Episode 37 of the Jays’ Nest Podcast brought some interesting discussion around the Toronto Blue Jays quest for their first postseason appearance in 22 years. This past weekend may have dampened the spirits of some Blue Jays fans given the two losses to the lowly Red Sox. But, all is not lost. The Blue Jays are still in first place. Our podcast discussion started with a look at the general state of things in the American League East heading into a huge series against the New York Yankees. We then dive right into selecting our playoff rosters. We each selected our own and were pretty much in agreement. There were some tough decisions to make, though. We can’t wait for you to hear them and then chime in with your own thoughts.
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Join the Debate: Could Munenori Kawasaki be Added to Playoff Roster?
We started our discussion with a look at the past series against the Red Sox and the fallout from that. While it is bad, and somewhat embarrassing, to lose to the 2015 Red Sox, Blue Jays fans shouldn’t be so down. Heading into play on Monday, the club still held a 2.5 game lead on the Yankees. And, with David Price opening the series, we felt pretty good about the season. Marcus Stroman certainly helps with that. The edge goes to the Blue Jays. And, after this series, the Bronx Bombers don’t have many games remaining to catch up. It’s so hard to make up games this late in the season. So, a couple losses to a poor team might be bad at the time, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t the end of the world.
Toronto Blue Jays
No, the Blue Jays’ chances of making the playoffs look good. And, as such, they’ll need to decide on a roster. There are obvious choices at each position and then some guys who are on the bubble. Then, there are others who will just not make the cut. So, we each came up with our own rosters and compared them.
We split our rosters up into those who are no doubters first. These are the easy ones. Is there any doubt that Josh Donaldson gets the nod at third base? That’s a no brainer. There was some initial disagreement as to who starts at first base. There are arguments for both Justin Smoak and Chris Colabello. Have a listen for this interesting discussion. The rotation was fairly simple, too. What we debated, though was the order in which they should appear. David Price gets the first start, but then who? Where does Marcus Stroman go? And, with 3 starters set, what does that mean for the likes of Mark Buehrle and Marco Estrada?
These guys fit into our “On the Bubble” category. And, as much as we can debate the pros and cons of having each in the rotation, or the bullpen, there is no clear answer. Easily, they could slide in as a starter or a mop up/spot starter kind of role should things get out of hand during one of the games. But, can you see either of them coming out of the bullpen?
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Perhaps the most discussion and debate came with the middle infield. All of it hinges on the return of Troy Tulowitzki. Will he be ready by the time the postseason starts? We discussed this situation because so much hinges on it. If he isn’t ready, the Blue Jays will have to fill that spot somehow. Could Munenori Kawasaki then get the nod to provide back up for the Cliff Pennington and Ryan Goins duo? If he come back, there will be some question as to hsi impact. Just how much Tulo will we get?
The whole roster make up conversation is a very interesting one. On the one hand, there are some easy choices. On the other, there are some really tough calls that will have to be made. For example, the decision to leave Drew Hutchison off the roster will be a tough one. But, it is one that we felt most likely. It is unfortunate because Hutch has so much to offer, but he’s struggled to find consistency; the consistency you need to rely on when the stakes are so high.
We wrapped up out episode with our weekly awards. The Blue Jays Hitter of the Week was split. But, this highlighted the Blue Jays’ well balanced lineup. When one guy has cooled a bit, someone else is heating up. There are so many weapons to watch out for and they all can fire at any time. The Blue Jays Pitcher of the Week was much more straightforward. Our selection made Price look like the second best pitcher of staff over the previous 7 days.
As always, we’d be interested in your comments. What does your playoff roster look like?