It’s been an entertaining first half for the Toronto Blue Jays despite the fact they’re below .500 and are last in the American League East standings
At the beginning of the 2013 season, the Jays stumbled out of the gate with a 10-17 win-loss record in April.
Toronto’s best record in the first half was 17-9 in June, including an 11 game winning streak that put the team over .500 for a short time.
There were also injuries to three key players on the team. Brett Lawrie, Brandon Morrow and Jose Reyes.
Lawrie missed the start of the season with a rib injury. Shortly after returning to the lineup, Lawrie suffered a ankle injury sliding into second base and landed on the 15 day disabled list again. After spending some time in Triple A, Lawrie returned to the lineup last week.
Reyes was out of the Jays lineup for almost two months for a sprain ankle.
While Reyes was injured, the Jays fans were introduced Japanese player, Munen0ri Kawasaki. His spirit quickly made him a fan favorite. Kawasaki was also part of that 11 game winning streak in June.
As for Morrow, he’s pretty much in limbo. The team has no idea when he’ll be back in the rotation.
On the positive side, there were some outstanding performances from some of the players that earned them a spot on the American League All-Star team.
Edwin Encarnacion is having another good year at the plate. At the end of the first half, Encarnacion had a .264 batting average, 25 home runs, scored 60 runs, and an unprecedented 72 RBIs.
With no surprise, Jose Bautista had a good first half, scoring 61 runs, hitting 20 home runs, and racking up 55 RBIs.
There were three pitchers who have had a stellar first half.
Steve Delabar had the best record in the Blue Jay’s rotation with a 5-1 win-loss record. Delabar had an earned run average of 1.71 and struck out 58 batters before the All-Star break.
Brett Cecil also had a good first half with a 3-0 win-loss record, a 1.94 earned run average, and has 55 strike outs.
I can’t write this article without mentioning closing pitcher, Casey Janssen. He is well on his way to having a 25-30 save season. Janssen had 18 saves at the end of the first half.