2014 Spring Training Countdown: 4 Days

Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training 2014 BannerWith less than a week to go until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training for the Toronto Blue Jays, we still have questions that we would like answered…

 Will the Blue Jays be getting any starting pitching help? Like maybe A.J. Burnett or Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana… or someone else… anyone else…

ℚ Who will be the every day 2nd baseman? Ryan Goins, Maicer Izturis, Stephen Drew…

ℚ Is Colby going to get an extension or is he looking like trade bait in July?

ℚ Who is the 4th outfielder at the start of the season… Anthony Gose, Kevin Pillar, Moises Sierra, Kenny Wilson, other?

ℚ Can Brett Lawrie find the consistency and production and health needed to contribute the way he’s expected to?

ℚ Can the Blue Jays win more games in 2014 than we did in 2013?

ℚ Will Toronto finish higher in 2014 than we did in 2013?

ℚ Will the Toronto Blue Jays make the playoffs in 2014?

Here are my answers to those questions… in order: I hope so, I don’t know, No, Sierra, Yes, Yes, Yes, Ask me again in August.

I don’t know if we’re going to add another starting pitcher or not. I really don’t. But I hope so. It’s getting late to be adding someone. However, as they say, better late than never.

The Burnett fit might be best, although that would give us a pretty old starting rotation. But if we can get him without a no-trade, he could be perfect for 2 years, or 1 year, or less while we wait to see what our rehabing young guys are capable of.

Ryan Goins 2nd Base Toronto Blue Jays 2014At 2nd base, I have no idea. My gut says that Goins will get a chance to make this team out of Spring Training. But Izturis is still the vet and still makes more money which will probably give him an edge and a “your job to lose” situation to start the season. I do not think that Stephen Drew is coming to Toronto to play 2nd base. And while Munenori Kawasaki will be in Buffalo learning, I don’t think we’ll see him unless a) there’s an injury on the infield OR b) Izturis is moved and we don’t get an infielder back in the deal.

Colby Rasmus Dugout CelebrationColby avoided arbitration this winter, just like every Blue Jay does… but he didn’t get the big deal to stay in TO long term that I was hoping for. What I’ve heard is that this could be similar to the Edwin Encarnacion situation. If Colby can keep the strikeouts down, the defense up, the power where it is, and stays healthy – he should be presented with an extension offer sometime around the All-Star break. I’m looking forward to that news and a 4 or 5 year deal for Rasmus to stay in Toronto until he’s 31 or 32.

Anthony Gose, Moises Sierra, Kevin Pillar Toronto Blue Jays Outfield 2014The 4th outfielder thing is going to come down to Spring Training I think. I would lean towards Kevin Pillar because I think he has the lowest upside and I would like to see Gose and Sierra play every day in Buffalo to develop. I also think that Anthony Gose and Moises Sierra are our best trade chips (that AA would move fastest) if we go that route for a starting pitcher. With all of that said, a HUGE spring at the plate for any of these guys could determine who gets to come all the way north.

Brett Lawrie Consistent Plate Production 2014Brett Lawrie is an interesting case for the 2014 season. Last year we know he was hurt when things kicked off and he was probably pressing when he came back. It meant a slow start and poor results. But if he can get his head wrapped around slowing the game down and having good at bats, I believe he can put up the kind of numbers we saw when he came up as a rookie. His defense should also continue to improve, which is a good thing for all of our pitchers.

The Toronto Blue Jays only won 74 games in 2013… so I’m saying yes, we will win more than that in 2014.

And since we finished 5th (last) in the division last season, an improved record (especially against the AL East) should give us a higher finish in 2014.

American League LogoTo make the playoffs last season in the American League you needed 92 wins. That would be an 18 win improvement for the Blue Jays this season. Can they do it? With health, better pitching and fewers downs than ups, it’s possible. I’m hesitant to say that they will, because I’m trying to be realistic…

But I really hope so!

Stay tuned to the blog as we move from the Spring Training Countdown to the Opening Day Countdown and we learn more about what the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays will look like and what we should expect from this team.

2014 Toronto Blue Jays Active Roster

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2014 Spring Training Countdown: 4 Days

Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training 2014 BannerWith less than a week to go until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training for the Toronto Blue Jays, we still have questions that we would like answered…

 Will the Blue Jays be getting any starting pitching help? Like maybe A.J. Burnett or Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana… or someone else… anyone else…

ℚ Who will be the every day 2nd baseman? Ryan Goins, Maicer Izturis, Stephen Drew…

ℚ Is Colby going to get an extension or is he looking like trade bait in July?

ℚ Who is the 4th outfielder at the start of the season… Anthony Gose, Kevin Pillar, Moises Sierra, Kenny Wilson, other?

ℚ Can Brett Lawrie find the consistency and production and health needed to contribute the way he’s expected to?

ℚ Can the Blue Jays win more games in 2014 than we did in 2013?

ℚ Will Toronto finish higher in 2014 than we did in 2013?

ℚ Will the Toronto Blue Jays make the playoffs in 2014?

Here are my answers to those questions… in order: I hope so, I don’t know, No, Sierra, Yes, Yes, Yes, Ask me again in August.

I don’t know if we’re going to add another starting pitcher or not. I really don’t. But I hope so. It’s getting late to be adding someone. However, as they say, better late than never.

The Burnett fit might be best, although that would give us a pretty old starting rotation. But if we can get him without a no-trade, he could be perfect for 2 years, or 1 year, or less while we wait to see what our rehabing young guys are capable of.

Ryan Goins 2nd Base Toronto Blue Jays 2014At 2nd base, I have no idea. My gut says that Goins will get a chance to make this team out of Spring Training. But Izturis is still the vet and still makes more money which will probably give him an edge and a “your job to lose” situation to start the season. I do not think that Stephen Drew is coming to Toronto to play 2nd base. And while Munenori Kawasaki will be in Buffalo learning, I don’t think we’ll see him unless a) there’s an injury on the infield OR b) Izturis is moved and we don’t get an infielder back in the deal.

Colby Rasmus Dugout CelebrationColby avoided arbitration this winter, just like every Blue Jay does… but he didn’t get the big deal to stay in TO long term that I was hoping for. What I’ve heard is that this could be similar to the Edwin Encarnacion situation. If Colby can keep the strikeouts down, the defense up, the power where it is, and stays healthy – he should be presented with an extension offer sometime around the All-Star break. I’m looking forward to that news and a 4 or 5 year deal for Rasmus to stay in Toronto until he’s 31 or 32.

Anthony Gose, Moises Sierra, Kevin Pillar Toronto Blue Jays Outfield 2014The 4th outfielder thing is going to come down to Spring Training I think. I would lean towards Kevin Pillar because I think he has the lowest upside and I would like to see Gose and Sierra play every day in Buffalo to develop. I also think that Anthony Gose and Moises Sierra are our best trade chips (that AA would move fastest) if we go that route for a starting pitcher. With all of that said, a HUGE spring at the plate for any of these guys could determine who gets to come all the way north.

Brett Lawrie Consistent Plate Production 2014Brett Lawrie is an interesting case for the 2014 season. Last year we know he was hurt when things kicked off and he was probably pressing when he came back. It meant a slow start and poor results. But if he can get his head wrapped around slowing the game down and having good at bats, I believe he can put up the kind of numbers we saw when he came up as a rookie. His defense should also continue to improve, which is a good thing for all of our pitchers.

The Toronto Blue Jays only won 74 games in 2013… so I’m saying yes, we will win more than that in 2014.

And since we finished 5th (last) in the division last season, an improved record (especially against the AL East) should give us a higher finish in 2014.

American League LogoTo make the playoffs last season in the American League you needed 92 wins. That would be an 18 win improvement for the Blue Jays this season. Can they do it? With health, better pitching and fewers downs than ups, it’s possible. I’m hesitant to say that they will, because I’m trying to be realistic…

But I really hope so!

Stay tuned to the blog as we move from the Spring Training Countdown to the Opening Day Countdown and we learn more about what the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays will look like and what we should expect from this team.

2014 Toronto Blue Jays Active Roster

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