AL East Featured MLB MLB Team News — 24 March 2010

Toronto Blue Jays

2009 regular season record: 75-87, Fourth place, AL East

Major Offseason Acquisitions: Kevin Gregg (CHC), Alex Gonzalez (CIN), Kyle Drabek (PHI), Dana Eveland (OAK), John Buck (KC)

Major Offseason Losses: Roy Halladay (PHI), Marco Scutaro (BOS), Rod Barajas (NYM), Kevin Millar (CHC)

Projected Lineup (2009 stats):

1. RF-Jose Bautista (.235 BA, .349 OBP, 13 HR, 40 RBI)

2. CF-Vernon Wells (.260 BA, .311 OBP, 15 HR, 66 RBI)

3. 2B-Aaron Hill (.286 BA, .330 OBP, 36 HR, 108 RBI)

4. DH-Adam Lind (.305 BA, .370 OBP, 35 HR, 114 RBI)

5. 3B-Edwin Encarnacion (.225 BA, .320 OBP, 13 HR, 39 RBI)

6. 1B-Lyle Overbay (.265 BA, .372 OBP, 16 HR, 64 RBI)

7. C-John Buck (.247 BA, .299 OBP, 8 HR, 36 RBI)

8. LF-Travis Snider (.241 BA, .328 OBP, 9 HR, 29 RBI)

9. SS-Alex Gonzalez (.238 BA, .279 OBP, 8 HR, 41 RBI)

Projected Starting Rotation/Closer (2009 stats):

1. LHP Ricky Romero (13-9, 4.30 ERA, 178 IP)

2. RHP Shaun Marcum (2008 stats: 9-7, 3.39 ERA, 151.1 IP; missed all of 2009 season)

3. RHP Brandon Morrow (2-4, 4.39 ERA, 69.2 IP)

4. LHP Brett Cecil (7-4, 5.30 ERA, 93.1 IP)

5. LHP Marc Rzepczynski (2-4, 3.67 ERA, 61.1 IP)

Closer: RHP Kevin Gregg (4.72 ERA, 23 saves)

2010 outlook: The Jays, like the Rays, are a team with some talent that is likely to get stuck behind the Yankees and Red Sox in the American League East.

Aaron Hill and Adam Lind enjoyed breakout seasons in 2009, each hitting over 30 home runs and driving in over 100 runs.

They’ll be expected to keep it up in 2010, as they’re the only real feared hitters in the entire lineup.

The rest of the Jays’ order doesn’t strike much fear into opposing pitchers, as none of those players hit over .265 last season.

Toronto is going to have to hope that Vernon Wells can find the pop in his bat again.

The rotation is full of unproven players, led by Ricky Romero and Shaun Marcum.

Romero may eventually emerge as the staff’s new ace in lieu of the departed Roy Halladay.

The 25-year-old posted a respectable 4.30 ERA last season in 29 starts, and he’ll be counted upon to do more of the heavy lifting with the steady Halladay gone.

Top to bottom, there doesn’t appear to be much hope for the 2010 Blue Jays.

2010 Prediction: 67-95, Fifth place, AL East

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Taylor Smith

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