Ladies and gentlemen, the focus is now officially on 2012. For all of us, except for maybe Cardinals fans, it's time to move on from 2011. This year is so last year anyways. So here at MLBDD we're spending some time projecting each team's 25-man roster for Opening Day 2012. We're not projecting trades or free agent signings here, so this is purely focusing on the talent that each team already has in-house. The 2012 season may not start soon, but we can still think about what it might look like.
Starting Lineup (ages are based on April 4, 2012)
Catcher: J.P. Arencibia - Age 26
First Base: Adam Lind - Age 28
Second Base: Mike McCoy - Age 31
Third Base: Brett Lawrie - Age 22
Shortstop: Yunel Escobar - Age 29
Left Field: Eric Thames - Age 25
Center Field: Colby Rasmus - Age 25
Right Field: Jose Bautista - Age 31
Designated Hitter: Edwin Encarnacion - Age 29
Full batting order, bench, starting rotation and bullpen projections, as well as some of my thoughts, are included below the fold.
1. SS Escobar 2. LF Thames 3. RF Bautista 4. 3B Lawrie 5. 1B Lind 6. DH Encarnacion 7. CF Rasmus 8. C Arencibia 9. 2B McCoy
C Travis d'Arnaud, IF Mark Teahen, OF Travis Snider, OF Rajai Davis
1. LHP Ricky Romero - Age 27
2. RHP Brandon Morrow - Age 27
3. RHP Henderson Alvarez - Age 22 (as of 4/18/12)
4. LHP Brett Cecil - Age 25
5. RHP Kyle Drabek - Age 24
Closer: RHP Casey Janssen - Age 30
Others: RHP Jesse Litsch, RHP Joel Carreno, LHP Luis Perez, RHP Carlos Villanueva, RHP Jesse Chavez, RHP Andrew Carpenter
Some Quick Thoughts
- I'm guessing that the Blue Jays are going to add a veteran catcher this summer to back-up Arencibia early in the season. At some point, they're going to give d'Arnaud a shot, but he should spend some time in Triple-A and they're going to need a second catcher at the MLB level for that time.
- Second base is another position that's going to get addressed. McCoy is okay as a utility player, but he's totally stretched as an everyday second baseman.
- The Jays need to figure out what they're going to do with all of their corner bats. They have Bautista, Lawrie, Lind, Encarnacion, Thames and Snider, but only five spots for those six players. Lind has the long-term commitment and Thames was quite solid in 2011, but the Jays really need to see what they have in Snider. It'll be interesting to see how they resolve this situation.
- Starting pitching is another interesting spot for Toronto. They really only have two obvious locks in Romero and Morrow. Otherwise, you're looking at a bevy of young pitchers that are trying to establish themselves, and then Dustin McGowan, who's trying to come back from another shoulder injury.