Good riddance, “helicopter hands.”
Based on his recent hot streak, Jon Jay will not be returning to his long employed, self-named batting stance anytime soon.
Since being benched on April 20th in Philadelphia with his average below the “Mendoza Line” at .197, he went to work on his swing–looking for something to bring him back to his near .300 career batting average. He needed to, not only for the team’s success, but for his future position on the team as well. See Big O.
He had to get over a little hump after returning to the lineup, but in his last 6 games, he has 10 hits in 20 at-bats with 1 HR and 8 RBI. This has raised his average 53 points to .257. For a complete game log on his statistics, see here.
If the Cardinals want to win the division, they need Jon Jay to be playing at his best. If Jon Jay wants to remain a starting centerfielder for the Redbirds, he needs to keep hitting–maybe not at the same torrid pace as he is right now, but he needs to maintain a near .300 batting average with an OBP near .375. Also, for those worried about his drop-off in fielding this year, worry no more. As long as he keeps getting results at the plate, his fielding will soon follow. He has all the tangibles and intangibles to make plays in center (like this one), he just needs his mind right.
Everyone involved with the Cardinals organization, from the front office to the fans, should be amped up for what Oscar Taveras will bring in the future, but this team needs Jon Jay–both for the statistics he has been producing as well as his integral role in team chemistry (just ask his buddies: Daniel Descalso, Allen Craig, and David Freese). Would he be a detriment to team chemistry as the fourth outfielder? Probably not, based on his character, but it sure helps a player’s mood when he feels like he is contributing to his team’s success.
Oscar will get his time, but this year belongs to Jon, and he has been showing us why.
Thanks for reading.