Toronto Blue Jays: Another blown lead intensifies trade deadline need

Thomas Hatch #31 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Thomas Hatch #31 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

With another loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays playoff hopes take another hit with more pressure on the team heading into the trade deadline.

Time is ticking on the Toronto Blue Jays if they want to make additions for their final push for the playoffs.

With the July 30 trade deadline approaching, Toronto dropped another close game to the Boston Red Sox and now have a 4-8 against the AL East leaders. It’s losses like this that emphasize just how much of an opportunity has been missed by the Blue Jays this season if their bullpen was properly addressed in the off-season.

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Sitting 10.5 games back in the AL East and 4.5 games out of a wild-card spot, the Blue Jays can point to their 6-12 in one-run games as a big reason why as Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi points out that four of those 12 losses have come against Boston. Imagine if Toronto didn’t blow as many leads or close games because of the team’s pitching?

"“It’s all about pitching,” manager Charlie Montoyo said about the team’s sturggles against Bosotn. “We haven’t pitched as well against them. Granted they have a really good lineup and if you make mistakes they make you pay. But we just haven’t pitched good enough against them to beat them. The games that we’ve beaten them, we scored a lot of runs, you know what I’m saying? So at the end of the day, we haven’t pitched that well against them.”"

Montoyo sounds like a broken record at this point and it’s tough to blame him. How many more leads does this team need to squander before the front office finally decides to step in and make a significant addition at the trade deadline?

They have made some additions to bridge the gap between the starting rotation and the late-inning relievers but this team desperately needs more. Going 1-5 in their last six games, Toronto has to balance the desire to win this season and keeping the contending window open going forward.

The team has done a great job in adding players with some level of control or at least avoid too many short-term rentals. Whether they continue to do that remains to be seen but they have a roster worthy of giving a chance to compete. 

Toronto Blue Jays: Does the team have enough internal options to offset trade needs

One way the Blue Jays can avoid having to spend a lot of prospect capital to shore up their roster needs is by looking at their internal options.

Thomas Hatch was brought up to fill in for Alek Manoah who should be returning when the team is back at home in Toronto. What that means for Hatch going forward is going to be intriguing.

Having Hatch as an option in the rotation when a starter goes down with an injury is valuable and probably why the Blue Jays have avoided the temptation to using him in the bullpen. Seeing how integral he was pitching in relief last season is probably a good enough of a reason to make the move but that decision should be made after the trade deadline.

What makes more sense is having Nate Pearson return from injury as a reliever considering he has the velocity to be a late-inning option. General manager Ross Atkins already said Pearson can be a reliever option soon for the team which means Toronto doesn’t see a point in him trying to return as a starter this season.

"“Throwing that hard and throwing the fastball by people, he looked great. If I’m imagining that, that would be a good weapon for us to have,” Montoyo said about Pearson. “But he’s got to build up to that and see how it goes before we see him here.”"

As Montoyo mentions, all this will be dependent on Pearson’s health as the Blue Jays have struggled to keep their top prospect on the mound. If they have found out what the issue is then they should be able to count on Pearson to be a much-needed power arm in late innings much like he provided in a couple of innings last season.

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Do you think the Blue Jays should be buyers at the trade deadline? Which internal options do you think they should consider to help the bullpen? Let us know in the comments below.