Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith

Blue Jays Morning Brew: Bench Depth, Wish Lists and Roy Halladay


Dec 9, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Roy Halladay announces his retirement the MLB Winter Meetings at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Halladay signed a one-day contract and retired with the Toronto Blue Jays. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday everyone!

Leading off, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith says that the Toronto Blue Jays must improve their bench that as currently assembled would look something like Josh Thole, Maicer Izturis, Moises Sierra, Anthony Gose or maybe the recently acquired Steve Tolleson. According to BNS last season the bench accounted for 31% of the Blue Jays plate appearances and batted a paltry .236/.294/.351. They are severely lacking depth at middle infield and are relying on Jose Reyes, Ryan Goins, Izturis and likely Tolleson in an emergency situation, which doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence if an injury does occur (especially to Reyes, knock on wood). Nicholson-Smith compares the Blue Jays bench to the formidable back-ups held by both of last year’s World Series participants, the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals. It’s sometimes not an area that we always think about but as he concludes “rounding out the roster with quality role players will distinguish title contenders from sub-.500 teams.”

Brenden Kennedy at the Toronto Star looks at five moves that the Blue Jays could still make this off-season. It’s not exactly the most optimistic of outlooks and according to Kennedy we shouldn’t get our hopes up that the Blue Jays will make a serious play for either Masahiro Tanaka (if posted), Ubaldo Jimenez or Matt Garza. He says trading for a starter is more likely but still murky. The only move that he sees a good chance of happening is the Jays finding a right-handed veteran bat to platoon with Adam Lind.

Over at Blue Jays Plus, Jeff Woo provides a guest post that gives us a glimmer of hope for 2014. The offence is still no joke but the plans relies on picking up a starting pitcher who would rank higher than Mark Buehrle on the depth chart plus a resurrected Brandon Morrow. That being said things are still projecting to be better than 2013 and as Woo points out perhaps as the players continue to gel it could lead to better results on the field.

And in case you haven’t read it yet, Matt English wrote an excellent piece about Roy Halladay and the once-in-a-lifetime player we were so lucky to witness for so many years in Toronto.