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Toronto Blue Jays Articles

MLB Rankings For End Of 2014 Regular Season

By RealGM Staff Report

The Opsera is a statistic RealGM Executive Editor Chris Reina created in order to objectively rank teams by how well they hit (OPS) and pitch (ERA). 

In order to determine the Opsera rating for each, we take their OPS, multiply that number by 10 to move the decimal point over one place to the right and then subtract their ERA from that number.  

All statistics are through the end of the 2014 regular season.

Rankings from last week are in parenthesizes.

(1) Washington Nationals – 4.11

(2) Los Angeles Dodgers – 3.98

(3) Baltimore Orioles – 3.91

(4) Pittsburgh Pirates – 3.87

(5) Oakland Athletics – 3.78

(6) Los Angeles Angels – 3.70

(7) Seattle Mariners – 3.59

(8) Detroit Tigers – 3.56

(9) Cleveland Indians – 3.50

(10) San Francisco Giants – 3.49

(11) Milwaukee Brewers – 3.41

(T12) St. Louis Cardinals – 3.39

-- Kansas City Royals – 3.39

(14) Toronto Blue Jays – 3.36

(15) Tampa Bay Rays – 3.28

(16) Atlanta Braves – 3.27

(17) New York Mets – 3.24

(18) Miami Marlins – 3.16

(19) New York Yankees – 3.12

(20) San Diego Padres – 3.07

(21) Cincinnati Reds – 3.02

(22) Chicago Cubs – 2.93

(23) Colorado Rockies – 2.88

(24) Philadelphia Phillies – 2.86

(25) Boston Red Sox – 2.83

(26) Houston Astros – 2.81

(27) Chicago White Sox – 2.79

(28) Minnesota Twins – 2.56

(29) Arizona Diamondbacks – 2.52

(30) Texas Rangers – 2.40

 

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Youngsters Provide Positive Outlook For Blue Jays

By Marcus Chiang

Following a disastrous August that saw the Toronto Blue Jays go 7-19 and fall 5.5 games behind in the race for the second Wild Card berth in the American League, they have all but guaranteed themselves another October spent at home. In the last month-plus they have seen four teams leapfrog them in the standings.

Despite the lack of playoff hope in Toronto, there is still reason to be optimistic about the future.      

The emergence of some of the organization's top young prospects has given fans reason to be positive. Marcus Stroman has shown tremendous poise and mound presence since joining the rotation on May 31. With a plus-fastball and great command, the 23-year-old looks like a future front-of-the-rotation starter, if he isn't already. His 3.31 ERA as a starter would rank 16th in the American League and his 3.73 K/BB ratio would rank 12th if he had enough innings to qualify. His talent is equally matched by his energy and intensity. He has already silenced critics who believed the 5'9" starter from Duke wouldn't be able to make it as a starter in the Major Leagues.

In late July, the Blue Jays promoted prospect Aaron Sanchez to help give the struggling bullpen a boost. What they have gotten from him has far exceeded anything they could have hoped. Throughout his time in the minors, his command was always the one thing holding him back. However, through 19 Major League appearances, Sanchez has posted a 1.30 ERA in 27.2 innings to go along with a 4.8 K/BB Ratio. If the command remains, Sanchez has all the makings of a top-level starter in his own right. He'll aim to win a rotation spot next spring, and should have a leg up on the competition based on his brief body of work.

Drew Hutchison underwent Tommy John Surgery at just 21 in the summer of 2012. Although Tommy John has become commonplace in baseball, there are always major concerns surrounding the procedure. Hutchison worked his way back, and made the Toronto rotation this spring. While he has battled inconsistency all year long, he has shown flashes of brilliance and has been able to make it through the season healthy. It's easy to forget that he only recently turned 24, has thrown 169 innings and struck out almost a batter per inning.

The energy and speed provided by Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar have been a bright spot in the outfield, making soon-to-be free agent Colby Rasmus expendable. While neither player has set the world on fire at the plate, they have played strong defense in center field and have the potential to become a platoon that can provide a spark at the bottom of the lineup.

Another outfielder, Dalton Pompey, has blown through the minor leagues in 2014, starting the year in A-Ball and making his way all the way to the Majors. He posted a .317/.392/.469 slash line in the minor leagues. Born just outside of Toronto, Pompey has become one of the more exciting outfield prospects in the major leagues. He'll start the 2015 season back in Triple-A, but he has a chance to make an impact as soon as next summer.

Daniel Norris, another recent call-up, has turned quite a few heads as well.

A former second-round pick, Norris has had a breakthrough season in 2014, starting the year in High-A before shooting his way up to the Major Leagues this month. The southpaw posted a 2.53 ERA through three levels in the minors while striking out well over a batter per inning. He was called upon to face Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz with a 4-3 lead and the tying run on third base in his debut. Norris started the at-bat by buckling Ortiz's knees with a curveball and ended it the same way on a 3-2 pitch. He started walking off the mound before the pitch even hit the catcher's mitt, showing the type of confidence required to thrive in the competitive AL East. He will most likely open the 2015 season in Triple-A, but will be an impact player by midseason.

While Toronto's young talent has given fans many reasons to be hopeful, the club's veterans have also kept them a few games above .500. Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista continue to be one of the best 3-4 combinations in baseball. Adam Lind, having struggled mightily against lefties throughout his career, has hit solely against righties and excelled. Dioner Navarro has been phenomenal with runners in scoring position. Jose Reyes has had another solid season after struggling for much of the first half.

On the mound, R.A. Dickey has shown an improvement from last year and while it looks like he will never be the ace many were hoping for when the Blue Jays traded two top prospects for him in the winter of 2013, he has settled in as a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter. Mark Buerhle has continued to be Mark Buerhle. A reliable innings-eater that you can count on for 200+ innings and 10+ wins year annually.

Let's face it, the Blue Jays aren't going to make up five games in the Wild Card race with just 12 games remaining and a handful of teams in the way. Still, there's a lot to look forward to as the offseason approaches. 

If Toronto starts next season off well, fans will flock to the Rogers Centre. And if they keep winning deep into the summer, it will be packed every night. The organization has shown in each of the past two years that they are on the verge of creating something special; something that the city of Toronto hasn't seen since the early 1990s.


MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning July 28

By RealGM Staff Report

The Opsera is a statistic RealGM Executive Editor Chris Reina created in order to objectively rank teams by how well they hit (OPS) and pitch (ERA). 

In order to determine the Opsera rating for each, we take their OPS, multiply that number by 10 to move the decimal point over one place to the right and then subtract their ERA from that number.  

All statistics are through Sunday, July 27

Rankings from last week are in parenthesizes.

1. (1) Oakland Athletics – 4.25

It's becoming more and more likely that Oakland will sit in the top spot for the remainder of the season.

2. (3) Washington Nationals – 3.95

A gradual rise has the Nationals, seven wins in 10 games, as the class of the National League.

3. (2) Los Angeles Dodgers – 3.91

Los Angeles has the best road record -- 34-23 -- in baseball.

4. (4) Los Angeles Angels – 3.79

With Troy Tulowitzki on the DL, Mike Trout (5.6) will soon lead the Major Leagues in WAR.

5. (5) Detroit Tigers – 3.65

The Tigers, who ranked ninth in ERA in each of the last two seasons, sit 22nd entering the week.

6. (6) Seattle Mariners – 3.63

7. (12) Milwaukee Brewers – 3.56

T8. (7) Atlanta Braves – 3.50

-- (T9) St. Louis Cardinals – 3.50

-- (11) Baltimore Orioles – 3.50

11. (T9) San Francisco Giants – 3.49

12. (8) Pittsburgh Pirates – 3.48

13. (T13) Toronto Blue Jays – 3.44

14. (15) Tampa Bay Rays – 3.42

15. (16) Cleveland Indians – 3.35

16. (T13) Cincinnati Reds – 3.31

17. (17) New York Mets – 3.22

18. (18) Boston Red Sox – 3.17

19. (19) Kansas City Royals – 3.15

20. (20) New York Yankees – 3.13

T21. (21) Miami Marlins – 3.07

-- (22) Chicago White Sox – 3.07

23. (23) San Diego Padres – 2.96

24. (24) Chicago Cubs – 2.89

25. (26) Colorado Rockies – 2.88

26. (25) Arizona Diamondbacks – 2.76

27. (27) Philadelphia Phillies – 2.67

28. (28) Minnesota Twins – 2.54

29. (29) Houston Astros – 2.44

30. (30) Texas Rangers – 2.13

 

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MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning July 21

The Angels and Tigers have swapped spots in our weekly Major League rankings as Los Angeles continues to chase Oakland for the best record in baseball.


MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning July 14

The A's are first in our rankings for the eighth-straight week, but the Angels are threatening. Oakland leads the AL West by less than two games.


MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning July 7

The Athletics continue to dominate, but the Dodgers and Nationals have made up ground in this week's rankings.


MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning June 23

The Dodgers are making a run at the top spot and Josh Beckett has been one of the many reasons why. His 2.28 ERA is the best of his Major League career.


MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning June 16

The Athletics continue their dominance, while the Pirates, Royals and Rays make significant moves in our weekly rankings.


MLB Rankings For The Week Beginning June 9

The Athletics remain atop our rankings, but the Nationals have surged up four spots to second after winning five of their last six games.