What is the Blue Jays’ dream team?

The Blue Jays have had “glory days” in 1992 and 1993. Today there are talks about “new glory days”. If we took all the best Blue Jays dating back to 1977 and put them on the same team, would we win the World Series? No question about it, but who would those players be and what position. This, is the Blue Jays Dream Team.
Starting with the all-important manager, I say there isn’t even a question. Cito Gaston is by far the best manager the Jays have ever had. Cito managed the Blue Jays from 1989-1997, then again from 2008-2010. He was the only manager of the Jays to win a world series, winning twice in a row in 1992-93.

For the 5 starting pitchers, you would have to go with your ace to be Roy Halladay. Followed by Dave Stieb, David Price, Roger Clemens and Pat Hentgen. Combined they won 6 Cy Young awards. Pat Hentgen was the first Blue Jay to win a Cy Young award in 1996. Starting a span of 3 straight Blue Jays to win the award. Roger Clemens won back-to-back following Pat Hentgen.

For Catcher, Ernie Whitt is clearly the best catcher in Blue Jays history. For Ernie’s Blue Jays career average, he hit .253, and had an amazing arm throwing out almost half the runners.

On First Base. Carlos Delgado a premier slugging first baseman. He has had 3 40+ homerun seasons and 8 30+ homerun seasons all with the Blue Jays. He led the league with 145 RBI in 2003. Continue reading What is the Blue Jays’ dream team?

What Went Wrong with the Mariners?

Many baseball experts expected at the bare minimum for the Seattle Mariners to contend for the AL West. The fact that the Astros lead the division by being just nine games over 500, there is no reason why Seattle wouldn’t be in that position. But the facts are the Mariners are not in contention and the question is why? How is this team 54-61? Well when your 24th in MLB in runs scored and 18th in team ERA it’s hard to contend with those statistics. Also considering there are only two players on the entire team that have had strong years it’s hard to compete for a division title.

The Bats:
There is no doubt that Nelson Cruz is having a monster year. It’s hard to understand why Robinson Cano has struggled so much this season considering he is hitting in front of Cruz. Cano is only in the second year of his ten year monster contract (240 million). Seattle was expecting big things from Cano and so far their return on investment has been very lacking to say the least. Kyle Seager has been decent but the Mariners had to be expecting more. Mark Trumbo hasn’t added that much, Austin Jackson hasn’t had a good year and former 3rd overall pick Mike Zunino (2012 Draft) has had a nightmarish season (hitting .168 with 121K’s in 321 AB’s). Last point the Mariners bench has been terrible.

The Arms:
No surprise King Felix has been strong this season. Felix Hernandez is so good that his current stats of 14-6 with a 3.11 ERA is probably a bit of down year for him. That says a lot. Everyone else has either been a huge disappointment or injured. Despite Hisashi Iwakuma no hitter this week, this season has been a struggle for him in regards to staying healthy. Iwakuma only has 11 starts this season. Continue reading What Went Wrong with the Mariners?

Have the AZ Diamondbacks solved their catching situation

As I have noted in previous articles, the catchers’ position for the Arizona Diamondbacks over the last few years has been weak and in need of a major overhaul. With the trade of Mark Trumbo in June for Welington Castillo, it appears this team has been able to stabilize that position, for now.

Castillo, who began this season with the Chicago Cubs, was hitting .163 in 24 games, with two home runs and five RBI, before being traded to the Seattle Mariners in May; where he was hitting .160 in six games before being traded to the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks made the trade for Castillo after Tuffy Gosewisch was sidelined for the rest of the season due to an injury.

Through Tuesday’s game, totaling 46 games with the Diamondbacks, Castillo has 13 home runs, 29 RBI, and a .297 batting average. In his past 15 games, he is hitting .371 with seven homers and 10 RBI. He has also performed well defensively with a .993 fielding average. Castillo has been able to learn the pitchers’ individual styles and calls an outstanding game. But, his biggest contribution to this team could be his injection of some fun into the group; and they have responded with better play, both offensively and defensively.

It shouldn’t be a complete surprise to fans that Castillo can hit. Back in 2013, when he was with the Cubs, he had a .274 batting average in 113 games. He did slump in 2014, to a .237 average, and the Cubs went out and acquired Miguel Montero and signed free agent David Ross, forcing his trade to the Mariners. Continue reading Have the AZ Diamondbacks solved their catching situation