2023-05-01 · 3 min read · MLB/Baseball
Toronto Blue Jays and shortstop Bo Bichette


Just over a month into the season, the Toronto Blue Jays have found themselves on quite a roll as of late. A 6-1 homestand that, for all intents and purposes, could have easily been 7-0 had the wheels not fallen off during Sunday’s finale against the Mariners leads into a nine-game road trip against Boston, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia - Toronto’s first interleague play since their opening series of the year.
18-10 through 28 games, yet the Blue Jays have found themselves in a measly third place in the never-ending-doom of the AL East. Terrific starts from Tampa Bay - 23-6, the best record in baseball - and Baltimore - 19-10, 8-2 over their last 10 - have shunted an otherwise outstanding first month for the Blue Jays. Standings be damned, it’s a reminder of just how far the self-proclaimed ‘best division in baseball’ has come - take in that the New York Yankees, MLB’s golden child, is in last place for the first time since early 2016. 3-7 over their last 10 games amid a decimated lineup and injury-plagued staff, hell is in the process of breaking loose in the Bronx. Surely they’ll bounce back…right?
Objectivity as a sports fan is hard, perhaps hardest for teams like the Blue Jays and Raptors who are alone in being Canadian, but for as well as Toronto has played this year - and objectively, they’ve played great - concerns continue to arise.
While it’s not fair, really, to compare yourself to the mighty Rays and…Pirates...after just one month of games, we as fans love to do that sort of thing. A prime example of this is Tampa Bay’s bullpen - year after year, arm after arm, a never-ending cascade of hard-throwing arms that only Tampa Bay could create. Guys like Pete Fairbanks, Jason Adam (hey, he’s an ex-Jay!), Kevin Kelly, Colin Poche, Ryan Thompson - lesser-known guys that, whether fans want to admit it or not, blow away the more prominent names in pens’ like Toronto’s. For every four games of bullpen success, there’s an Anthony Bass outing. Or a Tim Mayza debacle. Or a Yimi Garcia blowup.
Negativity? Perhaps, but examples such as Sunday’s loss to Seattle exemplify holes this team has that prevent them from being like Tampa or, dare I say, Pittsburgh. Look at the offence; if Matt Chapman wasn’t on the biggest heater the world’s ever seen thus far, this team is nowhere near as good. ‘Well, that’s obvious’ you say, yes! Cavan Biggio hasn’t hit in three years. Brandon Belt is unfortunately having an atrocious first season with Toronto. Daulton Varsho has struggled at the plate. Danny Jansen, up until recently, has struggled. George Springer has been unbearably unlucky, and the team continues to bench Nathan Lukes for the likes of the aforementioned Biggio.
Toronto has an incredibly talented roster, and have played well overall so far. The starting pitching, after early concerns due to a couple shaky turns through, has excelled. Yusei Kikuchi has his own fanclub, and Jose Berrios - scheduled to start Monday versus the Red Sox - is beginning to look more like the Minnesota version of himself. Bo and Vlad and Chappy and Merrifield have all hit quite well, and Kiermaier’s played some terrific centerfield. But objectively, this team has holes. Fixable holes, ones that can be plugged - or, in Anthony Bass’ case, released into the void.
Believe it or not, I’m actually enthusiastic and positive about this team!
As I write this, I have just found out that Aaron Judge is headed to the IL. Ok, maybe they won’t bounce back!
Also as I write this, Cavan Biggio has now replaced George Springer in the starting lineup due to illness. Nathan Lukes is on the roster. He was Buffalo’s MVP in AAA last year. He also isn’t hitting .111. Objectively, this is well past ridiculous.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Gus Cousins


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