The Toronto Blue Jays Have Speed To Burn
The Toronto Blue Jays will have speed to burn as they challenge for American League East supremacy this season.
The off-season additions of Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifcaio and Maicer Izturis will add an element speed second to none. The Blue Jays had a formidable run game last season swiping 123 bags good for 5th in American League.
The 2012 squad was led by Rajai Davis who stole 46 bases and has the uncanny ability of turning a walk into a triple in two pitches. Davis has sprinter speed but will look for playing time as a 4th outfielder after the addition of Melky Cabrera.
Rookie Anthony Gose finished second on the team in limited duty with the Jays last season swiping 15 bags in 56 games played. Gose looks to start the season in Triple A with the Buffalo Bisons but should see time at the major league level at some point this season.
The departed Kelly Johnson, Brett Lawrie and slugger Edwin Encarnacion were all in double digits for base thievery in 2012.
The acquisition of Reyes and Bonifcaio could add an additional 80 stolen bases as both players have stolen 40 bases or more in their careers.
Bonifacio was plagued by an injury riddled season only playing in 64 games for the Miami Marlins last season but the speedster still managed to steal 30 bags in 33 attempts. Bonifacio looks to be penciled in as the super utility player but his speed could force Mangers John Gibbons hand to find him a position.
Newly acquired Maicer Izturis stole a career high 17 bases last season with the Los Angeles Angels and should get steady playing time at second base to start the season.
As well Melky Cabrera is 2 years removed from a 20 stolen base season with the Kansas City Royals as he sets out to prove his doubters wrong.
The Jays have a mix of speed and power which should provide Manager John Gibbons with an arsenal of options when trying to out manage his opponent.
Look for the Blue Jays to give pitchers fits on the base paths this season.