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01-03-2013, 02:57 PM
The Nemesis
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Meanwhile, Buster Olney is continuing to do his "Top 10 ________ in the majors" pieces. Today was offensive lineups (just as hitters, ignoring defence).

The Jays placed 8th

The two guys who mash in the middle of the lineup, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, could combine for 80 homers, and the cast around them could be excellent. Jose Reyes, the leadoff man, scored 86 runs last season for a bad Marlins team, and he could be the best leadoff man in the AL. Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus could develop into upper-tier players. Melky Cabrera could be a star. But the difference between the Blue Jays' ceiling and their possible floor -- if Reyes can't stay healthy, if the drugs were difference-making for Cabrera -- appears stark. This is just another reason why Toronto is going to be such an interesting team.

A tangible difference: Bautista had an OPS of 1.055 in 2011, with a WAR of 7.7. In an injury-plagued 2012, his on-base average plummeted 89 points to .358, and his WAR fell to 3.2. If the Blue Jays are to climb in the way that some forecasters expect, he will need to get back to being the player he was in 2010 (when he had 92 extra-base hits) and 2011.
Add this to the fact that he also said that the Jays were:

7th in starting rotations
7th in infields (counting Encarnacion as the 1B and Bonifacio/Izturis both at 2B)
an honorable mention for outfields

and things are looking pretty good.


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