The most compelling story line in all of baseball heading into the 2013 season is easily the Toronto Blue Jays. After an offseason that saw them (unbelievably) add dynamic shortstop Jose Reyes, pitchers Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and R.A Dickey, catcher John Buck, outfielder Melky Cabrera and super utility man Emilio Bonifacio, expectations should be no less than an AL East title North of the border.
First baseman Edwin Encarnacion is coming off of a career year in which he belted 42 HRs and drove in 110 runs. Plus, nobody should forget about superstar outfielder Jose Bautista, who smashed 27 home runs despite appearing in only 92 games in 2012.
The impact on the Bisons here in Buffalo will be a stark contrast compared to being the AAA team of the lowly New York Mets over the last three years. To say the Jays have far fewer holes to fill than the Mets did under the Buffalo/New York partnership would be like saying the Bills need a new quarterback.
For example, it's still February but you can almost pencil in what the Bison outfield will look like once Opening Day rolls around on April 4, and that was never the case with the Mets.
Outfield prospect Anthony Gose will most likely be in center, with Moises Sierra and Ricardo Nanita manning the corner outfield positions. Veteran outfielder Ryan Langerhans figures to be in Buffalo when the season opens as well.
Back to the parent club though. Buffalo baseball fans should be wearing out a path up the QEW to the Rogers Centre this summer with a projected lineup like this for the Blue Jays:
- Jose Reyes, SS
- Melky Cabrera, OF
- Jose Bautista, OF
- Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
- Adam Lind, DH
- Brett Lawrie, 3B
- John Buck, C
- Macier Izturis, 2B
- Rajai Davis, OF
The pitching staff is even more loaded:
- R.A Dickey
- Josh Johnson
- Brandon Morrow
- Mark Buehrle
- Ricky Romero