Last week I looked back at how successful the 500 Level Fan readers were at predicting the 2013 Jays season. The answer was: suprisingly not bad.
So who’s smarter – me or my readers? In March I made 25 Blue Jays predictions for the upcoming season.
Let’s take a look and see how many I got right.
1. Jose Bautista returns to the field with a vengeance, showing no ill effects of his wrist injury by slugging 42 home runs.
Verdict: NOPE! Injured again, Joey Bats stalled at 28 this season.
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.
Verdict: Nailed it. Sadly it didn’t seem to rattle Farrell as he led the Sox to the AL East title.
3. Edwin Encarnacion proves that 2012 was no fluke by exceeding the 35 HR and 100 RBI milestones.
Verdict: Got this one too. Despite missing the final few weeks with injury, EE finished off with 36 HR and 104 RBI.
4. Brett Lawrie has an outstanding year, albeit one interrupted by two separate stints on the disabled list.
Verdict: Two DL stints? Check. Outstanding year? Oops.
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.
Verdict: NOPE! Rasmus was having a great season (.840 OPS, 4.8 WAR) until getting injured. Platooning was never in the question.
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.
Verdict: Adam Lind did have a nice rebound year, and Justin Morneau did get traded – but to Pittsburgh. Close but no cigar.
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
Verdict: NOPE! Only two – Dickey and Buehrle.
8. At some point in 2013, Ricky Romero pitches in the minor leagues – with AA New Hampshire a real possibility.
Verdict: 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.
Verdict: NOPE! JPA finished the year with 13 passed balls, a bad stat in a year full of bad stats for the catcher.
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.
Verdict: 4.21 ERA and 177 strikeouts – a double miss!
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.
Verdict: NOPE! Only Davis reached the mark, after injury hampered Reyes and all around futility killed Bonifacio.
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.
Verdict: 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.
Verdict: NOPE! Final tally = 8-11. Still can’t beat the Rays…
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.
Verdict: Vizquel in 2012: .235 average, .546 OPS, 0 HR, 7 RBI. DeRosa in 2013: .235 average, .733 OPS, 7 HR, 36 RBI. I’ll count 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.
Verdict: In his final year, Oliver hung a 3.86 ERA – pretty good, but way off my prediction.
16. Jose Reyes becomes the third Toronto Blue Jay to hit for the cycle.
Verdict: Not even close…
17. J.A. Happ makes at least 10 starts.
Verdict: Nailed it! Happ started 18 games – and some of them well.
18. Bautista, Reyes, Encarnacion, and Brandon Morrow represent Toronto at the All-Star game.
Verdict: Two for four – Cecil and Delabar got in over Reyes and Morrow.
19. Emilio Bonifacio ties a modern day record by stealing 6 bases in a single game.
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.
Verdict: Unless a sub-.600 OPS counts as solid…
21. Dickey’s knuckler works wonders in a mid-summer game, as he strikes out 17 batters in a complete game shutout.
Verdict: He did throw a complete game shutout on June 26th, but only struck out 6. His highest strikeout total was 11 on September 22nd.
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.
Verdict: Final tally = 5. Close, but not close enough.
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.
Verdict: Not even close. With a .667 OPS Jays LF finished 28th overall in the majors – only ahead of Miami and San Francisco.
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.
Verdict: 2 out of 3, so NOPE.
25. Toronto clinches a playoff spot, the first since 1993, on Thursday September 26th in Baltimore. Yonge street goes crazy.
Verdict: On Thursday September 26th in Baltimore the Jays lost 3-2 to the Orioles to fall to 15 games under .500 and 24 games back of first. So….no.
The final results? Five and a half correct. Almost as bad as the Jays themselves…