Toronto Blue Jays Third baseman Matt Chapman has been absent from the Jays lineup due to inflammation in his finger. His absence has represented how vital he is to the Jays lineup. Chapman is without question a strong Third baseman and his defense and athleticism speak for themselves. It is unfortunate that the Jays lost him due to a workout accident.
It is no coincidence that Chapman has a 4.4 rWAR, which is the best among Jays position players. It is evident that fans have not given him the credit he deserves for his sharp defense at third, for the most part, matched to other players put there. He himself has taken away hits and has saved runs where others can’t compare to his masterful defensive skills.
Let’s not forget that Matt Chapman has quite a baseball resume to showcase his vital defensive talent. Baseball Almanac outlines that he has won three Gold Glove Awards, two Platinum Glove Awards, and two Fielding Bible Awards. There’s plenty more on the list but these are the most popular that are worth highlighting. Chapman has been one of the best Third baseman the Jays have had over the years.
His absence has definitely impacted games and this was particularly evident in the Jays 9-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on August 16th. A throwing error from Santiago Espinal in the fifth inning cost the Jays two runs. Espinal doesn’t have a lot of experience at third base and has only made eight appearances in that position. This just goes to show you how vital he is to the Jays lineup. But regardless, Espinal could have very made that play and it was not a good throw to first base but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could have also scooped the throw. Ultimately, this should have been a routine play at third base and it goes to show you once again why his presence in the lineup is vital.
To say that Chapman has not been productive offensively would be unfair. He remains tied in second place with Jeimer Candelario for the most doubles in MLB. While he doesn’t have as many hits as Whit Merrifield since the All-Star break he’s still been producing just as much as his other teammates that have been productive offensively. He’s come up with some clutch hits for the Jays this season so to have him back in the lineup will definitely be vital for the Jays success and remaining in the playoff race.
It is in the best interest that fans ought to appreciate Matt Chapman once he returns. He’s a defensive stud that makes hard plays look easy. Matt Chapman’s absence has shown that while his offense hasn’t been 100 percent, he has however been an outright wall defensively. To try and compare his defense at third base to another player would be like comparing apples and oranges as the comparison is invalid. He has definitely been missed by fans and if the Jays want to remain in a playoff position his nifty defensive skills and hitting doubles are desperately needed. The Jays cannot afford to lose games with the Seattle Mariners so close behind them in the wildcard race. It would also definitely be in the Jays best interest to resign Chapman. Here’s to hoping his finger will be healed soon so he can continue to be a positive impact on the Jays.