2012 Toronto Blue Jays Season Preview
If the Blue Jays had made the playoffs the last two years, Jose Bautista could have two MVP trophies sitting on his mantle. He’s been that good. Instead, the Jays have struggled to keep up with what is most likely the toughest division in baseball. A .500 team in 2011 that might have made the playoffs against weaker opponents, Toronto is looking to its young pitching staff to put them back in the mix this season. Led by Ricky Romero, who was outstanding in 2011 with a 2.92 ERA over 225 innings, the Jays rotation will count on the likes of 21 year old Henderson Alvarez to get them back where they need to be to compete in the AL East. Alvarez, signed out of Venezuela at the age of 16, looks to be the #4 starter for John Ferrell going into the season and features a devastating changeup that is key in a league chock-full of big hitters. Toronto will also be seeing Colby Rasmus patrolling center field for a full season in 2012, after acquiring him from St. Louis near the trade deadline last year. Rasmus is flanked by Bautista on his right and Eric Thames on his left in the outfield, with Thames likely wrestling the starting position away from Travis Snider.
2011 Toronto Blue Jays Season Preview
Few teams have suffered more in the AL East than the Toronto Blue Jays. For years they have had to compete with the Red Sox and Yankees, and despite putting together good years, the Jays have been also-rans even in those seasons, and thus haven’t made the playoffs since 1993. Toronto has some talented young players this year, but with the usual powers set to dominate the East and a revamped Orioles team, they may once again find themselves on the outside looking in. While the Jays got rid of longtime star Vernon Wells during the offseason, they still have some pop in their lineup. Paced by Jose Bautista, they led the league in both home runs and slugging percentage last year, so scoring runs may not be an issue. Second baseman Aaron Hill, who clubbed 26 home runs in 2010, has been one of the better middle infielders in the AL, while right fielder Travis Snider is a player to watch as well. The 23-year-old showed promise last year and should be a good fit. The pitching staff is a big question mark for the Blue Jays this year. Their ace will be second-year man Ricky Romero coming off a solid 14-9 rookie season. After that, however, where they'll find wins is up in the air. Hard-throwing righty Brandon Morrow will certainly rack up a lot of strikeouts as he nearly topped 200 last year, but whether or not that translates to wins will depend on the whether or not Bautista and crew can eke out 1-2 run wins.
2010 Toronto Blue Jays Season Preview
The Toronto Blue Jays may have lost their best player in Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay in an off season trade, but over the past few seasons, the young team has gained enough MLB experience to make them a legitimate threat to steal wins throughout the season. Outfielders Travis Snider and Adam Lind, who have already made a name for themselves through several solid seasons of major league ball, will return to the Jays lineup in 2010 and be the sparkplugs for a power-driven offensive attack. Toronto fans will be expecting big things from their team this season, as veterans Vernon Wells and Shaun Marcum are starting the year with a clean bill of health. Stunted by injuries last year, but the power hitting outfielder and crafty pitcher will aim to pick up where they left off in 2008. As the professional team battles to stir up trouble in the ever-competitive American League's Eastern Division, supporters of the Blue Jays will be sure to keep an eye on the team's minor league system, where highly touted pitching prospect Kyle Drabek prepares for a major league debut. Obtained in the trade for Halladay, Drabek will have to show that he was worth the price - and fans surely will be eager to see him take the mound for the first time.
2009 Toronto Blue Jays Season Preview
The Toronto Blue Jays head into 2009 feeling confident about their baseball team. The Blue Jays club is stacked with talent on the mound, in the batters box and on the field. The biggest challenge for Toronto is probably overcoming one of the toughest divisions in baseball. The Blue Jays play in the AL East with the free spending Yankees, World Series winning Red Sox and suddenly surging Tampa Bay Rays. Winning a AL division that stacked is a tall order for any team, but Jays Manager Cito Gaston has a great shot with his current club. If Gaston can get Roy Halladay pitching great and players like Vernon Wells, Kevin Millar and Scott Rolen hitting great, then watch out for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009.
2008 Toronto Blue Jays Season Preview
The Toronto Blue Jays are an exciting team to watch this season as they put last year's injuries behind them and try to improve their standings in the AL East and make a run at the playoffs. With the hitting of Alex Rios and Frank Thomas and the pitching of Roy Halladay and Dustin McGowan, the Jays look to have what it takes to get them back in contention for an American League pennant. Toronto fans will fill Rogers Centre rooting for the Blue Jays to bring another championship back to Canada. Toronto looks to regain their championship form this season and compete with their division rivals, the Red Sox and Yankees for another division title.