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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GM Ross Atkins

Perhaps the one that has played the most significant part in the Jays’ mediocre start to 2024 is the GM himself in Ross Atkins. As the head honcho of the Jays’ organization, it is his goal to help build a solid foundation for the team and put a legitimate winning product on the field. In addition, it is his duty to address any of the team’s deficiencies to ensure that they are rectified going into the new season.

When Atkins wanted to go big and pursue perhaps the biggest free agent in the history of MLB in Shohei Ohtani, he came up empty-handed as the Japanese sensation ultimately landed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Consequently, Atkins pivoted to other mid-tiered free agents to fill the roster. That rash move has resulted in the Jays paying for it dearly right now. Kiner-Falefa has been a decent addition, but the same can’t be said for some of the others. After strong starts to the season, both veteran Justin Turner and Cuban sensation Yariel Rodríguez have quickly fizzled out since, with Turner battling through a major slump and Rodríguez subsequently landing on the IL following a couple of subpar outings. On top of that, the re-signing of Kevin Kiermaier has been a disaster. Despite still maintaining solid defense in the field, this year’s version of Kiermaier has fallen off a cliff at the plate, hitting close to the Mendoza line with just one home run and 8 RBI in 42 games played.

Not only has some of the offseason moves by Atkins began to backfire, but moves that he didn’t make has also hindered the team as well. Likewise, with the departure of elite reliever Jordan Hicks, along with the likes of Adam Cimber and Jay Jackson, Atkins never considered bolstering the bullpen during the offseason at all. Instead, he settled with what the Jays already had and figured that the internal options they already had was sufficient to fill out the rest of the relief corps.

So as much as Atkins had worked to retool the Jays roster for 2024, it appears as though they are now even worse off than they were last season. The resulting step back by the team is in large part due to his failure to properly address the team’s main issues and needs. Therefore, he will have his work cut out for him if he wants to turn this team around in time.

Blame score: 9