Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Season Preview : Toronto Blue Jays

The Team      Toronto really do suffer from being in the AL East. They have been one of the more consistently good teams in the AL for the last six years but Tampa, Boston, and New York have been three of the best teams in baseball recently so playoff baseball is still elusive.

The Good     Even with Aaron Hill and Adam Lind struggling most of the year, the Jays still managed to lead the universe in home runs and even if Bautista inevitably drops off the club still expects improved production from short, first and the outfield.

There seems to be a constant flow of pitchers coming up through the system. There's a number of guys with a legitimate shot at cracking the Jays roster this Spring.

The Bad     There looks to be a lot of changes in the Toronto roster this season. The bullpen was will see its entire back end rebuilt and a number of guys will be filling new roles.

Even with all the home runs, the Blue Jays were still middle of the pack for runs scored due to being one of the worst teams at getting men on base.

Best Case Scenario     Where to begin? If Morrow continues to show he's figured things out, Drabek has a RoY calibre season, Dotel and Francisco nail down the 8th and 9th, Davis and Podsednik can get on base and steal 80 bases, Hill and Lind regain their 2009 form and Rivera, Encarnacion and Escobar get their careers back in gear then a wild card spot could be theirs.

My Prediction     Did you see that list of things that need to go right in order to be in the hunt for a playoff spot? They'll be a long way back of the Yankees and Red Sox and probably behind Tampa. Its even possible that Baltimore can bridge the gap but Toronto should finish with around 75 wins.

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