Aug 29, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) is greeted at home plate by right fielder Jose Bautista (19) after hitting a grand slam home run against the Detroit Tigers in the seventh inning at Rogers Centre. Looking on is Tigers catcher James McCann (34). Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The left tackle potation is all about protecting your quarterback, so who protects Jose Bautista in the batting order? None other than Edwin Encarnacion. Much like the Blue Jays’ lethal top-four, his mere presence will make Bautista a better player and put him in more comfortable situations.
Across the line at right tackle is Ryan Goins, a man known around the league for his reliable protection of Toronto’s leads. While he may not be a point-producer in the NFL, Goins has some of the best hands on this team. With good hands and A-plus technique at right tackle, Bautista is already looking a little more relaxed in the backfield.
The interior line is made up of three veteran pitchers in Marco Estrada, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle. I’ll give Buehrle the nod at centre as we want him touching the football on every play and controlling the offensive line’s audible adjustments. There’s nothing the veteran lefty hasn’t seen, and with that experience on the inside, Russell Martin should gallop to a 1,200 yard season with ease!
Justin Smoak will start Week 1 for the Blue Jays at tight end, and he’s got the size to handle the job. At 6’4″, 230 pounds, Smoak will excel as a blocker when called upon, but give Toronto their own version of Gronkowski once they hit the red zone. Keep in mind that the tight end position is all about creating mismatches, something that manager John Gibbons often tries to do when using Smoak as a late-game pinch hitter. Much like Smoaks high-power, low-avearge MLB approach, you can expect a steady dose of touchdowns in the NFL but with little production in between.
Next: Who will Jose throw to? Wide receivers might surprise