TOP STORIES How the Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo is growing

How the Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo is growing

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[Read: Blue Jays Manager Charlie Montoyo Moonlights at Salsa Clubs]

When the Blue Jays visit their division rival, the Yankees in the Bronx, Montoyo runs the two miles from Yankee Stadium to Casa Amadeo, place of worship for salsa lovers and immigrants from Puerto Rico. It is the oldest continuously occupied Latin music store in New York City. There, Montoyo buys CDs, which he converts into audio files for his laptop, and runs back to the stadium with them in a bag tucked under his arm.

If the Blue Jays are going to live up to their lofty expectations this season, the Bronx team poses a major challenge. Their division, the American East League, is the toughest in baseball. If the 12-team playoffs started today, three teams from the division—the Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and Blue Jays—would be in it. are not far behind.

The Blue Jays were a popular World Series pick when they entered this season, Montoyo’s fourth as Toronto manager. Consisting of a core of young stars, the once-rebuilding team broke through in 2020 and made it to the playoffs. Even though the team was one win short of another postseason appearance last season, the Blue Jays, who last won the World Series in 1993, still seemed to be growing.

The two Blue Jays have performed better this season than the free agents they replaced. Kevin Gausman, who succeeded 2021 American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray, is leading the rotation that has made the top 10 in baseball. Second baseman Santiago Espinal, who replaced Marcus Semien, a 2021 All-Star, is a key part of a roster that has been one of the best.

This does not mean that there are no holes to be filled. The bullpen, for example, ranked 16th in MLB in Friday earnings average. It’s possible parts of the team will look different after the August 2 trade deadline – it’s a long season, after all – but the soundtrack will remain the same under Montoyo: salsa.

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