May 29, 2012
Mr. Fantasy Freak
Three Reasons the Blue Jays Will Win the AL East
The Blue Jays have been near the bottom of the AL East for a long time. Even when they had superstar Roy Halladay, they were troubled to find success in such a powerful division. This year is different, however. Anything looks possible with the Yankees and Red Sox both hovering around .500 and upstart Baltimore leading the pack. Barring injury, the Blue Jays could contend and win the division this year. These three things are the reasons why:
1. Edwin Encarnacion. The 29-year-old slugger is everything you could want in a Robin to Jose Bautista's Batman. He can play first base, third base, and even DH for the Blue Jays. Entering Tuesday, he has 16 HR's and 41 RBI's. This puts him tied for 2nd in home runs and 3rd in RBI's in the whole league. His average is starting to creep back towards .300, sitting at a decent .274 entering the night. He is focused and on fire, which is scary for all AL East teams, especially once Bautista starts to hit.
2. Starting Rotation. Led by underrated southpaw Ricky Romero, the Blue Jays rotation is very exciting. Of the five main starters, their combined ERA is a solid 4.05. Young pitchers, such as Henderson Alvarez and Kyle Drabek, are performing well and taking the next step in their development. Brandon Morrow has some of the most electric stuff in the game. John Farrell has a chance all five days with this rotation.
3. Omar Vizquel. This team has a perfect balance or experience to go along with their promising youth. The 23-year veteran is a great influence on and off the field for the Blue Jays. Also, he can still play! He is a coach on the field, which a lot of teams do not have. Add Jose Bautista, among others, and this team has sprinkled together quite a cast. Don't expect this team to falter down the stretch with such leadership aboard.
If these three things provide true, this could be the year where the Blue Jays make a splash and head to the playoffs. The extra Wild Card team could definitely help them in their path to the promise land. One thing that they need is a refocused Adam Lind. They put him on release waivers, and I expect someone to pick him up. But if he stays in the organization, look for him to figure it out and be back in The Show in no time.