For those of you who are familiar with MLB’s Game Day app will recognize this post’s title. That is the text that displays when a ball is put in play and runs are scored. As a dad of two young children, I rely on the Game Day app to keep me posted on games while I’m lying on my son’s or daughter’s floor waiting for them to fall asleep at night. As a Blue Jays fan, I got to see the aforementioned text displayed many times in 2016. You’d see Donaldson, Bautista, or Edwin up to bat, the pitch come in, the blue ball appear on the screen indicating the pitch had been put in play shortly followed by the text, “In play, run(s)”. You’d then wait in eager anticipation to see how much damage was inflicted by the MLB’s most prolific offense in 2015.
The Toronto Blue Jays scored 891 runs in 2015, 127 more runs than their closest competitors in the runs department, the New York Yankees. In 2016, Blue Jays’ fans could see the same level of production or more and here is why:
- No Key Departures: Besides the light hitting Ben Revere, The Blue Jays offensive lineup is pretty much intact from 2015. All the big bats are still here; Donaldson, Bautista, Encarnacion, Tulowitzki, and Martin. Add to that mix some extra pop in the duo of Colabello and Smoak and a healthy Michael Saunders and this offence is poised to pick up where it left off in 2015. Questions abound as to what production Pillar and Goins can bring to the table and who will hit leadoff but at the end of the day, does it really matter? Devon Travis is expected back at some point in 2016 which won’t hurt matters either.
- A Full Season of Tulo: Troy Tulowitzki’s first foray as a Toronto Blue Jay didn’t meet some fans expectations. Tulo was hit with trade from the Rockies by surprise, felt betrayed by Colorado’s ownership and had to leave the only MLB franchise he’d ever known to come to Toronto. He was admittedly shaken up by the trade and never really got in the groove and then his shoulder blade got the wrong end of Kevin Pillar’s chin. Well now Tulo is comfortable, he had a full offseason to train rather than rehabilitate a surgically repaired hip and if healthy, will be a fixture in the Blue Jays lineup for the bulk of the 2016 season. Expect to see some bigger numbers from #2 this year.
- Joey Bats in a Contract Year: Jose Bautista wants to get paid. He has earned that right and entering into the last year of a very team friendly contract, he’ll be determined to put up the best numbers possible. Jose puts the work in to maximize his performance and another big season could mean even bigger dollars for Jose. It could also mean it’s his last as a Blue Jay but why not go out with a bang?
- A Healthy Edwin: Edwin Encarnacion dealt with a nagging injury to ligament in his finger which caused him to miss some games and had him dealing with pain throughout much of the 2015 season. He still managed 39 homeruns and a wOBA of .392. Besides a bothersome tooth, Edwin is coming into 2016 healthy and also in a contract year. I hope that parrot of his still likes going for walks around the bases.
The 2015 season was a playoff year on the back of an explosive offense. Barring injuries, this offense could again carry the Blue Jays to the post season in 2016.