Who do they need to remain patient with now?
As much as the Blue Jays look to benefit from their patience with Bichette and Jansen, I believe there are a few similar situations that remain on their current roster.
The first would be the snake-bitten fireballer they have in Nate Pearson, who once again finds himself on the sidelines to begin another year. This time Pearson ended up with mono, and chances are he’s going to miss at least a month as he recovers and ramps back up to prepare himself to compete in a big league game. Pearson’s career has been both sad and frustrating thus far, as injuries have really taken their toll on his status as one of the top prospects in the game. That said, the Blue Jays should hold strong once again, and hopefully he’ll be able to contribute and reach his potential at some point in 2022, even with another late start.
The second player I’d point to would be Cavan Biggio, who had a very discouraging 2021 season. The versatile defender struggled with injury issues of his own last season, and never found the groove that made him such a quietly valuable player over his first two years in the league. Now that he’s back at his more comfortable position at second base, I’m confident that Biggio is going to find a way to contribute a lot more than he did last year. He’s going to have to battle with Santiago Espinal for playing time, among others, but it’s a long season and I’m sure he’ll get his opportunities. If he can, he’s yet another homegrown solution the Blue Jays can count on.
Last but not least, I’ll point to a pair of bullpen arms that I hope to see finding important roles this year. The first would be another injury-riddled pitcher in Julian Merryweather, who is currently healthy and on the active roster. The Blue Jays are giving him an early opportunity this year, and it’s great to see. With his upside he could be a true difference maker for the Jays, and could fill a variety of roles. Secondly would be Ryan Borucki, who started the season on the Injured List. Borucki is out of minor league options and will have to be put on the MLB roster in order for the Blue Jays to retain him, and I hope they do just that when the time comes. I know he’s underwhelmed and struggled to stay healthy over the past couple of years, but I’ve always felt that he could be a major contributor if he could stay on the mound.
There are other players I could point to, but overall the Blue Jays are in a very strong place with their roster these days. In some ways that’s thanks to some of the patience they’ve exercised over the last couple of years, and if a few more players on their roster can reach their potential, it might be one of the significant factors that leads to their future success.