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Taco Stand – Are The Blue Jays Bad…?

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TACO STAND – ARE THE BLUE JAYS BAD…?

Welcome to the Taco Stand, a tongue-in-shell look at the Blue Jays, Baseball, and other topics I tangentially connect to the two. In this edition I ask the question “Are the 2024 Toronto Blue Jays bad?”

Yes.


Well, there you have it, bereaved Banterers. Do you agree? Sound off in t— Okay, okay. Yes, they’re bad. After dropping three of four to the Farelling Tigers, I will stop deluding myself with the theoretical and the on-papers. This year’s Blue Jays are bad. But I’m sure some of you adroit Banterers noticed the ellipse in the title. Well…

…AND WHAT SHOULD THEY DO ABOUT IT?

Sadly, the 2024 Toronto Blue Jays are a bad team. The hitters cannot hit 80% of the time, the bullpen cannot get outs 70% of the time, and the starting rotation… well, they’ve actually been pretty solid. (These percentages are factually correct. There is no need to look them up. Source: Trust Me, Bro.) So, the first step is acknowledging that we’re bad. Now, what do we do about it?


Fire (Almost) Everybody

Some or all of this one may not happen till the off-season. Some may happen before this article is published. That’s professional sports, baby! But I’d be looking at firing everyone from the top down.

Mark Shapiro might get a pass because his corporate overlords see that he’s making profits. As long as those profits continue to grow, he might be safe. However, the shareholders will suddenly lose all patience with him when they stagnate or begin to decline.

Ross Atkins has got to go, however. After failing twice, he should not get another chance to choose a manager. He’s also largely responsible for our farm system being one of the worst on the planet. Seriously, Owen Lars’ moisture farm would rank higher, and he was inept enough to be shot by Stormtroopers! Ross’ free agent track record isn’t the worst, but that isn’t enough. And, most importantly, I’m just kind of sick of him.

John Schneider had only won while he worked his way up through the minors. Then, for whatever reason, he stopped doing that when he finally got the call to The Show. His bullpen usage is questionable at best, and his lineups drive many of you to drink. Deep down I believe there is a good manager in there somewhere, but he will have to come out on a different team.

I’m not going to spend time on Don Mattingly. You all know how I feel about him. Fire him.

For the hitting coaches, I’d only keep Matt Hague. He’s shown plenty of promise in the minors and is operating under a root vegetable this year. Guillermo Martinez and Hunter Mense should go. On the pitching side, I’d get rid of everyone involved with the bullpen. I’ll give Pete Walker a pass because of the rotation, but Jeff Ware and David Howell get the axe.

Install James Click as interim GM and either DeMarlo Hale or Pete Walker as interim Manager. Let them hire/promote to fill out their staff with no contractual guarantees beyond this season. Yes, this means you won’t attract more desirable or high-profile candidates. Too bad. You messed the bed. Now you lie in it. Once the off-season hits, take the time to evaluate candidates and actually hire the most qualified for each position.


Call Up Some Kids (And Make Room For Them)

Call up Orelvis Martinez, Addison Barger, and Spencer Horwitz. Play them daily (less occasional off days) for the rest of the season. We may as well see what we’ve got in these lads.

DFA Daniel Vogelbach. He’s not doing anything for us, but that’s not entirely his fault. He plays approximately three games every four weeks.

DFA Justin Turner. Yes, you run the risk of someone picking him up for free and him suddenly becoming a .300 hitter. But he’s not a .300 hitter for us, and all he’s doing is blocking playing time for guys who might be around for a while. I’d suggest trading him if you could get something for him, but with his performance of late I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Option Cavan Biggio. No, he’s not the worst player in the MLB. But we know who he is. He’s not magically going to become a superstar. He’s the sort of fella you want to round out your roster, and with an option available, I see no need to fully get rid of him.

If needed, DFA Ernie Clement. I hope he squeaks through waivers. If not, pull him back and/or trade him. I’m not fully ready to give up on him, but if we need his roster spot, then let’s try and send him to Buffalo. So far, I’ve only got three call-ups, but maybe we need his spot for another outfielder or something.


Trade Pending Free Agents

I don’t want the team making big moves until a permanent GM is in place. However, pending free agents should still be moved if they have value. To do otherwise is poor asset management. This means we’d say goodbye to Yusei Kikuchi and Yimi Garcia. Probably to Kevin Kiermaier as well. Trevor Richards might get you something. Danny Jansen is the only one I’d hang on to in hopes of extending him… maybe.

Yeah, I don’t have much else to say here. I’d hate to see Kikuchi go, but that’s business.

Beyond that, everything else should be considered after the front office positions are filled in the off-season. Then, it’ll be time to make the hard decisions regarding the core and start working on rebuilding the farm. But as long as Atkins is holding the reins, we’re going to continue being in a one-step forward, two-step back situation.


Well, there you have it, bleak Banterers. Do you agree? Disagree? Rather, I try to cheer you up? Well, good news on that last part. This was not the Taco Stand I planned to put up, but that Detroit series did a number on me. I’ve got a much more fun article in the works, and you should look forward to it in the coming days. As always, sound off in the comments below. (The comments make me feel like I’m at least not rambling incoherently for no reason…)

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