While the Toronto Blue Jays saw a quick exit from the playoffs, there is a lot of promise moving forward that the team needs to move forward with.
It is always tough to look at things in perspective when your team has a disappointing end to their playoff run but for the Toronto Blue Jays, this season brought a great look into what the future holds.
Going into their series against the Tampa Bay Rays, there was a stern belief that the Blue Jays were capable of winning the three-game set. What the team learned is that the mistakes they were able to overlook during the regular season get magnified in the post-season.
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The Rays showed the Blue Jays is that while they feel like they are ready to compete, three runs in two games showed that they need to have a better approach to high-velocity pitchers. For Danny Jansen to be the only one to do damage against the Rays’ pitching speaks a lot to the disappointment.
Of course, Hyun-Jin Ryu’s performance in Game 2 was a major letdown but you still have to be comfortable with what he brings to the rotation going forward. Right now, he is the only stable part of the team’s starting rotation plan with only Tanner Roark scheduled to be back next season.
Seeing Nate Pearson dominate in his relief appearance in Game 2 should offer some hope that he can get himself back into the rotation. From there the team is going to have to hope that some of their young starters turned relievers can get stretched out.
As Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi explains the team could look at a group including Thomas Hatch, Ryan Borucki, Julian Merryweather or Anthony Kay can be in the conversation for the rotation next season. This also means that the team’s strength from their bullpen suddenly becomes weaker especially with Ken Giles getting Tommy John and other veterans likely to leave.
Where the lineup is concerned, the infield certainly needs work and it starts with deciding where Cavan Biggio will play because the team would be wise to get a third baseman that can be a significant offensive contributor.
Considering Tampa Bay will continue to ride on the strength of their pitching staff, Toronto will have to figure out how to be productive against elite pitching. Considering the strides Teoscar Hernandez made, the emergence of Alejandro Kirk and some strong stretches from Bo Bichette, there are pieces there but they certainly an addition that can be the glue to hold it together.
You get the sense with the way this team approached the 2020 season, they won’t be content with just making the playoffs considering how it ended. This empty feeling they probably feel after Game 2 should fuel a focused off-season that will hopefully be easier to navigate.
Give the team credit for navigating the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented and now the team will need the players to mentally recharge and be focused on making next season their main priority.
What are your final thoughts on the Blue Jays 2020 season? What should Toronto’s priority be in the off-season? Let us know in the comments below.