Is Dana Eveland a Surprise Sleeper for the Blue Jays?

Ellixs TulaganContributor IApril 1, 2010

When you read that title, you're probably saying Dana Eveland? A guy with a career 5.54 ERA, and he could possibly become a key player for the Jays this year?

Then maybe that's how the Jays lack greatness this year.

With the season opener on April 5 against the Texas Rangers, the Jays enter their regular season with a lot of new faces including Jose Molina, Kevin Gregg, and Eveland.

On April 1, the pitching rotation was announced, and it clocked Eveland as the team's fifth starter. Eveland narrowly beat out David Purcey, Brett Cecil, and recently injured Mark Rzepczynski as the final candidate.

I think Eveland will be the biggest surprise for the Jays this year.

I say this because Eveland had an excellent spring with a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings, but I've seen it several times before—players have an excellent spring, but become a bust during the regular season and are even sent down to Triple A.

But a strong reason Eveland will have a better-than-average season is that he is enthusiastic and wants to improve.

Eveland quoted, "Thanks for not making it like American Idol, where they're like, going to commercials." Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopulous actually has faith in Eveland and says he can be a future star in the MLB.

For the young Eveland, this provides a huge boost of confidence. He doesn't expect to do much as a No. 5 starter, except to be reliable.

If Ricky Romero or Brandon Morrow get injured, they will need to rely on the pitcher with more experience—someone like Eveland, who has the second most experience in the rotation, with four years.

If that doesn't happen, the fans will pounce on him and he'll be out of here in no time.

Just ask Josh Towers.

If Eveland produces and pitches quality innings game in and game out, and if the media doesn't say anything negative about him, Eveland will have no pressure put on him.

Eveland, Jays Comeback Player of the Year?