Jon Jay Has Been Worth Every Penny
Jon Jay has played himself into a key role for the Cubs
Jon Jay came a home run shy of hitting for the cycle last night against the Cincinnati Reds. In his final at bat in a blow out win for the Cubs, the Reds chose to intentionally walk Jay instead of giving him a shot at history. The decision resulted in boisterous disapproval by the Wrigley faithful.
Jim DeShaies calls Jay the Chief Justice and Jay’s game all year has certainly been supreme. Look no further than his performance at the plate last night.
A lifetime .288 hitter, Jay has hit at a .299 clip in 251 plate appearances. His slash line sits at .299/.388/.394 with a 1.2 WAR. Being a left handed bat, Jay is what Joe Maddon calls him hitter neutral. His splits do not change much against right or left handed pitching.
The 32 year old outfielder has played with the Cardinals, Padres, and Cubs during his 7 years in the major leagues. Jay spent a better part of the 2016 season for the Padres on the disabled list with a broken forearm he suffered on June 19th, 2016.
On November 29th, 2016 he signed a one year, eight million dollar contract with the newly crowned world champions. At the time it was not probably a huge signing in most peoples’ eyes. However, as the 2017 season has progressed, Jay has become a vital cog in the daily Cubs lineup. Much of the time now sees him hitting atop the Cubs starting lineup. Of late he has been giving the Cubs a spark they have been desperately searching for since Dexter Fowler signed with THAT team, you know the one.
His average has hovered around .300 most of the year and it has spent significant time north of .300. He has scored 42 runs and has 18 extra base hits. Jay has been consistently solid all year. He puts together good at bats and plays a plus outfield. On most teams Jon Jay would be an every day player given the level he has played at. But when you are a member of a team that is so full of talent across the board those starts come less.
Jay has been a solid veteran presence on this team as they grind through the dog days of August. The Cubs are right smack in the middle of a four team pennant race in the Central division.
Addison Russell, Willson Contreras, and Koji Uehara are on the DL. Ben Zobrist has not been himself this year and has dealt with a lot of nagging injuries. As a result, it is all hands on deck as the Cubs depth comes to the forefront here in the middle of August.
As we head into the final 6 weeks of the season Jon Jay is going to be an important piece for manager Joe Maddon. Whether Jay is playing left, center, or right or is coming off of the bench in a key spot as a pinch hitter, the Chief Justice has already earned his positive verdict. So everything from this point forward is all about helping his club return to the post season for the third straight year and giving themselves a chance to defend their crown.