Toronto Blue Jays

After staying relatively healthy during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, the baseball gods weren’t kind to the Blue Jays in 2017. The team had the third most man games lost to injury (and most in the American League) last season at 1,454.

Despite the injury bug, the team had a number of pleasant surprises in 2017 – Justin Smoak appeared in his first All-Star Game, while slashing 38 HR’s, 90 RBI’s and providing Gold Glove quality defence at firstbase. Josh Donaldson rebounded from some early season injuries to re-assert himself as one of the AL’s most feared hitters. The former AL MVP hit 24 HR’s and drove in 53 runs in just 67 games after the All-Star break.

Marcus Stroman was a bulldog for a pitching staff ravaged by injuries – he started 33 games, winning 13 and had a sparkling 3.09 ERA in 201 innings pitched.

A constant bright spot last year was the Blue Jays bullpen – Dominic Leone, Roberto Osuna, Danny Barnes, and Ryan Tepera proved to be a lethal quartet, with ERA’s between 2.56 and 3.59 in 277 combined innings. In addition to a trip to the All-Star game, Osuna managed to save 39 games for the team. 
The 22-year-old has demonstrated that he is a very dynamic closer, capable of shutting down any offence in the American League.

Skipper John Gibbons will be back in 2018, after signing a two year contract extension. Gibby eclipsed 700 wins as the team’s manager in 2017, and now trails only Cito Gaston in all-time wins by a Blue Jays manager.

With Smoak and Donaldson leading the offence, Stroman and Marco Estrada leading the pitching staff and the bullpen anchored by Osuna and Company, the Blue Jays expect to rebound from an injury-plagued 2017 to contend for a playoff position once again in 2018!