MLB Previews: Toronto Blue Jays Expectations For 2013
The Toronto Blue Jays were suspect to say the least in 2012 as they finished fourth in the AL East with a lackluster 73 wins. Toronto has never been an MLB powerhouse, but with the offseason that this club just had, the sky is the limit.
Regardless of an offseason splurge, many naysayers are saying that Toronto simply lacks the experience to be players for the World Series title. Blue Jays fans have suffered through a pitiful stretch as the club has not made the postseason since 1993. Hopefully, the uncanny acquisistions that the Blue Jays made this winter can translate into wins this postseason.
For the first time in a long time Toronto is heading into Opening Day with a legitimate lead-off hitter in Jose Reyes. In 2012 Reyes had one of his better seasons stealing 40 bases in his first year wearing something other than a New York Mets uniform. Now that the Blue Jays have someone who can get on base and steal bases at will, the rest of the lineup will only be more productive.
The offense will once again rely heavily on Jose Batauista. Although he has been an absolute menace to American League pitching in years prior, Bautista nailed a mere 27 home runs last season after 43 and 54 in previous seasons. If the Blue Jays hope to contend in 2013 they must get more than 92 games from their top slugger.
At the end of the day, Toronto’s pitching staff is going to be what sets them apart from non-contending clubs. With Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and R.A Dickey now in the starting rotation, it’s going to be hard-pressed to find this team in any kind of a losing streak. The Blue Jays are leading the league in hype, however I still don’t think they are a better overall team than the Tampa Bay Rays.