The additions of Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey and Josh Johnson didn’t pay off at all. Reyes broke his ankle and was out until almost the All-Star Break, Johnson looked like a Four-A pitcher and then Jose Bautista suffered an injury that ended his season early. Can Toronto be a playoff team if both stay healthy all season?
Can R.A. Dickey regain control of his knuckleball?
Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Toronto Blue Jays.
2013 Win/Loss Record: 74-88
Key Additions: C Dioner Navarro
Key Losses: C J.P. Arencibia, OF Rajai Davis, SP Josh Johnson, 2B Mark Derosa, RP Darren Oliver & RP Brad Lincoln
Interleague Schedule: NL Central + Philadelphia Phillies
Projected Starters: Dioner Navarro, Edwin Encarnacion, Maicer Izturis, Brett Lawrie, Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista & Adam Lind
Projected Starting Rotation: R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle, J.A. Happ & Esmil Rogers
Closer: Casey Janssen
Fantasy Sleeper: RP Sergio Santos – Casey Janssen is starting the season on the DL and Santos was named as the closer. Santos has experience closing games when he was on the White Sox. I usually hate wasting a roster spot on closer handcuffs, but if you have one available, he’ll be closing games for the time being.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: SP Marcus Stroman – Toronto doesn’t have many MLB-ready prospects. One could argue Stroman is nowhere near ready himself. He was the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 draft and had a nice season in Double-A last year. In 111 innings, he had 129 strikeouts, a 3.30 ERA and went 9-5. His best pitch is a slider, so durability could be a long-term concern. If the Blue Jays have rotation issues and Stroman starts the season on fire, he could see some time in the Majors.
Team Analysis: Toronto was the team to watch going into last season. They made big moves by trading for R.A. Dickey and almost the entire Miami Marlins roster. Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista suffered injuries and missed a lot of time. They never really got on track and the season was lost. They bring nearly the same roster into this season. They were thrown together haphazardly last year and will benefit from a season under their belt. If Bautista, Encarnacion and Reyes stay healthy, this is a .500 team. I don’t see them much better than that. I like Toronto this year, but would like them a lot more if they acquired another starter.
2014 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 79.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2014 Projected Win/Loss Record: 81-81 (4th AL East)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.