Pessimist – Sam Bruce
A week and a half through the season, and things are already looking incredibly bleak for the Blue Jays. They have just one win to their name, and have looked completely lost offensively. While the pitching has been as strong as anticipated, baseball is a team sport. The Blue Jays are not playing like a complete team. And although the season is long and the offensive woes suffered early are likely not sustainable, the fact of the matter remains that the Blue Jays have largely squandered their chances at making a playoff three-peat.
For the Blue Jays to reach the playoffs they will first have to get to .500. This means winning an incredible number of games against foes that have proven to be tough opponents, time and time again. The Jays will also have to do this without Josh Donaldson. With an offense as horrendously bad as the Blue Jays have been, using your bench players to try to play out of a slump is generally not recommended.
Furthermore, if the Blue Jays can win their way back to an even average, they will still have to win further to build a winning record (.500 teams rarely are good enough to make it to the playoffs). The Blue Jays early hole has given them no room for error this year.
In the 2016 season, the Jays slumped hard in September, but still qualified for the Wild Card thanks in part to their excellent record beforehand. With over 150 games to play, the Blue Jays are going to need to get it together, and keep it together, for the chance to play in October.
Come July, if the Blue Jays are out of the playoff picture, the front office would be foolish not to listen to offers to players that could boost the farm system. Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins should seriously consider the idea of trading away ALL valuable pieces that could bring back prospect, even Donaldson, the current face of the Blue Jays franchise.
This is a team that is far too old and far too one-dimensional to compete with the best in baseball. The Blue Jays have young building blocks in the farm system, such as Guerrero Jr., Alford, Tellez, and Reid-Foley and the best course of action for this team would be to sacrifice the 2017 and potentially even 2018 season for huge success starting in 2019. This method would be similar to that of the Red Sox and Cubs, two of the young, athletic powerhouse teams in the MLB.