MLB Scouting Report: Toronto Blue Jays

Gabe SimondsContributor IApril 30, 2008

The Toronto Blue Jays have a strong pitching staff and their hitting is a work in progress.  They have the best 1,2,3 punch in the league arguably.  Their bullpen is rounded out by a great set-up man and a reliable closer.  I don't see any hitter that jumps out me though.

Their starting staff has former Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, injury-prone A.J. Burnett, and rising star Dustin McGowan as their top three starters.  Some teams have better 1,2 punches, but no one has a McGowan type player at number 3.  Young starter Shawn Marcum and 23 year old Jesse Litch have good potential.  If either one of those two pitchers breakout, they could have a chance at the playoffs.

Scott Downs and Brian Tallet are the only middle relievers with a E.R.A. under 4.00.  The rest of the bullpen, Jesse Carlson, Jason Frason, and Brandon League are all under 30 so they have potential.  Jeremy Accardo takes the set-up role and does a good job at it too.  He replaced B.J. Ryan with 30 saves so now they have a good back-up if Ryan gets injured.  B.J. Ryan had 38 saves the year before.

Their batting order on the other hand has in my opinion many problems.  David Eckstein, although a overachiever, is still overrated.  His defense is below average and the he can only hit for average.  Scott Rolen lost some power and is now injury-prone.  Frank Thomas is very old so he can't go anywhere but down.  Gregg Zaun is an average catcher.  Aaron Hill and Matt Stairs are both around .290 average with decent power.  Vernon Wells and Alex Rios are two people who NEED to reach 20 homers and 100 RBIs each.

Overall, the Blue Jays are a good team in the wrong division.  They need to break even against the Red Sox and Yankees and then kill the Devil Rays and Orioles.  They should go over .500 against the rest of the teams to have a shot at the playoffs.  If not, they are once again the best team who is in 3rd place.