Blue Jays and the full AL East Recap: Week 4
By Samuel Bruce
The Blue Jays had a down week as the AL East competition begins to take a clearer shape.
Each week, Jays Journal will take a look at the bigger picture of the AL East to help frame not only where the Blue Jays are in the standings, but why they are there.
Boston Red Sox: 15-10
Baltimore Orioles: 14-10
Toronto Blue Jays: 12-14
Tampa Bay Rays: 11-13
New York Yankees: 8-15
The Blue Jays seem to have found their Achilles heel this week, as the bullpen woes became more pronounced and clear. Not only is Drew Storen struggling, but so is Brett Cecil, leaving the bullpen with only one dominant back-end reliever in Roberto Osuna. The starting rotation suffered at times, too, as RA Dickey continues to be a disappointment early on in the season and Marco Estrada‘s excellent game was dashed in the 7th inning on Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox, who rolled over the Blue Jays for a sweep.
That said, it is not all doom and gloom for the Blue Jays. They still have one of the best looking pitching staffs in the American League East and this week saw productivity from unlikely sources (or ones that have been quiet up to this point).
Troy Tulowitzki was the hero on Sunday night in Tampa Bay, padding a one run lead with a a three run homer in the ninth. Michael Saunders thrived in the leadoff spot this week, and hit a pair of home runs to go with it.
With an offence that is starting to wake up, and a starting rotation that has been a pleasant surprise, all eyes are on the bullpen. While handing the game over to the ‘pen led to defeat too often in April, the season is still young. This time last year Brett Cecil was being demoted from the closer’s gig, and yet he managed to become one of the most dominant relievers in baseball at the end of the season.
The Blue Jays should not be as concerned about if their bullpen will right the ship as to when it will. There is real talent in all seven arms, and if they can find that spark early on, the Jays can ride that to a winning record.
Next: Red Sox enjoying the view from the top