By Tyler Ruby on May 24, 2014
When the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buerhle over the past two years, they seemed to be the team to challenge the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees for the AL East crown. It didn't happen that way, but this season, the Blue Jays have gotten off to a 28-22 start, and they currently lead their division.
These five Toronto Blue Jays are irreplaceable if the Blue Jays wish to remain atop the division.
Along with Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion is one of the most important power hitters in the Blue Jays' lineup. Yes, he is batting .253 this year, but Encarnacion has 13 home runs with 39 RBIs. The first baseman has hit 78 home runs in the past two years, and he has the ability to catch fire at any time to carry the Blue Jays for games at a time.
Jose Bautista is the most talented player in the Blue Jays' lineup. He's their No. 3 hitter, and he has 12 home runs with 32 RBIs this season. His performance is a bit underwhelming this year, especially when you compare it to his previous four seasons as he hit 152 home runs combined over that span. But nevertheless, the Blue Jays lineup doesn't look as formidable with him removed from it.
A couple years removed from a PED-related suspension, Melky Cabrera is the leading hitter on the Toronto Blue Jays. He is hitting .317 this year, including eight home runs. He and Jose Reyes are the perfect table-setters for Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion.
Since Casey Janssen's return from his injury, he has been one of the more effective closers in the MLB. He hasn't given up a run in his seven appearances this year, and he has six saves. With the Blue Jays' strong starting pitching, it is crucial to have a quality closer, and Janssen has been that.
Mark Buehrle leads the MLB with eight wins this year, and he is pitching as good as he has in years. At times this year, he has been unhittable, and quite simply, the Blue Jays wouldn't be where they are if it was not for Buehrle's performance so far this year. Remove him from the starting rotation, and this team is altered dramatically.
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