Our predictions for the upcoming Blue Jays season.
It’s crystal ball time here at The Birdfeed. I’ll see how well mine is working. Sometimes it’s a little wonky but we won’t know for sure this time until October-ish.
Let’s get right to it. Here’s my best educated guesses/wild stabs in the dark on some selected topics for the 2017 Blue Jays season:
- The Blue Jays will win precisely 91 games (hey, this piece is titled “bold” predictions, I’m going for it)
- That’ll be good for second in the division and will earn them the top wild card spot.
- AL East standings as follows:
OriolesThe East shall be beast.
- I was going to predict how far the Jays would go in the playoffs but I don’t want to jinx things more than I perhaps have already (although I of course don’t believe in such things)
- Major awards: Josh Donaldson 3B Silver Slugger.
Kevin Pillar could be in the Gold Glove conversation of course and Francisco Liriano is a possibility for a Comeback Player of the Year award
- Rookie debuts:
Nothing long term: Spot starts, temporary relief and September call ups
- 29 HR for Jose Bautista, 32 for Kendrys Morales, 35 for Josh Donaldson
- Breakout Blue Jay: Marcus Stroman. It’s odd to refer to him as a breakout candidate as he’s an established Major League but he’s primed to take things to another level this season.
- As much as some will loathe it, Justin Smoak will get the most innings at first base. Pearce next and a handful for Morales and Bautista.
- I’m taking the over on 110 games played by Devon Travis
- Chris Coghlan is on the roster by June
- Ryan Goins will eventually be traded or waived
- Last year the Jays only needed 7 starters for the entire season. They enjoyed some extraordinary luck health-wise. I expect they’ll need at least 10 this year—fairly standard for most teams.
- LF should be a merry-go-round. Carrera, Pearce, Coghlan, Goins, Pompey could all spend significant time there. I’ll say Pearce logs the most innings by a smidge.
- I’ll go with saying Jarrod Saltalamacchia will stick with the team all season but realistically if he doesn’t discover his offensive touch, Juan Graterol or Reese McGuire could get the call at some point.
- Lowest ERA among starters: Aaron Sanchez
- Highest ERA among starters: Francisco Liriano by a hair. Toronto could end up with all its main starters having a sub 4.00 ERA
I think those were sufficiently bold and yet still defensible. I’ll have a look back at these come season’s end.