2009 AL Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

Team Name: Toronto Blue Jays

2008 W-L Record: 86-76

Place in division:4th

2009 Projected Lineup

Player

Pos.

Rod Barajas

C

Lyle Overbay

1B

Aaron Hill

2B

Marco Scutaro

SS

Scott Rolen

3B

Travis Snider

LF

Vernon Wells

CF

Alexis Rios

RF

Kevin Milar

DH

Key Bench Players

Player

Pos.

JOHN MCDONALD

IF

Michael Barrett

C

Adam Lind

OF

2009 Projected Rotation

Player

Pos.

Roy Halladay

SP1

Jesse Litsch

SP2

David Purcey

SP3

Casey Janssen

SP4

Scott Richmond

SP5

Key Relievers

Player

Pos.

B.J. Ryan

Closer

Scott Downs

Setup

Jeremy Accardo

Setup

Brian Tallet

Specialist

2009 Outlook:

Injuries and payroll concerns have made the Jays off-season one of the ho-hum variety in which their agent of choice was the nurse's office. The additions of oft-injured Matt Clement and Michael Barrett won't do much for anyone, but there's a good potential for value in signing injured players well below market value, as we've talked about before.

Last year a lack of offense dampened their playoff aspirations, and this year it could be more of the same.

Roy Halladay is still going to be Roy Halladay, and while the names listed above are hardly sexy, the Jays have a myriad of options for their bullpen and rotation. Brett Cecil is one prospect to watch, but don't sleep on guys like David Purcey and Ricky Romero. Some familiar names to look for include Matt Clement and Mike Maroth. The bullpen is going to be as solid before. B.J. Ryan and Jeremy Accardo are the big names while guys like Shawn Camp and Scott Downs thrive in relative obscurity.

Offensively ... uh ... [truncated for mass repetition] so while that's nasty, at least the Jays have a fun toy to watch in Travis Snider. He just turned 21 recently, and his career low wOBA in the minors was .366. CHONE is less than optimistic about Snider replicating his .345 wOBA from limited action, and has him at .298 (or -12.2 wRAA) while Marcels is calling him a slightly above league average hitter, based on a small sample size and regression.

The real strength of the Jays positional players involves leather. There's hardly a negative defender amongst their starters and even Vernon Wells should bounce back some. Speaking of Wells, what an odd two seasons he's had. In 2007, his offense flat-lined to the tune of -14.5 runs while his defense remained above average (albeit only slightly) yet the exact opposite was true in 2008.

Depending on how the rotation holds up the Jays have a shot at spoiling the predictions that have them finishing fourth. It's a shame for the Jays too, they would have a shot at winning either of the other AL divisions.

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