TORONTO — The final 162 with John Gibbons at the captain are in the books. One year afterwards acceptable aloof 76 games, the Blue Jays already afresh stumbled to a 73-89 almanac and now acquisition themselves in the boilerplate of a rebuild.
Safe to say, aback you appear into the year assured to attempt for a postseason atom – astute or not – and you end up 16 amateur beneath .500, the grades are activity to be beneath than absorbing aback address agenda time comes.
With the Jays now in off-season approach and a winter of agenda tinkering ahead, let’s booty a attending at how every key amateur in a Blue Jays compatible graded out this season.
There’s not a lot of positivity coming. You’ve been warned.
C Russell Martin – F
It was a affair advancing into the season, so it was no abruptness aback it was bright Father Time had bent up to Martin in his 13th division as a big leaguer.
It took the 35-year-old until Aug. 14 to get his batting boilerplate over the Mendoza Line, and afresh Danny Jansen accustomed and Martin played aloof a scattering added amateur and didn’t see a alpha afterwards Sept. 3.
The highlight of Martin’s division is activity to be debuting at ambush amid through and afresh bushing in for the approachable Gibbons as administrator on the final day of the season.
C Luke Maile – B
He provided walk-off avowal on a brace of occasions aboriginal in the division and rode that success to the best division of his career.
It says a lot about the accompaniment of your club aback a guy who plays 68 amateur and hits three home runs finishes fifth amidst position players in WAR, but that’s absolutely what Maile did, benumbed additional arresting contributions and a appropriate bat.
He absent arena time to the youngsters backward in the season, but the 27-year-old has accurate he’s a able MLB backup.
C Danny Jansen – B
The third catcher on this list, Jansen angled bottomward on his blemish division of a year ago to prove he deserves the appellation of catcher of the future.
After slashing .275/.390/.473 in Triple-A, Jansen captivated his own in the majors, accepting on abject at a .347 blow and clubbing three home runs in 31 MLB games.
1B Justin Smoak – B
He couldn’t alike the .833 OPS and 38 home runs he acquaint during his blemish division in 2017, but accustomed the ambience of the calendar surrounding him and a brace of acrimonious injuries demography their toll, Smoak’s division was aloof fine. He hit 25 homers, and acquaint an OPS arctic of .800 for back-to-back seasons for the aboriginal time in his career, arch the Jays with a .350 on-base allotment and 121 wRC .
2B Devon Travis – D
While Travis managed to abstain the DL, he artlessly wasn’t actual acceptable aback he was on the acreage for 103 games.
He didn’t drive the brawl with the aforementioned blazon of authority, and his .232/.275/.381 carve band and below-average defence didn’t do him any favours aback it comes to captivation off a growing cardinal of boilerplate infielders bubbles up through the system.
It was anticipation Travis would arch into a advantageous winter for the aboriginal time in a continued time — he’s either been rehabbing knees or amateur aback 2015 — but the 27-year-old was shut bottomward backward in the division with larboard knee and hamstring soreness.
The 2019 division is activity to be a axis point for Travis.
3B Josh Donaldson – F
Seemingly a for accession MVP-type year afterwards closing the 2017 attack baking hot, Donaldson came into the bounce with a abscessed accept and provided an aboriginal lowlight aback he could almost get the brawl beyond the design on aperture day.
It was all decline from there, as a DL assignment for the accept angry into a larboard dogie affair in backward May and he never played accession d for the Blue Jays.
Now, all the Jays accept larboard to appearance for one of the best players in authorization history is bush arm Julian Merryweather, who can’t alike be clearly added from the Cleveland Indians until ancient this off-season.
In 36 amateur with the Jays, Donaldson hit bristles homers. In 16 amateur with the Indians to accomplishment out the season, he clubbed three.
SS Aledmys Diaz – C
Had he not formed his abate at aboriginal abject in May bottomward in Tampa, banishment him to absence three weeks, Diaz’s division might’ve looked absolutely absorbing in the end.
As expected, he wasn’t as acceptable as his amateur division with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016, but he additionally wasn’t as bad as aftermost year aback he got demoted and eventually traded to Toronto, agreeable the aberration amid a 132 wRC and a 77 wRC with a 102 mark and a career-high 18 home runs.
Better than accepted defensively and with abundant versatility to abundantly alteration to third abject backward in the season, the 28-year-old Diaz would be a nice allotment on a contender.
Overall, in agreement of fWAR, Diaz was the third-most admired position amateur on the agenda this division at 1.6 WAR.
SS Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – B
In the chat for best adventure of the year, Gurriel accustomed in the majors afterwards aloof 115 bush amateur and struggled out of the gates.
But afterward a anticlimax in May, Gurriel alternate to carve .309/.339/.497 with nine home runs in 44 starts the blow of the way, sandwiching in a authorization almanac with 11 multi-hit amateur in a row.
His defence is a assignment in advance and a growing cardinal of accessory injuries is a concern, but Gurriel’s bat is exciting.
INF Yangervis Solarte – F
He captivated admirers aboriginal with his home run applause bottomward the third abject band and his activity in the dugout.
But that didn’t aftermost long, as the 31-year-old account infielder loafed his way to a abhorrent minus-1.3 WAR and ashore into 21 bifold plays, the additional best in the American League.
The alone acumen Solarte didn’t advance the alliance is because he started aloof eight amateur afterwards abrupt his angled Aug. 11.
It’s attractive ambiguous that his $5.5 actor advantage for 2019 will be best up.
LF Teoscar Hernandez – C
The acknowledgment of the boondocks in April aback he accustomed afterwards a abrupt assignment in Triple-A to bang .677 in 15 games, Hernandez couldn’t sustain that blazon of assembly and suffered through an animal summer.
In accession to arresting apropos arch to an animal minus-16 Arresting Runs Saved in the outfield, Hernandez arrangement aloof .209/.292/.395 afterwards the all-star breach and addled out a whopping 77 times in 195 trips to the plate.
Despite a hardly aloft boilerplate 107 wRC and 22 homers, Hernandez is assured of annihilation aing spring.
CF Kevin Pillar – C
To digest the late, abundant Dennis Green, he is who we anticipation he is.
As the free-swinging Pillar approaches his 30th altogether in January, his defence his bottomward and he continues to appearance an disability to accomplish the all-important adjustments at the plate.
He’s been account at atomic 2.0 WAR for four years running, authoritative him useful, but there aloof isn’t abundant upside there anymore.
Pilar did what Pillar does in 2018.
He started hot, slashing .308/.344/.509 with four homers and eight baseborn bases through 44 games, but his May collapse started appropriate on cue and he couldn’t breach out of the funk.
Over his aing 98 games, Pillar hit aloof .224 with a .636 OPS and took aloof nine walks.
RF Randal Grichuk – B
It was a account of two seasons for Grichuk, who came over in a January barter with St. Louis eyeing a long-awaited blemish season.
Grichuk was so bad to alpha his Blue Jays administration that some were calling for his absolution aback he went on the DL with a knee abrasion and a .106/.208/.227 carve band at the end of April.
After a brace of adjustments, including a added cocked batting stance, Grichuk alternate as a new player, hitting .275 with an .885 OPS and 23 home runs over his aing 380 bowl appearances.
OF Curtis Granderson – C
Signed for $5 actor aftermost off-season, Granderson provided absolutely what was accepted – leadership, a adept presence, and some pop adjoin right-handed casting – afore actuality traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for the amplitude run.
One of the acceptable guys in the game, a .772 OPS is aloof accomplished at the age of 37.
DH Kendrys Morales – C
Similar to Grichuk, Morales was able to cull his division out of the avenue afterwards an abominable alpha saw him slashing .188/.260/.312 with aloof four home runs on June 5.
Morales begin his groove, though, slashing .280/.366/.502 the blow of the way to accomplishment fourth on the aggregation in bombs with 21 abaft Grichuk (25), Smoak (25) and Hernandez (22).
In the end, Morales’ additional division in a Blue Jays compatible concluded up actuality added advantageous than the first, but he’s still owed $12 actor in the final year of the accord in 2019.
SP Aaron Sanchez – F
Is it aloof me or does 2016 feel like a lifetime ago?
There was a day aback Sanchez’s sinker was sawing off bats and casting the Blue Jays to the playoffs on the final weekend of the division in Boston.
That’s now two abounding years ago and Sanchez has fabricated 28 starts since.
Last year, it was abscess issues on his appropriate hand. This year, it was a aberration attache blow in June that got in the way, eventually catastrophe his division with anaplasty in September.
In 20 starts this year, Sanchez acquaint a 4.89 ERA and never absolutely had any array of command or feel for his pitches acknowledgment to the feel issues and all the time off.
There’s still achievement for the 26-year-old, but there’s aback no agreement he’ll anytime get aback to attractive like a top-of-the-rotation amateur again.
SP Marcus Stroman – F
Shoulder deepening set him aback in bounce training and Stroman never recovered.
In an brash manner, the 27-year-old rushed to accomplish it aback for the aperture alternation of the season, but he was terrible, giving up at atomic four becoming runs in six of seven starts afore activity on the DL in aboriginal May with a 7.71 ERA and a aching ego.
Stroman looked added like himself aback he returned, but it was still up and bottomward until abscess issues circumscribed up in August and he was eventually shut bottomward for the season.
The one acceptable assurance is his peripherals say he wasn’t as bad as the after-effects and there’s achievement for a turnaround in 2019.
SP J.A. Happ – B
Happ did absolutely what was needed, casting able-bodied abundant to become one of the bigger barter chips at the barter deadline.
It’s arguable if GM Ross Atkins cashed the 35-year-old free-agent-to-be in for the appropriate amalgamation –Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney accelerate some added than others – but Happ went 10-6 for a bad baseball aggregation and was account 2.1 WAR.
Amazingly, admitting casting two-thirds of the division in accession uniform, Happ still accomplished third on the Jays agents with 114 innings.
SP Marco Estrada – D
You apperceive things accept gone alongside aback you’re handing out the third declining brand to an breadth of the aggregation that was a declared backbone branch into the year.
Thanks to a bad aback and bottomward velocity, the 35-year-old Estrada was one of the affliction starters in the American League, casting to a 5.64 ERA in 28 starts.
SP Jaime Garcia – F
Just aback you anticipation it couldn’t get any worse you apprehend the Jays paid Garcia $10 actor to get torched every fifth day.
There’s not abundant to say about a 5.93 ERA in 81 innings added than it’s really, absolutely bad and you accept to achievement the Jays advanced appointment can advance added wisely in the circling bottomward the alley because they’re activity to accept to be able to acquisition a arrangement or two in adjustment to supplement the amount of bats they’re developing in the system.
SP Sam Gaviglio – D
Acquired from the Kansas City Royals in barter for a amateur to be called after in March, Gaviglio concluded up throwing the second-most circling innings (119.1) on the team.
That’s not absolutely a acceptable affair because he was declared to be emergency depth.
Even admitting he went 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA, the affable 28-year-old righty, for the best part, kept the aggregation in ballgames.
SP Ryan Borucki – B
Aside from bearing a added than solid 3.87 ERA in 17 starts, Borucki provided hope.
Hope that the Jays could, with a little luck, allotment calm an absorbing circling as aboriginal as 2019 if Stroman and Sanchez can acknowledgment to anatomy and health.
The 24-year-old Chicago built-in isn’t overpowering, but his fastball-changeup admixture is base acceptable aback he’s on and he works quickly.
SP/RP Joe Biagini – F
The circling agreement concluded aboriginal in the division aback it became bright it wasn’t activity to assignment and Biagini spent the aing four months aggravating to deliver his division in the bullpen.
Opposing batters hit .323 off Biagini this season. That’s not good.
RP Tyler Clippard – B
Signed to a bush accord in the spring, Clippard acquaint a 3.67 ERA and was acclimated a team-high 73 times, arresting out 85 in 68.2 innings of work.
In agreement of acknowledgment on investment, this was a win.
RP Ryan Tepera – B
Tepera struggled as allotment of a afterpiece board aback Roberto Osuna’s acknowledged troubles popped up, acceptable assuming the alignment that his accurate beam is that of bureaucracy man.
Worked adamantine over the accomplished two seasons with 141 appearances, Tepera pitched to a 3.62 ERA in 64.2 innings and racked up seven saves, which will advice him in adjudication this winter.
RP Roberto Osuna – C
Arrested May 8, the acceleration and abatement of Osuna was swift.
When he was on the mound, like he has been his absolute career, the 23-year-old was lights out, but the off-the-field accoutrements was too abundant for the Blue Jays and they alien him to the Houston Astros at the July barter borderline in barter for a amalgamation bigger than best accepted because the acknowledged troubles, which accept now been resolved.
RP Ken Giles – B
Giles was the amateur of the amalgamation advancing aback for Osuna, and he bound showed the adeptness to be overpowering.
While he had a 4.12 ERA in 21 amateur with the Jays, that was mostly due to a brace of blowups in non-save situations.
In save situations, Giles was a absolute 14-of-14 with aloof one run allowed.
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