Toronto Blue Jays: John Gibbons not to blame for team’s struggles

BRADENTON FL- MARCH 3: Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons
BRADENTON FL- MARCH 3: Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons /

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins spoke about the team’s poor play in May and why manger John Gibbons should not shoulder the blame.

There’s usually a time and place for a team to make a change with their manager and in the case of the Toronto Blue Jays, there’s no reason to consider firing John Gibbons.

A report from former Globe and Mail columnist Marty York suggested that the team was considering making Eric Wedge the next manager. It makes you wonder why management would consider the move as this would only negatively impact team morale and put more pressure on the front office to find a solution.

General manager Ross Atkins spoke on Prime Time Sports on Thursday about the progress of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., what went wrong with the team’s performance in May and his assessment of his manager.

Atkins made it clear that he is not putting the blame for what has gone wrong with the team on Gibbons.

“Gibby has been great, certainly not his fault that we are where we are,” Atkins explains. “All our focus and attention is on how we can improve and we are not talking about that without John Gibbons.”

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There should be no reason why Gibbons should feel nervous about his position considering that what has been the issue with the team have been things out of his control. He hasn’t had the optimal roster to work with and players that were expected to perform at a high level haven’t done that.

At the same time, there have been some interesting lineup decisions made like having Russell Martin play in left field which according to Gibbons was in part to going up against left-hander David Price.

Again this has more to do with the way injuries have impacted the depth of the lineup especially with Troy Tulowitzki and Almedys Diaz on the DL leaving the team without a natural shortstop.

"“We’re dealing with a lot of injuries, we’re seeing a different lineup almost every single day and it’s tough,” said Marco Estrada on the team’s struggles.“We’re missing key guys, we need some of these players back, hopefully, they’ll be back soon because we’ve got to get things going, I’ve got to get things going and it all begins with the starting pitcher. I can’t go out there and last three innings. I’ve got to do a better job to help my team win these games.”"

Whether or not a healthier lineup makes a difference, it won’t help that the starting pitching is 27th in the league in ERA,  and fifth in home runs and walks allowed. If the rotation can improve slightly, the Blue Jays can probably be a more competitive group.

Next: No stopping Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

However, with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees dominating the AL East, the Wild Card is the only reasonable shot the team has to make the postseason unless John Gibbons is given a roster that matches up against their rivals.