Do they have the right man for the job?
Despite the fact that the Blue Jays took the leap from a 67-win ball club in 2019 to a .533 winning percentage and a playoff appearance in 2020, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a lot of people who want to give the credit to Charlie Montoyo.
In some ways it feels like it’s tough to argue with success, but I know that I’m not alone in feeling a little different about that when it comes to the Blue Jays’ manager. There were plenty of examples of “head-scratcher” decisions made throughout the regular season, and it even continued in the playoffs when Matt Shoemaker was pulled after just three innings and 35 pitches. Things worked out fine in the case, but there were many other times when you could argue that Montoyo cost the Blue Jays a win.
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There’s no doubt in my mind that Montoyo will be back in the dugout again in 2021, and regardless of how much you dislike him, he’s earned that much. Having said that, I feel like next season will be an important year for the 54-year-old, as the pressure to produce should really start now that this team has tasted the playoffs, even in an expanded playoff format.
It’s pretty clear that Montoyo is a big fan of modern analytics, as evidenced by decisions like the Shoemaker one referenced above, and my guess is that’s a big reason why the front office hired him in the first place. However, there comes a time when a skipper has to rely on their experience and their baseball knowledge, and Montoyo has decade’s of experience to draw from. I don’t know that we’ve seen much of that from him in his first two years at the helm, and personally, I’m hoping to see him rely a little less on the printouts and more on his own gut.
We’ll see what next season brings, but as I’ve already mentioned, I think it’s an important year for the Blue Jays’ skipper. This team should be ready to win next year, and there will be less time and patience for coaching blunders. It remains to be seen how Montoyo will respond, but I’m less confident than I should be for a team that just had such a great season. I’m not so sure that’s a great sign.
Did I cover everything? Other than wondering how the pitching staff will fill out next season, what other big questions do you see facing the Blue Jays now that this season has concluded?