Well, my Little League coach was right: You can’t win games just trying to hit home runs. The Blue Jays did rout the Red Sox Sunday with five bombs, including two from Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion’s league-leading 11th, and now lead the majors with 51 long balls in 39 games. But despite the power, Toronto sits 24th in baseball with just 3.74 runs per game, and has only three regulars with an OBP over .340.
Obviously, Jose Reyes’ injury has derailed the Blue Jay offense on every level—although his replacement, Munenori Kawasaki, is one of those three regulars getting on base—but the team has been working under the “swing hard in case you hit it” philosophy for years, dating back to the JP Ricciardi era. (For some reason, I always associate it with Aaron Hill.) In fact, going back to 2006, the Blue Jays have failed to rank higher in the AL in runs scored than they did in homers. Ricciardi took office in Toronto prior to the 2002 season, so this trend began about when his draft classes really started to impact the major-league level.