Blue Jays AL East Recap: Jays limp out of the break
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.
Baltimore Orioles: 53-37
Boston Red Sox: 51-39
Toronto Blue Jays: 52-42
New York Yankees: 45-46
Tampa Bay Rays: 35-56
The Blue Jays did not start off of the right foot after the break. Barely avoiding a sweep at the hands of the lowly Athletics, the Blue Jays fell to three games back in the division and one game back from the top Wild Card spot.
Despite this, the alleviated week allowed the Jays to still hold onto the second Wild Card spot. The Blue Jays rotation and pen were the big factors this week. With both Dickey and Stroman regressing after multiple solid starts before the break, their future performances will go a long way in determining the Blue Jays’ future.
The bullpen did no help either, looking more like the weak band of arms they looked like in April, not the solid staff they looked like in late June.
It was not all negatives for the Jays tough. J.A. Happ is apparently fine after being hit with a scary come-backer during Sunday’s game. Marco Estrada is also set to return from the disabled list in time to begin the weekend set against the Mariners at home. The Jays made some transactional news lately by extending Justin Smoak for two years and $8.25 million. A fine investment, but not one anyone was expecting
The Blue Jays can go a long way if their bullpen and the back end of the rotation can stabilize and find success. The offence and front end staff can take care of the rest. With the potential that little or no help comes before the trade deadline, the Blue Jays may need to improve from within.
Next: Baltimore holds on to the crown