Toronto Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins joined MLB Network's High Heat on Tuesday to discuss the recent stories around the ball club. Among other topics, Atkins gave an update on Bo Bichette's recovery, praised the emergence of Davis Schneider and talked about the team's outlook for the rest of the season.
Bo Bichette progressing well, still no return set
It's only been just over a week since Bichette injured his knee on July 31, rounding first in a game against the Orioles. For fans, it has felt longer. That's what happens when you lose one of the top hitters in the game.
Atkins gave a positive, albeit vague, update on the Jays' All-Star shortstop when asked by host Alanna Rizzo about when we could expect to see Bichette back in the lineup.
"A great day for him as well yesterday where he was moving around with very few symptoms if almost none at all," said Atkins. "We're obviously going to progress him cautiously and be careful with how we're loading that knee, but he had a really, really encouraging day where he felt much better yesterday."
Even though the update is encouraging, Bichette is still three days away from the end of his official stay on the 10-day IL with patellar tendinitis, with no set timetable for his return. Per Atkins, the team is "still day-to-day as we progress out of this."
Rookie Davis Schneider making the organization proud
With the emergence of Davis Schneider after his historic weekend in Boston, Atkins fielded questions about the headline-making rookie and what he has brought to the team. Atkins praised Schneider for being "one of the most well-liked players in the organization" and made it known that his epic debut was watched throughout the entire affiliate system.
"He's a great story, not only for obviously Davis and his family, but he's an incredible story for the Blue Jays' development and performance system and scouting efforts that have occurred," Atkins said.
It's well-known by now that Schneider was a longshot to make the majors as a 28th-round pick. He forced his way through the system, outperforming expectations every step of the way, until ultimately forcing a promotion with his play in Buffalo this year. Atkins attributed Schnedier's success to the player maximizing his potential through a willingness to lean into the organizational resources.
"The year he's had in Triple-A is undeniable," Atkins effused. "The best decisions you make are the ones the players make for you, and he just forced himself into the mix and obviously had some really good success early on."
Atkins optimistic about Blue Jays' playoff chances
The Jays currently hold the third Wild Card. Atkins feels they have the personnel to get to the postseason, especially considering the remaining schedule and some of the recent positive developments around the club.
"We had a tough start to our season with the schedule, not just the competition that we were playing but how much travel we had early," Atkins explained. "Now with our schedule, having a lot of home games towards the end, hopefully we'll benefit from. I feel so good about this team."
After detailing some of the players who have helped propel the team's recent success, Atkins finished his thoughts on the team's prospects, saying, "It's an exciting team that I feel like has a really good chance to get hot and have a good run."