Spring Postcard: Jays will struggle to overcome rotation devastation
The team on Opening Day may bear little resemblance to the roster come summer
Is Vernon Wells' hamstring injury a minor concern or a potentially serious issue?
The defense remains the best, and most reliable component of the team
1) Is there a Doc in the house?
The second question is: How long will Halladay be practicing his craft in Toronto? Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi dismissed rumors that Halladay could possibly be dealt this season by saying, "I really don't see that happening. Money would be the only reason and it would have to be an extreme financial thing." Halladay is in the middle of a three-year, $40 million extension he signed before the 2008 season.
2) No job is safe.
3) Going back to the Wells for more.
Defense. The Blue Jays led the American League in fielding percentage (.986) last season, and were fourth in assists. Wells and third baseman Scott Rolen have always been among the best fielders at their respective positions, and Rios, catcher Rod Barajas, first baseman Lyle Overbay and shortstop Marco Scutaro are all above-average defensive players. With an unsettled pitching rotation and an unpredictable offense, the defense remains the best, and most reliable component of the team.
Prospect creating a buzz
Manager Cito Gaston has all but handed a starting spot to Snider, saying, "I don't see anyway he doesn't make this team." That's high praise for a 21-year-old with such limited big league experience, but Snider, whose stocky build and powerful bat have drawn comparisons to Adam Dunn, has thus far proven worthy of such praise. In 305 minor league games, he batted .299/.375/.513 and sped through three levels of minor league ball last season. Yet it is his personality, more than his statistics, that have convinced the Blue Jays he's ready for the big leagues. "He's got a tremendous work ethic and he's not in awe of anything, but he's not cocky, either," says hitting coach Gene Tenace. "He's a terrific listener and has been very coachable, too."
Rolen, who has seen much of his power sapped by a troublesome shoulder, says he feels better than he has in years this spring. He has topped 115 games just once in the past four seasons and has just 19 home runs in the past two years combined. ... Among the items in the lobby of their spring training ballpark is a pennant with the 1985 team picture and the words "1985 World Series" on it. Only problem: Toronto didn't make the 1985 World Series, blowing a 3-games-to-1 lead in the American League Championship Series to the Kansas City Royals.
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