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1989 Toronto Blue Jays 1989 Toronto Blue Jays

Spring training review 1989 Toronto Blue Jays

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Rev Your Engines - This could very well be Toronto's year. The Blue Jays were 87-75, only two games out of first place in the AL East in 1988.

They posted a 45-29 record after the All-Star break, the best in the league.

Big Fred McGriff powered 34 home runs and batted .282. Only 25 years old, McGriff looks like the first baseman for the '90's.

All-Star pitcher Dave Stieb finished the '88 season with 31 scoreless innings. His' 16-8 mark, 3.04 ranked among baseball's finest pitchers.

Baseball History Worth Watching For In 1989

Kelly Gruber put up improved numbers of .278, 16 HRs, 81 RBIs and stole 23 bases. Gruber, 27 years old, appears ready to be the Blue Jays 3rd baseman for the next decade. Jimmy Key was 12-5, 3.29 but was hampered by a surgically repaired elbow; looking good as new this spring.

Team Veterans

Ernie Whitt, 36 years old, is still one of the better defensive catchers. Whitt had impressive stats with 70 RBIs in only 398 at bats. George Bell, the league's 1987 MVP, balked at being the team's DH. Bell's average slipped to .269 in '88, but he did lead the Blue Jays with 97 RBIs. Lloyd Moseby and Jesse Barfield provide the Blue Jays with outstanding defense in the outfield, but injuries knocked their batting numbers way off last year. Moseby hit only .239, with 42 RBIs and Barfield only .244 with 56 RBIs.

Needs Improvement 

Jimmy Key said it best, "I can't see us coming back and being better with the same team, We have too many bad attitudes around here." Manager Jimmy Williams' job will be on the line if he can't get George Bell and the other complainers to lighten-up and simply play to win. - manager's notebook

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