Toronto Blue Jays: All Offense?
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Tuesday May 28th, 2013
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer): Follow @BernieOlshansky
When Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays set out last winter to improve the team, no one could have predicted what is happening currently.
Anthopoulos brought in R.A. Dickey, the reigning NL Cy Young, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle. Ricky Romero struggled in 2012, so he started the season in the minors, and Brandon Morrow remained in the rotation.
Jose Reyes arrived as part of the Marlins trade and Melky Cabrera was signed through free agency. Although the Blue Jays are saddled with being in one of the strongest divisions in baseball, they were the favorite on paper.
Over the course of a few games, all this was thrown out the window. Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes got injured, Melky Cabrera got off to a slow start, R.A. Dickey was not in his Cy Young form, and the team was not playing the way everyone had expected. Now, some could say, the Blue Jays are all offense.
Even before Josh Johnson got injured, he was not pitching well at all. In 19.2 innings this year, he has given up 15 earned runs on 28 hits. That goes for a 6.86 ERA and an 0-1 record.
Brandon Morrow has also been unsatisfactory, going 2-3 with a 5.50 ERA over 52.1 innings.
Last year, in 113 games, Cabrera hit .360 but was suspended for the use of PEDs. The drop in average might cause one to question whether or not the PEDs influenced Cabrera’s statistics last year.
Adam Lind has been off to a pretty good start, hitting .299 with four HR and 11 RBI. These numbers could cause the Blue Jays to get rid of him while they can. He could be traded for some relief help or a starter. Time could be running out though, because if Lind goes into a slump, he might not come out of it.
If Jose Reyes would have not gotten injured and stayed in the lineup, we might have seen different results. I’m not saying that Reyes would have kept the Jays in contention, because that simply is not the case.
The pitching has been too bad for one player to carry the team. But, Reyes might have been responsible for winning a couple more games than normal.
Before his injury, Reyes hit .395 with five stolen bases in 10 games. Blue Jays games will be a lot more fun to watch once Reyes returns.
Brett Lawrie will not have the breakout season that fans were hoping for, but he could at least salvage the season and get his average up to .270, maybe even .280. Lawrie has five HR and 13 RBI to date, so 15-20 HR and 60-70 RBI this season is not out of the question.
One thing he needs to stop doing is getting in umps’ faces. He was thrown out of a game last week for slamming his helmet after he was rung up. As a young player, he needs to play the game without argument.
ESPN currently has the Blue Jays listed as about a 2% chance of making the playoffs this year. The key for the team is to end the year off playing their brand of baseball. They can turn the attitude of the whole franchise around with a great final 110 games or so.
When you have so many players switch leagues from the AL to the NL, and vice versa, sometimes it takes time to gel as a collective unit. So maybe the tone can be set for the upcoming 2014 and 2015 seasons.
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***
Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer Bernie Olshansky. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Bernie on Twitter. Follow @BernieOlshansky
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Posted on May 28, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2013, 2014, @bernieolshansky on twitter, adam lind, AL East, alex anthopoulos, American league, baseball, bernie olshansky, brandon morrow, brett lawrie, edwin encarnacion, hitting, john gibbons, jose bautista, josh johnson, lineup, melky cabrera, miami marlins, mlb, offseason, pitching, ra dickey, ricky romero, toronto blue jays, world series. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.