Less Pressure On The Core
Sep 27, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie (13) is congratulated by center fielder Colby Rasmus (28) after his 2-run home run in the third inning against the New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIREThe Toronto Blue Jays have a very young core of players. There are a lot of benefits to having a young core. Most of the players on the team are more likely to get better throughout the next few years instead of regressing at an older age. The down fall to having a young core is that young players sometimes feel like they have to do more than what they’re capable of for the team to succeed. That type of pressure almost never works well for anyone.
With the Blue Jays new established older players the pressure on the young core isn’t as big as it once was.
Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero now have Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle in the starting rotation. That means they won’t be the centers of attention in the rotation. The innings that Johnson and Buehrle provide take the pressure off of Morrow and Ricky of absolutely having to pitch deep into games so the bullpen doesn’t get overworked. They also don’t have to worry about being a leader or setting a good example for inexperienced starters. They just have to worry about pitching well the day they start and that’s it.
Before the big moves this offseason Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus were going to be counted on to be the 3rd and 4th best hitters on the Blue Jays after Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. For most of the 2012 season Lawrie and Rasmus hit 1st and 2nd in the lineup. In 2013 those spots will probably go to the last 2 NL batting champions Melky Cabrera and Jose Reyes.
Rasmus has had pressure on him to succeed since he was one of St Louis’s top prospects in the minor leagues. He’s also had pressure on him in Toronto because he was part of a big trade. With all the good players the Blue Jays now have Rasmus doesn’t have pressure to be one of the Jays best players so he can just relax and play.
If any member of the Blue Jays core could use some pressure taken off them it’s Brett Lawrie. Lawrie has had a lot of pressure on him ever since he was traded to the Blue Jays. He’s the “Canadian boy” on the only Canadian team. The pressure of that will probably never go away but it’ll also no longer be one of the main storylines about the Blue Jays.
The big offseason moves don’t just take pressure off the young core of the Blue Jays. The veterans Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion no longer have to carry the offense with all the hitting depth the Blue Jays now have. If either of them have a slump they can work through it at their own pace instead of pressing at the plate because the Blue Jays desperately need them to hit.
Even the new Blue Jays don’t need to put pressure on themselves which players tend to do when they come to a new team. They can see the Blue Jays core is strong enough that they don’t need to do anything more than they’ve done in the past for the team to succeed.