Blue Jays: Cavan Biggio has turned a corner since the All-Star break
Photo credit:© Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
After a two-hit performance against the Philadelphia Phillies last night, Blue Jays utility player Cavan Biggio is certainly finding a groove at the plate, as the left-hander also added two RBIs in the 9-4 loss.
For Biggio, the 2023 season has seen its fair share of highs and lows, as the former fifth-round pick back in 2016 struggled with the bat early in the season and was seeing sporadic playing time as he competed with Santiago Espinal and Whit Merrifield for starts at second base and slotting in right field on occasion when needed, something manager John Schneider was hoping to do since Spring Training.
Heading into the All-Star break, Biggio was sporting a .197/.265/.380 slash line with seven home runs and 18 RBIs to the tune of a .645 OPS, which was one of the lower marks on the team at the time. His 11 walks to 48 strikeouts was concerning considering his approach over the years has been centered around his plus plate discipline and the .241 BAbip wasn’t helping his case either.
Cavan Biggio has turned a corner since the All-Star break
That’s not to say everything was bad for the utility player, as Biggio hit some clutch home runs at times this year and had moments where it seemed like he was putting it all together, like at the end of May when he collected a hit in six out of seven games with two home runs and four RBIs in that stretch. That however was marred in inconsistency, as Biggio has also gone on numerous streaks where he is struggling to put the ball in play and the team is using him more as a pinch hitter or a defensive substitution rather than starting games while fans were calling for him to see more playing time in Buffalo rather than Toronto.
Since the Midsummer Classic, Biggio has performed well at the plate, going 14 for 43 (.326) while seeing his on-base percentage climb to .473 in that stretch as well. He is seeing the ball better and has increased his walk-to-strikeout rate (8 vs. 12) through those 20 games and has added seven RBIs while scoring 12 runs of his own. One factor that has seen a dip however is his power, with the lefty-batter collecting just one double and one home run since mid-July although he is stringing along better at-bats, especially in the month of August where he has collected a hit in eight of the last ten games he has suited up in.
Defensively, Biggio is seeing an increase in playing time at second base with Kevin Kiermaier on the IL and Merrifield having to move to the outfield. Through 281 innings, he has just one error and sports a .991 fielding percentage to the tune of a -4 DRS. When he is not at second base, the club utilizes his athleticism in right field to give George Springer regular rest days while also slotting him into first base on occasion, mostly as a defensive substitute or after he pinch hits.
Biggio and his role on the Blue Jays down the stretch
Overall, Biggio has found a rhythm at the plate that keeps seeing his name get slotted into the lineup over the likes of Espinal and Davis Schneider, who has cooled off since his breakout weekend against the Red Sox. His left-handed bat gives the Jays some added versatility but considering he is finding ways to get on base and score runs with regularity, it makes sense why the club is giving him some more playing time.
With the team firmly entrenched in third place within the division and clinging to the third Wild Card spot with multiple teams within reach, the Jays will surely benefit if Biggio can continue this recent impressive streak down the stretch even when Kiermaier and Bo Bichette return within the week and the Notre Dame product sees a likely move back to the bench.
Recent articles from Tyson Shushkewich