C’mon Blue Jays!! I know a number of you are likely religious men, particularly those of you guys who are of Latino descent. A nice sense of faith can be a great thing in a person to keep them grounded and stable… but boys, please don’t take that “sunday as a day of rest ” TOO seriously! Thus far this season the sabbath-respecting Jays are 0 for sunday, being winless and outscored 17-5 on sunday matches. They’re above .500 the rest of the week.
the Blue jays have been struggling for offense lately, which leads me to a couple of modest proposals for them. First, has anyone besides me , the guys in the broadcast booth and about 12000 fans a night noticed that John McDonald has evolved into a pretty decent hitter? Last season he improved his hitting greatly , clipping 6 home runs in only 152 at bats. This season so far, as rightly noticed by Sportsnet commentator (and former manager) Buck Martinez, he’s been more aggressive at the plate and is taking more good swings. The result is a respectable .270 average and a timely walk-off home run earlier this week. Plus, that at bat demonstrates what I kept telling a friend who was a Boston fan back as far as 2008– McDonald comes through in the clutch. If one could properly gauge “clutch hitting” and define what important at bats are, I’m sure you’d see Sir John A hitting over .300 in those situations. Combine that with his great , at times highlight reel great, defense throughout the infield and it makes me think that it’s time to make John an everyday player, at least until he plays himself out of the role. A .270 average is right now better than double what Juan Rivera is hitting and is somewhat better than what Aaron Hill was hitting before he screwed up his leg again. Make McDonald the everyday second baseman for the time being, make sure Hill is 100% before bringing him back and if that happens soon, consider shifting John A over to third , another position he handles well with the glove. And while we’re at it, move him up a bit higher in the order… having a .120 hitter hitting fifth is embarassing!
Secondly, but on the same topic, isn’t it time to bring up Eric Thames for a try? Yes, Alex Anthopolous guested on the TV broadcast today and made valid points about not bringing up minor leaguers until he knew they were ready to face big league pitching and could stay up here. The Mike McCoy shuffle (back and forth to Las Vegas on a weekly basis) is bound to be tiring and, for a youngster, demoralizing. BUT, with Corey Patterson now barely hitting .200 (2 for 27 in the last 7 games!) , Rajai Davis injured, Travis Snider struggling most days, isn’t it time to give a mature minor leaguer who’s hitting .382 with 9 doubles and an on-base percentage topping .600 a try? Anything to get this team’s hitting sparked , Alex. This guy turned heads in spring training and even if somehow he only hit half as well as he is in the minors, he’d still be an upgrade over Rivera and probably Snider right now.
By the way, as an aside, one of the few hitters topping Thames in the Pacific League right now… former major leaguer Wily Mo Pena, clipping along at a .420 pace for Reno.