|Image courtesy of Daylife via Reuters Pictures|
Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn’t feel all that bad about the Blue Jays contributing to a team’s 11-game losing streak. But there’s something different about the Kansas City Royals … something very likable about their underdog squad.
Truth be told, the Royals haven’t hit that poorly as a team since Opening Day. It’s just their pitching that’s been atrocious, which as everyone knows is half the battle.
I think the Royals have the pieces to eventually become a contender with Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas at the helm, and residing in the AL Central definitely plays in Kansas City’s favour.
Why Worry About Bautista?
I find it a little humourous that some pundits are already writing off sluggers like Jose Bautista and even Albert Pujols because they haven’t hit 25 home runs within the first two weeks of the season. It’s a long schedule, these guys will definitely come around.
I’m not even worried that Jose Bautista has 14 walks and just 12 hits, because that just indicates he’s making the adjustments. The first week or so of the schedule, Jose was having a horrible time catching up to the fastball … even in fastball counts.
Pitchers are now compensating this season by feeding Jose Bautista a steady diet of breaking balls, and frankly I don’t blame them. Unfortunately for them, Jose has a very keen eye for those breaking and off-speed pitches, which is why he’s drawing so many base on balls.
Now that he’s altered his plan of attack, he’s drawing more walks and letting Edwin Encarnacion do the dirty work. Considering how hot Edwin has been hitting, that’s not a bad strategy at all.
Colby Rasmus … My New Hero
It’s interesting how a player like Colby Rasmus has gone from being a whipping boy in the media to the newest sensation on the Blue Jays roster.
In those first two series against Cleveland and Boston, he was stinging the ball left and right with nothing to show for it. Now that his BABIP has settled down a little bit, the fruits of his labour are beginning to be reflected in his batting average.
Some might say this warrants moving Rasmus up a little higher in the batting order, but I actually think he’s perfect right where he is. John Farrell obviously wants to continue to keep that alternating left/right sequence in order.
Rasmus might have been a candidate to move up to the two-slot, but with the way Kelly Johnson is performing ahead of Jose Bautista, there’s no need to tinker around very much with the current starting lineup.
Colour Me Worried About Sergio Santos
This is just me thinking worst case scenario here, but what if something is really wrong with Sergio Santos? This now marks the first time he’s even been on the disabled list in his Major League career. Could it be that all those innings have finally caught up with him?
While his MRI came back negative and thankfully won’t require surgery, it just all sounds a little bit fishy to me. And Tom Verducci’s article from last week didn’t help my paranoia about the Blue Jays closer, either.
He discovered that 34% of all relievers and 50% of all starting pitchers will go on the DL at some point every season. Also, the turnover for closers in the Major Leagues was an astronomical 66% from Opening Day 2011 to 2012.
Luckily, the way the Blue Jays bullpen was constructed in the offseason makes is very easy for every reliever to just move up a rung in the depth chart. I believe the quality of arms behind Sergio Santos can pick up the slack in his absence.
If Santos’ injury extends behind the projected four weeks that the Blue Jays think it might take for him to get back, then I might start to get a little worried. Again, this is just yours truly being extremely paranoid, but I would hate to see Santos go down in year one of his tenure as the Blue Jays closer.