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Toronto Blue Jays 2021 Outlook


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Spring-Time!

Congrats for signing one of the biggest FA names out there.  Wondering what the batting order will look like:

Springer CF

Biggio 2B

Bichette SS

Teoscar RF

Vlad Guerrero 1B

Lourders Gurriel LF

Tellez DH

Kirk C

Espinal 3B

Not sure who their 3B is going to be, they might re-try Vlad at 3B. Rowdy at 1B and DH Teoscar.  Then use Grichuk in RF again.  But overall, the IF defense would take a hit.

Pitching still needs work...we need Bauer !

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They just missed out on Brantley, which implies they have a decent chunk of the money they could throw around if they so choose.  Kris Bryant is available for trade and could fill in at 3B. He's risky after how bad he was last year and a free agent after this season but Chicago is giving their best players away for pennies on the dollar, might be a decent flyer for a team to take.

But pitching would seem to be the biggest need. Not sure any of the FA's turn the needle much, other than Bauer who will be expensive. Not sure what the trade market is looking like, but that seems to be the avenue I would think they should take for pitching help. Got to be some team looking to unload salary. It's 2021 after all.

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@KingJoffrey Brantley was signed yesterday. That might change your lineup and opening comments.

I think for he Jays the pitching is where they will ride or die. Currently 5 of their 6 starts had an era above 6 in 2020 with Ryu having a stellar year (I believe he regresses). I know 2020 was a weird year, but I don't think I believe in any of their arms as is, except for Pearson if he can make some adjustments and stay healthy.

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Just now, Dark Kn19ht said:

@KingJoffrey Edit. Didn't know Brantley signing fell trough.

I think for he Jays the pitching is where they will ride or die. Currently 5 of their 6 starts had an era above 6 in 2020 with Ryu having a stellar year (I believe he regresses). I know 2020 was a weird year, but I don't think I believe in any of their arms as is, except for Pearson if he can make some adjustments and stay healthy.

 

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58 minutes ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

It won't because he wasn't.  Brantley re-signed with the Astros for 2 years.

I responded immediately that I was unaware of this. See the next post after what you quoted. Thanks. The rest of the post has the meat. Their pitching is really uninspiring. 

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Pitching is absolute garbage.

Team ain't going ANYWHERE until they fix their SP. Like 3 more legit starters. A trevor Bauer won't save this team.

Going to be a massive disappointment in 2021. 

Honestly, I think they shot their load too early on Springer. By the time they get their SP fixed, Springer's contract and play are going to be more harmful than good. 

 

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Sitting around $100 mil in guaranteed contracts, which is $60-70 mil less than they were when they were making a run in 2017-18. Still plenty of room to grow and get better.

Rotation definitely needs help. Have to think they're still in on Bauer and a couple other decent remaining FA arms. 

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3 hours ago, Dark Kn19ht said:

@KingJoffrey Brantley was signed yesterday. That might change your lineup and opening comments.

I think for he Jays the pitching is where they will ride or die. Currently 5 of their 6 starts had an era above 6 in 2020 with Ryu having a stellar year (I believe he regresses). I know 2020 was a weird year, but I don't think I believe in any of their arms as is, except for Pearson if he can make some adjustments and stay healthy.

I'm curious to know what you think regression from Ryu looks like?  He's been nothing short of spectacular the last two years and before that was extremely good.  I know he has an injury history but that's different from regression.  He is the type of pitcher that lives on soft contact and is skilled at getting it.  He pitched in probably the best hitters park in the league last year in Buffalo and was still fantastic.  His BABIP and LOB% were both a little higher than career norms so I think they cancel each other out this year.  His K/9 was up and I think this was a result of moving away from his 4 seamer to his cutter which had been a third pitch for him previously.  I'm projecting a conservative (I think) 3.30 ERA with about a 9 K/9.   I do think there is the risk for injury and during a full season he is definitely going to be skipped and rested a few times, but I think most teams will take this approach with a lot of their starters due to the reduced work load in '20.

As for the team as a whole I agree with the consensus that they have very little in the way of pitching behind Ryu and for the starts he does miss they are going to be hurting.  I have liked Stripling in the past but he has gotten hit hard the last two years and I think moving to a new hitter friendly park really affected him.  His statcast for '20 is all blue and he had the highest walk rate of his career along with his second lowest K/9.  Pearson could be interesting but I don't think he gets a full workload of innings.

This team had a top 10ish offense last year and their SP and bullpen were in the bottom 10.  They've added Yates and then just stayed the course with their other weakness.  I agree with cryptvill that they need a few more SP to make a deep run in October.  I see them being in a lot of high scoring games especially if they play their home games in Florida which is seeming more likely each day.

 

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@damana

In regard to Ryu, he'll be 34 and I just don't see his stuff lasting against NYY, BOS, and TB. He has soft matchups against BAL maybe. He's not in the NL West anymore getting to throw against a previously bad SD, AZ, SF, and inconsistent COL teams. I just don't think he's someone to rely on and definitely not good enough to be the only good pitcher for a team to rely on.

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2 hours ago, Dark Kn19ht said:

@damana

In regard to Ryu, he'll be 34 and I just don't see his stuff lasting against NYY, BOS, and TB. He has soft matchups against BAL maybe. He's not in the NL West anymore getting to throw against a previously bad SD, AZ, SF, and inconsistent COL teams. I just don't think he's someone to rely on and definitely not good enough to be the only good pitcher for a team to rely on.

I get the age thing and understand if you're fading him cause of injury concerns.  His age, however, might be less of an issue as he has never been a guy to rely on velocity or even fastball spin rate.  He is a command and change of speed pitcher and imo is very good at it.  As for the lineups in the AL east I personally thing they are a little overrated.  I think Toronto has the best lineup by far.  The Yankees while good, have major injury concerns, the Red Sox have a good 1-4 but get pretty thin after that, and the Rays are dependent on the long ball (something that Ryu excels at depressing).  I think for Fantasy Ryu is underated because of injury and at his ADP of around 76 I'd gladly take him as my number 2 or even 3.

As for real life I agree wholeheartedly.  Ryu is not the guy you want eating innings at the top of your rotation, even if most of them are quality innings.  He needs some rest during the season to stay healthy.  I think the Jays definitely need to add a pitcher or two and that would immediately make them my favorite to win the AL east.  As of now it's their biggest weakness by far and it needs to be addressed.

And just a side note I think the NL west teams from the 2010's were nothing to sneeze at.  SF was winning World series, Colorado was great in coors, inconsistent like you said everywhere else, and AZ was a dangerous line up.  I think they are actually pretty comparable to this years AL east with the edge going to the AL east.  Just my two cents.  Sorry for the long winded post. 

Edited by damana
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13 hours ago, Dark Kn19ht said:

@damana

In regard to Ryu, he'll be 34 and I just don't see his stuff lasting against NYY, BOS, and TB. He has soft matchups against BAL maybe. He's not in the NL West anymore getting to throw against a previously bad SD, AZ, SF, and inconsistent COL teams. I just don't think he's someone to rely on and definitely not good enough to be the only good pitcher for a team to rely on.

34 isn't old for a pitcher.  Maybe for a middle infielder position player but 34 is still a plenty good age for pitchers.

I do think they spent too much on Springer.  He is one of those poster boys for ultimate steak hitter types.  When he is hot he can indeed carry a team but when he is cold he is frigid cold and a gaping black hole in the line-up and his cold spells can stretch beyond a month at times.  (Said as a PREVIOUS Springer owner on a dynasty team where I monitored him every single day and where I was thrilled to finally trade him away).

Edited by The Big Bat Theory
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I think Springer can turn out like Hosmer has on San Diego, where he might be the most expensive player on the team but he isn't the best or most valuable player on the team. I think they over spent in number of years, but sometimes you need to over pay a little to jump start your team. I like the signing a lot for Toronto, streaky or not.

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15 hours ago, colorado2013 said:

I think Springer can turn out like Hosmer has on San Diego, where he might be the most expensive player on the team but he isn't the best or most valuable player on the team. I think they over spent in number of years, but sometimes you need to over pay a little to jump start your team. I like the signing a lot for Toronto, streaky or not.

Disagree, Springer is a natural slugger with way more natural power than Hosmer.

Springer brings a lot to the table.  A good leadoff hitter who gets on base.  Above average speed though you wouldn't know it from the stolen bases. But he's going to score a lot from 1st or 2nd from the hits of Biggio and Bichette.  He also still rates as an above average defender.

Rogers Centre is really made well for Springer, good place to hit HRs generally.  If it's Buffalo that's even more of a bandbox.

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Pitching is not too bad, if and it's a big if, they can sign Bauer and maybe go with Bauer-Ryu-Pearson-Ray-Stripling (with the last 3 using openers).

Keep in mind the AL East has a lot of Rotation problems from all the teams.  The Red Sox had a terrible rotation.  No telling when Sale comes back and if he's going to be effective.  The Orioles have some potential, lots of young starters but generally low K rates.  The Rays will always piecemeal a good pitching staff but they did lose Snell and Morton (who ate up some innings).  And the Yankees lost Happ and Tanaka with no guarantees from Severino coming back well.

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8 hours ago, KingJoffrey said:

Disagree, Springer is a natural slugger with way more natural power than Hosmer.

Springer brings a lot to the table.  A good leadoff hitter who gets on base.  Above average speed though you wouldn't know it from the stolen bases. But he's going to score a lot from 1st or 2nd from the hits of Biggio and Bichette.  He also still rates as an above average defender.

Rogers Centre is really made well for Springer, good place to hit HRs generally.  If it's Buffalo that's even more of a bandbox.

I was not trying to compare Springer and Hosmer as players, as I am in agreement with you there and your evaluation. I was just trying to compare their contracts (both were overpays, IMO; Springer in years, Hosmer in AAV) and role/value to their teams (important cogs, but should not be the most valuable or best player to a winning team).

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I love the TOR lineup.  Not only will it be the most exciting lineup to watch, perhaps in the game, but it is highly competitive against NYY and CWS.

The starters have a huge problem, and that is that very few of them will likely throw a full season.  Stripling threw 49.1 IP in 2020, so 150 in 2021 is likely his max.  Pearson only threw 18 last year so 120 is likely his max.  Ray threw 51.2 and is older and has a better history of throwing full seasons, but still you're looking at 160 max.  Roark threw 47.2 so 150 max.  So that leaves Ryu who himself threw 67 in 2020 so he may get to 180.  

They need another strong arm yes, but at that point it may be wisest to go to a 6-man rotation given that 4 of their starters probably won't top 150 IP in 2021.

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7 hours ago, En Votto Veritas said:

I love the TOR lineup.  Not only will it be the most exciting lineup to watch, perhaps in the game, but it is highly competitive against NYY and CWS.

The starters have a huge problem, and that is that very few of them will likely throw a full season.  Stripling threw 49.1 IP in 2020, so 150 in 2021 is likely his max.  Pearson only threw 18 last year so 120 is likely his max.  Ray threw 51.2 and is older and has a better history of throwing full seasons, but still you're looking at 160 max.  Roark threw 47.2 so 150 max.  So that leaves Ryu who himself threw 67 in 2020 so he may get to 180.  

They need another strong arm yes, but at that point it may be wisest to go to a 6-man rotation given that 4 of their starters probably won't top 150 IP in 2021.

Can’t this be said for every team out there?  How many had SP’s that threw more than 70IP?  Heck, deGrom threw 68, does that mean he he going to be limited?

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48 minutes ago, TheBoatmen said:

Can’t this be said for every team out there?  How many had SP’s that threw more than 70IP?  Heck, deGrom threw 68, does that mean he he going to be limited?

Depends on the team I guess, but it's something to watch out for.  As it stands the MLB is trying for a full season and most people think you take what a guy threw in 2020 and add 100 innings.  So a team like the A's/Twins/Nats are looking pretty good in comparison to the Braves or Cardinals. 

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23 hours ago, KingJoffrey said:

Disagree, Springer is a natural slugger with way more natural power than Hosmer.

Springer brings a lot to the table.  A good leadoff hitter who gets on base.  Above average speed though you wouldn't know it from the stolen bases. But he's going to score a lot from 1st or 2nd from the hits of Biggio and Bichette.  He also still rates as an above average defender.

Rogers Centre is really made well for Springer, good place to hit HRs generally.  If it's Buffalo that's even more of a bandbox.

If it isn't Rogers Centre in Toronto the Jays already said it would be Dunedin so everyone should looking at any Toronto hitter at this point.  Rogers Centre is a launching pad as it is but Dunedin will be home run derby territory.

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48 minutes ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

If it isn't Rogers Centre in Toronto the Jays already said it would be Dunedin so everyone should looking at any Toronto hitter at this point.  Rogers Centre is a launching pad as it is but Dunedin will be home run derby territory.

Yeah, I heard it was 364 Ft. to Right center!

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48 minutes ago, SwayzeExpress said:

So what's the rest of the infield look like? Cavan at 3b and Vlad at 1b?

That is what is being reported.  Didn’t know Biggio played 3B for the last 10 of 13 games and in the playoffs.  If Semien plays like it is 2019 the Jays have a killer lineup going especially if Kirk takes over at C.

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5 hours ago, TheBoatmen said:

That is what is being reported.  Didn’t know Biggio played 3B for the last 10 of 13 games and in the playoffs.  If Semien plays like it is 2019 the Jays have a killer lineup going especially if Kirk takes over at C.

And only signing Semien for just the one lone year means that Jordan Groshans' call-up as a future 3B won't really be held back either.

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  • 3 months later...

[...] I think the Blue Jays are one of the more important teams for fantasy in 2021. Many of their core of young hitters were drafted high with the expectation they'd blossom into fantasy superstars in front of our very eyes. So far, Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette have very much looked the part, but the rest of the young guys have struggled (Gurriel Jr., Biggio) or been sidelined (Hernandez due to COVID, Springer due to him being George Springer) but the offense hasn't produced to expectation yet, slashing .225/.297/.363 through 21 games. The vets like Semien and Grichuk have contributed quite a bit in the early going, and the catching situation has been a mess as expected. The eventual return of Springer hopefully will steady things, but it creates a playing time crunch between guys like Biggio, Tellez, Panik, and other mouths that need to be fed. I fear Biggio loses out on the most playing time because the raw power of the others plays better in their parks. I'm still waiting on the announcement for summer games here in Buffalo, and plan on attending quite a few when they do happen! I saw many of these youngsters with the Bisons and think they'll be right at home here this summer as it heats up. For fantasy owners of some of the slow starters, I'd advise patience, as there is always an injury around the corner, and this is a good offense. 

The pitching staff has been a bit of a barnfire in the rotation after Ryu, who strained his gluteus maximus in his last outing but has been solid. Steven Matz has been a surprise and Robbie Ray is Robbie Ray, but the rest of the rotation is uncertain despite some good spots starts from the likes of Trent Thornton and Tommy Milone. Meanwhile, quietly the bullpen has been quite excellent. Despite the turmoil at the closer spot following Kirby Yates' season ending injury, all the guys in the middle from Tyler Chatwood on down have been lights out thus far. They'll each quickly regress and the Jays will be in the market for a bullpen arm at the deadline, even if things eventually sort out in the 9th between Dolis/Romano/Merriweather, and probably another starting pitcher too. So this is a situation to watch for fantasy purposes, too, aside from the positional battles. 

They're going to be in the mix for a postseason spot, and this roster has the talent to get there, but it needs breakout years from some of the young guys, health from the vets, and help from the front office in the pitching staff to take the next step in a competitive AL East. 

 

Edited by tonycpsu
Merged with existing thread. Check the pinned index thread next time.
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