Toronto Blue Jays: It’s Not All Bad
If you put a large amount of money down on the Blue Jays making the playoffs this season, you’re likely sweating a little bit at this point. It’s not looking too good right now. The club sits 4.5 games out of first place, good for dead last in the AL East. This is quite disappointing for a team that was expected to challenge for the division title and its first taste of post season ball in 22 years.
Perhaps the standings don’t really scare you. You recognize that there is plenty more baseball to play. What might actually worry you more is the manner in which the Blue Jays find themselves in last place. One night, the offense may struggle, as offense is want to do. Starting pitching may be the Achilles heal another night (too many if you ask me). Or, the bullpen is as reliable as my grandfather’s 1971 Ford Pinto. On any given night, the Blue Jays seem to be finding different ways to lose. When you think about all of this, the 18-24 hole they’ve dug seems more and more like a deep, dark abyss from which the light of glory gets dimmer by the day.
But, fear not. I am here to share with you a ray of hope. There are still reasons to cheer for this team. There are still reasons that hope is not lost. There is still a chance that you do not have to bury your shirzees in the drawer. There are reasons to be excited and proud. It is not all doom and gloom for the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays.
Toronto Blue Jays
1) Daniel Norris will return. The rotation needs help. It needs a boost. There has been talk of the Blue Jays looking outside of the organization for help. They recently scouted Johnny Cueto. But, the pieces required to pull off such a deal would be sky high. At this point in the season, being that it is not even June yet, a more likely option is the promotion of Daniel Norris. Our Eric Elliott highlighted Norris as an internal candidate to give the Blue Jays the shot in the arm it needs.
Norris has been working with Buffalo Bisons’ pitching coach, Randy St Claire and, as Eric pointed out, is having success there. Rather than mixing his pitches so much, they have Norris working on using his fastball more and complimenting it with his other offerings. According to Fangraphs.com, his brief stint with the big league club saw him use his fastball just 53% of the time and his change up 20.7%. He also relied on his slider 18.7% of the time. In Buffalo, he’s working on increasing the use of his fastball and building off it with his other pitches.
Once he has a level of success that the club is comfortable with, or they’ve exhausted other options, Norris will return to Toronto. Before anything drastic happens with this club, they will look to use all of their bullets. Norris remains a potentially deadly, impactful bullet.
Obviously, the injection of Norris will not be the single thing that saves the season, but it will help. More than this, though, there are other reasons why we shouldn’t be so down on the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays.
Next: Time & Healing