A personal outlook on the current state of the Toronto Blue Jays’ rocky 2018 season
Earlier in the year, I said watching the 2018 Toronto Blue Jays was the most fun I had following baseball since the Donaldson Dash game. That was on May 4th when the team was 17-13 and on pace to win 92 games. Since then our bluebirds have gone 7-17, are 25-31 overall and are nine games back of the second wild-card spot. Well crap, probably should have just kept my mouth shut and not stopped to count my blessings. The month of May was a disaster, and it seems like we’re still waiting for the sky to stop falling. For heaven’s sake, Kendrys Morales pitched an inning, Russell Martin played SS, and Gio Urshela is on the team. Oddly enough, I’m picking Urshela as the strangest thing I just mentioned.
I asked a question the other day asking who you’d rather have, Urshela or Ryan Goins. I didn’t want an answer, because that’s like asking someone to pick between their choice of eating dirt or sand. I tend to remember the main reason behind acquiring Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte was to raise the floor and not have Urshela-Goins type players on the team. So, what’s this guy doing here? Well, he was basically free, doesn’t burn an option on someone within the organization and losing him to another team once Diaz returns isn’t an issue. My point is that the Jays have exhausted their depth because of a build-up of multiple injuries. They’ve been in a sort of survival mode for almost all of May burning through multiple AAA players like Dwight Smith Jr. Richard Urena, Dalton Pompey, Anthony Alford and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Actually, when you consider that several players are injured, underperforming and didn’t look 100 percent even when they returned *COUGH COUGH* Josh Donaldson *COUGH COUGH* it’s kind of a miracle they’re even 25-31.
I guess it depends on what your expectations were for the team coming into the season. I always thought this team’s ceiling was the second wild-card spot and their basement to be about where they are now. They were never going to contend with the Yankees or Red Sox, and I don’t think anyone said they would. Now, if that much is true then why didn’t they tear it down last winter? Well, I fully believe if the front office knew what they did now about Donaldson and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. then Donaldson is probably a Cardinal right now. But the problem with that is no one could have predicted Guerrero Jr. would have 1.155 OPS with 11 HR and 53 RBI in 49 games as a 19-year-old in AA. No, Seriously, he’s the greatest hitting prospect baseball has seen in over a decade.
(Would like to thank fellow JaysFromTheCouch writer, Jeff Quattrociocchi or @JeffQuattro on twitter for sharing the information in the table above with me. Jeff is often a voice of reason and a wizard with numbers, but I’m sure readers of the couch already knew that!)
What’s my argument for not calling him up? Well, it’d pain me to see him separated from Ollie the bat dog, the real number one best boy on the Fisher Cats. Realistically, how many angry tweets do you think it would take to get New Hampshire Fisher Cats games televised to all of Canada?
— Peter Winson (@Bruins309) May 26, 2018
I got side-tracked, I’m sorry. I know I can be overly optimistic and forgiving, so I’ll level with you and say if the results we’ve seen recently continue for another week or so then the season is probably lost. Not even Guerrero Jr. or Ollie the bat dog could stop that ship from sinking. I completely understand that some believe the season to be a wash already and they have a point. Can I be honest and say I don’t know whether or not it’s time to waive the white flag? What I do know is that there are 106 more games to be played and baseball is dumb. I’ll narrow it down even further and say that there are 50 games left until the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. 21 of those 50 games are against teams currently ahead of the Blue Jays in the wild-card race. Is that enough time to make up ground and restore the underdog story we had going in April? Again, I don’t know. But I think not knowing is okay and being so unpredictable is what makes baseball so beautiful. Anything can happen, so I say everyone should raise a glass and toast to good health, more quality starts, better BABIP and Russell Martin playing CF next.
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