Following the lead on the White Sox thread, I thought I would share my thoughts on my Jays.
- BJ Ryan is out to start the season...he is optimistically targetting a mid-April return. I feel this is too soon and it isnt likely that he is back logging innings until the middle of May at the earliest, closing by June 1st in the best case scenerio. It is very hard to tell though and these dates are just my opinion. The Jays haven't been the most reliable in giving time-frames for their injured players. When he does come back it is doubtful that he closes back to back days so Jeremy Accardo will be getting a some save opportunities. You will want to hold onto him in deeper leagues.
- Scott Rolen is out for at least two weeks with a broken finger/torn off nail. He had a pin put in his finger to help repair it...he should be back by May 1st at the latest. Marco Scutaro is expected to man the hot corner for the time being.
- LF situation: Reed Johnson was waived meaning Shannon Stewart and Matt Stairs will platoon for the spot. Initially, expect to see Stairs in there against RHP, Stewart against LHP. My thoughts are that as time goes on it will be close to a 50/50 split, perhaps even favouring Shannon. I don't really see Stairs repeating his '07 form which many would agree he played over his head, and Stewart is a very consistant hitter. Take a flier on Stewart if you need a 5th OF in AL-only leagues.
- The lineup is still up in the air, they have been pretty quiet about it so this is really just a guess on my part. Lots of solid RH bats without many lefties. Gibbons has said he wanted to split Overbay and Stairs but was struggling to find an order where he could do so. Hill could bump to 7 sliding the other two down, but there should not be any drastic(guys from the top going to the bottom, or vice versa) changes to a lineup that looks like this.
Projected everyday lineup:
- SS David Eckstein
- RF Alex Rios
- CF Vernon Wells
- DH Frank Thomas
- 3B Scott Rolen
- 1B Lyle Overbay
- LF Matt Stairs
- C Greg Zaun
- 2B Aaron Hill
- The rotation was a strong point for this team last year, especially in the 2nd half. The question is if the young arms can duplicate their success. Injuries to last year's rotation may have been a blessing in disguise as they were the main reason that McGowan, Marcum and Litsch got a shot at starting games in the majors. McGowan has top of the rotation type stuff and seemed to put it all together last year. Marcum was great after getting moved into the rotation. His stuff isn't as good as McGowan but he does have the ability to strike hitters out. Litsch is a pitcher with limited upside, but pitched effectively in '07. At the top they have Halladay who is an outstanding ML pitcher, but not quite as valuable in fantasy baseball due to low k's. With Burnett, health is always the question but you can't deny his talent.
- Roy Halladay
- AJ Burnett
- Dustin McGowan
- Shawn Marcum
- Jessie Litsch
- OF Adam Lind: Expect him to be the starting LF in 2009. He his hit at every minor league level, and I expect him to be a solid ML bat in the future.
- OF Travis Snider: I expect him to get a September callup in 2009 with an everyday spot in 2010, at DH, or possibly bumping Lind to 1B when Overbay's deal expires. He has a very high ceiling and is projected to be a middle of the order-type bat