Morrow shines; rest of the team needs some floor wax
The Blue Jays season tanked about 4 weeks ago today, now going 5-21 since July 29. Back on July 28, the team was 2 games over .500 and was threatening to sweep Detroit. The wins that they have put together include two lucky wins in Oakland where the Athletics were poor offensively, a good solid hitting performance against the Yankees, a nice walk off against the White Sox, and a brilliant performance by JA Happ against Yu Darvish. It's difficult for any major league team to go under .200 in a long stretch of games, but the Jays have managed.
Offensively and defensively (save Rajai Davis' catch of the century), the team simply blows. There really is no other way to sugar coat it. The pitching and the bullpen has become better, but even the bullpen is now letting in alot of runs. The hitting is absolutely abysmal save for Edwin Encarnacion and David Cooper, and if you take those two away, the team is batting .192 / .245 / .286 since they went to Seattle. It's absolutely pathetic. The veterans are performing just as badly as the rookies (though Hechavarria was pretty awful).
Yunel looks completely out of it, and his antics that got him traded from Atlanta are showing -- defensive gaffes at shortstop, calling for balls that really aren't his, batting like garbage, poor attitude, poor discipline.
The Hill / MacDonald trade for Johnson is looking awful right now as Aaron Hill has returned to his 2009 form. And the team certainly could use an everyday .300 hitter that is Travis Snider over Brad Lincoln.
Colby Rasmus has been terrible since he hurt his groin and is on a 1-37 roll.
The starting pitching in Laffey, Villanueva, and JA Happ have been good, but the team leader who is supposed to be the Ace in Ricky Romero has lost his confidence. But the performances of Laffey, Villanueva and Happ are overshadowed by the complete lack of offense.
It's like the trade deadline passed and the Jays realized that with all the injuries and lack of batting help at the trade dealine (instead they gave away perhaps the best bat on the team at the time), they had no hope, so they gave up hope. Now the team is finding ways to lose games. Yesterday's was a prime example.
David Cooper and Jose Bautista both went back on the disabled list as Bautista's wrist got bothered after his first plate appearance yesterday. Adam Lind should be in the line up today. And due to the defensive issues, Hechavarria got recalled.
Despite Morrow's return (and he pitched solidly for his first game back), there really is not much hope that this team will not continue their struggles through September, ending the season with under 70 wins, around where the Jays were in 2004, when Gregg Zaun was cathcing and Jason Frasor was the closer.
The team has lost its spirit and its drive to compete and needs leadership on the pitching side and the hitting side. For some players, it may be character building. It seems that Edwin is only marginally affected by the slide, but for the other players, it seems like they're just looking to end the season and start all over next year.
The hustle and heart is gone.