The Blue Jays don’t necessarily have one Brett Gardner-type base runner. Rajai Davis has a ton of speed, but he’s not an everyday guy, and Toronto’s stolen base leaders are Aaron Hill and Travis Snider, two guys known more for their bats than their legs.
As a team, though, the Blue Jays lead the Major Leagues with 21 stolen bases. They have nine players with at least one steal, and manager John Farrell has encouraged the team to be aggressive on the bases. Hill and Snider already have five stolen bases apiece, one away from a career high for each of them.
That means Russell Martin’s arm could be tested these two games. So far, he’s seen only four stolen base attempts, and he’s thrown out one of them. Last season, Martin threw out 39 percent of base stealers, third-highest caught stealing percentage in the National League.
A few other Blue Jays notes heading into this two-game series.
• Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion just returned to the Blue Jays lineup after missing three games because of a death in the family.
• David Purcey had a nice year out of the Blue Jays bullpen last year, but he’s no longer with the team after being designated for assignment and ultimately traded on Monday. Without Purcey, Toronto is carrying Marc Rzepczynski and Luis Perez as left-handed relievers.
• So far Jose Bautista is more or less living up to last season’s expectations. He has three home runs and a .306/.443/.510 slash line.