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2015 Blue Jays Season Preview: If It All Goes Wrong

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This is part two of our two part series in which everything either goes right or wrong for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The happy happy, joy joy post is here.

It was very much within reach. Most pre-season predictions had the Toronto Blue Jays in, at least, the American League Wild Card game after an off-season that saw them add Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin and Michael Saunders.

However, the expected weaknesses were exposed even more when the Blue Jays stars were not able to perform up to their expected level - or, more precisely, not able to perform at all.

Like last year, the Blue Jays had to deal with Jose Bautista slowed with nagging injuries and other lineup mainstays like Martin, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes and Donaldson spending some time on the disabled list and, like last year, no one stepped up to help out a struggling offence which already had too many question marks.

The Justin Smoak experience did not go well, he didn't replace the value that Adam Lind brought to the lineup. The second base situation was as bad as expected, proving to be a black hole in a lineup that couldn't afford one. Center field had Dalton Pompey start the season there, but in the end, there was no one to step up and take control. Some fans were looking back fondly at the Colby Rasmus days. Jose Reyes played in 52 games.

Making things worse is that the rotation struggled as well. R.A Dickey was average, at best. Mark Buehrle did not put up numbers like his 2014 season and youngsters Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison and a mixed bag of others could not stay consistent. The fifth starter role that was so consistent last year with Stroman and then J.A. Happ (depending how you look at it) had more different appearances than a Saturday Night Live reunion show. (OK, things weren't THAT bad)

The bullpen was also a disappointment for those who expected a bounce-back year. It was more of the same. Brett Cecil was good, but didn't have the opportunity to save many games due to the struggling rotation and offence. Aaron Sanchez was not good in the rotation  and, when they put him back in the pen,  wasn't lights-out like he was in 2014. It was pretty much the worst-case scenario. Steve Delabar and Chad Jenkins also were on and off the disabled list as the Blue Jays went through almost their entire Triple A (and some Double A) staff in order to field a healthy bullpen.

To make matters worse, the division wasn't as open as people thought it would be. Boston pulled away from rest of the division on their way to 100 wins. A Wild Card also came from the East with surprising Tampa Bay pulling ahead of the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. What was left was the Blue Jays, at 76 wins, in last place.

This was to be the year that the Blue Jays  shrewd off-season decisions led us to a playoff spot. Like 2013, all that was left at the end of the season was disappointment and the realization that there were too many problems to fix in one off-season.

The Jays are left now wondering what went wrong and how they can fix it for 2016. Oh, and that Team President saga? We have that to look forward to as well.