When a team acquires a lot of new players in the offseason almost everyone thinks about the new “problems” the new players bring to the team.
Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonafacio were both acquired this offseason so it’s easy to remember the Blue Jays have a battle for 2nd base. They’ll both probably end up getting significant playing time during the season anyway.
Of course bullpen spots are up for grabs at Spring Training for every MLB team.
It’s easy to remember those battles because they’re new but the Blue Jays have a few old problems that are way too overlooked.
Like the battle for Adam Lind’s platoon partner. Someone that could DH against left handed pitching.
This is such a perfect example of being spoiled by a stacked offense. If the Blue Jays had a middle of the pack lineup this significant hole would definitely not be flying under the radar. It’s a hole that if filled properly can make the Blue Jays lineup that much more dangerous.
You would have to assume the battle for Adam Lind’s platoon partner would be players on the Blue Jays bench. Which as of right now is Rajai Davis, Mark Derosa, whoever wins the back-up catcher battle, and the final bench spot either between Bonafacio or Izturis, depending who’s starting at 2nd base that day. Not exactly the most exciting names for part time DH but then again neither is Adam Lind.
Then there’s the battle for the Blue Jays starting pitch depth beyond the major leagues. This battle probably won’t affect the Blue Jays right away but during the season could end up being way more important than Adam Lind’s platoon partner and it practically doesn’t get talked about at all.
Last season the world slapped the Blue Jays in the face and taught them the harsh lesson that starting pitch depth can make or break your season.
Ricky Romero was flat out terrible last year. Of course every Jays fan is hopeful that making Ricky the number 5 starter will magically resurrect his pre-2012 form. Especially since Ricky’s been with the Blue Jays since the start of their rebuild so you’d love to see him be a part of what looks like a real playoff run. If Ricky picks up where he left off from 2012 the Blue Jays would have to take him out of the rotation. Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson also have a lot of injury history. When you add that to the chance that Ricky could flame out you realize that the pitchers starting in the Jays minor league system are extremely important.
Unless something happens to one of the Jays starters before opening day this battle doesn’t need to be resolved by the end of Spring Training. J.A. Happ, Brad Lincoln, Chad Jenkins will likely start in the minor leagues. The Blue Jays will also be bringing in as much minor league starting depth as possible during the season so it’s a battle that’ll keep growing and hopefully give the Jays more options if they need a 6th, 7th, 8th starter. That’s not even including the Blue Jays starting pitching prospects in the minors who could possibly impress enough to be considered.
Adam Lind’s platoon partner and the Blue Jays starting pitching depth battles might be old problems but they’re just as important as the new ones.