05/07/2009 3:27 PM ET
Vernon Wells: Jays' confidence grows
Center fielder impressed by Toronto's first-place start
With the way we've been playing baseball and the positive results so far, it's been a lot of fun coming to the ballpark each day. I think we have responded well to the challenge at hand.
Coming out of Spring Training, I wasn't expecting too much in terms of such a fast start. I just wanted us to come out of the gate playing good, fundamental baseball, and we've managed to do that. When that happens, from the top to the bottom, then good things will happen. That's been the case so far.
Now that it's May, the question becomes whether we're just off to a good start, or we're winning because we're a good team, overall. I'll answer that question when it's October and we're in the playoffs. Until then, it's all talk.
It doesn't matter if you have a good start or you have a good finish. You have to play consistent throughout and, hopefully, that's something we will be able to continue doing.
There are a lot of reasons why we're where we are right now. One of those reasons is that we have a good record at home. Establishing a winning environment at home is important because you play at home more than any other park. We've got to play well on the road, too, obviously, but you can't have a successful season without winning a fair share of games at home. To be in your own confines and to know you have the chance to win every game you play is important for any team with aspirations.
Another key has been the work put in by our coaching staff as a whole. They work hard, and they prepare us well. Whether it's the pitchers communicating what they need to do to get the hitters out, or making sure our hitters know the opposing pitchers, our coaching staff does an unbelievable job of watching film and breaking down swings and pitches.
We've also had our depth tested by injuries. That's been the case here for the past couple of years. Those past injuries allowed other guys to come up and get valuable experience. That's paying off so far this year, but hopefully we can get some of our veteran pitchers back over the next couple of months and make a run at this thing.
But so far, coming to the park each day and watching guys go about their business has been a pleasure. Each day we've had a chance to win, and that's what you want. It's really been a great group effort so far.
Vernon Wells, a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award-winner, broke in with the Blue Jays in 1999 and is still seeking his first trip to the postseason. Toronto entered play on Thursday with an American League-best 20-10 record thanks in great part to an 11-4 record at home.