“I think guys are upset… we have some talented players that aren’t playing upto their capabilities” – Kevin Pillar , quoted in Associated Press today.
Well, no argument about that. After a promising start in March/April, the Blue Jays fell apart in May, seemingly doing nothing right. Granted, weather problems in April that resulted in a grueling 8 game, 7 day road trip early on wore them down a little, but three weeks later, they show no signs of recovering from that little spell. More often than not there seemed to be a sort of sense of hopelessness combined with indifference on the field for a team that we hoped would have a legitimate shot at contending in 2018 Instead, now most fans seem to be contenting themselves with guessing who’ll the team will trade Josh Donaldson (a name which comes to mind when reading Pillar’s statement, I would add) to or when young Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will show up in the Big Leagues.
Team Record – 9 – 19 .321
which saw them quickly drop to fourth in the division, ahead of only the sadsack Orioles.
Player of Month – Yangervis Solarte
Solarte made his presence known, particularly with an incredible 8-hit day that included a grand slam when playing a double header in Cleveland. He’s shown a good versatility playing around the infield, and his offense was as good as anyone’s on the team in May – .264 with 4 homers, 18 RBI and a .445 slugging percentage (which is worth noting was down from April.) Not spectacular numbers, but quite good, and I’ll give him the nod over Justin Smoak who was not far off (.244/4/12 and 20 walks leading toa .404 on base percentage.)
Pitcher of Month – JA Happ
Again. Happ’s showing he was very worthy of the opening day start, currently leading the team in wins, innings pitched and Ks. After starting the month with rough outings against Tampa and Seattle he rebounded with three straight wins, over which he struck out 23 in 20 2/3 innings and had a stellar 1.70 ERA. Overall, he sits at 7-3 and may be the team’s most likely rep at the All Star Game.
Story Of Month – Roberto Osuna’s Arrest
Just when things were going fine, or so we thought. Osuna was quickly gaining recognition as one of the elite closers in baseball, had 9 quick saves … and then got busted in Toronto for domestic assault. Pictures of him in a Canadian jail cell were leaked and MLB quickly, and reasonably, removed him from the Jays active roster. As of this time, he remains on “paid leave” and the “restricted list” , presumably while the league try to get more details of the incident and decide on his suspension, which past history tells us will likely be in the range of 25 games, but could be more. Since that time, John Axford and Tyler Clippard have stepped up and done solid work but his absence has undoubtedly weakened a good bullpen and since , the team is just 6-15.
Tomorrow is a new month, while it now seems rather unrealistic to project forward to this team playing post-season baseball in October, let’s hope it at least starts a turning of a “mental calendar” in the clubhouse and there’ll be some of the excitement we saw early on this year.