Blue Jays: Dissecting where it wrong in 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 5: Manager John Gibbons
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 5: Manager John Gibbons /

As the trade deadline fast approaches the Toronto Blue Jays are still cellar dwellers in the American League East as a certain big-boned lady warms up her vocal chords preparing to sing on the Jays season. Like it or not, the Blue Jays are not a playoff worthy team and here’s why.

Elusive .500 Mark:

The Blue Jays have not been over the .500 plateau all season long, not once have they had a winning record in all of 2017. This seems unfathomable to me but it’s true. The Jays have also not been able to reel off more than a five game winning streak thus far this season leading to their inconsistent play.

Rotation Regression:

In 2016 the Blue Jays had one of the healthiest and dominant starting pitching staffs in all of baseball. This season has been pretty much the complete opposite as injuries and inconsistencies reared their ugly heads all season long.

Aaron Sanchez has battled blister issues and repeated trips to the DL for much of the 2017 campaign handcuffing the rotation with his absence. The inconsistencies and inflated earned run averages of both Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano have plagued manager John Gibbons repeatedly forcing the skipper to overuse his bullpen on most days the hurlers take the bump.

Along with Sanchez both Liriano and J.A. Happ spent time sidelined with injuries at one point or another forcing the Blue Jays to call upon the likes of Mat Latos, Mike Bolsinger and Casey Lawrence who all have no business starting ball games for a club with postseason aspirations.

Double Trouble:

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The Blue Jays lead the majors hitting into 99 double plays so far this season killing rallies at a staggering rate. Surprising the Red Sox are second on the list with 91 twin killings. The Blue Jays inability to hit in the clutch and below average team speed contributed to the increase.

The Blue Jays also rank 26th in runs scored going into last nights contest with 383 runs scored which surely can be contributed to the number of double plays the offence has hit into.

Lagging Lumber:

A handful of Blue Jays players all decided to have off-years at the same time in 2017. The stat lines from Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista are all below their career norms. These struggles coupled with injuries to Devon Travis and Donaldson has had the Jays offence sputtering for most of the season.

Donaldson- .250/.374/.455 with 9 home runs

Tulowitzki- .239/.288/.376 with 7 home runs

Bautista- .230/ .343/ .406 with 16 home runs

To put some of the offensive struggles into perspective Ryan Goins has more runs batted with 29 than Donaldson, Tulowitzki, Russell Martin, Steve Pearce and Kevin Pillar. Bet you nobody saw that coming in April.

Inability To Make Adjustments:

Most of the Blue Jays lineup one through nine continually try to score runs with one swing of the bat living and dying with the home run. In previous years this style may have reciprocated wins, however, this season the Jays rank 13th with 123 round trippers.

Time and time again we have witnessed selfish at bats where opportunities to move a runner along by giving yourself up are squandered for the home run swing that usually results in a strikeout. The Jays could learn a thing or two from a player like Mookie Betts who gave himself up late in last nights game to move the eventual tying run to third.

The Jays could learn a thing or two from a player like Mookie Betts who gave himself up late in last nights game to move the eventual tieing run to third. I realize the Jays are constructed for the bloop and a blast mentality, however, changes need to be made if this team is going to be successful moving forward.

Not All For Not:

There are three bright spots thus far on the season in All-Stars Justin Smoak and Roberto Osuna while Marcus Stroman has rebounded from a subpar 2016 season to reassert himself as one of the games young talents.

Next: Blue Jays: Dee Gordon both feasible and highly advantageous

Unfortunately, the Blue Jays will not return to the postseason for a third straight season and the brain trust will have some tough decision in the coming days leading into the deadline.

Put a fork in them, the 2017 Blue Jays are cooked.