The sky (dome) was literally falling in Toronto, but the Blue Jays are A-OK.
The team’s last handful of contests — including a loss to the lowly Orioles, a one-game sweep of Cleveland, an actual brooming of the Royals, and the team’s first series-loss of the season — was highlighted by severe weather issues, a Facebook debut, the return of Joey Bats to the news cycle, and the emergence of a pair of the Blue Jays’ top prospects with the big club.
Here’s the Pessimist’s and Optimist’s views on storylines and performances from Toronto’s last 10 games:
Teoscar Hernandez debuts with hot bat
The Pessimist. With only eight games and 38 plate appearances under his belt in 2018, Hernandez’s .343/.395./.743 slash line is just a mirage — he’ll come back to earth as the sample size grows. With nine K’s in just 35 at-bats this season and 36 fans in 88 AB’s last year, it’s clear that strikeouts are going to be a major issue at the Big-League level. Comparison’s have been made to J.P. Arencibia and Ryan Goins, who started their Blue Jays careers en fuego with the bat only to turn into, well, J.P. Arencibia and Ryan Goins. That is terrifying.
The Optimist. The Jays threw bunch of darts at the wall in hopes that one would stick when looking to replenish the outfield last offseason, but the answer may have fell in the team’s lap via the late-season 2017 trade which brought Hernandez here from the Astros. He’s young and fast — both qualities the front office has publicly made a priority — plays solid defense, he can mash, and he’s lighting it up offensively. Dude’s got a 1.138 OPS, three dingers, 10 RBI and has already been worth 0.6 WAR in just eight games so far. Build the statue. Now.
Ice punctured a hole through the Rogers Centre roof
The Pessimist. The roof failed us. Just like everything we’ve ever been proud of, our beloved dome at our beloved baseball park has proven it can’t stand up to a little bit of pressure — even if that pressure comes in the form of a giant ice chunk descending at maximum speed from the top of CN Tower. Tough times don’t last, but tough stadiums do. Our dome is soft just like the fabric of our baseball club and our front office, and the infamous dome puncture is nothing but a metaphor of the issues plaguing this team: it’s full of holes.
The Optimist. The piercing of a giant icicle through the top of the dome led to a cancellation and a subsequent double-header, which the Blue Jays took by a combined score of 16-7 over the Royals. Anything that indirectly leads to a pair of W’s over a Ned Yost-lead team is good in my books, so this giant mass of frozen water which hurled through the roof will forever hold a special place in my heart. Fuck that dome, anyways.
Joey Bats signs with Braves
The Pessimist. Oh, an aging slugger who was terrible for Toronto last season signed a one-year pity deal with his old buddy Alex Anthopolous to (maybe) play infield on a young, mediocre National League squad. This effects the Blue Jays in no way whatsoever — why is this topic even included in this article, you idiot?
The Optimist. Joey Bats is a damn legend and his name should never, ever be used in vain. Bautista — the future Mayor of Toronto — was obviously a savage during his time with the Blue Jays, and the man who brought us jacks galore and legendary bat flips deserves to go out on his own terms. The only way I can see this scenario playing out is like this: Bautista gets called up to the Braves after a month in the minors, puts up solid offensive numbers along with respectable infield defence, and AA flips him to Toronto as a much-needed playoff bench bat — leading to Jose’s walk-off, Game 7 blast against the Angels in the ALCS. There’s no other proper conclusion to this saga.
Blue Jays make Facebook debut
The Pessimist. This is the tackiest, worst baseball broadcasting I’ve seen. I hate interacting with humans, so the commenting feature is cringeworthy beyond measure.
The Optimist. I got nothing. Facebook games blow.
Is Luke Maile the GOAT of backup catchers?
The Pessimist. No, obviously. Chill. You’re talking about the dude who’s a career .204 hitter and boasts an OPS of UNDER .550 — which is almost vomit-inducing. He is a fabulous defensive catcher, even a grouch like me can acknowledge that, but he’s a liability every time the bat is in his hands, which you cannot afford on a team that will need all of the production it can get at the bottom of the order.
The Optimist. He’s a prototypical backup for Russell Martin and his value should never be questioned again. On top of his well-documented defensive ability behind the plate (which in itself is all you want out of your backup catcher) Maile has been crushing this year, finding his swing as he’s put up an insane .414/.485./.552 slash line in eight games with 9 RBI — already two more than he had all of last season. even when he regresses with more AB’s, he’s proven in 2018 that the offseason tweaks he’s made with his swing and approach at the plate will pay dividends whenever he’s called upon to give Russ a break. The perfect backup. Maybe a perfect human? LUUUUUUUKEE.
Lordes Gurriel Jr. Era begins
The Pessimist. See Teoscar Hernandez concerns listed above.
The Optimist. He became just the 9th player in franchise history with a multi-RBI game in his MLB debut. Can’t we just enjoy the good times and look forward to what’s to come with the one of the team’s top-five prospects? His debut was legendary. May we just have nice things and savour them when they come around? Please? Can we?
Jays drop 3-of-4 vs Yankees; lose first series of 2018
The Pessimist. The Blue Jays bats were silenced in the most recent set with New York — a club it will likely find itself battling toe-to-toe with for a Wild Card spot come September. Stroman and Estrada got roughed up, and for the second time this season Luis Severino dominated. Losing five of eight against the Yanks to start the year is concerning to say the least — especially when many are questioning the legitimacy of Toronto’s hot start with many wins coming against shitty teams.
The Optimist. It’s early, it’s early, it’s early. We didn’t have Josh Donaldson, and it’s early. did I mention it’s early?