Yes, this is long over due, but just thinking about another disappointing season in which the Jays were supposed to contend, but only went 86-76, puts me in a bad mood.
However, now that the World Series is about to begin, I believe it is now time to close the book on this chapter of the Toronto Blue Jays franchise and begin a new one.
Without further ado, here are my final grades for the Toronto Blue Jays' 2008 roster.
1. Roy Halladay- A
What is there to say? Halladay is the franchise player here in Toronto and is the anchor of the pitching staff. If anything happens to him next year, the Jays are done.
2. A.J. Burnett- B+
Struggled mightily at the beginning of the season, but played so well in the second half that he gave the Jays a slim chance at the playoffs. Led the league in strikeouts with 231 and won a career high 18 games.
3. Shaun Marcum- B+
Posted a 3.39 ERA in 25 starts and exceeded his expectations by a big margin. Unfortunately, he is gone for the entire 2009 season, putting a huge hole in the rotation.
4. Dustin McGowan- B-
Only started 19 games because of shoulder problems; Dustin was pitching well up until his injury, and the Jays desperately need him back for the beginning of 2009.
5. Jesse Litsch- B+
Another pitcher who greatly exceeded expectations, Jesse went 13-9 with a 3.58 ERA last year and he will be leaned on heavily in the early going of 2009 with Marcum and McGowan on the disabled list.
1. Scott Downs- A
With a 1.78 ERA in 66 appearances as the Jays' set-up man, this was a easy grade to give.
2. B.J. Ryan- B
Ryan saved 32 games, returning just 11 months after having Tommy John Surgery. A lot of his saves were of the scary variety, as it seemed he could never go one-two-three in the order.
3. Jesse Carlson- B+
What a find by Riccardi. A relatively unknown player at the beginning of the season, Carlson made sure fans would know him by season's end with his funky delivery and 2.25 ERA.
4. Brian Tallet- B
Another fine season for Tallet, the left hander was very consistent and posted a respectable 2.88 ERA.
5. Jason Frasor- C
Frasor gave all he got, and the Jays got what they should expect from him from now on, a mid-four ERA and huge headaches.
1. Lyle Overbay- B
A hot-and-cold season for Overbay, but he did finish with a .270 average and 69 RBI. Lacks the ability to hit to the gaps like he had his first year in Toronto.
2. Joe Inglett- B+
Another good find by Riccardi, Inglett came over from the Indians, expecting to be a bench player, but he found himself as the starting second basemen after Aaron Hill's head injury. He managed a .297 average in nearly 400 at-bats.
3. David Eckstein- C
Didn't produce the results expected of him, and he was quickly traded after sitting on the bench for the better part of a month.
4. John McDonald- C+
Provided his usual excellent defence, but he seemed to have regressed even more in regards to hitting.
5. Marco Scutaro- B-
Another player brought in to be a bench player, Scutaro proved to be a value player for the Jays, getting in 500 at-bats while playing various positions.
6. Scott Rolen- D+
I know his shoulder was bothering him, but the Jays would have been better off keeping Troy Glaus.
7. Rod Barajas- B-
Did more of what was expected of him and ultimately took the No. 1 catching job away from Gregg Zaun.
1. Vernon Wells- B
Despite two serious injuries, Wells played extremely well when healthy and was on pace for 30+ homers and 100+ RBI.
2. Alex Rios- C
Hit for good average and stole plenty of bases, but he was missing his power swing in the first half and got on a home-run-hitting streak a little too late.
3. Adam Lind- B
Lind played himself on the staring roster with his exceptional hitting in AAA and kept it up in the major's when Cito Gaston was hired. Lind should be a cornerstone for the Jays' franchise for years to come.
4. Brad Wilkerson- D+
I didn't know why we picked him up and why he was kept, he did even worse with us then he did with the Mariners, and the Mariners released him while they were a last place team.
5. Matt Stairs- B-
Stairs finally has a shot at the World Series with Philadelphia and was the only one consistently hitting for power on the Jays' roster early in the season.
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