A familiar face came back to bite the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.
With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, former Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera drilled a two-run liner up the third base line to blow the game open for the Chicago White Sox.
Cabrera was severely struggling the last time we checked on 10 prominent former Blue Jays, but things are slowly starting to turn around.
See how Cabrera and nine of his former teammates are faring at the halfway mark of the 2015 season:
Melky Cabrera, Chicago White Sox: Cabrera’s stat line on the season remains unimpressive (three home runs, .637 OPS) but the White Sox outfielder has been particularly good of late, slashing .400/.436/.660 with five doubles, two home runs, seven runs and nine RBIs over his last 13 games. The White Sox are hoping it’s a sign of things to come rather than just a hot streak.
Colby Rasmus, Houston Astros: The Astros are getting exactly what they could’ve conceivably expected out of Rasmus — a power bat with more strikeouts than walks and solid outfield defence. Rasmus is on pace for 20 home runs with a .251 average and an .804 OPS. With Rasmus, there’s always some level of weirdness as the outfielder missed a week of action last month due to an infection sustained from a bug bite on his wrist.
Adam Lind, Milwaukee Brewers: Lind is having a monster contract-year campaign for the lowly Brewers, registering 14 home runs with an .885 OPS. He has been the most consistent hitter in the Brewers lineup and, similar to Cabrera, has been especially good in recent action, hitting .375 with five home runs, 18 RBIs, and 1.177 OPS over his last 15 games. Heading into the trade deadline, Lind is a very logical trade candidate for the Brewers, who remain in last place in the NL Central.
Brett Lawrie, Oakland Athletics: There’s been plenty of talk about Josh Donaldson in Toronto, but quietly Brett Lawrie has begun to come around in the Bay Area. The Canadian third baseman has slashed .337/.389/.519 since June 2 with three home runs, 16 RBIs and has seen his troubling strikeout rate decline (23 in 29 games) as well.
Casey Janssen, Washington Nationals: Janssen hasn’t been used as frequently in Washington as he was in Toronto, but he’s still been a effective relief pitcher since overcoming an early-season shoulder issue, allowing just six earned runs in 15.0 innings. Outside of allowing the game-winning home run to Eugenio Suarez in a 3-2 loss to the Reds Monday night, Janssen has been stellar, allowing just two runs and no walks over his last 10 appearances dating back to June 5. The Blue Jays certainly miss his reliability.
Brandon Morrow, San Diego Padres: An injury has gotten the better of Morrow early in his San Diego tenure. The right-hander has not pitched since May 2 and was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 24. However, things are starting to look up. Morrow threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session in early July and he will throw a simulated game later this week. If all goes well, he is expected to be cleared for a rehab assignment and barring a major setback, Morrow projects to return to the Padres’ rotation by the end of July.
Anthony Gose, Detroit Tigers: After an outstanding start to the season Gose’s play at the plate significantly regressed in June — he batted .169 with a dreadful .396 OPS. Gose is still a plus-defender with great speed on the base paths, but is still a fairly raw offensive player. His inconsistent bat was a consistent theme during his time with Toronto.
J.A. Happ, Seattle Mariners: Happ has been a solid addition to the bottom of the Mariners’ rotation, registering a 4-5 record with a 3.93 ERA over 91.2 innings. While he’s allowed 16 earned runs over his last five starts, the team has been pleased with his production, especially at Safeco Field (2.08 ERA in seven home starts). Happ is scheduled to start Wednesday in his final appearance before the all-star break.
Kendall Graveman, Oakland Athletics: Speaking of the Donaldson trade, the Athletics have to be thrilled with Graveman’s recent production. The rookie right-hander has allowed just nine earned runs over his last 49 innings pitched (1.65 ERA) with 28 strikeouts, 11 walks and only four home runs surrendered. The 24-year-old has gone six innings or more in each of his last seven starts and has not allowed more than three earned runs in a game during his sizzling stretch.
Esmil Rogers, New York Yankees: It has been a tough run for Rogers in New York, who was demoted to triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on July 1 after posting a rough 6.27 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 33 innings of long relief for the Yankees. The erratic reliever has been been removed from the team’s 40-man roster twice over the past two months. The Blue Jays surely regret giving up catcher Yan Gomes in order to acquire Rogers a few years back.