Delpo's Blog

The Jays have massive potential

By Delpo | View all Posts
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 02:02 PM   19 comments

Let me preface this by saying that I am usually the furthest thing from a optiomist when it comes to sports teams I like or that play in the city I live in. Lots of people in Toronto seem to like what the Leafs are doing but I am not one. Anyways I think this Jays team has massive potential and heres why.

They have arguably one of the best hitters in the game in Bautista.

They have a budding frontline starter in Ricky Romero.

They have one of the most exciting young players in the game in Brett Lawrie.

I know that alone doesnt gurantee success but not many teams in the league can say they have a legitmant MVP candidate, a all star pitcher and a top young rookie in the game.

Heres 3 guys that will prolly dictate just how dangerous the Jays can be next season.

Colby Rasmus - This guy was just a mess last season but with his half season with the Cards and also when he came to Toronto. He looked like a mentally broke player from the minute he arrived with the Jays but lets not forget that this was a young kid who was one of the better young players in the game in 2010. He put up a line of .275 avg, 23 homers and a .859 OPS while playing a good CF. Im not saying its a gurantee he returns to that form but the kid has pedigree and loads of talent. All reports leading into spring training say hes looking better then ever and has fixed up some little hitches in his swing.

Brett Cecil - Another guy that has a horrendous 2011. From the start of spring training there were reports that his velocity had dropped and that he came into camp way out of shape. He was bad to start the year and got sent down to AAA before being recalled. Im not the biggest Cecil fan but he was pretty solid in 2010 with a 15-7 record and a ERA around 4. Its said that hes lost 20 lbs this offseason and in the best shape of his career. If he can pitch close to 2010 form he will give the team a solid #4/5 starter.

Adam Lind - I really dont know what to expect out of this guy. He looked like a absolute monster in 2009 hitting .305, with 35 home runs and 115 rbi's. Then in 2010 he was a mess and last season he started off really hot but then got injured and when he returned he was brutal again. He's a good hitter but seems to either get injured or go thru long stretchs where he cant hit a thing. I'd be happy with a .270, 25 home runs and a respectable OPS and that would be decent behind Bautista in the lineup.

Then you have guys like Morrow who alot of people have been expecting to take the next step. He finished off 2010 strong but then got injured in spring training last season and when he came back looked rusty but finished off the 2011 season well. I think at some point he will become a bonifide #1b but just not sure when that will happen.

Escobar is a very good SS and just entering his prime.

Kelly Johnson is meh but he has the potential to have a good season

Arencibia wont hit for average but he should be good for 25 home runs and a good # of RBI's

One of Eric Thames or Travis Snider will be the everday LF'er. My money right now would be on Thames.

Encarnation actually showed to be a qaulity option at DH and it looks that now that he doesnt have to field he can focus more on what he does well.

The Bullpen is majorily improved in my opinion. Adding a young hard thrower in Sergio Santos, a good lefty specialist in Darren Oliver, a solid late inning option in Jason Frasor and a vet 8th inning/closer in Francisco Cordero should definitely have this bullpen better then last season where they blew as many games as any team in the league.

The starting pitching is where everything is going to be decided. Right now is looks like the starting 5 will be ROMERO - MORROW - ALVAREZ - CECIL - MCGOWEN. I'll be the first to admit that rotation is volotile and im really not sure how it will turn out but at least I can say theres a good amount of talent in there. Theres also the chance Drabek wins a spot and keep a eye open for one of the teams best pitching prospects Drew Hutchison.

I know most people will say "meh its still a 4th place team" and thats totally fair but I certainly think they have the potential to suprise alot of people if some of the teams question marks go in there favour. I have no idea what the teams win total will be but I have a strong feeling that they will win more games then Vegas has them pegged at. Even someone like Peter Gammonds says this team is a sleeping giant and soon to wake up. Add to it that either Travis d'Arnaud and Anthony Gose could be called up mid season and really this is the most exciting times Jays fans have seen in awhile.

19 comments
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u2tml says:
02/20/12 02:51PM
Well said but until owners open up their wallets they will not be able to compete with the big teams consistantly. Fans have waited patiently for close to 20 years for the playoffs and need to see a commitment from ownership that they will spend. They have the young guns now they need a solid starter and bat to really contend, hopefully they get off to a good start and maybe swing a trade to solidify the roster.
Omerta says:
02/20/12 03:44PM
Rasmus plays for himself. The Cards were overly patient with the guy since he was their best prospect for a string of years. Well, things have changed, Rasmus traded and Cards win the WS. Not to mention, their farm system is quite a bit stronger.
abelito1487 says:
02/21/12 11:59AM
i think they are a very decent team, but in the division they are with yankees, red sox and rays they are far from making the playoffs unless they get a frontline starter and another quality #3 or 4. the hitting is there but pitching is the question, besides romero who? morrow can pitch well some nights and alvarez showed he has good stuff but i dont think is enough to beat the lineups new york and boston have
monopoly says:
02/21/12 02:49PM
Peter gammonds( gammons) likes this team. That instantly excites me. Can you say at best FOURTH in the east
packers1992 says:
02/22/12 12:46AM
LOL on gammons monoply. He could tell me the sky is blue and i'd check
Kurupt_75 says:
02/22/12 12:49PM
Some solid points, i love some of the talent on this team. But i'm still weary of what ailed this team last year, and that'r terrible inconsistencies in it's starting pitching. it's the reason why a decent bullpen last year blew so many saves, they were burnt out by the lack of consistent starting pitching. The Jays did not make a significant upgrade in their starting rotation, so that means one or two of Morrow/Cecil/Mcgowan/Drabek has to have a breakout year. So more what if's...Anthopolous has been reluctant to pull the trigger on big deals, this team is owned by the Rogers Communications juggernaut in Canada, they need to open the wallet and acquire more talent, while they have this collection.
mrmarbay says:
02/22/12 08:49PM
like them over !!!!
LeafsNeedD says:
03/01/12 11:26PM
A lot is going to have to go right for the Jays to compete this year but it's not all that out there.  They could have easily won 5-10 more games last year with just a good closer alone.  Last years lineup had the likes of Cory Patterson, Rajai Davis and Jayson Nix playing on an everyday basis while Aaron Hill struggled with a .200 average during his time with the jays playing every day.  Those guys have been replaced by Lawrie, Rasmus and Kelly Johnson.  Significant upgrades all around.  If even one of Travis Snider or Rasmus lives up to their potential this offense could be amongst the best in baseball.  

From the pitching side after Romero, Morrow's peripheral stats suggest his ERA should be much better than the ERA he's posted the last couple seasons.  Will be interesting to see if he can get that ERA to move towards his FIP and xFIP numbers.  Henderson Alvarez is still raw making his debut as a 21 year old.  He only k's just over 6 per 9 despite throwing upper 90's gas with incredible control.  I think as the Jays coaches work with him and he begins to miss more bats he has a very bright future.  Dustin McGowan was the Jays ace of the future before shoulder injuries have sidelined him for 3 seasons.  Will be interesting to see if he can make a Carpenter like comeback to the majors.  Cecil is what he is .... he's at best a back of the rotation starter on a contender in the AL East but serviceable none the less.  Last year his velocity dropped from low 90's to upper 80's and was really the difference from his previous success.  He has a very good slider but really needs his fastball to be in the 91-92 range to be effective.  If any of these back 3 struggle the Jays have Drabek, Drew Hutchison and Deck McGuire who are all very good prospects waiting in the wings who are major league or near major league ready.  
fsutomahawk says:
03/01/12 11:46PM
I will be playing a lot of Jays games over the total this year. Good lineup with speed and power. Rotation is decent but nothing to write home about, all to go along with an average bullpen.
DoubleUp4Life says:
03/02/12 08:02AM

agree ... although I will be betting really small daily ...jays overs seems smart ...  then again maybe the bullpen is much better this season 
yankees2k6 says:
03/02/12 10:12AM
85 wins at best, they still won't challenge the Yanks...... yet, they need a few  more years.  Their pitching is okay, their hitting is okay and their bullpen is okay.  They will be just an okay team in 2012.
packers1992 says:
03/02/12 12:41PM
I have the Jays winning 81 games. And the Yankees winning 99
Bmed7 says:
03/02/12 12:45PM
It's going to be a very tough division. 
Jaysvdubwhat says:
03/02/12 04:05PM
Jays get 81 wins when they have the worst bullpen in the league

Bullpen is def better this season then last. IF Morrow actually had a good year and an ERA in the mid to low 3's...they will win 90 +
Spartacus10 says:
03/02/12 04:23PM
I know I'm going to get shit on and people will say this is a homerish statement, but the Jays will definitely compete for a playoff spot this year. Starting pitching is looking. My uncle told me a story about when he was sitting behind the plate last year for a Jays game, and the Red Sox scouts were there. He was listening in on their conversation, and the Boston scouts said that if Morrow could improve his command, he would be one of the best pitchers in the game. They said the kids got asbolutely lights out stuff, he just needs to comand the strike zone with more consisntency. We agreed that if Morrow can win 16+ games, then the Jays make the playoffs this year. Romero is one more great year away from being considered an Ace (people throw around that word too much, there are only about 15-20 true Aces in baseball). I saw Alavarez pitch 4 times last year, and this kid is the real deal. 40 K's and only 8 walks, the kid as an absolutely lights out fastball, that has movement on it as well. The kid has no problem with his command, and he is extremely confident as well. Apparently Cecil had problems last off season and that's what led to his decreased speed in his fastball, apparently he is expected to be back to 2010 form this year. Farrell has already stated that since McGowan has been actually throwing and not rehabbing, he has been throwing some of the best stuff he has ever seen, period.

The bullpen is the key this year. How can most of you guys have Toronto pegged at around 80 wins? Last year they finished with 81, and that is including 40 blown leads in the 8th and 8th inning combined. He don't blow 15 of those 40+ and all of a sudden we are in the playoffs. Santos is expected to be the next big closer in the game, so that is definitely something to look forward to.

Again, this may sound homerish, but if the Jays stay healthy this year, I can guarantee they compete for a playoff spot, and win 87+ games.

It is frustrating being in the AL East because if Toronto was in any other division, they would make the playoffs every year. The Red Sox and Yankees aren't "real" baseball clubs, all they do is buy players for lots of money. Toronto grows most of their talent through drafting and their farm system. I have said it for years that baseball will be a joke until they enforce a salary cap.

Again, just my opinion. Good luck to everyone this baseball season.
Fuzzrod says:
03/05/12 06:38AM
Well the extra play off spot definitely helps the Jays. They have A LOT of upside... But a lot can go wrong in a season...

Its a shame the jays couldn't land a stud starting pitcher... I think that would have put em over the top...

The rotation is just too inconsistent... Cecil and Mcgowan are COMPLETE question marks... Alvarez will no doubt have growing pains and who knows whether Morrow will continue to be average...

With that said this offense should be pretty damn lethal... I'm just not sure it'll be good enough to compensate for the weak starting rotation.

The jurys still out on the bullpen too... Guys like Oliver and Frasor aren't going to be much help... Santos should be a stud though.

Will be exciting to watch anyhow... God knows I'll be cheerin for em!
Fuzzrod says:
03/05/12 06:42AM
Also the Jays win total from last year isn't really relevant IMO... The East was pretty tame last year... I expect a big bounce back year from Boston and New York looks devastating and TB is only getting better...
TDotGambler says:
03/25/12 09:55AM
what i would like to see this year is some god damm runners on base when Bautista is hitting them out of the park, untill we have at least 3 batters hitting 300plus this team will not see the playoffs.
winnerwinner99 says:
03/30/12 01:33PM
the jays look like they have the best pre-season record of any team...that bodes well for them...i see them continuing this hot streak for about a month or two into the season...then the wheels will fall off...look for them to be in first place early but ultimately finish either 3rd or 4th...next year will be the year for this team...anthopolous is the real deal...much reason to be optimistic about this team
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