With the worst start in franchise history safely secured, the Blue Jays have reached a point where some sort of change must be made.
After the Jays were 1-5, I told my friends and even myself that it was way too early to panic. Moving to 1-6 brought some concern, but again, I convinced myself that it’s way too early to worry about a season of 162 games. Now that we’re looking at 1-7, my optimism has run out.
It’s not that I think the Blue Jays should throw the towel in on the season, but I think it’s time to make some sort of change. That likely comes in the form of a lineup shuffle or a call up or two from Buffalo, but if nothing else a message needs to be sent. This is unacceptable.
The team is well aware, and are likely every bit as frustrated and more as fans around the country. This isn’t how things were supposed to go, and the players on the roster would be the first to tell you.
The worst part is, the Blue Jays have been wasting several great performances by their starting pitching staff. The latest was a complete game from Marcus Stroman on Wednesday night, a game where he performed like an ace and gave the bullpen a rest. Performances like that are supposed to pull teams out of a funk, not push them further into a pit of despair.
When you can’t put a notch in the win column with a start like that, it’s time to shake things up a bit. In the two game series with the Brewers, the Blue Jays managed just 9 hits, with just 4 of them coming on Wednesday night. They barely threatened scoring, other than Russell Martin striking out with the bases loaded (granted on a questionable strike call), pushing him to an 0-20 start to the year at the time.
The thing is, there aren’t a lot of tweaks that can be done, other than the lineup shuffle and/or calls ups I mentioned before. With the lineup, it’s possible Gibby could move a few guys around, but it’s hard to make a recommendation at the moment, based on performances anyway.
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Troy Tulowitzki had a good game on Tuesday night, and has been as encouraging as anyone with the bat lately. He has resisted a move to the lead off position in the past, but perhaps he’d be willing to reevaluate his position, given the circumstances the team is facing. Gibby has already swapped Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson in the order since Donaldson’s calf tweak, and I don’t think there’s any reason to stop there.
The other move to consider might be calling up Chris Coghlan to the big league club. The move would likely require another roster shuffle, which isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Sending down someone like Ezequiel Carrera or Ryan Goins would expose them to the waiver wire, so it might take a minor trade to shuffle the deck in the lineup.
A couple days ago I would have argued against a “drastic” move like that so early in the season, but now that we’re looking at 1-7, I feel like the Blue Jays need to do something, anything, to light a spark in the clubhouse. If that means trading the beloved Goins, sometimes unpopular decisions have to be made, especially when things are going like this.
We know that the Jays won’t be making a change in the managerial seat, as John Gibbons is fresh off of a contract extension. Removing him now would make zero sense, and I’m not sure he’s to blame for the struggles anyway.
I’m not exactly sure who I would point the finger at, but what I do know is that sitting around waiting for a problem to fix itself isn’t very effective. If the Blue Jays want to have any chance at contending, they need to turn things around, which may be easier said than done now that they’re welcoming a strong Baltimore Oriole ball club to the Rogers Centre on Thursday. Here’s hoping the bats wake up, before this thing gets any uglier.