Blue Jays’ trouble syncing up leaves questions ahead of Deadline

TORONTO — It’s time to buy groceries.

The Blue Jays are consumers, interval, and face a vital Aug. 1 Commerce Deadline with a number of strikes anticipated. High quality trumps amount presently of 12 months, although, and Toronto shall be challenged with the uncomfortable activity of choosing precisely the place — and the way — to improve a roster that appears sensible on paper.

On grass and turf, it’s typically appeared totally different. The Blue Jays battled irritating waves of inconsistency via the early months of the season, hardly ever syncing up their offense, protection or pitching, so there was all the time one squeaky wheel. We noticed that once more in Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to the Padres, when José Berríos gave Toronto six sturdy innings, however the bats took a nap behind him.

The place do the Blue Jays go from right here, then?

A particular sort of beginning rotation depth may high their buying checklist, however their place gamers provide a greater look into among the awkward selections forward.

The Blue Jays don’t see any true holes of their lineup or place participant group … so let’s name them “dents.”

Take Alejandro Kirk, who owns a .608 OPS and hasn’t hit for energy in any respect this season. That appears like a weak spot, however the Blue Jays love his protection and look at him as a long-term common. Take Daulton Varsho, together with his .636 OPS. Once more, the Blue Jays (rightfully) love his protection and baserunning, and he’s a chunk of the core long-term group.

There’s not the basic definition of a “gap” at the very least, the place a fringe participant’s efficiency has gone within the tank or a daily has been misplaced for the season to damage.

“Our group has had such good performances from our place participant group. Throughout the board, we take a look at each place and really feel actually good in regards to the contributions we’re getting,” common supervisor Ross Atkins mentioned. “Excited about probably improve is de facto tough while you consider within the people who find themselves right here, and that they’re going to proceed to have progress and make strides.”

Atkins says that the Blue Jays are higher positioned to tackle a right-handed bat proper now, making that their “slight lean.” They’d choose an “completed” righty — which means veteran — and whereas upgrading from a present starter may require transferring an MLB-level piece, Atkins appears assured that Toronto can improve this complementary spot utilizing solely prospect capital, prefer it did a 12 months in the past with Whit Merrifield.

“It’s laborious to do with out some degree of subtraction,” Atkins mentioned, “however we do suppose there’s a approach so as to add a bit of little bit of offense to the group with out having to subtract anybody.”

That is the place it will get fascinating … and complex.

Earlier than the Blue Jays make their transfer, they should reply two crucial questions internally.

1. Who’s Alek Maonah for the subsequent two to a few months?

2. Who’s Hyun Jin Ryu for the subsequent two to a few months?

“It’s an excellent choice, that now we have some depth internally which we really feel very strongly about,” Atkins mentioned. “Their monitor data, among the playoff experiences and their general experiences as performers. We’re definitely optimistic that we’re going to have them as choices, however we additionally need to plan for the occasion that we don’t — if somebody has a setback in efficiency or damage.”

The Blue Jays are open to a six-man rotation if they’ve six wholesome starters via August, significantly in a stretch of 17 straight video games. The fact of baseball is that this stuff don’t go as deliberate, although, making this be aware from Atkins fascinating.

“Once you begin to outline depth, then the power to choice somebody additionally turns into exceptionally invaluable,” Atkins mentioned. “In some circumstances, it may be as invaluable because the higher-end rental market. Value shall be vital. What it means to the state of our rotation nearer to the Deadline can have some relevance.”

Remember that the Blue Jays’ latest bulk or starter additions, in Berríos, Ross Stripling and Mitch White, all got here with group management past that season. Toronto is open to leases, however you’ll be able to even develop this to relievers (Zach Pop, Anthony Bass) and hitters (Merrifield) acquired final season. All got here with further management.

In an ideal world, the Blue Jays discover a starter who has choices remaining, management remaining or each, giving them worth past the subsequent two months.

A lot of this progress nonetheless wants to return from inside, however the selections the Blue Jays make between now and Aug. 1 might determine whether or not that is one other early October or the beginning of one thing greater.

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Revealed : 2023-07-20 04:37:00

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