Blue Jays: Is it time to change gears?
By Craig Borden
Case for staying the course
This team was built to be a winner and we are finally seeing the majority of the team healthy. Josh Donaldson has taken the team on his shoulders and has them grinding out every pitch of every inning. This offense could finally click and light things up as we were expecting heading into this season. Kendrys Morales has been in a wicked slump, but has shown signs of finally breaking out of it. He was able to hit a home run to get things going in the game Saturday afternoon against a red hot Minnesota Twins team. The also have been getting big contributions from Ryan Goins and Kevin Pillar of late. They have been putting up their best offense all season as of the last month so this could continue and become the new norm for the last month or so.
This offensive resurgence goes without even mentioning the team’s MVP for the season, Justin Smoak. No one could have predicted that Smoak would have lashed out at the plate like he has this season. He has a 35 home run season under his belt and has come up big in multiple situations throughout the season. While putting together an All-Star season at the plate, he has also been a defensive whiz at first and really has stabilized a position that was in flux entering this season.
The pitching is centralized behind a should be Cy Young contender in Marcus Stroman, as he continues to prove he is one of the most electric pitchers in the American League. The Stro-Show has been must see TV every start as he silences hitters and carries an intensity that lights a fire amidst his teammates. The issues around him have been leveling out of late as the rotation finally has found footing. Marco Estrada has recaptured the form that has made him a great starter over the past two seasons, and J.A. Happ has bounced back from some arm injuries early in the campaign. The rest of the rotation has been in question due to the injury of Aaron Sanchez, and the issues the Francisco Liriano had during the season. Spot starts from Chris Rowley, Tom Koehler, and soon to be Joe Biagini are going to help the team stay the course. Plus there is the chance that we still will get to Sanchez take the hill this season.
This team has a shot but the odds are not in their favor. Everything will have to fall into place perfectly as this team tries to kick the door off the hinges as the season continues to slowly close that door.