2 reasons for optimism, 3 for concern as the Blue Jays enter final five weeks of 2023

What are the key strengths and weaknesses of the Blue Jays heading into the stretch run?
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Roster returning to full health, then here we go again...

For the 2023 season, we have seen many key players on the Jays’ roster miss time due to injuries, ranging from just a few days to an actual IL stint. As a matter of fact, for those that have been with the Jays all season, every single player on the roster other than Whit Merrifield, Daulton Varsho, and Cavan Biggio had endured at least one ailment along the way. By not being able to field their most optimal roster throughout the season, it could have limited the performance and success of the team for the year.

However, it appeared as though the fortunes had turned for the Jays when they finally got every key player back with a clean bill of health by the middle of August, with only Chad Green still waiting to be activated for the stretch run. Well, to the luck of the ballclub, disaster strikes again in the series against the Cleveland Guardians this past weekend. On Saturday, one of the Jays most reliable relievers in Erik Swanson went down with an injury and was later placed on the 15-day IL for thoracic spine inflammation. Next thing you know, both superstars Bo Bichette (right quad tightness) and Matt Chapman (right middle finger inflammation) would leave Sunday's game against the Guardians with apparent injuries as well.

As the Jays look to make their desperate push for the playoffs in these final few weeks of the season. it is crucial for them to have as many healthy bodies at their disposal as possible. But with key players on their roster going down like flies in a matter of days, it could severely hinder their ability to perform at their absolute best to secure important victories down the stretch. The Jays certainly hope the ailments are minor in nature and that they will be back to help the team as soon as possible. Otherwise, it could potentially be a rough ride to the finish for them.