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2008 Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Preview

Everyone agreed that GM J.P. Ricciardi had made some good moves prior to the 2007 season. Still, the Jays finished 13 games out of first-place. Yet, despite injuries last year, Toronto notched 83 wins. What can they do if they stay healthy?

The Jays have one of the best rotations in the AL. The club’s 4.00 ERA was fourth, 44 saves tied for third and .251 OPP BA was second. Number one starter Roy Halladay (16-7, 3.71 ERA, 139 SO) notched 7 complete games. Second-man A.J. Burnett (10- 8, 3.75 ERA, 176 SO) proved to have an extra-tough fastball and decent change up. Third man Dustin MacGowan (12- 10, 4.08 ERA, 144 SO), another fastballer, possesses a decent curve and slider. The fourth man, Shaun Marcum (12- 6, 4.13 ERA, 122 SO), has some good but inconsistent breaking stuff. Last year, Jeremy Accardo (4-4, 2.14 ERA, 30 SV) took over the closer role from the injured B.J. Ryan. Ryan, who had Tommy John surgery last year, is expected to be back. If Ryan does not pan out, Accardo could fill in again.

This team needs more output from its hitters. Right fielder Alex Rios (.297 AVG, 24 HR, 85 RBI) is the best hitter in the outfield. Shortstop David Eckstein (.309 AVG, 3 HR, 31 RBI) is a sound contact hitter, while second baseman Aaron Hill (.291 AVG, 12 HR, 76 RBI) knows how to spray the ball around. Hopefully, 1B Troy Glaus (.262 AVG, 20 HR, 62 RBI) can play more than 115 games this season. He’s got a powerful bat. Catcher Gregg Zaun (.242 AVG, 10 HR, 52 RBI) is patient at the plate. DH Frank Thomas (.277 BA, 26 HR, 95 RBI) can still hit the ball out of the yard.

The Blue Jay’s defense was average last season. Alex Rios in right and Vernon Wells in center are both rangy and talent fielders. Left fielder Adam Lind is problematic. The infield, overall, lacks range, which means optimum positioning is essential.

The Blue Jays are in a tough division, thus there’s very little room for error. The outfield and rotation are strong. If they can finish second, they will be in the playoffs.

Read more on the Blue Jays other AL East division opponents, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

For more info on the Blue Jays check out the MLB official page for Toronto baseball.

 

2008 MLB Preview

As usual we cover and break down all 30 of the major league baseball clubs. To read about a particular team simply click on the link of the division of where the team resides. The division pages will also give a quick thumbnail on each team and are order of finish. At anytime you can return to the main baseball preview page.

08 MLB Team Previews


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