Coming into this season, the Toronto Blue Jays were expected to contend for the AL East division title.
Now, we are just mere days away from the All-Star break and they are currently tied for last in the division, 10.5 games back of the surprising Tampa Bay Rays.
What went so wrong in this once promising season?
They can't hit with runners in scoring position.
Yes, the answer is that simple and with Cito Gaston now in charge they have been improving. In fact, they just came off a three game sweep of the Orioles where they scored a combined 22 runs in the three game series.
When Gaston was hired, he stated that his goal is to reach 500 before the All-Star break and now they must sweep the Yankees to accomplish the feat.
Friday looks good with Halladay on the mound and Saturday has a surprisingly consistent Jesse Litsch toeing the rubber.
The big problem is the last game before the All-Star break on Sunday with Brian Tallet, making his first start of the year from the bullpen.
Interestingly enough, Tallet pitched one-of-three of an inning Thursday, while giving up a run, which lead me to think that Scott Downs may be the one coming in on Sunday.
This guids me to the main point of the article: do the Toronto Blue Jays buy or sell?
My heart is telling me we should stick with what we got and try for a improbable trip to the play-offs, but taking our recent injuries into account, my brain knows this is nearly impossible.
Center fielder Vernon Wells was just placed on the 15 day DL but will be gone for three to six weeks and he already missed more then a month with a broken wrist.
The starting pitching, which has been the biggest savior on the team all year, is riddled with injuries.
Shaun Marcum, arguably the Jays best pitcher this year, has been out since June 20th with a sore elbow and will not return until at least July 20th.
He was 5-4 with a minuscule 2.65 ERA at the time of his injury.
Perhaps the worst news of all is young pitcher, Dustin McGowan. He has a tear in his rotator cuff and will be gone for the year if it is determined that he needs surgery.
McGowan managed to put up respectable stats despite the discomfort in his shoulder and if the Jays could not win with these guys there is no way they will be winning without them in the lineup.
Replacing them is Brad Wilkerson, John Parrish and David Purcey. With these replacements, in mind, you can probably see why I am a little less then optimistic.
So, I now come to the question, do the Toronto Blue Jays buy or sell?
My opinion is... SELL SELL SELL!
Despite the recent offensive surge, there is no way this team even contends for a post-season spot in the second half, especially with the injuries they have to deal with.
There are two players I would like to see traded, but I only see one happening— AJ Burnett and BJ Ryan.
I'll be the first to admit, AJ Burnett has had a terrible season, but with his stuff, you shouldn't even think he wont get at least one top prospect in return.
BJ Ryan is also expendable with the thought of the reliable Scott Downs; together they take up $23 million of the payroll.
With the Brewers and Cubs making big moves for pitchers, the Cardinals will be looking to keep up and they have the prospect to do it in Colby Rasmus… or perhaps the Phillies. They could use an arm for their play-off chase and I wouldn't mind getting Adrian Cardenas and another mid to low level prospect in return.
This way we won't lose Burnett at the end of the year and we get our short stop of the future while the Phillies improve their shot at the NL East big time.
Meanwhile, Percival is having some big problems with injuries and the Rays will need another closer to secure their play-off spot.
David Price would look lovely in a Jays uniform, but we all know that’s not going to happen.
I would settle for Reid Brignac, Jacob McGee and another low-level prospect.
Not only does this shore up our farm system, but it also frees up a lot of salary to sign players in the off-season. We are dealing from an area of strength and it would help the team.
What will ultimately happen remains to be seen, but I know, come July 31st, I will be holding my breath to see what goes down.
Who knows, maybe Marcum and McGowan will be back before we know it and the Jays may put on a Rockie-esqu run to end the season and they make the post-season.
Yes, but crazier things have happened.