No reason the Blue Jays can’t win the upcoming series against the Royals
The Toronto Blue Jays made some changes to their coaching staff yesterday, firing manager Charlie Montoyo and promoting bench coach John Schneider to the manager position for the rest of the 2022 campaign.
With the recent slump and the Jays falling back in the playoff race, I can say I was a bit surprised the front office fired Montoyo after it seemed like the club had so much faith in the first-time manager. He was such a personable guy and well-liked in the clubhouse, but it appears his leadership was being questioned and the Jays management thought a change was needed, with Schneider being given the top role.
While the move might not be the reason behind last night but the Blue Jays were able to chase Phillies start Zack Wheeler after 4.2 innings to the tune of six earned runs while giving up a home run to both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez (he added one later in the game as well). The Jays eventually won the contest and took both games of the series, giving Schneider his first win as interim manager.
Looking towards tonight, the Blue Jays welcome the Kansas City Royals for a four-game series before the All-Star break shuts everything down after Sunday’s contest. The Royals currently sit in the basement of the AL Central, with a relatively young squad that features a rising star in Bobby Witt Jr. and some veteran talent like Salvador Perez and Zack Greinke on the roster as well.
With a depleted squad sitting at the bottom of their division, the Blue Jays have no reason why they cannot put a few wins on the board against the Royals.
Like other teams that cross the border to play in Canada, the Royals will be leaving some players behind on the restricted list as they are not vaccinated and are subject to entry laws/guidelines for both entering Canada and when they return to the United States. Kansas City will be leaving 10 players stateside, the highest amount of any team to come to Toronto.
The Royals will be missing some key players from their roster like Benintendi, Singer, Merrifield, and Dozier, and while the club has not made any official moves as of yet, it will most likely look like a AAA team heading North of the border to face the Blue Jays. With Benintendi and Keller staying behind, it also looks like some potential trade candidates are scratched off the trade bucket list with the deadline just weeks away as well.
With a new manager at the helm, a strong two games in their pocket, and the fact that the Blue Jays are playing at the Rogers Centre (27-18 record at home), there is absolutely no reason why the club cannot put three or four wins on the books before heading into the All-Star break.
Kansas City is 6-4 over their past ten games but they will be missing some key players from their lineup and rotation. Especially if Gausman is deemed ready to go and with a rested Jays rotation given the Monday off-day, the only missing ingredient is the bats, which were alive last night when the club won 8-2 to take the second game of the series.
With the AL Wild Card as tight a race as it is and with a team like the Royals missing some key players, the Blue Jays need to win these games and give themselves a great spot heading into the All-Star break. The Jays face the Red Sox for a three-game series after the break, so getting these wins now can go a long way later in the season when playoff spots are on the line.