SportsPickle is previewing each MLB team in the lead up to Opening Day 2010.
Today: TorontoBlue Jays (2009: 75-87, 4th in AL East)
STARTING PITCHING With Roy Halladay traded away, the Blue Jays will have to find some wins from among Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, Dustin McGowan, Brandon Morrow and, for the fifth spot, either Scott Richmond or 24 year-old Marc Rzepczynski. (Bet on Rzepczynski for the final spot. He has a greater upside. Plus, this franchise needs a marketable player and who wouldn't want a jersey with RZEPCZYNSKI on the back?) Obviously the rotation is very weak. However, in years past the Blue Jay offense seemed to let up when Halladay pitched, confident he could win the game by himself. But with these guys pitching, the position players will have to be on their toes on defense and swinging the lumber at the plate in every game to have even the slightest chance of winning.
LINEUP Jose Bautista, Vernon Wells, Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, Edwin Encarnacion, Lyle Overbay, Travis Snider, John Buck, Alex Gonzalez. Obviously the lineup is very weak. However, in years past the Blue Jay pitchers seemed to let up when the lineup was strong, confident the offense could win the game by themselves. But with these guys batting, the pitchers will have to be on their games every time out on the mound to have even the slightest chance of winning.
BULLPEN This is Toronto's strength. The closer's job is on the line in an open competition among Jason Frasor, Scott Downsand Kevin Gregg. The winner will probably only get to pitch in 10 or 11 games all season. Congratulations?
BENCH Hey! The Blue Jays have someone you might have heard of on their bench! One of the Molina brothers, Jose Molina, formerly of the Yankees, is their backup catcher. Of course, in true Blue Jays form, they have the worst Molina brother. In fact, as far as baseball skills go, I believe it goes Bengie Molina, Yadier Molina, character actor Alfred Molina, and then Jose.
OUTLOOK Considering the Blue Jays don't have much talent and that the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays make up more than a quarter of their schedule, 100 losses is likely. Enjoy your government-provided depression medication, Blue Jays fans!