Toronto's lineup is stacked with star names but as the MLB season reaches crunch time, Julia Kreuz gives some shine to three Blue Jays contributing under the radar.
JULIA KREUZ: There's no shortage of superstars for this Toronto Blue Jays team, but who are the guys that have flown under the radar and are still contributing to the team's success in 2022?
The first guy that comes to mind is Yimi Garcia, who maybe was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons earlier in the year. A couple of bad outings kind of did him in, but he has been nothing but solid since then. His ERA is currently at around 2.51. And he doesn't get the same kind of attention as, say, Tim Mayza or Adam Cimber or even Jordan Romano.
But Garcia is a high-leverage guy, and there's really no moment too small or too big for him. If the Blue Jays need him to pitch the sixth, the seventh, the eighth, or even close out games when Jordan Romano is unavailable, Garcia is reliable. He's always at an even keel, and he very much provides a stabilizing presence in the Blue Jays bullpen.
On the other side of things is Lourdes Gurriel Jr. This may be seen as a down year for Gurriel, considering he hits 21 home runs last year and he has just a handful this season. His OPS has also declined, so it hasn't really been a power year for Gurriel. But when you look a little closer, you see a guy that is vying for the batting title in the American League, and he's getting on base at a pretty impressive clip as well.
He's also as versatile as they come. Gurriel can play multiple positions in the field, and he can slide in pretty much anywhere in the Blue Jays lineup, giving them a flexibility that is very much appreciated.
Finally, we have David Phelps. Not the most glamorous of Blue Jays relievers by any stretch of the imagination, but he has been a veteran presence and a leader in that bullpen. And as a starter turned reliever, he has also given the Blue Jays that bulk role that has been sought out and coveted the entire season for this team.
Phelps' years as a starter have also given him a pretty impressive pitch mix that has been keeping hitters off balance all season long. He comes with plenty of experience. He is as steady as they come. Plus, that knuckle curve is pretty cool.