While it’s been ugly watching the Blue Jays lose nine of their last ten, there are silver linings to the latest losing streak for this rebuilding team.
For the first time in more than a year, I actually turned my laptop off for a period of five days and focused on life outside of work on a computer screen. For those of you who regularly read my work (I see you, Dad!), my apologies for my absence. Then again, we all need a recharge every now and then, so I don’t feel that bad.
When I finally got back to my office last night and checked back in with reality, I learned that you have all been suffering through a frustrating losing streak with the Blue Jays that I was completely unaware of. I guess sometimes ignorance is bliss, because losing seven in a row and nine out of ten is pretty ugly, no matter how you spin it.
That said, please allow me to try and put a positive spin on this, even if it’s coming from a guy that didn’t have to endure it.
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I think there is a lot of value in talented young players being served some humble pie, and that’s exactly what’s been going on for this group right now. It’s not normal to show up in the big leagues and break MLB records in your first month like Bo Bichette did this summer, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see that he’s come down to earth a bit, and that his teammates have faced struggles of their own. The same goes for a patchwork pitching staff that has beat up a little more recently.
It’s a dose of reality for this team in a number of ways, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Emerging stars like Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, and more will benefit from taking a few lumps, and those lessons will prove to be valuable in 2020 and beyond. That reality may also help the front office figure out a few things about the future of this roster as well, especially as they transition from a rebuilding club trading assets, to one that’s actually acquiring significant pieces outside of the organization to push the rebuild.
While it appears the Blue Jays have several core pieces of their future in place, there are a lot of question marks that still need to be figured out. Players like Teoscar Hernandez, Rowdy Tellez, Derek Fisher, and more are likely playing for their place in the future of this organization, and these last few weeks could be very important in the decision making of the front office, and this rough patch may reveal a few more needs than they might have admitted to a month ago.
Of course, there’s also the silver lining to a rebuild when it comes to draft picks, and as of this writing the Blue Jays are right near the basement of the entire league. If the season ended today they would be picking 5th overall, as their performance (.382 winning percentage) puts them ahead of only the Tigers (.296), Orioles (.322), Marlins (.359), and Royals (.368). If the Blue Jays’ slide continues over their last 18 games, it’s not out of the question that they could even end up with the 3rd overall pick. I’m not suggesting that they are, or should be tanking right now, but there is a plus side to losing when it comes to draft, even if it’s not as significant as it is in the other major sports.
It’s certainly a lot more fun to watch a winning team on the field, and we got to enjoy that a fair bit in August. However, even through rough patches like this, there are still silver linings to be found. That said, here’s hoping the Jays can get back on track when they host the Red Sox starting on Tuesday night.