Ace Halladay, newcomer Burnett to anchor strong staff
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com

1. Roy Halladay
2. A.J Burnett
3. Ted Lilly
4. Chad Chacin
5. Josh Towers

藍鳥隊有5500萬種理由期待他們2006年的先發陣容。
在12月份和A.J Burnett簽下5年合約,他將是球隊的2號先發。

如果Halladay和Lilly能不再像2005年一樣受傷病困擾,而Chacin和Towers 能再次表現出2005年一樣的成績,多倫多很可能會有2006年大聯盟
最強之一的先發陣容。

29歲的Burnett在經歷他生涯最佳之一的一季之後,加盟藍鳥;他去年締造了生涯新高的32次先發和209局投球,12勝也追平2002年的生涯最佳
紀錄,而那一年馬林魚的投手教練不是別人,正是現在在藍鳥擔任同樣職位的 Brad Arnsberg!!!

能夠和在2002年幫助他投出佳績的重聚是Burnett願意披上藍鳥戰袍的一個重要原因;而Arnsberg也會努力去試著幫助Burnett展現他那種球評
和分析家眼中的明星潛能。Burnett的快速球可以高達98 mile, 而他也在2001年時投出無安打比賽,但是7年來的成績卻是起伏不定。
去年Burnett的成績是12-6,但是他最後7次先發的成績卻是0-6以及慘不忍睹的5.87 ERA。生涯則是49-50。Burnett在這段期間批評了球隊
而在9月底時被趕出球隊。多倫多希望換個環境讓Burnett重新出發對他和藍鳥隊都有幫助。

即將在5月滿29歲的Halladay將從2005年的脛骨斷裂傷勢中復原歸隊,這名王牌投手在2003年有著讓人充滿回憶的球季,而他似乎和明星賽的
投手丘無緣。 在去年7月8日客場出戰遊騎兵時,Kevin Mench 的強襲球擊中他的左腿,也結束了Doc和藍鳥隊的球季。
Halladay去年19場先發中共計投了141 2/3局,12勝4敗,2.41 ERA,108次三振以及18次保送,5場完投(包含2場完封)。
Halladay在2006年的薪水是1270萬美金,在2004年因為肩傷只出賽21場,04-05合計出賽40場,遠低於02-03的70場;上一季的傷是極為少見的,
只要季前手臂無虞的話,多倫多可以合理的希望他們的王牌有一個完整的球季。

如果Halladay和Burnett都能投出符合他們身價的成績的話,毫無疑問藍鳥有整個聯盟數一數二的1.2號先發。

Ted Lilly,30歲,在上一季也飽受傷病困擾,使他無法回復2004年入選明星賽的狀態,這名左投因為肩傷缺席了球隊春訓,接著在球季中因為
左臂二頭肌發炎再度缺席了約一個月。他上一季的薪水為310萬美金,這一季獲得薪資仲裁的資格。

在連續2個球季達到12勝之後,上一季的成績只有10勝11敗。在25次先發中,每九局保送人數更是超過4人次。而且他的表現大起大落,使人摸不清
頭緒-- 在他的10勝裡,防禦率只有2.67 ;而輸的11場防禦率卻高達9.49。

輪值裡的前三位看起來是這麼的充滿不確定性,而後兩位在上一季卻有著完全不一樣的演出。Chacin在上一季是聯盟頂尖的新秀之ㄧ,而Towers
則讓優質先發 看起來如此容易達成。

25歲的Chacin上一季以13勝的成績和Josh Towers並列全隊最多,ERA3.72則在美聯排在第13名. 來自委內瑞拉的左投在去年4月以4勝1負,
2.48的ERA拿下單月最佳新人,接著在7月再以5勝0敗,2.97的ERA再次拿下單月最佳新人.這也是隊史第一次有人能單季兩次拿下最佳新秀的榮譽。
Chacin也是全隊唯一一名每次皆能如期出賽的先發投手. 34次先發和121次三振都是全隊第一

即將在2月滿29歲的Towers上一季3.72的ERA在全隊排名第一,同時在勝場,ERA,先發數(33),投球局數(208 2/3)和三振數(112)都是生涯最佳。
從7月底到9月底他連續12次先發都是優質先發.在明星賽後的105局投球中只保送了10位打者。

球隊的先發群(同時包括Dustin McGowan, Dave Bush, Scott Downs, Pete Walker and Chad Gaudin)的團隊ERA去年在AL排名第六,
即使在Halladay 和Lilly先後受傷,整個團隊仍然是球隊的強項。

藍鳥隊希望球隊先發陣容在2006年能更加穩定,有了Burnett,他們應該更有信心 這使得他們先發輪值能更加完整。

原文:

The Blue Jays have 55 million reasons to hope their starting rotation can stay intact for the 2006 season.

The Blue Jays signed free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett to a five-year deal worth that much cash in December,
and the talented right-hander figures to slide into the No. 2 spot of the rotation between ace Roy Halladay and
lefty Ted Lilly.

If Halladay and Lilly can avoid the injury bug that cost the pair much of last season, and Gustavo Chacin and
Josh Towers can mirror their performances in 2005, Toronto could present one of baseball's strongest rotations
from top to bottom.

Burnett, 29, is joining the Jays a year after one of his better seasons. He logged career highs in starts (32)
and innings pitched (209) and had 12 wins to tie his personal best, set in 2002. That season, the former
Florida Marlin was under the tutelage of pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, who now handles the same duties for
Toronto.

One of the reasons Burnett agreed to pitch for the Blue Jays was the chance to be reunited with the coach who
helped him have his best season in '02. Arnsberg will try help Burnett find the kind of star potential that
analysts and scouts have said the pitcher possesses. Burnett's fastball can reach 98 mph and he threw a
no-hitter in 2001, but the right-hander has had up-and-down success in his seven seasons.

Last year, Burnett started 12-6, but he went 0-6 with a 5.87 ERA across his last seven starts, which dropped his
career record to 49-50. During the tailspin, Burnett made critical comments about the Marlins organization and
was asked to leave the team in late September. The Toronto brass is hoping the change of scenery will give
Burnett a fresh start and provide a kick start for the Blue Jays.

Halladay, who turns 29 in May, returns after a broken tibia cut his impressive 2005 season short. The
right-hander was putting up numbers reminiscent of his campaign in 2003, when he garnered
American League Cy Young honors, and Halladay appeared to be a lock to take the mound for the AL in the
All-Star Game. On July 8 in Texas, though, Kevin Mench sent a line drive off Halladay's left leg that ended the
pitcher's year and crippled Toronto's hopes for contention.

Halladay finished 12-4 with a 2.41 ERA, 108 strikeouts and 18 walks in 141 2/3 innings. He made 19 starts, had
only three no-decisions and recorded two shutouts in five complete games.

It was the second season in a row that Halladay, who is scheduled to make $12.7 million in 2006, had shortened
due to injury. In 2004, he made just 21 starts after sitting out with a tired shoulder. His 40 starts in the
last two years are far below the 70 he made in the 2002-03 seasons. The injury last season was a rare fluke,
though, and had nothing to do with the arm ailment during the previous season. Toronto is expecting a fully
recovered ace to take the mound in 2006.

Toronto will have a solid 1-2 punch lead the staff if Halladay and Burnett can both live up to their billing.

Lilly, 30, is also coming off an injury-laden season that hardly resembled his All-Star performance in '04.
The southpaw missed Spring Training with a shoulder injury and then missed a month later in the year with left
biceps tendinitis. He made $3.1 million last season and is arbitration-eligible this year.

He went 10-11 after posting consecutive 12-win seasons and walked more than four batters per nine innings in his
25 starts. For many of his starts, it wasn't clear which Lilly would show up. In his 10 victories, he had a
2.67 ERA, but his ERA ballooned to 9.49 in his 11 defeats.

Beyond the inconsistent middle of the rotation exists a back end that holds the two most consistent Toronto
starters from a year ago. Chacin turned in one of the best rookie performances in franchise history, while
Towers made quality starts look easy.

Chacin, 25, tied with Towers for the team lead with 13 wins last year and finished 13th in the AL with
a 3.72 ERA. The Venezuelan southpaw took home the Rookie of the Month Award in April, when he went 4-1 with
a 2.48 ERA, and again in July, after going 5-0 with a 2.97 ERA. It was the first time in club history that a
rookie earned two monthly honors. Chacin was the only Toronto starter to make every one of his starts, and he
finished with a team-high 34. He also led the Jays with 121 strikeouts.

Towers, who turns 29 in February, led the team with a 3.72 ERA and notched career bests in wins, ERA,
starts (33), innings pitched (208 2/3) and strikeouts (112). From late July to late September, Towers made
12 straight quality starts. After the All-Star break, he walked just 10 batters in 105 innings.

The starting rotation as a whole (which also included appearances by Dustin McGowan, Dave Bush, Scott Downs,
Pete Walker and Chad Gaudin) ranked sixth in the AL last season with a 4.20 team ERA. The staff remained one of
the team's strongest assets even when Halladay and Lilly went down with injuries.

The Blue Jays are hoping for a little more stability in 2006, and they can probably feel a bit more confident
with Burnett, their new insurance policy. It'll take more than a chance line drive to sideline the rotation this
season.

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