Another newsworthy week for the Blue Jays as they traveled west to take on the Athletics and Astros. The series represented a homecoming of sorts for Marcus Semien and George Springer. Semien had spent the previous six seasons playing for the A’s. Springer had been a member of the Astros since making his big league debut in 2014.

Semien had come into the series against Oakland swinging a hot bat and didn’t let up against his old team. The second baseman went 7 for 17 with a homer, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored. Combined with his hot streak over the past week and a half, Semien raised his batting average from .174 to .254. He also was part of 5 double plays defensively.

Unfortunately, Springer was unable to play against his former team. After sitting out the first game of the Oakland series, the veteran centerfielder was placed on the 10-day IL. He’s eligible to return as early as May 13th. The team has given indications that they expect him to be out a little longer than that.

A month and a half into the season, Springer has barely played. He made his debut last week and hit a pair of long home runs. His continued absence is part of a larger problem that has plagued the team since mid-March.

 Injury Woes Continue

The news early on in the week was that catcher Alejandro Kirk would be out longer than originally anticipated. His hip flexor strain would keep him out a minimum of six weeks. That would turn out to be an underestimation because he was put on the 60-day IL on Saturday.

Riley Adams got a taste of the big leagues but was ultimately sent to Triple-A Buffalo. He’s not considered MLB-ready just yet and the consistent playing time he’ll get with the Bisons should help his development. Reese McGuire was added to the roster as a backup catcher and pitcher Julian Merryweather was placed on the 60-day IL. Merryweather is eligible to return in mid-June at the earliest.

Hyun-Jin Ryu is back as the leader of the staff. David Phelps has enjoyed a great start to his 2021 season (0.87 ERA over 10.1 IP). He’s currently on the 10-day IL with a lat strain.

When Rowdy Tellez was sent down to Buffalo, it left a hole in their first baseman’s depth chart. That meant Joe Panik would have to play there if they wanted to give Vladimir Guerrero Jr. a break. He played one game at first and suffered a left calf strain.

Finally, reliever Rafael Dolis was added to the 10-day IL with a calf strain. A.J. Cole was added to the active roster.

Bo Good

Bo Bichette has had an up-and-down season. He’s tied for the team lead with 8 home runs but has also committed a team-high 7 errors. He’s looked better with the glove lately, making a great play in Wednesday’s 9-4 win over Oakland. He didn’t have a great hitting week (6-26, HR, 2 RBI) but his defensive improvement is encouraging.

West Coast Blues

It was a tough week for Jays’ fans in the eastern time zone. With games against the Athletics starting at 9:40 pm EST many followers likely had difficulties watching the whole game. They would’ve been better off getting a good night’s sleep early in the week.

Steven Matz got the ball in Monday’s game and didn’t look great. He gave up a pair of homers and exited after giving up 5 earned runs over 5 innings. It seemed fairly obvious that his night was over. However, when Manager Charlie Montoyo broke the news, Matz didn’t take it well.

To his credit, Matz responded with a solid performance in Saturday’s 8-4 win over Houston. There seems to be one pitcher on every staff that always gets good run support. Matz gave up 3 earned runs over 5 innings to improve to 5-2 despite his 4.86 ERA.

Danny Boy

Danny Jansen’s struggles at the plate so far this season have been well-documented. He showed signs of breaking out of his extended slump last week. He took it a step further this week by homering in 3 consecutive games.

The first and third long flies were no doubters. In fact, the third one hit on Saturday was measured at 448 feet, the longest of Jansen’s career. The one in between was a wall-scraper that wouldn’t have gone out of any other ballpark. Semien hit a similar one as well in the same contest.

Odds & Ends

How in the world does Athletics’ second baseman Jed Lowrie already have 22 RBI?! The guy routinely looks like a 34-year-old batboy due to his short stature and double ear-flap batting helmet.

Mitch Moreland always seems to hit the Blue Jays hard. He went deep during Tuesday night’s 4-1 A’s win. It was his 17th big fly in 80 career games vs. Toronto.

The Blue Jays will play out of Buffalo’s Sahlen Field starting June 1st.

Nate Pearson was called up and made his season debut on Sunday. From the onset of the game, the team’s top prospect labored. He was working very slowly, wasn’t hitting his spots, and didn’t appear to be comfortable. He gave up 3 earned runs and walked 5 batters over 2.1 innings.

Anthony Kay has also been a disappointment, although A.J. Cole was steady in his first appearance.

The Blue Jays have already made 83 roster moves this season, by far the most in the majors.

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!

Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed it! Check out more of my articles here and other Belly Up content here. Follow me on Twitter here.
About Author

Graeme Wallace

My name is Graeme Wallace and I love Blue Jays baseball! I grew up with the World Series Championship teams in '92 and '93. There were some lean years in between but some good ones too, all leading up to Jose Bautista's epic bat flip in 2015. I'm so excited to be on the Blue Jays beat for Belly Up Sports!

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