Thames swinging with supreme confidence

Thames swinging with supreme confidence

TORONTO -- After going hitless in his first two games of the season, Eric Thames has gone on a tear to become one of the Blue Jays' most consistent hitters.

In games he's started, the left fielder has collected a hit in 14 out of his past 16 games entering Tuesday's contest and is batting .370 since April 8. Manager John Farrell believes Thames understands the game a lot more than when he first arrived on the scene in 2011, and as a result, it has allowed him to flourish this season.

"He's always been a confident hitter," Farrell said. "I thought the second time he came up last year, he was more comfortable with himself and had a better idea of not only what the big leagues were about, but also what opposing pitchers were trying to do to him. As time has gone on, he hasn't chased the ball up and away from him as he did when he first came up last year."

Among Blue Jays starters, Thames trails only Edwin Encarnacion in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS, and he seems to be locked in at the plate more than ever. Thames is doing a much better job at waiting for his pitch, and over the past seven games, he's batting .400 with a .444 on-base percentage.

"He has swung the bat with authority," Farrell said. "He's in that group in that second half of the linuep that has been very productive."