I had a dream last night.
(OK, so I didn't really. Slept like a rock thanks to a wacked travel schedule and a few pints of cheap beer. But for the purposes of this post, let's pretend that I did.)
This being the "building" Toronto Blue Jays, Doc wasn't spared in my dream. Even my subconscious has come to accept it. No, Doc was traded away for the best haul of young talent AA could find, and that's that.
But in my dream, the rotation was just fine. Shaun Marcum came back dropping his beautiful change-up on the league. Dustin McGowan made it two straight Comeback Player of the Year awards for the Jays, dominating the opposition with his mid-90's heat and hammer breaking ball. Hey, the time off did him some good. He was much more poised in 2010 than we'd seen from him in seasons prior. Forgotten man Jesse Litsch was an adequate back-end starter coming off his TJ - a rite of passage for the club. Ricky Romero duplicated his '09 success and Brett Cecil showed the baseball world why he is held in such high esteem by fans of the Jays.
The bullpen held their own, made possible by one of the untold concessions Cito made to return as manager - complete autonomy over the staff by new pitching coach Bruce Walton.
Offensively, some said Aaron Hill regressed, dropping to 25 HR from his career high of 36 in '09. But me? I'm just fine with the power drop, considering his OBP climbed by 40 points. It was more of the same from fellow Silver Slugger Adam Lind, he of the .900+ OPS.
Randy Ruiz and Brian Dopirak held down the old 1B/DH fort, thanks to a salary dump of incumbent (and under appreciated) Lyle Overbay. The results? Not great, but not disastrous. Except for the defense - that was baaaad. A not unfamiliar story unfolded across the diamond, as Easy Ed Encarnacion left us all confused as to whether he was brilliant or awful, depending on the day of the week. Strange player, that one. Catching was a bit of a hot mess - that is, until September recall JP Arencibia proved he was ready to be The Man in the future. Let's not talk about what happened at shortstop. God, I miss Scutaro. Though not for that price, I suppose.
Surprises? Vernon Wells was pretty good. Not $20M good, and not good enough to drown out the season long chorus of boos, but a return to his career-average OPS of .800 was much easier to swallow than his shitshow '09 season we all lived through. And hey - Travis Snider got better - despite butting heads with his manager all season - and learned to lay off the occasional down & away breaking ball. He's going to be a good one.
Then I woke up. And cringed in fear at what this December's Winter Meetings hold in store.
I think I need a few more pints.