Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Toronto Blue Jays

2nd look in our 6-part season-long look at YOUR TORONTO BLUE JAYS.....the regular season is 162 games so we will take an overview of the Jays in 27 game segments......162 divided by 27 = 6 segments for us to look at what is going on with Toronto baseball...... the Good.....the Bad...........and the Ugly
The 2nd 27 was very very good for the Jays......how about a 17-10 record.....that puts the Jays at 31-23 overall.....1/2 game up on surging Boston and 4.5 back of Tampa Bay for 1st in the AL East......Jays gained 2 games on New York in the 2nd 27 and are just 2 behind NY for the AL Wild Card currently.......

*The Good*
Well any way the Jays can get to a 17-10 record in a 27 game segment is great (highlighted by a 8-2 home record during that span)....that is a 102 win pace if you do that all 6 segments! This team is currently on a 93 win pace and as mentioned in the first look at 27 the over/under for wins for the Toronto Blue Jays this year in Vegas is 68!!!! I urged friends to invest in that Over........Over bettors will be cashing in early-to-mid August :)
This was a fun 27 because of the W's, but also this 27 gave us the emergence of Jose Bautista (pictured left).....would you believe that Jose has 2 home runs more then any other player in all of MLB......the stat-so-nice-I-write-it-twice......Jose Bautista currently has 2 HR's more then any other player in all of MLB!!!!... I will wait while you open a 2nd Internet page, or grab the closest Toronto Sun or Star to see if that is infact correct..........................................are you back?!?! You checked it yourself didn't you?!?! Well no offense taken as it is VERY remarkable to have Bautista lead the Majors.....If you are amongst the rare Jays fan left in this area you may have watched Jose in Spring Training hit the ball hard on a consistent basis......he was one guy I was really excited about coming out of Spring Training but the first 27 were poor - actually downright bad for Jose.......he is en fuego in the long ball department......The 2nd 27 also gave the Jays their first consistent look at another Alex Anthopoulis find - speedster Fred Lewis (pictured right) .....Fred is currently at .305 batting average but we would have to admit that his .341 on base percentage does leave a bit to be desired, but certainly a positive start for the Jays new lead off man......other Anthopoulis-era players have continued to contribute just as they did in the first 27 like Alex Gonzalez and John Buck who have combined for 20 HR's and 60 RBI's this season.......despite a few 9th inning blow-ups during this 27 Kevin Gregg has 14 saves on the year and only 1 other AL closer has more (Rafael Soriano in Tampa Bay has 15)

Long time Jay Vernon Wells was good through both the 1st, and the 2nd 27.....batting average currently at .307 with 13 HR's and 37 RBI's........and Wells has zero errors, as do fellow outfielders Adam Lind, Travis Snider, Fred Lewis

Toronto has relied on POWER to get it done......witness the numbers - #1 in MLB in HR's, doubles, total bases, slugging percentage and #2 in RBI's.......they have so many more home runs then anyone else in baseball that you could take Wells and Lyle Overbay out and still be #1 overall

The pitching, in particular the starting pitching, was outstanding during this 27.....Quality Start after Quality Start (Quality Start is at least 6 innings with no more then 3 earned runs allowed).......all 5 of Shawn Marcum's wins this year have come in games following a Blue Jays loss - VERY Roy Halladay-like - very top-of-the-rotation worthy......the 2nd 27 also gave us the start to the career of Brett Cecil (pictured right) who is now 5-2 with a 3.81 era and he had some marvelous starts during this 27.....Ricky Romero (pictured left) continues to be the best Jays lefty since David Wells or Jimmy Key.....Romero is 5-2 with a 3.14 era.......Brian Tallet spent most of this 27 on the Disabled List but he is back now

*The Bad*
Brandon Morrow continued his on-again, off-again season showing signs of dominance - especially with strikeouts - but also showing an inability to be consistent in either 27 game segment so far

Bad news for the development of Travis Snider as an injured wrist has him on the disabled list with no known eta for his return

Bad news for Randy Ruiz fans (of which I am one) as he is now in Japan......sayonara Randy Son

The Jays averaged just over 17,000 fans for the 10 home games during this 2nd 27

SS Alex Gonzalez has made the difficult plays look easy but he does have 9 errors already which projects to 27 for the season.....WAY too many for a SS on a team with young pitching that has to lean on the D for help.....

*The Ugly*
The Jays somehow are winning games and putting up gaudy #'s on offense without the contributions of top-of-the-order guys like Aaron Hill (.186 batting average is absolutely YIKES) and Adam Lind (we lamented in the first 27 that Adam was only hitting .255....well that is down to .224....again with the YIKES)......Lyle Overbay is no better with a .218 average (YIKES part III) and has been bumped from #5 in the batting order to #7.........Edwin Encarnacion has been hitting the long ball since his return from the disabled list but he joins this group of ugly with his .211 batting average (YIKES part IV).....
Kevin Gregg (pictured left after a successful SAVE with catcher John Buck) has a very solid save total but his meltdown in Seattle, and the most recent Blown Save vs Tampa Bay, were ugly as he blew 3 and 2 run leads thus wasting great starting pitching those games.....

The upcoming 27 qualifies as ugly too.......the Jays are amongst the best in baseball pitching-wise but there are other teams up there as well and they are on the Jays schedule for the next 27......NY Yanks - @ Tampa Bay - @ Colorado - @ San Diego - San Francisco - St Louis - @ Philly......a 4-game series @ lowly Cleveland is the only break in this upcoming 27........the bright side is the starting pitching has been great and we would have to figure it is only a matter of time before Aaron Hill and Adam Lind get their bats going......

Go Jays Go