Beeston: Struggling Blue Jays won’t panic

Paul Beeston. (Nathan Denette/CP)

The Toronto Blue Jays may still be scuffling on the field, but that doesn’t mean they’re about to make significant changes to the organization.

Team president Paul Beeston joined Jeff Blair and Dirk Hayhurst on Baseball Central Friday morning and said there’s no pressure from ownership to make changes following the team’s 13-23 start.

“Zero,” Beeston said. “Discount that. That just doesn’t make any sense right now.”

The Blue Jays rank 22nd in MLB in runs scored per game and 29th in ERA — a combination that has been increasingly difficult for fans and top team officials alike. Beeston acknowledged that the team has some concern that fans will turn their attention away from baseball following the slow start.

He said front office executives have ongoing discussions about the roster’s shortcomings in the hopes of making adjustments and winning more games. The Blue Jays are now short on starting pitching, but every team in baseball wants to add arms, so Beeston expects to rely on internal options for now.

“We’re going to have to make good with what we’ve got at the present time,” he said.

At this point in the year, there’s not a trade to be made. But general manager Alex Anthopoulos will be looking for upgrades with an eye toward midseason deals.

“If we can do something in July to improve the team again we can put ourselves in that position,” Beeston said.

Though the Blue Jays’ patience has been tested, the team isn’t about to panic. Beeston insisted that the organization won’t reverse course, saying “I don’t see us going backwards.”

With 126 games remaining, there’s lots of time left. If the team starts hitting and some injured players return, the outlook could improve.

But the chances of a playoff berth are diminishing with each loss — Baseball Prospectus suggests the team now has a 3% chance of a postseason appearance in 2013 — so Beeston admits that the pressure is on.

“There’s not a lot of time left but there is time left,” he said.


Though the Blue Jays lost Thursday night by walking in the winning run, manager John Gibbons says the bullpen has been a strength for the team so far this year.

“Overall, I think those guys have done a great job, I really do,” he said. “Starting wise we’re scuffling.”

Gibbons, who also joined Blair and Hayhurst on Baseball Central Friday, said the season has been ‘frustrating’ and ‘disappointing’ to this point. Yet he re-stated his confidence in the talent in place.

“In the end if we’re good enough we’ll be in this thing and if we’re not, we won’t,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

Gibbons said the Blue Jays should start scoring more if their hitters return to their career norms on offence. Third baseman Brett Lawrie seems to be seeing the ball well in the estimation of the 50-year-old manager.

Gibbons added that he considered using Casey Janssen in Thursday night’s game but opted to rely on Brad Lincoln and others instead. The Blue Jays continue monitoring Janssen’s workload to ensure his shoulder remains healthy.

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