Blue Jays’ Was It Worth The Risk?
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Thursday, July.11, 2013
By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner) Follow @aecanada12
The Toronto Blue Jays 2013 season has not panned out how many envisioned it would. They made a flurry of moves to bring new players to the team. The reason was that their General Manager Alex Anthopoulos saw an opportunity and was willing to take a risk.
He traded away a bevy of prospects to the Miami Marlins, and some more to the New York Mets for proven players that have done well in their careers. The team on paper looked like they could win the American League East division and contend for a World Series title.
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For doing this huge deal Toronto received Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson. Toronto was not done making trades, as they sent Noah Syndergaard, Travis d’Arnaud and John Buck to the Mets.
They received R.A. Dickey, Mike Nickeas, and Josh Thole for this deal. The Blue jays in total sent away eight prospects in these two deals alone. They had good intentions with the hopes that the players would catapult the team to at very least a division crown.
They received three very good pitchers in Dickey, Buehrle, and Johnson that had shown in the past they were effective. So far this season effective is one thing they are not, Toronto has the 9th best Team ERA in the AL at 4.17.
However, the starting rotation has an ERA of 4.97 and this is the 2nd worst in the AL, with only the Minnesota Twins having a higher ERA of 5.35. The rotation was expected to be strength of the team, but so far it has been their Achilles Heel.
The pitchers they have are not horrible it’s just that as a whole the rotation is not performing well. Then they had that awesome win streak, so they showed they can pitch great.
Dickey was supposed to be the ace of the staff judging by how well he pitched the previous season with the Mets.
When he was a 20-game winner and won the CY Young Award with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP to go along with 230 strikeouts. Dickey looks like a shell of his former self, with a 4.77 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He has to set an example for rest of the rotation and be the leader.
The other two pitchers that they acquired Buehrle and Johnson are performing no better. Buehrle has a 4.50 ERA in 110 innings pitched with allowing 13 HRs and has a WHIP of 1.36.
Now Johnson has missed time this season due to a triceps injury, but he is still not pitching well with a 4.62 ERA in 60 innings pitched and he has a WHIP of 1.50.
Once these three pitchers figure out to pitch better, the Blue Jays will start to win more games and look more like a contender, than a pretender.
However, the struggle of the pitching has not carried over into the offense, with Toronto scoring 405 runs this season, and this is 8th in the AL. They have a great lineup with at least four players that have 15 or more Home runs.
There are two players who are crucial to their offense; they are Reyes and Jose Bautista. Reyes was out for a good portion of the season and Toronto will need him healthy for the second half of the season.
He is the sparkplug in their offense, and sets the table for the rest of the hitters in their lineup.
With Bautista he is other power hitter in the lineup besides Edwin Encarnacion. He has a good first half with the 20 HRs and 52 RBIs. If he has a great second half, this might be what will put Toronto in position to contend for a playoff spot.
When Bautista gets hot, he has the ability to put a team on his back and carry them for a two or three week stretch.
There is one more player that I have to mention and that is the Blue Jays Final Vote candidate Steve Delabar. Delabar has been very effective out of the bullpen for Toronto, with a 1.76 ERA in 41.0 innings pitched.
He also has struck out 57 batters with a SO/9 of 12.5, and has only allowed one Home run this season
That is not to say those dreams will not be realized this season, but a lot has to change for the Blue Jays to even be thinking about playoffs.
The Blue Jays a couple of weeks ago reeled off 11 straight victories which is good, but then they went on to lose eight of the 11 after the win streak. They have to find some consistency with how they play.
The division that they play in the American League East, they can ill afford to go on prolonged losing streaks and expect to have success this season.
Throughout a baseball season there will be peaks and valleys, the way that you navigate them will go a long way in determining the kind of success that you hope to achieve.
The Blue Jays have the talent, now the players have to show that management they made the right move in taking a risk with all the acquisitions.
*** 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.***
A big thank-you goes out to our ”Lead Baseball Columnist and Minority Owner” Chris Lacey. Chris has been a fan of watching baseball since the age of 13. Now he does like all sports – but his favorites after baseball are hockey and basketball.
Chris is very good with computers and is a college graduate.
Chris is very active on Twitter and especially during the baseball season chatting with other Diamondbacks fans. Be sure to follow him and talk about the great game of baseball. Chris is addicted to writing baseball.
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Posted on July 11, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @aecanada12 on twitter, adeiny hechavarria, alex anthopoulos, anthony descalfini, edwin encarnacion, emilio bonifacio, henderson alvarez, jake marisnick, jeff mathis, john buck, jose bautista, jose reyes, josh johnson, josh thole, justin nicolino, mark buehrle, miami marlins, mike nickeas, new york mets, noah syndegaard, r.a. dickey, steve Delabar, toronto blue jays, travis d'arnaud, yunel escobar. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.