Don’t worry, we have the answers too!
-by David Kloepfer
The new look Toronto Blue Jays could enter the 2013 season with a 25-man roster boasting up to 13 players from different teams in 2012. Many of them are already entrenched in their positions (three-fifths of the starting rotation, left-field, and shortstop), but there are some questions.
Examining the Jays’ depth chart
1. Who will catch R.A. Dickey?
Despite the artificial story line created by the media, J.P. Arencibia isn’t and never was going to catch Dickey’s knuckleball. Arencibia needs rest days anyway, so he might as well take them when Dickey’s on the mound.
As for who will actually catch Dickey:
Josh Thole, who came packaged with him from the Mets, caught 27 of Dickey’s starts last year, making him the leading candidate. Henry Blanco, the 41-year-old who caught seven Dickey starts in 2010, could be the backup if he puts in a good showing.
Still, if it’s not Thole, I’ll eat my hat.
2. Who will play second base?
This question is more legitimate. The battle is between Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonifacio, though both have played more games at third over their careers than second.
In fact, Bonifacio has played more games at the corner outfield spots, third base, shortstop and centerfield than he has at second base.
The older Izturis (32 to Bonifacio’s 27) has significantly more experience at the position, and has slightly better offensive numbers, though both have pretty much zero power.
Izturis and Bonifacio can both handle the hot corner, which will come in handy when “Raging Red Bull” aka “Pride of Langley” aka Brett Lawrie inevitably injures himself in a foolhardy attempt to steal home.
The nod should go to Izturis, but it could come down to who makes a better double play partner for Jose Reyes.
3. Will Adam Lind produce?
Hell no. He’s terrible.
For those of you waiting for Lind to return to his 2009 form, it ain’t gonna happen.
Lind sucks. Whether it’s because of his back, which sidelined him in 2011 and 2012, or a simple case of suck-itis, which happened every year but 2009, there’s no good reason to expect him to put up elite (or even respectable) power first-baseman numbers.
It’s unlikely Lind will play even 140 games this year, be it because of performance or injury issues. Instead, they’ll need Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista to keep their homer total up, hopefully with some help from Arencibia.
The Jays can count on David Cooper to man the bag competently and do what he does at the plate, so their offense should be fine. If they’re in the hunt in July but lacking power in their lineup, look for a potential deadline deal.