With the Blue Jays off to a franchise worst 1-6 start, many fans and pundits are a bit concerned. While there is reason to worry, there are several other elite clubs that haven’t started so hot either.
The Blue Jays will look to turn things around on Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers, in the second of a two game series to open up their home schedule. After losing another 1 run game on Tuesday night, the feeling of restlessness is starting to set in for the ball club.
Only the Blue Jays aren’t alone in their struggles, at least not among those teams expected to contend for a playoff spot this year. Of course, every year there are surprises in baseball, but it would be surprising to see the standings end up as they have after the season’s first week.
Beyond the Blue Jays, there are several American League clubs who have floundered out of the gate, making the Jays’ struggles slightly less painful.
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Take the Texas Rangers, they’ve started at 2-5 over their first 7 games, looking almost as lost as the Blue Jays. Adrian Beltre is struggling to get healthy, and the club still has major question marks at first base and in their rotation. Throw Sam Dyson‘s struggles as the closer, and it adds up to an ice cold start for ALDS losers last season.
Both the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals missed the postseason last year, but both are expected to be in the mix this season, assuming they can turn things around. Kansas City of course won the World Series in 2015 and then missed the playoffs last year. They’re facing the prospect of many of their core players leaving in free agency after this season, so they’re expected to make one more run before they change their course a bit as a franchise. Of course, if they can’t heat up a bit, the fire sale could start earlier than later.
With the Mariners, they just missed the playoffs last year and look poised to make the leap, snapping their own postseason drought of 16 years. Lead by a Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager, and a talented pitching staff, they shouldn’t be 2-7 through 9, but they are. There is plenty of time, but they’ll need to get things figured out sooner than later as well.
Finally, looking at the St. Louis Cardinals might help Blue Jays fans sleep a little easier. The Cards have been perennial contenders for years now, but they’re just 2-6 to start the season as well. The difference for the Cards is aside from their two, one run losses, they’ve been beaten up on a couple times already.
So while it’s incredibly frustrating to see our beloved Blue Jays struggling to begin the season, it’s important to keep things in perspective. If the 5-2 Twins finish ahead of all of the aforementioned Twins, I’ll eat my hat.