Taijuan Walker, Philadelphia Phillies
Despite his brief stint, Taijuan Walker did provide somewhat of an impact for the Blue Jays back in 2020 when he was acquired from the Seattle Mariners for their playoff run during the COVID-shortened MLB season. In six starts, Walker went a strong 2-1 with a tidy 1.37 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, giving up only four earned runs, 11 walks and 25 strikeouts in 26.1 innings of work. In doing so, it helped the Jays to their first postseason berth since 2016. He was slated to start in the pivotal Game 3 in the best-of-three preliminary AL Wild Card matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays, but it never materialized as the Jays were ousted in two games.
Since then, Walker has moved on to the New York Mets, and now the Philadelphia Phillies for the 2023 season. Walker had been a key part of the Phillies starting rotation, as he had gone 15-6 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.31 WHIP during the regular season. However, he has yet to make an appearance this postseason despite being included on the roster for the first two playoff series. Perhaps he will finally get his chance to show his worth in the best-of-seven NLCS against the Diamondbacks and in doing so, try to help his team reach the World Series once again for the second consecutive season.
Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers
Finally, there’s Marcus Semien, perhaps someone the Jays definitely have missed the most since their departure from the ballclub. After all, with the fantastic numbers he posted in his lone season with the Blue Jays, he was also named to the All-Star Game, an AL MVP finalist, a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner that very same year.
This season with the Rangers, Semien has been a dominant force for the ballclub in leading them to a 90-win season and a postseason berth. The two-time All-Star batted .276 with an .826 OPS, with a league-leading 122 runs scored and 185 hits, along with 40 doubles, four triples, 29 home runs, 100 RBI, and 14 stolen bases, practically doing it all over the course of the season.
His 2023 postseason to date has been a little more disappointing, as he has yet to provide the same impact that he did during the regular season. Semien has accumulated only four hits in total with two RBI, but given his superb track record, he could break out any time soon now in helping the Rangers reach the World Series once again since 2011.
It would definitely be great if the Blue Jays still had any of these players with the team to help out with their own run, but in the meantime, we can only wish them the best in their quest to get their hands on the ultimate prize.