Each week, Jays Journal will take a look at the bigger picture of the American League East to help frame not only where the Blue Jays are in the standings, but why they are there.
New York Yankees: 37-23
Boston Red Sox 34-28
Tampa Bay Rays: 34-32
Baltimore Orioles: 31-30
Toronto Blue Jays: 31-32
The Blue Jays didn’t fare as well as hoped on their week-long road trip. They ended the week 3-3 Losing the series to the Athletics before stopping the Mariners this weekend. On the season, they are still one game below .500. The same position they stood this time last week. Toronto now sits 7.5 back of the Yankees for first, but remain within 2 games of a Wild Card spot. Josh Donaldson put up a show this week. Seemingly determined to erase his month-long absence from the record books. Strong starts from Marcus Stroman and J.A. Happ helped stop a strong Seattle this weekend. A strong bullpen also helped keep the Blue Jays in many games. Roberto Osuna has erased any doubts from his early season woes.
The likes of Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup have also been surprisingly strong. They, combined with Joe Smith and Danny Barnes, have formed a solid rotation core that the Blue Jays haven’t seen in years. The Blue Jays have been silent on what ails Russell Martin. Martin was in and out of the lineup all week. Devon Travis is on the DL, and all indication points to him being there for a while. Ryan Goins has performed admirably so far, but can’t replace the production of Travis. Both Goins and Carrera have performed well, but don’t profile as everyday players. The Blue Jays could look to add at both positions if they intend to keep chasing contention. Toronto has an abbreviated week, playing the Rays and White Sox at home.
The Blue Jays are still fighting for a winning record. They are approaching a do or die stretch in the coming weeks, making every game a must win.