The Toronto Blue Jays might be back on the winning track, but the critics will continue to find reasons to doubt their ability to succeed.
The Toronto Blue Jays have been dealing with doubt all year. Prior to the season, not much was expected of them.
Once the 2020 campaign began and the Blue Jays struggled early on, not many people anticipated them turning it around. Even when they started stringing some wins together, the general consensus was that it wasn’t sustainable.
You could even argue that when Toronto appeared to put themselves firmly in position for a playoff spot, the doubters remained. In this respect, the season-worst six-game losing streak only provided more ammunition for the critics.
As such, just because they finally ended their winless streak on Sunday with a 6-3 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, don’t expect anything to change. The doubts will remain with the Blue Jays.
Without tempting fate, Toronto looks all but certain to secure a playoff spot. Entering Monday’s action, they hold a four-game advantage over the ninth-place Seattle Mariners, with just seven regular season contests remaining.
The Blue Jays’ situation is further helped by the Mariners playing three games against the Houston Astros. Houston has the same record as Toronto, so whatever the outcome of the series versus Seattle, it helps Charlie Montoyo’s team.
Of course once the playoffs begin, the Blue Jays will again face considerable doubt, especially as they will more than likely face one of the stronger teams in the American League. However, in reality Toronto has nothing to lose.
In this respect, even the doubters must concede Toronto has already achieved more than anyone expected from them this season. The 2020 campaign was meant to represent a continuation of a full rebuild which was started a few years ago.
In many ways, this season is a bonus for the ball club, with the fans being treated to some of the best young talent in the Majors, led by Bo Bichette. Of course the irony is that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hasn’t developed as hoped, but there is still plenty of time for him to fulfill his potential.
Nate Pearson was more down than up prior to his injury, but still showed enough glimpses of what he is capable of for the Toronto Blue Jays. And while not technically a youngster, Teoscar Hernandez has taken further steps towards becoming a star in this league.
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In terms of the veterans, Hyun-jin Ryu has been a revelation on the mound. The trade for Taijuan Walker has been a success and if they can re-sign him after the season, the rotation will be better-placed to help the ball club contend for the foreseeable future.
This doesn’t mean the Blue Jays don’t have some areas for improvement. However, the mental errors such as bad base running are things which can be fixed.
In this respect, arguably the biggest issue holding Toronto back is Montoya, who does not inspire much confidence with his questionable decision making. It may well be time to bring in a new manager to help the ball club get to the next stage of their development into a genuine and consistent contender.
For now though, Blue Jays fans should just continue to enjoy this unexpected ride, especially in the face of all the negativity. This season has already been a success and in this sense, there is a certain irony in the critics continuing to doubt them.
Assuming the Toronto Blue Jays do qualify for the playoffs, will you view this season as a success if they get knocked out in the wild card round? Further, what is the key area of the ball club you need to see improved/upgraded, to help them become genuine contenders? Let us know in the comments section below.