Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Season 37 Toronto Blue Jays Preview

Toronto Blue Jays
Season 36:  63-99
GM:  coltonrocks

Big Offseason Moves:  pretty active offseason for the Jays...the biggest moves were probably the free-agent signings of IF/CF Alex Cyr, RP Frank Donald, 1B/OF Andres Almora, SP Tommy Monroe, SP Kevin Uehara, RP Kevin Chong, LR Damaso Martinez, and 2B Juan Park.  All were pretty budget-conscious signings except for that of Cyr, who commanded a hefty 2-year, $26MM deal.

Outlook:  The Jays mounted a pretty good offense last year - 738 runs, which was 6th in the AL despite being just below the league average.  The problem is they lost 5 of their top 7 hitters to free agency (the other 2, 3B Pat Lincoln and OF Eduardo Mesa, turned 36 and 37 this year).  So they're pretty much starting over with a new lineup.

It looks like they're going with Park in RF, Cyr at 2B, Almora at 1B, last year's 1B Geoff Bagley DH'ing, Lincoln in LF, Darryl Springer at short, Kouhei Irabu in CF, and defensive C's Sefcik and Klassen sharing backstop duties.  That lineup is doing OK so far - they're right about league average in runs scored.

The also-new-look pitching staff features 4 rookies and 3 more 25 or under.  A little rougher start for this group than the hitters, but with 7 hurlers 25 or under, there's more of a future here.  So far, Luis Oliveros (a season 31 IFA who morphed into a DITR) has been the star of the group at 3-1, 1.99 ERA.  They've had some other nice surprises and some bad surprises - Martinez, Peters and Donald are currently sporting 10+ ERA's, and the Red Sox hung 20 on them on 2/19.  Growing pains of a young staff.

So far, the totally-rebuilt Jays are solidly competitive, anf the beginnings of a winning staff have reached the majors.

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