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Finally a Man That's Done His Homework

Former GM Presents Realistic Perspective for 2010 Jays

Jim Duquette presents the best analysis of the Blue Jays I’ve heard or seen this spring, especially the pitching staff. The former major league manager of the Expos, Red Sox, and Mets has enough experience and respect to provide an unbiased and comprehensive viewpoint and unlike many of the beat reporters who are making predictions, he has at least done some research.

The one thing that is clear however, is that Duquette points out all the “cons” regarding the young pitching staff and the question marks surrounding the lineup. Talent will always percolate to the surface and the Jays have that aplenty in Snider, Morrow, Eveland, Romero, Valdez, and Ruiz. It takes 1 or 2 years in the Bigs for people to relax, settle in and establish themselves. One or more of these guys will have a breakout year as Lind and Hill did last year and that wasn’t accounted for by Duquette on the pitching side though he did project Snider would hit 20+ homers.

The second issue which I repeatedly mention when I write is that Overbay, Wells, and Encarnacion all have previously had hand injuries which have affected their performance at the plate. This is the curse of hitters as the hands play such a huge role in their ability to maintain their feel for the ball at the plate and have consistent bat speed. I expect one or more of these guys to have huge improvements over the last 2 years.

The third point not mentioned is the Jays bench and replacements in case of injury or trade. Last year we were forced to promote untested and inexperienced rookies to fill out our pitching staff when injuries occurred. This year we have many quality replacements like Cecil and Rzep who got their baptism of fire last year and are likely to perform more consistently when the need arises to bring them up from AAA. A subset of this point is the potential availability of Dustin McGown and Jesse Litsch sometime during 2010 once fully recovered from injuries.

William Bruyea

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