Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays, April 2-4

Are you looking at me or my knuckles? - USA TODAY Sports

The Indians start their 2013 north of the border with the chic pick to win the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Tribe opens the season on the road in the Rogers Centre with a three game set scheduled for Tuesday April 2, Wednesday April 3 and Thursday April 4, all with 7:07 PM start times. They then conclude this trip with a three game set in Tampa.

Team in a Box

Toronto Blue Jays

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2012 Record

73-89

Runs/Game

4.42

7th

Runs/Game

4.84

11th

AL East

4th

OBP

.309

13th

SO/9

7.1

11th

Last 10

N/A

SLG

.407

8th

BB/9

3.6

14th

Spr. Training

16-17

Steals

123

5th

H/9

9.0

10th

Last Season, the Blue Jays didn't walk that often, but generated enough offense to be middle of the pack. Their weakness, like ours, was the pitching staff. However, they had more injuries to their starters, with only Henderson Alvarez and Ricky Romero with 25 or more starts. In all they used 12 different starting pitchers, including LGFT Aaron Laffey for 12. In the offseason, there was a massive turnover of the roster. They imported three new starters, RA Dickey, Josh Johnson and former South Sider Mark Buehrle. And the offense imported Jose Reyes at short, Melky Cabrera in left and picked up super sub, LGFT, Mark DeRosa.

Projected Lineup (with 2012 stats)

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

SS

Jose Reyes

B

716

287

347

433

111

LF

Melky Cabrera

B

501

346

390

516

158

RF

Jose Bautista

R

399

241

358

527

137

1B

Edwin Encarnacion

R

644

280

384

557

152

DH

Adam Lind

L

353

255

314

414

96

C

JP Arencibia

R

372

233

275

435

89

CF

Colby Rasmus

L

625

223

289

400

85

2B

Emilio Bonifacio

B

274

258

330

316

77

3B

Maicer Izturis

B

319

256

320

315

82

This lineup looks much more balanced than last years and has decent pop. The only gaping hole seems to be Bonifacio, but those are the type of players that usually give us fits. Brett Lawrie opens the year on the DL so LGFT Maicer Izturis starts in his place. Rasmus is still young and hopefully improves entering his prime year at age 26.

Projected Starters (with 2012 stats)

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

H/9

BB/9

K/9

April 2

RA Dickey

R

2.73

233.2

7.4

2.1

8.9

April 3

Brandon Morrow

R

2.96

124.2

7.1

3.0

7.8

April 4

Mark Buehrle

L

3.74

202.1

8.8

1.8

5.6

Dickey and Buerhle are off-season acquisitions. Dickey is very good when his knuckler is fluttering as last year's Cy Young will attest to, but in my experience, that flutter can disappear pretty quickly too. Not that I expect that in the first game of the season. Morroe, when healthy has been pretty good. Originally I thought Buerhle was a Tribe killer, but his career record is 15-17 and 4.77 ERA in 46 starts.

Key Relievers (with 2012 stats)

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Casey Janssen

R

2.54

63.2

6.2

1.6

9.5

Steve Delabar

R

3.38

29.1

7.1

4.6

14.1

Sergio Santos

R

9.00

5.0

10.8

7.2

7.2

As good as Janssen was last year, he ended up with only 22 saves. Other projected relievers include lefties Darren Oliver and Brett Cecil, and righties Jeremy Jeffress and LNFT Esmil Rogers.

On the Shelf

  • SP Kyle Drabek (Tommy John surgery) - 60-day DL, possible midseason
  • SP Drew Hutchinson (Tommy John surgery) - 60-day DL, possibly post All-Star game
  • RP Luis Perez (Tommy John surgery) - 60-day DL, possible midseason
  • SP Dustin McGowan (Right shoulder)
  • 3B Brett Lawrie (Strained left rib cage) - 15-day DL

With Lawrie a no-go, Izturis subs for him initially, but LGFT Mark DeRosa might also see some playing time at third.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

2012

2

4

333

22

31

348

Last 5

21

17

553

174

181

482

Last 10

40

29

590

322

300

532

All-Time

188

190

497

1792

1793

500

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