Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Great expectations, and a higher bar for success

May 8, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Toronto Blue Jays Santiago Espinal (5) is greeted by Bo Bichette (11) after scoring against the Cleveland Guardians in the seventh inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Toronto Blue Jays Santiago Espinal (5) is greeted by Bo Bichette (11) after scoring against the Cleveland Guardians in the seventh inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports /
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The first 30 games of the season have gone pretty well for the 17-13 Blue Jays, but there is a higher bar for success these days in Toronto.

If you perused social media on Sunday after the Jays dropped the third out of four games against the Cleveland Guardians, some fans would have you thinking that the roof was caving in on this team. As things stand, they have a winning percentage of .567, which equates to a pace of roughly 92 wins. All things considered, Blue Jays fans should be pretty happy with how the season has played out, even if the team hasn’t been firing on all cylinders lately.

What’s particularly interesting to me about vibe from the fan base, at least on social media, is just how much higher the bar of expectations are these days. I can understand why this weekend’s games were frustrating, and even the lack of offence in general from such a mighty unit, but I think we’re a long way needing to hit the panic button. As we’ve mentioned here at Jays Journal many times, the Jays have dealt with a variety of injuries, some underperformance from a few of their stars, and a pretty tough schedule to start the year.

Despite all of that, the first 30 games of the season may have just reinforced the potential of this team even further. They’ve managed that .567 winning percentage with their potent offence being arguably their biggest weakness, and with only two of their starting pitchers performing up to (and beyond) expectations in Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah. It’s not hard to see that once things start going more in the Blue Jays’ way that the results should be really positive.

What’s somewhat discouraging is that despite their solid start, they’re back in the middle of the pack in their own division in the AL East again. It’s ridiculously early to worry too much about the standings, but as Sunday evening they are 3.5 games behind the 19-8 Yankees, and 2.0 back of the 18-11 Tampa Bay Rays. As usual, it’s going to be a dogfight in the division, but the difference is this time around Blue Jays fans actually hope and even expect to win the AL East crown.

As for some of the individual performances on this team, fans know they’re going to get more from players like Bo Bichette (.238/.267/.336), Matt Chapman (.200/.276/.390), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (.241/.288/.361), Alejandro Kirk (.260/.348/.312), and even Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.286/.358/.524), as well as the boost that comes with Teoscar Hernandez’s recent return. We can be confident that the best is yet to come for Jose Berrios as well, and I’m sure we can say the same for Hyun Jin Ryu too, even if his situation is a little complicated these days.

dark. Next. Looking at Biggio's role when he returns from the IL

What I know for sure is that there is so much talent on this roster in 2022 that fans aren’t satisfied with a 17-13 record, even if there are plenty of reasons to explain why they haven’t fully hit their stride. The season is still very young, and with a slightly easier schedule ahead in May that includes a few off days, and a series with the Reds, better days should be ahead for the Blue Jays, even if what we’ve seen so far hasn’t been all that bad.

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