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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2013 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2013 Blue Jays Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Tom Dakers from Blue Bird Banter.

1) First off, it’s been an exciting time in Toronto as there were multiple off-season moves by the Blue Jays and plenty will have impact on fantasy players across the board. However, which move has you most excited from a fantasy perspective and what do you see from that player in terms of production?

From a fantasy perspective, and from a ‘I can’t wait to see this guy play’ perspective, it would have to be Jose Reyes. Reyes moves to a better offensive environment. The carpet at Rogers Centre might be ugly, but it’s fast. Blue Jays steal more bases at home, with a better success rate, as well as hit more doubles, triples and home runs at home. If Reyes stays healthy you’d have to expect more than the 40 steals he had last year, and improve on his 11 home runs. With the strong batting order behind him, he should score more than the 86 runs he had last year.

2) Melky Cabrera was laughed out of San Fran after a positive test for PEDs and a fake website to cover it up and Toronto landed him for a fairly reasonable price. What are your expectations from Cabrera, should fantasy owners be drafting him and can he stay away from the Muscle Melk in 2013?

I think he’ll have a pretty good season, but I don’t think he’s a great fantasy buy. He had 11 home runs, in 113 games, with the Giants. He’s moving to a better ball park for offense but, I doubt he’ll more home runs off the PEDs. I don’t think there would be a huge physical difference, but I’d imagine there is a fair mental difference. I’d guess being juiced makes you think you are stronger. He’ll be batting second so he’ll have limited RBI opportunities. I’d be hoping for a .300 batting average, .350 OBP and 10 or so steals, pretty good baseball numbers and much better than we got from our leftfielder last year, but not great for fantasy numbers from a corner outfielder.

I can’t imagine he’d be dumb enough to be caught again, but…

3) Jose Bautista says his wrist is fully healed and that if there were a game tonight, he’d be playing in it. Is this just athlete bravado? What do you think we’ll get from Joey Bats in 2013. Can you make a case for another 40 HR season?

I have no reason to doubt Bautista. He had the surgery long enough ago to be fully recovered by now. He’s been hitting off a tee and says he is ready for spring training. In 2012, Jose had a very slow start, hitting just .181 with 3 home runs in April and still he hit 27 home runs in just 92 games. 23 of those home runs came in 65 games in May and June, after his slow start and before the wrist troubles. Even if he starts slow, babying the wrist, I’d bet on 40+ home runs. He’ll will be one to watch in spring training.

4) Brett Lawrie had a solid 2012 season in real life but was pretty much a bust in our fickle fantasy baseball world. What are your expectations from Lawrie this year? Can we get a 25/25 with a .280 average from Edward 40-Hands?

Last year we expected too much from a guy that just turned 23 this January. I’d expect him to improve some this year, but 25/25 is huge jump from 11/13. He’ll bat lower in the order, likely 5th or 6th, so that will lower opportunities to steal (and since he ran the bases like a man with his hair on fire, hopefully his new manager will convince him to pick his spots better). I’m hoping he’ll play more than the 125 game he had last year, and he should have more RBI chances, so maybe a 20/15 would be more likely. Still good numbers at third base.

5) We know it was an expensive off-season for the Blue Jays so to raise cash, Anthopoulos is making all the players record a cover song. Which of these are the most likeliest top club jams for 2013?
A) Ricky Romero’s (aka R.R. Cool Jay) sings about returning to 2011 All-Star form in ‘Doin It’?
B) Colby Rasmus reprises Geiger girl’s ‘Fire Burning In The Outfield’ as he finally lives up to the hype?
C) Anthony Gose’s ‘Put Me In Coach’ as he replaces one of the three full-time outfielders and gives us 15/30 with a .270 average?
D) Adam Lind puts a personal spin on Jennifer Lopez, talking about a possible trade with ‘Lindy On The Block’?
E) Emilio has a huge year at second base and becomes an All-Star, covering PSY with ‘Bonifacio Style’?

Since 15 home runs and a .270 average from Gose is not going to happen, Lind he might be on the trade block but the odds of getting someone to take him are slim and Emilio making the All-Star team in a league with Cano and Kinsler are even slimmer, we can safely ignore C, D and E. I try to have optimism about Colby, but I’m losing hope.

Let’s go with Ricky. Unlike last year, he won’t be looked at as the Ace of the rotation. I think that will suit him better, I’m expecting a big bounce back. He might end up being the number 5 starter, behind R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, and I’d be more comfortable picking any of the first 3 on my fantasy team. Buehrle doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts, and I have some worries about how he’ll do in a tough AL East, so I might go with Ricky over him.

From Around The Web

  1. OaktownSteve says:

    Love the Reyes comment. Almost exactly what I said in the SS ranking comments yesterday. Once is coincidence, twice is a trend. I am going to be all over Reyes like chicken on junebug.

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Ha, yeah I thought it was quite an interesting bleed over to see a repeat of that (yes, I occasionally peruse the comments and yes I saw yours). If he stays healthy and Jose/Edwin keep bombing HRs like they’re wont to do, there’s no reason for Reyes to have a bad year. Good luck nabbing him this year, Steve!

  2. Peter says:

    Who will have more PAs between Gose & Davis?

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Obviously depends on performance but Rajai rakes against LHP and Gose had a hard time making contact with…well anyone. Could see Davis getting more as the Colby replacement when he’s not hitting lefties. Gose is going to have to prove he can strike out less than 31.2% of the time to get a shot at more ABs than Rajai. Would draft Gose, though, for the upside in deeper leagues.

  3. Stooler says:

    Any chance Reyes is inclined to steal less because of all the fire power behind him in the line-up? I get that he’ll get his, but why would he take it up a notch? Maybe I’ve completely misread the comments about Reyes.

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Toronto was 8th in MLB for stolen bases in 2012 with a 75% success rate. Reyes owns a career 79.9% success rate and should be able to at least match his AB that he had in Miami last year, barring injury. Forty SB should be his baseline on a team like that. Remember, Lawrie stole 13 bases on 21 attempts last year. This team isn’t shy about running…even if/when it should be.

  4. DrEasy says:

    I watch pretty much every Jays game, and while I’m no fantasy expert, I usually pick the right horses from my home team (it’s a different story when it comes to other teams). Last year, in my first RCL appearance, I drafted Lawrie, EE (very late) and Morrow. Lawrie disappointed big time but Morrow was very good while healthy, and needless to say EE carried my team. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. Two years ago, I was one of the two lone defenders of Bautista in these comment sections (I didn’t have a fantasy team that year though).

    For this year, I’m still on the EE bandwagon. I see again a 35+ HR season (IIRC, Grey projects 30, which I think is too low). I’m not going anywhere near Bautista; we just don’t have any evidence that people recover their full strength after that kind of wrist issue (Sam Fuld is pretty much the only guy I know who had the same issue, and the dude isn’t exactly a HR hitter, so it’s hard to use him to project any number). Rasmus is my only buy-low candidate on this team

    Don’t forget the coaching change. Gibby is pretty much the opposite of Farrell when it comes to the running game (ok, maybe Ricciardi didn’t exactly give him the right pieces for that either). Reyes and Bonifacio will probably have the green light, but I just don’t expect Lawrie or EE to be running anymore. We also have a new hitting coach, who might move away from the “Blue Kays” philosophy, so expect better OBP all around, and maybe fewer HRs from unexpected places.

    Pitching-wise, I’m all in with Dickey (ahem). He might give up more HRs in the AL East, but I don’t see his K rates changing much despite the change of league. Also, knuckleballers tend to pitch better in controlled environments, and so a closed dome might be the perfect setting for him. The Ws and the Ks will be there, I’m buying. I don’t trust the other starters much.

    I saw Gose mentioned earlier in the comments; I say fuggedabboutit. He’s probably only a call-up in September, unless there’s a rash of injury.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents.

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Cool man, nice read thru! I’m a bit leery of Bautista still myself.

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