We have a team picked by most of the experts to finish last in our division, some that think we'll lose more than 100 games. I don't think we'll be all that bad, personally. The media tends to down play the Jays at the best of times. While I don't think we are going to contend or anything, I think we could finish in the mid 70's for wins.
So if we give in that we aren't going to be battling for a playoff spot, what is really the worst that could happen this year?
- Injuries. Particularly to pitchers. I could gladly go the whole year without hearing the words Tommy John or frayed...well anything really. That frayed word seems to always mean really bad things. I am hoping that Cito is gentle with his pitchers. I wouldn't mind if we go the season without a complete game and I'd be happy if none of the pitchers go much past 110 pitches in a game. I'd like him to go with a straight 5 man rotation and let everyone get an extra day rest when we have off days.
- Certain players getting rushed to the majors. There will be a fair bit of pressure to bring up Kyle Drabek. Show the fans what we got back for Doc. Especially if Doc is leading the Cy Young race in the NL and if our starters don't do as well as we hope or if we have some injuries. The absolute earliest I'd like to see Drabek (or for that matter Stewart) is September. Hitters I'm not so worried about them coming up early. Brett Wallace I wouldn't mind seeing this year, JP Arencibia I'd like to see. Even Adeninis Hechavarria, if he were to show that he could handle things.
- Maybe the worst thing that could happen is we somehow hang around the edge of the playoff race and we end up trading prospects for someone that could help us now. I don't think this could or would happen but it would be bad. Now if we packaged prospects to get prospects, I wouldn't mind. We do seem heavy on the pitching prospects and light on outfield and third base prospects. I wouldn't mind a little reorganizing.
- If attendance goes way way down and Rogers has a fit and pulls more money out of the team, that would be up there on the worst list. I'm sure Rogers has been warned that we won't be filling the stands this year but still, Rogers is a corporate animal and you never know what way the wind will blow.
- Vernon Wells doesn't improve on last year. No matter what he does he won't get the worst of the fans off his back, but it would help if he had a better season. He doesn't need 30 homers or 120 RBI (but then it couldn't hurt), but a clear step up from last year would help a lot.
- Not exchanging some of our veterans for prospect by the trade deadline. We don't have to dump them all, I wouldn't mind seeing them keep Downs. And some could be Type A or B free agents, we might not get more in a trade than the value of the draft choices we pick.
- Not signing our top draft choices would be very bad, we have 9 high picks this year. It would be very bad if Rogers pulled back the money we need to sign them. This is a good chance to add a lot of depth to our system. Can't miss out on it.
- Impatience by Cito and Alex. They have to let the young guys play even if they have bad streaks. Travis Snider not playing a full time role would be bad and sending him or really any of the young guys down because of a few bad games would be just dumb. A couple of years ago Adam Lind had 19 poor at bats and the team sent him down to play Brad Wilkerson and Kevin Mench. They can't do that this year. Commit to using the young guys and stick with it. If we are stuck watching Joey Gathright play, I'll be very unhappy.
What do you all think?