How do I described the Toronto Blue Jays 2012 season? A roller coaster ride. What promised to be a good season at the first of the year, turned disastrous in the end. Fortunately for the Jays, the Boston Red Sox had a bad year too or they would’ve found themselves in last place in the American League East Division, instead of fourth.
In this article, I will point out the pluses and minuses of the Blue Jays season and give you an idea of what could be ahead in the offseason.
Edwin Encarnacion – What a season he had. A huge improvement from 2011. He finished the season with a .280 batting average, 152 hits, 93 runs scored, 42 home runs, 24 doubles, and 110 RBIs.
Jose Bautista - Before he injured his hand, which put him on the sidelines for the rest of the season, he was on pace to another 40+ home run season. Don’t let the .241 batting average fool you. Bautista had 80 hits, 64 runs scored, 27 homers, and 65 RBIs before he went on the disabled list. He was also named American League Player Of The Month for June.
Brett Lawrie - In his first full season with the Jays, he made heads turn and put fear into the opposition when he walked up to the plate this year. He finished the season with 135 hits, 73 runs scored, 26 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 48 RBIs, and a .273 batting average. A fan favourite for sure, including, me.
Rajai Davis - This guy didn’t have the kind of stats that Lawrie, Encarnacion had, but he showed that he could very much contribute to the Blue Jays offense. Davis finished the season with 115 hits, 64 runs scored, 24 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 43 RBIs, and a .257 batting average.
J.P. Arencibia -The first half of the season was good for him until he got injured and was put on the disabled list for six weeks. He even was named American League Player Of The Week in May. Most of his stats were less than impressive, but he did finished the season with 81 hits and 56 RBIs.
Omar Vizquel - What quite possibly be his final season playing in the Majors, he reached two major milestones, First, he overtake Babe Ruth in the all-time hit list with 2,874, and took over 40th spot with on the list on the final day of the season. During his final at bat of the season, (maybe his career), he got a base hit to give him a total of 2,877 for his career.
Carlos Villanueva - After three pitchers went down to injury, he came in to fill the hole and did he ever. He won his first six games he played. The Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers Association Of America named him Player Of The Month for July, in which he had a perfect 4-0 record with a 1.93 ERA.
Brandon Morrow – Probably the best starting pitchers the Jays had in the rotation. He ended the season with a 10-7 record, 2.96 ERA, and 108 strikeouts.
Casey Janssen - He recorded a career-high of 22 saves this season.
Ricky Romero’s 13 game losing streak – There is no question in my mind that this really hurt the Blue Jays in the second half of the season. It was bad enough that three pitchers in their rotation went down to injury, but it’s even worse when one of your aces can’t seem to find a way to win.
Injuries – Morrow, Lawrie, Arencibia, just to name a few went on the disabled list mid-way through the season. Jose Bautista ending his season prematurely did not help the Jay’s cause.
Henderson Alvarez - He was probably the worse pitcher on the Blue Jays pitching staff. He had a record of 9-14, the same as Romero’s. If Romero hadn’t suffered that losing streak, Alvarez’s record would’ve been the worst among the starters in the Jay’s rotation.
Pitching – This hampered the Blue Jays in the second half of the season. They got hammered by the opposition many nights due to bad pitching.
Lack of clutch hitting - The Blue Jays left too many runners on base this year. I said before and I’ll say it again. You can not win if you can’t score runs.
Yunel Escobar’s homophobic slur under his eyes -This got him a three game suspension. If you ask me it should’ve been more. This was inexcusable for him to do this. His job is to play ball, not to make political statements. He is also representing a city that has a well known gay community.
Two seven game losing streaks in the second half – This really hurt the Jays for a run at a playoff spot. In order to get to the postseason, you must win games.
Colby Rasmus – Athletically, he has the potential to be a good ball player. The problem is, he not a smart ball player. Too many times I saw him make errors in center field because he was trying to catch the ball in a inproper way. One of his biggest mistakes of the year was when tried to steal second and got caught. As a result, he took the bat out of slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who was batting at the time, of his hands.
When the first half of the season ended, I gave this team a C-. As I watched the second half unfold, I knew I was going to give this team a lower grade in the end. In fact, the only that kept me from giving this team a F was their fourth place finish in their division, so I will give them a D+ for the year.
What can you expect in the off season? Well, don’t expect much. There is not much in the free agent market for the Jays to chose from. Any changes in the lineup will probably happen through a trade. Also, there are rumors the manager, John Farrell will be going to Boston to manage the Red Sox. You just might see a new manager in the Blue Jays dugout next year.
Enjoy the rest of the postseason folks.