The Blue Jays line up: Birds of Prey

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The Blue Jays line up: Birds of Prey
(Photo by: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

More than a month into the season the Blue Jays have seen 3 pitchers make their MLB debut and are still on top of the AL East, the toughest division in baseball. How have they done it? The Jays came off a terrible offensive year in 2008, and the line-up did not change that much.

What did change is Cito Gaston is back, and so is hitting coach Gene Tenace. With them they brought an approach that the entire team has bought into, going to every at bat with a plan. It sounds simple enough but the proof is there, the Jays averaged a run more under Gaston than Gibbons in 2008.

This year they are averaging over 1.5 runs more per game and have almost as many walk off wins as they had all of last year. They are a better team with Gaston at the helm.

With Gaston the players know exactly where they stand, they know they’re spot in the line-up will be there even if they’re struggling. Cito acknowledged that Alex Rios is “a mess” right now but he continues to put him in the 3 spot where he’s been all year. In fact the line-up has had little to no change.
Vs. Righties
1. Marco Scutaro
2. Aaron Hill
3. Alex Rios
4. Vernon Wells
5. Adam Lind
6. Scott Rolen
7. Lyle Overbay
8. Rod Barajas
9. Travis Snider
Vs. Lefties
1. Marco Scutaro
2. Aaron Hill
3. Alex Rios
4. Vernon Wells
5. Adam Lind
6. Scott Rolen
7. Kevin Millar
8. Rod Barajas
9. Jose Bautista
Those line ups have been there all year and that has given those players the confidence that only the league’s top offensive squad could have.

The key to the offensive outburst this year is the fact that there’s balance throughout the line-up. There are 10 players with 10+ RBIs, 9 players with 3+ Homeruns and 6 players hitting over .300. All these numbers have put the Jays In the top 5 in several major offensive categories.

We’ll have to wait to see if they are this year’s version of the Tampa Bay Rays, but it doesn’t hurt to take a look at the line up and asses what they have done individually so far.

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