Monday, May 13, 2024

Skip Trace


Sometimes, when you have all the talent you need to win and just aren't getting it done, there's no palpable one thing that's wrong, and improvement requires retooling multiple facets over a long period of time. Other times, the thing that is wrong is the person managing the team, and once that is removed the problems go away. I'm not an expert on the inside aspects of baseball, but my guess is that the 2024 Blue Jays fall into the latter category.

The best you can say about John Schneider is that he elevated the Blue Jays from a divisional also-ran to a playoff team. Unfortunately, these Schneider Jays teams have never gotten further than the Wild Card round, even with Bichette, Guerrero, Gausman, Romano and Springer having prime seasons. The problems have only multiplied in 2024, with Bo Bichette having his worst season to date, Daulton Varsho leading the usually power-heavy team in homers with 6, and numerous tough losses that weren't especially close. You're seeing a more irate version of Schneider, one that's been thrown out a lot recently, and hasn't been as fun to be around. 

There are a bunch of managers that people are already going 'how much better would the bench coach be?' at this point. The suspects you'd expect, y'know, Grifol, Marmol, Espada. Which is ironic considering that Espada used to be a coach anyhow. And with Schneider I think it'd be the most cathartic if the firing did happen, because the Jays fans aren't especially loving his work. A colleague of mine, a Jays fan, has never especially been a fan of his, and has noted how 'exposed' he's felt recently. And yeah, while a lot of this team working isn't exactly his fault, it is his fault that it hasn't gotten better. 

Daulton Varsho is still one of the best players on this team, and it's concerning because he's a rare non-homegrown young hitter. Varsho's not only excellent in the outfield, he leads the team in RBIs with 17, and homers with 6. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. only has 4 home runs right now, and that should be extremely concerning, even if he's began to heat up in the last week or so. Bichette, Springer, Biggio and Kirk are all toiling around .200. There's some production from newcomers like IKF, Davis Schneider and Justin Turner, but not a ton. The pitching is solid enough but the ERAs are higher than they should be. Is it the strength of the division? Maybe a little. But it'd be interesting to see how well this team could do without some of these circumstances. 

Like, y'know how Oli Marmol got ejected like seconds into the Cardinals game yesterday, then the second he was ejected the Cards were able to come back and win? The Blue Jays need an 'aha' moment like that, or else this season's gonna be even more disappointing than the last few.

Coming Tomorrow- He was traded to Miami for a player that didn't even make October with his old team. Now he's just seen a teammate be traded back to his old team as they're competing. I just feel bad for this guy.

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