Saturday, May 02, 2009

Blue Jay Rotation: Doc, 3 rookies, a reliever and a lot of hitting

The first month of baseball has been a bit of a surprise in Toronto. This city has been the City of Losers - until now. It has been well documented how the Blue Jays were supposed to stink this year but contend in 2010.

Well the Jays haven't run into the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees so those predictions might still come true. Or maybe the Jays intentionally lowered expectations. If that is the case then it may have backfired on them since they have the second lowest home attendance in the AL, averaging just over 22,000 per game.

If you look at the online MLB power rankings, the Jays are getting a lot of respect:
TSN: #1 (ok they are homers)
ESPN: #3
Sports Illustrated: #3
Fox Sports: #1
CBS Sports: #4

Everyone of course is talking about the hitting. They are first in the AL in batting average, hits total bases, runs, RBIs, doubles and walks. They are third in home runs. They have so many hits that they also lead the league in men left on base. But it's not just the hitting. They bandaid pitching rotation is fourth in the AL in ERA (4.29). That is a drop over last year but still respectable. The staff have given up the seventh fewest hits and lead the AL in strikeouts.

So how long can the starting rotation get by with fill ins? Well as long as they have to. Rickey Romero is out with a strained oblique which shouldn't take long to heal. Casey Janssen has been pitching in the minors so hopefully he will be back this month. Jesse Litsch has begun to throw must with a forearm strain, I'm not too optimistic.

In the meantime, enjoy it while it lasts. The Red Sox are coming.