– Shaun Marcum has been named the Blue Jays opening day start… essentially being named the staff ace of the club. While never pitching 200 innings in a season, Marcum had promising campaigns in both 2007 and 2008, going a combined 21-13 with a sub-4 ERA in 310 1/3 innings.
At the age of 28, Marcum can easily improve on those statistics, I think he should put up solid 15-10, 3.60 ERA numbers this seasons, usable numbers as an ace.
– Randy Ruiz is looking GREAT this spring, he should easily make the major league rosters, and get some starts at DH or maybe spot start at first a bit.
– Jose Bautista is also playing great, should start the season as leadoff batter.
Shaun Marcum: Opening Day Starter?
It’s certainly looking as if Shaun Marcum may get the opening day nod, as he has a 0.00 ERA in Grapefruit League play through five innings of work. He has allowed only one hit in his two outings. Although this is a very small sample size, I think it proves that Shaun Marcum is back and ready to headline the staff as he was before he got injured. Look for him to get the start if he continues his excellence.
Kyle Drabek improves on previous start with a two-inning shutout against Phillies
Kyle Drabek, seen by many as the team’s #1 prospect, had a good second outing, blanking the Philadelphia Phillies. He was traded from the Phillies in the Roy Halladay blockbuster, so payback may have been on Drabek’s mind. An encouraging start to say the least.
Jose Bautista continues sizzling Spring Training
It’s going to be hard to demote Jose Bautista from the lead-off spot in the lineup, as he has been tearing it up this March. With 3 homers in 14 at-bats and a .643 average, he seems really motivated to start this year.
With today being Sunday March 7th, the Blue Jays have played four games on their Grapefruit League schedule. They lost their debut against the Tigers 7-6 in a dramatic late finish, but won their next three games rather handily. Here are some of my observations so far:
1. J.P. Arencibia, the prospect everyone revered, then forgot about when the Jays acquired Travis D’Arnaud, seems close to arriving at the Major League level.
Arencibia has been Toronto’s top catching prospect soon after he was drafted in the first round of the 2005 Amateur Entry Draft. He has smacked two homers so far in only four at bats. A slugging percentage of 2.000! Sure, it’s a small sample size and he’s still a long shot from making the team out of Spring Training this year, but still, you have to see it as a bright sign for one of the best young players in the Blue Jays organization.
2. The pitching staff is looking great, notably Brandon Morrow, Shaun Marcum and Mark Rzepczynski.
Morrow and Marcum have pitching two-inning no-hit stints, while Rzepczynski registered two innings with only a single hit, great first performances by some of our developing pitchers. Future top-of-the-rotation stud Kyle Drabek pitched a subpar outing, but it was mainly characterized as encouraging by Drabek himself and Jays management.
3. The Blue Jays 1-2-3 hitters (Jose Bautista, Aaron Hill, Adam Lind) are playing great.
Bautista has six hits in only eight at-bats, scoring four runs and stealing one base in the process. These are great statistics for any lead-off hitter and look for him to lock up the job if he continues to play like such.
Aaron Hill has stayed off the extra-base-hit scoresheet so far, but that’s mainly because of his plate discipline: 5 walks in only 8 plate appearances and hitting singles in two other of the plate appearances while stealing a base. He hasn’t been exciting, but he’s doing a good job so far.
Adam Lind has homered once, singled once and driven in four runs along the way. Sure, his average is .286, not up to par with the other starters, but it’s not because of strikeouts, striking out only once.