The euphoria is thick among Blue Jays fans these days, after the most exciting off-season in two decades. Spring training is still a month away, and yet there hasn't been an opening day more hotly anticipated since the glory days of the early 1990s. While Vegas has declared the Jays odds-on World Series favourites for 2013, it may be time for the city's baseball fans to come back down to earth. On paper the Jays are a legitimate contender with a dynamic rotation and star-laden lineup, but as baseball fans witnessed last year with the surprising success of Baltimore and Oakland — juxtaposed against the Dodgers' and Angels' failure to make the post-season — there are no sure things. With apologies for killing the buzz, here are 10 critical questions facing the Jays in 2013.
1. Is Adam Lind still an everyday player?
Unless GM Alex Anthopoulos has more moves up his sleeve, Lind will open the season as the Jays' designated hitter and occasional first baseman. Ideally the left-handed Lind would only face right-handed pitching — he hit .282 vs. righties over his career, compared to just .220 vs. lefties — but as it stands he has no obvious platoon mate without removing Edwin Encarnacion from the everyday lineup. Lind earned the chance to keep his everyday job with his much-improved performance in the second half of last season following a demotion. But there are still concerns about nagging back issues and overall fitness for a 162-game season. This will be the final year of the 29-year-old's guaranteed contract and he will have to prove his 2009 Silver Slugger season was no fluke.
Toronto Blue Jays: 10 burning questions
Toronto Star | Jan 12