Blue Jays transaction news: Santiago Espinal heads to the 10-day Injured List, Otto López called up
Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
16 days ago
The Blue Jays have made a transaction.
On Monday afternoon, the Blue Jays placed second baseman Santiago Espinal on the 10-day Injured List, retroactive to May 21st.
As you may recall, Espinal injured his hamstring in Saturday’s game after attempting to steal second base. While he was successful in that endevor, he was pulled from the game. It was a shame to, because Espinal was three for three on the day, with a double.
The 28-year-old infielder has had a tough start to the 2023 season. He’s slashing .205/.266/.274 with a homer in 80 plate appearances. Overall, he has a 52 wRC+, along with a 2 Defensive Runs saved and a -1 Outs Above Average at second base.
There are a couple of odd statistics in his splits. For example, Espinal is slashing .286/.342/.314 in 38 home plate appearances, and has walked 7.9% of the time compared to a 5.3 K%. His away numbers are much worse, as he’s slashing .132/.195/.237 in 42 plate appearances. He also has a 4.8 BB% and a 23.8 K%. Very weird.
Furthermore, heading into this season, some people (myself included) thought he’d platoon against left-handed pitching, as he absolutely torched them in 2022. This season, he’s slashing .111/.172/.111 in 29 plate appearances against left-handed pitching for a -21 wRC+. With that being said, he is slashing .261/.320/.370 in 51 plate appearances against right-handed pitching for a slightly below average wRC+ of 94.
When Espinal returns, it may be ideal to play him against right-handed pitching, as he has hit them significantly better than he has left-handed pitching.
Espinal’s replacement, Otto López hasn’t had the greatest of starts to the 2023 season either. With the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, he’s slashing .213/.273/.260 in 139 plate appearances with no homers and four extra base hits. Overall, he has a 35 wRC+, and has a 7.9 BB% and a 16.5 K%, both are worse than his 2022 numbers.
It’s worth noting that López struggled in his first 139 plate appearances in 2022 as well. He slashed .186/.290/.297 with a homer and eight extra base hits for 60 wRC+. The only difference is that he had a higher BB% (10.8%) and lower K% (14.4%).
By the end of the 2022 season, López slashed .297/.378/.415 with three homers in 391 plate appearances for a 114 wRC+ in Triple-A.
López’s playing time will be sporadic, so I wouldn’t expect him to get many plate appearances at the big league level in this go-around.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.
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