Ranking the 5 biggest culprits that deserve the most blame for Blue Jays’ awful start

is it time to point fingers on who has played the most part in the Jays’ struggles this season?
Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays
Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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The bullpen

The Jays’ bullpen surprisingly has been reeling since the start of the season. After ranking near the top third of the league in 2023, Toronto’s bullpen has fallen all the way down to near the bottom echelon this year with respect to the major pitching categories, including ERA, WHIP, wins, strikeouts and home runs allowed.

Other than the great work that has been put together by Yimi García, Chad Green and Trevor Richards, practically everyone else in the Jays’ relief corps have had their struggles at one point or another this season, with some being quite more extensive than others. In particular, the supposedly unbreakable pitching stalwart Jordan Romano is currently enduring his worst season of his career, sporting an abysmal 6.59 ERA and 1.46 WHIP with opposing batters hitting at a .286 clip off of him. To make matters worse, he is currently on the IL now with elbow inflammation. In addition, the usually dependable Erik Swanson, Tim Mayza and Genésis Cabrera from last season are all having an off-year at the same time in 2024. It had been so rough for Swanson that he was even recently optioned down to Triple-A Buffalo to get his game back on track.

But if we actually took a look at the statistics a little more carefully, it was not that the Jays were blowing a lot of their games, as they have recorded only 6 blown saves all season. Instead, it was more the fact that the bullpen was incapable of holding the opposition from tacking on add-on runs, thus making their leads insurmountable for the anemic Jays’ offense to come back from. As a result, the Jays have only registered 10 come-from-behind wins this season, ranking them third last in the league just ahead of the Miami Marlins and Chicago White Sox. 

Overall, the fact that the bullpen hasn’t been costing the Jays losses directly by blowing leads has helped limit the blame somewhat on them. But not giving the team better chances at winning by keeping the score close could still negatively impact the club in the long run.

Blame score: 3