Blue Jays Scapegoats: 1 to fire, 1 to put on the hot seat, 1 to be patient with

Who should be responsible for the Blue Jays performance to date?
Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays
Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages
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John Schneider (Blue Jays manager) should be careful, as he may have one foot out the door already

John Schneider took over managerial duties for the Jays ever since the firing of Charlie Montoyo back in July last year. Schneider did a great job filling in for Montoyo, leading the Jays to a 46-28 record for the remainder of the 2022 season to finish second in the AL East and making the playoffs. It was deemed a success, despite losing in the first round Wild Card series to the Seattle Mariners in two games.

However, at times, many have questioned and have become frustrated with Schneider’s decision making that had ultimately affected the outcome of various games during his tenure. Just taking into account moves that he has made this year, examples included: using George Springer for pinch-hitting duties even though he was clearly too ill to even play, substituting out Daulton Varsho from the game in separate occasions (even though he had been doing well in the game) in favour of a pinch-hitter just to get the righty/lefty matchup, bringing in relievers such as Yimi García and Adam Cimber into high leverage situations even though they had been struggling all season, and even forcing his starting pitcher to come out of a game because of a mental blunder in which he forgot how many times a mound visit was used, just to name a few.

In addition, back in May when the Jays were playing their worst baseball of the season, the Jays’ players elected to have a players’ only meeting near the end of May with hopes to rectify their issues. Many took that gesture as Schneider having already lost the room, leading to the players trying to figure out the mess on their own. If that was indeed the case, it could be a huge issue as the year progresses, because how a player responds to a coach and how the coach can motivate a player can have huge consequences, good or bad, for the player’s performance, and ultimately the team’s performance.

With the Jays having shown some life in the recent couple of series against the lowly Athletics and the tough San Francisco Giants, it may have given Schneider a slightly longer leash for now. Had the Jays lost either one or both of the past two series during this critical stretch, it probably would have accelerated his ticket out the door. However, they quickly followed it up with an embarrassing sweep by the hands of the AL East bottom-feeding Boston Red Sox, once again pushing Schneider to the edge of the cliff.

As one could recall, Montoyo was let go last year around the same time, despite the Jays being in the thick of the playoff hunt holding down the third wildcard spot at the time. The Jays are currently also battling it out for a wildcard spot, so this upcoming important week should ultimately determine Schneider’s fate and whether he will survive beyond the All-Star break.