Why? We've probably gone to the genius well once too often around here2, and would prefer to indulge in some hacky, almost-writes-itself filler to make us feel like we've done our blogging job and that we've kept you distracted by baseball fun for an extra three-to-five minutes of your day. You're welcome.3
Besides, people love lists, and love to comment on them (YOU FORGOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING/GUY/STUFF! IDIOT!). And we are, above all, a comment whore.4
On with this week's exciting episode: Five Guys Who Give Us Worry...or The Proactive Analysis of Potential 2011 Whipping Boys.
1. Yunel Escobar: We know that there's some notion amongst us Jays fans that there was a magical healing power that washed over the Cuban shortstop once he left those bad guys behind in Atlanta. Look at that behind the back flip! Look, he hits homers! Drag bunts! But take a step back, and you see Escobar posting a sub-.700 OPS in his time with the Jays, with his numbers sliding backwards month-over-month.
2. Brandon Morrow: If only because we've started to recognize that we're starting to take it as an article of faith that he'll be a Cy Young contender this season, and we're not even sure if he can pitch more than 175 innings. Also, we worry about his diabetes. Which is kinda weak and vaguely offensive, but still. Pitching as a starter takes a lot out of a body, and we worry about the ongoing impact through the hot months.
3. Travis Snider: We keep seeing flashes of that nascent premium-level talent. But it keeps getting run off the rails by tweaky injuries. And this rib thing? Yikes. We keep seeing this year play out for Snider like one of Jeff Bagwell's late-career, injury-addled seasons.
4. Adam Lind: We worry about Lind on both the offensive side as well as in the field. While we have a suspicion that you'll see a return to form at the plate (perhaps even fueled by the happy vibes of playing first base), the helpless flailing that we saw from him against lefties last year occasionally gives us knots in our gullet. And as for the first base experiment: We figure he'll be okay, but we can see some spectacular eff-ups, which we hope won't pile up.
5. Kyle Drabek: The jump from Double-A to the fourth spot in the rotation isn't that small of a leap. Drabek pitched well enough in his brief September callup, but can he give the Jays 180 quality innings? Can he withstand nights in New York and Boston, where the umpires will offer him a postage stamp sized strike zones into which he can pitch? Is there enough movement on that fastball?
1. Which likely means this is the last time that we do this.
2. ...or not.
3. Condescending much? I really need to check myself...
4. Seriously. We crave your approval.