By Travis Aylward.
The Toronto Blue Jays, currently sitting six games behind the second wildcard spot, are still unbelievably in the hunt, despite starting the season 2-11 and struggling as of late. With 34 games remaining in the season, there’s no question the Blue Jays still have a chance, even with them currently sitting last place in the AL East, but they were supposed to be good. What happened?
Josh Donaldson’s recent resurgence gives Blue Jays fans reason to believe their team still has a shot. He’s starting to look like the 2015 American League MVP that everyone remembers, hitting at an unparalleled level in August. Justin Smoak, likewise, has been what no one expected: an All-Star and potential Silver Slugger at first base. Additionally, Marcus Stroman has been phenomenal and could sneak into the top three in AL Cy Young contention.
Where did Toronto go wrong?
The slow start didn’t help.
But at the end of May, it looked as if the Blue Jays were contenders: just a pair of games under .500 and the team was practically starting from scratch.
Since then, the team has capsized. A team ERA of 4.58 contributed to that fact, but by itself, it isn’t awful. More important, however, was the impact of a poor offense.
Past Donaldson, whose returned to his normal form and Smoak, an All-Star for the entirety of the season, the prospects look grim.
José Bautista. Ryan Goins. Darwin Barney. Kevin Pillar.
All of the above are everyday players, and all of the above are hitting less than .255 with no more than 20 home runs. If anything in particular, the offense is the source of Toronto’s issues.
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