In the A.L. East, there are 5 teams. The Yankees, the Red Sox, and those other 3 teams that never win. I wanna focus on one of those teams. The Toronto Blue Jays. At the writing of this blog, the Blue Jays are 67-66. Only 1 game above .500 and they are 13 games back of the Red Sox. They have been stuck in 3rd place for most of the year. When looking at a whole team, I like posting the roster with it. Gives a better insight to what I'm talking about. So, here it is:
PitchersNUMNAMEPOSBATTHWAGEHTWT2007 SALARY 49Jeremy AccardoPRR256-2189$392,20034A.J. BurnettPRR306-4230$13,200,00039Gustavo Chacin DLPLL265-11193$395,30037Scott DownsPLL316-2190$1,025,00054Jason FrasorPRR305-10170$825,00032Roy HalladayPRR306-6225$12,750,00044Casey JanssenPRR256-4205$385,20022Brandon League DLPRR246-3192N/A 51Jesse LitschPRR226-1175N/A 28Shaun MarcumPRR256-0180$386,10029Dustin McGowanPRR256-3220N/A 50Davis Romero DLPLL245-10155$381,50052B.J. Ryan DLPLL316-6260$7,000,00056Brian TalletPLL296-7220N/A 7Josh TowersPRR306-1188$2,900,00040Brian WolfePRR266-3210N/A CatchersNUMNAMEPOSBATTHWAGEHTWT2007 SALARY 9Gregg ZaunCBR365-10190$3,500,000InfieldersNUMNAMEPOSBATTHWAGEHTWT2007 SALARY 8Russ AdamsSSLR266-1180N/A 25Troy Glaus3BRR316-5240$11,500,0002Aaron Hill2BRR255-11195$395,3006John McDonaldSSRR325-11185$750,0001Ray Olmedo3BBR265-11155N/A 17Lyle Overbay1BLL306-2236$1,350,00024Matt Stairs1BLR395-9215$850,00059Curtis Thigpen1BRR245-11190N/A OutfieldersNUMNAMEPOSBATTHWAGEHTWT2007 SALARY 3Reed JohnsonLFRR305-10180$3,075,00015Alex RiosRFRR266-5194$2,535,00035Frank ThomasDHRR396-5275$5,560,00010Vernon WellsCFRR286-1225$5,770,000
When you take a glance at this team, it looks pretty good. You have an All-Star CF in Wells, a future HOFer in Frank Thomas, young stud Alex Rios, usually steady leadoff hitter Reed Johnson, wise vetarens(Matt Stairs, Lyle Overbay) with playoff experience(Troy Glaus). Not too mention a Cy Young ace in Roy Halladay and a great closer in B.J. Ryan. Yet why is this team only 1 game over .500? There are many reasons. This team and organization is very weird. Why, you question? I'm gonna tell ya. Here are some things wrong/mistakes that are with the Blue Jays:
Starting Pitching- Lets start at the base of a team. Everyone knows you need at least good starting pitching no matter what. It's how you build your team. That is the first thing you lock up and organize. When you first look at there starting pitching, it looks bad. But actually, it is not terrible.
- Combined ERA of Rotation Is 4.11
- Win/Lose Record Of Rotation Is 45-35
- Combined BAA Is .247
Those 3 little tid-bits tell you that the rotation is actually not that bad. The rotation was believed to be the biggest weak spot on the team. But there is still some problems here. Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett are the 2 best pitchers on the team, but they are injuried way too much. When they play, they can be great pitchers. The other pitchers are not too bad(Shaun Marcum is 11-5 with an ERA of 3.62), but they are inexperienced and they are facing some tough lineups. You need better starting pitching than that in the A.L. And in the A.L. East? Forget it. Here is something to think about: At one point, the Blue Jays had 3 young,talented pitchers in their farm system.
Chris Carpenter, Kelvim Escobar, And Roy Halladay
Think about that. Think about this pitching staff:
1. Chris Carpenter
2. Roy Halladay
3. Kelvim Escobar
4. A.J. Burnett
5. Ted Lilly
I'll explain why I put Lilly in there. But with Carpenter, who I know is out for this year and most of next year but he has still won a Cy Young and he is still a great pitcher, Roy Halladay(who can be shutdown great), Kelvim Escobar( who is 15-6 with a 2.77 ERA, a fantastic year), A.J. Burnett, and finally Ted Lilly(13-7, 3.85 ERA) this team's pitching could have been very good. I didn't understand why they let Lilly go. The year before, they spent all that money on the hitting and then the very next year, they let a good pitcher go and get Tomo Ohka to replace him. Sorry, that ain't gonna cut it. Don't understand that. Lilly has proven he can pitch pretty good in the A.L. East throughout his whole career. So, it's a huge brain-twister why they didn't keep these guys. I understand Chris Carpenter struggled when he was with the Blue Jays in the first place but he was very young and they should've saw the potential in him. Obviously, he has great stuff.
Batting- This is the area that the Blue Jays spent so much on afew years back. They got Troy Glaus, Bengie Molina(now with the Giants), Lyle Overbay, Frank Thomas(signed this offseason), and Royce Clayton(also signed this season but just got released and now is in the minors with the Red Sox). But these moves have not all panned out the way they wanted them to. For one thing, Troy Glaus is a little overrated. While I know he adds alot of punch in a line-up and he knocks in his runs, his career BA is .253 and he strikes out a ton. You want a little more in a 3B now in baseball. Lyle Overbay was a great fit last year, hitting .312 with 22 HRs and 92 RBIs, but this year he has looked off. His power has evaporated(only 8 HRs) and he is hitting .254. Basically, he is hitting like Troy Glaus only he hits less HRs. And he is a 1B, which means you usually have more power there then a 3B. They gave Vernon Wells a big contract extension and he is having a very disappointing year. You watch him and it looks like he is pressing too much.
Those are not Vernon Well's #s. He is hitting like....once again...lets say it together....TROY GLAUS! This team is a whole bunch of Troy Glaus' minus the power. That is not a good thing. They should call this team the Toronto Gluas'. Thats really all it is. The line-up is filled with guys who are having disappointing years, hitting .250-.260 and have some pop. And then when Glaus gets traded, just call the team Gregg Zaun's Circus. Wait.....WHAT?!?!?!?!?
Bullpen- The big thing about this team is B.J. Ryan. If he is still on this team, the team gets better. When he is on, it's scary. That slider of his is a knockout. But with him out, the bullpen has no real closer. And with a pitching staff like this, you need a great closer.
That is basically it. The thing I wanted to say in this blog is this franchise has done alot of wierd things. Letting some people go and giving other players blank checks that haven't helped out that much. And this team has NO CHEMISTRY whatsoever. NONE. you can see it. They don't blend will. And I was never crazy about John Gibbons. This team needs to get better starting pitching, afew solid set-up guys, and they need to get some speed guys who hit for high AVG. Basically, a real leadoff hitter. Reed Johnson is more of a "7th or 8th in the order" guy, not a leadoff hitting.
And from now on, I will call this team Gregg Zaun's Circus. Or The Expos:2.0. One of those. Why? Don't ask me.