Many fans of the Toronto Blue Jays were disappointed by the lack of action by their team before the trade deadline. Despite some higher profile names available, the Jays traded for relief pitchers Génesis Cabrera and Jordan Hicks and made a deal for shortstop Paul DeJong, who has since been waived.
Despite the underwhelming haul, the team has been galvanized by the recent play of rookies Davis Schneider and Spencer Horwitz, plus call-ups Ernie Clement and Mason McCoy. That quartet has stabilized the club through a difficult stretch without two of their most significant contributors, Bo Bichette and Matt Chapman.
The return of Hyun Jin Ryu and Chad Green has also boosted the pitching staff. The former hasn’t been able to last more than five innings but has solidified the rotation and pitched to a 2.65 ERA over 34 frames. Green shook off a rough first outing of the season to log a pair of clean innings on the latest road trip.
Since his call-up in early August, Schneider has lit the league on fire. He’s had the best start to a career in recent memory, hitting for a 1.358 OPS with seven home runs, 19 RBI, and a 2.0 WAR in just 20 games. He’s already become a cult-like figure among the fan base, with many wearing faux mustaches in his honor. Horwitz has taken advantage of Brandon Belt’s IL stint and recorded the first two extra-base hits of his career over the weekend.
Clement has filled in admirably in the infield and has produced surprisingly well with the bat as well. Since his most recent promotion to the bigs, the 27-year-old has hit .387 (12/31) with a homer and six RBI. McCoy has only logged one at-bat but has played well as a defensive replacement and scored a pair of runs as a pinch runner. He’s sure to be demoted once the cavalry of regulars returns, but he could be a valuable depth player down the road.
Additionally, Cabrera and Hicks have strengthened the bullpen and will be relied upon heavily down the stretch. Adding another lefty to the relief corps was needed, and Cabrera has only allowed one earned run (0.49 ERA) in 18-plus innings with the Jays. Hicks has overwhelmed hitters with his fastball and is a regular high-leverage option.
DeJong was a bust, no doubt. Two out of three isn’t bad, with trades and the other additions to the roster having helped steady the ship during a crucial span of games.