The Toronto Blue Jays, nine games in to the 2017 are sitting at a pathetic 1-8. And they’re not just having bad luck, they’re playing awfully. As in they’re averaging 2.67 runs per game bad. For an offense that’s supposed to be one of the most intimidating in baseball, that’s straight up pathetic. But the real question is, will the reigning Wild Card champions right the ship, or are they officially a bottom dweller again?
A couple games into the season, after the O’s swept the Jays in their two game series, and the Jays only had one win in their next series against the Rays, my first thought was that the O’s better take advantage of this, cause we all know the Blue Jays are still a division champion contender. That was only a couple days ago. But now I’ve completely flipped the switch on believing this team can compete in the AL East.
This team sorely misses Edwin Encarnacion, and it’s becoming more and more clear by the day. Not only will they miss his 35+ bombs a year, but it’s now clear how much better he made the rest of the hitters in this lineup. Having his intimidating bat hitting fourth in a stacked lineup meant every other hitter was going to get more pitches to hit. Encarnacion lengthened the Jays lineup, and having him in there meant those dangerous hitters in front of him didn’t feet pressure to hit the ball out of the park, because they knew if they put a good swing on a ball and got on base, Edwin was knocking them in. This allowed them to swing freely with no pressure. Losing Encarnacion was absolutely devastating to this team.
It’s clear that the Jays age is catching up to them. They have the oldest team in the majors, and are one of only two teams whose average age is over 30. Jose Bautista looks old, and, is currently a shell of himself. He’s proving why no one wanted to give him that 5 year, $30 million contract he had talked about. Russell Martin has 1 hit in 24 at bats with 10 strikeouts, and it looks like his career as a hitter is all but over.
…doesn’t exist anymore.
The Blue Jays have stolen exactly zero bases this year, which further supports the age argument. Admittedly, it is hard to steal bases when you can’t get on base though.
And finally, we have the Josh Donaldson injury, that first happened in Spring Training, but reoccurred last night while he was rounding first base. Donaldson is expected to land on the DL, however the extent of time he’ll miss is currently unknown. If Donaldson has to miss any long period of time, this team is 100% done.
I love seeing this team suffering. The last two plus years we’ve seen a team that routinely proves they’re the biggest cry babies in the sport, despite putting on a tough guy act. They’ve never once charged a mound, or done anything other than talk. And they’ve tried to pick arguments with essentially every team they’ve played. I hate the Blue Jays, and it does my heart good to say that I’m officially declaring their 2017 season over, despite it only being nine games in. I know that sounds crazy, but this team isn’t the same as they’ve been the last couple years.