The obvious need for the Toronto Blue Jays going into the second phase of the season is pitching.
The Blue Jays lost three starters long-term to injuries in June. Kyle Drabek is out after Tommy John surgery. Drew Hutchison did not require surgery for his elbow injury but will be out until later in the season. Brandon Morrow is the most advanced in his rehabilitation for his strained left oblique, but there's still no time set for his return.
Left-handed reliever Luis Perez left Sunday's 11-9 win over the White Sox with tightness in his elbow, but the extent of the injury will not be known until he is examined Monday in Florida. He is going on the disabled list.
"It's clear with everyone being hurt we're going to have to add some depth in some capacity one way or the other," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "That can happen at any time though. You can't force it and you can't go out and get someone for the sake of getting someone if they're not really an upgrade over what you have. I think it's very important that you make the right decision, and if you do get someone you bring in the right guy."
The Blue Jays entered the All-Star break at 43-43. They aren't out of contention, but they will need a big surge to become real contenders for a wild card spot
Anthopoulos won't say whether the Blue Jays are going to be buyers or sellers at trade deadline time.
"I've been asked a ton to get locked in on one side, buyers or sellers," he said. "I don't want to say that our needs might not necessarily be the same just because of injuries and so on, but our mindset is the same as it was in the offseason, as it was in spring training, as it was two months ago. We're trying to make the team better, we're always trying to add. We're not in the market to go get prospects that are four or five years away."
The Blue Jays went through the process of building up the minors and stockpiling prospects in the first two years that Anthopoulos was on the job.
"Now we're in the middle of the building of trying to get better," he said. "We stayed at around .500 through the trial-and-error in the rotation with a bunch of different guys making starts. There's more stability now than there was, which tells me that there is upside for more than .500 going forward. I think we've shown we can hang in it with what's gone on, and hopefully we can get try to get better too."