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The thing about the Blue Jays is that they have upgraded in every single offensive position from 2005 to 2006 (not easy to do) and also each spot and the rotation and at closer.

1B Overbay better than Hillenbrand 2B Hill better than Hudson (debatable) SS 2nd year Adams better than rookie Adams 3b Glaus better than Koskie C Molina better Zaun OF Protected Wells better than unprotected Wells OF 2006 Rios better than 2005 Rios OF Hinske/Catalanatto/Johnson better than Catalanatto/Johnson DH Hillenbrand/Hinske/Molina better than Hillenbrand/Hinske

Rotation:

2006 Halladay better than 2005 Halladay (freak injury) Burnett better than Chacin 2006 Lilly better than 2005 Lilly (tendinitis & worst season ever) Chacin better than Towers Towers better than Bush

Closer:

Ryan better than Batista


Bench:

Lots more depth on the bench with Johnson, Zaun, Rios & Hinske sitting more and League, McGowan, Marcum, Purcey a year further along in their development if a pitcher gets hurt.


So I say, archair GM you show me a team that gets better at every single position (including the bench!) with the possible exception of 2nd base and the set-up guys in the pen -- and I'll show you a team that has a better record the next year.

That is a very optimistic projection
1B Overbay better than Hillenbrand. I will give you that one but Overbay will not be any better than he was last year.
2B Hill better than Hudson (debatable) No way, Hudson is much better defensively and just as good offensively.
SS 2nd year Adams better than rookie Adams. Well, his minor league numbers are not any better than what he did last year, so I don't know how much he will improve. He just might be the worst defensive player in baseball.
3b Glaus better than Koskie. Offensively, definitely yes. Defensively, Glaus is not even close to as good as Koskie. Also, Glaus has missed major time in two of the last three years.
C Molina better Zaun. Not by much, if at all.
OF Protected Wells better than unprotected Wells. There is no proof that protection affects your performance. I do think he will be better though.
OF 2006 Rios better than 2005 Rios. He was terrible last year offensively so he can't get any worse. However, he is still a hole in the lineup and will not be as valuable defensively this year.
OF Hinske/Catalanatto/Johnson better than Catalanatto/Johnson. First, Hinske is not expected to play leftfield with these guys; instead, he is expected to play DH and backup rightfield. Catalanatto played better than normal last year so he should regress back to his norm. Johnson was terrible, still is terrible, and is not getting any better.
DH Hillenbrand/Hinske/Molina better than Hillenbrand/Hinske. First, Molina will not be DHing all that much this year. Hillenbrand played better than normal as well and will fall some. Same with Hinske.
Summary: they will improve at 1B, 3B (if Glaus can actually stay healthy), marginally at catcher, CF. They will not improve at 2B, SS, LF, RF, or DH.
Rotation:
2006 Halladay better than 2005 Halladay (freak injury). I disagree that Halladay will be more valuable this year. He gave them 141.7 innings of a 2.41 ERA. He has had to shut down for an extended period of time in the last two years and his ERA will probably be back up in the 3.00’s so I wouldn’t count on Halladay being much more valuable than the innings he gave them last year.
Burnett better than Chacin
Burnett has not had a season as good as Chacin’s 2005 since 2002. Also, Burnett is not one to count on to be healthy.
2006 Lilly better than 2005 Lilly (tendinitis & worst season ever)
Well, 2005 Lilly had an ERA of 5.56 so I hope he can do better than that.
Chacin better than Towers
Chacin’s K/BB is not impressive at all, so I don’t see him coming close to repeating what he did last year. Towers had a solid 3.71 ERA last year so I am going to have to disagree on this one.
Towers better than Bush
Towers is nothing better than a 4.75-5.00 ERA pitcher. He has proven that time and time again. He wasn’t impressive enough to prove much otherwise. Bush on the other hand has a little more upside and is 3 years younger.
Summary: They have health concerns in their first three pitchers. None of them appear to be any substantial improvement over last year’s version of the rotation.
Closer:
Ryan better than Batista
Definitely can't disagree with you here. Under no scenario can he not be.
Summary: You admit the bullpen is not as strong outside of B.J. Ryan. I don't see their offense being nearly as improved as you do. Their fielding will be a big step back. There is health concerns all across there major contributers(Halladay, Burnett, Glaus). The Red Sox and Yankees are still superior teams and the D-Rays are a good young team that will be a tougher matchup this year than last. I don't see the Blue Jays being a much improved team than last year.
Timothy Moreland
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