Rust A Forgotten Factor
Apr 17, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera (53) gets out the way of a pitch from Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana (not pictured) at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY SportsThe Toronto Blue Jays hitters are as inconsistent as it gets right now. One of the reasons is that the season is young, so they’re still getting into the flow of the season.
The other reason that no one is talking about, and was forgotten because of an exciting offseason, is that a lot of the Blue Jays players haven’t played in big league games for a while because of various factors, mostly injuries. And because of that they’re a little bit rusty.
Hopefully the rust goes away soon and they get back to being their regular selves but there’s a reason the rust is there.
Melky Cabrera was great in 2012 and the reason the Jays were able to sign him for so cheap was because of his PED suspension. But don’t forget that PED suspension didn’t come in the middle of the season. Melky got suspended on August 15th so he missed the last month and a half of the season, and a few more games than that since his team was in the playoffs. An extra month and a half to an offseason that’s already long will make you rusty even though Melky’s been decent for the Jays so far.
Jose Bautista got injured last season on July 16th and he managed to come back for one game before getting re-injured so he’s even rustier than Melky.
Brett Lawrie and J.P. Arencibia both dealt with injuries and a DL stint the last 2 months of 2012. They’re definitely not as rusty as Bautista and Melky but limited playing time in the big leagues while trying to come back from an injury will make any player rusty going into the next season.
Lawrie got injured again before this season even started so he didn’t even get to play in as many spring training games as you’d like. Some people even say the Jays took him off the DL to early now. So with that being debatable you can understand his rust.
Last season Emilio Bonifacio missed almost 2 months in the middle of the season because of an injury. Bonifacio then got injured again on September 4th and missed the last month of the season so he’s also starting 2013 with a longer break than the average big league player.
These are all pretty good players so they could all get into the flow of playing in big league games faster than most players that haven’t played in a while. All we can do is hope that happens sooner rather than later.