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Jul 31, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) drives in a run with a sacrifice fly during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays in a Winning Groove Despite Distractions

It doesn’t seem to matter that the Toronto Blue Jays were inactive yesterday on trade deadline day.

Jul 31, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Drew Hutchison (36) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t even seem to matter that Drew Hutchison‘s struggles on the pitching mound continue.

The Jays are hot right now and no one can stop them. After winning four consecutive series to open the unofficial second half of the season, they now have their eyes set on a fifth straight series victory – this time one against the lowly Houston Astros.

There was some worry the Jays wouldn’t take the Astros seriously following a sweep of archrival Boston earlier this week at Fenway Park. Plus, there was the added distraction of trade deadline day, which has apparently caused a rift between the team and management. It’s generally accepted the Jays need to find some help for their starting rotation and add some extra depth on the bench if they’re serious about making a strong push for the playoffs.

Club house leader and current all-star Jose Bautista spoke for the players yesterday when he said management’s inactivity on trade deadline day left him disappointed. No one on the team offered an opposing viewpoint and some players agreed with his statement off camera.

The need for the Jays to add someone via trade has been complicated, however, by the sudden emergence of several internal options. If Ryan Goins can remain hot, the Jays’ lingering hole at second base might finally have a solution. Aaron Sanchez‘s rise to the big leagues and Brandon Morrow‘s impending return from (yet another) injury could be enough to bolster the starting rotation.

Newcomers Dan Johnson, Nolan Reimold and Danny Valencia have also made their presence on the bench quickly felt in a positive way. This says nothing, by the way, about regular players Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind, who should all return to the lineup soon.

In other words, this is my long way of saying Bautista’s disappointment, while understandable, may not be entirely justifiable. The Jays look good right now and they’re getting timely contributions from everyone in the lineup. You can take last night’s game as the perfect example. Toronto relied on four different bats to pull off the comeback victory. It’s not just a handful of players getting the job done right now – it’s everyone. They’re helping one another win.

If last night’s game makes any kind of statement, it’s one that goes against Bautista and justifies management’s confidence in the current makeup of the team. I probably would’ve found myself agreeing with Bautista earlier in the season, but given the sudden turnaround of the team and assuming it can last, I’m no longer convinced the Jays should trade away the future for the sake of the present.

The Jays can actually have both right now as last night proved.

(Is it management or ownership who’s the real obstacle here? Let us know in the comments section below.)

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Tags: Jose Bautista Toronto Blue Jays

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