TORONTO — Santiago Espinal has been putting up impressive numbers all May for the Toronto Blue Jays, including a 10-game hit streak.
But does he know it? Vaguely.
"No, no, no, not really. I just go out there and play," said Espinal when asked if he looks up his own stats. "Y'know, once in a while I'll go look, I'm not gonna lie to you, I mean, that's what we all do.
"But basically, I'm just staying consistent with my work and making sure I'm ready for the game."
That patient approach at the plate has paid off for Espinal this month. Although the Blue Jays struggled through a nine-game road trip with only two wins, his offence was a highlight with 11 hits.
He continued his streak on Monday night with a single to left field in the fourth inning of Toronto's 6-2 win over Seattle at Rogers Centre.
Espinal was hitting .247 after he went 0 for 2 in Toronto's 2-1 win over the New York Yankees in the Bronx on May 4. Since then, he's elevated his average to .281 with at least a hit in each of the ensuing 10 games.
Although he hasn't had any home runs in that stretch, he had five doubles and four runs batted in.
"I'm just taking it one at-bat at a time," said Espinal. "There's still 100-something games left so there's a lot of games to play. We're only in May, so there's a lot of baseball left."
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said that Espinal's been succeeding because he's not pressing at the plate. Montoyo said he thinks that trying to do too much at the plate has been an issue for his young team but not for the 27-year-old Espinal.
"Everybody feels the pressure and he's still having good at bats, which is a big compliment for the kid," said Montoyo.
Espinal was pleased to hear of Montoyo's positive assessment of his play.
"I just tried to stay consistent, do the little things right, to just help the team win," said Espinal. "I feel doing those little things can help us a lot."
The Blue Jays continue their three-game series with Seattle at Rogers Centre on Tuesday night.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2022.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press