With a roster as packed as the one the Toronto Blue Jays are lucky enough to have, spring training can be seen as a mere formality, a tune-up to get the cobwebs out. Still, as meaningless as the statistics are in camp, there are some evaluations being completed and as such, expectations that have been rendered.
That is where the toughest task of Spring Training lies, in separating the expectations from the small sample sizes. Let those who shall be judged, be judged, and let those who are working the kinks out for a 162-game schedule skate through, right?
Well, as fans, we often have a tough time at separating ourselves from the reality of the situation, Spring Training or not. As such, I thought it would be a fruitful exercise to poll our loyal fan base on who they feel has been the most disappointing player in camp this spring.
For starters, we have Esmil Rogers, the man essentially acquired for former manager John Farrell (via a secondary trade for Mike Aviles). Given his performance with Cleveland in the second half last season, many fans were looking forward to another hard-thrower in the bullpen. However, in 6.1 innings this spring, Rogers has surrendered 8 earned runs and three home runs. He has also posted a 12.8 K/9 ratio in the process, but the home runs are a worrisome stat in the mighty American League East.
How about fifth starter Ricky Romero. Coming off of a career-worst season, Romero has watched his star fade, and his ace status relegated to the back of the rotations. Still, he was prematurely handed the keys to the final spot in the rotation. He has rewarded the Blue Jays for their faith by allowing 7 earned runs in 8.2 innings pitched this spring while giving up 3 bombs and walking (8) more than he’s struck out (7). For a pitcher with confidence issues and trouble locating a year ago, Romero isn’t looking to be in the right frame of mind. Furthermore, the team is frustrating J.A. Happ, a pitcher who would otherwise earn the spot, in the process.
Then we have Brett Cecil, a favorite for the long-man slot in the bullpen, but also another former prospect who has stuggled in the past year plus. Cecil appears to have increased his velocity some, but not necessarily his effectiveness. The 26-year-old lefty has tossed 10 innings on the spring, allowing 7 earned runs and striking out 12 batters. Its a mixed bag of results, but will it be enough to hold off Happ should the Jays choose to keep him in the Majors?
On the hitting side of things, we have Maicer Izturis. Once the favorite to win the second base job, Izturis has struggled to hit the ball this spring. With a .229 average and a .575 OPS, Izturis is well behind the 8-ball when it comes to his competition with Emilio Bonifacio. Both men have struggled with their fielding this spring, but the vast difference at the plate may sway this battle to Bonifacio.
Finally, there is Colby Rasmus. The talented Jays center fielder has struggled to make good on his potential and the Blue Jays are growing weary of his struggles. A shoulder injury hasn’t helped Rasmus make much of an impression this spring, as he’s struggled to a .130 average, 1 home run, and 7 RBI in just 23 plate appearances. Missing time certainly is not helping Rasmus’s case and his possible successor in center field, Anthony Gose, is not wasting time in making a good impression either.
So Blue Jays fans and loyal readers alike, tell us which of these Jays have been the most disappointing in camp.