It’s amazing how much can change in a year, and the Blue Jays have several players whose careers are in a drastically different spot since February of 2021.
In some cases that means things have significantly improved for a few players, and after a 91-win season there were several of those situations going on. For today’s purposes I’m going to focus on both the positive and the negative, and that means there are several examples that missed the list. I could have easily talked about the additions of Jose Berrios last July, and Kevin Gausman just before the expiry of the CBA in December, or another step forward taken by hitters like Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and more.
On the down side, there are a few cases that I won’t fully detail today either, like the continued injury struggles for Nate Pearson that have kept him from reaching his potential, or the possible regression that we saw late last season from Hyun Jin Ryu, which hopefully will prove to be an outlier. At their best both pitchers could play significant roles in the rotation and/or bullpen, and having one or both at the top of their game could push the Blue Jays pitching staff from good to great.
Instead, there are four players in particular whose careers are in a completely different place than they were back in February of 2021, which just goes to show how quickly things can change at the highest level in baseball.
Without further delay, here’s who I have in mind.