I can’t say that I was all gung-ho on the Blue Jays’ bandwagon at the beginning of the year. With a dose of healthy skepticism, I blogged, asking several questions that I had before the season started.
Before Spring Training, I wrote this: “While some think the Jays are going to be the “Beast in the East” (like Yahoo!’s Tim Brown), personally, I’m not so sure. I have a lot of questions about this team. While we’re far deeper than we were last year with a much more balanced team on offense and defense, there are still things that we can’t count on.”
Am I going to stand here and gloat about my clairvoyance? Kinda, yeah.
In that same article*, I posed 15 questions that I had about the team. These questions were ones that the team would have to answer positively in order to compete for the playoffs.
Question 1. Which version of Ricky Romero will show up?
Answer: The crappy one.
Question 2. Is Melky for real?
Answer: With the revelation of the spinal tumour, we really don’t know yet.
Question 3. Who’s gonna play second base, and whoever it is, can he hit enough to not wish for Aaron Hill back?
Answer: For most of the season, Gibby’s answer was to throw up his arms, throw a body out there and hope for the best. Ryan Goins excelled defensively at the end of the year and the bat was better than I had expected.
Question 4. Can Jose Reyes stay injury free?
Answer: Obviously not.
Question 5. Is Jose Bautista‘s wrist good to go?
Answer: The wrist was fine. The rest of him . . . not so much. Flippancy aside, Bautista had a very good year despite his injuries. If only he can have an injury-free year….
Question 6. Is EE for real?
Answer: Yes. Very real.
Question 7. Can Mark Buehrle give us another 200 inning season of solid ball?
Answer: Yes. Now we get another question. With his salary escalating next year, can he give us more of the same (or better)?
Question 8. How does Josh Johnson hold up in the AL East?
Question 9. Does Brett Lawrie progress or not?
Answer: Kinda? Overall the stats aren’t great but compared to his horrible first half, Lawrie definitely showed signs of growth in the second half.
Question 10. Bullpen pt. 1: Are Casey and Sergio ready for opening day?
Answer: Casey – Yes. Sergio – No. But when he returned, he tantalized us with what he’s capable of.
Answer: Delabar – yes (despite a weak second half). Rogers – a starter!
Question 12. Bullpen pt. 3: Who’s gonna make the last couple of spots?
Answer: Couple? How about dozen? Okay, the Blue Jays didn’t have a 12-man bullpen (oh, wait, they did in September). But the bullpen was definitely not the problem with the emergence of Aaron Loup as more than a one-hit wonder, Brett Cecil as a shut-down reliever and Oliver wending his magic for one last season. Then Juan Perez was pretty outstanding when called upon (until he broke), Neil Wagner had his moments, Dustin McGowan and Chad Jenkins both responded very well when they made it back to the club, as did Jeremy Jeffress. With arms getting ready to break through in the high-minors (Drabek, Hutchison, Stroman, Stilson, Nolin), the Blue Jays’ bullpen has more potential than ever.
Question 13. Anyone remember Adam Lind?
Answer: Adam Lind remembered Adam Lind and had a very good season at a reasonable price. Just find someone else to hit lefties.
Question 14. Mark DeRosa? Really?
Answer: Actually, he wasn’t that bad. And he’s buddies with Brett Lawrie.
Question 15. Will Colby Rasmus actually be able to be good…. ever?
Answer: Yes. This year.
So there you have it folks. Questions answered. I’ll be getting to more detailed analyses of the season but it stands to reason that I’m not going to have too much more to say that will shed any light on this train wreck of a season.
* That article was published, of course, on the old version of Blue Jays from Away. The main purpose to bringing it over here (with it’s very own domain and weberiffic stuff) was to be able to podcast.