With all due respect to those from the “Great White North,” the Toronto Blue Jays completely bombed this season.
Sure, injuries happened and the Blue Jays were unable to overcome those; but that’s what happens in a 162-game season.
You have to adjust.
Have players step up.
See the rise of newcomers.
Toronto had none of that, and when competing in the American League East, there is little room for air.
Jose Reyes getting injured on a weird stolen base attempt zapped the team of his spark, as they did play better when he was hitting leadoff and patrolling shortstop.
But a leadoff hitter should be able to be replaced, especially when you have the likes of Rajai Davis on the roster. He steals, he’s quick; perfect leadoff hitter.
Up-and-down the lineup, the Jays underperformed.
Edwin Encarnacion is having a great season, but he slumped in the early going and has been prone to a few more along the way. Believe me, I know his numbers are great, but as a member of my fantasy baseball team, I’ve seen many a nights where “Double E” has went hitless with multiple strikeouts.
Jose Bautista’s been hit hard by the injury bug, missing games left and right and pretty much shutting it down now for the remainder of the year.
Brett Lawrie. Well, I don’t want to be completely harsh on Mr. Lawrie, but….WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?
Here was a kid with all the promise in the world. A highlight-waiting-to-happen at third base and a wonderkid with the bat. Where did that Brett Lawrie go.
Oh, not enough to see why Toronto is at the bottom of the AL East? Well, you haven’t checked their pitching stats, have you.
Big names abound in the rotation, as R.A. Dickey came over from the Mets, Josh Johnson from the Marlins and vets Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero were expected to bring up the pack.
Four quality arms.
Four dead arms.
Dickey has turned his game around a bit since the All-Star game, but to say he is an All-Star pitcher can only bring out a laugh. His days were much, much better in the NL when he could face a bottom-third of a lineup that featured a light-hitting catcher and his opposite on the mind.
In the AL, you get lineups like Boston’s with top prospect Will Middlebrooks batting ninth. Or any other position player that is much better than a pitcher – unless that ace is Zack Greinke, who is a dynamite batter.
Johnson, a player most labeled as an ace-in-the-making, is done. Yep, I said it. He’s done. The guy can’t stay healthy, he can’t stay in the rotation, and he really can’t make the kind of pitches he needs to get big league hitters out.
That trade between the Marlins and Jays is going to look like a really good deal for Miami if they can keep the likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich with all the money they saved.