Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins has spoken out about the controversial pitching change.
Atkins held his season-ending press conference on Monday (Aug. 8) in the press box at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
While the format was a season-ending press conference, it was more of a hearing. Most of the questions centered on why he abruptly pulled Jose Berrios, who was pitching well in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series.
“I didn’t know like you guys did. I was surprised,” Atkins said, making it clear that it was not his decision.
“It was a meeting with John Schneider, and he prepared for the game as usual, and it was the coaches on the field, not the front office,” he said, insisting that the decision to change pitchers was made on the field, not the front office.
When asked if the decision was made with the front office in mind, he replied, “I’m 100 percent confident that there was no pressure from the front office.”
“I don’t believe in any speculation, I don’t believe in any consequentialism,” he said, adding that he stood by the director’s decision.
Atkins explained the strategy behind the move. “The idea from the Toronto bench was to bring up Yusei Kikuchi, a different-handed pitcher than the starter, to force the opposition to face right-handed hitters, and for those right-handed hitters to face our strong right-handed bullpen of Jordan Hicks, Eric Swanson, and Jordan Romano,” Atkins said.
“It ended up working,” Atkins said. We held them to two goals. If someone had told me before the game that we were going to hold them to two goals today, I would have thought we had a chance to win,” Atkins said, emphasizing that the Berrios quick-hook was a successful strategy in terms of limiting goals.
“I think we did a pretty good job of limiting the goals. The problem was that we didn’t score,” he said, adding that a lackluster offense was a bigger problem that led to their elimination from the Wild Card Series.스포츠토토
Toronto was sixth in the American League with a .260 team batting average with runners in scoring position this season and seventh with a .730 OPS. RBIs with runners in scoring position were also eighth with 351. For a team that made the postseason, the offense was not very productive.
Individually, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had his lowest production since his rookie season with a .264 batting average and .788 OPS. He also went 1-for-7 in the postseason.
“The things that have worked in the past didn’t work this year,” Atkins said, attributing it to an inability to respond to opposing adjustments. “We’ve had success in the past in terms of run production. I’m confident we can find a solution. We need to find a better way to support our players,” he said, adding that he will look for ways to improve.
John Schneider will continue as head coach for the 2024 season. The rest is up in the air. “We are starting to organize with Coach Schneider. We will know more next time,” he said, adding that it is still in the planning stages.