Just as soon we all thought it was time to write off the Toronto Blue Jays, remarkably they have become relevant again. That is what happens when you win five straight and eight of your last ten. But before you get all excited about the prospects of Toronto reaching the postseason for the third consecutive year, one must realize that the Jays are still in the basement in the American League East at 17-21 and have a horrendous divisional record of 8-14 inside the American League East.
Even though the Blue Jays just swept the Seattle Mariners this past weekend, and are one of the hottest teams in baseball (the Texas Rangers have won six straight), the injury factor in Toronto cannot be ignored. There are only so many games the Blue Jays can win with Ryan Goins, Darwin Barney and Luke Maile, who is only batting .032 in 31 at bats while subbing in for the injured Russell Martin.
The loss of Martin, Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, J.A. Happ, Francisco Liriano and Steve Pearce simply cannot go ignored, and it is truly amazing that the Blue Jays have been able to put a string of wins together and be more respectable after a horrible April.
From a fantasy perspective, Barney is batting well at .288 in Donaldson’s absence, while Goins has had some clutch hits in his 87 at bats while filling in for Tulowitzki. I would not pick up Barney or Goins at the moment because there are simply better options available, and it is expected that Donaldson and Tulowitzki will be back within the next week.
Where you should consider picking up a couple of Blue Jays at the moment are in deep leagues where pitching is important and you get points for innings pitched, strikeouts and wins. Since moving to the starting rotation, Joe Biagini has given the Blue Jays everything they would want. In nine innings, he has only given up one unearned run. Biagini has temporary value because he is classified as a reliever and is now a starter for the short term.
The Blue Jays also should be pleased with Mike Bolsinger’s performance last week against Cleveland. In five and two thirds innings, Bolsinger only gave up two earned runs, three hits and four walks against the reigning American League champions. While Happ and Liriano are out of the lineup, there will be short term fantasy opportunities for Biagini and Bolsinger.