Entering the 2022 season, the Blue Jays, led by manager Charlie Montoyo, were one of the preseason favorites to represent the American League in the World Series.
However, as we approach the MLB All-Star Game, the Blue Jays find themselves barely clinging to the last Wild Card spot. With the surprising fire of Joe Maddon earlier this year, it’s fair to wonder if Charlie Montoyo is on the MLB Hot Seat.
Pre-Season Expectations for the Blue Jays
As the season started, expectations were sky-high for the Blue Jays as they paired their star-studded lineup, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and George Springer, with recent additions of Kevin Gausman and Matt Chapman.
Having just missed the playoffs last season, it appeared the team was ready to take that next step and compete for the AL Pennant. With Charlie Montoyo once again leading the charge, the AL East looked very winnable for the first time since 2015 and only the second time since the strike-shortened 1994 season.
The Overly Competitive AL East
The first big challenge for Charlie Montoyo and the Blue Jays has been how competitive the AL East has been this season. The Yankees hit the season running, amassing the most wins in baseball, and currently have a lead of 14 games in the division
The defending champions, Tampa Bay, are once again playing very well while the Red Sox overcame a slow start to crawl back into the playoff race. Meanwhile, the Orioles, the usual doormat of the division, are on a long winning streak that has seen them move to a game under .500 and only 2 games behind the Blue Jays.
Outside of the division, the Blue Jays have mainly themselves to blame for their current predicament. The Mariners have recently come storming back, but the rest of the American League (excluding the division winners) currently have a .500 record or lower.
This season, Charlie Montoyo has seen almost all of his hitters take a collective step back at the dish. Guerrero Jr. played at a near-MLB level last season while this year, while still above average, is not listed very high on any MVP odds. Meanwhile, Bichette, Springer, and Teoscar Hernandez have all seen slight declines in average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
While the hitting is struggling a bit, the pitchers have almost been polar opposites of one another. Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman have been great while Yusei Kikuchi and Jose Berrios have ERAs over 5. Finally, Hyun jin-Ryu has likely thrown his last pitch for the organization after being lost to Tommy John surgery.
Sadly for Charlie Montoyo, all of these factors could land him squarely on MLB Hot Seat.
The Blue Jays will have to make a decision here pretty soon on how they view their season. With the Trade Deadline approaching, is this team a serious contender or are we looking at a potential re-tool? Since the Phillies took Joe Girardi off the MLB Hot Seat and moved him to the unemployment line, the Phillies have stormed back into the NL Wild Card Race.
Meanwhile, when the Angels decided to move on from Joe Maddon, a manager that most didn’t expect to be on the MLB hot seat, the team has had one of the worst records in baseball.
What direction do you think the Blue Jays need to go? Do you think Charlie Montoyo should be on the MLB Hot Seat? Let us know in the comments below!
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images