Jun 5, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind (26) hits a single in the fourth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody’s Having A Down Season For The Blue Jays So Far

One of the most overlooked reasons for the Toronto Blue Jays’ lack of success over the years is that it seems like every season at least 2 or more players for the Jays plays below his career norm.It’s something that happens to every team every season which is why baseballs always the hardest sport to predict because you never know how everyone is going to play in a particular season.

For the Toronto Blue Jays, it felt like half the team had a down year last season, with Melky Cabrera, Josh Johnson, Ricky Romero, Maicer Izturis, Emilio Bonifacio, J.P. Arencibia, just to name a few. It wasn’t that long ago Blue Jays fans were ready to run Adam Lind out of town after he had 3 down seasons in a row. There’s also Aaron Hill, Lyle Overbay, Alex Rios, and Vernon Wells. I could keep going but I’d like to finish this post before the 2015 season starts.

That hasn’t really happened with anybody this season and as you can see it’s making a huge difference.

Dioner Navarro is the closest thing to having a down season producing a -0.2 WAR according to fangraphs. But that’s really not that far off from what we he typically does. So there’s hope he can get his act together. And he is catching the rotation with the 4th lowest ERA in the American League so you can say he’s contributing to that or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to not make Navarro the exception.

Colby Rasmus has put up a -0.1 WAR in 37 games but that’s not a big enough sample size to judge Colby on. He was also playing with a nagging injury and never truly able to get into a groove before hitting the disabled list.

However, as far as the rest of the team goes everyone’s either doing what’s expected of them or better, helping to mitigate the losses of key players.

Sure the bullpen has allowed 110 walks and has a 4.55 ERA but what a bullpen does varies so much from season to season you can never really say what you’re expectations of it are.

It’s good to remember down seasons from players are a big reason the rest of the AL East teams are also having down seasons so far. But you know sooner or later some of them are going to start playing to their career norm.

The Jays have been fortunate that their whole team has already been playing to their career norm so far this season.

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  • Justin Jay

    You can’t really forget the Ryan Goins/Chris Getz experiment. Getz was so disappointing, he retired. Navarro has been bad of late, but comes up with some clutch hits. R.A. Dickey hasn’t been disappointing at all? I think he has been… another 5 1/3 “gem” that he can thank McGowan for saving his day. There’s also Romero, Santos, and even Delabar of late.

    Winning masks the problems sometimes. If the Jays offense isn’t on, this team is in trouble. And by on, I mean, scoring 5-7 runs a night… because the pitching really hasn’t been one of the best during this run. The hitters have been THAT good. STL showed a little bit of what happens when you see really good pitching

    • Joshua Menezes

      No one’s being worse than your expectations of them. Most people knew Goins was going to suck. I mentioned Navarro and the bullpen in the post. And coming into THIS season no one was expecting Ricky to contribute or for Dickey to be an ace

      • hathorian .

        So are Navarro and the bullpen having down years or not?

        • Wayne Cooper

          Navarro is having a down year compared to last year only. I expected him to hit as well as he has been, and the bullpen, which is not as good as last year is still pitching to their career norms, with the exception of Santos who went in the DL after something like 9 innings, Delabar has struggled, but other than his all-star year last year, he had only one other full season in the majors, so really i wasn’t sure what to expect, i still figure he’ll end the season with an ERA under 4 and more K’s than IP. No one is having a standout season on this team with the exception of Cabrera, and Bautista is making a carbon copy of his 2011 season. They’re just having good expected years. And this is what we get, a winning team…..go figure

      • Justin Jay

        See that 4-0 loss last night? That’s 3 shutouts by the opposing team in the last 4 games. Scores were 5-0, 5-0, and 4-0. The lone win was 5-4. See the trend here? This team is going to consistently give up 3-5 runs/gm. Call it poor expectations all you want. I call it being realistic.

        • Joshua Menezes

          Never said there rotation was perfect. If you’re going to cherry pick a week they didn’t give up more than 3 runs last week :) There 16-7 in there last 23 games and in 1st place. There in a position to win 87 games just by playing 500 the rest of the season. Let’s not nitpick one bad week. Just enjoy that there going to contend

          • Justin Jay

            Sure, let’s rest on our laurels, play .500 ball and not expect one of the AL East teams to catch fire at some point. Do you want to see them contend or see them win? I want them to win. Ask Rockies fans what poor pitching has done for them in the post season. They had 4 players hit 40 HRs in a season and didn’t even reach the World Series. Won a lot of games though.

          • Wayne Cooper

            You are the perfect example of the anti-fan. A true fan roots for his team win or lose. They’re winning now and you want to take a dump on them cause of 3 out of 4 games. They ran into 2 pitchers who were phenomenal, and then had one game (last night) where they were getting hits but couldn’t cash in with RISP. Getz had 25 ab’s and was NEVER expected to be a factor. This team is good, period, will they stay good? Hard to say, but stop crapping on us for being happy the team is winning, and forgive us for not jumping off the bandwagon at the first sign they’re not going to win 8 our of 10 the rest of the way. He wasn’t saying “rest on our laurels and play 500 the rest of the way” he was saying they have been soo good so far that EVEN if they did (which I think they will be slightly better) they would still win 87 games. You sound like a Yankee fan, upset cause we can’t win EVERY GAME. You are not a true fan. I am from Nova Scotia, and have been to 2 games in my life, but I would kill to be around the stadium now, just to feel the vibe of winning, but u take that for granted and quite frankly it’s saddening. The Jays won in ’93 with Jack Morris having an ERA over 6, how many people point that out……..exactly.

          • bob l.

            morris era over 6?

          • Justin Jay

            Morris went 7-12 in ’93 with an ERA over 6. He wasn’t included on the post season roster.

          • Justin Jay

            Define phenomenal? Hughes? Garcia? Correia? Are you trying to troll me right now, because you certainly can’t be serious… There is no crapping. It’s about being realistic. The offense is masking problems. That’s not a bad thing, but what happens when it’s Scherzer, Verlander, and Sanchez (all better than those “phenoms” above)? Gray, Kazmir, and Pomeranz/Chavez (Gray being the only phenom)? What’s your philosophy in regards to the A’s? “We beat em once, we’ll beat em again?” “Every dog has its day?” I’m not jumping on or off a wagon. I’m being the realistic person that’s BEEN SITTING ON the wagon. Yankee fan? That’s what one sounds like? Try living with them. I’m a Blue Jays fan smack in central Yankee-Red Sox hell. Maybe you’re not used to seeing good baseball, but I am.

            Even if the Blue Jays did win 1 out of every 2, then what? Flip a switch and just start winning 4? What makes you think one of these AL East teams can’t flip a switch during the season, like the Jays just did?

            You’re from Nova Scotia? That’s fantastic. Maybe when I go visit my family on PEI, we can discuss this non-fanship of mine over beers and maybe then I can change your mind. I’m not crapping on their winning. But much like last June, I’m not getting caught up in it either… The Jays are hitting the ball and winning through different varieties of offense. That’s great to see. But the starting pitching hasn’t been good outside of Buehrle. That’s not being a crappy fan. That’s the reality of it.

            And about Jack Morris. He was removed from the starting rotation near the end of ’93 and not included on the post season roster. So really, he received a ring that year, but that was about it.

          • Wayne Cooper

            Well, I define phenomenal as shut out baseball, which is what Jaime Garcia was capable of for 3 years before injuries got to him. And Miller was 3rd in ROY voting last year. They aren’t bad. And they swept Verlander, Sanchez and Porcello 2 weeks ago, so it is what it is……a long season with lots of ups and downs, the only thing a fan gets out of it is the fun while it lasts. we don’t get bonuses for the team winning. The fun of being a fan is in the moment, and I’m sorry im not going to dwell on last June, I want to enjoy this, cause with 7 winning years in the last 20 I’m well aware of what could happen to this team. I’m not being ‘blind’ cause I don’t want to complain about the band-aid rotation. Happ is only holding a job till Sanchez is ready any how, and Dickey is done in a year or 2. And Morris was left off the postseason roster…yep…..you said it……postseason….my point was that even with a glaring weakness, teams can still make it to the playoffs. he made 27 starts, that’s a significant chunk. Thank you for backing up my point.

          • Justin Jay

            Bob Hamelin once won Rookie of the Year. So did Marty Cordova. Bobby Crosby or Eric Hinske ring a bell? Those are hitters. Kirk Reuter? Steve Trachsel? Scott Williamson? Jason Jennings? All pitchers. Winning ROY doesn’t mean much to me. Placing 3rd doesn’t matter even more.

            Look, just read my article and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s not pessmism. It’s a legitimate concern. I want to enjoy this as much as you, but I want a playoff appearance again before I die. I was 11 the last time I saw one.

            And you’re banking on the hype of Sanchez. Aaron Sanchez reminds me an awful lot of Daniel Cabrera. Phenomenal arm with no control. Happ is more likely to keep his spot because he’ll be able to somewhat effectively get MLB hitters out.

            Morris was also left off the rotation the final 3 weeks of that season, due to being ineffective. That’s 20% of the rotation that was ineffective. That’s much different than 60% of the rotation being ineffective. You’re right… with a glaring weakness, a team can whack their way to playoffs. The mid-90s Rockies did just that. The early and mid-2000 Yankees did just that. The 2003 Red Sox also slugged their way to playoffs. None of them won the World Series until their pitching improved.

          • Joshua Menezes

            Lol you take things way to literally. I expect them to play better than 500 the rest of the season. But even if they don’t they’ve built a big enough cushion that you would expect them to contend in September without playing better than 500. We can talk about the state of the rotation after the trade deadline

  • hathorian .

    Delabar, Navarro, Santos, Rasmus

  • Wayne Cooper

    And no offense but you like throwing stats and saber metric stats out there. But u use the QS as a guideline????? A quality start is based on 6+ innings and 3 ER or less, and takes NOTHING else into account. Like walks and hits, first pitch strikes……nothing…..if 6+ innings and 3 earned runs is a quality start what about 8 innings and 4 earned runs? cause I’d take that over 6 and 3 any day. The pitching is shaky, but it’s better than last year, and hutch and stro have potential to be studs. Sure……I’d like to see them swing a deal with Milwaukee for Gallardo and Rickie Weeks (my idea, not something I read) but with it being so early no one knows where they are, so no jne is going to trade pitching yet. be patient, cause I see them adding someone, ONE starter, is all they need. And Rickie Weeks to play second (he lost his job to Scooter Gennett) AA make it happen.