Thursday Thoughts: Melky, Ortiz, Playoff Odds
|Courtesy of Yahoo|
Winners of four straight. Winners of their last 7 of 10. A lineup that has averaged 6.8 runs per game. Winners of consecutive series for the first time since mid-May of last year (hat tip to @BFullmer_Fan).
Does this sound more like the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays you were expecting? For a team that was long overdue, the Blue Jays seem to finally be putting it all together.
Despite some rather big injuries to their roster, the team is performing like a well-oiled machine and beginning to look more like the powerhouse squad they were billed as in the offseason.
|Courtesy of Yahoo|
Melky’s Weary Legs
Last week, there was a play in which Melky Cabrera was thrown out by a mile trying to stretch a single into a double. Initially, it looked like he was dogging it after he made the turn around first, but it turns out it may be some wobbly legs that are holding Melky back.
The Blue Jays deemed that Cabrera’s injuries didn’t warrant a DL stint, but the way he’s hobbling around the outfield, perhaps they should stick him on the disabled list. Toronto is in a bit of a hard spot right now, since there really aren’t any outfield spots left.
Ideally, the Blue Jays would like to keep Melky’s hot bat in the lineup, but aside from perhaps Emilio Bonifacio, there are virtually no other potential left field replacements.
Melky Cabrera did an okay job in the outfield in last night’s game, but I worry that this continued play in the outfield will only worsen his condition. Perhaps a week-long shift to full-time DH could be a short-term solution to aid in Melky’s recovery.
I understand why the Blue Jays are weary to do that though, because relegating Melky to DH takes a spot away from Adam Lind. Especially against right-handed starters, Gibbons would want to keep Melky, Lind and Encarnacion in the lineup if possible.
His MRI may have revealed that there were no major issues, but mind you the Blue Jays are still parading Melky in the outfield for nine innings a game, where there’s a potential his legs could get worse before they get better.
This is not the postseason where players constantly play through pain; we are just barely past the quarter pole of the 2013 season.
Now all this could seemingly be solved by calling up Moises Sierra and sending down one of Brad Lincoln or Mickey Storey. Unfortunately, AA seems to be fixated on the three man bench/eight man bullpen configuration for some reason.
What Are the Odds Now?
There’s no question the Blue Jays were perhaps the most active team in the offseason, and the plethora of moves bestowed them the title of World Series favourites. But after a lackluster start to the season, things have changed.
Below are the Blue Jays World Series, playoff, Wild Card, and win total odds (as well as a couple others) courtesy of Bodog.
Odds to Win World Series
Odds to Win AL
Odds to Win AL East
Will they be a Wild Card team?
Mind you, there is still a lot of baseball left to play this season, but these updated odds really reiterate just how much up an uphill battle the Blue Jays have for hereon out.
The forecast for only 74.5 wins scares me a little bit, as that would be just 1.5 more wins than last season. The big question is can the Blue Jays dig themselves out of this incredibly deep hole in the early going?
It’s interesting to note that Toronto’s odds of winning the AL East or making the Wild Card haven’t actually changed all that much since the offseason. Perhaps that’s because the division itself has been an open playing field here in the early going.
And just for the heck of it, I checked the Blue Jays playoff odds over at Coolstandings, and they currently have Toronto pegged at a 5.1% chance of making the postseason.
So at 22/1 World Series favourites, I suppose now is as good time as ever to put some money down on the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ramon Ortiz – Staff Ace
When I first learned that Ramon Ortiz would be starting against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park last Friday, I honestly expected the worst. He seemed like a cow that was being sent out to the big old pasture in the sky.
But then something remarkable happened … he actually did okay.
In two spot starts, Ramon Ortiz has lasted five and six innings respectively, giving up a total of two earned runs and surrendering a total of ten hits combined. Yes, we’re talking about the same 39-year old Ramon Ortiz.
While he’s been a revelation in a pair of spot starts for the Blue Jays, by no mean should they expect these results to continue. Ortiz tends to allow a lot of base runners, and he’s been bailed out on numerous occasions by his defense with a bevy of double plays.
Ramon Ortiz is pitching way over his head, and my fear is that he’s just about to the point where he’s flying too close to the sun. Any minute now, people are expecting him to implode right before our very eyes.
Obviously, the starting pitching depth is an issue right now for Toronto, but the instant another arm comes off the disabled list, Ramon Ortiz should be shipped back out to Buffalo.
What a Beautiful Ballpark
There really is nothing quite like an open roof game at the Rogers Centre. Luckily, @samzday captured the Toronto skyline in amongst the Blue Jays game perfectly.