2023-09-02 · 3 min read · MLB/Baseball
Former New York Yankees pitcher Chad Green

Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports

As summer turns to Fall and the weather cools, the Toronto Blue Jays sit in a position of severe mediocrity when compared to the expectations of this meagre 2023 season. Five-plus months of middling disappointment for fans who pack the Rogers Centre on the daily, as the sky-high hopes for their city’s baseball team came crashing down to Earth in a slow, disinteresting descent.
Yet, amidst blown leads and head-throbbing decision making, Canada’s team is just 2.5 games out of the final Wild Card spot in the American League. Nine games against Colorado, Oakland, and Kansas City act as the prelude to an all-important four-game showdown against the Texas Rangers mid-month to, perhaps, decide the outcome of Toronto’s season.
Stumbling out of first place thanks to a surging Seattle Mariners’ squad, Texas has found themselves flailing down the standings and barely holding onto the third Wild Card Spot. Injuries haven’t helped, though an offense as prolific as Texas’ has the ability to turn their decline around immediately. Needless to say, some meaningful ball against a team from Texas might be just what Toronto needs to regain that mid 2010’s spark.
Nine series remain for the Blue Jays, with only three of which are against current playoff teams - two of the three being against Tampa Bay. That said, an “easy” schedule is not a guaranteed hot streak - Toronto’s high-calibre left side of the infield has been IL’d with both Chapman and Bichette heading to the 15-day. While Davis Schneider and Ernie Clement have been terrific filling in, neither are expected to continue to produce the way they are.
On the other side of the ball, Toronto is expected to get a little bit of relief help in the return of Chad Green to the majors once rosters expand for September. It’ll be an exciting debut in the blue and white for Green, who pitched against Toronto on behalf of the New York Yankees in a seemingly endless stream of appearances just years ago. One Tommy John Surgery later, and the ex-Bronx righty looks to help bolster an already-good Blue Jays ‘pen.
The other September callup is Spencer Horwitz, who made his MLB debut with Toronto earlier this year. The lefty bat has put up terrific numbers in AAA this year, smashing 10 home runs with 72 RBIs over 107 games - and hitting .337. There isn’t a ton of strikeout in his swing, something Toronto’s been looking for to use late in games. Horwitz should see some playing time, especially as the Jays play 16 games over the next 17 days across three cities.
To capitalize on Texas’ struggles, there is no more room for .500 or worse ball over the next month. Anything less than a 7-2 or 8-1 road trip would be yet another disappointment for Toronto and its fans, especially when a record such as those is easily attainable given each of their next three opponents are last in their respective divisions and have a combined record of 129-273 this year.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Yusei Kikuchi, and Kevin Gausman are expected to get the ball against Colorado as Toronto returns to action Friday. A winning road trip will buy John - not Davis - Schneider some extra leeway with fans, but anything less and frustration across the country may, alas, reach a boiling point.
First pitch flies at 8:40pm EST.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Gus Cousins


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