Team Record – 13 – 15 (.464)
4th place in AL East all month
A lacklustre month, with a record that looks better than it was perhaps given that there were 10 games against the worst pair of team’s in the game, Baltimore and Kansas City. The month ended with one-time MVP Josh Donaldson traded to Cleveland and classy outfielder Curtis Granderson off to Milwaukee.
Player of the Month- Kendrys Morales
Morales brought a little excitment to the city by hitting homers in 7 straight-games, best in Jays history and only a game off the whole MLB record. On the month, he hit 9 HR and had a pretty admirable .563 slugging percentage. Not a new version of 1992 Dave Winfield or ’93 Paul Molitor, but still a major league hitter and in a league without an Ortiz, one of the better DHs around. Honorable mention to the surprising but up-and-down Randal Grichuk who hit .317.
Pitcher of the Month – Ken Giles
His teammates didn’t set the bar very high. Toronto was giving up over 5 and a half runs a game, and opponents racked their scores up into double digits 6 times in the month. Newcomer Ken Giles in his first month with the team, never made it look easy…in 11 innings he gave up 4 homers and opponents hit .313 off him… and Yahoo sports writers even suggested he might be trying to help Philadelphia win against his own team. All that said, he was 7 for 7 in save opportunities for the Jays, and added a precarious but real stability to the back of the ‘pen. No matter how we try to spin it, there were simply no good starting pitchers for the team when viewed across the month.
And By the Way –
In case you’re wondering about some ex-Jays… since being traded, Steve Pearce is doing just fine in Boston as a backup first baseman and outfielder. He’s hitting .278 with 6 homers and a (career best) .394 OBP in 33 games with the Sox. All Star JA Happ has been all-star calibre with the Yanks… in 6 starts, he’s 5-0 over 34 innings (an average of 5 2/3 innings per game , same as with toronto earlier) and a pretty respectible 3.38 ERA. He’s certainly helping NY keep in the race, albeit a longshot, to win the division.
Seungwhan Oh has been very good in the mile high city, having a stellar 1.32 ERA and one win, one save in 15 relief appearances with the Rockies. John Axford , with LA Dodgers, and Aaron Loup with Philly each are on the disabled list now and did little in their new unis so far.
Story of the Month – Trailer of Upcoming Attractions
We got to see the catcher-of-the-future, Danny Jansen who’s looking very at home at the plate and behind it, outfielder Billy McKinney who seems better than Yankees scouts suggested when he was traded for Happ, and southpaw starter Thomas Pannone, who was brilliant against Baltimore , flirting with a no hitter, in his first start then was hit hard by the same team 6 days later. None look like All Stars yet, but all show potential for a great future, and when added in to the likes of Guerrero Jr, Bichette and Tellez perhaps point towards a great team on the horizon.