Toronto Blue Jays: So Now What?


Toronto Blue Jays: So Now What?

In the aftermath of the mammoth deal of shortstops – the Toronto Blue Jays landing superstar Troy Tulowitzki from Colorado in exchange for their highly-priced team-sparking Jose Reyes – fans must be wondering where this team is at.

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Another offensive weapon was not a place that the Jays needed addressing (although it Tuesday night against the Phillies, when their offense lacked a spark). As Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler manage to tell us every night, they are by far the highest scoring team in the league.

(I know, Pat and Buck work for Rogers, who own the Blue Jays. As such, their job– in a roundabout way– is to pump the team up, but the fact is Toronto are now under .500.)

Tulo is an amazing acquisition– there is no doubting it– and GM Alex Anthopoulos should be given credit for a fabulous upgrade (although Reyes was starting to hit the ball very well as of late, his fielding definitely cost the team some games… and likely, ultimately his job). However, the fact remains that this team needs pitching.

AA is clearly trying to pull the trigger on some arms for the pitching staff. Tuesday on Tim & Sid, a baseball aficionado– whom correctly predicted the Royals would pickup Ben Zobrist– said the Jays would be the squad to land Jeff Samardzija.

Jul 28, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis (29) scores after hitting a home run during the first inning in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays’ starting pitcher Felix Doubront had a rough outing on Tuesday that started off great, but went down the tube after the umpires failed to correctly call a foul ball of the leg of Phillies’ slugger Ryan Howard. After this, the 27-year old gave up hit after hit, which seemed to be double after double.

Doubront’s final inning should put more fire to the Jays’ need for starting pitching. Normally they can hit around their pitching deficiencies, but they struggled terribly on Tuesday.

The other bad news was that Jose Bautista and Devon Travis both left the game. Travis apparently re-aggravated a shoulder injury in the at-bat following his lead-off homerun in the first.

The good news? Tulowitzki should retrieve his passport in time to play in Wednesday’s game.

The other positive news is a stunning comparison from last year. Remember the Royals, who won the American League and came within a breath of winning the World Series? Their record after 100 games during that magic year was 50-50.

Before the game on Tuesday, the Jays’ record – 50-50. This is when ex-Boston Celtics’ forward Kevin Garnett may insert “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!”

The Blue Jays see those same Royals on Thursday night for a four-game series, amidst this large homestand. This long stretch at Rogers Centre may be make-or-break time for the Jays and surely, following last year’s disgruntled player reaction after a neutral trade deadline, Anthopoluos will stop at nothing to give this team some help where it sorely needs it.

So fans probably expect something. Prospects beware, because although AA has assembled the best right-side of the infield in recent MLB history, people in this region are always screaming for blood.

Last year Bautista expressed his frustration that other teams find a way to get better and his team can’t, and Anthopoulos may realize his time is now. Other GMs know this and may try to take advantage, but AA has proved tough, and not quick to jump into a stupid deal.

The Royals – the model-team – are on display next. Are the Jays the team to follow in their successful footsteps?

The Royals have loaded up themselves this season and Toronto will see the new acquisitions in Zobrist and pitcher Johnny Cueto (who the Jays were potential suitors for). Perhaps by this time, the Jays will have their own stud pitcher to match-up against Cueto.

Next: Toronto Blue Jays pitching rumors update

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