For the Jays to make it back to the postseason a couple of guys had to step up and have a season not many of us expected from them. Most of us agree that it came down to two players:
@desadaraay: Biagini or Carrera. Both really impressed me this year.
Not much of was expected of Biagini. One can only hoped that he pitched well enough the he could be hidden in the bullpen, instead we saw him gain the trust of everyone including Gibby and he was pitching in high leverage situation even over veterans like Storen, Chavez, and Cecil.
@atedaryl: This should be no shocker to anyone but for me it would be Joe Biagini. I remember when we picked him in the Rule 5 draft, I quickly googled what Rule 5 meant and who the the world was this Joseph Biagini guy. He pitched a couple good innings in the ST but there was so many pitchers pitching that he kinda got loss in all the names for me. Then the interview with him and Barry Davis was posted after it was confirmed that the Jays would be keeping him and he automatically made a fan out of me. Outside of Osuna, he was really the only bullpen pitcher who remained consisted from the beginning to end. I’m gonna be really sad if they choose to stretch him out in Buffalo next season but hopefully it just means I will get to see more of him in the future.
LS (disqus): Joe Biagini didn’t know what to expect. Didn’t know much about him. Don’t know where we’d be without him. Could even argue he’s our MVP. When our BP was a mess early on he and Osuna saved us from complete disaster. He’s one-of-a-kind and I think he awesome.
@mckina-elizabeth: Joe! I had no clue who this guy was (like everyone) but now sitting here after the season – he’s a top favourite. He bailed us out a lot and was typically a rock that we could rely on and it was incredible to see from someone who hadn’t seen past Double-A. Plus he’s a complete gem with a fantastic personality.
In Spring Training the Jays were looking for anyone but Carrera as the 4th outfielder. A lot of talk pointed to right handed outfielder that could platoon with Saunders but Gibby decided to come go into the season with a known commodity. Gibby’s faith in Carrera paid off with some awesome timely hits, bunts, and stolen bases. Not only Zeke manage to stay on the 25 man roster all season long but he became an everyday play in the postseason.
buddleia (disqus): Carrera! He’s totally underrated. Barney comes in a close second.
@troshtuloson: I have to give that one to Zeke! All year whenever he was given the chance to play he made the most of it! From his Pillar-like diving plays in the field to the throw home to save a run to his amazing performance in the playoffs. Zeke has definitely been an awesome surprise!
@rainingsun: ZEKE!!!!! (honourable mentions to Biagini and Grilli)
@jaysgirlemily: First-half Saunders, Happ or coming-in-clutch Zeke
Outside the two above, Happ was also a great surprise. It was hard to forget Happ’s first go with the Blue Jays. He wasn’t terrible but many saw his signing as a David Price replacement and Happ wasn’t gonna cut it. It seemed liked a tall order to ask for the performance in the second half of 2015 with Pittsburgh. But he answered those calls and even out performed 2016 David Price.
@zerotolove: JA Happ. Everyone (myself included) groaned when he was signed instead of Price, but then the guy became our low-key ace.
Stro was also another suprised and maybe not the same way as the other’s above. Stro made it clear that he wanted to be the ace of the staff but fell short of those goals in 2016. After a strong start, Stro sturggled for most of the season. However he ended the season fairly well enough to be trusted with the ever important Wild Card game. Although he got a no decision to the game he only gave up 2 runs.
@sluttyanon2: Blue Jay that surprised me the most was Stroman. I wonder what he’ll do next year.