By Steve Ungrey on May 15, 2014
One fourth of the way into the Toronto Blue Jays' season, the team finds itself only a game and a half out of first place and in contention for the American League East championship. A lot more has gone right for the Blue Jays than people assume, in large part because this team plays north of the border and doesn't get a lot of visibility. Here are some of the things we know about the Blue Jays as we approach the end of May.
It isn't even the end of May yet, but Jose Bautista is anchoring right field and has stayed healthy. Not only that, Bautista is hitting the ball with frequency, to the tune of 10 home runs and 28 RBIs. His powerful pop has helped a Blue Jays team maintain its plate presence. Players like Bautista, Adam Lind, and Juan Francisco are hitting at or close to .300.
It is a given Jose Reyes won't be quite the dynamic player he was with the New York Mets as repeated injuries have sapped the star shortstop of his running ability. Hamstring issues struck Reyes the first week of the season and kept him out for a stretch, and he has been slow to recover. With 20 runs scored, a .215 average and five stolen bases, Reyes has disappointing numbers for a player signed to a huge contract.
Although the roster is stable in most places, the Blue Jays have some holes to fill. From their problems at second base to the need for a steady outfielder between Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista, the Blue Jays have some problems to address. Kevin Pillar was called up to support Colby Rasmus, who is hitting a meager .222 in center. The team now has Brett Lawrie playing second base after its initial plan to play rookie Ryan Goins flopped.
Sure, the outfielder is off to a strong start at the plate with a .324 batting average, 55 hits and six home runs. However, his association with Victor Conte and BALCO, the lab that distributed steroids to players around the major leagues, has proven to be tough to shake. Testing is tougher than ever before and Cabrera has stayed clean, but some people are unwilling to forgive and Cabrera will always have the finger waggers pointing at him.
Now that Casey Janssen is back, the Blue Jays' relief corps should settle into a better pattern. Sergio Santos held down the hill as best he could in the ninth inning, but he was shaky. Forearm soreness ended up sending Santos to the disabled list, and it may have been the source of his weakness. Janssen is a more stable closer, and once he has a few more appearances, he should help Toronto maintain a steady pace in the pennant race.
May 4, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser
Troy Tulowitzki is one of the most talented hitters in baseball, but is always hurt. Here are five teams that could take the chance to deal for him. Read More
Cole Hamels is surely on the trading block for the Phillies, but where will he land? Here are five teams that could make a serious play for him. Read More
May 4, 2015 by Tim Letcher
Who should be on the Cincinnati Reds' trade block? Read More
May 4, 2015 by John Shea
A big chunk of the San Francisco Giants' offseason roster decisions have proven insufficient at the start of the 2015 MLB season. Read More
Ace pitchers can be the most important thing to have on an MLB team, and the teams that have one consider themselves lucky. However, these five aces haven't gotten the job done so far in 2015. Read More
May 4, 2015 by Jason Fletcher
MLB has been trying to pinpoint reasons for the decline of African-Americans in their league for years. I have the answer. Read More
May is a new month and the defending World Series champions need a new start. Here are five ways the team can come back from a rough first month. Read More
May 4, 2015 by Seth Lassen
The fans choose the All-Star game starters, but we all know they don't usually get it right. Entering Week 5, here are the players most deserving. Read More