The return of Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays) is not a panacea.
The Toronto Blue Jays won their third straight game against the New York Mets on Thursday (ET), but they still have a long way to go. At 32-27, they’re fourth in the American League East. They are still 8.5 games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays. Trailing the third-place New York Yankees by 2.5 games in the wild-card race. Immediately, if the season ended tomorrow, Toronto would miss the postseason.
On Thursday, MLB.com took a look at how teams that have underperformed expectations this season can improve. According to Fangraphs, Toronto has a 51% chance of making the postseason. Still, they could turn things around in the wild-card race.안전놀이터
The areas where the Jays need to improve are their bats and starting pitching. The Jays are third in the American League in team batting average (0.266) and fifth in team OPS (0.754), but rank sixth in team home runs (66) and seventh in team RBIs (258). Compared to his rate stats, his cumulative stats are not as good.
MLB.com wrote, “Matt Chapman slumps after hot start. Bo Bissett and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. need more support, especially from George Springer, Dalton Bashaw and Alejandro Kirk.” In reality, Chapman is batting .280 with eight homers, 30 RBIs and an OPS of .846 in 56 games this season, but he’s hit just .202 with a .585 OPS in May.
Springer, who signed a six-year, $150 million contract in 2020-2021 free agency, also needs to show more. In 57 games this season, he is batting .262 with eight home runs, 23 RBIs and a .728 OPS. Bledsoe is also hitting .285 with eight homers, 36 RBIs and an OPS of .803 in 56 games, but is two percentage points shy of his MVP-calibre run two years ago.
On the mound, the pitching needs work across the board. The team ERA of 3.78 is seventh in the American League. The starters are sixth at 3.85 and the bullpen is ninth at 3.66. “Alex Manoa, who finished third in the Cy Young race a year ago, is 1-6 with a 5.46 ERA in 12 starts,” MLB.com said. Manoa has completely crashed and burned this year.
Jose Berrios, who picked up the win against the New York Mets, hasn’t exactly been dominant either, going 5-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 12 starts. Chris Bassett, 6-4 with a 3.41 ERA in 12 games, and Kevin Gausman, 4-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 12 games, lead the starting rotation, but none of the pitchers have the look of an elite ace.
The clock starts ticking on Hyun-jin Ryu’s minor league rehab start in June. He has publicly stated that he wants to be in the starting lineup after the All-Star break. However, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be back to his old self anytime soon. Pitchers typically take time to recover from Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation, and even if Ryu returns to form, the team won’t be able to turn things around without the contributions of its existing players.