After a disappointing four-game series with the Bronx Bombers, many were left feeling pessimistic about the Blue Jays and their current roster. Although it certainly wasn’t an overly favourable outcome, it’s not fair to be declaring the end of the world, especially given the overall start that this team has put together.
Among the many stories in Blue Jays Land this week, one of the major topics of discussion was of a disappointing four game set against the Yankees that saw the boys in blue drop three of four and, for the most part, look helpless against the bigger, stronger, and more skilled men donning pinstripes. Simply put, they were outplayed from the start.
Sure, it was disappointing, and if you asked John Gibbons, I’m sure he’d say the exact same thing. Still, I’m sure he would also tell you that his ballclub can learn a fair bit from this past series.
First off, the debut of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is something that’s been talked about quite a bit, so I’ll spare you any additional repetitive analysis. In short, the Jays have yet another versatile weapon that can be used as a pinch runner, defensive replacement, or as a straight-up everyday shortstop.
In a time when fans are begging for Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Gurriel is just a taste of what the future holds for this team. In three game, Gurriel has slashed .273/.273/.273 with three hits and three RBI. He has struck out twice and has not yet walked. It’s unclear what role he will play upon the return of Josh Donaldson, but it’s certainly been nice to see what he’s capable of, albeit in a very small sample size.
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On the mound, Jaime Garcia is a Blue Jay that’s gone somewhat unnoticed so far. In four starts, he’s pitched to a 4.57 ERA, striking out 23 and walking just eight in 21.2 innings, or an average of 5.1 innings per start. His WHIP sits at 1.431 and his record is currently 2-1. While not necessarily stellar, Garcia has been solid enough to keep the Jays in games, and at the moment, is an acceptable fifth starter.
Marcus Stroman, on the other hand, did not keep the Jays in the ballgame. While it can be said that it was but one bad inning that catalyzed his dreadful start, it’s still not the type of performance you’d look for from your potential ace. Now, nobody should be calling for him to be DFA’d, because he will come around, but we should all be somewhat cautious with the trust we put in him going forth, at least until he can prove himself once again.
After it’s all said and done, the Jays lost their first series of the season. After two weeks of mashing opposing pitchers and dominating offences, the Yankees gave them a harsh reality check in the form of hard-throwing youngsters and small ball offensive performances.
Here’s hoping the Blue Jays can bounce back in their next series, a crucial one against the Boston Red Sox.