2019 Team Preview #12: Toronto Blue Jays

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On to the preview!

Last Year

2018 Record: 97-65, 2nd Place AL East, 5 Games Back. Lost AL Wild Card game to Seattle

2018 was a fantastic year for baseball in the 6ix. New management ushered in (and out) a slew of talented players and the star-studded Jays made a 12 game leap and a return to the post-season. How high will the 2019 Jays, revamped and reloaded, be able to fly?

Key Additions

SP Raynel Velette (WAS via Trade)
CL Brian Wilson (DET via Trade)
CL Brian Wilson’s Beard
SP Pat Swain (NYA via Trade)
17 Electoral Votes
C Rob Brantly (SEA via Trade)
Round trip flights to Paris
SP Nick Pickett (CLE via Trade)
Groupon for free skydiving
RF Giancarlo Stanton (SD via Trade)
The Indian from the Village People
1B Sergio Bereda (WAS via Trade)
BOGO offer at the local nail salon
CF Jeremy Sullivan (OAK via Trade)
Louisiana

Key Losses

SP Cole Swanson (WAS via Trade)
24% on the exchange rate
SP David Price (CLE via Trade)
7 PTBNL’s
DH Jesus Montero (FA)
SP Raynel Velette (the rest of his season)
CL Javy Guerra (FA)
About 45 other random guys
3B Alfredo Morales (CHW via Trade)
The Construction Worker from the Village People
RF Carlos Moncrief (Trade? FA? OOTP seems perplexed.)
About 4-5 guys also acquired in the off-season
SP Phil Hughes (Waivers)
Most of who was sent to the developmental league
SP Carlos E. Martinez (OAK via Trade)
Car Keys
LF J.D. Martinez (CHW via Trade)

Lineup/Rotation Projection

The Jays offense was a powerful one in 2018 – they finished 2nd in the AL in HR at 213. They did lose a chunk of those with the departures of Martinez, Montero and Moncrief but gained back a pair of 40-HR hitters in DH Giancarlo Stanton (.309, 42 HR) and CF Jeremy Sullivan (44 HR, 121 RBI). They also return 3 more starters who topped 20 HR, 1B Don Winston (26 HR), 3B Maikel Franco (29 HR, 95 RBI) and RF Bryce Harper (.303, 29 HR). Behind the plate they won’t have a ton of offense, but Yadi Molina (17 2B) and Rob Brantly (.308 in 132 PA) are great defenders. Up the middle they’ll have a great table-setter at 2B in Brian Inoa (.382 OBP) and the slick-fielding Andres Yanez (.284 Avg). Former Pirate Tim Hampton (.666 OPS) looks to be starting in LF.

On the mound, things aren’t looking quite as peachy since the news that former Nationals ace Raynel Velette won’t likely pitch at all in 2019 (the team was hopeful he’d be back for the last 6 weeks and playoffs). Still, the Jays have a pair of studs at the top in Justin Verlander (13-11, 180 K) and Michael Pineda (14-7, 200 K’s). They’ll be followed by some subset of pickups from the off-season (or not yet acquired players), likely Nick Pickett (8-6 in AAA), Pat Swain (9-15) and Chris Farrell (2.18 in AAA). Long-time Tiger Brian Wilson (28 Sv) was brought in to close games and 2 closers from last year, Sergio Romo (17 Sv) and Kelvin Herrera (31 Sv) will have the job of getting the ball to him. In the middle innings will be former Angel Kenley Jansen (16 Holds), Klaas Bongers (11 Hld) and Jordan Norberto (15 Hld)

Outlook

The Jays were certainly Emotionless in their dispatching of long-time team members to improve their 2019 outlook. Their Nonstop pursuit of improvements to the team had them saying Take Care to stalwarts like J.D. Martinez and Javy Guerra. I’m pretty sure they even tried to trade some players to Portland and when most players are wandering around Spring Training asking What’s My Name. It Don’t Matter to Me though, who used to play for them, it’s about who is on the team now and if it’s God’s Plan for them to Work their way into the post-season. I have no idea how to work Hotline Bling into this paragraph though, so I won’t.

In My Feelings the Jays will make a return trip to the post-season, again as a Wild Card team, in 2nd place at 96-66. This time they’ll win that game and advance to the ALDS, where their season will come to an end.