Rowdy Tellez was locked in when he confronted Boston Red Sox reliever Robinson Leyer within the sixth inning of the Blue Jays’ Sunday afternoon win.
He fell behind 0-2 — a referred to as strike and an 87.5 miles-per-hour slider that he fouled off — however labored his technique to a full depend. He fouled off a pair extra sliders earlier than homering to centre subject on the tenth pitch of the at-bat. It was the start of a three-run inning that will be the distinction within the recreation.
Tellez feels extra in management on the plate this yr because of his work with coach Dante Bichette on two key areas: hitting with two strikes and hitting breaking balls. The 25-year-old first baseman and designated hitter had a .294 common with two strikes towards him going into play Monday, in comparison with .133 in these conditions final yr.
The greatest change Tellez has made, with Bichette’s steering, is in his approach: He now is aware of he doesn’t need to hit the ball out of the park with each swing. He hit 21 homers final yr, however scuffled to a .227 common. He was hitting .295 via is first 105 at-bats this yr.
He prolonged his hit streak to a career-high 9 video games within the first inning towards the New York Yankees on Monday with one other affected person at-bat, once more working his means again from being down 0-2 to a full depend. His double down the right-field line scored Cavan Biggio.
“Now it’s trust myself, be a good hitter, use the whole field,” Tellez stated earlier than Monday’s recreation. “Anything can happen … funky hops through the infield, bleeders, jammed shots, find barrels. Anything can happen if you cut (your swing) down and just trust yourself.”
That belief aspect additionally comes into play towards breaking balls, with Tellez believing he can discover a hole if he places an excellent swing on the ball. He was hitting .333 towards curveballs via Sunday, with two residence of his eight homers. He had a .194 common, with three homers, on fastballs.
Tellez is starting to rediscover a way of self that he misplaced at instances final yr, when he was struggling to make contact or acknowledge pitches or when he was hitting exhausting balls proper at defenders. Bichette has helped Tellez perceive how good he is and dissuaded his tendency to check himself to different gamers. It’s a game-changer, Tellez stated.
“I let that affect the way I did play,” Tellez stated. “I wasn’t a very good team player. This year I think understanding and being more mature has kind of helped me get through each day.”
Jays supervisor Charlie Montoyo has seen Tellez’s development on and off the sector, and appreciates the timing of it. Toronto needed to put its hottest hitter, outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, on the injured record Monday with an indirect pressure.
The return of shortstop Bo Bichette ought to assist. Bichette hit in a simulated recreation in Rochester on Monday and appears to be within the residence stretch of rehabbing a knee sprain. But the Jays are relying on Tellez to assist fill the void, too.
“That’s what we need,” Montoyo stated. “When you lose a guy like Teoscar, you need somebody to step up … That’s how you win games in this league. Hopefully Rowdy stays hot. I’m always talking about him. Even when he struggles, I say, ‘Man, he’s got the tools to be really good.’ And he’s doing it now.”