Blue Jays: Five players looking to bounce back in 2022
After an up and down 2021 campaign, the Toronto Blue Jays finished one win short of forcing a tiebreaker within the AL East. While the odds may not have been in their favour to begin the season, the Blue Jays put together a solid 91-71 record that featured a lot of individual triumphs and accolades as well as some personal disasters and mishaps.
Robbie Ray emerged as the ace of the squad and won the AL Cy Young award, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was an absolute monster at the plate and finished runner up in MVP voting to two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, and Marcus Semien turned a one-year ‘prove it’ deal into one of his best statistical campaigns and cashed that into a seven-year $175 million contract with the Texas Rangers this offseason.
While Ray, Guerrero Jr., and Semien may have stolen the spotlight, many of the other Blue Jays players had solid campaigns as well. Bo Bichette was healthy and became an All-Star, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. improved his presence in left field with a Gold Glove nomination, Alek Manoah emerged as the Jays top rookie, and Teoscar Hernandez proved his 2020 campaign was no fluke and walked away with another Silver Slugger Award. Overall, a pretty strong and solid campaign from numerous players on the roster.
On the flip side, there were also a few Blue Jays players both former and present who would like to put the 2021 campaign far behind them in the rearview mirror. Injuries and poor performance hit a few different players on the roster, with some not returning to the club this season. Rafael Dolis and Tyler Chatwood struggled to stay consistent on the mound and were let go midway through the campaign while the Brad Hand experiment blew up in just under a month’s time.
While those three are no longer with the organization, there are a few internal prospects and players who will enter the 2022 campaign with a bit of a chip on their shoulder, looking to bounce back from last season and prove they belong with the big league club this season.