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Diving into the depths: Toronto Blue Jays

Jan 27, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

Jose Bautista

This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.

Rotation
1. Ricky Romero
2. Brandon Morrow
3. Brett Cecil
4. Kyle Drabek
5. Mark Rzepczynski
6. Jesse Litsch
7. Dustin McGowan
8. Scott Richmond
9. Brad Mills
10. Zach Stewart
11. Robert Ray
12. Jo-Jo Reyes
13. Joel Carreno

The Blue Jays still have quite a bit of pitching depth, but it’s mostly fringe guys. Barring a miracle recovery from McGowan, the only pitcher outside their top five with any real chance of being an above average starter this year is Stewart. I’m skeptical that Morrow can throw 200 innings and I don’t expect big things from Drabek as a rookie, so I’m not very high on this group.

Bullpen
1. Octavio Dotel
2. Jon Rauch
3. Frank Francisco
4. Jason Frasor
5. Casey Janssen
6. Shawn Camp
7. Carlos Villanueva
8. David Purcey
9. Josh Roenicke
10. Jesse Carlson
11. Winston Abreu
12. Jo-Jo Reyes
13. Chad Cordero
14. Wilfredo Ledezma
15. Rommie Lewis
16. Brian Stokes
17. Alan Farina
18. Luis Perez

The Jays have restocked their pen, bringing in three right-handers with closing experience to help replace Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs. It will be interesting to see what the next move here is. With seven veteran right-handers all worthy of jobs, there doesn’t appear to be any room for Purcey or Carlson at the moment. The team may well trade Frasor to open up a spot for one of the lefties.

Catcher
1. J.P. Arencibia
2. Jose Molina
3. Brian Jeroloman
4. Ryan Budde

First base
1. Adam Lind
2. Edwin Encarnacion
3. David Cooper

Second base
1. Aaron Hill
2. John McDonald
3. Mike McCoy

Third base
1. Jose Bautista
2. Mike McCoy
3. John McDonald
4. Brett Lawrie
5. Edwin Encarnacion

Shortstop
1. Yunel Escobar
2. John McDonald
3. Mike McCoy
4. Adeiny Hechavarria

The Jays traded for both Miguel Olivo and Mike Napoli in their winter maneuverings, yet Arencibia still appears poised to become their regular catcher. He’ll be an out machine, but he could hit 15-20 homers. … There are no potential starting third basemen left in free agency, so barring a trade, it looks like Bautista will start at the hot corner. Maybe Lawrie will be ready in July, but it’s more likely that he’ll need a full season in the minors.

Left field
1. Juan Rivera
2. Travis Snider
3. Corey Patterson
4. Mike McCoy

Center field
1. Rajai Davis
2. Corey Patterson
3. Darin Mastroianni

Right field
1. Travis Snider
2. Jose Bautista
3. Eric Thames
4. Corey Patterson

Designated hitter
1. Edwin Encarnacion
2. Juan Rivera
3. Adam Lind
4. David Cooper

If they can’t grab a third baseman, the Jays do need to go get themselves another outfield option. Lastings Milledge would make a lot of sense, given that he still has some upside and he wasn’t that bad last season. Such a pickup would create competition in left field and at DH. If the Jays acquire a third baseman, then Bautista would play right, Snider would shift to left and Rivera and Encarnacion would battle for the DH job.

  1. spudchukar - Jan 27, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Didn’t the Jays just flip Napoli for Francisco?

    • dodger88 - Jan 27, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      Yes sir.

  2. Mark - Jan 27, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Your BP depth chart is a little off. Purcey is ahead of Villanueva, and Fransisco is the closer. Morrow’s innings are capped @ 190 as the Jays don’t like to increase innings by more than 30%. I don’t see him pushing 200 either. I am interested in seeing if he can maintain his improvement, as after May he had a 10+K/9 and a low 3 BB/9.

    I’d like the Jays to get another OF backup who can play all 3 spots so Milledge would fit. I don’t know how much upside there is at this point though.

    It’s fair to argue that if anybody goes down for a significant amount of time there isn’t a good replacement available. Worth pointing out that AA mentioned looking for quality bench guys closer to the season, kind of like what they did with Lewis last year. That doesn’t help you with the rankings now, though.

  3. spudchukar - Jan 27, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    I am with you on the Frazor move, maybe packaged with Lisch and some young talent for an impact 3B, but I’ll be damned if i know of any available.

  4. dodger88 - Jan 27, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    If he wasn’t making $16 million per season Michael Young could be a good fit with the Jays. He could play 3B and allow Bautista to return to RF. However, I’m not sure the Rangers want to swallow much money in a trade, which means it is unlikley he goes anywhere, but anything is possible.

    • Mark - Jan 27, 2011 at 4:42 PM

      There’s no need to get Michael Young when they have a better 3B in Encarnacion.

    • Mark - Jan 27, 2011 at 4:44 PM

      Sorry forgot to add better value**. For 14M cheaper he’ll allow an extra 5 runs on UZR and produce about the same wOBA.

      • spudchukar - Jan 27, 2011 at 7:28 PM

        Encarnacion can hit. 21 homers in a little over 300 AB’s but the Jays have given up on him at 3B. 1B/DH will be his 2011 habitat.

  5. proudlycanadian - Jan 27, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    The pitching is much better than Pouliot thinks it is. He really should look into the situation more deeply. Expect that both Purcey and Carlson to be in the bullpen. Obviously Pouliot has not seen much of them. Both NY and Boston could use them.

  6. mpleafan - Jan 27, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    how bout ryan church over milledge as a free agent?

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