April In Review: A look at the first month of the season for the Blue Jays

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages
1 of 4

April In Review: A look at the first month of the season for the Blue Jays

  1. Current rankings
  2. Highlights of the month
  3. Top performers
  4. Underperformers
  5. Who to look out for
  6. Who’s in, who’s out?

The Toronto Blue Jays had one of their best opening months to the season in over two decades, posting a stellar record of 17-10 (18-10, if including the season opener on March 30th), despite starting their first ten games on the road. It wasn’t without adversity though, as they began the month with many up and down, unpredictable games. But both their hitting and pitching have began to stabilize and become more consistent near the latter half of the month. Let’s take a further look with an in-depth summary of the Jays’ performance for the first month of the 2023 season.

Current rankings

Entering May, the Blue Jays currently sit third in the AL East, 4.5 games behind the division leading Tampa Bay Rays, along with an impressive record of 9-3 at home. The Jays also are currently ranked as high as No. 3 and as low as No. 7 in MLB Power Rankings across the main reputable sources.

In the AL, as a team their hitting currently rank 3rd in batting average, 6th in OPS, 7th in runs scored, 9th in home runs, 7th in runs batted in and 8th in stolen bases. This shows that the Jays of 2023 are relying less on the big blasts and more on contact hitting and speed when generating runs, as they usually ranked in the top three in home runs in the past few years.

For pitching, after starting the year near the bottom in the AL in almost every relevant category, they are now back up to 8th in team ERA, 5th in WHIP, 4th in OBA, 6th in walks, 4th in strikeouts and 1st in saves. As much as people thought their pitching was struggling badly, their recent run has put them back into somewhat respectable territory.

Highlights of the month

  • Dramatic 12-11 comeback win against the Angels on April 9th after being down 6-0.
  • Reopening of newly renovated Rogers Centre, with Hall of Famer Fred McGriff tossing out the ceremonial first pitch in the home opener on April 11th.
  • Anthony Bass created media distraction with the United Airlines incident on April 16th - both Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman have one of their worst starts in their career, each giving up seven earned runs in less than five innings pitched.
  • Jays took two out of three from the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees and swept the Chicago White Sox.
  • George Springer, Santiago Espinal, Chris Bassitt all avoid stints on the IL with minor injuries that looked serious at first.
  • Jays’ starters go a string of eight consecutive games with quality starts from April 18th to April 26th.
  • They nearly get no-hit by rookie Easton McGee and the Seattle Mariners, but pull out a 1-0 win in extra innings on April 29th.