Toronto Blue Jays fans have been treated to an interesting season so far with many ups and downs.
Alek Manoah’s impressive MLB debut put a spotlight on the emerging pitching talent the team has in the pipeline. However, all season long, one player has taken his game to the level that everyone expected him to perform at.
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Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s dominant offensive output to this point should have him in the conversation for MVP. With a 4-for-4 night against the Miami Marlins, he has improved his slash line to .337/.441/.663 with an MLB-best 17 home runs.
With Toronto making the move to Sahlen Field, they certainly got off on the right foot with a 5-1 win that saw the offence around Guerrero Jr. follow his lead. Having Marcus Semien and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. continue their strong stretch forces other teams to realize that they can’t just focus on stopping one player in the lineup.
What should be encouraging is the fact that the team continues to put up consistent offensive production without George Springer. When he does return, it will only make this team a more formidable team and it will help that Guerrero Jr. seems comfortable leading the way at the plate.
It is also fun to see him and Ronald Acuna battle for the home run lead and hopefully, both players can continue this back and forth for a while.
Toronto Blue Jays need to keep AL East race close and look at improving pitching
The Tampa Bay Rays made a serious push to take first place in the AL East winning 16 of their last 17 games. However, their lead is only 5.5 games and Toronto has had a pretty tough schedule that should even out when they play the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners.
Seeing how their series against the Rays and Boston Red Sox went, the team can’t ignore the shortcomings of their pitching depth, especially in the bullpen. Toronto has been able to find MLB calibre relievers without paying a fortune and when the time comes, they can’t miss out on getting this bullpen the help it needs.
It also wouldn’t hurt to look at adding to the starting rotation and find a reliable arm behind Hyun Jin Ryu that can give you that elite one-two punch. The starters have done an admirable job this season but the post-season adds extra pressure and every team knows they can use an upgrade if one is available.
The Blue Jays aren’t banking their chances on this season being a one-and-done for the World Series but they are also in a great spot with their emerging core not due for big pay raises. There shouldn’t be restrictions placed on what the front office can do and they have been willing to make the deal necessary.
What are your thoughts on Guerrero Jr.’s season so far? Can he continue this strong start? Let us know in the comments below.