Friday, 29 March 2013

Opening Day Roster Revealed

The good people over at The Blue Jays Official Site just posted the projected opening day line up! It's only 5 days away! Let's add some pretty pictures, and Baseball Prospectus' thoughts (and hell my own too).

1. SS: Jose Reyes

BP projects: .293/.348/.464 with 34 2B, 11 3B, 15 HR, 36 SB.
Mine: Damn, that sounds just fine. Like everyone else, I am waiting to see Reyes hit his first triple in the Rogers Centre and tear around the bases. The only worry is injuries/issues with the turf. If Reyes stays healthy there is no reason he can't hit these kind of numbers.

2. LF: Melky Cabrera

BP projects:: .282/.334/.434 with 27 2B, 13 HR.
Mine: How much of Cabrera's break out year was tied to drug use? Will he bounce back? He had a great Spring and we all know the Rogers Centre is HR friendly. The Blue Jays is also where, in the words of Colby Rasmus, Kicked Puppies go to be loved. And I have every reason to believe Melky will be loved here. I'd love to see him hit 15 or more HR.

3. RF: Jose Bautista

BP Projects: .256/.373/.518 with 17 2B and 24 HR. BP is projecting that his wrist injury will sap his power, and Bautista will have less home runs but a higher batting average with more balls put into play.
Mine: I still think that if Bautista has a good year he could hit 30 home runs. And while a .256 batting average sounds decent, last year saw Bautista struggling to get balls into play. In this line up, Bautista isn't the crowning superstar and I think that will show in the numbers. For Bautista I see a .240/.360/.540 with 30 HR and a high walk rate.

4. 1B: Edwin Encarnacion

BP Projects:.258/.342/.476 with 27 HR, 86 RBIs and 27 2B.
Mine: Last year, I suggested that Eddie would have a big year and he did. I'm going to project a likewise big year. This is Edwin's element. Batting fourth on a line up of Dominican Superstars, with a lucrative contract, a trophy for the Dominican Republic and those E5 days long behind him. Eddie will be stepping up to the plate. Last year he hit .280, with 42 HR and 110 RBIs. This year, I see him staying hot with a .275/.365/.545 with at least 35 HRs. It will be a good year for the long ball with the Blue Jays this year.

5. DH: Adam Lind

BP Projects: .267/.322/.462 with 20 2B and 16 HR. They also suggest, "dude can't hit lefties, play defense or get on base."
Mine: This may be the ultimate in optimism, but I saw something in Lind this year at Spring training, and Mike Wilner and Dirk Heyhurst seemed to agree. Could this be the year that his play dosen't get him sent down to triple A? Could be a contributing member of this team? Can he stay healthy? I see at least one extended trip to the DL for Lind, but hope that his bat will come alive for this team, although perhaps not against lefties.

6. C: J.P. Arencibia

BP Projects: .235 /.290/.456 with 19 HR, 55 RBI, 25 walks, 100 SO. They also project 373 PA.
Mine: JP might never have a high batting average, but if he can stay healthy (hopefully the knuckle ball won't take too big of a bite out of him), I see him being a contributing member of this team. While I would love to see JP taking a few more walks, i'm not completely delusional and can admit that the walks to strike out ratio is probably pretty on target. JP has always been a great clutch hitter and with a potential for more guys on base, I see his RBI rate substantially higher than projected. He had 78 in 2011. I suspect around 70 for 2013.

7. CF: Colby Rasmus

Why are you sideways Colby??
BP Projects: .244/.314/.437 with 22 HR, 25 2B. "Another year of lousy production."
Mine: Colby is a heart player. If he feels comfortable, if his heart is in it, if he dosen't over think it. He will play well. We all saw that glimpse last season before his injury. Afterwards he was rife with strikeouts and terribleness. He now admits he tired himself out taking too much BP, so maybe he has learned a lesson, and with a down home, Texan manager it could go a long way to making Colby feel right at home. I do sadly see another unfortunate foray into cornrows. .248/.350/.460. I see more walks in his future, and a little bit more power. 25 HR.

 8. 2B: Emilio Bonifacio

BP projects: .262/.322/.359, 20 SB.
Mine: Bonifiacio will probably not get 500PA this year. I see him being put in as a pinch runner in high leverage situations, similar to Rajai Davis in the past few years. Because the old adage goes, you can't steal a base, if you can't get to first.

9. 3B: Maicer Izturis

 BP Projects: .268/.333/.390 with 18 SB, 5 HR, 27 BB, 42 SO over 355 PA
Mine: Izturis will not be consistently playing 3B, as both Lawrie and DeRosa will also be fielding that position. Izturis will likely be sharing 2B with Bonifacio and floating around the infield. Between Izturis and Bonifacio, I see at least one of them suffering an injury or playing poorly. I just can't say which.

SP: R.A. Dickey

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