2014 Spring Training Countdown: 51 Days

Toronto Blue Jays: Welcome to Spring TrainingAttention: There are only 51 days left until Toronto Blue Jays pitchers and catchers report to Dunedin for Spring Training.

To say that things are going to look different for the Blue Jays in 2014 would be accurate. However, they may not look different enough for some fans after the disappointment that was the 2013 season. We all remember the hope and hype that came with the biggest trade in 20 years. We remember what we thought was supposed to happen when Cy Young winner RA Dickey joined the rotation.

And we remember how it turned out instead.

With less than 2 months until the 2014 season kicks off with spring workouts, there are questions that still need to be answered… and changes that we’ve already seen.

Bye Bye JP.

JP Arencibia Texas Rangers 2014After a disappointing 2013 season JP Arencibia has moved on to the Texas Rangers. It’s wholly unfortunate that JP couldn’t figure it out in Toronto. We all love the power that comes from his bat. But never getting on base and playing porous defense is a bad combination when you’re supposed to be the franchise catcher. JP’s move to Texas should give him ample opportunity to hit home runs, Arlington provides a great environment for that. However, he won’t be catching full time and he’s going to have to prove that he’s willing to work hard and improve if he wants another starting job in the big leagues in 2015 and beyond.

ps. Congratulations to JP and Kimberly Perry on their engagement and good luck on the wedding this summer.

pps. Welcome and good luck to Dioner Navarro. The expectations are going to be there right from the start.

Welcome back Munenori Kawasaki.

Kawasaki Blue Jays 2014 Spring TrainingKind of.

2013 fan favourite Munenori Kawasaki has been resigned to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Blue Jays. There is no guarantee that he will make the big club – in fact, I wouldn’t bet on it at all – but he will be available if the Blue Jays need a middle defender to make the trip up from Buffalo. I expect Kawaski to keep putting in work at second base to make himself more valuable.

What’s the deal with Colby Rasmus?

Colby Rasmus Batting PracticeEarlier in December, Bob Elliott reported that Colby Rasmus had been offered to 2 unnamed teams for starting pitching.

I don’t like it.

Colby Rasmus has proven himself to be an above average defender, power threat, speedy runner and improving hitter. Yes, he strikes out too much, but I think he’s still a better option than Anthony Gose if the plan is to win in the next 3 years. Especially if we need to replace Melky Cabrera at the end of 2014 (or sooner).

I hope that Colby is locked up for 4 or 5 or 6 years. I would really like to see him running down fly balls in the outfield in a Blue Jays uniform for the rest of the decade.

Who’s Going to Pitch?

Ball on Pitchers MoundRA Dickey, Mark Buehrle, JA Happ, Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Deck McGuire, Sean Nolin… Ricky Romero.

Other.

Who is going to take the ball on a regular basis for the Toronto Blue Jays and try to win baseball games in the AL East? The free agent market is pretty thin with names that I have any real faith in. Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, Masahiro Tanaka… and I’m not really super sure about any of those 3 guys.

There’s something about Bronson Arroyo that intrigues me. But he wants 3 years and we don’t really need another starter who is pushing 40 on the roster.

I don’t know what the answer is here. Improved starting pitching is a must for success. We all need to hope for the best.

2014 Toronto Blue Jays LogoPitchers and catchers report in Dunedin on February 17th and full team workouts start on my birthday, February 21st.

There’s a lot left to happen between now and then (I hope) and if/when it does, I’ll be back to try to figure it out.

Remember, rumours are just that – and there are bound to be a lot of them. Alex Anthopoulos works quietly, so don’t be surprised if something happens that we don’t hear about ahead of time.

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2014 Spring Training Countdown: 51 Days

Toronto Blue Jays: Welcome to Spring TrainingAttention: There are only 51 days left until Toronto Blue Jays pitchers and catchers report to Dunedin for Spring Training.

To say that things are going to look different for the Blue Jays in 2014 would be accurate. However, they may not look different enough for some fans after the disappointment that was the 2013 season. We all remember the hope and hype that came with the biggest trade in 20 years. We remember what we thought was supposed to happen when Cy Young winner RA Dickey joined the rotation.

And we remember how it turned out instead.

With less than 2 months until the 2014 season kicks off with spring workouts, there are questions that still need to be answered… and changes that we’ve already seen.

Bye Bye JP.

JP Arencibia Texas Rangers 2014After a disappointing 2013 season JP Arencibia has moved on to the Texas Rangers. It’s wholly unfortunate that JP couldn’t figure it out in Toronto. We all love the power that comes from his bat. But never getting on base and playing porous defense is a bad combination when you’re supposed to be the franchise catcher. JP’s move to Texas should give him ample opportunity to hit home runs, Arlington provides a great environment for that. However, he won’t be catching full time and he’s going to have to prove that he’s willing to work hard and improve if he wants another starting job in the big leagues in 2015 and beyond.

ps. Congratulations to JP and Kimberly Perry on their engagement and good luck on the wedding this summer.

pps. Welcome and good luck to Dioner Navarro. The expectations are going to be there right from the start.

Welcome back Munenori Kawasaki.

Kawasaki Blue Jays 2014 Spring TrainingKind of.

2013 fan favourite Munenori Kawasaki has been resigned to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Blue Jays. There is no guarantee that he will make the big club – in fact, I wouldn’t bet on it at all – but he will be available if the Blue Jays need a middle defender to make the trip up from Buffalo. I expect Kawaski to keep putting in work at second base to make himself more valuable.

What’s the deal with Colby Rasmus?

Colby Rasmus Batting PracticeEarlier in December, Bob Elliott reported that Colby Rasmus had been offered to 2 unnamed teams for starting pitching.

I don’t like it.

Colby Rasmus has proven himself to be an above average defender, power threat, speedy runner and improving hitter. Yes, he strikes out too much, but I think he’s still a better option than Anthony Gose if the plan is to win in the next 3 years. Especially if we need to replace Melky Cabrera at the end of 2014 (or sooner).

I hope that Colby is locked up for 4 or 5 or 6 years. I would really like to see him running down fly balls in the outfield in a Blue Jays uniform for the rest of the decade.

Who’s Going to Pitch?

Ball on Pitchers MoundRA Dickey, Mark Buehrle, JA Happ, Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Deck McGuire, Sean Nolin… Ricky Romero.

Other.

Who is going to take the ball on a regular basis for the Toronto Blue Jays and try to win baseball games in the AL East? The free agent market is pretty thin with names that I have any real faith in. Matt Garza, Ervin Santana, Masahiro Tanaka… and I’m not really super sure about any of those 3 guys.

There’s something about Bronson Arroyo that intrigues me. But he wants 3 years and we don’t really need another starter who is pushing 40 on the roster.

I don’t know what the answer is here. Improved starting pitching is a must for success. We all need to hope for the best.

2014 Toronto Blue Jays LogoPitchers and catchers report in Dunedin on February 17th and full team workouts start on my birthday, February 21st.

There’s a lot left to happen between now and then (I hope) and if/when it does, I’ll be back to try to figure it out.

Remember, rumours are just that – and there are bound to be a lot of them. Alex Anthopoulos works quietly, so don’t be surprised if something happens that we don’t hear about ahead of time.

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