And once more with the Blue Jays. We’ve already seen 2012, Toronto – we don’t need you coming back here to remind us of how bad a “superteam” can get. And for just the seventh time in team history, the Red Sox have a chance to clinch the AL East. Let’s do this.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS – 70-82, 5th place in the AL East (22 GB)
Those poor, poor Blue Jays. Toronto’s gone into full-on start-your-young-guys-and-see-who-can-play mode, which is the baseball equivalent of throwing crap at the wall and seeing what sticks. Their top two sluggers are shelved for the season, and they’re just waiting for the season to end at this point. I want to say “good luck next year”, but I’m not sure I can pull that off without sounding like an ass, or if Toronto’s pitchers can stay healthy for longer than a few hours.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
1 – Jose Reyes – SS – .297/.349/.442
2 – Rajai Davis – LF – .261/.310/.381
3 – Brett Lawrie – 3B – .255/.308/.407
4 – Adam Lind – 1B – .284/.353/.493
5 – Colby Rasmus – CF – .276/.338/.501
6 – Moises Sierra – DH – .312/.372/.545 (in 86 PA)
- Sierra, in just 86 PA, has more fWAR than the guy starting for Toronto on Sunday. Out of all the new guys in the lineup, he looks like he’s got the best chance to stay.
- With a couple more years of development, he’s got the potential to be a 20-20 guy for the Blue Jays. It’s a shame their OF is crowded.
- Not all that fantastic defensively, but Sierra’s not as bad as some of the other outfielders Toronto has…
7 – Ryan Goins – 2B – .231/.250/.321 (in 80 PA)
- There’s nothing too special about Goins. He’s got some power and a little speed, but not enough to really make a big difference in the long run.
- He’s been getting consistent starts at second, being the survivor of the revolving door that used to be that position for Toronto.
- Not too shabby with the glove either. I can see him as a solid bench infielder guy in the future.
8 – J.P. Arencibia – C – .197/.232/.367
9 – Anthony Gose – LF – .268/.293/.438 (in 116 PA)
- Speedy left-handed outfielder. He walked enough to offset his strikeout rate in the minors, but hasn’t been walking much at all over the last couple years.
- Stolen bases galore with this guy. Swiped sixty-nine bags in Double-A in 2011, and then 34 in Triple-A the year after.
- Not a good defender at all as of late, but that might just be the defensive metrics working with a small sample size.
Who’s hot? – Last 14 games
- Colby Rasmus: 4 HR, .421 OBP, 296 wRC
- Jose Reyes: 9 runs scored, 2 SB, .398 wOBA
Who’s not? – Last 14 games
- J.P. Arencibia: .065 AVG, 1 RBI, -69 wRC
- Ryan Goins: .171 OBP, 1 RBI, .203 wOBA
Rogers is a lesson in bad peripherals – a 6.3 K/9 and a 1.31 HR/9 are not a good mix if you’re trying to be a good pitcher, much less a great one. On top of that, nothing seems fluky nor does Rogers look due for a rebound – his BABIP is around league average and his LOB% is hovering just over 73%. The Blue Jays pitching staff is one of the least feared in the majors, and Rogers is no exception. It’s also be fun to see Jon Lester make Adam Lind look silly at the plate.
Mark Buehrle vs. Clay Buchholz
It still amazes me that Mark Buehrle is leading all Blue Jays pitchers in fWAR. Guess it pays to be healthy and mediocre, at least. Buehrle is in the same boat as Rogers: there’s no rebound coming. Where his stats are at now (4.13 FIP, 6.16 K/9) is where they’ll stay for a while. On the opposing side, Buchholz will attempt to pitch a game against the Jays without being accused of cheating! Drama!
R.A. Dickey vs. Felix Doubront
A knuckleballer not named Wakefield in Fenway? You don’t say? Well, at least Dickey’s K/9 is 7, so he’s better than most of the other starters in that regard. But projecting knuckleballs is like predicting the weather two weeks from now. You just don’t know what will happen. Meanwhile Felix Doubront will try to get himself out of the rough patch he’s been in lately. Fatigue, perhaps?
- Edwin Encarnacion: 15-day DL; will miss the remainder of the season (September 16th, sore left wrist)
- Jose Bautista: 15-day DL; will miss the remainder of the season (August 19th, bone bruise in left hip)
- Shane Victorino: Missed Thursday’s game and will miss Friday’s game (September 19th, bruised right thumb)
GET. THAT. PENNANT.