The American League East was always going to be a competitive division in 2017 but the Blue Jays were underwhelming for large periods of the season and failed to qualify for the post-season by some distance. The Canadian outfit will be up against it once again in 2018 but they mustn’t dwell on their failures over the past 12 months and focus on rebuilding their side as well as nurturing some their promising youngsters.
Source: BP Toronto via Twitter
Optimistic Blue Jays fans are predicting a resurgence during the 2018 season but divisional heavyweights such as Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees only appear to be getting stronger. Aaron Sanchez’s blister and tendon problems limited his participation throughout 2017 and the Blue Jays will be hoping their standout talent can return his influential best. He has declared himself fit for spring training and keeping him injury-free is likely to have a huge bearing on the Blue Jay’s progress. Marco Estrada and J.A Happ will also play integral parts as they continue to impress. Devon Travis is another star who has endured a stop-start few years in Toronto and has been known to single-handedly carry the team, but those performances have been few and far between.
With injuries derailing the Blue Jays season, their lack of strength in depth was exposed as a result. There are a number of prospects starting to emerge and they could help fill the void should any of the usual suspects hit the disabled list once again. The team is ageing and the new generation are starting to filter through, which points to a bright future at the Rogers Centre. Spring Training will provide a look at a number of prospects including Ryan Borucki and Danny Jansen with the latter impressing in the Minor League System throughout 2017. Vladimir Guerrero Jr is another top prospect but he may have to wait a little longer before making his MLB debut.
Source: Future Blue Jays via Twitter
The club have declared their intention to strengthen their infield depth during the off-season and have acquired Aledmys Diaz from the Cardinals who is will boost the roster alongside Gift Ngoepe. The roster still needs fleshing out a little more and further additions are likely to follow. The Blue Jays are considered one of the outsiders for the American League East and have also been priced at 28/1 for the 2018 World Series in the MLB odds on bet365 but with a little more fine-tuning and better luck with injuries they have the potential to be a force throughout 2018.
Whilst the Yankees and the Red Sox appear to be getting stronger, the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles are treading water and with 19 games against each of these outfits offering a chance to get some points on the board, the Blue Jays can certainly set their sights on gatecrashing the party of the all-conquering duo at the top of the AL East.
2017 was a largely forgettable season but such a run of bad luck and the crippling disabled list were surely one-off events and a brighter future appears to be looming into view. A few more trades may start to get Blue Jays excited once more and with a number of exciting youngsters starting to make an impact further down the pyramid, a big 2018 could be in-store and a place in the playoffs may be a quietly realistic goal.