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Toronto Blue Jays

Players to Watch    Scouting Report | By the Numbers | Projected Roster

The X-Factor

Although he was Toronto's starting pitcher on Opening Day just two years ago, Erik Hanson had to fight for the fourth or fifth spot in the Blue Jays rotation this spring. That's what happens when you undergo rotator-cuff surgery, as Hanson did last May, and miss most of the season. But if Hanson logs more than 170 innings this season, that will be a sure sign that he's healthy and has regained his form. And if he does that (he's had 15- and 18-win seasons), the Jays will have one of the best fourth starters around and be a team nobody wants to face in the playoffs.

Off-Season Moves

What They Needed: A slugger to replace Joe Carter, an experienced closer, infield help.

What They Got: DH Jose Canseco. Randy Myers, who is 35 but still saved an astounding 45 of 46 for the Orioles last year. Tony Fernandez revived himself in Cleveland and should start at second. Mike Stanley and Craig Grebeck were signed as free agents. With Benito Santiago out, Darrin Fletcher will start at catcher.

What it All Means: Canseco and Stanley are aging RBI guys with suspect gloves, but add enough offense to cover a few defensive lapses. The Jays also have a nice starting staff, so if Myers performs as expected, Toronto should win a lot of games.

Scouting Report | By the Numbers | Players To Watch | Projected Roster



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