The Toronto Blue Jays became the first team in Major League Baseball history to field six Domincan-born players (Reyes, Cabrera, Bautista, Encarnacion, Francisco, and Sierra). This is fitting since the Jays were one of the first clubs to scout the Dominican Republic for talent.
Last year, Cleveland and Tampa Bay were only two playoff teams with losing Aprils and the Jays are 12-13 with two games at Kansas City left. This is a big improvement on their 10-17 finish in last year’s April. If the Jays are going to get over 90 wins and have a shot at making the post-season they will have to go 79-58 the rest of the way. For this to happen, the starting rotation has to be much better starting with R.A. Dickey who has started to come around after a very poor first few outings. The Jays staff has an ERA of 4.45 just slightly ahead of Baltimore putting them at 25th in the big leagues.
The pitching in the National League (NL) has been much better compared to the American League (AL). There have been ten complete games and 34 shutouts in the NL compared to the 4 complete games and 23 shutouts in the AL. An indication as to why Ervin Santana chose the Braves over the Jays over the summer. The Jays have a 20 game stretch where they do not play divisional rivals. They only have six games against the East in the month of May. Voting for the All-Star in Minnesota has already begun and Buehrle, Cabrera, and Bautista are making serious cases to be in the starting lineup for the Mid-summer classic. It is still early but the three players have really started the season off well and will need to continue their run if the Jays have any hope of making the playoffs.