It can’t be easy going to a new team. Having to adjust to life in a new city, not really knowing your teammates, and leaving a place you may have been for years.
The Blue Jays have plenty of newcomers this year, and it’s incredible just how much of a positive impact they’ve had on this ball club so early into the season. Curtis Granderson, Yangervis Solarte, Randal Grichuk, and Aledmys Diaz have certainly helped the Blue Jays transform their identity for the better.
Not only do they play hard, but they play as if they have something to prove to their new team. Their enthusiasm for the game is infectious and rubbing off on their teammates as the Blue Jays have exceeded almost everyone’s expectations after their first homestand.
Over the past few years, the Blue Jays have lost a big part of their leadership group. Edwin Encarnacion left and went to Cleveland…Toronto passed on re-signing Jose Bautista this off-season…and Troy Tulowitzki is recovering from a recent surgery to remove bone spurs in his heels.
Many of the heart and soul guys are no longer here. Some still remain, most notably Josh Donaldson, Justin Smoak, Kevin Pillar, and Devon Travis, but four players is hardly enough to lead and carry a ball club. It was crucial that Toronto’s new additions help lead a Blue Jays roster that’s been depleted of so many of their cornerstone players. The way Granderson and Solarte carry themselves, you’d think they’d have been with the Blue Jays for years.
The 2018 Blue Jays aren’t the superstar laden roster they were back in 2015. This is a group consisting of many new and longtime Blue Jays who understand that the sooner this group gels, the better their chances of being in contention come the end of the season.