Is there any better feeling then a start of a new season? It doesn’t matter which sport it is, a new season brings optimism and hope that this year, could be the year your team wins it all. As you could of guessed by the title, we’ll be focusing on the boys of summer, and more specifically, the Toronto Blue Jays.
Odds makers believe that Toronto could be a serious contender this year as they have the Jays finishing second in the always tough AL East and have them at +1600 (which is 7th best overall) to win the World Series. All the Jays young players had encouraging seasons last summer, and could be poised to make a serious run at the post season.
Toronto GM Ross Atkins knows his team is entering a “win now” stage and proved he was willing to spend the big bucks to get the reinforcements his young squad needed. Big signings like George Springer, Marcus Semien and Kirby Yates to name a few, were some of the new additions to the already talented roster. That was good, promising news, the bad news is that it looks like only one of those three players will be available opening day.
In the case of George Springer, his injury is a minor one that the club is taking day-to-day. He has a grade 2 sprain in his left oblique — if versatile outfielder Jonathan Davis makes the roster, it’s thought that Springer will miss the start of the season. Hopefully, this oblique strain won’t cause Springer to miss too much time and he’ll hit the ground running when he does eventually make his Toronto regular season debut.
Kirby Yates won’t be so lucky. It was announced on Thursday that closer would be out for the season after having successful Tommy John surgery. This is not the news Jays fans were hoping for, as Yates was scheduled to be the teams new closer after Ken Giles left. As it stands, it looks like Jordan Romano might open the season as the closer to fill the role that Yates has just left vacant.
Now let’s focus on the positives of spring training, which was the fire power of this Blue Jays lineup. Toronto capped of the spring by beating the Phillies 13-7, highlighted by a nine-run seventh inning. The Jays ended up leading the MLB in wins with 16, (I know, I know it means nothing) but the really nice stat to focus on is that 8 of those wins were by 5 or more runs!
If the weakness of this team is truly it’s pitching, this offence might be able to cover that, and then some. The Blue Jays lineup is one of the deadliest in the league, with guys like Bichette, Springer (when he’s ready), Vladdy, Teoscar and list goes on and on. There really isn’t an easy out on this team and could be major threat for any pitching staff.
The Blue Birds have a roster full of young talent ready to take over and lead this team, and now mixing in so proven talent, this really could be the year for Toronto. I don’t know if it’s my optimism for a start of a new season, or the right components finally coming together at the right time, but just like every other opening day, I’m excited for first pitch.
The start of the Jays season is tomorrow in New York against the Yankees. First pitch scheduled for 1:05pm.
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and ICYMI, here is the awesome interview Peeze and Terry had with former Expos Executive Vice President David Samson.