It has been a strange season for the Toronto Blue Jays. They have been hovering around the 500 mark for much of the season despite losing a lot of key players to injuries and despite some notable poor performances. The list of the bad things that have happened to the team is lengthy:
1. Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Sergio Santos, Drew Hutchison, Jesse Litsch, Dustin McGowan and Luis Perez are all on the 60 day disabled list.
2. More recently Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and JP Arencibia are on the 15 day DL.
3. JP Arencibia hasn't developed into the top tier catcher that many hoped he would
4. His future replacement, Travis d'Arnaud, will miss half the season and cannot be groomed to take over in 2013.
5. Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar are not playing as well as they did last year
6. Brett Lawrie is playing well but not at the superstar level that was hoped for after last season, his OPS is 200 points less than 2011
7. Left field has been a semi disaster with none of Eric Thames, Rajai Davis or Travis Snider grabbing the job and keeping it
8. Colby Rasmus has had an up and down season but he is hitting under 250 with an OBP that is barely over 300
9. This team has given 100 at-bats to 45 year old Omar Vizquel and his 500 OPS
10. Ricky Romero has been a disaster
11. The rotation includes Aaron Laffey and Carlos Villanueva
12. Henderson Alvarez has spent a good part of the year looking like he should be back in the minors, he can't strike anyone out for pete's sake
13. Brett Cecil had to go to the minors to sort himself out but now that he is back he is walking a tight rope every start and he gives up too many home runs
14. Don't even mention Co-co Cordero, or Ben Francisco
15. Anthony Gose was promoted too quickly and should really be back in AAA
16. Adam Lind had to go the minors and now that he is back he is injured
17. With all the pitcher injuries the Jays have had to use a lot of minor league pitchers. The following pitchers have ERA's over 5 in the major leagues: Sam Dyson; Ryota Igarashi; Scott Richmond; David Pauley; Robert Coelle; Chad Beck; Evan Crawford; Joel Carreno and Jesse Chavez
18. Chad Jenkins and Deck Mcguire were expected to help the team in 2012. Now it looks like they will never make it
So who has lived up the expectations with this team in 2012?
1. Jose Bautista
2. Edwin Encarnacion
3. Casey Janssen
4. Darren Oliver
Someone who is impartial could look at these lists and say it is surprising that the Jays are doing as well as they have with so many bad things happening.
What does it all mean? It could mean some or all of the following:
1. This team has done well to be around 500 despite all the things that have gone wrong
2. The front office has done a bad job putting this roster together
3. The coaching staff has done a great job to keep this team around 500 despite the problems
4. The coaching staff have done a bad job at getting players to play up to their potential
5. The training staff must have messed up somewhere
6. As fans we expected too much from this team
7. The front office is promoting kids too quickly to hype the future and to get fans to ignore the present
8. This team is no closer to contending now than it was at the start of 2012
9. The arrival of Alvarez, Hutchison, Gose, Gomes and Loup fill holes that set the team up for success in 2013
10. The front office that filled holes that will help us in 2013
11. If the Jays hadn't had so many injuries they could have been on their way to the playoffs
12. We all know nothing
So Bauxites, what does it all mean?