Back in March I made 25 predictions about the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays. After a first half filled with inconsistency and disappointment, let’s see how I’m doing.
1. Jose Bautista returns to the field with a vengeance, showing no ill effects of his wrist injury by slugging 42 home runs.
Thus Far: He is on pace for 34, so I’m not too far off.
2. On Friday April 5th, Jays fans welcome back former manager John Farrell with the loudest and most hate-filled chorus of boo’s since the 2009 return of A.J. Burnett.
Thus Far: Yes sir! And it was glorious to hear!
3. Edwin Encarnacion proves that 2012 was no fluke by exceeding the 35 HR and 100 RBI milestones.
Thus Far: Absolutely. Edwin already has 25 HR and 72 RBI, and should be able to meet those targets rather easily.
4. Brett Lawrie has an outstanding year, albeit one interrupted by two separate stints on the disabled list.
Thus Far: Well, I definitely nailed the DL part! He has been on twice, missing the beginning of the season, and then most of June. Sadly, he is definitely not having an outstanding year…
5. As much as I want him to succeed, Colby Rasmus continues to struggle, finding himself platooning in CF by the end of the season.
Thus Far: Happy to be wrong about this one. Colby has been one of the few Jays who has consistently produced, and currently owns an .816 OPS.
6. Adam Lind has a nice rebound year, but not good enough to prevent the Jays from acquiring Justin Morneau at the July trade deadline to solidify 1B.
Thus Far: Adam Lind is having more than a nice rebound year – he is having a tremendous season. And there is no way that Morneau becomes a Blue Jay. This was a miss.
7. After suffering through a 2012 that saw only two pitchers make 30 starts and zero reach 200 innings, 2013 will see four starters reach those milestones.
Thus Far: Oh no. There may be two, in Dickey and Buehrle, but that’s it. Way too many injuries.
8. At some point in 2013, Ricky Romero pitches in the minor leagues – with AA New Hampshire a real possibility.
Thus Far: I nailed this one, but it was worse for Ricky as he was sent right back to A Dunedin, before settling in Buffalo.
9. After allowing 9 passed balls in 2012, J.P. Arencibia allows 10 in 2013 – not great, but very good considering he will spend time catching R.A. Dickey.
Thus Far: Well, J.P. already has allowed 10 passed balls, with 68 games remaining. It looks like he’ll fly past that number.
10. Speaking of Dickey, he won’t be able to match his outstanding 2012 numbers, but still has an exceptional year in the AL East, posting a sub 3.50 ERA, and over 200 strikeouts.
Thus Far: This doesn’t look good. With only 92 strikeouts in 128.2 IP and a 4.69 ERA, he will need a MONSTER second half to get there.
11. For the first time since 1984 the Jays have three players – Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, and Rajai Davis – who exceed 30 stolen bases. Depending on the amount of playing time Anthony Gose gets, there could be four.
Thus Far: Gose has only appeared in 13 games, and Reyes missed 66 games with an ankle injury, so neither of them will reach 30 SB. Davis is a lock to reach that target, but with only 11 steals (with 5 caught stealing) Bonifacio has been bad.
12. After a decent, but not outstanding, start to the season, the Jays hit stride in July by ripping off an 11-game winning streak heading into the All-Star break against the Tigers, Twins, Indians, and Orioles.
Thus Far: Huh. I got the 11-game winning streak right, but the timing wrong. I’ll take a half point!
13. Toronto finishes 10-9 against the Rays, the first time since 2006 that they finish above .500 against Tampa.
Thus Far: They are 5-5 right now, so a winning record is certainly possible.
14. As the 25th man on the roster, Mark DeRosa puts up pedestrian-like numbers. But they look absolutely Barry Bonds-like when compared to what last year’s 25th man Omar Vizquel posted.
Thus Far: .216 average, .709 OPS, 5 HR, 24 RBI. Last year Vizquel put up a .235 average, .546 OPS, 0 HR, 7 RBI. Nailed it.
15. Darren Oliver becomes one of the most valuable relievers in the league, posting a sub 1.75 ERA in mainly high leverage situations.
Thus Far: A Jays lefty reliever is doing exactly that, but it’s Brett Cecil not Darren Oliver. Oliver has been good, but not that good.
16. Jose Reyes becomes the third Toronto Blue Jay to hit for the cycle.
Thus Far: Still waiting…
17. J.A. Happ makes at least 10 starts.
Thus Far: He made 7 before being struck by that line drive. If he returns to full health, he should surpass 10.
18. Bautista, Reyes, Encarnacion, and Brandon Morrow represent Toronto at the All-Star game.
Thus Far: Two for four…
19. Emilio Bonifacio ties a modern day record by stealing 6 bases in a single game.
Thus Far: I wouldn’t hold your breath.
20. Maicer Izturis puts up a solid season at the plate, by his season highlight is achieved in the field when he turns an unassisted triple play.
Thus Far: He has started hitting the ball a lot better recently, and is approaching “solid”. So far no triple play.
21. Dickey’s knuckler works wonders in a mid-summer game, as he strikes out 17 batters in a complete game shutout.
Thus Far: That would be nice…
22. John Gibbons shows more emotion than John Farrell ever did, going to bat often for his players against the umpires, resulting in seven ejections.
Thus Far: He has been tossed four times so far, and I think seven looks like a great bet.
23. After being an absolute sink hole last year (.656 OPS – 5th worst in MLB), Toronto – led by Melky Cabrera – finishes in the top-10 in OPS for left fielders.
Thus Far: Not even close. Melky has had a poor season, and Toronto’s LF currently have a collective OPS of .692 – better than last year, but still ranked 25th in MLB.
24. The Jays sweep the Yankees in Toronto in a September 17 – 19 series, increasing their lead for a playoff birth and dropping the Bronx Bombers to last in the AL East.
Thus Far: Stay tuned….
25. Toronto clinches a playoff spot, the first since 1993, on Thursday September 26th in Baltimore. Yonge street goes crazy.
Thus Far: A man can still dream.