Before this blog I would release my annual 10 Jays predictions on Facebook, but with the beauty of the internet I can now present them to you here. You can find my predictions from last year on my buddies blog at http://www.BlagoBloggerSports.com here. He writes some good shit, so make sure you check out his stuff.
I’ll revisit these mid way through the season and at the end of the season to see how smart I am. Some of these are reasonable predictions, some are outrageous, but that’s why you’re here.
1.Sanchez & Stroman become a lethal 1-2 punch
I had this last year in my predictions and I don’t know why I thought two guys who never pitched a full season in the MLB would be able to live up to this, but now I think they both have the experience do to so. Both will be in Cy Young talks. Let’s hope they can bridge the gap and become friends again as well.
2. Pillar falls out of favour in Toronto
This guy reminds me of JP Arencibia. For some reason everyone loves him…but he really isn’t that good. He is a phenomenal athlete, but a mediocre baseball player in my opinion. If his performance at the plate continues on the trend of last year (absolutely horrible) then we will reach a point this season where we realize his glove does not adequately compensate for his shortcomings at the plate or his lack of base running IQ. I think this will be the year it happens. He’ll be batting under .258 with 7 HR by the all star break.
3. Rowdy Tellez is the first primary call-up
He will be the first call up because Justin Smoak fucking sucks. Smoak sucks so bad that he only earned 2 at bats in the postseason. That should tell you how much confidence Gibby had in him. I predict Tellez will be up at some point in late May/Ealry June if this team struggles at the plate. And when I say ‘primary call-up” I mean someone who will come up and start/contribute, not utility guys who go up and down, also this does not include immediate injury replacements ( like Pompey coming up for Bautista etc)
4. Travis does not play a stretch of more than 45 days without missing time for injury
I don’t think he has ever done this in his career, and I don’t think this is the year it happens either. This kid has all the talent to be an all star, but he can’t stay healthy. This is why I had hoped that the Jays would utilize Lourdes Gurriel Jr at 2B in the spring a bit more, because having Goins play 2B for an extended period of time means having his bat in the lineup for an extended period of time, which is not good.
5. Steve Pearce sees extended DL time
He has never played more than 102 games in his career and has been on the DL in almost every season in the MLB, so this was an easy one. He wasn’t a major acquisition.
6. Morales hits 30+HR & 80+RBI
7. Bautista hits 25+ HR and 75+ RBI
I always stood by my guy and think he is still more than capable of tearing shit up in this league.
8. Melvin Upton takes over as starting LF
I really hope this happens. He has all the skill necessary, but never really seems to care. Hopefully playing in front of a sold out crowd most the time will inspire him. I predict this take place by end of May. If he doesn’t step his shit up and just takes up space on the bench, he’ll be traded by the deadline.
Update: Not even 24 hours after I made this prediction, the Jays released Upton, so fuck me on this one.
9. Danny Barnes becomes a solid bullpen piece
He is currently not on the active roster, but this kid had lights out stuff last year and I believe the bullpen will falter a bit early on and he will come in and help stabilize things and eventually work himself into a 7th or 8th inning role.
10. Jays miss the final Wild Card spot by 1.5 games
I seriously don’t think this team has what it takes to get there again this year. They didn’t get younger, quicker or healthier as Shapiro said they needed to do. I personally think their lineup got worse, not because Edwin left but because guys like Goins, Smoak and Pillar do more to hurt your lineup than to help it. Last year the Jays were ridiculously healthy (especially their rotation and bullpen) and I just don’t think it’ll hold up this year, and they don’t have viable replacements to hold things together if key guys miss time.