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.
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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.