2010 Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Preview
Let’s not kid ourselves this season. The Toronto Blue Jays (75-87), the team that everyone thought showed so much promise over the last four years, are really a shadow. They may contend for a month or two but after that they will be the AL East cellar dwellers.
The Blue Jay pitching staff is rife with injuries. Lefty Ricky Romero (13- 9, 4.30 ERA, 141 SO) had a strained right oblique last season. He’s a good four-pitch hurler who struggles with control of his fastball. Right handers Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum both missed last season with significant injuries. McGowan is a fine power pitcher who looks to be back in May while sinkerball hurler Marcum should be back at the top of this season. He’s got a deceptive delivery.
The bullpen is also thin. Aggressive reliever Jason Frasor (7-3, 2.50 ERA, 11 SV, 56 S0) is really a middle relief man but he can close. Lefty Scott Downs (1-3, 3.09 ERA, 43 SO) is a ground ball pitcher who can set up or close.
The best hitter of the bunch last season proved to be left fielder and designated hitter Adam Lind (.305 BA, 35 HR, 114 RBI). Although not a very good fielder, he is a natural hitter who can get the job done. Both Travis Snider (.241 BA, 9 HR, 29 RBI) and Vernon Wells (.260 BA, 15 HR, 66 RBI) suffered from injuries that hampered their output. If healthy, Snider can pound the ball. Wells is an excellent hitter and a fine center fielder with a good jump.
Second baseman Aaron Hill (.286 BA, 36 HR, 108 RBI) was especially productive at the plate last season. He’s a consistent hitter with good power. He gets good jumps in the field but has inconsistent footwork. Free agent John Buck (.247 BA, 8 HR, 36 RBI) comes over from Kansas City after a season where he missed 32 games. He’s a liability at the plate. Behind the plate, Buck is slow, but he does have good arm strength. At third, Edwin Encarnacion (.225 BA, 13 HR, 39 RBI), who came over from the Reds last season, is a strong but impatient hitter. As a fielder and hitter, he seems to be an underachiever.
In terms of management, the question is can CEO Paul Beeston, GM Alex Anthopolous and assistant general manager Tony LaCava really shape this team into a contender in the next five years? They won’t do it this season. Manager Cito Gaston, who knows how to teach guys how to hit, is not the best man for this job. He’s not great at getting the most out of guys who are so limited.
The Blue Jays will be the worst team in the AL east this year. They have a roster that is primarily composed of fill-in players. The pitching staff’s health makes them eligible for a group discount on disability insurance. The worst news is that ace Roy Halladay is with the Phillies.
For more info on the Blue Jays check out the MLB official page for Toronto baseball.