The 2013 season certainly didn't begin the way that Toronto Blue Jays fans, management, players or ball boys expected. Starting off this month with four straight losses doesn't help either.
Fear not, Jays enthusiasts, for there are three key reasons why Canada's team will have a winning record in May.
3. Melky's Starting to Click
After going homerless in April, the much criticized Melky Cabrera finally broke out of his shell on May 5.
Slugging his first long ball as a Blue Jay in the club's 10-2 victory over Seattle on Sunday, Cabrera's extra-base hits are what really stand out.
Amassing only a trio of extra-base knocks over his first 31 games, Melky has more than doubled that amount in this week alone. Could No. 53 be turning the corner?
Fears that the left fielder was useless without performance-enhancing drugs as his sidekick may have been premature. Like so many veterans coming out of spring training, maybe it was just a slow start.
2. Brandon Morrow Equals Saviour?
One pitcher doesn't make a rotation, but Toronto supporters need some hope to cling to in what has so far been an underwhelming starting five.
For Brandon Morrow, a single win in seven outings and a 4.69 ERA is obviously not considered ideal. However, the hard-throwing right-hander looked like his vintage self in a dominating eight-inning performance on May 5.
Eight strikeouts and two earned runs on only three hits for a victory is exactly what the Blue Jays needed to give a breather to an overworked bullpen. It's also the first time that Morrow appeared to be in full command.
Back spasms pushed the Santa Rosa, Calif., native's next start back against Boston from Friday to the series finale on Sunday. That outing will be huge for the 6'3" hurler and the Jays staff as a whole. Toronto needs an arm to rely on, and Morrow could be the man to help make May a winning month.
1. The New Terminator...Casey Janssen
If this team can ever gain and hold a lead late into a game, then it possesses a closer who appears to have come into his own in 2013.
Tom "The Terminator" Henke? Not yet, but Casey Janssen is slowly shaking away the inconsistency that haunted him as a stopper the past couple of seasons. Staying healthy and getting steady work to remain sharp are the goals.
A perfect 9-of-9 in save opportunities, the eight-year veteran is posting a minuscule 0.75 ERA in 12 appearances. His 13 strikeouts to zero walks only accentuates the stellar outings.
In those 1992 and 1993 World Series championship campaigns, the Jays could always count on Tom Henke and/or Duane Ward to shut down opponents in the ninth inning. It seemed automatic.
If the offense can begin to click in May and put this squad ahead late in more matchups, then Janssen will be given the opportunity to shine. We could be on the cusp of witnessing the next great Toronto closer. Get your nicknames ready folks.
Follow Andy McNamara on Twitter @AndyMc81
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