4 biggest question marks the second-half Blue Jays will have

The Blue Jays entered the All-Star break in a wild card spot, but there is still plenty of uncertainty when it comes to being assured of a playoff place at the end of the 2023 regular season.
Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers
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Does John Schneider have what it takes?

In some respects, this could be construed as an unfair question. As the great Bob McCown has said repeatedly over the years, a manager's influence during a game is minimal; it's down to the players to perform.

Regardless, there is still a pressure on John Schneider to get the team playing to the best of their abilities - and on a more consistent basis. While we're not suggesting he's on the hot seat per se, the buck ultimately stops with him, because you can't fire an entire team if it all goes South.

Working in favor of the 43-year-old is his strong relationship with the players; he is an excellent communicator and well-liked. This helped limit the fallout after the series loss to the Rays back in May, when some players weren't impressed by him discussing a players-only meeting with the media.

As much as McCown and others may downplay a manager's importance during games, they still matter as the decision-maker in key moments. As Jays Journal's Edward Eng wrote earlier this month, Schneider has made his fair share of questionable decisions so far this year.

One of the biggest challenges facing the Princeton, New Jersey native, is helping the players be more mentally attuned and disciplined. Among other things, this includes the aforementioned issues with runners in scoring position, and allowing too many stolen bases (third-most in the AL).

Admittedly, a lot of this may be perceived as negative towards Schneider. It doesn't help, that one of the most talented rosters in the Majors has underachieved overall up to this point of the 2023 season.

As such, it should be noted that after starting the year 26-25, the Blue Jays have since gone 24-16 and for this, Schneider deserves his fair share of credit. Now, it's a case of proving he has what it takes to help the team continue to win more consistently.