Toronto Blue Jays: 5 realistic expectations for the 2020 season

Toronto Blue Jays (Photo by Carlos Osorio- Pool via Getty Images)
Toronto Blue Jays (Photo by Carlos Osorio- Pool via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Blue Jays
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Toronto Blue Jays (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

4) Rest of the lineup and rotation expected to improve on 2019

As for the rest of the Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup, there are a number of intriguing players to keep an eye on. Derek Fisher had trouble putting it all together in Houston, but should be given the opportunity to start full time in Toronto, with 20 home runs not out of the question for this former top 100 prospect.

Randal Grichuck is one of the more established hitters in the team’s lineup. He put up the best season of his career last year, and the team should expect similar numbers going forward. He will be a very nice complimentary piece as the young core continues to develop.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit 20 home runs in just over half of a season last year – one would assume that at 26 years old he is only just entering his prime, and will continue to hit for power this year and going forward. One thing is certain; this offense will not struggle to hit home runs.

The starting pitching significantly drops off after Ryu. Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson, and Matt Shoemaker are all 30+ and can eat innings, while hopefully putting the offence in a position to win more often than not.

Don’t expect any of them to be all stars, but they should be able to each put up an ERA in the low 4’s. They will certainly be better than the combination of Clay Buchholz, Clayton Richard, and Aaron Sanchez used last year.

Shun Yamaguchi figures to hold down the fifth spot. He’s still a bit of an unknown commodity, making it hard to project his results.

Realistically, they are all placeholders for Nate Pearson and Simeon Woods-Richardson. Pearson is a top 10 prospect in all of baseball, one of the best pitching prospects in the game, and is nearly ready to make his big league debut.

Pearson likely needs just a bit more seasoning; last year was his first pro season in which he threw over 100 innings. Woods-Richardson is a bit younger and a bit more raw, projecting as an above average mid-rotation guy.