Wednesday, 3 September 2014

August Month In Review

After a better month of July for the Toronto Blue Jays (15-11 in July), the Jays bounced back in their worst month to date, finishing with a record of 9-17, their worst month of the season.

This has a been a season of ups and downs for the Jays, with each month alternating between winning and losing records (April – 12-14, May – 21-9, June – 12-15, July – 15-11, August – 9-17). If the pattern were to continue, that means that the Jays will have a winning month of September, make it to the playoffs, and ride off into the sunset as we all expected to happen. Who says that this couldn’t happen?

The Jays are finally getting some pitching support from the minors, something that’s been much needed the whole season. Despite a poor month of August batting, the Jays have still managed to score the fifth most runs in the majors. Everything that could help the Jays spark something is there, so what’s holding them back?

To start, slugger Edwin Encarnacion has been off to a slow start since returning from the DL, his August numbers consisted of a line of .170/.241/.340, 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s, all in 53 at-bats. These are obviously below his usual numbers, and considering his major role in the offence, it does bring some concern about if he can bounce back.

The only time his production was lower this year was in April, when he hit only two home runs with 15 RBI’s the whole month. However, he did bounce back nicely in May, when he hit the most home runs in a single month by a Blue Jay with 16.

As far as pitching goes, it has not been consistent at all for the Jays. The team’s collective ERA is 24th in the MLB, and was 27th in August. The expansion of the rosters won’t only add depth in the offence, but especially in pitching, with prospects like Daniel Norris finally getting a taste of the majors.

Even if they don’t perform well now, they would have gotten their feet wet, and would be better prepared for next season.

So what does this all mean? Do the Jays have chance of making the playoffs? Yes, according to ESPN, the Jays have 2.7% chance (which is higher than the Yankees 2.1%, fun fact). What helps the Jays even more, is that out of the 8 series the Jays play this month, 6 of them are against AL East opponents, 2 of those 6 against the division leading Orioles.

If the Jays can string wins in the month, then a playoff run would seem more and more realistic. The Jays definitely have the talent to win, they’ve shown that in patches here and there throughout the season.

But for the team to actually sustain something throughout the month seems extremely unlikely given all of the circumstances against the team.

At the end of the day, saying whether or not the Jays will have a winning month is like flipping a coin, it really could go either way. But even if the Jays have a winning record, who knows if it will be enough. 

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Jays Future

As August begins to draw to a close, the drama of September Playoff-Races start to take full swing, and the Jays are looking to change their poor path around after a rough stretch following the All-Star Break (15-14 since break, 3-7 in past 10).

More and more people doubt the Jays on their abilities, despite finally having Encarnacion and Lind off the DL. If the team doesn’t make the playoffs this year, what’s their next step?
Many sources are already confirming an AA return as GM to Toronto, although nothing is certain yet. As a GM, AA has done almost everything as well as possible. He brought All-Star talent to the roster, who instantly made the team World-Series contenders. No one was second guessing the trade, and how could you? Bringing top-class talent like that to the team was considered a genius move, and no one was bashing him for it. How can you predict a collapse like the 2013 season?
While the Jays have performed better in 2014, they aren’t in the discussion for the World Series. Even if they start to click and make the playoffs, they haven’t had the consistency of teams like the Athletics (up until recently), Angels, or Dodgers to sustain a run under that kind of pressure.

The future isn’t all black for the Jays however, as they do have a handful of young pitchers to make up a solid rotation, in Stroman, Sanchez, Hutchison and Daniel Norris, who is most likely going to be called up to the Jays in September. Despite Hutch not being the most consistent pitcher, he is still only 23 and still has time to develop. If all of the younger prospects perform as expected of them, the Jays could potentially have a solid starting rotation for years to come.
Sure, they may not all be ready right away or perform strong right away, but as pitchers like Dickey and Buehrle reach the end of their careers, they can be ready to take over their spots.

As far as hitting goes, no player is close to retiring any time soon, but in another 5 years that may be a different story, depending on if players re-sign or not.

The hitting core has had no serious issues, with the exception of remaining healthy. Bringing in young talent would be the best way to ensure future success for the Jays, maybe by trading a big name like Bautista or Edwin. It may be extreme, but if the Jays do nothing they will surely continue on this downward spiral.

Unless they miraculously turn it around and make it to the postseason, you never know right?

Monday, 28 July 2014

July 28 - 2014 (A Good Day)

     Well, I guess we can all disregard my last negative post on how the Jays are not likely to do much better over the rest of the season.

     After three strong series wins over the Rangers, Red Sox, and Yankees, new life has sprung back into the team who are now looked at as serious contenders once again. To top this all off the Jays also traded Erik Kratz and Liam Hendriks to the Kansas City Royals for third-basemen Danny Valencia. This would most likely affect the lineup by moving Brett Lawrie to second (once he's off the DL), and send one of the young platoon players back to Buffalo.

     While the move wasn't a blockbuster trade by any means, it's definitely a significant one to cement the strength of the Blue Jays hitting rotation. He will most likely be used in situations against lefty pitchers, as he currently sports a .354 average against left-handed pitchers.

     The only thing holding him back from being a full starter is his weakness against right-handed pitchers, where he currently has a .178 average. No matter how he's used, this move is still something, and it is indeed better than nothing. Only time will tell if the Jays decide to improve the starting rotation before the end of the trade deadline.

     Despite the Jays winning ways since the all-star break, support for the pitching is still a big concern. Since the break, the Jays pitchers have had the 27th best (poor use of the word best) ERA in the majors, with 4.75. Before the break, they were 24th in ERA with 4.07 That isn't good.

     There isn't anything major the Jays will do to overhaul pitching in a few days, but something is better than nothing. Anything would be nice.

     All negativity aside, the Jays are still getting W's, against good teams as well. Once Lawrie and Encarnacion are healthy once again, the Jays will surely be performing at an even higher level. Only time will tell how this season ends, and we're all sitting on the end of our seats waiting to see how it all wraps up.

     And that 14-1 lead the Jays currently have doesn't hurt.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Pre All-Star Break Review

     So how about that month of May right? Of their 49 wins before the All-Star Break, 21 of those came in the month of May, compared to the next highest total (from a full month) of 12 wins in April. It's safe to say that without that stretch (why even bother saying this), the Jays would not be in second place where they currently sit in the AL East.

     Outside of that month, there have been some positives from the season so far. The Jays have had a (somewhat) breakout in Marcus Stroman, who has proven to be a dominant starting pitcher thus far. Mark Buehrle continues to put up solid numbers, despite not always getting the decision that he deserves. The Jays sent 3 players to Minnesota. Muni makes us giggle every once in a while. Is there anything that I'm missing? Frankly that's all I can think of at this point.

     At the beginning of the season, the Jays were a blank canvas on what to expect. Some said that the World Series potential was still there, some said they will be just as bad, some said they will be better, but most of us had no idea what the hell to expect. After a disappointing start to April, Blue Jays fans set in for what was expected to be another slow season, filled with disappointment and probably some big injuries, as usual.

     But then MAY. As yes, May. So much optimism, so much hope. We had no idea that was coming, how could you predict a run like that? After what happened seemingly overnight, the Jays were immediately playoff contenders once again. They were that team that no one wanted to even think about pitching to, and everything seemed to click perfectly.

     The Jays started May 2.5 games back of first place, but finished with a 2.5 game lead over the Yankees for first place in the division. And then, all of a sudden, it just fell apart. Sure, its effects didn't resonate in the standings for a few weeks to come, but everyone felt it was coming.

     The hitters weren't hitting, the pitchers (while stronger than the batting) were not producing in clutch situations, and it just didn't work. Of course the talent is still there now, but with key pieces injured for a few more weeks, pitching not showing any major signs of improvement, and nothing being done to fix it is not a healthy combo.

     The once vibrant optimism that lit up every Blue Jays fan is seemingly gone, and I don't sense it coming back any time soon. But who knows with this team, and believe me I want to have hope restored once again, but it just seems improbable.

     As a Toronto fan, I'd start looking forward to the Raptors season by now so you can at least have some optimism in you.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

(Late) June Month In Review

     I'd like to start off by apologizing for not posting for the past few weeks, as I've been finishing up exams (yes I'm still in high school) and enjoying vacation in British Columbia. I'm writing this while overlooking the beach, so I'm going to try and make this quick. 

     The month of June was not a pleasant one for the Jays, as they sported a 12-15 record, yet still maintained 1st place in the AL East throughout the month (up until recently in July). After coming off the red-hot month of May, the Jays were brought down by injuries here and there throughout the month, as well as the chemistry that was there before has seemingly disappeared. 

     The batting stats from the month haven't been awful, with the Jays 14th in runs (105, coming to 3.8 runs per game), 6th in home runs (28), 19th in average (.248), and 13th in OBP (.315). These numbers aren't terrible by any stretch, but they aren't the numbers of a 1st place team. With two big pieces in Lawrie and Encarnacion injured, the Jays batting won't be back at 100% for a few weeks to come, and that's just being hopelessly optimistic that Encarnacion isn't going to be out for too long.

     On the pitching side of things, the Jays were 19th in ERA (3.93), 25th in SO (182), 22nd in WHIP (1.32), and 20th in opponent BAA (.257). The numbers are definitely lower in pitching compared to batting, and they are getting into the lowest ranks in the MLB. 

     If there's any positives to take from pitching this month, it's that Marcus Stroman has been able to compete at the major league level with no problem since being converted to a starter, as he's sported a 2-2 record, with a 2.67 ERA and 7.77 K/9 in June. This may encourage the Jays to look further to their farm systems, and potentially call up top-prospect Aaron Sanchez. Whether the Jays turn that route or not, something needs to be done to improve pitching, as something\s needed to be done since April.

      Altogether, the current direction the Jays are headed doesn't look to be improving, and Jays fans can expect another slow month. A revival of the team doesn't seem impossible, but it doesn't look all that likely right now.  

Friday, 20 June 2014

Yankees, June 17-19/THINGS NEED TO CHANGE

The Blue Jays have just gotten swept for the first time this year, which was not a good outing by any standard, but it’s not like they’re the first team to get swept this year.

With the Jays off the list now, the only teams in the MLB that haven’t been swept are the Dodgers, Brewers, and the Cardinals. A sweep is never good, but making it to the last 2 weeks of June without being swept is something the Jays can see as promising in the long run.

The series altogether was a huge mess for the Jays, with Buehrle having the only good start, the bullpen giving up a 6.30 ERA, and the offence only producing 2.6 runs per game.

This has come off a rough month of June for the Jays, where they have gone 8-9, yet have still maintained 1st in the AL East. While every other team in the east has brought up their level of play (each team .500 or higher in their last 10), the Jays are surely on pace to drop down to the lower ranks of the division.
            As so many people seem to be saying, if the Jays really want to remain contenders, they have to do something to improve the squad. While the offence have been particularly unproductive in the past few series, things will hopefully pick up soon, and moves wouldn't have to be made to improve too drastic.

            The only player not safe on the offence is Juan Francisco, who has cooled off a great deal after a stellar May. Despite the solid numbers from last month, he has never shown that hitting ability like that before, after being bounced around from the Majors to the Minors since 2009.

            As much as we’d love to see an emergence of another power hitter similar to Jose Bautista from a few years ago, miracles like that only happen so often. No one would trade anything significant for Fransisco, so the only real possibility for him is getting sent back to the minors.

            Pitching is where the Jays need the most improvement, despite having a combined ERA under 4.00 in the months of May and June (so far). The Jays current starters of Buehrle, Stroman, Hutchison, Dickey, and Henriks/Happ are not a world series winning starting rotation. End of story.

            There are lots of rumours going around of David Price potentially being traded, but what could the Jays give up to obtain the former Cy Young winner? The only real answer right now is prospects, as giving up too many starting players with the current MLB team will create even more serious holes.

            If the Jays really want to be world series contenders for this year, moves must be done, and sacrifices must be made, however hard it may be to make them. Otherwise, get ready for them to fall back down the ladder that is the AL East.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

June 12-15, Orioles

The Jays just wrapped up a 4 game away set against the Orioles, splitting the series 2-2 against their division rivals. Currently, the Jays are sitting at 1st place, with the Yankees and the Orioles each 4.5 games back on them, the Red Sox 9 games back, and the Rays 13.5 games back. 

In the two series prior to this (3 game set against the Cardinals then the Twins) the Jays went 2-4, an unimpressive set of games coming off a 5 game winning streak. They averaged only 1.6 runs a game, gave up 4.3 runs a game, and were looking to have a big bounce back against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

While the series wasn't necessarily a huge success, it was much better than their previous games. They averaged 3.25 runs a game, giving up an average of only 2.25 runs a game. 

Injuries played a small role in the series, with Brett Cecil leaving the 4-0 win on the 13th with groin tightness, R.A. Dickey left the 3-2 loss on the 14th with groin tightness, and Adam Lind also left the 3-2 loss with a bruise on his right foot. Fortunately none of the injuries are listed as too severe, so all 3 players can be expected to return to the lineup in the coming days. 

The Jays batting enjoyed reasonable success despite only having one home run in the series (off Juan Fransisco in the 4-0 win), showing even further how they don't have to rely solely on home runs to get runs needed to win. After coming up short in the past two series, this was a step in the right direction, with hopefully even more production to come in the upcoming series against the Yankees in New York. 

All starters had reasonable starts, each going 6+ innings and only Mark Buehrle didn't get a quality start by giving up 4 runs. The bullpen also played well, with Dustin McGowan giving up the only run by the pen in the series finale, giving the pen an impressive 1.13 ERA over 8 innings of work.

While there are things that the Jays could improve on, there are always things that teams could do better. Mistakes are going to be made 99% of the time in baseball, especially against a strong team like the Orioles. As long as the Jays can bounce back from the small errors here and there, there is nothing to be too worried about. 

The Jays have a day off on Monday, and will start a 3 game set against the Yankees, with Storman, Buehrle, and Hutchison being the projected starters. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

June 6-8, St. Louis Cardinals

After sweeping the Detroit Tigers, the Jays went back home to the Rogers Centre for a 3-game set against the current NL champion St. Louis Cardinals.

The Jays lost 2 of the 3 games, scoring only 3 runs in the entire series, all of which were scored in the first game. While the Jays have averaged 4.9 runs per game this year, these three games were an exception from the usual high-class performances. 

In game one the Jays scored 3 runs, accompanied by another promising start by prospect Marcus Stroman, in which he went 6 innings with 7 strikeouts, gave up 7 hits, 2 walks, and 1 earned-run. As a starter, Stroman now is 2-0 with 13 strikeouts, a 1.50 ERA, and a 1.17 WHIP. Considering that these are his only two starts in the MLB, these numbers are very promising.

The runs in this game were scored by solo-shots from Lawrie and Bautista, with the other run scored by Reyes. The batting was by no means spectacular in this game, but they earned enough to secure a win in game 1. The next two games were among the Jays weakest efforts this year, with two back-to-back 5-0 losses.

In game two, ace Mark Buehrle started, giving up 1 earned-run over 7 innings, with 6 strikeouts and 4 hits. Everything looks like all of the other strong numbers Buehrle has put up this year, until you get to the fact that he gave up 5 walks in his start. This is an unusually high number for him, as he’s only averaged around 2.5 walks per nine innings pitched this year. Fortunately he was able to battle out of it.

The other four runs given up were earned by relief pitcher Aaron Loup, who didn’t even last a full inning. Loup has had decent stats this year (2-1, 3.56 ERA), but he has failed to produce in clutch scenarios. While he isn't a closer, he has gone 2 for 5 in save scenarios, showing how he can crack under pressure at times. Some may say it’s unfair to compare him to closers, but this just another example of where he hasn’t been able to produce in clutch scenarios, something he could work on for the future.

In game 3, Drew Hutchison got the start, and he gave up all five runs in the game, lasting only 3 innings. Relief pitcher Todd Redmond picked up the slack well, going five innings striking out 3 and giving up 4 hits with no walks. The pitching wasn't great by any means, but it wasn't nearly as poor as the Jays hitting.

After a strong game 1 with 11 hits, the Jays hitters were only able to produce 3 hits in game 2, and 4 in game 3. This is unlike the Jays hitters, who have been the driving force for the 1st place squad up until now. This is simply a bump in the road, you can’t expect them to be perfect every game, and games like these happen every now and then. The Cardinals pitchers proved to be too much for them, and it showed in the end results. They will most-likely bounce back in the upcoming series against the 29-32 Minnesota Twins.

Altogether this wasn’t the Jays best effort, but don’t expect to see series like this too often. The Jays are looking to send Dickey, Happ, and Stroman to the mound against the Twins. 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Week 9

Has this last week really just happened? While the Jays have had winnings streaks like this in the past, longer ones even, there’s something that feels different about the team now.

The Jays are first place in the AL East, with one of the franchise’s highest winning percentages at this point in the season. They’re currently riding a seven game winning streak, which includes sweeping the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics. So far in the month of May, the Jays record stands at 17-7. Earlier in the month they also had a five game winning streak to go along with the current seven game. Needless to say, May has been a good month.

 In the past six of seven seasons in the AL East, whichever team was in first place on May 27th ended up clinching a playoff spot (the 2011 Yankees who won were only in second at this point that year).

This is surely a promising stat for Jays fans, as it finally gives us something to possibly look forward to, provided they continue to win. Of course at some point they will cool down, and lose a series here and there, but their ability to continue winning despite the losses is what will help the team to continue to perform.

It’s safe to say no one was expecting this much from the Jays, despite the talent on the team. After last year’s disappointment of a season, most Jays fans didn't seem to expect much, despite that talent was still on the team.

What is it that’s changed so much from last year? Is it the starting pitching, the fielding, the ability for our batters to somehow hit even more home runs? All of these are true.

Last year, watching the Blue Jays play felt like watching individual players, only looking to improve their stats compared to performing at a higher level for their team. This year, despite leading the league in home runs, they are also sixth in the league for RBI’s with runners in scoring position.

Pitching has also been a major factor. In the month of April, the Jays pitchers had a combined ERA of 4.45 (24th in MLB). In May however, the ERA has been lowered to 3.66 (11th).

The Jays have proven that their offence is at one of the highest calibers in the MLB. As long as the pitching continues to keep the runs low, the Jays will surely keep winning. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Week 7

After a brief five game stint with the Blue Jays, Marcus Stroman has been optioned back to AAA Buffalo. Looking at his stats over the five games, you can definitely tell he has a lot of improving to do, shown by his 12.79 ERA after only 6.1 innings pitched. This is due largely to two bad outings for the young pitcher, one against the Angels where he gave up four earned runs over 1.2 innings, and another against the Indians where he gave up four earned runs (five total runs) over 1.1 innings pitched. Take away those final two outings, and he has a respectable 2.70 ERA. While it is good for young pitchers to get exposure to the MLB so they know what the future holds for them, it would have been better for Stroman to be put in as a starting pitcher, opposed to him working in the Blue Jays pen. He has been brought up as a starter through the Jays system, and will most likely be used as a starter once he gets settled in the MLB. Even if the Jays decide somewhere along the way that they want to use him as a relief pitcher, it’s much easier to switch from starter to relief, compared to going from relief to starter and regain stamina that a starter would require. Looking solely at how he performed for the Jays so far, you can tell that he needs lots of work to do if he wants to live up to the hype that he’s been receiving as a prospect. Even if he were to play as a starter for the Jays, those four and five run innings would be even worse as a starting pitcher, as the Jays would need to rely even more on the already unstable bullpen in scenarios like that. Going past his numbers, this experience can be seen as a learning one for the young pitcher. There’s no better way to prepare yourself for major league batters than actually facing them, despite how well you do against them. Hopefully Stroman can perform at a higher level whenever his next call-up comes around, and maybe even stay up for more than a few weeks.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Week 6

Currently the Toronto Blue Jays are sitting at .500, putting them at second place in the AL east (Boston and NY are also sporting .500 averages, both have played two games fewer than the Jays). While it is promising to see this position in the standings, this won’t continue to hold, knowing the strength of every other team in the division. Despite Tampa Bay sitting at 17 wins and 23 losses, it’s expected that they’ll go on a hot streak at some point and become a competing team once again, shown by them tying with the Yankees for the most playoff finishes over the past six years, with four for each team. The Jays can’t get too comfy, as they will need to step up their play if they want to continue to be a competitor in the AL east. Out of all teams in the AL east, the Jays hitting is currently 4th in OBP, but 1st in home runs, RBI’s, total bases, and slugging. Hitting isn’t a problem for the Jays, but you already knew that. What you also knew is that the Jays pitchers are struggling, but compared to the rest of their division it could be much worse. In the AL east their starters are 1st in ERA, 4th in strikeouts, 1st in opponent batting average, 5th in fewest walks and 5th in WHIP. While strikeouts and walks are a problem for the starters, ERA and opponent batting average are two very promising stats, showing that they are managing to get outs and not allow runs, despite the low strikeouts. The starters should try to simplify their approach and mainly focus on throwing fastballs for strikes, and develop their offspeed pitches from there. Their relief pitchers are 5th in ERA, 4th in opponent batting average, 1st in strikeouts, 5th in fewest walks, and 4th in WHIP. This is where it gets less promising for the pitchers, for obvious reasons. Out of the Jays 20 losses up until now, the relievers have accounted for 9 of those losses. That total is 4th highest in the MLB, higher than any team in the AL east. Once Janssen gets working again and Stroman starts adjusting to MLB batters the totals will hopefully become better, let’s just hope those days come soon. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Month in Review - Week 5

April has come and gone for the Toronto Blue Jays, and it seems like nothing has changed for them since the end of last season. I could end the post right there, because we all seem to know what’s been going on. Players continue to get injured left and right, pitching for the most part has been disappointing, however the Jays hitters remain to be strong (12th in batting average, 4th in home runs, 6th in RBI’s, 7th in runs). One different factor from last year is the fielding, where last year the Jays committed the fifth most errors in the majors, compared this year where they’ve produced the lowest number of errors in the majors, a heavily improved factor. While fielding is a key point to games, if pitchers constantly find themselves having to rely on the fielding it can lead to too many runs given up, something the Jays have struggled with (5th highest ERA in the majors).  Besides fielding, this is the same shtick we’ve been seeing over the past year or so. The Jays feel like a broken record player, looping over and over the same things we see wrong with them, with nothing seeming like it will stop them. At this point, serious changes have to be made. Whether that’s by bringing in some fresh bodies, getting rid of Gibby, trading for some pitchers, anything. It’s up to AA to figure out what really is making the Jays so out of funk, and change it as soon as possible. To deny that changes to be made is doing nothing but harm for the Jays, unless we want to continue to rely solely on hitting to win games. Who knows, calling up Marcus Stroman may be the spark to ignite the Jays pitching. Maybe at the end of May we’ll be talking about how hitting isn’t reliable enough for the Jays. But if this downward trend continues, it’s going to take a lot to try and reverse it.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Week 4

It’s no secret that the biggest setback so far for the Toronto Blue Jays has been the starting rotation. The starters for the Jays are 24th compared to all MLB starters in ERA (4.43), 21st in opponent’s batting average (.266), and 21st in strikeouts (119). The biggest stat to me at least, is innings pitched, where the Jays have the fourth most innings by starters in the league with 134 total innings. When you take the total games played by the Jays so far (25), you can get that the average starting pitcher for the Jays goes about 5.36 innings per start. When the starting pitchers can’t get through the innings required of them, it strains the rest of the team greatly, especially in the bullpen. 

Relief pitchers are called on too often, and their quality drops over time. While they are expected to perform when called in around halfway through a game, you can’t expect them to constantly clean up perfectly and not give up any runs after being put in that same scenario so many times. The Jays relievers have pitched a combined total of 88.1 innings, putting them at the third most innings pitched in the majors. The average team has used their bullpen 77 innings, resulting in roughly three innings per game by the pen. This is a reasonable expectation of a bullpen, considering a quality start for a starting pitcher needs a minimum of six innings. Taking away those six innings from the nine in a game, the bullpen can come in and cover for the remaining three innings of a game. While the Jays are only 0.64 innings under the average, that still adds up over time. 

Since relievers have less stamina in them than your average starting pitcher, they can’t be worked nearly as hard as a starter. It’s not like manager John Gibbons can control the length of how long a starter deserves to stay in for. He does decide when pitchers come and go in a game, but once a pitcher gets around 100 pitches, or gives up five runs before the end of the third inning, you wouldn’t leave the starter in any longer just so you could rest your bullpen. What’s the most unfortunate part in all of this is that we saw this coming ever since the end of last season. 

While I’m sure AA had his eyes on starting pitchers throughout the offseason, he did fall up short of bringing in any new talent to help out the cause. If the Jays want to last the rest of the season still being able to compete, they should try to bring in someone to replace Dustin McGowan, as he is clearly not able to play at a major league level after being out for many years with numerous injuries. Otherwise, the rest of the season will stay along this track off poor starting pitching, and injured relievers after being worked too hard.