You could say with some certainty that the Toronto Blue Jays are getting hot at the right time.
When you include the last two games in Boston against the Red Sox in their final series of the regular season, Toronto has now won six straight – including three in a row from the Texas Rangers – in winning the American League Division Series.
Toronto’s starting pitching has been good, as has the bullpen, and the offence is putting on a power display most nights. Over their past seven games, the Blue Jays have crunched 13 home runs.
So it goes without saying that this might not be the best time for the team to be taking a break.
After taking out the Rangers in three straight, the Blue Jays now have four days off before the start of the American League Championship Series, which gets under way on Friday.
That is a lot of time for bats to grow cold and pitchers to lose their touch.
Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said rest or no rest, he likes the spot his Blue Jays are in right now.
“I would feel great about our team if we had to play up until the last day [heading into the ALCS] because I feel like our team is benefiting from some momentum,” Atkins said Monday night in a conference call with Toronto reporters.
“I feel like there’s a lot of positives to how our team is playing cohesively. Our hitters are turning the lineup over a little bit better than they were at the end of the season. There would be some benefit to playing in the next couple of days.”
At the same time, the GM noted that the team has been pushing many of its stars, mentioning catcher Russell Martin, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and third baseman Josh Donaldson, to the limit, and the break will do them good.
“There’s pros and cons to both and really what you focus on is the situation and the challenges that you have and that’s what we’re focused on,” Atkins said. “We’ll try to minimize the downside as much as we can.”
Atkins said that the Blue Jays are still formulating how their starting pitching will line up heading into the next series and that no decision has yet been made on who will start in Game 1.
In the good-news department, Atkins said that second baseman Devon Travis, who has missed the past two games nursing a sore knee, is starting to come around.
Toronto manager John Gibbons suggested on Sunday that the club might have to drop Travis from the roster, which would make him ineligible to return until the World Series – provided the Blue Jays advance that far.
“Feeling better and better about him being a part of the ALCS, which is why we didn’t replace him,” Atkins said. “We’re optimistic that he would turn the corner and it seems like he is.
“But it’s not definite that he’s going to be playable, but we feel very good about it.”Report Typo/Error
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