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The Monday morning after

Day 1 of the offseason

Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Well, the Jays ended the 2018 season with a whimper and not a bang, losing 9-4 to the baseball abomination that are the Rays.

Russell Martin managed the team and yet somehow despite being a catcher and knowing our bullpen, span a wheel of fortune and decided to use Joe Biagini just to ensure the loss. It was an unsurprising end to a totally underwhelming season for the Jays.

I say good riddance to 2018 and hello to 2019! (or is it too early?)

Ahead of next year, there are plenty of burning questions for the Jays; one big question is the rotation.

With Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman likely to be traded, the kids will have to be alright on the mound.

There are also 5 other big questions to be answered:

Who will be the new Blue Jays manager?

What will Atkins do in free agency?

Will the Blue Jays look to trade Sanchez or Stroman?

Who stays and who goes in the infield?

Who will get added to the 40-man roster?

Gregor Chisholm explains answers all of the above in more depth here.

Smoak MVP

Justin Smoak was selected the club’s Most Valuable Player this season, receiving 33 1/2 votes.

In second was rookie infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. with three, followed by outfielder Randal Grichuk (1 1/2) and Kevin Pillar (1). Blue Jays players, coaches and front office and support staff were allowed to split their votes. Jsys radio broadcaster Mike Wilner organizes the votes each season.

It is the second consecutive team MVP for Smoak, who hit .242 with 77 RBI, 25 HRs 83 walks with an OBP of .350 and .457 slugging percentage and he also played his usual stalwart defence at first.

My MVP would be Lourdes Gurriel Jnr. who was nothing short of impressive since his call up earlier this season. While his season’s slash (.281/.309/.446) doesn’t stand out in a crowd, it doesn’t accurately reflect his performance this season.

In case you forgot, Lourdes had a streak of 11 consecutive games with multiple hits, which was the longest all-time by a rookie and the longest in franchise history. The streak also finished tied for the longest in American League history. According to Baseball Reference, he is one of only seven players since 1908 to have a multi-hit streak of at least 11 games. The others:

  • Rogers Hornsby (13 games), 1923
  • Billy Herman (12 games), 1935
  • Tony Perez (11 games), 1973
  • Paul Waner (11 games), 1927
  • Sam Rice (11 games), 1925
  • Shoeless Joe Jackson (11 games), 1912

Ok he had 9 errors (the same as Travis, Solarte and Diaz) but he is is still young and learning. I think on the whole he played some good defense. And he always played with a smile on his face and a lot of enthusiasm.

(Plus he has salon quality fabulous hair and you can’t put a price on that!)

Play of the season

Our comeback against the Rays on September 20th. Down 8-2 in the 9th, Danny Jansen hits a three-run shot, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homers to tie it and then Justin launched a Smoak bomb for the walk-off. EPIC!

Video link here