Blue Jays: 2021’s “what ifs” could be the answers in 2022

Aug 23, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo (25) speaks to the home plate umpire during the second inning against Chicago White Sox at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 23, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo (25) speaks to the home plate umpire during the second inning against Chicago White Sox at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 2, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins speaks to the media during a press conference against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Blue Jays had a lot of things go their way in 2021, but there were plenty of “what ifs” as well. I believe that those questions could become answers this season.

What I’m talking about are the kind of questions like, “What if Kirby Yates and David Phelps had stayed healthy?”, which is the sort of thing that could have made the difference between making the playoffs and missing out by one game, as they did at the end of the regular season despite posting 91 wins.

It’s natural for fans to ask these questions, especially after a season when the team was so close to advancing to the playoffs, but in many cases I think the frustrations of last season could be potential strengths and bonuses going forward. Yates won’t be back, but maybe Phelps himself will be able to bounce back and answer the first question I’ve asked here, after he re-signed with the Blue Jays on a MiLB contract in late November.

Those two veterans weren’t the only questions surrounding the Blue Jays in 2021, as injuries took a toll on the roster throughout the season, and there were enough head-scratching moments at the end of games that I think it’s understandable if we felt a little cheated about missing the postseason. That said, I think there are at least five of these situations that could be turned into a positive going forward, or at the very least have potential to go that way.

I realize that not everything is going to go in one team’s favour throughout the course of a long 162-game season, but let’s have a look at what could go right for the Blue Jays in 2022 without them even having to add additional players to the roster.

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