Bullpen is getting healthier
Even if the Blue Jays don’t upgrade their bullpen for some reason, they should improve in the second half simply by getting some of their injured players back.
Rafael Dolis is getting close to returning to the team, and while this season has been a struggle for the right-hander, I believe he can help in a lower leverage role. The Blue Jays also had a positive sight with Ryan Borucki on the mound throwing a bullpen session on Saturday, and he would be a great option to get back for the late innings, especially against left-handed hitters.
Julian Merryweather is another big-time talent that offers a wild card for this bullpen. When he’s healthy he has the stuff to be a dominant late-inning arm, just as we saw during the 4.1 innings he threw in April. That said, he’s a pretty hard guy to rely on based on his injury history. Hopefully he’ll be able to change that story in the second half, and it sounds like he’s getting close to making a return to the mound.
On top of those three, A.J. Cole should be available later this summer, and it’s possible we could see a few other starters used as relievers late in the season such as Thomas Hatch, or maybe even Nate Pearson. In a perfect scenario the Blue Jays should have more than enough quality relievers to make up a solid bullpen, but obviously this season has been anything but perfect. Speaking of that, Tyler Chatwood is another bullpen option on the IL at the moment.
At 43-38, I believe there’s a solid argument to be made that with a healthier/better bullpen that the Blue Jays should be at least 49-32. If they can make those upgrades for the second half, that would make them 92-70 on the year. That might be a bit of a stretch, but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility either.