Before the 2013 MLB season the Toronto Blue Jays added shortstop Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and reigning Cy Younger winner R.A. Dickey. Suddenly the bottom team from the American League East was a threat to compete. Unfortunately injuries and overall poor play from these newcomers as well as the returning players made for a disappointing year. However in 2014 the team has gotten hot and proven that they have a great chance to win the World Series, primarily for these three reasons:
No longer is Jose Bautista the one threat in the batting order for the Blue Jays. Edwin Encarnacian has become one of the league’s best power hitters, which has given the Blue Jays one of the best one-two punches in the middle of their lineup. Between Bautista and Encarnacian the home runs pile up quickly.
The rest of the lineup is pretty good too. Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera get on base a ton and Adam Lind gives bonus power from the left side of the plate. Holding the Blue Jays scoreless is nearly impossible. They are one of the strongest offenses because of how dangerously varied their greatest weapons are. Certainly a home run hitting team, they still succeed more based on how many hits they get; not necessarily the ones going over the wall.
Deep Well-Rounded Starting Rotation
Veteran arms and ones nearly two decades younger make up the starting rotation for the 2014 Blue Jays. Combined R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle have achieved some of the greatest feats a pitcher can in his career: Cy Young, Perfect Game, etc. They are anchors for this current pitching staff and the guides for the younger pitchers on the team.
Following a great spring, Drew Hutchison continues to succeed in the regular season. If J.A. Happ can stay healthy, the rotation is then rounded out by Brandon Morrow who as a fifth starter is pretty good. Due to the strength of their offense nobody has to pitch particularly phenomenal. They have though, and this is a big reason why if this continues a trip to the World Series is definite.
The Blue Jays’ core is undefined except for maybe Bautista. They have not been an organization to win much in recent years, thus have not been holding onto players very often. Now though, with fan favorites and a winning attitude, the team is creating a new culture not revolving around anyone in particular, but rather a style of play.
From an outsider’s perspective, it appears that the Blue Jays have perfect chemistry. The veterans are strong and confident. The rookies and sophomores know they cannot get away with causing trouble. Even with a loudmouth like Reyes and a player associated with PEDs like Cabrera, the Blue Jays are not a controversial organization. Perhaps it’s the atmosphere of playing in a city like Toronto and representing all of Canada that makes them a little more professional than other teams in the league.
More from this contributor:
Three Players the Toronto Blue Jays Should Trade for in 2014
Three Players the Philadelphia Phillies Should Trade in 2014
Three Pitchers the Baltimore Orioles Should Trade for in 2014