Blue Jays See Positives Early in Spring Training


In the early weeks, Blue Jays Spring Training has given a glimpse of hope that a relatively quiet offseason will make for a strong summer

With the regular season looming ever closer, it’s easy to wonder if the Blue Jays success in spring training will translate into maintainable long-term success during the regular season. While the win and loss record is flashy, it should not be seen as an indicator for the season ahead. What should be focused on is the personal strides made by the players themselves. Many Blue Jays have been clicking early, but a few players stand out with the positive strides in their game.

Michael Saunders
Saunders entered Spring Training fighting for the open left-field spot. While it was anticipated that he’d have an inside lane on the job, Saunders has wasted no time in trying to prove that he’s the best man for the job. Currently Saunders leads all Jays in home runs, hits (tie), and RBI’s. While this is due to him having more at-bats than any other Jay up until this point, management must be breathing a sigh of relief that the Saunders/Bruce deal fell through.

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Over the course of the last two weeks, Saunders has begun to dispel concerns over his knee, his ability to hit for power, and his ability to get on base. While there is a lot of spring training left, and the real season is a whole different game, the Jays should feel confident that they are going to get the best that Saunders has to offer.

Aaron Sanchez
While Sanchez got his first start on Sunday, he has pitched effectively all spring. Clocking in at 9 innings, Sanchez holds an impressive 2.00 ERA with 10 strikeouts. Bolstered, of course, by his electric performance on Sunday where he retired 11 straight at one point. If Sanchez can stay this dynamic, he will be an asset to the starting rotation.

Sanchez’s place has yet to be determined, but his success as both starter and reliever this spring should be seen as a positive sign that he can contribute on the mound, regardless of circumstances. His strong start to the spring has helped the Jays rotation go from looking very average to legitimately dangerous.

Gavin Floyd
Floyd emerged as a dark horse candidate to enter into the starting rotation, however given his success, the Jays must be considering him as a serious candidate. In 8 innings he has posted stellar numbers including a minuscule WHIP and an batting average against of .172. Over the course of this small sample size, Floyd has proven that he’s a could quickly become a valuable depth piece in 2016.

If Floyd can keep up appearances, he also provides some roster flexibility. The Jays could use him as a rotation arm, long relief, or even a sixth starter if the Jays decide to mix things up. So while not the flashiest of pick ups, Floyd has proven to be worth it thus far.

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Marcus Stroman
The Stro Show has been in full force this spring, and Stroman looks to be able to take on the roll of staff ace. He has been nothing but dominant in his three appearances this spring, and is eager to do more. His efficiency has kept him in games longer than designated, his delivery system has sped up, and his stuff has been just nasty.

Looking to compete in his first full season, Stroman looks poised to build upon his successes over the last two season. With the strength in depth the Jays have behind him, they can be confident that the man at the front is at his best.

The Jays quietly assembled some much-needed depth, that has payed off big early in the pre-season. While “what happens in Spring Training, stays in Spring Training” is often good advice to go off of, the Jays have seen tremendous growth from not only the players I’ve named, but many others as well. Spring training has been full of positives so far, and that should be enough to excite any Jays fan.