The Toronto Blue Jays are trying to get to the post season for the second straight year and with a slightly different makeup, they have had to rely on multiple players to keep them competitive. The pitching rotation has a different look losing stud ace David Price to free agency and Marcus Stroman to athletic limbo. There have been key injuries to Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki and the strange PED suspension of Chris Colabello.
That being said, the depth of the Jays roster has produced some interesting, surprising and somewhat relieving results. The loss of Colabello was a shock and angered many fans and at the same time confused them. Regardless, they had a hole they needed to fill. In 2015, the man with the soft drink likeness batted .321, had an OBP of .367, 54 RBI and 15 dingers. He was a regular fixture and important cog in the Jays machine.
Colabello then was suspended 10 games into this season and thus created a void.
Toronto has used Edwin Encarnacion mainly as a DH and that seems to suit everyone just fine (see David Ortiz). Justin Smoak has proven to be a suitable replacement and moving to base number 2 the emergence of Devon Travis has made the Colabello’s insertion back into the lineup slightly murky and not just because of the suspension.
Travis, thru 151 AB has a .272 AVG, a .315 OBP and 6 HR. He is 2 HR back of his season high last year, slightly off his pace of getting on base and realistically if the Jays continue to trend upwards, so will his average. DT is a young, valuable part of this offense and isn’t a liability at 2B. Adding to all this is the fact Travis has only been a starting fielder for 35 games this year.
Depth late in the season will doubt be key for the Jays and realistically the pitching will be their major concern. Looking at the infield though gives Toronto options at the trade deadline. Do they move Colabello/Travis for a depth starter on the mound? What will Jose Bautista look like by season’s end? What kind of bird food does EE’s parrot eat?
All important questions that need to be answered.
Recently signed Justin Smoak gives the infield a very secure look and triggers the trade rumours that much further when it comes to Cola. The Jays can only use one of these guys at a time and if they aren’t screwing up, its pretty tough to pull a guy like Travis or Smoak out of the lineup.
Looking at Bautista, he’s still an elite talent but the Jays have been relatively fine without him. Sure, they could use his bat and he still has a laser from right field but the maturity up and down the lineup gives the Jays options to move a roster player for a starter they know they need to advance past the regular season and deep into October.
Not having a veteran hurler like David Price may cost Toronto and Marcus Stroman is not even close to his electrifying self from a season ago so using the assets they have will again be important.
The Jays spent big last year to get as far as they did and the clutch Troy Tulowitzki gave them stability around the horn with Josh Donaldson at 3B. Darwin Barney has spent a lot of time in the lineup which just further cements that infield as stocked.
Moving guys to the outfield is basically a conversation ender as Captain Canada, Michael Saunders, isn’t going anywhere, Kevin Pillar is a bear trap and again Jose Bautista is still quite reliable. Not to mention Ezequiel Carrera has faired nicely in Joey Bats absence.
What direction do the Jays go as the season carries on? It seems that Chris Colabello being suspended not only cost him 80 games but it may have cost him his job in Toronto. The moral of the story is don’t do drugs
and if you’re gonna do them, make sure no one can take your place.
Did I just say that, I meant don’t do drugs ever they are bad.
Your Toronto Blue Jays are 3.0 games back of the division lead and currently hold a wild card spot. I like the chemistry they have right now and I wouldn’t want to rock the boat too much.
This team can still get it done and they have gotten it done without a guy many would have thought they would struggle without.
Funny sport that baseball.