2013-02-13

And We're Off!


This year the field is jam packed with VIP's including a MLB Fan Cave top 30 finalist, blogger extraordinaire and all around solid guy The Blue Jay Hunter, our defending champion - known in these parts as Mr. Defending Champion Sir - Jason Martinez and the man with his finger directly on the pulse of your Toronto Blue Jays Gregor Chisholm.

A little over a month ago we asked the world one simple question, who will make the opening day roster April 2nd against the Cleveland Indians? In the case of a tie we also asked, what will the Blue Jays spring training record in 2013 be?

As always there is one single ballot that gets chosen more than any other.

The Favorite:

Jose Reyes
Melky Cabrera
Jose Bautista
Edwin Encarnacion
Brett Lawrie
Adam Lind
J.P. Arencibia
Colby Rasmus
Maicer Izturis
Emilio Bonifacio
Rajai Davis
Mark DeRosa
Henry Blanco
R.A. Dickey
Brandon Morrow
Mark Buehrle
Josh Johnson
Ricky Romero
Casey Janssen
Sergio Santos
Darren Oliver
Steve Delabar
Esmil Rogers
Brett Cecil
Jeremy Jeffress

Of the twenty-three ballots submitted nine looked like this. So if this is your Toronto Blue Jays opening day roster and based on almost half of the worthy competitors saying it will be so it seems likely, then whoever is destined to be crowned champion will have to rely on the tiebreaker for their chance at glory. Interestingly (thank God) nobody picked the exact same spring training record which means - cross your fingers - there should be a sole winner. We will list them from most optimistic to not so most optimistic in terms of their tiebreakers.

Action Jackson
22-10

@gregorMLB 
18-14

@gideonturk
17-15

@AndyMc9293
16-16

@swannsky
15-17

Team Fightin' Clints
14-16

Mr. Defending Champion Sir
14-18

@trodge
12-18

@AHume92 
12-20

The one and only Jimmy Triggs has the same ballot as The Favorite with one little wrinkle in the bullpen which is a great place to be in the 25 Man Roster Challenge.

Team Jimmy Triggs
17-16
Out: Jeremy Jeffress
In: Brad Lincoln

The next most popular ballot to be submitted with five contestants selecting it only has one difference than The Favorite. That player is back up catcher Henry Blanco and his 41 year old knees/no bat/non guaranteed contract. These gritty competitors don't think that he will be coming north with the club in April. Let's take a look at Josh Thole's newest biggest supporters or as we will call it from now until the end of time:

The Josh Thole Camp

Jose Reyes
Melky Cabrera
Jose Bautista
Edwin Encarnacion
Brett Lawrie
Adam Lind
J.P. Arencibia
Colby Rasmus
Maicer Izturis
Emilio Bonifacio
Rajai Davis
Mark DeRosa
Josh Thole
R.A. Dickey
Brandon Morrow
Mark Buehrle
Josh Johnson
Ricky Romero
Casey Janssen
Sergio Santos
Darren Oliver
Steve Delabar
Esmil Rogers
Brett Cecil
Jeremy Jeffress 

The Human Rain Delay
20-10

#AprilMeansBaseball 
18-14

Jays Are My 2nd Favorite Team AKA my idiot Reds fan friend
18-13

@1BJW
16-16

Team Last Row 500's
12-20

The three next ballots are firmly in The Josh Thole Camp with only one difference in the bullpen.

Team Sweaty Bobandy
20-13
Out: Brett Cecil
In: Brad Lincoln

That would leave only Darren Oliver from the left side coming out of the pen.

@pumpedupjays
13-19
Out: Jeremy Jeffress
In: Brad Lincoln

A straight one for one swap of righthanders.

Fightin' BJ Hunters
18-14
Out: Jeremy Jeffress
In: Aaron Loup

Ian says the Blue Jays decide to go with three lefties out of the pen to start the year. Not a bad idea considering they play a not as lefty heavy hitting lineup as last year yet a still somewhat lefty heavy hitting lineup in the Tribe to open the season.

The next ballot is also in The Josh Thole Camp while having a two player difference, both in the bullpen.

Sudbury Blue Jays
20-12
Out: Jeremy Jeffress
Out: Esmil Rogers
In: Brad Lincoln
In: J.A. Happ

The remaining four ballots are one offs which truly bodes well for the people that selected them if something crazy happens at spring training this year. If a player that everyone picked - think Casey Janssen or Sergio Santos - can't answer the bell,then all bets are off who the favorite really is.

Because a few of them are so ridiculously outrageous they will be listed in their entirety, purely for your enjoyment. We will attempt to highlight the differences.

Ferocious Swans
14-18

Jose Reyes
Melky Cabrera
Jose Bautista
Edwin Encarnacion
Brett Lawrie
Adam Lind
J.P. Arencibia
Colby Rasmus
Maicer Izturis
Emilio Bonifacio
Rajai Davis
Mark DeRosa
Henry Blanco
R.A. Dickey
Brandon Morrow
Mark Buehrle
Ricky Romero
Casey Janssen
Sergio Santos
Darren Oliver
Steve Delabar
Esmil Rogers
Brett Cecil
Jeremy Jeffress
Brad Lincoln

This was the only ballot not to contain the name Josh Johnson. This was also the only ballot to include a brief explanation behind the rational of their thinking. Here is how that conversation went down.

Ferocious Swans: The Johnson omission is an injury, hate to see it but I want the picks to be different.

@1BJW: Love it! Very ballsy. I actually considered the same tactic except with Morrow and his "slow build up" issues he's had in previous camps.

Ferocious Swans: I couldn't decide between Johnson & Morrow actually! I hope we're wrong and they make 33 starts each.

Insightful stuff right there ladies and gentlemen. What we forgot to do was ask if that means Lincoln slides into the rotation or if that means the Blue Jays go with an 8 man pen to start the year. Hard to imagine they'd only break camp with 4 starters and also equally hard to imagine that Lincoln would get the gig before Happ. But hey, you have to take a chance to win at life sometimes.

Team Hotbox
15-15

Jose Reyes
Melky Cabrera
Jose Bautista
Edwin Encarnacion
Brett Lawrie
Adam Lind
J.P. Arencibia
Colby Rasmus
Maicer Izturis
Emilio Bonifacio
Rajai Davis
Josh Thole
Henry Blanco
R.A. Dickey
Brandon Morrow
Mark Buehrle
Josh Johnson
Ricky Romero
Casey Janssen
Sergio Santos
Brad Lincoln
Steve Delabar
Esmil Rogers
Brett Cecil
J.A. Happ

This ballot obviously couldn't decide between Blanco or Thole so.....they just picked them both to make the team. Unconventional for sure but not completely out of the realm of possibility.

ALL IN 2013
23-7

Jose Reyes
Melky Cabrera
Jose Bautista
Edwin Encarnacion
Brett Lawrie
Adam Lind
J.P. Arencibia
Colby Rasmus
Maicer Izturis
Emilio Bonifacio
Henry Blanco
R.A. Dickey
Brandon Morrow
Mark Buehrle
Josh Johnson
Ricky Romero
Casey Janssen
Sergio Santos
Darren Oliver
Steve Delabar
Esmil Rogers
Brett Cecil
J.A. Happ
Aaron Loup
Brad Lincoln
Dustin McGowan
Luis Perez

Speaking of unconventional, how about a two man bench and an eleven man bullpen? Maybe the thinking was the Blue Jays will go with a 6 man rotation with Happ sliding in there and a ten man pen. Maybe there was no thinking at all.

Blue Jay Way a la Carolinas
20-12

Jose Reyes
Melky Cabrera
Jose Bautista
Edwin Encarnacion
Colby Rasmus
Brett Lawrie
Adam Lind
J.P. Arencibia
Emilio Bonifacio
Josh Thole
Maicer Izturis
Moises Sierra
Alex Gonzalez
R.A. Dickey
Josh Johnson
Mark Buehrle
Brandon Morrow
Ricky Romero
Casey Janssen
Steve Delabar
Justin Germano
Jeremy Jeffress
Jair Jurrjens
Esmil Rogers
J.A. Happ

This ballot takes the cake - by a mile - for most creative. No chance it's the winner whatsoever but thanks so much for playing nonetheless.

In Summary:

And with that the 4th Annual 25 Man Roster Challenge is a go for launch. Good luck to all that joined in on the fun this go around, may the best team win!

4 comments:

  1. Best of luck, all! Remember when Joel Carreno cracked the Opening Day starting rotation last season? Just further proof that anything can happen between now and April 2nd.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good post! Just to explain my choices, my logic has the Jays carrying an 8th reliever for the first 4 games of the season and then sending down Lincoln or DFAing Jeffress and calling up Happ to start Game 5.
    Chris - The Ferocious Swans

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Jay,

    Can't wait for the ground to thaw. Look forward to some more of your superb interviews again this year.

    @Ian,

    The 25 Man Roster Challenge is a fun way of staying on top of what is going on in camp and you can win cool Jays stuff! We will be sure to update when things get down to the final few cuts in camp.

    @ Ferocious Swans,

    Simply brilliant thinking. You're playing chess while the rest of us are playing checkers.

    ReplyDelete

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