Bluejays are Worth Watching
The rotation consists of young, mostly unproven commodities. Aside from Adam Lind and Aaron Hill, the batting order has similar question marks and place holders. Oh, and of course the team traded away, arguably the best pitcher in franchise history, Roy Halladay.
Despite all that, I’ve anticipated each game this year with a renewed vigor. Of course, my expectations are quite modest considering all the above, but it is the intrigue of watching the organization nurture the next generation of Jays and implement a pan-organizational philosophy of professionalism that has me interest to know what will happen next.
In the opening weeks of this season a number of young pitchers have flirted with no-hitters past the sixth inning. The good performances have vastly out numbered the bad in the rotation.
Shaun Marcum has seemingly picked-up right where he left off prior to his injuries. Ricky Romero is showing the talent that led to him being a top 6 pick, and still seems to be improving. Brandon Morrow has battle some control issues, but has looked better on his last two starts. Dana Eveland has been a welcome surprise providing solid performances late into games (prior to last night’s slug-fest). And after Brian Tallet was put on the DL, Brett Cecil made only a couple of mistakes against one of the top offenses in the League.
The offense is what has struggled. The Jays were expected to have decent offense led by Hill and Lind, but with Hill spending a bit of time on the DL it has sputtered despite the resurgence of Vernon Wells.
The Jays have added some speed and athleticism with the early season acquisition of Fred Lewis. Alex Gonzalez has supplemented his outstanding defense with unexpected offense (tied for league in extra base hits, at the time if writing).
Travis Snider is a top end hitter in the making. He is going to struggle, much like Adam Lind did in his first couple seasons, but any at bat can turn into a bomb. He is working on his consistency and I am already seeing an improvement in his patience.
All this is to say that I wish I had the ability to go and watch games live. The team is feeding the fans false hope of pennant races, but is realistic with expectations. What I have seen so far this season is a young team with no pressure competing hard every night and maturing before my eyes. So go on, get out to the park once and a while, you’ll be surprised by what these guys can do.