The first seven games have come and gone of this Toronto Blue Jays season, and so far they have been performing up to expectations, or at least my expectations for them. Batting has been slightly above-par, with the Jays having the 26th best batting average in the MLB, but in usual Jays fashion sporting the 3rd most home runs as well. This is nothing new for the boys in blue, as home runs have been their main run source over the past few seasons. As long as Bautista stays healthy and Edwin starts producing soon, batting should be no concern for them, despite the holes that still need to be filled at second and (arguably) catcher. In the four game set against the Rays, one of the things that stood out for me was Izturis' hitting against the dominant Rays pitching rotation. Despite only playing 3 games in the series, he was able to produce a .600 average, with 6 hits in 10 at bats. After his mediocre season last year, this has to be promising for Gibbons, as it gives him more options at second base, or to possibly play SS to fill in for Reyes.
Speaking of Reyes, the early injury to the season is beyond disappointing. He was a known injury-risk going into the season, but getting injured in the very first play of the season absolutely astonishes me. Reyes is a hole that the Jays can't afford to have out of the lineup, but who how often he’ll be in the lineup, let alone produce the numbers we expect of him with this risk constantly looming over him. Looking at who is going to be replacing him (Diaz, Goins, Izturis, or possibly Kawasaki), this is a hole that won't be filled this season, if Reyes proves to be inconsistent.
Pitching has been performing as expected, and depending on where you stand it may even be exceeding your expectations. After being underplayed for the past few seasons, Santos has done well assuming the closer role with Janssen on the DL to start the year. He's gone 2 for 2 in save opportunities this week, however he did cut it close in his first chance of the year, after almost blowing the Jays 4-2 win over the Rays. Despite the close calls, he's still finished with saves and given the Jays wins. As long as he maintains that the end results are wins, he should be a suitable substitute while Janssen is gone.
In his sole start this year, Buehrle has shown to be effective, after being one out away from a complete-game shutout against the Rays. He has always been a notorious pitcher for getting off to a slow start, sporting a 4.89 ERA in the month of April from 2011-2013, despite finishing with an ERA of 3.83 over the past three years. Getting off to a fast start can be nothing but good for Buehrle, and can hopefully cement him as the ace for the team.
Thanks for reading, I'm hoping to do weekly posts like this for the rest of the Jays season, feel free to leave feedback on how it all looks.