Zero Days Without a Lost Time Incident
There’s a scarcity of bench players on the Blue Jays roster because those bench players are now the everyday starters (Encarnacion, Patterson, McDonald).
It allows very little wiggle room for John Farrell to play with, and subsequently there aren’t very many variations from the original lineup card the manager submits prior to first pitch.
Injuries happen to every team, and there is no way to avoid it (aside from rolling players out there in a protective bubble … which would make for some very entertaining baseball, actually). However, the string of injuries to players on the Blue Jays roster is starting to get comical. Once one play comes back, another goes on the disabled list.
The injury woes sustained by the 2010 Boston Red Sox were widely documented, and yet they somehow managed to scrape by and win 89 games last year. With numerous starters on the DL, their bench players
I guess the point I’m trying to make is it’s very easy to write the Blue Jays misfortunes off to injuries, but I believe it was Cole at Infield Fly who said “good teams don’t make excuses, they find ways to win.”
It’s how players respond in the face of adversity that shows their true character. David Cooper for example stepped up on Tuesday after Yunel Escobar left the game.
That’s exactly what this team needs to be successful: regular contributions from not only the everyday starters, but the guys off the bench too. Those late-inning defensive replacements, the pinch-runners and back of the bullpen guys.
I’m afraid that means somebody like Edwin Encarnacion does not have a place on this roster when everybody is healthy, and neither does Corey Patterson. Their upside is far outweighed by either their defensive or offensive downfalls.
Just look back at some of the most successful Blue Jays squads, and you’ll discover an equally successful bench. After all, wasn’t it Derek Bell and Ed Sprauge of “The Trenches” who came in off the bench and help vault the Blue Jays to a win Game 3 of the 1993 World Series?
That very same mentality needs to be bestowed on the Blue Jays bench. When your time comes, make the most of it. And maybe one day, you’ll be a hero too.