The Major League Baseball all-star break is over, and with the unofficial second half of the season underway, the Toronto Blue Jays are in a great position to make a push for the playoffs.
They were four games behind the division-leading Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. And for Toronto to take top spot, they have to play more consistent baseball.
Heading into the break, they only won two of their past 10 games, and lost their lead in the division. Toronto has to avoid those types of slumps.
The Jays are keeping their heads above water right now, as three players in their regular lineup are out due to injury: Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind.
With those players out, it just shows the depth of the team, as other players are able to step up.
Melky Cabrera has been able to stay off the disabled list. He has given the Jays that consistent bat they needed last year when he had an injury-filled season.
Back in 2012, the Jays were 43-43 going into the all-star break and still had a chance for a playoff spot. But a few a games after the break, Jose Bautista got injured and the wheels started to fall off.
The difference this year is the Jays are able to overcome injuries to their key contributors, and still compete.
With Encarnaican, Lind and Lawrie soon to return, the Jays do have a chance to stay competitive, and become a force in their division.
The trade deadline is looming, and the question is, are the Jays going to make a big deal?
They are in need of a more consistent infielder, as second base has been a revolving door this season.
General manager Alex Anthopoulos doesn't need to give up a lot for that certain player. If they don’t get anyone, they will be okay as Brett Lawrie will play third and utility player Munenori Kawasaki is more than capable of playing second.
When it comes to the starting rotation, the Jays could use a more consistent pitcher as well. They were interested in acquiring Jeff Samaradzija from the Chicago Cubs, and didn`t want to give up to much for him. He went to Oakland.
If the trade deadline passes and the team doesn't make any changes, I think the Jays can still contend for the rest of the season.