2006 is an important year for the jays and JP ricciardi. the jays bounced back from the dismal 04 season and were contenders in the AL for longer than many expected. ricciardi is running out of time to make the jays a force in the AL again. will 06 be the year the jays finally reach the playoffs again?
there seems to be an agreement that the jays needs to add a power bat to the lineup, but it will be tough to get one in the free agency market this year.
there are also some other things the jays need to decide if they want to win.
the jays pitching staff did a decent job in 05 and it even may be the case that we have too many guys who could be starting for not enough slots in the rotation.
send mcgowan back to syracuse or keep him in the bullpen where he performed well in the end of the year? it would be tough for him to start with so many candidates in the major league club.
towers has impressed me. i always thought of him as a guy who would either be on his game or he would get rocked, but it seemed that he cut down on the number of times he got rocked. is he that good? prolly not, but he has done a nice job for the jays and deserve to be kept for 06.
if it's a trade the jays need, chacin might be the guy. yeah, he gets the job done, but for how long? his 1.39 WHIP is a bit high, but i'm sure a lot of teams will love to have his ERA below 4 as a #3 or #4 starter. bush is in a similar situation of chacin, but his value right now may be lower than chacin's because of the time he spent in the minors after his poor start. i prolly trust bush more than chacin on the mound, so if i had to choose one, it would be bush. don't get me wrong, i'm not saying to trade chacin, but i'm saying that for the right price, it would be so bad trading him.
then we have lilly. i'm not entirely sure why, but i like him. i think he could be decent when healthy. his trade value is not high right now cuz of the injury he had in 05, so i think the jays might as well give him another shot and keep him too. if he faulters they don't have to pay him big bucks in 07 and by that time the jays should have some of the pitching prospects moving up.
as for the bullpen, i would love to see frasor as the closer. i think he's got the make up for it. not gonna be great, but he's gonna be solid. brandon league definitely needs more time to figure out his stuff and i think batista will be better as a long reliever than the closer. he could even get a start or two in place of injured starters.
that power bat might not come after all, but what to do with rios? hill, adams and o-dog? koskie? hinske?
rios has disappointed some people, including me, who were very high one him. after almost two full seasons in the big leagues i'm not sure he's the real deal anymore. can the jays wait for him? maybe not. what can rios do that gross can't? i'm sure you can get good value in return for rios and plug gross in rios place and the lineup wouldn't lose anything. rios has shown some signs of breaking out, but right after that he takes a step back. he could break out in 06, but i'm beginning to doubt he will ever be that rios everyone expected him to be.
hill, adams and o-dog. gotta love o-dog and i think you can't trade that guy, even if he can't buy a hit sometimes. so you gotta keep playing him at 2B and let him save you some games, but how to deal with hill and adams? send hill back to triple A and call him up when koskie gets injured? i like hill better than adams, but i think you can still go with adams, who isn't bad himself, and let hill play in syracuse for a little longer, eventually you will have to find a place for hill to play on that team.
get rid of hinske!
i hope koskie bounces back in 06. he's a great defensive 3B who's gotta find his hitting stroke again and i think he can do it. i'm saying he'll be able to hit against lefties, but if he could get going early in the season and stay healthy to get at least 450 AB, then mission accomplished.