I realize that Major League Baseball is back in action after the All-Star break, so do whatever you need to do to make yourself believe this post happened last week and the Toronto Blue Jays are still on a break.
Channel your inner Ross (Atkins) if you have to.
That was a Blue Jays GM and Friends joke for the price of one. Appreciate.
The Blue Jays have a record of 35-59, which includes the three games they played after the All-Star break, which means I’ve made a whole mess out of this “Blue Jays at the Break” premise.
Now that you’re thoroughly confused, I’ll mention that they’re 25.5 games out of first place and have been eliminated from playoff contention since before the season started.
It’s a rebuilding year; I expected this.
When you’re rebuilding, you’re going to lose a lot. Younger players are going to struggle and make mistakes. Games are going to get ugly. It’s hard to watch, at times, but you know it’s a necessary step.
Apparently, a lot of fans don’t understand what “rebuilding” means and feel the need to vent their frustrations on Twitter. I don’t know, it’s like getting mad at a 4-year-old for spilling their drink. There’s really no point.
The season started and it felt like no one on the team could hit anything. It was like they were swinging at a piñata, while wearing a blindfold, except the piñata was moving at 94 MPH.
Then the bats finally got going and they started scoring runs. Yay, hitting! I’m trying to avoid talking about the pitching, if you can’t tell.
Let’s go around the diamond.
Catcher – Danny Jansen: Danny hit the wall, never had it all…for the first three months of the season, but now he does nothing but hit home runs, it seems. His defence has been solid, I can’t complain.
Ten points to whoever caught the song reference.
First Base – Justin Smoak: He’ll probably be traded in the next two weeks.
Second Base – Cavan Biggio: He’s quickly becoming my favourite Blue Jay. Not to toot my own horn, but he plays the game exactly how I used to. Just a smart player who is patient at the plate and gets on base. I think his patience has rubbed off on others.
Shortstop – Freddy Galvis: There was a two-week stretch at the start of the season when no one knew how he wanted his last name pronounced. He’s been a solid veteran for the kids to look up to, but he’s probably getting moved in the next two weeks, as well.
Third Base – Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: How can you not like this kid? He’s 20-years-old, has a million dollar smile, and hit 91 home runs in the Home Run Derby. When I was that age, I was shoving my face into a watermelon for a watermelon eating contest. Surprisingly refreshing.
Left Field – Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: Good Lourdes, what an arm he has. He always looked too tall in the infield, but I don’t think anyone expected him to adapt to the outfield as quickly as he has.
Centre Field – Teoscar Hernandez: I don’t know if he has more to give, or if we’ve seen everything he’s capable of. At times, he feels like a young Edwin Encarnacion who will take a few years to truly find himself, and other times it just feels like we need to move on.
Right Field – Randal Grichuk: The five-year extension he received earlier in the season surprised me, considering his career on-base percentage is .297. He’s a solid defender who will give 20 home runs and 60 rbi each season, which is fine for now, but five years is a long time.
Starting Pitcher – Marcus Stroman: Pretty sure I wrote on this blog two years ago that it was the right time to trade Stroman. But no, the team wanted to milk the fans for every last dollar they could, while living off the nostalgia of the playoff runs with an aging roster. (Their words, not mine). Now, Stroman is about to be traded for prospects.
I get it, and I’ve been all for it for a few years, but I also don’t get it. If he wants to re-sign, why not re-sign him? We have no starting pitching depth walking through that door. Don’t give me the whole, “He’ll be in his thirties by the time this team is back in contention” spiel. Then why not trade him two years ago
when I said they should? It just feels like they waited too long and now it makes more sense to keep him.
However, if we can get the kind of return that Tampa Bay got when they traded Chris Archer – Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows – you make that trade in 0.1 seconds and don’t second guess it.
Starting Pitcher – Aaron Sanchez: I don’t know what happened to him. He lead the AL in ERA a few years ago and now he’s on the opposite end of that list.
Closer – Ken Giles: I’d love to see us keep him, but he’ll probably get traded as well.
Minor League Shortstop – Bo Bichette: He’s the last of the Guerrero, Biggio, Bichette triumvirate. He’ll be up soon, probably when they move Galvis. Between those three kids and Gurriel Jr., the future is bright. We just need patience and a lot of starting pitching.
Minor League Starting Pitcher – Nate Pearson: He’s just a tower of power of the mound and should be our Ace for the next decade, at least.
The Blue Jays are still in “depth collection” mode, as they should be. Slowly but surely, the young kids of the future are being slotted into their positions around the diamond. It’s not hard to see what the batting order will be two years from now.
I’m never worried about the bullpen because it’s never the same group of guys from month to month, and you can remake it every year.
I am worried about the starting rotation.
Trent Thornton has been good this year, though his ERA and WHIP won’t reflect that.
Maybe Ryan Borucki comes back from his injury and turns into a reliable starter.
Maybe we get some pitching prospects back for Stroman and they turn into something.
Maybe something else (that is good) happens.
It’s just a lot of maybes at the moment, which is fine because it’s a rebuilding season, but also concerning because pitching is kind of important.
Until then, the rebuild carries on, as the Red Sox roll into Boston tonight to hit some balls off of, and over, a really tall green wall.
You may now go back to living in a world where the Blue Jays are no longer on a break.