Every Friday, Blue Jays Talk host Scott MacArthur will review your comments on last week's Blue Jays.
This Toronto Blue Jays season is expected to be challenging.
Challenging the profit and loss column and challenging the patience of the fans.
Call me hopelessly optimistic, but what if the imminent arrival of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. put a staff in the middle of an order that is starting to heat up and result in something unexpected?
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The guys are warming up, which is great to see. And this happened in relatively frigid Minneapolis is even more exciting.
Let's start with Justin Smoak, whose faltering neck dominated his narrative. What we need to discuss is how good Smoak has been so far.
The line of statistics, until the end of the series with the twins: A .258 / .420 / .463; 146 OPS + with three home runs and 13 walks in 16 games and 69 plate appearances.
These 13 tours outperform Smoak's 12 strikeouts to date. This is really cool. And while it's generally assumed that Smoak will be on the market – with the Blue Jays trying to get the value they can from a player limited to one position – until he moves in here he is here and the fact that Smoak is coach Charlie Montoyo does not have to there would be a series of consecutive right-handers in the middle of the order against right-handed pitches.
Teoscar Hernandez spent his time in Minnesota. He entered the four-game series with the Twins with a 0.584 OPS and came out with a 0.735 mark thanks to two home runs – the first two homers of the season for Hernandez – and four singles.
You can tell when Hernandez is on the edge of a heater: he starts throwing the shots. Hernandez is an exit speed monster. Last year, in his first full season, Hernandez was in the top seven percent in all baseball departures (average of 91.8 mph) and he was in the top 3 percent of barrel balls (15.5 Percent).
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Then there is Randal Grichuk, which we have discussed on several occasions on this page. Grichuk has considerable power and from what he does not have in base base, he is a good fit in the middle of this request.
Choose your leadoff hitter and after that I like the idea of a Guerrero-Smoak-Hernandez-Grichuk from two to five in training. Play Rowdy Tellez on the days when he plays, perhaps putting him on the five-point Grichuk and hitting the six holes to keep the leftist balance, and suddenly you're looking for a longer lineup.
Meanwhile, there was considerable concern about the bullpen and how it would hold up during the spring training season. Ken Giles was always the closest, but there were questions about just about everyone.
This was exacerbated by, first, Ryan Tepera's Grapefruit League fights and secondly, the finding that these bouts were a result of inflammation in his elbow. Bud Norris was expected to be a late-season guy, coming off two successful seasons with the Angels and Cardinals, but his speed disappeared, he stepped out of a clear-cut presentation in Clearwater and was released early in the regular season before entering Toronto.
Enter Joe Biagini and what has been, until now, his resurgence. If the Blue Jays receive the 2016 version of Biagini during the year, they will be delighted. He is playing his slider much more often (28.2% this year, more than 15.3% last season) at the expense of his fast ball (47.5% use in 2019 compared to 61.2% in 2018) , while trading its curved ball (about three percent this year over the last) for its change (up nearly four percent a year).
So far, it's working.
What a start has been for Eric Sogard's career at Blue Jays. It was 6-for-12 with a three-game hike in Minnesota. There is nothing in Sogard's history to suggest that this will last but, as with anyone else, use the warm hand while it is in rhythm.
Sogard, 32, is a veteran who, as his occasional double-play partner Freddy Galvis, can fill a gap in these most difficult days of rebuilding the club and provide a positive example to his younger colleagues during his time here.