The All-star break is before us, the unofficial "half-way" mark of the season, and the Toronto Blue Jays find themselves with a 45-47 record. Both the division title and the playoff wildcard seems unlikely with Boston and New York battling alone for those honours, and the optimism of spring has waned as "reality" has set in.
There have been some setbacks and some pleasant surprises...
The demotion of Brett Cecil and Travis Snyder.
Injuries to Adam Lind, Brett Lawrie, Jesse Litsch and Dustin McGowan
Poor performance out of the gate from the 3rd Base position and Designated Hitter
Performance (or rather lack of) of the Closer
Joey Bats (Jose Bautista) - who could believe he could actually improve on last year, and even more impressive, seems to have the very special ability of making those around him better.
Eric Thames - minor league call-up has hit for power and percentage
Travis Snyder - since his call-up has shown discipline at the plate and a new compact and powerful swing.
J.P. Arencibia - though his average has suffered (perhaps partially as a result of playing through a dislocated right thumb injury), has hit for power and driven in runs
Carlos Villanueva - middle reliever forced to start has been a pleasant surprise
Ricky Romero - Stud, plain stud (need I say more?)
Brandon Morrow - Proving that he is a top-of-the-rotation starter
Our schedule is easier in the remaining 70 games (fewer road games and level of competition) and I feel we still will end up above 500. I like the way the new Manager John Farrel has our Blue Jays playing. They are aggressive, they do not give up, and I feel a general sense of optimism in our future.
OK, BLUE JAYS, LET'S PLAY BALL!!!
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage