The Toronto Blue Jays have been down this road before. But, how could anyone resist a Molina brother?

The Molinas are the Bushes of the baseball world.

They’re a little slow, but they get the job done (and, with no insult intended, Bengie is George Sr., Jose is Jed, and Yadier gets the nod for Dubya).

The family catching clan can provide solid defense, and a surprising show of offense, to a team in need.

Bengie caught for Toronto in 2006. The eldest Molina hit .284, with 19 home runs, that season.

Now, the Jays have Jose playing in a more limited capacity. But, he’s producing in his own way.

A quick look at Jose’s stats might leave you underwhelmed, with a slash line of .256/.341/.282.

He’s also managed just three RBI, and no home runs, in his 44 plate appearances.

One shouldn’t get too caught up in his offensive game, though. After all, it is only 44 plate appearances. 

But, in such a small sample, Molina has also increased his line drive percentage nearly 10 points from last season.

He’s making good contact, but John Buck is making better contact. That’s all the Jays need to know for now.

Every start from a Toronto pitcher is potentially the End of Days. The team has cobbled together an unproven staff, giving pitchers the opportunity to sink or swim. 

You sometimes wonder if all that’s holding the rotation together is the collective will of Alex Anthopolous, Cito Gaston, and the smell from Roy Halladay’s old locker.

But, the staff has survived, and thrived.

How much influence do the catchers have over the team’s pitching success? 

A catcher must be both a pitching coach and psychiatrist with a mean arm. It’s up to them to micromanage a game.  

The team signed John Buck in the off-season because they liked the way he handled pitchers.

But, Molina has quietly been outperforming those notions.

Molina’s signing was almost an afterthought. But, he’s piloted Toronto’s pitchers to success.

In 14 games, Molina has caught pitchers to a 3.04 ERA (Buck: 4.64). With Jose behind the plate, Toronto’s starting pitching has never thrown less than five innings.

It’s uncanny how he’s managed to keep pitchers upright and in the game.

Brandon Morrow has definitely connected with Molina. When he’s on, Morrow is lethal.

With a heater that averages around 94 MPH, but can hit 97, Morrow can turn hitters inside out with stuff so filthy it makes dumpsters cry for Mr. Clean.

He also has a propensity to hem and haw around the strike zone, until fans lose their cool and opponents light him up.

When Molina catches him, though, it’s a marked advantage for Morrow. His ERA drops to 2.95 and hitters bat only .197 against him.

Even more noticeable is that Morrow has struck out 25 batters in 18 innings, with Molina calling the shots (with 12 walks).

Morrow is a potential game changer for Toronto. When he’s good, the team plays better.

He and Molina have created either a tremendous coincidence, or the start of something beautiful.

And, as anyone from Tampa Bay will tell you, Molina has also been extremely precise in throwing out runners. Jose has picked off 71 percent of potential thieves this season.

Toronto isn’t asking Molina to win a Silver Slugger, they just want wins. Period.

He’s delivered well beyond expectations the team may have held for Molina.

Molina is (according to FanGraphs) worth 5.4 runs above replacement, so far.

That’s incorporating his offense and defense into the equation. And, while Toronto is only paying him $800,000 this year, his market value has soared to $2.2 million.

The Jays should consider themselves fortunate to have been getting such performance at such a price.

But, with Fred Lewis’s continued success, maybe Toronto is just making the right moves.

It’s a concept that seems so acceptable, and so foreign, that it’s mind-boggling to consider as a Jays fan.

Jose Molina is yet another triumph in the new tradition of Toronto transactions?

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