- Dave Cameron, FanGraphs
After winning the offseason by acquiring stars like Jose Reyes and R.A. Dickey, the Blue Jays came into the 2013 season with high hopes. The AL East was as open a race as it has been in years, and Toronto looked poised to make the leap into being a strong contender.
However, with the first month of the season nearly in the books, the Blue Jays are in last place, and at 9-14, they're already 6 1/2 games behind the division-leading Red Sox.
Even with struggling pitchers like Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, the biggest letdown has been on offense. The Blue Jays rank 28th in the majors in weighted runs created plus (wRC+) -- which compares a player's total offensive value to the league average -- ahead of only the lowly Marlins and equally struggling White Sox.
It might be tempting to point to the ridiculous strikeout percentages of Colby Rasmus (42.9 percent), J.P. Arencibia (38.6 percent) and Brett Lawrie (32.5 percent) as the problem -- especially because all three are posting on-base percentages below .290 -- but a deeper dive into the numbers suggests that the whiffs are not the issue.
Dave Cameron writes that the Blue Jays -- the preseason favorites to win the AL East -- have struggled because of their inability to score runs. Beyond poor strikeout rates and batting averages, Toronto's offensive woes can be attributed to bad luck.