The Toronto Blue Jays were not expected to contend for a playoff spot in 2020, according to most oddsmakers, but shortstop Bo Bichette got the sense in spring training that his team was being overlooked.
“I think we’re there,” Bichette told Sportsnet 590’s Lead Off on Monday morning. “I think one of the things that sucks the most about this all going down is – obviously there’s so many more bigger issues than what we’re dealing with as a team – the way that we felt during spring training, the at-bats we were having, we were competing which is not necessarily a normal thing in spring training, we were really trying to get ready for the season and we were feeling confident.”
Bichette said his team was gaining some positive momentum prior to the MLB pausing its season in light of COVID-19.
“I had multiple teammates come up to me and say like, ‘Man, this sucks, I really think we had a chance to compete,’ and so when you’ve got a full team of people thinking we have a chance to make the playoffs that’s something special, and I truly believed it too. … Whatever season we do get we’re gonna do our best and hopefully make some waves and prove some people wrong.”
The 21-year-old said he has two teammates – Forrest Wall and Santiago Espinal – currently living with him so the three of them have been training together at Bichette’s home gym and pushing one another during this unusual time.
Bichette slashed .311/.358/.571 and added 21 RBIs in 46 games with the Blue Jays as a rookie in 2019.
“For me, every off-season I try to go and get better,” Bichette added. “I’m not looking at what I did the year before. I’m not looking at anything like that. For me, it’s about trying to get better and figure out how I can improve my game for next year. It doesn’t necessarily mean the stats are going to get better.
“At the end of the day, if I can go home at the end of the season and know that I got better and helped the team win in more ways than one, more ways than I did the last year then that’s a successful season for me.”