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Couched in Our Indifference Like Shells Upon the Shore: 2011 Toronto Blue Jays Offseason Dangling Conversation, Part VI

Part I (in which we introduce ourselves and generally discuss the offseason), Part 2 (in which we discussed the Marcum for Lawrie trade), Part 3 (in which we discuss the 2011 pitching staff), Part 4 (in which we discuss the catching situation), and Part 5 (in which we discuss the Jays' farm system).  

Hugo: Who is a Jays player you believe is ready to break out in 2011 and why?   

Tom: Travis Snider. Give him a manager that believes and put him out there every day and see what happens.

JohnnyG: Ditto. Snider is primed for a big one, I think Hill bounces back too, but that isn’t really a breakout right?

Jesse: Brett Lawrie, of course!  Seriously, though, I’ll go with the other Brett (Cecil), who I think will further improve on his performance from 2010.

masterkembo:  Come on guys - taking the easy pick here with Snider.  Johnny Mac is primed for a break-out season.  Just wait, 50 homeruns and he beats Bautista in the beard growing competition.  Okay, maybe not.  How about David Purcey for a break-out season?  I think Purcey can be the closer of the future for this team and by the end of the year, he’ll be entrenched there.

JohnnyG: Oh I like the Purcey pick. Good Call.

Hugo: How about a Jays player you believe is likely to fall back in 2011 and why?  

Jesse: It almost has to be Jose Bautista.  Bautista really won me over in 2010, not only as a hitter, but I also think he has a good influence on the team in general.  That being said, it’s simply impractical to expect the man to repeat a 54 homerun season.  50-hr seasons just don’t happen very frequently.  Bautista’s season strikes me as a Roger Maris type season . . . everything kind of broke right for a player who already had a bunch of power.  The season after Maris hit 61, he hit 33.  Maris continued to be a good player -- as I think Bautista will -- but to look for seven wins from anyone outside of Albert Pujols is just too much.  I do think he should be good for a four (or so) win season.

JohnnyG: Has to be Jose Bautista, Not his fault though, and doesn’t mean he won’t still be great. He could still put up all-star numbers and it could be considered a fall back. This sort of thing happens when you have a career year, and especially such an amazing year that Bautista had.

masterkembo:  Bautista is the obvious pick here.  How about Aaron Hill for a bit of a devil’s advocate type pick.  I know, he can’t really be any worse than last year but I don’t think he gets a whole lot better either, and with the youth coming up behind him in the middle infield, if he doesn’t get a whole lot better this year, he won’t be around much longer.  I think we’ll see the average come back up, and the power drop, and by the end of the season, people will be questioning weather the Jays can compete with a .250, 15HR hitting 2B with slightly above average D.  Hopefully I’m wrong here.

Hugo:  I like Shawn Camp a lot and he did a fantastic job last season, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to replicate it.  You have to like his ground ball rate and low walks, but his K rate is below 6 and he had a FIP, tRA, and xFIP over 4.  He also stranded 82% of runners.  I’m not saying he won’t be a useful reliever, but I’m not sure giving him a more prominent role is going to work out.  

Tom: I’m not sure I want to play this one, I’d hate to feel like I’m jinxing someone, but I’d go along with Camp.