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Old 02-22-2009, 11:42 PM   #1
accobra_kid
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Unhappy Toronto Blue Jays: AL BEast Champions

Get ready for the ghetto version of a team thread, because another exciting season of Toronto Blue Jays baseball is set to begin!



Alyssa Milano is glad to provide you with links to the 2007 & 2008 Jays season threads!

Blue Jays 2009 Season Preview Cliff Notes:
Spoiler:

Odds to win the 2009 A.L. East
New York Yankees, 6-7
Boston Red Sox, 7-4
Tampa Bay Rays, 4-1
Toronto Blue Jays, 20-1
Baltimore Orioles, 50-1

Notable Off-Season Acquisitions
Matt Clement, SP, (minor league deal)
Kevin Millar, 1B, Baltimore Orioles (minor league deal)
Matt Bush, P, San Diego Padres (minor league deal
Adam Loewen, OF, Baltimore Orioles (minor league deal)

Notable Departures
Gregg Zaun, C, signed with Baltimore Orioles (1 yr, $1.5M)
A.J. Burnett, SP, signed with New York Yankess (5 yrs, $82.5M)
John Parrish, RP, signed with Baltimore Orioles (minor league deal)
Brad Wilkerson, OF, signed with Boston Red Sox (minor league deal)

Projected Lineup
1. Hill, 2B
2. Snider, LF
3. Rios, RF
4. Lind, DH
5. Wells, CF
6. Rolen, 3B
7. Overbay, 1B
8. Barajas, C
9. Scutaro, SS
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:42 PM   #2
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Team Preview
Infield
Grade: C
The Jays look inferior at all five infield positions when compared against almost any other AL team. Scott Rolen and Lyle Overbay have underproduced in their time here, and both Marco Scutaro and John MacDonald are extremely poor options at the plate for an SS. The lone bright spot here should be Aaron Hill, who should make a triumphant return to the Blue Jays lineup after he suffered a concussion last year. Hopefully he can repeat his strong numbers from 2007.

Outfield
Grade: B+
Outfield, as usal, is not too much of a worry for the Jays, as they have plenty of talent available to succeed. Whether they will or not is another question.

The Jays have a couple of promising young stars in Adam Lind and Travis Snider. Between the two, they should eat up most of the at-bats from the LF and DH spots this season. I'm really hopeful that the Jays give these two time to blossom. They took the necessary first step last season in parting with Stairs, Johnson and Thomas (although I think Stairs was an excellent fit with this team). Hopefully there isn't too much of a learning curve, especially for Snider.

A healthy Vernon Wells should improve on his numbers from last season, and if Alex Rios has a bounce back year the Jays should have a lot of power from their outfield. If, if, if!

Starting Pitching
Grade: C
Once again, the Jays will rely upon veteran workhorse Roy Halladay to anchor the rotation. Although his borderline excessive workload leaves many wondering if his arm will hold up, year after year, Roy continues to eat innings and give the team a guaranteed shot at a victory every fifth day. Halladay will almost certainly trot out another 20-win, 230+ inning season for the Jays. Unfortunately, the Jays live and die by the good doctor, and it's only a matter of time until he gets hurt again or is lured out of town by the riches of a playoff-bound team with deep pockets.

This season, there is a sharp drop-off in the rotation after Halladay. With the loss of Shaun Marcum to injury and the departure of Burnett to the Yankees, ex-Tampa Bay bat boy Jesse Litsch will enter the season as the Jays number two starter. This terrifies me. Also worrying is the fact that the Jays appear to be counting upon Dustin McGowan to return to the rotation in top form by mid-May. From there, the Jays complete lack of depth is pretty apparent, as youngsters David Purcey, Scott Richmond and Brett Cecil appear to be next in line. Washed-up free agent signings of Clement and Mike Maroth are eerily reminiscent of the signing of Victor Zambrano and Tomo Ohka.

Bullpen
Grade: A+
The biggest strength the Jays have to leverage this season is their extremely strong bullpen that features a mixture of old and new talent. Veteran closer B.J. Ryan should be entering the season with a clean bill of health for the first time in nearly three years. After being handled with kid gloves throughout last season, it will be extremely important, for both the Jays and B.J. himself, that Ryan be able to pitch pain-free on consecutive days throughout the season.

Thankfully, the Jays also boast three more quality left-handed relievers in Scott Downs, Jesse Carlson and Brian Tallett. However, as Downs has been one of the Jays most effective pitchers over the last two seasons, and there is a chance he could be converted into a starter to fill the void left by Burnett and Marcum. This would leave ample late-inning duties available for ex-closer Jeremy Accardo who has completely recovered from his own forear m problems. Although there are question marks surrounding both Brandon League (will he ever harness his flame-throwing arm and fulfill his potential?) and Casey Janssen (will he return to his workhorse status after sitting out all of last season with a labrum injury?), all signs point to this crew being able to hold the fort throughout the late-innings of the dog days of summer. If not, the Jays will have to turn to lesser arms such as Jason Frasor, Shawn Camp,

Although the Jays have arguably the deepest pen in all of Major League Baseball, the question remains: is the rest of the team strong enough to take full advantage of such an excellent relief corps?

Overview
Grade: B
Projected Finish: 3rd place

What does it all add up to in 2009? If the previous 14 seasons haven't given you any indication, you can expect the Blue Jays put up a strong battle in the perrennial A.L. East dog-fight throughout the early part of the season, only to succomb to their own ineptitude and end up in the fighting Baltimore for the division cellar. I personally believe the Jays will once again relcaim 3rd-place in the division race, although this is more of a statement of Tampa Bay's overachievement last year than it is belief in the Jays to be a true competitive team.

Although there are more things that need to go right than one can count for the Jays to succeed in 2009, one area in which I personally would like to see them improve is in the heartbreaking loss department. Too often last year I was left with a ruined weekend after a ruined weekend where the Jays let an achievable win slip through their fingers in an epic finish only to walk away with a disappointing loss.

A Lidge-like blown save-free season from Ryan is probably out of the question, but the Jays need to crack down on losses such as this game and this game and this game. One can only dream how different last season might have gone had a bounce or two in key games like this or this went in the Jays favor.

If this team wants to somehow fight their way into playoff contention, they are going to need to come through with wins in key games like this all throughout the month of September in order to do so. It just hasn't happened over the last few years. Religious Jays followers on this board know exactly what I'm talking about.

I think the team also needs to work on laying the hammer down on the worst teams in the league. Teams like Seattle, Kansas City, Baltimore and even Tampa Bay before last season all give us way more problems than they should. Sure, that excellent 3-game home sweep against the Red Sox was fantastic, but if we follow it up by losing 3 of 4 in Kansas City, it's all for naught! Awful road trips like this need to be avoided:

HTML Code:
Mon, Apr 21  vs. Detroit     L 5-1
Tue, Apr 22  @ Tampa Bay     L 6-4
Wed, Apr 23  @ Tampa Bay     L 5-3
Thu, Apr 24  @ Tampa Bay     L 5-3
Fri, Apr 25  @ Kansas City   L 8-4
Sat, Apr 26  @ Kansas City   L 2-1
Sun, Apr 27  @ Kansas City   W 5-2
Tue, Apr 29  @ Boston        L 1-2
Wed, Apr 30  @ Boston        L 2-1
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:43 PM   #3
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

There's only one thing left to say as we approach this new season: O-kay, O-kay, Blue Jays, Blue Jays, let's play ball!
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:00 AM   #4
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

This is a great start to a ****ty thread. (seriously - good work)

With that said - Go Jays!...?
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:17 AM   #5
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Jesse Litsch as our #2?? FML

They don't mention Jannssen who should be in the rotation this year

I'm guessing
Doc/Litsch/Janssen/Purcey/Cecil (moreso hoping on this one but he has impressed in camp so far)
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:21 AM   #6
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Great OP. GL.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:39 AM   #7
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

The batting order won't be anywhere close to that, but everything else seems ok, I don't think our SP will be that bad.

Our team wont be as bad as everyone thinks, I believe we will still finish 5-10 games about .500 I think.

Their was an article on bluejays.com about Brett's pitching motion, heres a quick blurb of it.

During his delivery, Cecil's pitching hand can be spotted as he takes the ball behind him, giving the hitter's a split second to try to figure out what pitch is coming. Behind the cage, it was a topic of discussion for Ricciardi and Blue Jays first-base coach Dwayne Murphy, but an issue that may or may not be an issue.

"I don't know," Ricciardi said with a shrug. "We'll see how the hitters do. They've got to hit it first."

Throughout Cecil's career, the hitters haven't fared well.

I saw a picture a few days ago from spring training, and I saw the same thing.



You can see in this picture hes throwing his breaking ball(curve probably, but maybe slider, lol knuckle slider), and its pretty obvious. This could be a big flaw in his game at the mlb level. Hopefully he sticks down in AAA for a bit to get this fixed.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:40 AM   #8
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

go Brett Cecil!
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:42 AM   #9
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Also any 2p2'ers interested if we grab 10 tickets or so for home opener?
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:42 AM   #10
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Quote:
=tercet;8949295During his delivery, Cecil's pitching hand can be spotted as he takes the ball behind him, giving the hitter's a split second to try to figure out what pitch is coming. Behind the cage, it was a topic of discussion for Ricciardi and Blue Jays first-base coach Dwayne Murphy, but an issue that may or may not be an issue.
He's done that since high school
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:17 AM   #11
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tercet
The batting order won't be anywhere close to that
a better suggestion, perhaps?

impressive OP... op. i can only wonder where you got your vast knowledge from.
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:14 AM   #12
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Nice op. It is so frustrating to see the three best teams in baseball ahead of us in the AL East. I think there is a decent chance Jansen will be a starter if he can recover well, as that was the plan pre-injury. Our bullpen will regress a little, but it still very good and very deep.
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:25 AM   #13
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

cant wait for another
.500 season
yearly ritual of watching a team win one, lose one, win one, lose one.
with no real chance at contention in sight! Playoffs? Whats that
YESSSSS
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:54 AM   #14
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tercet View Post

Wow, looking at this pic again I barely recognized Brett. He looks like he's in great shape, I'm pumped to see him make hisMLB debut this year.
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:56 AM   #15
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by accobra_kid View Post
Projected Finish: 3rd place
lolz
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:38 AM   #16
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Gaston said the order would be

Scutaro,Hill,Rios,Wells,Overbay,Rolen,Lind,Barajas ,Snider

Not a fan of that, but oh well nothing I can do.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:53 AM   #17
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Marcel projects a .305 wOBA for Barajas this year. I wonder if there's any chance we see Arenciba? He's probably not ready, but it's going to be really frustrating watching Barajas make outs in 7 out of 10 chances.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:57 AM   #18
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Doesn't Arenciba have a garbage walk rate?
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:02 AM   #19
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

About the lineup:

"Scutaro is in line to leadoff and Gaston said he might not rule out using John McDonald in the No. 1 slot on days he starts."

He can't be serious about having McDonald lead off. I know that lineup construction doesn't ultimately matter that much, but if you want to make it matter as much as possible, put a guy with a career .276 OBP in the lead-off spot. That'll have an impact.
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:06 AM   #20
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyleb View Post
Doesn't Arenciba have a garbage walk rate?
Yup. 2.6% last year. Still one of our best prospects though. I guess we're hoping he can improve.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:21 PM   #21
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

good start. vernon wells out a month with a hamstring pull. IT BEGINS.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:00 PM   #22
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

I think the Jays will do really well this year, Gibbons lost us a handful of games last year, he was just awful.

Still 3rd or 4th in the ALE obv
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:05 PM   #23
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigeasy59 View Post
good start. vernon wells out a month with a hamstring pull. IT BEGINS.
Christ almighty!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLB.com
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays have experienced life without Vernon Wells before, and the club is preparing for precisely that once again this spring. Toronto's center fielder suffered a strained left hamstring during a workout on Monday, and he is expected to be sidelined at least one month.
Wells left the Bobby Mattick Training Center to undergo an MRI exam to further evaluate the damage, but the Blue Jays are holding out hope that he'll still be ready in time for Opening Day on April 6. The only difference might be that Wells could be penciled in as the designated hitter, instead of manning center field at the season's outset.

...

In the meantime, the Blue Jays will have to rethink how their starting nine will shape up throughout the Grapefruit League schedule. Gaston said left fielder Travis Snider and right fielder Alex Rios, who can also play center, will be in the outfield for Wednesday's spring opener against the Yankees at 1:05 p.m. ET in Dunedin. Adam Lind, who also plays left, will fill in as the designated hitter.

As for the third outfield spot, Gaston said utilitymen Jose Bautista and Joe Inglett will see plenty of action outside of the infield this spring. Snider will see time in both corner spots, and Lind will likely have more at-bats with Wells out, considering third baseman Scott Rolen (returning from a left shoulder injury) and first baseman Lyle Overbay (recovering from offseason hernia surgery) are being eased into the lineup.
I sure hope they go the Rios to center, Lind and Snider to the corner outfield spots. I've heard Buck Coats and Jason Lane as possible candidates to take over some of the available playing time.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:43 PM   #24
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

This is pretty much the same team. Except Cito is going to be manager for the whole season this time and a few unknown players are added. Hopefully one of the rookies will become the next Evan Longeria. Go Jays!
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:01 PM   #25
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Re: Toronto Blue Jays: 2009 season thread!

the frowny face really makes the OP shine
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