In the This Is My Nightmare series, we'll take a look at what the absolute worst case scenario for each team would be in 2013. Think of it as the negative complement to our You May Say I'm A Dreamer series that we'll be running during our preview series.
A nightmare season for the Blue Jays…well, let's see. You can immediately start with the health of Toronto's best player: Jose Bautista. His wrist injury esssentially eliminated his second half and made him worthless to the Blue Jays, and as a result, their offense went into the tank. If Bautista's wrist isn't fully healthy in 2013, or it's still negatively effecting his power, the Blue Jays are going to be hard-pressed to replace him in the lineup. Rajai Davis and Anthony Gose are solid enough, but neither could match even 20% of Bautista's homer output over a full season.
Another characteristic of a disaster season for the Blue Jays would revolve around Jose Reyes, and specifically, the health of his knees. Reyes, a player who thrives on his speed, playing on the turf at Rogers Centre could experience even more pressure on his knees. Imagine if Reyes blew out an ACL, with four more years left on his contract after 2013. Being saddled with that contract and an injured Reyes would be a huge black mark on Toronto's offseason.
The Blue Jays pitching staff really only has two injury risks in Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow, but both are substantial risks. Johnson has made 30 starts just twice in his career. But hell, if he misses time in 2013, that could benefit the Blue Jays, potentially lowering his price in free agency. As for Morrow, hes qualified for one ERA title over his three seasons in Toronto, and the injuries seemingly get more random each time. He's also a guy that continually pitched better than the result indiciated until 2012, and that luck going back to how it was in 2013 wouldn't be good. Also, how about RA Dickey potentially hitting a brick wall at age 38 in the AL East and Ricky Romero continuing to struggle after an awful 2012? Neither would be good omens for Toronto's season.
Going back to the rest of the offense, Colby Rasmus, Adam Lind, and JP Arencibia are have consistently been low average, low on-base, high power guys, but what happens if the power disappears? Simply put, all three players would be simply unplayable on a daily basis for a contender. Three holes like that in the Blue Jays lineup would deal a significant blow to their postseason chances. I think the biggest potential nightmare for the Blue Jays surrounds Melky Cabrera, though. After his PED suspension in 2012, there are questions regarding his ability to perform at the level he did in 2011 and 2012 going forward in the future. What if Melky comes out in 2013, vowing to quiet the haters…and promptly plays like he did in 2010 with the Braves, a season that got him nontendered that winter? Toronto would be the laughingstock of the league, and would still have Cabrera under contract for 2014.
There's a lot to love about the Blue Jays in 2013, and they clearly have a very talented club. But don't write their name in your playoff bracket in ink just quite yet. It's a long season.