|Toronto Blue Jays
2005 Record: .494 (80-82), 3rd place in AL East
2004 Record: .416 (67-94)
Who’s Out: Corey Koskie (3B), Orlando Hudson (2B)
Who’s In: A.J. Burnett (P), Bengie Molina (C), B.J. Ryan (P), Jason Phillips (C), Brian Wolfe (P), Troy Glaus (3B), Lyle Overbay (1B)
Notes: Toronto spent a lot of money this off-season (owners Rogers Communications Inc. increased payroll by $210 million over the next three seasons), and they’re hoping that 2006 will be the year that the Jays make their presence known again in the AL East. The pitching staff, both the starting rotation and the bullpen, is loaded with talent new and old. They also added run-scoring power at the plate with Overbay and Glaus, and of course they still have Hillenbrand’s and Wells’ longball bats.
The Jays have put together an impressive team with the increased payroll, but one area that could prove to be an issue is their infield defense. After losing Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson in the Glaus deal, last year’s third baseman Aaron Hill will be moving to the second base post and whether the transition will be a smooth one remains to be seen. Shortstop Russ Adams committed 26 errors last season, and new third baseman Glaus is a career .945 fielder. Burnett, Roy Halladay and Josh Towers all tend to be ground-ball pitchers, so the infield defense—or lack thereof—could cause some trouble.
Regardless of any potential defensive problems, the Blue Jays look good for 2006. Luckily for them, Boston is in a rebuilding phase, giving the Jays the perfect opportunity to make a run for the playoffs.
Next up: Milwaukee Brewers
Labels: 2006 team profiles