Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 MLB Preview #11: Toronto Blue Jays

Greetings everyone... I actually really like the Blue Jays... wish they weren't in the AL East...


C - JP Arencibia
1B - Adam Lind
2B - Kelly Johnson
SS - Yunel Escobar
3B - Brett Lawrie
LF - Eric Thames/Travis Snider
CF - Colby Rasmus
RF - Jose Bautista
DH - Edwin Encarnacion

Pretty impressive line-up, eh? I think so. Jose Bautista is one of the best players in baseball, and while he still may not get the recognition of a Braun or Pujols, he's posted ridiciculous numbers for two consecutive years (1.000+ OPS, 43+ homers) and there's no reason to think that won't continue. Add in a young gun like Brett Lawrie, who was fantastic in a short call-up last year and many people think has MVP upside, and high-upside guys like Colby Rasmus (who has a 30 homer season already) and JP Arencibia (who's raw power is eye-dropping) and you have the potential for greatness. Adam Lind came out like gangbusters in 2011, posting 16 homers and a .865 OPS in the first half before losing steam late, but still hit nearly 30 bombs, and could be good as well. The former Atlanta Braves middle infield of Escobar and Johnson both posted near .800 OPS's and from those spots, that's certainly above-average production, and Encarnacion won't kill you as long as he doesn't have to field a baseball. This is a really, really good lineup with even higher upside.

Starting Rotation

1 - Ricky Romero
2 - Brandon Morrow
3 - Brett Cecil
4 - Henderson Alvarez
5 - Dustin McGowan/Kyle Drabek

This is the main reason that Toronto won't outright compete in the AL East. The top three guys are very solid. Romero had an all-star season last year when he posted a sub-3.00 ERA in 225 innings, and he's a legitimate top-of-the-rotation guy. Morrow has as high of a strikeout rate as you'll ever see, and when he has it going, he's unhittable (203 Ks in 179 innings), while Cecil went just 4-11 last year, but has shown the potential for better and his peripherals show that he was unlucky for the most part. Henderson Alvarez is an interesting player, as he was great in 10 starts in 2011, but at 22 years old, I'm not sure what to expect. The fifth spot could be a grease fire. McGowan is barely a major-leaguer (6.00+ ERA in 2011) and Drabek has elite stuff, but has been absolutely dreadful in his limited MLB innings. Meh.


The Jays absolutely fleeced the White Sox in acquiring Sergio Santos. The former shortstop had his first extended, high-leverage pitching experience last year and was electric, striking out 92 batters in 63 innings and saving 30 games for the Chi-Sox. He'll provide a nice option on the back-end along with Francisco Cordero, who was acquired for insurance if Santos struggles. Darren Oliver (still pitching) and Jason Frasor provide reliable middle-inning help, and Casey Janssen was fantastic in 2011 (6 wins, 2.26 ERA in 55 innings). Potentially a nice unit.


83-79, 4th in AL East (yes, 83 wins means 4th place... by a lot)

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