Blue Jays fly into the window
World Series aspirations turns into a battered mess
Bobby Danger Jones
Only two teams in North American pro sports have gone longer without a post-season appearance than the Toronto Blue Jays. That being said, at the beginning of the ball season it looked promising for the Jays.
Dubbed the team that won the winter, the Jays grabbed seemingly every useful player on the Miami roster and strengthened their bull pen with a Cy Young winner — so why did it all fall apart?
In 2012, Edwin Encarnacion pumped out 42 homers after never hitting more than 26 and Jose Bautista, even injured, had a solid campaign. Brett Lawrie emerged as one of most solid defenders in the league and with all the new additions the Jays looked poised to make a push for October baseball.
Here we are in late August and those bushy tailed predictions couldn’t have been further off. So where did it all go wrong?
Pitching, period. Let’s start with R.A Dickey, the ‘crowning jewel” of the off season acquisitions. With an ERA of 4.91, which is second to last, and a strikeout to walk ration which had dropped by more than half, Dickey has not been reliable.
His knuckle ball, which is notoriously his best pitch had a velocity of 77.2 mph and has dropped to 75.3 making his “dominant” pitch “hittable”. Colby Rasmus and Brandon Morrow have not been solid as relievers.
Another reason to expect the Blue Jays to improve in 2013 was that Ricky Romero was probably the worst starter in the majors last year. The expectation was that he, or whoever stepped into his spot could not be as bad seemed plausible. Well, it actually got worse. Romero made only two starts and lasted a total of 4 innings before being sent to the minors to save his career. J.A. Happ began the year as the fifth starter and pitched to a 4.91 ERA in seven starts before he was hit by a line drive and put on the DL. Chien-Ming Wang has made five starts (7.13 ERA). Forty-year-old Ramon Ortiz made four before blowing out his elbow boasting a (5.51 ERA). Aaron Laffey and Sean Nolin each started one game, combining to allow eight runs in four innings.
The other major issue with the Jays is their inability to compete in the American League East. The Jays’s road record at time of writing against AL East teams is dismal to say the least at 9-24. Going 7-6 against the Orioles, 7- 9 against the Red Sox, 3-13 against the Yankees and 6-10 against the Rays. Not winning in your own backyard is unacceptable and the Jays really shot themselves in the foot by not producing.
So the injury plagued, under achieving “new” Blue Jays will end up in mist of mediocre and watch the post-season ship sail away once again.