The Toronto Blue Jays have underperformed, to say the least, through the first quarter of the 2024 MLB season. And general manager Ross Atkins, facing increasing media and fan outcry, addressed the press today for more than 20 minutes.

Atkins, who has been the team's GM since 2015, repeatedly stressed during his media session that there is a “sense of urgency” within the team but also that he has been “encouraged” by different things.

“Obviously, we're not where we would like to be,” Atkins said. “We have seen some encouraging things of late that have not resulted in wins and have seen some encouraging things in our offense… Overall, I think the thing that gives us the greatest sense of confidence is the sense of urgency in our clubhouse, from one to 26 on our player roster and throughout the staff.”

When asked about the Jays' power, in which they have ranked near the bottom of MLB, Atkins said that power and run output are continued points of focus.

“I do think that doing damage is definitely going to be a part of the equation,” he said. “We do need to see change and we do need to see more run scoring in order for us to win games.”

Atkins said that if things did not improve, unspecified changes would have to be made at some point. Atkins isn't ready to give up on many of the players, though, while specifically naming Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and George Springer.

“We believe in this talent,” Atkins said. “We believe there is time left, but there is a massive sense of urgency and we need to get it turned around soon.”

Toronto Blue Jays' 2024 season so far

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kevin Gausman

After another winless playoff appearance and offseason in which they publicly swung and missed on landing two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, the Toronto Blue Jays entered the season with dampened expectations by many fans. The team has lived up (or down) to those expectations thus far; Toronto is 19-24, bad enough for last place in the AL East.

The last month in particular, has been worse than most probably anticipated and a potential sign of things to come, though. Since recording their 12th win on April 20, the Blue Jays are 7-15. Toronto lost six straight in late April and has not strung together two consecutive wins at all so far this month.

While winning the notoriously competitive AL East was likely always a pipedream, it's clear the Blue Jays are much farther off from the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles than in years past. In each of the last three seasons, Toronto has finished within at least 12 games back of the division champion, but less than two months into the regular season, the Blue Jays are already 10.5 games back from the first-place Yankees.

One reporter asked Ross Atkins if he believed the start to the season is representative of what the team is considering how many AL teams they have played. Atkins responded by saying that he believed it only would if the players were playing within their “ranges,” possibly indicating that the team may be performing closer to their floor than their ceiling currently.

The Jays will attempt to avoid losing their sixth three-or-more-game series in a row with a win today vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. First pitch is scheduled for 3:07 p.m. ET.