Focusing on the present
Blue Jays’ front office looks to 2018, but manager John Gibbons still has his eye on this season
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins may be looking to next season, but manager John Gibbons is still focused on 2017.
Speaking to reporters Monday, a week ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, Atkins acknowledged that the window for a third straight playoff appearance was getting smaller. His interest is acquiring young, controllable talent to help the team next season.
Asked what he took from that message, Gibbons offered little.
“That’s not my department,” he said prior to Tuesday’s game against Oakland. “All I know is the plan is we want to put a good team on the field next year. I’m worried about this year. This year’s not over yet.
“It’s all about winning,” he added. “But I stay out of that acquisitions thing. I worry about what goes on the field.”
The Jays were 45-54 going into Tuesday night’s game against the Athletics but still drawing good crowds.
Average home attendance has been 39,644 this season with 11 sellouts despite the fact the Jays have been swimming upstream since a 2-11 start.
“Nothing better than going to a big-league ball game,” said Gibbons. “And we’ve got an entertaining team.
“At this stage of the season we’re not where we want to be obviously but it’s still good entertainment. There’s two months left. We’ll see where we end up. But it makes a huge difference when (the fans) do come out.”
The Jays were forced to make another move Tuesday, making pitcher Danny Barnes their 26th entry on the disabled list this season.
On the plus side, the move to the 10-day disabled list is not seen as serious
“We don’t think it is a big deal,” said Gibbons. “But he’s been pitching a heck of a lot, that’s for sure. It’s a little impingement in (the right shoulder) ... Let him rest up, he should be good to go in 10 days.”
Barnes has appeared in 37 games this season, with a 2-3 record in 43.2 innings pitched.
Left-hander Matt Dermody was recalled.
In other personnel news, pitcher Jeff Beliveau cleared waivers and was outrighted to triple-A Buffalo.
Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons watches from the dugout before the team’s baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Friday, June 23, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo.