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2014 Cincinnati Gameday HQ

FIELDING The Blue Jays’ fielding can use some improvement. They are always capable of hitting consistently, but fielding has been an issue. It needs to improve. Reyes tends to make the spectacular plays up the middle but struggles with the basics sometimes. The outfield is average at best and needs to take steps forward for this club to contend. Bautista, Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera can all hit. If they can improve in the field, the Blue Jays have a chance to win more games. STARTING PITCHING Dickey finished 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA on his way to NL Cy Young Award honors with the New York Mets in 2012. With the Blue Jays last season, however, Dickey was 14-13 with a 4.21 ERA. The Blue Jays have to be counting on the knuckleballer to find his stuff from ’12. Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow and J.A. Happ should be in the mix for the next three spots with Drew Hutchison or Dustin McGowan are likely candidates for the No. 5 spot. Starting pitching is a question mark and must be addressed. RELIEF PITCHING CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGES SPORT Casey Janssen looks to be the Blue Jays’ closer, but he has been banged up a bit. Janssen proved he was capable last season with a 4-1 record, a 2.56 ERA and 34 saves in 52 2/3 innings. Sergio Santos and Steve Delabar have been quite consistent and should fill large roles this season. Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup could be ready for increased work. If the starters struggle and don’t provide enough innings, the bullpen could wind up being overworked. And that would be a problem. MANAGING John Gibbons returned last season for his second stint as the Blue Jays’ manager. He took over during the 2004 season and stayed until ’08, producing two winning seasons. Last season produced just 74 victories. Gibbons is well liked by his players, but respect ultimately comes from winning and going to the playoffs. This year’s club will have to climb a number of hurdles to reach the playoffs. In such a difficult division, the task will be daunting. Gibbons is very creative, but he’ll need breakout seasons from many players for the Blue Jays to be playing in October and beyond. Jose Reyes


2014 Cincinnati Gameday HQ
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