Toronto Blue Jays: Offseason Report Card

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images North America

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images North America

Bullpen

Notable Additions: Drew Storen

Notable Departures: Mark Lowe, LaTroy Hawkins

The Blue Jays were able to acquire closer Drew Storen in the trade that sent Ben Revere to Washington. This move will have a good domino effect for Toronto as plugging in Storen as closer will allow for a few other pieces to fall in favorable places. The addition of Storen means that last year’s closer, 21-year-old Roberto Osuna, can be pushed back to the 8th inning and be a dominant setup man. There was nothing wrong with Osuna being closer, as he did a nice job and had 20 saves, but pushing Osuna to the 8th and continuing to let former All-Star Brett Cecil handle earlier relief duties allows Aaron Sanchez to be looked at as a starter for the back end of the rotation. Sanchez saw a little time as a starter last season, but the acquisition of Price and the struggles of the bullpen led to the 23-year-old being plugged into late relief duties. Now Toronto will be able to look at Sanchez again as a starter and he will be given every opportunity to win a rotation spot this spring.

Grade: A

One Response

  1. Brent Koroll

    Fairly good articles with some errors. “When they acquired lefty ace David Price at the deadline, Toronto’s season was turned around”. Although David Price was a nice addition, greatly loved by the fans, he was not the reason for the second half turn around. The real reason for the turn around was trading away Jose Reyes who was the worst fielding SS in the AL the last couple of seasons. This solidified the Jays infield defense and defense down the middle as Tulowiski is a big improvement on Reyes. Every Jays pitcher, except for Buerle had better stats in the second half as Buerle’s shoulder didn’t respond to a cortisone shot. Even Price’s stats improved coming to Toronto and Detroit’s park was a little more pitcher friendly than Rogers center last year (26 out of 30 parks as opposed to 24).
    Secondly, Toronto has some ideal options to lead off and the best choice is Ryan Goins. Goins had a bad year in 2014 as Seitzer’s hitting ideology didn’t meld well with Goins. Goins saw improvement with Brooks Jacoby and his .274 BA, .361 OBP, .397 slugging and .748 OPS in the second half and very good base running tendencies makes him a very good option as the lead off hitter. That he has received tutelage on hitting from Tewksbary this past winter (he previously worked with Donaldson and Colabello to improve their hitting) could improve Goins even more as will the opportunity in the first 8 weeks to take the 2nd base job from Devon Travis. I agree with the rest of the article and I believe that Toronto’s terrific infield defense and defense down the middle will get the maximum out of Toronto’s pitching staff.

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