KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 23: John Farrell #52 of manager of the Toronto Blue Jays watches from the dugout before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium April 23, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
The first 16 games are done and the Blue Jays are 10-6, so, obviously, we are going to win 100 games this year. Well, maybe not, but we have had a nice start to the season. With a bit of luck we could be 14-2. Five series in we've won 3 and lost 2, and had the nice 4 game sweep against the Royals.
How we get here:
Offense: We've scored 5.12 runs per game, 4th in the AL. All our triple slash lines have been around league average: batting average .248 ( league average ..253), OBP .323 (league average .320) and slugging .408 (league average .412). We've done well to score a good number of runs with pretty average stats.
About the only guy that is really hitting that really well, is Edwin Encarnacion, with a .30/.347/.576 line, 4 home runs (tied with Kelly Johnson for the team lead, 13 RBI and 3 stolen bases. It's really nice to see him having a good start.
Kelly Johnson is getting on base well (.375 OBP) , and, when he isn't walking, he's hitting the ball hard (4 homers). His average (.224) will come up. Colby Rasmus has had his moments, .259/.313/.483. And Brett Lawrie has been ok, .292/.329/.415.
Now the list of guys that have had a cold start is longer:
- J.P. Arencibia, .200/.345/.300, though he seems to be picking it up.
- Adam Lind, .222/.288/.370.
- Yunel Escobar, .243/.288/.311.
- Eric Thames, .250/.311/.300
- Jose Bautista .214/.378/.393. Even in a slump, Jose isn't bad.
Pitching: The pitchers are allowing 4.44 runs a game, right about the league average of 4.47.
Our starters have given up a .228/.308/.446 line. There are a few too many home runs. They have a 3.86 ERA and are averaging 6.4 innings a start. They aren't getting a lot of strikeouts, just 5.3/9.
The relievers have given up a .227/.332/.359 line, with a 4.11 ERA, and, of course, when they have given up they have been at the worst moments. They do get strikeouts, 8.6/9.
Ricky Romero (3-0, 3.29) and Kyle Drabek (2-0, 2.00) have good numbers, though Kyle's last start wasn't much fun. Brandon Morrow is 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA, but it doesn't seem like he's put it all together yet this season. Henderson Alvarez has had 1 good start, 1 middling start and 1 bad start for a 4.66 ERA. Drew Hutchison pitched 4 good innings and 1 bad.
In the bullpen, the only two with good ERA's are Luis Perez (0.00 in 11.1 innings) and Darren Oliver (1.80, in 5 innings). Everyone else has been hit fairly hard. Our temporary closer, Francisco Cordero has given up 10 hits, 3 walks, with 6 k in 8 innings.
The thing that has kind of surprised me is that Casey Janssen is getting so little use. He hasn't pitched since April 14th. That's the thing I hate about 7 or 8 man bullpens, someone is going to get missed out. I'd rather have someone that could pinch hit occasionally than extra arms in the pen, but that's me. It would be pretty tough to stay sharp in the bullpen if you don't pitch for a week or two at a time.
Defense: It's been great. We lead the league in Defensive Efficiency (percentage of balls in play turned into outs) at .745. Just about everyone on the team is doing well, except for Thames. You might argue about J.P. I think he's looked better behind the plate. He's thrown out 3 of 8 base stealers. He seems to be blocking the ball better. I don't think he is great, but he's better than he was last year.
Beyond that, our infield has looked great. We lead the league in double plays turned (26, 2nd best is Baltimore at 21) (We lead the league in triple plays too). Adam Lind has impressed me, I'd much rather he impress on offense, but he's looked really good with the glove. Johnson, Escobar and Lawrie have all been very good.
In the outfield, it's been fun watching Colby Rasmus, he's showed more range than I thought he had. Jose has shown off his arm some. Eric? Well, the good news is that Farrell is very willing to put Rajai Davis in as a defensive replacement when we have a lead. I haven't noticed the great defensive improvement that we were promised. I guess it is a small sample size, but you'd think we'd have some sign of the improvement by now.
The first 16 games have been fun. What stands out to you after 16 games?