Blue Jays Outlook For 2014 Season: 2013 Not A Total Loss Either
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Thursday, August.08, 2013
By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner) Follow @aecanada12
When the Toronto Blue Jays made a splash last off season by making a flurry of moves to improve the team, plenty was expected of the club coming into this season.
It’s safe to say that this season has been a major disappointment for the team.
Toronto is currently last in the American League East division with them trailing the Boston Red Sox by 16 games.
The Blue Jays chances of making the post season are slim at best, but the season has not been a total loss for the team.
Toronto Blue Jays Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised
The outlook for the club looks promising going into the 2014 season. The one area that they can build on going into next season has to do with their offense and the bullpen.
They have no problems with scoring runs, as they are 5th in the AL with 527 runs scored.
The key player on offense for them is shortstop Jose Reyes. He is the sparkplug and the catalyst at the top of lineup and they need him healthy for a full season, not just a couple of months during the season.
When he went down early in the season, it really put a limit on what they were able to do with their lineup. They don’t have another player on the team that has his skill set.
He has a .312 batting average with a .842 OPS in 199 at-bats this season to go along with eight HRs and 25 RBIs. The dynamic shortstop has scored 33 runs to include him stealing 11 bases and having 62 hits overall.
He has no issues facing left-handers or right-handers with him hitting .311 against righties and .313 facing southpaws. Reyes handles the bat well with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .269 average in this situation.
Another great thing about him is that he knows how to get on base, with him having an OBP of .370. He shows tremendous patience at the plate with striking out just 27 times.
The other key players for their offense going into next season are Jose Batista and Edwin Encarnacion. This is where the power in their lineup comes from with them combining for 54 HRs and 156 RBIs on the season.
If Reyes can remain healthy and along with these two players in the heart of the lineup, scoring runs will not be a concern for next season.
Another key for the team moving ahead into next season has to do with the bullpen.
Janssen has saved 20 games for the Blue Jays, while blowing only two saves. He has a 2.23 ERA in 36.1 innings thrown to include him striking out 34 batters and allowing just one HR this season.
He has WHIP of 0.82 and opponents are just hitting .163 against him, with left-handed batters just managing a .160 average. He remains superb by limiting teams to a batting average of .227 with runners in scoring position.
Delabar is also having a good season with a 2.90 ERA in 49.2 innings pitched to include him striking out 75 batters and just surrendering three HRs.
He holds the opposition to a batting average of .223, and just as solid when runners are in scoring position with teams having a .235 average in this situation.
The bullpen is in good hands with these two pitchers protecting a lead late in the ballgame for the team.
The one area that needs to improve next season for the team is the starting rotation. Their rotation has given up the most runs of any team in the AL this season at 358 runs.
This has been the black cloud with the team this season, as the starters struggle to keep the team in games.
There is no bright spot in the rotation, with no pitcher having an ERA under four.
One thing to pay close attention to in the offseason is will the club resign Josh Johnson, as he will become a Free Agent at season’s end.
Johnson has not pitched well, but he has been injured numerous times.
Toronto could decide to keep the rotation the way it is, or sign some free agent pitchers to bolster their rotation.
The gamble did not pay off this season, but next season could be different with the team fighting for a playoff spot.
*** 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 Website 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 August 8, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @aecanada12 on twitter, Al East Division, boston red sox, Casey Janssen, edwin encarnacion, jose bautista, jose reyes, josh johnson, steve Delabar, toronto blue jays. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.