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What's at the root of Blue Jays' poor start?

MLB.com @jonmorosi

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are 1-6 for the first time in franchise history. Their fans are confused, maybe even indignant. So let's set aside emotion and consider a few facts:

• The Blue Jays' team OPS is .565. That is the worst mark in Major League Baseball.

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TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are 1-6 for the first time in franchise history. Their fans are confused, maybe even indignant. So let's set aside emotion and consider a few facts:

• The Blue Jays' team OPS is .565. That is the worst mark in Major League Baseball.

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• Toronto had the oldest Opening Day roster in the Majors this year, according to MLB Network research.

• Since 1977, only three teams have reached the postseason after starting 1-6 or 0-7: the '95 Reds, the 2007 Phillies and the '11 Rays.

• The Blue Jays' corner outfielders are batting a combined .122 (6-for-49) with two doubles and zero home runs.

• Toronto, long known for boasting a powerful lineup, has hit four home runs, second fewest in the Majors.

And after the Blue Jays' sixth consecutive defeat in a home opener -- 4-3 to the Brewers on Tuesday night -- losing pitcher J.A. Happ acknowledged, "We're not in a good spot, that's for sure."

Now that everyone's in agreement on that, let's ask a question that has materialized, rather startlingly, for a team that just reached consecutive American League Championship Series.

Is this one bad week ... or the harbinger of a somber summer?

In April, lineups can be forgiven for one deficiency. But Toronto has several.

Multiple key players had irregular work in Spring Training for one reason or another. Josh Donaldson, Devon Travis and Steve Pearce missed time due to injury rehabilitation. Jose Bautista left for the World Baseball Classic and returned with a minor back injury. Russell Martin joined Team Canada in a non-playing role and arrived on Opening Day having had his fewest at-bats (35) in any spring since 2010.

How are all of them doing right now? Donaldson has been himself (1.054 OPS) but was unable to start on Tuesday after aggravating the troublesome right calf muscle that caused him to miss much of Spring Training. All the others -- Travis, Pearce, Bautista and Martin -- are batting below .200. Martin is 0-for-18 with seven strikeouts.

Video: TOR@TB: Donaldson drives a solo homer to right field

Bautista, 36, is the Blue Jays' oldest everyday player. Martin, 34, is next. They've combined for 10 All-Star appearances because their productive seven-game stretches have typically diluted the poor ones. At more advanced baseball ages, that equilibrium is harder to maintain.

And that brings us to a crucial point about Toronto's lineup: The 2015 vintage -- the one that led the Majors with 891 runs, 127 more than its closest competitor -- is gone and won't be reconstituted anytime soon.

While reputations are slow to change, the Blue Jays stopped being the gold standard for power hitting midway through last season; Toronto ranked only 12th among 15 AL clubs in runs scored after the All-Star break.

The Blue Jays' veteran hitters have appeared increasingly susceptible to power stuff, especially late in games. That was the case on Tuesday night, when hard-throwing Brewers relievers Jacob Barnes, Corey Knebel and Neftali Feliz combined for three hitless innings. For the night, Toronto went 1-for-6 and struck out four times with men in scoring position; Troy Tulowitzki was the only hitter to put the ball in play under those circumstances.

Video: MIL@TOR: Barnes gets Tulo to ground out in the 7th

The convenient narrative is to say all of this would be different if Edwin Encarnacion were the team's designated hitter instead of Kendrys Morales. And that may be so. But Morales actually has a better OPS than Encarnacion so far this season, and the Blue Jays' lineup is not one hitter away from returning to its former state. Encarnacion, for all his virtues, wouldn't have stopped Toronto from growing old.

Surely, Blue Jays fans will clamor for 22-year-old first baseman Rowdy Tellez (Toronto's No. 5 prospect per MLBPipeline.com) to be summoned from Triple-A Buffalo. Indeed, that could happen during the season. Not now, though. Blue Jays officials are busy determining if they're witnessing the aftereffects of a disjointed Spring Training or unsettling early signs of decline. The process of finding out won't be much fun.

Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network. He has also covered baseball for FOX Sports, the Detroit Free Press and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Toronto Blue Jays