Jul 25, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) celebrates their victory with shortstop Jose Reyes (7) against the Houston Astros at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Astros 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays: Countdown to Spring Training


With a little under a month until spring training starts, I figure it’s a good a time as any to start breaking down the Toronto Blue Jays roster.

After a big off-season last year, the Jays have remained mostly silent this year. With most of the roster set, only a few question marks remain.

The biggest has to be whether there will be an addition to the rotation. With RA Dickey and Mark Buehrle still here and Josh Johnson gone, the rotation will benefit by subtraction.

Johnson was the biggest disappointment of the bunch, and even in a contract year failed to produce at a level close to where he had been. With amazing “stuff”, that ubiquitous tag for a pitchers pure talent, I expected Johnson to get near 20 wins.

That obviously did not happen, as his ERA ballooned to 6.20 and he finished the season with a 2-8 record in 16 starts.

Dickey and Buehrle weren’t that bad, but they weren’t great. The hope is that another year for Dickey in the tough AL East will give him the results he had when he won the Cy Young.

With Buehrle I expect a a better season. He is a steady work horse, and is in line to be the Jays best pitcher by the end of the season.

Of course, all that depends on whether the Toronto Blue Jays and GM Alex Anthopoulos bring in another starter, maybe someone like Ubaldo Jimenez, who would instantly become the Jays ace.

This is all speculation of course, so I will just focus on the players on the roster as of today, and make adjustments if anything major happens.

Outside of the rotation, the Jays are bringing back essentially the same squad, with the notable departure of JP Arencibia, for journeyman Dioner Navarro. Arencibia was the black sheep last season, and I for one say good riddance. He was a sub-par defender, sub-par bat and a sub-par locker room guy.

The Jose’s (Bautista and Reyes) will be the two biggest players to watch. Bautista is likely to hear his name swirling in rumours this year, yet again; and Reyes is hoping to avoid another injury plagued season.

With these two supremely talented players, the Jays have the ability to do anything, so long as they can put it together on a night-in, night-out basis.

As we get closer to the start of spring training, I will start a series outlining what to expect out of each area of the field. This week I will start with the outfielders, and each week move towards home plate until every player has been slotted and analyzed.

The Toronto Blue Jays begin spring training with the pitchers and catchers reporting Feb 17. The rest of the team reports on the 21st.

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