The Plan for the Blue Jay Playoff Run

The Toronto Blue Jays are on a ridiculous roll right now after winning their 9th game in a row in dramatic fashion.  With such a quick turnaround, the Jays have brought themselves back to .500 and right back into the playoff hunt.  After Making Yankee type moves in the off season everyone expected Toronto to compete from day 1 but they struggled out of the gate.  Now with all their key players starting to get healthy and the bullpen playing great the Blue Jays are on their way.  With 90 games to go in the season here are 10 things the Blue Jays need to do to finally return to the playoffs.

10. Have Jose Reyes return to the lineup and produce right away.  It appears as if the first thing will be accomplished in the next week since Jose is already in triple A on his rehab assignment.  Weather Reyes hits or not the Jays need him to get on base.  You can’t score runs unless guys get on base and Jose needs to be the catalyst in that department.

9.  R.A. Dickey needs to string more than two quality starts together in a row.  The Jays didn’t bring him in to be a below .500 pitcher.  The adjustment to the American League has been slow but after 16 starts it time to shine.

8.  Josh Johnson looks to have found his form but needs 2 things for the Jays to be successful.  The first is to stay healthy.  Toronto needs at least 15 starts out of Johnson the rest of the way.  He is far too valuable to be on the DL especially considering he is being paid almost 14 million this year.  The second thing Johnson needs is some run support.  The Blue Jays have only scored more than 4 runs in one of Johnsons 7 starts.

7.  Adam Lind needs to continue his resurgence.  Coming off one of his worst season in the majors, not much was expected from Lind this year.  After a slow start, Adam has been tearing the cover of the ball in June.  He is hitting .397 with 5 home runs and 17 RBI’s so far this month.  I don’t expect him to keep up that pace but if he can bat .320 with some power for the rest of the season it will help the Jays immensely.

6.  Jose Bautista needs to get out of his funk.  Bautista’s average has dropped to .253 with the rough stretch he’s going thru right now.  Luckily it hasn’t affected the Jays recently but Toronto can’t keep this up without their best offensive weapon.

5.  Casey Janssen needs to close the door when given the opportunity.  Janssen has been very important to the Blue Jays success this season.  He has only blown 1 save in 17 chances.  Casey needs to keep this up for the Blue Jays to have any shot at the post season.

4.  Mark Buehrle needs to return to his White Sox form.  Buehrle is showing signs of doing this already. The Blue Jays have won 7 of his last 9 starts while Mark has reduced his ERA by over 2 runs during that stretch.

3.  Melky Cabrera needs to earn his paycheck.  The Jays aren’t paying Melky 8 million a year to bat .278.  He needs to be up around .320 at least.  Maybe that’s not possible now that Cabrera isn’t juicing but for Toronto to contend for a wild card spot, that is where he needs to be.

2.  Guys need to be on base when Edwin Encarnacion steps to the plate.  He bats 34 points higher when someone is on base and 76 points higher when runners are in scoring position.  He has 49 of his 59 RBI’s with runners on in 27 fewer at bats than when the bases are empty.  He even hits more jacks when guys are on base.

1.  There needs to be a belief in the clubhouse that this team can win consistently.  The 9 game winning streak they are on should definitely help with that.  The Jays have a lot of work to do to crawl out of last place in the American League East but they can only do it one game at a time.  They can’t waste time looking ahead when the most important game of the year is right in front of them.

The Toronto brass spent a truck load of money in the off season to put this team together.  The Blue Jay fans haven’t been this excited for a team in years.  Let’s put it all together and give them something to cheer about.

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