Blue Jays: A lesson in patience with individual players
The Blue Jays have had some terrible individual performances this year, but lately things are turning around. It’s been a good lesson in patience when it comes to individual players.
It’s time to cut Randal Grichuk! Kendrys Morales has gotta go! Get a whole new starting rotation!
I’ll be the first to admit that I was among those that thought the Blue Jays should cut Kendrys Morales, and I’m still not convinced they should enter the 2019 season with him on the roster. That said, there’s no debating that he’s turned things around lately. After sitting below the Mendoza line with his season average nearly all season, Morales has worked his way back to a .200 batting average, and has slashed .255/.278/.373 in his last 15 games. Still not anything to write home about, but considering how badly the offence has struggled as a whole, he’s been one of the better hitters lately.
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When looking at just the last week for the Blue Jays, Randal Grichuk has been arguably the best player on the team. The former St. Louis Cardinal was such an epic disappointment earlier this year that fans and writers routinely called for him to be cut from the roster in order to make room for Teoscar Hernandez on the 25 man, and in the starting lineup.
He’s turned things around since coming back from the disabled list, hitting .261/.292/.655 over his last seven games, adding three home runs and seven RBI in 23 at bats. He’s looked like the player the Blue Jays traded Dominic Leone and Connor Greene in order to bring into the fold. A plus defensive outfielder with power sounded like a great idea this winter, and now we’re finally witnessing what Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins saw in him.
Devon Travis is another example, a player who struggled badly enough that he was sent down to Buffalo in order to find his stroke. He’s still not hitting his full stride either, but his .250/.308/.375 slash line over the last 15 games is a big step up from what he was doing before being demoted.
Add in the recent performance from the starting rotation and there has been a lot more to smile about around the Blue Jays lately. Sure, beating the lowly Orioles isn’t exactly going to propel them to the playoffs, but it’s a nice step in the right direction, and something this team badly needed at this point in the season.
It remains to be seen how the rest of the season goes, and how this roster will be shaped for the remainder of the season, and going forward. With many talented veterans on expiring contracts, and a ton of talent coming in the minor league pipeline, things are bound to change sooner than later in the Blue Jays’ clubhouse. That said, the play of the current roster has been an important lesson for the fans, and I’m sure the front office as well. Patience really is a virtue.
How would you feel if you watched Grichuk playing like this for another team, knowing that the Blue Jays cut him and didn’t even receive any compensation? It’s that much worse when you consider that they gave up Leone and Greene in order to get him. That may have been what saved his spot on the roster earlier in the year, and the timing of his injury didn’t hurt either, but it’s a good thing that they didn’t jump the gun and cut him loose.
Don’t get me wrong, the Blue Jays are still have a flawed roster and likely need to make some major changes throughout the roster to get back to being a playoff team. However, the recent performance of those who struggled earlier in the year has been a good reminder of the value of patience, and just how long a baseball season really is.