The Blue Jays are in a tough spot after losing their last five straight games. Something has to be done, and for now it likely starts with the manager, Charlie Montoyo.
After receiving an extension on his contract earlier in the year the 55-year-old skipper likely isn’t going anywhere unless this season really goes to the trash can, so that’s not what I’m talking about. What I mean is that right now there’s not a lot the front office can do other than try a few more arms from their minor league system. Maybe that means bringing up Thomas Hatch to join the bullpen like they just did with Patrick Murphy, but that’s not going to fix the situation.
I’m confident that the front office is working the phones to pursue a trade right now as well, but with there still being a month and a half before the trade deadline it likely means the costs will be sky high. When you consider that the Jays are in a bit of a free fall right now, do you really want to pay a premium for bullpen help? Obviously there’s a huge need, but there’s always a cost vs. benefit analysis to be done, especially with this front office.
With all of that in mind it means the focus is going to be on this current roster to the right the ship, and hopefully the captain in Montoyo can do something to steer them in the right direction.
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What’s interesting is reading fan reactions on social media right now. With the Jays’ recent struggles it’s no surprise that the attitude isn’t positive, and more often than not the manager gets their fair share of the blame regardless of what’s going on. These days Montoyo is no exception.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve second guessed him many times this year, but I also have to say that some of the current blame falling his way isn’t really fair. The bullpen is in absolute shambles based on injuries and recent performance, and it hasn’t really mattered who he’s turned to, the results have been the same. Since June 8th the Blue Jays have blown a lead five times after the 7th inning, something they’ve also done 10 times in total this year. That’s not a recipe for winning, and there’s only so much of that blame that can fall on the skipper.
The one shot that several fans are taking is that Montoyo doesn’t have enough fire in the dugout, and that he should probably even go as far as to get himself kicked out of a game in an effort to fire up his team. I’m not opposed to that old-fashioned method of trying to provide a spark to the boys, and I’m curious to see if Montoyo will reach that point. It’s honestly surprising that he hasn’t shown more anger and frustration than he has.
I realize it’s not really in his nature, and it’s possible that’s for the best with this team. I’m sure there are legitimate benefits to his calm presence and the way he handles his players, and there’s a reason that he’s respected across baseball. It’s also entirely possible that he flashes his anger in private rather than for the television cameras. Having said that, it might be time to throw convention out the window and try just about anything, because what the Blue Jays have been doing lately just isn’t working.
Until the front office is able to provide some help through the trade market, or hopefully they can get some reinforcements from some healthier arms, the turnaround is going to have to come from in-house. That begins with the person in charge of the roster, and here’s hoping Montoyo can find a way to inspire them, one way or another.