5 Toronto Blue Jays Storylines to Follow During Spring Training
Top 5 Blue Jays Storylines In Spring Training
The Toronto Blue Jays were arguably the biggest disappointment in all of baseball last year, although the Los Angeles Angels may have something to say about that. They made big moves by bringing in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson from the Miami Marlins, while also trading for reigning Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey. They took a shot on signing Melky Cabrera coming off a drug suspension. They were trying to go all-in on their season.
All that work turned into a last-place finish and 23 games out of the first place. The AL East was too much for the Blue Jays to handle. They are looking for a turn around in year two of this experiment. They didn't make many moves in the offseason, and feel like the team they brought last year is good enough to compete. Are they right?
The team with the 10th-highest payroll in the majors needs to bring something more than what it has so far. To compete, the effort needs to be almost the opposite of what we saw last season. The East is only getting better. Now, the Blue Jays can play without pressure and see what their true potential can be.
With a team that had so many things happen in a 16-month span, of course there are going to be many storylines to follow. Bringing this down to only five was difficult, but it was done. These are the top five storylines to follow as the Blue Jays head into Spring Training.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to the site's NFL, MLB and NBA content. You can follow him on Twitter here.
5. Will Jose Bautista Ever Get Close To 50 Home Runs?
Jose Bautista's ascension to the top of the home run charts came out of nowhere back in 2010 when he jumped from 13 home runs to 54 in the matter of a season. Since then, he has been on a steady decline and hit 28 last season. Injuries have mostly stalled his production. Can he get back to being one of the most feared power hitters in the game? Hitting that 50-homer milestone is probably a pipe dream, but if he could at least get close to the 40 mark, it will really help the Jays throughout the season.
4. Can They Compete In The East?
The Boston Red Sox are world champions. The New York Yankees spent $484 million to try to get back to their World Series-winning ways. The Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles are both very young and supremely talented. How the heck are the Blue Jays going to compete with this? They will find out early because they play all four divisional opponents in the first month.
3. Will R.A. Dickey Bounce Back?
When Dickey was traded to the Jays, many questioned whether his unique style of pitching would survive in the AL East. Those doubts were justified as he struggled for most of the season. His 4.21 ERA was clearly not what he expected. Was this the product of first-year jitters, or is the 39-year-old just a one-hit wonder?
2. Is Ricky Romero Worth A Roster Spot?
More pitching issues for the Jays is not a surprise. At one time, Ricky Romero was the future of this franchise. Now, it is a question whether he has a future in baseball. The former All-Star posted an ERA of over 11.00 in four games last season. Who are they going to get this season? He will probably start the season in Triple-A Buffalo, but he could become a factor in a rotation full of questions.
1. Can Jose Reyes Stay Healthy?
Jose Reyes can turn opposing pitchers on their heads with his speed and playmaking ability. None of that matters when he is hurt and on the bench. He needs to play at least 150 games this season to be as effective as his contract pays him to be.