Five Players Who Saved The Toronto Blue Jays’ 2012 Season

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Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista
The Star-Ledger -- US PRESSWIRE

Injuries prevented the fourth place Toronto Blue Jays from having a better 2012 season.

Closer Sergio Santos went on the DL in April, and needed season-ending surgery.

Starting pitchers Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, and Brandon Morrow all exited with arm injuries in the same week in June. Drabek and Hutchison needed Tommy John surgery and may miss all of next season.

That's a lot of innings the Jays were counting on, and a lot of wins in the bank, that weren't there.

When Jose Bautista hurt his wrist in July, he had 27 homers and the Jays were one game below .500. He played two more games, and the Jays finished 18 under.

Five players were there at the end, to give Jays' fans reasons to come to the Rogers Centre, and from giving their full attention to football or tracking storms on the Weather Channel.

In any other year, Edwin Encarnacion's name would be on the short list of players getting serious MVP consideration.

Brett Lawrie, from Vancouver, British Columbia, gave the Canadian fans a home-grown hero.

Casey Janssen more than adequately filled the closer's role. The ageless Darren Oliver showed everyone he could still pitch. And, when skipper John Farrell called for a lefty early, rookie Aaron Loup gave him way more than he expected.

Did they save the season? The Jays still finished fourth. But without them, the season would have dragged to a depressing, weary end.

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Edwin Encarnacion

Edwin Encarnacion
Rick Osentoski -- US PRESSWIRE

Edwin Encarnacion, the Jays' most consistent hitter, played 151 games and finished with 42 home runs and 110 RBIs, and a .280 average.

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Brett Lawrie

Brett Lawrie
Tom Szcezerbowski -- US PRESSWIRE

Brett Lawrie missed six weeks in August and September, but hit .273 and became a fan favorite across Canada with his all-or-nothing style of play

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Casey Janssen

Casey Janssen
Debby Wong -- US PRESSWIRE

Casey Janssen, thrust into the closer's role, saved 22 games, allowed 44 hits in 63.2 innings, and posted a 2.54 ERA in the hitting-rich American League East.

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Darren Oliver

Darren Oliver
Kelley L. Cox -- US PRESSWIRE

Forty-one year old Darren Oliver, back for perhaps one last season, took his place among the league's top setup men, pitching in 62 games and posting a 2.06 ERA

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Aaron Loup

Aaron Loup
Tom Szcezerbowski -- US PRESSWIRE

Rookie southpaw Aaron Loup, summoned to the big leagues in July, pitched 30.2 innings and allowed 26 hits while posting a 2.54 ERA.

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