Had the Blue Jays power arms worked out, the trade deadline outlook could have been different.

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In the crunch-time days leading up to next Tuesday’s trade deadline, there’s no doubt that general manager Ross Atkins is looking for a power arm to bolster the bullpen.

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It’s also worth noting that the Blue Jays had a pair of them on the 40-man roster at the start of the 2022 season.

Rarely does everything go as planned health-wise during the twists and turns of 162 games. But Jay certainly had high hopes for Nate Pearson and Julian Merriweather.

A pair of 100-mile-per-hour arms always has the potential to be high-octane arms for a team that might be shopping just for him — and the fact that both are key parts of the bullpen. None of me can stay healthy, this has increased the need.

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Pearson is working his way back from a stint on the injury list at Florida that began May 4 with mononucleosis and, while working his way back, a late strain.

Meriwether has been on IL since June 4th with an abdominal strain and no signs of a possible return.

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Both pitchers have shown promising power in their careers but have yet to translate into consistent success with the big club, so Atkins and his deadline acquisition efforts are a priority.

The Jays haven’t given up on either — but let’s face it, getting Pearson back for a sustained run, as long as possible, would be a bonus.

The encouraging news is that current bullpen arms are on a streak of continued success. Add an arm or two to that group and it could quickly become an area of ​​strength for the Jays.

“We’re starting to see some good things that we were seeing earlier in the season,” pitching coach Pete Walker said. “Trevor (Richards) is throwing the ball well, (David Phelps) is throwing well. And then it’s getting the ball to Yemi Garcia and Tammy Mazia and Jordan Romano and Adam Kimber.

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“So we have the pieces but we haven’t put the whole puzzle together yet. It seems like we’re always missing something. But the guys competed and I think we’re in a good position to make a run. .

Pitchers, themselves, are feeling some momentum.

“It really feels like this team is going to go as far as the pitching will take them,” said Sunday’s starter, Ross Stripling. “We’re all really confident in the weapons we have and our ability to get outs. (The starters) are confident in our ability to get outs and the bullpen is really confident.

Toronto Blue Jays Pitcher Julian Merriweather Throws A Pitch During A Spring Training Workout At The Toronto Blue Jays Player Development Complex.
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Julian Merriweather throws a pitch during a spring training workout at the Toronto Blue Jays Player Development Complex. Photo by Jonathan Dyer /USA Today Sports

By George

What you’ve seen from George Springer in recent weeks is ideally what the Jays will get from their star center fielder the rest of the season.

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Each of the three games in Boston this past weekend provided a snapshot. In reverse order, Springer led off the game with a single on Sunday, then a hustling steal of second base that showcased his versatility.

On Saturday, he hit a running catch over the center field wall at Fenway Park, showing off his speed, range and fearlessness in tracking down fly balls.

And on Friday, Springer was given a day off to return to “baseball activity” after the All-Star break. The rest was and will continue to be by design so the Jays could see Saturday and Sunday versions of Springer the rest of the way.

“That’s the downside of playing baseball — you’re playing one game every single day,” Springer said. “I understand. It doesn’t have the physicality of football or other sports and that’s the concept of it.

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“But at the end of the day, you’re still playing a game and you’re expected to be at your best every single day. And when you get a little bit, it can spiral into something that The other thing can spiral. So you just have to manage that.”

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Back to Berrios.

If you’re looking for budding difference-makers on the Jays roster, might you start with Jose Berrios, who will start Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals?

Berrios, who has had an uneven start to the season since his opening day start, has shown some recent consistency in his form and is looking to start again after freshening up after the All-Star break.

“I think we saw that a little bit before the break – he’s finally in a groove,” Walker said. “I think he feels really good about his stuff.

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“I think you’re seeing consistent velocity now, the horizontal sink on the fastball has been really good. I can tell by watching him that when he spins the ball well, that’s usually when everything falls into place. But it comes.

In the first of two against the Cards, Berrios will make his 20th start of the season. In his last three innings, the righty has gone at least six innings in each and held opponents to a combined six earned runs.

He’s clearly pitching with more confidence than he did earlier in the season.

“That’s the key,” Walker acknowledged. “He was struggling a little while ago and never looked like he could get into his normal rhythm. But I think he’s in a great place right now.

Around the bases

There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding the fact that the Cardinals haven’t vaccinated all-stars Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in the lineup. Arenado wasn’t exactly cool with the comments, which were published in the St. Louis Dispatch. “I’m not happy about it,” Arenado said. “It just stinks. I was actually excited to go to Toronto because Toronto is a great place. I was hoping they would get rid of the ban. … Jays fourth outfielder Raimel Tapia has 35 RBI this season. But seven of those came on two at-bats in Boston – a bases-loaded grand slam and a bases-loaded triple.

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