The 2019 Toronto Blue Jays season is being promoted as one of “transition,” where wins are expected to be a rarer occurrence than losses and the post-season more of a blurry destination far off in the distance as the club re-tools with a bevy of young players.
As such, expectations for the Blue Jays are low as the main focus is anticipated to be development.
However, might it be possible for this Blue Jays team to learn on the fly while also racking up wins? New Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo thinks so because he’s seen it before as, in an odd twist of fate, Montoyo was actually involved in nearly the exact same situation last year as the third base coach with another American League East team.
“I think it’s easy for me to bring that message [that the Blue Jays can learn while winning] because it happened the year before where I was,” Montoyo said Wednesday evening on Prime Time Sports. “Nobody thought the [Tampa Bay] Rays were going to go anywhere, let alone win 90 games.
“So that’s the thinking in this clubhouse right now. We’re going to compete every day and I love how the players are thinking right now, that we’re going to surprise people. I love that. That’s the thinking in this clubhouse right now.”
As unrealistic as it sounds, there’s precedence of Montoyo actually doing this as he won minor-league championships as a manager before, while also successfully turning those players into major-leaguers.
Montoyo’s every bit as competitive as any other MLB manager, and he doesn’t plan to put that aside this season, even while instructing.
“Believe me, I hate losing. You might see me smiling [during losses] but I want to win games like everybody else,” Montoyo said. “So we’re going to compete every day and I’m going to stay positive, whatever happens. Like I told my coaches today, ‘We’re going to stay positive, let’s have fun and let’s keep teaching.’”
You can listen to Montoyo’s entire appearance on Prime Time Sports in the radio player above where he also touches on Elvis Luciano, Teoscar Hernandez and more.