AL East MLB MLB Team News — 14 February 2011
The Blue Jays had a surprisingly successful 2010 thanks in large part to the emergence of Jose Bautista, who ended up with a major league leading 54 homeruns, and great pitching from the likes of Bret Cecil, Shawn Marcum, Ricky Romero, and Brandon Morrow. While, Marcum is now in Milwaukee as the result of a trade, the staff should still be formidable, with prospect Kyle Drabek stepping in to take Marcum’s spot.

The infield should be solid once again and J.P. Arencibia will be stepping in to take over for John Buck. The departure of Vernon Wells frees a ton of money off the books for the ‘Jays down the road and they were able to find a capable replacement for him in Rajai Davis.

In the pen, Toronto was able to acquire Frank Francisco and sign Octavio Dotel to make up for the loss of Kevin Gregg. The Blue Jays have a decent roster going in to 2011, but the depth of this division could leave them sitting in last place.

Key Additions: Rajai Davis, Frank Francisco, Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch, Juan Rivera

Key Losses: Shawn Marcum, Vernon Wells, John Buck, Kevin Gregg

Lineup:

C: J.P. Arencibia
1B: Adam Lind
2B: Aaron Hill
3B: Jose Bautista
SS: Yunel Escobar
LF: Juan Rivera
CF: Rajai Davis
RF: Travis Snider
DH: Edwin Encarnacion

Rotation:

1: Ricky Romero
2: Brandon Morrow
3: Bret Cecil
4: Kyle Drabek
5: Jesse Litsch
CL: Frank Francisco

J.P. Arencibia: This will be Arencibia’s first full year behind the dish in the majors and the Jays are expecting big things from him. If he can’t live up to the billing they will be forced to go with backup Jose Molina.

Jose Bautista: Bautista hit 54 homeruns last year, after never hitting more than 16 in any other year. While no one is questioning the legitimacy of his power ability, it will be tough to repeat those numbers. Still, the Jays will need him to continue his increased patience behind the plate and be their big slugger in the middle of the lineup.

Brandon Morrow: Morrow has top of the rotation ability, but has struggled with injuries and control problems until he began to get things together last year. If he can continue to improve his control and continue striking batters out at an increased pace, the Jays will have yet another reliable arm to turn to.

Check out our other 2011 MLB Team Previews.

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