If you’re just joining us now, welcome to the second installment of the 2009 Blue Jays roundtable, in which a select group of bloggers, insiders and fans answers a series of questions about the Blue Jays season that was. The first installment (including info about the contributors) can be found here. On to the questions…
Who was the best Blue Jay of 2009?
Chris: Aaron Hill. Adam Lind was the best hitter, but Hill’s defensive contributions tip the scale.
Squizz: Aaron Hill. All-Star, Comeback Player of the Year, so on and so forth. I mean, when’s the last time the Jays had a slick-fielding, 30/100-slugging second baseman? Oh yeah, never.
Cole: Adam Lind. Everyone gets all horny about Aaron Hill’s season, but the fact of the matter is Lind did about the same things offensively Hill did, but with a much higher OBP.
Katy: Aaron Hill. Unquestionably.
Eyebleaf: This one’s a 3 way tie between Lind, Hill and Doc. Lind because he became the hitter we all hoped he would become; Hill because he bounced back from a devastating concussion in fine form; and Doc because we should never take him for granted.
Tao of Stieb: Lind and Hill had great years, but it’s pretty hard to wrest the crown of “Best Blue Jay” from Roy Halladay’s hands.
Who was the biggest letdown?
Chris: Alex Rios. Dude’s got so much talent, yet it feels like letting him go (for nothing!) was a great move.
Squizz: Adam Lind. If you recall, after the season opener, he was on pace for 162 homers and over 900 RBI. He didn’t even come close to delivering. Shameful.
Cole: I think it’s pretty obviously Vernon Wells. I’m not big on the ‘trash Wells at every turn’ mentality, but he was a huge letdown for the club this year and it’s scary to think how good the Jays would have been in the beginning if Wells and Rios were both hitting too.
. Regardless, if the Jays are to have success, Wells needs to be a part of that. I’m really hoping he bounces back next year. As much crap as he takes and as below par as he was this year, I’m really pulling for the guy and I do believe in him. I’m calling it here. Comeback player of the year in 2010 – Vernon Wells.
Katy: How about BJ Ryan?
Eyebleaf: Vernon Wells. Who else? What a nightmare of a season. I figured he’d get it going eventually, but it never happened. Nevertheless, I defended him until the end. I don’t think it’s possible for him to be that bad again. I believe in Vernon Wells.
Tao of Stieb: It’s probably unfair to say this, but I had really high hopes for Travis Snider this year. He’s still young, and I still believe that he’s going to be great, but his season was a bit of a letdown.
What does the future hold for Marco Scutaro?
Chris: A few respectable seasons that don’t live up to what he did in 2009. Hopefully those seasons are played in Toronto, because who’s going to take his place?
Squizz: McCain Fruit Punch commercials?
Cole: Hopefully a nice career-ending contract that will take care of all the next generation of Little Scutaro’s. Is that contract coming from the Jays? I’m not sure. Honestly though, I could throw Scutaro into the ‘big surprises’ category too, as this guy was just a workhorse this year and did a phenomenal job.
. I think everyone was shocked with how good his everyday defence was at SS (I still don’t understand how he plays SS with such a huge glove. Looks like a CF-ers mitt, but I digress).
On top of that he gave us a semi-legitimate leadoff guy. His patience was just great (hardly ever seemed to chase balls out of the zone) and it seemed he really took to being an everyday player and to having a role as a leadoff guy.
. I’d say it’s probably 50/50 on whether or not the Jays resign him. I don’t think he’ll command THAT much of a deal, but I assume he’ll want at least two to three years, maybe $4 to $6 million per? That isn’t anything more than speculation, but if he does the job he did this year, I would be happy to pay that.
. The fact he got injured at season’s end could perhaps play in the Jays’ favour, as he might be a less valuable commodity now due to concern over his health.
Katy: I think if the team wants a chance they need to re-sign him for next year. His offence unfortunately means more to the team right now than Jonny Mac’s incredible defence, which Scoot isn’t bad at either. Therefore he’s more valuable. (Please learn to bat this off-season JMac, and you will be a legend!)
Eyebleaf: He’ll be back in Toronto, patrolling shortstop and batting at the top of the order. What a season. Viva Venezuela.
Tao of Stieb: Two more years where he puts up about 85% of last year’s numbers, and then a few years in the National League to end his career.
Who will be in the Jays’ five-man rotation in 2010?
Chris: Assuming they keep Doc and that McGowan is healthy, I’m hoping to see Halladay/Marcum/Romero/McGowan/whichever of the young arms wins the fifth spot in spring training.
Squizz: Well, they operated on a 38-man rotation this year, so this question is a bit restrictive. Halladay will start the season, since he’s been so devalued as to make any offseason trade pointless. We obviously have to pray for Marcum and McGowan to come back. Romero looks like he’s booked his spot. And then some patchwork of Litsch, Janssen, Tallet and, I dunno, Josh Towers?
Cole: Hmmm, let me be optimistic that the Jays will actually ‘go for it’ and spend some money next year, and that that will mean Halladay stays:
Halladay/Arm acquired via trade or FA – Wilner’s plan mentions Felix Hernandez… yes please! / Marcum / McGowan / Romero
. Okay, I guess I’m also counting on injuries not playing an issue and everyone being healthy. Ummm, that is a pretty sexy rotation.
. Now, let me be more realistic on what an opening day rotation could look like, presuming they aren’t going for it and Halladay gets traded:
Romero / Arm received back from Halladay / Marcum / Cecil / Zep-chin-skee.
Katy: Doc, Romero, Marcum, Rzep, and Cecil, although those last 2 spots are really up for grabs.
Eyebleaf: Doc, Romero, Marcum, Cecil and R-Zep. We can’t wait for Dustin McGowan forever, and Brian Tallet is best suited to come out of the bullpen.
Tao of Stieb: Marcum, Romero, Rzepczynski, Cecil and whoever comes back in the Halladay trade.
And so ends the part two of the roundtable. Come back Monday for the exciting conclusion!