Many think that the Jays bullpen is a huge weakness for a team with so much strength in the starting rotation and an offense that’s now rounding into shape. It’s actually not quite as bad as you might think. Let’s take a look at what the Jays actually have in the bullpen right now. Toronto will likely carry seven relievers for most of the season, so we’ll look at those seven spots by role.
Yes, there are holes in the roster right now, but they’re quite fixable. And even though the 2017 version might look quite a bit different than last years team, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There have been some growing pains, but your 2017 Toronto Blue Jays aren’t headed for the dumpster.
Edwin wants a five year deal, which would take him through his age 38 season with Toronto. While he was something of a late bloomer, he’ll already be 34 years old when next season begins. That’s not ‘aging’, it’s old already! It’s a real factor, and is something that could quickly become a slippery slope. Many fans shrug this off, explaining how these deals are less risky now because more and more players are productive as they get older these days. That’s just not true.
Beanballs are a black-eye on baseball. They’re just about the most cowardly and dangerous act that can be perpetrated in professional sports. They’re accepted in baseball culture as a way to retaliate; 1) Because there’s far less opportunity for physical contact in baseball than in football, basketball or hockey and 2) Because they inflict maximum damage and are supposed to be a way for the players to ‘self-police’ the game.
For baseball fans, September is an exciting part of the season. If you’re lucky enough to support a team making a push in a close race, every game is a nail biting, stomach churning affair, and every decision is dissected with the weighted importance of a mad scientist attempting to create cold fusion. If your team is out of it, there’s always the schadenfreude of being the spoiler against a division rival, and/or the chance to see next years prospects get their first extended taste of big league action. It’s a fun time of year, all around. Unless you’re a Padres fan. But then, you still get to live in San Diego, so cheer up, jerk!
This is undoubtedly a win for a Toronto team that has enjoyed its greatest successes over the past three seasons. The core of a Conference Finals team is intact, a homegrown All-Star in DeMar DeRozan has just re-signed long term, and fans are looking forward to the continued development of burgeoning big man Jonas Valanciunas, who turned 24 in the midst of last years playoff run. It’s not just a good time to be a Raptors fan, but the best time ever. Still though, a little voice wonders: ‘What’s next?’
It’s August 30th, and the Toronto Blue Jays have a widening, but still ‘post-movie popcorn’ like grip on first place in the American League East. It’ll be a dog fight to the end, with the eleven games remaining against Baltimore and Boston looking more and more like they’ll directly determine who will win the division, and who will be stuck battling it out in the one game Wild Card playoff on October 4th. The series opening win over the Orioles last night was a nice start.
With the news that the Blue Jays have made some relatively major front office changes this past week, firing amateur scouting director Brian Parker, national crosschecker Blake Davis and minor league field co-ordinator Doug Davis, the Mark Shapiro/Ross Atkins imprint on the Toronto organization is becoming more and more visible. Not that it wasn’t already, despite what many fans seem to believe.
The newly minted All-Star has become more than the Blue Jays and their fans could have hoped for this season, exceeding all expectations by harnessing his devastating natural ability, and pairing it with a combination of strength and mechanical consistency that was lacking during his first stint in the starting rotation in 2015. So why are we still worried about Aaron Sanchez and his role?
On July 4th, Kevin Durant irrevocably altered the course of NBA history. Even if the newest version of the Golden State Warriors doesn’t work well together (unlikely) or if he changes his mind before the moratorium ends and goes somewhere else (unlikelier still, but let us never forget DeAndre), the debate his defection to the Dubs has sparked rivals only the kind of frothing rhetoric spewed following LeBron James’ infamous ‘The Decision’.