When looking at a player’s stat line on the season, it can often be misleading. Take Jose Reyes for example. Before each at-bat, his stat line for 2014 will flash at the bottom of the screen: .269 with an OBP of .333 with 4 home runs. By all accounts, pretty pedestrian numbers for a former batting champion and four-time All Star. Yet Reyes struggled mightily at the beginning of the season after dealing with hamstring tightness. Before May 6th, Reyes was hitting a paltry .191 with an OBP of .247 with a single, solitary stolen base. Since then? He’s hit .303 with an OBP of .370, stolen 14 bases and has walked as many times as he has struck out (16). These are much more in line with his career numbers. This arbitrary endpoint (May 6 – June 15) should serve to soothe the nerves of those who think that Reyes has taken a dive into his decline phase head-first. Let’s have a look at some of the other Jays players to see how they have been doing lately.
Since moving from the rotation to the bullpen, McGowan has been quite the stud. As a late-inning power arm, McGowan has pitched 15 innings, striking out 10 while walking only two. He has a sparking 1.20 ERA with a 0.60 whip. Opponents are batting a paltry .143 against him. And in those 15 innings that McGowan has pitched, the Blue Jays are 11-1.
Since joining the Blue Jays as a minor league free agent, Francisco has been lauded for his potent bat. In the month of May, Francisco hit .289 while blasting seven home runs and posting an OPS of 1.013. The prevailing thought was that his offensive prowess outweighed his defensive shortcomings at third base. But things are not always as they seem. Since May 21st, Francisco has batted .161 and struck out 22 times while walking only three. On the season, Francisco is striking out in over 35% of his at-bats. Perhaps it’s time to move Lawrie back to third base.
The Melk-Man had a torrid start to the season. On the morning of May 28th, Cabrera had a .320 batting average with an OPS of .870. He was on pace for a 219 hit season. Since then the Melk has gone sour. He’s hit only .213 with an OPS of .570.
Marcus Stroman has traded places with Dustin McGowan and like McGowan has found a comfort zone in his new role. As a reliever, Stroman posted an ugly ERA of 12.79 with opponents hitting at a .419 clip against him. Since joining the rotation? Stroman has a 2.50 in three starts; striking out 17 while walking only one.
Before May 11th, Brett Cecil struggled to find the strike zone. In 16.2 innings pitched, Cecil walked 13 batters while sporting a 4.86 ERA. Since then, he has become stronger with each outing. Since May 11th, Cecil has pitched 10 innings, walking four and striking out 12. Over that period Cecil has posted a 2.70 ERA, but a word of warning: opponents are hitting at a .378 clip over that span.
Featured image courtesy of J. Meric/Getty Images.