Tom Dakers (aka Rincewind) of Bluebird Banter answered some questions for us regarding his team:
1. What's wrong with Wells and Rios? Why are they not only failing to live up to seasons past, but performing below average?
Man, if I had the answer to that I'd have a job with the team. It seems like there are two different problems, Rios is hitting decent at home, lousy on the road, he had a good May, then a crappy June. Half the time it seems his head isn't in the game.He's over run bases, thrown to the wrong place in the outfield and generally just not been all there a lot of the time.
Wells, I don't know. He's been not too bad on the road, god awful at home. Anytime it looks like he's pulling out of his season long slump, he drops into a long hitless streak again. A lot of the time he's pull happy, a pitch a foot off the outside of the plate and he tries to pull it. Surprisingly that doesn't work that well. Added into the fun is that he's no longer a good centerfielder.
Wells and Rios were our best bats last year and really I don't see any reason they won pull out of their slumps, but then I don't see any sign they will.
2. Will the Jays be buyers or sellers at the deadline? If sellers, who's gone? If buyers, what area needs improvement?
I think the next couple of weeks will likely tell the tale on that question. I really don't see them being sellers. No one is going to take Vernon's contract off our hands or B.J. Ryan's for that matter and the other veteran's we want to keep for next season when some of the half dozen or so injured starting pitchers return to the active roster.
If buyers, we really need a bat to the DH spot. Kevin Millar was a mistake from the word go and Travis Snider seems to need a little more time in the minors and has had a back injury so odds are he won't be coming back to the team soon. I'm wishing for Nick Johnson from the Nationals but a good bat would be what we need.
3. Playoff odds on the Jays right now?
The odds depend on whether we can keep our starting pitchers healthy, which we haven't been able to do this year. Even Doc spent two weeks on the DL. We can't afford to loss any more starters. Beyond that if Vernon and Alex could find their strokes, we'd have a good shot. If those things don't happen, odds are long.