Blue Jays spring games begin as excitement rises
By Craig Borden
Spring training games are ready to start today at 1:05, and for most Blue Jays fans it can not come soon enough.
After a season that the Blue Jays had in 2015 it left fans foaming at the mouth for more. 2015 marked the first time that the Toronto Blue Jays made the playoffs since 1993 which awoke an entire nation of fans. With most of the 2015 team returning, the fans feel this is their year.
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Last season will live on forever in Blue Jays fan’s minds, whether you were a young fan just getting into the Blue Jays or the old fan clamouring for the glory days the team captured imaginations. The team was fun to watch and all they were doing was putting themselves on the field and playing their hearts out. How could you not fall in love with this team. They have the character and swagger that was backed up by a thirst to win ball games. They played on both sides, from diving catches to bat flips.
Looking ahead to the 2016 season, fans are anxious to pick up where they left off, and are itching to show their passion as the shown by the home opener selling out within 45 minutes.
The pitching staff may have lost David Price but gains a full season of Marcus Stroman and arguably has greater depth then the past season. J.A. Happ will be returning to the club after a year spent with the Mariners and Pirates with a new set of pitching mechanics. R.A. Dickey will look to capture his late season form and provide a veteran presence. Marco Estrada looks to continue being captain clutch after a stellar post season performance. The fifth spot in the rotation is going to come from the competition between Aaron Sanchez, Jesse Chavez, and Drew Hutchinson. The amount of experienced pitching depth is impressive for this team.
Looking at Mt. Crushmore, the Jays may have one of the best offensive lineups since the Yankees Murderers’ Row. The amount of pop in this lineup is unheard of in the resurgence of pitching that has been taking place in baseball. The 2015 Blue Jays scored 891, and that was only with a partial season of Troy Tulowitzki. There is no where to hide in this lineup and that is what makes them so exciting to watch.
Josh Donaldson also looks to keep it raining in Toronto after signing a two-year deal. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion look to outplay themselves to boast there possible free agent value. Tulo and Russel Martin look to provide reinforcements to the thumpers in the middle of the lineup.
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The rest of the lineup will not be forgotten as Chris Colabello, Devon Travis, Ryan Goins, and Kevin Pillar provide loads of upside themselves. Pillar might be getting the best chance as he may be the new lead off hitter. Pillar could be seeing some better pitches while batting in front of the reigning MVP.
As Jays fans storm the town of Dunedin, Florida, which seems to be coming more Canadian each year, fan excitement could not get any higher. The Jays have been building a solid contender that is riddled with depth to back up the A+ team that they have. With all the things to look forward to this season and the breakout candidates waiting in the wings, today marks the beginning of the seven months we’ve been waiting for. And hopefully more.