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There’s an old saying in baseball that you don’t pay attention to the rankings until June 1, and that’s still three weeks from today. But did you know? We’ll do it anyway, because the Toronto Blue Jays are not where they should be right now.
Regardless of expectations, the two games above 0.500 are not a disastrous start. In addition, in a season of 162 games, 32 matches are not enough to draw comprehensive conclusions about anyone. There is a way to spend an evening in the sport, and barring a disaster, Toronto’s top talent should shine for the long haul. In other words, don’t worry. distance. But let’s take a look under the hood and see what happens:
Last year, the Jays had the third most runs in baseball and hit 21 more players than any other team. They also drove comfortably in overall bases and base percentage as well as slow. Toronto simply beat many of its opponents. this year? not much. While they ranked sixth in both homers and overall bases heading into the day’s events, Jays dropped to 12th in the OPS and scored just 16 in runs.
So, who doesn’t pull their weight? Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s numbers are down from last year, when he tied for the top of the big league with 48 players and topped the AL in percentage on base and slowdown. But MLB scoring has fallen by nearly a full run in every game this year and strength numbers have fallen dramatically, with some players blaming a less active ball. Despite the drop in Guerrero’s raw numbers, his OPS+ (which calibrates league averages) is down slightly from last year. So don’t blame him for the power outage in Toronto.
George Springer has been fantastic too, matching Guerrero to seven players from a top team while posting a slightly better OPS+ – and perhaps most importantly – sitting in just one game so far after he’s missed more than half of last year through injury.
The painting’s biggest disappointment so far is Bo Bichette. After leading the AL in hitters and hitting 29 homers with 25 base steals last year, the youngster hit just .225 with three smashes and three steals. The Jays also missed star player Tuscar Hernandez, who missed more than three weeks with a tilt injury before returning last weekend.
First, the good: Player of the Year Two Alec Manouh had a perfect performance in April, going 4-0 in his first four games while making a good start every time. The Big Right is still winless in May, but has not lost or given up more than two rounds in the match. Meanwhile, big-ticket free agent Kevin Gussman seems to be worth every penny. He’s 3-1 with a sparkling 2.13 ERA, has yet to concede his home run and boasts an incredible 46/1 hit-to-walk ratio (which isn’t a typo).
The Ugly: Since getting a massive contract extension during the off-season, Jose Berrios has been a disaster. He was knocked out again this afternoon by the Yankees, allowing five runs in more than five rounds of action. Over 34 innings this year, opposing hitters pounded the right for 42 strokes and 22 innings. Berrios performed at a sub-replacement level. for nearly $19 million a year.
It’s been brutal so far. This afternoon’s game was the Jays’ ninth against the best Yankees in MLB already, and they’ve played six-time title holders Houston. As measured by ESPN, Toronto has faced the second hardest schedule in baseball.
The good news is that Jays are done with the Astros and they are already about halfway through their matches with the Yankees. So going can get easier, which may help Bichette, Barrios and Bullpen. Plus, summer is still six weeks away. It’s a long season. Plenty of time for the cream to rise to the top.