Blue Jays’ Davis Schneider learns while working with team in hunt for postseason spot | CBC Sports

Every time fans with pasted-on mustaches are shown on the Rogers Center jumbotron, all the Toronto Blue Jays start elbowing Davis Schneider and telling him to look.

The disguises are a loving tribute to the 24-year-old tailor, who has been rocking the distinctive facial hair since the film “Top Gun: Maverick” came out in May 2022. But when Schneider debuted for Toronto with a bang on August 4, hitting a home run in his first-ever major league at-bat, Blue Jays fans began wearing their own mustaches in his honor.

This hairy homage didn't go unnoticed by Schneider's teammates.

“They don't chirp at me too much, but they make fun of me a little bit, saying how many people have mustaches and stuff,” Schneider said after batting practice Saturday.

“Every time I go on the field to stretch before the game, George Springer and Daulton Varsho are already here, and when I walk out and the fans are clapping and wearing fake mustaches, I just look at Springer shaking my head, and he laughs enlightened about it.

The utility man had a solid performance for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons this season, posting a .275 batting average with 31 home runs and 64 runs batted in. But since being called up to the major league club in Toronto, he's done his best .

Schneider hit .426 in 14 games in August, with six home runs and 14 RBI with a .526 on-base percentage. He became the first player in MLB history with nine hits and two home runs in his first three games. Coaker Triplett is the only other major league player to have nine hits in his first three games. He achieved this feat in April 1938 for the Chicago Cubs.

It would be impossible to maintain this hot start, but Schneider is still hitting .297 for the Blue Jays with a total of eight home runs, 20 RBI and an impressive OBP of .423.

Play “relaxed”.

Despite the gentle insults he sometimes receives from his teammates, Schneider enjoys the attention he receives from fans.

“I think it’s great that they support me,” he said on the steps of Toronto’s dugout. “If I hit .100 they wouldn’t do it, but I’m glad they’re supporting me with this.”

“It makes me play a little more relaxed just because you see all these fans cheering my name and everything like that. It's really cool to see when they're on the Jumbotron.”

His success at the plate had an immediate impact on the Blue Jays, who are fighting for a postseason berth.

Schneider's OBP leads the team and his 2.0 Wins Above Replacement, a stat that measures a player's value by indicating how many more wins he is worth than a replacement player at the same position, is the fifth highest Toronto batters.

He said he was looking forward to making the playoffs for the first time in his professional career.

“I’ve never been to the minor league playoffs,” Schneider said, noting that the Bisons could still potentially reach the Triple-A playoffs. “Every game is important down there, but it’s different here. Every game is important. Every pitch is important.”

Toronto held the second wild-card spot in the American League on Tuesday, one game ahead of the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners.

I'm still learning

The Blue Jays had Monday off before traveling to the Bronx to take on the New York Yankees in a three-game series starting Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. They open a three-game set at Tampa Bay on Friday.

Although he's impressed with Davis Schneider's hot start, Blue Jays manager John Schneider (no relation) said the young player is still learning.

A men's baseball player makes a throw to first base.
Schneider says the biggest lesson for him since returning from Triple-A has been watching how thoroughly the Jays' defensive specialists like Platinum Glove winners Matt Chapman and Kevin Kiermaier prepare for each game. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

“I always say that development just continues in the big leagues, whether it’s Davis Schneider or George Springer,” John Schneider said. “You’re constantly evolving and the guys that stick around are the ones that are constantly evolving and adapting.”

“So things he worked on to get better [in Buffalo] He does that here too. That's all you can really ask for.

Davis Schneider said the biggest lesson for him was watching how thoroughly Toronto's defensive specialists like Platinum Glove winners Matt Chapman and Kevin Kiermaier prepare for each game.

“Everyone focuses on defense, but these guys are just different in the way they approach things and their knowledge of what they're trying to do is just remarkable,” he said. “You can’t really teach them what they do because their talent level is just incredible, but of course you can learn from how they prepare and how they run their business.”

“There is only one Kevin Kiermaier, only one Matt Chapman, but you can still learn a lot from them.”

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