Alex Anthopoulos isn’t looking to shake up the Toronto Blue Jays’ roster or coaching staff despite their 9-17 record. The general manager joined Jeff Blair and Dirk Hayhurst on Baseball Central on Sportsnet 590 the FAN Monday, explaining that manager John Gibbons’ job is safe.
“There’s no changes planned or anything like that at all with respect to the manager,” Anthopoulos told Blair and Hayhurst.
Gibbons’ in-game management has been ‘outstanding’ in Anthopoulos’ estimation. The GM added that he doesn’t need to see more fire from Gibbons, who has been ejected from games twice in the last week.
Even so, fingers will be pointed until the team wins. Anthopoulos doesn’t expect that to change until the Blue Jays win.
“That’s sports and that comes with the territory when you lose games,” Anthopoulos said. “When you win games no one has those concerns.”
Anthopoulos expressed confidence in hitting coach Chad Mottola even though the Blue Jays rank 12th in the American League in runs scored. The GM pointed to Edwin Encarnacion’s recent hot streak and Brett Lawrie’s approach at the plate as evidence that Mottola continues making a positive impact. The Blue Jays are also encouraged by Adam Lind’s recent performance, Anthopoulos said.
J.P. Arencibia hasn’t drawn many walks during his professional career, and Anthopoulos doesn’t expect that trend to reverse itself. Instead, the Blue Jays are counting on Arencibia to provide power even as he struggles to reach base at times.
Don’t expect the Blue Jays to make a major trade in response to their slow start. Trade talks generally start in late May or early June, and most mid-summer deals are completed in July and August.
“I haven’t thought at all about significant trades,” Anthopoulos said.
Anthopoulos said he expects the starting rotation to pitch better as the season progresses. Ricky Romero, a potential reinforcement for the starting staff, will continue working in Florida with pitching instructor Dane Johnson and progress through the minor leagues according to Johnson’s recommendations.
Anthopoulos repeated that it’ll get better for the Blue Jays, who currently rank fifth in the American League East.
“I still feel that we’re a pretty deep team and a pretty balanced team,” Anthopoulos said.