With what could be described as a “eventful” 2012 season for the Jays, from injuries to controversies to the Manager being traded, focus is now turning to 2013 in what the team has been saying all along as “the year we contend for the playoffs.” But before we get to caught up on what the expectations are, there are a few housecleaning issues that need to be addressed.
The Jays, and their fans, have a wish list that would like to be filled out.
Find a manager: With John Farrell being recently traded, upon his request, to the rival Boston Red Sox, leaving the Jays without a manager. Several candidates have been mentioned, but in a new report today, as per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Jays are rumored to be interested in a manager with managerial experience at the major league level. Names being mentioned include Jays bench boss Don Wakamatsu, Jim Tracy, Jim Riggleman, and Manny Acta.
Figure out who is on second. Will Mike Aviles win the job in spring training, despite the Jays claim he will be used as a fourth infielder? Or will they go out and sign a second-baseman in a weak market? Kelly Johnson seems like he won’t be back. If Yunel Escobar is retained, will he switch positions to make room for Hechavarria?
Like every year, upgrade the starting pitching. This was a glaring weakness this year, and someone who can come in and eat innings is essential. The names of Dan Haren (via trade), Edwin Jackson, and Anibal Sanchez have been floated around. All would bring a solid resume to the table and all have playoff experience. Solidifying the bullpen, which was supposed to be strength last year but was taxed because of the weak starters, is another must.
Can this team finally figure out who is going to start in left field and provide some consistency? Whether through free agency or one of the youngsters, someone please take the bull by the horns and make the job yours. We are sick of the revolving door of mediocrity.
Lastly, and most importantly, health. A healthy and normal season from Ricky Romero, injury free seasons from Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie, and a better overall season from Colby Rasmus, and the Jays, if they fill their wish list, may be in the hunt for a spot in October.
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From the couch…