Toronto Blue Jays: In with the 2022 season, out with 2021
By Nick Prasad
The year 2021 is almost out of existence; the Toronto Blue Jays experienced a “wonderland” type of season with tons of excitement and minor heartbreak. A year filled with a lot of positive takes to bring forward, and things to leave far behind.
At the beginning of the year, Blue Jays fans were uncertain about seeing baseball north of the border. After nearly two years of playing out of a suitcase in the United States, the city was gifted much-needed news. From the green watered scent of fresh grass to a short unbothered flight from the sunshine state, wheels down onto the land of brisk Canadian April air; the Blue Jays returned home. Baseball in The Six is magical and artistic. The City of Toronto was vibing in a sea of blue. Bremner Avenue up to Spadina Avenue and across to Front Street was a map of Blue Jays nation. The voice of Tim Langton filled all of our souls with joy and the smell of ice-cold brews and popcorn brought back all the memories.
The Blue Jays fielded a young and heavily talented group of ballplayers, which struck fear into the rest of Major League Baseball. Battling it out, series by series, the guys put on a show: Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Marcus Semien, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, Jordan Romano, Robby Ray, and more. These names flooded the headlines, the stats charts, and advanced scouting. This was arguably in the top five most feared opponents in the league. Ups and downs occurred with your expected short and long injury stints, along with losing streaks and field hiccups. The Blue Jays were counted out at one point, then submerged out of the wild and into a wild card race with the possibility of a divisional title. Unfortunately, after a hard-fought battle, downfalls came back to haunt them in the end, as another club’s performance decided their fate, ending the 2021 season, playoff-less.
What might 2022 look like for the Blue Jays?
A team that finished 91-71 and did not crack a postseason spot says a lot; a lot about the team and the division. The Blue Jays lost a Cy Young caliber arm and a solid rotation piece – Robbie Ray to Seattle, Steven Matz to St. Louis – and replaced them with equal talent in Kevin Gausman. Also, on the train out, Marcus Semien. Other than that, the Blue Jays will cruise into Spring Training with almost the same roster, and a possibility of adding some young talent to the opening day list; including top catching prospect, Gabriel Moreno.
2022 can be a huge break-out season for the Blue Jays, in the event that health is maintained and we add a few reliable pieces to the bullpen and the lineup. Someone needs to replace 45 home runs, 102 RBI’s, and 15 stolen bases in Marcus Semien.
The American League East is a toss-up; the New York Yankees have not made a whole lot of noise this offseason and the Red Sox have swapped in and out a few pieces here and there. The Blue Jays will enter with a solid young core, making 2022 be another season of hope in Toronto. This hope also includes the hope of a season, with the lock-out and COVID-19, we wish for the best!
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas Blue Jays Nation, and a prosperous New Year. 2022, here we come!