It was a quiet start for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ most recent trade acquisition, but the impact was finally felt in a 13-8 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.
Jon Jay had gone through his first three starts, and four games overall, without a hit for his new squad. He did reach base in three of the four, but did strike out eight times overall. Not an encouraging start for a player who was immediately planted in the starting lineup. Tuesday was a different story, however.
In the wild 13-8 win over the Bucs on Tuesday, Jay’s impact was certainly felt. Jay singled twice early in the game, before launching a three-run homer to extend the D-Backs’ lead. In a game which the Snakes led 8-0, Jay’s dinger was essential in preserving the win. The homer matches his total with the Royals…at one. And his overall total from 2017…at two.
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That’s the thing about Jay. He’s not a power guy. He’s a high contact guy who has the ability to work his way on base regularly, but the power isn’t something to get used to. Regardless, it’s satisfying to see Jay contribute to the offense after his start.
An early return on the investment was important, given the way Jay started. He was acquired to be a key offensive piece in the absences of A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza. Tuesday was a step toward that direction. Given that Torey Lovullo hasn’t hesitated to insert him in the leadoff spot, Tuesday was a necessity.
In reality, Jon Jay is a nice leadoff option for the foreseeable future. Despite the way his first four games went, his skill set makes him well-suited for the role. After some time to adjust to his new squad, one would hope he’s now comfortable. That could mean good things for his role with the team moving forward. Not to mention, his presence means something positive for other players in the lineup. Specifically, it means Chris Owings and Daniel Descalso can continue to exercise their versatility. This, rather than being locked into a right field spot.
Given Tuesday’s performance, we’ll likely continue to see Jon Jay in that role. One hopes that it was just the start. We look forward to seeing more of Jay’s contributions moving forward. We’ll keep an eye on his performance moving forward.