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It’s hard to remember the Joe Carter/Robert Alomar Jr. days, when the Blue Jays were the team to beat. They’ve had a long-suffering decade, with some ill-advised free agent signings when they could convince free agents to come to the frozen north, and it’s been ages since they were competitive. They’ve had one very bright note: Jose Bautista, who is a genuine old-school masher in the Roger Marris mould. They did well to retain him when teams like the Red Sox sought to lure him away, but what kind of team can they build around him? It’s hard to imagine them realistically competing, even if there are two wild card slots. They’ve got a wily manager in John Farrell, one who knows pitching, but he does not have a wealth of talent to draw on. Henderson Alvarez had a nice ERA (3.53) but needs to show that he can last a whole season at that level. Brandon Morrow had 203 strikeouts but a lurching 4.72 ERA. Only Ricky Romero was star-quality in the rotation, with a sterling 2.92 ERA and 15 wins. Kyle Drabek has scouts in ecstasy but has yet to show his true colors. Still, the lineup and rotation are young and look to improve each year. There are a lot of .290 hitters with little power, or 20 home run hitters with low average.
In: Casey Jensen
Strength: Jose Bautista in right, Ricky Romero starting, and John Farrell in the dugout
Weakness: a lot of them, unfortunately. The lineup is subpar just about everywhere, and the rotation is not going to make anyone’s eyes roll back into their head (in a good way)