If fall baseball started right now, the Toronto Blue Jays would be eliminated.
Toronto, which has struggled in the first half of the season contrary to pre-season punditry, is 41-35 with a .539 winning percentage as of Aug. 22 and sits in fourth place in the American League East and tied for the fourth wild card.
They are 0.5 games behind the third wild card, the Houston Astros (41-34), and will miss the playoffs.
Considering the Minnesota Twins (37-38) are less than a half-game out of first place in the AL Central, it’s hard to blame them for the extreme power differential between divisions.안전놀이터
As for Toronto’s chances of making the postseason this season, Major League Baseball statistician FanGraphs gives them a 56.9 percent chance of making the playoffs as of today. That’s better than the third wild-card spot, Houston (56.7%), and the fourth-place Los Angeles Angels (35.7%). That’s not all that pessimistic.
Kevin Gausman throws hard against Miami on Aug. 22. USATODAYYonline
Toronto players high-five after their win over Miami. AP
The Toronto Star, a major Toronto media outlet, published a headline that read, “Blue Jays fans, take heart. Our season isn’t as bad as it feels,” the Toronto Star said in an article titled “Blue Jays fans, rest assured.” The paper said there is hope for Toronto to make the playoffs.
The article concluded with the headline, “Things aren’t looking good for the Blue Jays right now. It could get worse,” the article continued, “but Toronto, which ended its toughest road trip with a 6-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday, isn’t as bad as the numbers suggest. In 12 series since May 13, eight of them against teams in playoff contention, the Jays have gone 20-19, with a 6-6 record in wins and losses.
It’s encouraging to note that, as the article explains, Toronto had a 5.5% winning percentage in its last 39 games, mostly against strong teams. Even if they don’t make a run, they’ll still have a chance to play fall baseball while maintaining a winning percentage in the 5s.
“Overall, the Blue Jays pitching staff is good, with occasional breakdowns, but productivity from starters like Kevin Gausman (who held the Marlins to three runs in six innings), Chris Bassett, Jose Berrios, and Yusei Kikuchi remains decent, and the bullpen is good enough,” the publication continued. “The lack of depth is a concern, but left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu and reliever Chad Green are rehabbing, and the trade market will open soon. The Blue Jays don’t have to worry about the storm for too long,” he said, offering a ray of hope.
Ryu began his rehabilitation program with a live pitching session on April 16. If he completes his second live pitching session on the 23rd, the next step will be to pitch in a simulated game. Later this month or early next month, he will make three or four minor league rehabilitation appearances. A healthy Ryu, or Vintage Ryu, would be a step up for the Toronto rotation.
The only time Ryu took the mound in fall baseball after joining Toronto was in 2020, during the 60-game shortened season. He started Game 2 of the Wild Card Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, where he gave up seven runs on eight hits in 1⅔ innings to take the loss.
Ryu has a lot of work to do if he’s going to make it to the big league mound with a late-season start as planned.