Blue Jays: Setting realistic goals for a wacky season

TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 29: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on in a break against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on September 29, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 29: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on in a break against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on September 29, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 15: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after hitting a ground-rule double in the first inning during a MLB game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on September 15, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Growth for the core, key members of the roster

As much as I’ve been bummed about the idea that there might not be baseball in 2020, it was especially difficult to accept as a Blue Jays fan. After a tough 67-95 rebuilding season last year, I was legitimately excited about the potential of this young team this year, even if I didn’t necessarily expect them to compete for the post-season.

I was especially upset because the young core members of the team would lose a key developmental year, and thankfully it looks like that won’t be the case after all. For youngsters like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, and yes, even Nate Pearson, the 2020 campaign is about growth toward the ultimate goal of the franchise.

You can make an overarching comment like “positive growth” for all players, but that means a little something different for each individual. For Vlad Jr. it might mean improving on his defence at third base, and maybe staying healthy for the entire shortened season. Gurriel Jr. will want to continue his outfield defence after switching to left field full-time last year, and others like Jansen will look to improve on his performance at the plate, hopefully matching what he’s capable of behind it. For Pearson, it’ll be about making that final leap and announcing his presence as a force to be reckoned with at the highest level.

Now that the Blue Jays have one of the younger rosters in the league, it was really important for these potential impact players to gain some valuable experience this year. They may not have had the 162 game schedule that they’re used to, but 60 is better than nothing, and it should make a big difference.

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