Toronto Blue Jays Win in Munenori Kawasaki debut

By Craig Ballard
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of how this weekend series for the Toronto Blue Jays finishes at the Kansas City Royals, we know that things were costly as the best shortstop in Canada since Tony Fernandez, Jose Reyes, suffered an injury that will sideline him for well over a month.

Of all of the acquisitions the team made this offseason, it was Reyes that had me the most excited. The 29-year-old currently leads the team hits (15), walks (5), stolen bases (five steals, zero caught stealing), batting average (gaudy .395), and on-base percentage (massive .465 which is No. 5 in American League and No. 8 overall in MLB) so clearly the Jays are going to miss this guy.

In Saturday nights 3-2 win over the Royals, we saw the Jays debut of Munenori Kawasaki. The 31-year-old played several years in the Nippon Professional Baseball league before making his MLB debut in 2012 with the Seattle Mariners. In the past, Kawasaki has been a great fielding SS who could hit in the .300s, but as a Mariner, he had just 20 hits and 18 strikeouts while hitting a putrid .192 with a .257 on-base percentage.

Kawasaki has a lot of championship experience as a member of  Team Japan 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic teams.

Kawasaki had a career .294 average in NPB, so hopefully he can get much closer to that as a Jay. He will surely hit ninth during his time here, which is stark contrast to the table-setting leadoff man that Reyes is. His Jays tenure started with an RBI, a run scored, an walk, and a sacrifice … Welcome, Munenori!

Craig Ballard is a NFL/NBA/MLB writer for Follow him on Twitter @craigballard77, and you can find all of his articles HERE

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