Predicting the Toronto Blue Jays’ 2014 Opening Day Lineup
Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day Lineup
Although the Toronto Blue Jays have not made the playoffs in almost two decades, expectations were high for the team going into 2013. Big-name hitters and splashy free agent pitcher signings were made that brought guys north of the border. As a result, hopes for a division title pennant were high. General manager Alex Anthopoulos expected nothing less.
All hopes of a great season pretty much collapsed right away for the team. A new lineup card was brought to the plate each day as injuries piled up and the big-name free agent pitchers all fared poorly. Their 74-88 record last season was only one more victory than they had the season before. Therefore, the team really needs a new start and to do something different than what they've done recently.
Of course, playing in the AL East means that anyone can surprise; the Boston Red Sox came on strong at the end of last season and carried their momentum to the World Series, so there is definitely a chance that the Blue Jays can do the same. Certainly, the expectations for the Blue Jays are much, much lower than last year; in fact, there probably are no expectations for success coming into this season for the team. The team should probably just hope that they can break the 74-win barrier from last year. They're only certain to finish last in a very tough division.
Let's take a look at the opening day hitters who will take swings at hitter-friendly Rogers Centre.
1. SS Jose Reyes
Jose Reyes, whose career is now marred by always being injury-prone, needs to prove that he can stay on the field this year.
2. LF Melky Cabrera
Melky Cabrera looks to improve this year after apparently playing the 2013 season with a nagging back tumor.
3. RF Jose Bautista
A power hitter, Jose Bautista's slugging percentage and batting average have decreased each of the last three seasons.
4. 1B Edwin Encarnacion
Edwin Encarnacion is a budding star that no one is paying attention. Really, he's that good.
5. 3B Brett Lawrie
Brett Lawrie is a good defender but needs to improve with his bat.
6. DH Adam Lind
Adam Lind had a solid bounce-back season last year.
7. CF Colby Rasmus
Colby Rasmus improved last season until injuries late in the season took away much of his growth.
8. C Dioner Navarro
Dioner Navarro has played for five different teams in the last five seasons.
9. 2B Ryan Goins
Ryan Goins will compete with Maicer Izturis for the starting second base job.