Blue Jays Morning Brew: Frustration Abounds
The Blue Jays beat the Angels last night and pounded out 10 runs on 17 hits. Is that enough to help us get over the recent road trip that saw them go 1-6? Or, will we look back on this past week as the defining moment of a season lost? Perhaps that may be dramatic, but There are certainly those whose frustration has reached a point that they actually buy into this line of thinking. It is past the middle of May. We’re 7 weeks into the season and there is a level of frustration surrounding this ball club. Let’s take a look at some news and links that examine this.
Even with the positivity that comes from a big win, there remains disappointment. Mike Wilner of Sportsnet points out that the offensive outburst just hides the fact that the Blue Jays got yet another poor outing from a starter. I can’t disagree with him.
If being on the wrong end of the broom wasn’t frustrating enough for you, Bob Elliott at The Sun tells us that on Thursday, former Blue Jays outfielder, Colby Rasmus actually called the sweep. At the time, many would have laughed at that idea. I mean, come on. It’s the Houston Astros. Turns out, he was right. Ugh.
TSN’s Scott MacArthur gave us a bit of a topic for discussion leading into the series against the Angels when he looked at the recent poor showing from the Blue Jays and wondered if John Gibbons‘ job is safe. This is a topic that has been seemingly on the tip of everyone’s tongue every season. In fact, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has labelled Gibby as one MLB manager who could be the next to be fired.
Perhaps this season feels worse because there was so much excitement entering the season. The Blue Jays made some “all in” type moves and are not in a position to say those moves have paid off. Things are downright disappointing, especially after the road trip against Baltimore and Houston. But, is John Gibbons the fall guy? As MacArthur points out: would the pitching staff be better if Gibby were fired? Would the offense be more consistent from day to day?
But, if the season continues to be a disappointment, something drastic could happen. Mark Buehrle knows that. And, recently, he voiced it. MacArthur shared Buehrle’s words with us as well as what Josh Donaldson had to add. Buehrle warned that this club needs to turn things around, and quick. “I’m stating the obvious right now, we stink…We’ve got to turn it around quick before another fire sale and we start selling guys and trading guys out or sending guys up and down. We’ve got to do something in here because we have the talent in here. We’re just not playing very well.”
Toronto Blue Jays
Buehrle’s comments may get some players’ attention. Though, that remains to be seen. Will his words work? Will players amp up their efforts to avoid a house cleaning? But, trying harder is not enough, according to Donaldson: “This isn’t the try league. This is the get-it-done league. Eventually they’re going to find people who are going to get it done.” The question remains if the Blue Jays can actually “get it done” this season…with the current roster intact.
Shi Davidi adds to the pile of frustration related pieces with a look at the toll that the losing has on the club. More specifically, the fashion in which the club loses can be downright frustrating to the players. Through Davidi, we hear Donaldson saying that the Blue Jays are just getting beat. They’re being outplayed. There really isn’t one thing that can be pointed to as a cause for the disappointment of late. They just cannot get things clicking at the same time for a consistent amount of time. The pitching and offense are never firing on the same night. Davidi points to the way this club has been losing to highlight his point about the toll its taking on players. John Gibbons offers his two cents about this: It’s very tough” to lose in such fashion. But that’s the way the business is, it’s not a profession for the weak of mind.”
And, out of the frustration, there may be a ray of hope. John Lott of the National Post shares with us an account of Daniel Norris‘ recent performance. Apparently, Norris was shocked by the demotion. But, it was this comment from Blue Jays’ brass that he couldn’t argue with: “They said your numbers are fine, but everybody in this room knows that you’re not yourself, including yourself,” Norris recalls. “I honestly could not disagree with them.” So, he went down and worked on his consistency and his fastball usage. Lott tells us that with Toronto, Norris would try to use all of his pitches and rely on his fastball less. But, Bisons manager, Gary Allenson, and pitching coach, Randy St Claire, are encouraging him to work off his fastball. It has to be his primary pitch. He’s listened to them and it is paying off. With the Blue Jays’ efforts to find something that works, the addition of Daniel Norris could be just what the doctor ordered.
Speaking of Daniel Norris, we are thrilled to announce that to celebrate out 20th episode of Jays’ Nest, Norris will be joining our show this Saturday! As well, because it’s a milestone (albeit a small one) show for us, we’ll also be joined by Dwight Smith Jr who makes a return to our podcast! And, if the planets align, we’ll have another guest to join the celebrations! We’re absolutely stoked about this week’s episode. Tune in LIVE on Saturday morning at 9:15amET. Here is the link to our Google Hangout Event. Feel free to leave questions there.