The Toronto Blue Jays were one of the major stories in the MLB offseason as they acquired new talents to shore up their roster. Pundits immediately pegged the new team as one of the main contenders for the World Series Championship, a title that has eluded Toronto since winning back to back championships in 1992 and 1993. Unfortunately, what appears to look good on paper doesn’t always translate into success on the field.
The season is still early, and the opening few weeks could simply be a slump or the team coming to grips with expectations to qualify for the playoffs, if not the World Series itself. The Jays made the biggest noise in the offseason in a very complicated, expensive, yet ultimately optimistic trade with the Miami Marlins. The deal brought all-star pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to the Jays pitching roster. The team later acquired 2012 Cy Young Award winning pitcher R.A. Dickey, who was expected to be one of the top pitchers for the team.
Online casino and sportsbetting put odds on the Jays as one of the favourites to win the World Series. If the team is to meet those expectations, the pitching must improve. Dickey in particular faces mounting criticism for surrendering at least four runs in only a few innings to the Cleveland Indians, the Boston Red Sox, and the New York Yankees. As one of the stars of the new team, Dickey needs to find his footing if the Jays expect to challenge their divisional rivals for the top spot.
However, the fault doesn’t lie with the pitching alone. Players are struggling to make big hits, but the biggest batting concern lies with Jose Bautista. The powerhouse hitter is a two-time home run champion at the Home Run derby, and is one of the Jays’ most dynamic offensive weapons. Unfortunately, Bautista has a history of injuries, which flared up once again in the early weeks of the season. The rest of the team will need to step up their game if Bautista remains unhealthy, and therefore, unreliable.
The early struggles could simply be a slump that will turn around, but if the Jays hope to become the World Series contenders that fans expect the team to be, glaring weaknesses must be corrected as soon as possible.