suffer some sort of hiccup this past week, either with their worst outing in this short season, or one bad inning derailing a game, Happ has continued to stay very consistent, pitching 7 innings in both of his outings this past week. Happ isn’t going to blow you away with crazy speeds, but his ability to induce weak contact to his infielders and control dangerous situations has been amazing. I was not a Happ believer when he was signed, but it seems as though his play from his second half with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season has continued to the early start of this season.
Runner Up: Gavin Floyd 4.0IP, 1H, 0ER, 1BB, 4SO, 0.00ERA
After putting up a strong fight for the fifth starting spot in Spring Training, Gavin Floyd has looked pretty comfortable in his position of the long reliever on the team. Floyd pitched in two games this week, and was solid in both outings. He only allowed two batters to reach base, while striking out two batters per outing. Don’t be surprised to see Floyd more in the future, potentially making a spot start here and there.
Fan Vote: Josh Donaldson .296/.441/.593 8H, 2HR, 7RBI, 5BB, 6SO
For the third week in a row the people have spoken! Josh Donaldson is again your Blue Jays player of the week. Donaldson put up another stellar week, hitting two huge home runs, batting in seven runs. If your tired of this result, vote next week, or pay me to take Donaldson off the ballot, up to you. A lot of people gave votes for “Other” and there were other notable performances that were commendable this week. Justin Smoak saw the ball really nicely this week in his limited play, worked some great walks, and played his usual stellar defence, really excited to see Smoak get more consistent playing time.
Voters also suggested fourth outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, who had one game which was tough to watch, and another where Carrera looked like Al Kaline. Carrera, in Saturday’s game went, 4/5 at the plate, scoring three runs, even mixing in a few diving catches. Carrera definitely had a great game, seeing this sort of play stretched over a whole week will earn him a player of the week nod. Thanks again for all of you that voted, don’t forget that voting starts after the game on Saturday, so keep your eyes out, share the poll, tell your friends, even your family.
|Week||Hitter of the Week||Pitcher of the Week||Fan Vote|
|April 3-8||Josh Donaldson||Aaron Sanchez||Josh Donaldson|
|April 9-15||Josh Donaldson||Roberto Osuna||Josh Donaldson|
|April 16-23||Michael Saunders||J.A. Happ||Josh Donaldson|
|April 23-30||Michael Saunders||Gavin Floyd||Michael Saunders|
|May 1-7||Kevin Pillar||Marcus Stroman||Kevin Pillar|
|May 8-14||Michael Saunders||R.A. Dickey||R.A. Dickey|
|May 8-15||Jose Bautista||Joe Biagini||Jose Bautista|
|May 16-22||Josh Donaldson||Roberto Osuna||Russell Martin|
|May 31-June 5||Darwin Barney||Marco Estrada||Darwin Barney|
|June 6-12||Kevin Pillar||Jesse Chavez||Edwin Encarnacion|
|June 13-19||Josh Donaldson||J.A. Happ||Josh Donaldson|
|June 20-26||Troy Tulowitzki||Joe Biagini||Troy Tulowitzki|
*FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: KEITH ALLISON UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Spencer Redmond is a Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. His loves in life are the NBA, MLB, Stats, and his dog Parker.