Who was the biggest letdown?
Drew: Gotta be Lind. I think most people expected Hill to come back to Earth. I was sure Adam Lind was slump proof. I was wrong. Such as shame that his all-world approach went away when times got tough. His second half was actually half-decent, but he was so bad for so long in May and June, his numbers never recovered.
Ian: The conjoined slumping twins (Hill and Lind) were obviously a disappointment, but more specifically Aaron Hill. I’m more confident that Lind can turn things around next season, yet I’m much more worried about Aaron Hill. It feels like not only did his offense drop off significantly this season, so did his defense. It’s gotten to the point where I can even see Hill’s at bat unfold in my head: breaking ball low and inside, Hill takes a couple of hacks and strikes out. And that’s not something you want from your second baseman who still has 4 years (albeit 3 club options) left on his contract.
Cole: Aaron Hill obviously springs to mind and also I was a bit letdown by Travis Snider as I assumed he would have “broken out” by now, so to speak. I’m not ready to render him a ‘bust’ yet and obviously his lack of playing time throughout the season had an impact on this, but I think we had all hoped he would have become the hitter he’s supposed to become by now. However, still no rush as he’s still a young gun.
Paul: Kevin Gregg for my money. Didn’t trust him all season long.
Chris: I have a feeling that most people would pick either Aaron Hill or Adam Lind. In that sense, I’m not different from most people, but I give Lind the nod over Hill because I never expected Hill’s offence to match what he did last year.
Who will be in the Jays’ five-man rotation in 2011?
Drew: Romero, Morrow, Cecil, Rzepcyznski, Drabek. Been a slice Shaun Marcum, but your ceiling is nigh.
Ian: I think we can all agree that the core four of Marcum, Romero, Morrow and Cecil will be back, but it’s that coveted fifth starter’s position that will be up for grabs next season. Kyle Drabek has shown he’s ready to pitch in the major leagues, yet the Blue Jays still have so many talented starters who could also slot in. I’m going to go with the dark horse candidate and say Marc Rzepczynski will be the number 5 starter in 2010 behind the four horsemen.
Cole: Romero, Drabek, Morrow, Marcum, Cecil.
Paul: Romero, Marcum, Morrow, Cecil, Drabek…..that’s amazing to write down on paper!
Chris: Barring trades or injuries, Shaun Marcum, Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil and Brandon Morrow should hold down their spots for the duration. The fifth spot is Kyle Drabek’s to lose, but if even he doesn’t lose it, I doubt he’ll start the season in Toronto. I expect the team will hold him back in an effort to better control his service time and use some like Jesse Litsch to start the season off. R-Zep I like, but I just can’t shake the thought of him working out of the bullpen.
If you could anoint one player as a Blue Jay of the Future, who would it be?
Drew: Travis Snider. So young, so big, so fun, so good.
Ian: Considering the unusually high turnover rate when it comes to faces of this franchise, I’d have to so with a sure bet and a long-term deal and say Ricky Romero. It’s tough to believe he’s just finished up his sophomore year in the big leagues, but with his attitude and work ethic, Romero is wise beyond his years. I know he said Doc is the enemy now, but maybe some of the Halladay intensity unknowingly rubbed off on RR Cool Jay.
Cole: Kyle Drabek.
Paul: I gotta say Brandon Morrow. After the no-hit game I fell in love with the guy. I hope he becomes an Ace of this staff. And if he plays like he did this season, Jays fans will be eating plenty of free pizza.
Chris: He should be the Blue Jay of the Now, but due to injuries and misuse by Cito, I’m sticking with Travis Snider. I’m imaging him developing into a real masher next season and staying that way for years to come.
Alex Anthopoulos has been very busy since taking over as general manager. What move of his has had the biggest long-term effect on the Blue Jays?
Drew: Right now I’d say not trading any potential free agents at the deadline. Compiling draft picks could pay huge dividends in the future.
Ian: When AA traded Brett Wallace, he definitely set back the clock on the long-term first base solution by a few years. Wallace would be with the Blue Jays right now (probably sitting on the bench though), but at least we’d know that he is the guy at first for the next 5+ years. Now we don’t even know who’s playing first base next year. It was a big gamble to take, and sometimes you have to bet big to win big.
Cole: If you’re looking long-term than obviously his increased efforts in scouting and signing players from all over the globe will have a big impact. For the first time in a while when an interesting name pops up I now actually feel like the Jays are a player again, which is always nice.
Paul: Outside of the Halladay trade, I’d say getting Morrow for League.
Chris: Trading an overachieving Alex Gonzalez for Yunel Escobar has got to be his best move so far. The Jays have been struggling for years shore up the shortstop hole and with Escobar, the team has gotten a lot stronger up the middle. I just wonder how Adeiny Hechevarria feels about this.
Still here? Awesome! We’re now a little more than 3/4 of the way through this year’s roundtable. The final instalment will go up this weekend. Hope you’ll come check out the thrilling conclusion.