There’s no two ways about it right now for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 2019 season is already doomed to be a lost one, and there’s plenty more records for futility to be set. But just how bad has it been?
Baseball is a game of numbers, and compiled below are the 25 worst statistical examples of just how woeful the Blue Jays’ 2019 season has been through 73 games.
.356 winning percentage — The team’s lowest since the strike-shortened 1981 team went 37-69 over 106 games.
1979 — The last time the team lost 100+ games, when they went 53-109 in their third season ever. This year’s team is on pace for 104 losses.
19.5 — The number of games behind the Yankees in the AL East. Baseball Reference gives the Jays a <0.1% chance of making the playoffs.
-86 Run differential — Good for 27th in the league, ahead of the Giants (-90), Tigers (-131), and Orioles (-166).
.497 OPS in RF — The lowest in MLB. Cavan Biggio’s limited burst of brilliance can’t fix the damage Socrates Brito (.136), Alen Hanson (.298), Billy McKinney (.501), Randal Grichuk (.507), and Brandon Drury (.523) have done when playing in the corner.
.510 OPS at the catcher position — Luke Maile (.542) and Danny Jansen (.501) have combined to be the least powerful catching duo in MLB.
-0.1 bWAR at DH — The only team in baseball with a negative bWAR contribution from the position. Ten different players have taken a turn through here, with it serving less as a rest day and more as a frustrating one.
.287 OBP — The lowest in all of baseball. No team has gotten on base less often.
.222 batting average — No team in baseball collects hits at a less frequent rate either, which has led to a whole lot of games where they look ready to be on the receiving end of a no-hitter from the opposite pitcher.
21 - Vladimir Guerrero’s standing in fWAR among rookies (16th in bWAR). Patience is still the name of the game and he’s younger than most of the crop, but the top hitting prospect in baseball hasn’t immediately taken the reigns as the league’s top freshman.
3.92 runs per game — 27th in baseball. The Blue Jays are nearly a full run below the league average of 4.76. Not getting on base or getting hits will do that to you.
5.10 runs against per game — 24th in baseball. Few teams are providing less run support for their pitchers, which is trouble when you’re surrendering more than five runs per game.
27 pitchers used — This is tied for the second most in the league with the Baltimore Orioles, and you really don’t want to be keeping company with the 2019 Orioles in any category. The Seattle Mariners have used the most in baseball, already sending 33 to the hill. The 2015 Jays used 28 all year long.
5 starts from Matt Shoemaker — He was the best story of the opening weeks of the season, turning in a 1.57 ERA over 28.2 innings before tearing his ACL, ending his season in May. He obviously would’ve come back down to earth eventually, but it kicked off a never-ending cycle of failed replacement experiments
0 innings pitched from Ryan Borucki — The lefty was a nice surprise in the back half of 2018 when he posted a 3.87 ERA over 17 starts. He has been on the 60-day injured list for the entire season so far.
12 different starters — The Blue Jays have already used nearly a full rotation and a half of starters due to injury and inability, including openers Derek Law and Daniel Hudson. Only Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and Trent Thornton have been a part of the rotation from opening day.
284 walks — The most in MLB. No team has allowed more free passes, an almost ironic contrast to being the worst OBP team in the league. 19-year-old rookie Elvis Luciano contributed 7.5 walks per nine over his 20 appearances.
1.277 opponent OPS against Edwin Jackson — The journeyman set a MLB record when he suited up for his 14th MLB team, but the stop in Toronto has been the worst of his career. He holds a 12.43 ERA after seven appearances, and opponents have put together a jaw-dropping .390/.455/.822 line against him.
1 game played by Anthony Alford — The 24-year-old outfield prospect popped up for a moment to fill a hole in centrefield immediately after Kevin Pillar was traded, then moved out of the way so the team could cycle through some below-replacement alternatives, and has just never returned. The front office showed more interest in “seeing what they’ve got” in the likes of waiver fodder Brito, Hanson, and Billy McKinney than a top-10 prospect in their system.
8 players designated for assignment already — The bottom of the roster churn has been real.
1.3 fWAR from Eric Sogard — The leader among Blue Jays offensive players by Fangraphs. A 33-year-old signed to a minor league deal in spring being the team’s best offensive option is a true sign of the times.
70 different batting orders in 73 games — Only three lineups this season have been used twice by manager Charlie Montoyo, and none a third time.
71 different fielding lineups — Even more diverse has been the defensive lineup. Only two defensive alignments have taken the field the same way more than once, and never three times.
$50,747,419 — Money paid to retained salaries (per Sportrac) for Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin, Kendrys Morales, Jaime Garcia, Yangervis Solarte, Zac Rosscup, Kevin Pillar, Bud Norris, Javy Guerra, and Jimmy Cordero, none of whom are playing for the Blue Jays.
8,638 — That’s how many fans the Jays have lost per game at the Rogers Centre compared to 2018. The Toronto Raptors run to the NBA championship and the coming days of an open roof and summer nights might give this number a bit of a boost, but the Blue Jays are averaging 20,428 fans per home game currently, which would be the lowest since 2010.
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