Maybe the Blue Jays don't need to upgrade their roster after all

Arizona Diamondbacks v Toronto Blue Jays
Arizona Diamondbacks v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

After an up-and-down first half of the season, the Blue Jays opened up the second half strong with a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks. While it may be a bit soon to jump to any conclusions, this series demonstrated that the Blue Jays have all the pieces they need to win games, and they may not need to be as active at the deadline after all.

For most of the season, it seemed likely, if not certain, that the Blue Jays would need to add at the deadline. While the offense has been good, their 108 OPS+ is tied for fifth in MLB, their -1.6 win probability added by batters is below the league average, meaning they struggled to come up with clutch hits. There also seemed to be concerns about the pitching, since Alek Manoah's early struggles left a hole in the rotation, and the bullpen performed inconsistently over the first few months. As of late though, many of the concerns about their roster have been alleviated.

Let's start with the offense. In their series against the DBacks they did what they'd been struggling to do all year, come up with clutch hits. In all three of the games in this series, they were either tied or leading by just one run in the 7th inning or later, and in each game, they were able to pull through with the clutch hits they needed. In the first game of the series, it was hits from Kevin Kiermaier, Matt Chapman, and Whit Merrifield to break a 2-2 tie in the 7th, in the second game it was a Bo Bichette solo shot in the 8th to make it a two-run lead, and in the third game is was a three-run double from Danny Jansen to close out the series. These rallies from Blue Jays all came from different guys and showed the depth of the team's offense. They're currently one of only three teams to have at least seven batters with 60 games played and an OPS+ of 110 or higher, along with the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers. Even with guys like Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Alejandro Kirk, and Daulton Varsho performing below expectation, they found a way to score runs, and if they can get it going down the stretch, the offense would need any help at the deadline.

The bullpen, as it has been for years now, seemed to be another area of concern, but as of late, they've been one of the best units in baseball. On the season their 3.62 ERA ranks fourth in MLB, but since June 20th, their combined ERA of 2.55 is almost a full run better than any other unit in the American League. Even with closer Jordan Romano not available coming out of the break, they were still dominant, with the only runs they allowed coming from Mitch White walking the bases loaded while up five runs in the series finally. This has been despite the struggles and subsequent injuries of Zach Pop and Adam Cimber, and with Chad Green still yet to make his Blue Jays debut. Whatever the Jays have going on in the bullpen right now is working, and it's seeming increasingly likely that they won't need to make any changes come the deadline.

The starting rotation currently seems like the unit most likely to be upgraded at the deadline, but it's been getting better and better as the season goes on. Their 3.41 ERA since June 20th is the second-best in the American League and ranks fourth in MLB as a whole, but that doesn't mean they've been perfect. Yusei Kikuchi still doesn't appear to have the full trust of the coaching staff, and Alek Manoah had a brutal second start since his return from the minors. Hyun Jin Ryu should be returning to the big league roster soon, but he hasn't pitched in MLB in well over a year, so that's far from a sure thing. The rotation is far from perfect, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not looking too bad.

It's entirely possible that the Blue Jays do try to bring in some players at the deadline to bolster their lineup for a postseason push, but the way the team is performing right now, they may not need to. Their offense and bullpen showed up in a big way coming out of the break, and the rotation has been getting better with every start, so don't be surprised at the trade deadline the Blue Jays elect to stick with their guys.