On the eve of a new season

I’m going to try to do this on a regularish basis. Just post about how I feel about the team and how things are going.

With games about to actually count, it’s a good time to start. And it’s weird, I’m excited to see some Blue Jays baseball. I’m excited to know there’s something for me to watch for the next six months. I’m looking forward to the season and am probably more optimistic than most  about the 2014 season.

But it’s not like last year, when I was kinda basketcase-ish leading up to the season opener. I remember sitting at work in the afternoon, super stoked about the upcoming season. It was finally going to be year the Jays did something. And that was awesome. After years of watching futile attempts of making the playoffs, 2013 was going to be the year.

And we all know how that ended up.

So this year, that excitement is gone. But in a way, I think that’s a good thing. As we head into the 2014 season, I’m just excited to watch some damn baseball, with the best players in the world trying to win a game every single day. Sure, the Jays may do well. They may also suck.

I guess the point is: this year I’m much more interested in the journey than I am in the result. Heading into last year all I cared about was a postseason berth. This year, I just can’t wait for baseball and summer, and cold beer. Walk-off hits and well-pitched gems. The 6-4-3 double play, and few Joey Bats no-doubters, and someone to surprised everyone and take a step into stardom.

It begins tomorrow – which I have to miss because of work, go figure – and continues until the leaves start to turn.

Summer’s here. Baseball’s back.

Go Jays.

So who’s left?

C – Navarro, Thole, Kratz

1B – EE

2B – Goins, Izturis

3B – Lawrie

SS – Reyes

OF – Cabrera, Rasmus, Bautista, Gose, Sierra, Tuiasosopo

DH – Lind

SP – Dickey, Hutchison, Buehrle, McGowan, Morrow, Redmond, Rogers, Happ

RP – Janssen, Santos, Delabar, Cecil, Loup, Jeffress

Twenty-nine guys left. Four more to cut. It’s getting down to the wire.

Seems like as good a time as ever to figure out what the hell I want to see the Jays do, and who I think they should head into the season with. So let’s get to it.

Catcher – Navarro. An improvement over last year. A good season from the backup could be great to ease the pressure off Navarro.

1B – Duh

2B – Goins, I guess. I think there’s some potential there for him to hit righties enough to not be a complete black hole. Not that Izturis is great against lefties, but it looks like this is what we’re going to have to go with.

3B – Lawrie. If he can finally start fulfilling his potential that could go a long way to the team’s success this year. Remember, he’s still only 24. He has put up some decent spring numbers, so that’s…something.

SS – Reyes. Stay healthy god dammit! And keep on taking donkey photos.

LF – Cabrera. He’s looking good. Another guy who could go a long way.

CF – Rasmus. Repeat of last year = good. Return to 2011/12 = horri-awful. That’s a combination of horrible and awful.

RF – Bautista. Sock some dingers, win some games and everyone starts overlooking the arguments with umps.

DH – Lind. Vs. righties only. Right? Right!

Pretty straightforward thus far. Now it gets a little interesting.

Bench

Util IF – Izturis. He’s not as bad as he was last year. Or is he? Hoping last year wasn’t the start of a deep decline for the veteran.

Catcher – Kratz. I like him over Thole. There’s likely some shiny (in the sense that a backup catcher can be considered shiny. We’re Jays fans here, reality needs to be compromised at times to keep us sane) new toy aspect here, but I really like his power potential. If he can handle Dickey’s knuckleball I think he can be a solid addition. Thole’s been fairly unimpressive in my eyes.

OF – Sierra. Give him a shot, I suppose. Righty platoon for Lind. With off days the team can run the same outfield out there for most of the first month, so they don’t need a backup at centre until May. At that point we can reassess.

Rotation

SP – Dickey. Better than last year, not as good as 2012

SP – Hutchison. If they wanna screw around with the order, what do I care? I always liked Hutch though.

SP – Buehrle. ‘Nuff said.

SP – McGowan. I’m a big softy. Pulling for the guy. He really does have the most upside.

SP – Morrow. Go get ’em. Win the Cy we were talking about.

Bullpen

Janssen – Seems so nervous all the time but gets the job done.

Santos – Finally ready to show why the Jays totally won that trade with the White Sox.

Delabar – Dude gives me hope that I can still make the majors. Not really, but…ah. He’s pretty good.

Aaron Loup – Had an unbelievable career in my OOTP game, 400-plus saves. For realsy!

Brett Cecil – Him and Loup gives Gibby some great LOOGY options.

Redmond – He was funny when I saw him at Brock University. That counts for something, right? For some reason I like him better to spot start than Rogers.

Happ – Not quite ready to give up on him yet.

Now, there’s one spot left. I was actually ready to give into AA and go with Rogers. He does have a good arm, and showed a brief period of success last year in the rotation. But, damn, Tuiasosososososososopo put up decent numbers in a brief stint with the Tigers last year. He takes the bench from god awful to kinda shitty. I don’t know. Maybe just send down the guy you think you have the best chance of sneaking through waivers. Sucks to have to think like that, but it’s the Blue Jays way!

So that’s the team I wanna see. At least for April.