Jul 27, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro (30) and relief pitcher Casey Janssen (right) celebrate the win against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays Finding Their Groove Again

All seems to be good coming out of the all-star break for the Toronto Blue Jays. The team, although not playing against the strongest competition, have broken out of the gate with a 8-3 record and with the imminent returns of Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie, there is much excitement surrounding them as the race to the playoffs heats up.

Jun 23, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (54) is congratulated by manager John Gibbons (5) and hitting coach Kevin Seitzer (25) after defeating the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

First and foremost, can we please stop discussing trading away Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman? I mean, since being thrown into the starting rotation, it is pretty safe to say that Stroman has been the ace of the club for a good part of the last 10 weeks. As for Sanchez, the dude can pitch. When he is on his game, he is hard to hit against. The hard throwing right-hander has easily added to what seems to be a slowly improving bullpen.

Casey Janssen has been solid all year, while Todd Redmond should be getting a lot more credit for the work he has put in. Aside from a falter here and there, Dustin McGowan and Brett Cecil have become solid contributors. Add Aaron Loup into the mix and you have a pretty solid bullpen. If everyone remains productive during the final stretch of the season, I do not see why there is any point for the Jays to go out and find another reliever, especially one at an unreasonable price.

Have the Baltimore Orioles given anyone any reason to believe that they are running away with this division? Hell, no. An added arm in the bullpen will not be the key that solves the Jays’ problem and will not be the factor that would propel them into first place either. Here’s an added bonus: if the Jays do make the playoffs, J.A. Happ will no longer be a starter and that will add another productive pitcher into the bullpen who will eat up innings for your team when needed.

What the Jays do need is another right-handed bat in their lineup. Not having Lawrie or Encarnacion in the lineup has definitely harmed the team, especially against lefties; in the playoffs, there will be quite a few challenging lefties that the Jays will have to hit against. You do not want to go up against a pitcher like David Price (no, do not count the Rays out yet) with a lefty loaded lineup.

Obviously, you do not want to overpay for a bat and the Jays really do not need any of the superstars being shopped around on the market, but why not make a run for an Asdrubal Cabrera? It would be an upgrade at second base and would help the team out when dealing with southpaws.

Everything is in the Jays’ hands as they control their own destiny. They may be merely one piece away from becoming a playoff team in the mediocre AL East, but what is of upmost importance now is the health and production of each one of their players. All that is left to do is to sit back and enjoy what should be an interesting end to the season.

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Tags: Toronto Blue Jays

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