Here is the third and final installment of my preview of the Toronto Blue Jays of 2008.
It has taken a while in coming, but here it is, my preview of the Jays' outfield.
The Jays look like a strong bunch on paper, but the overall health of the outfielders could be an issue.
The Jays don't look too strong out in left with Matt Stairs, Adam Lind, and Marco Scutaro patrolling the field behind third base.
- Matt Stairs: Matt Stairs, the 39-year-old utility player for the Jays could be seeing some considerable time out in left field for the only Canadian team in the Majors. The oldest player on the Jays hit .289 last year chipping in 21 homers and knocking in 64 runs in 125 games.
- Adam Lind: Adam Lind had a bit of an emergence last year with the Jays seeing time in 89 games last year for the big club. He batted .238 with 11 homers and 46 RBI. He could have a break out year this season and it would sure be nice if he does because the Jays are very weak in left field after the departure of Reed Johnson.
The Jays have one of the best center fielders in the league in Vernon Wells, but they don't exactly have much of anything behind him.
- Vernon Wells: Wells, one of the best in the game at his position, is coming into the season looking to do better than he did in the last. He is coming off of surgery on a torn labrum that bugged him from May of last season until the end of the year. He looks to improve on his numbers last year, with a batting average of just .245 with 16 homers and 80 RBI. If he and Alex Rios have a good season at the same time the Jays might actually have a chance of challenging for the AL East division title.
The Jays have an up-and-coming right fielder in Alex Rios and it will be hard to improve on his great numbers last year, however, it is doable.
- Alex Rios: Alex Rios' breakout season last year wasn't much of a surprise to a lot of people; it had to happen soon enough. A kid with that much talent wasn't going to hang under the radar for too much longer. His numbers were incredible last year. The youngster batted .297 and added 24 homers and 85 RBI. Rios also came home as a runner-up in the Home Run Derby last year. Alex will look to build on his breakout season this year and establish himself as the leader of the team this year.
So there you have it folks, my season preview of the Jays is complete with all three phases. It took me awhile but here it is, enjoy.
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