Since I’ve already mentioned it, I thought I’d start by pointing out just how important some of the players they’ve been missing are.
Teoscar Hernandez is the biggest example here, and I really believe that he’s still among the most underrated hitters in baseball despite being a two-time Silver Slugger award winner. He might not carry the same star power that Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, or George Springer have attached to them, but I would argue that he’s every bit as important to the team’s success.
As the broadcast crew pointed out several times as he returned against the Guardians, Hernandez is going to need a few days to get back in the rhythm of big league baseball. That didn’t take him long last season when he returned from the IL, and I don’t expect it’ll be long before we see him launching baseballs over the fence again. When he does, the Blue Jays really start to meet their potential, especially because it just makes their lineup ridiculously long.
The same could be said for Danny Jansen, although to a much lesser extent. That said, Jansen has really started to hit the ball well since late last season, and he adds yet another threat to the Blue Jays lineup when he’s healthy. He’ll also push Alejandro Kirk to be at his very best, and lately the young receiver has done an excellent job of covering the bulk of the starting duties.
As for Ryu, it’s hard to say what the Blue Jays will get from the southpaw when he makes his return. At his best he has the ability to pitch like a #2 starter or even better, but unfortunately we haven’t seen a lot of the best of Ryu since the All-Star break in 2021. If he can rediscover his form, his healthy arm makes the Blue Jays rotation one of the deeper groups in baseball.