Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Cause Du Jour!

Being Mr. Positive when it comes to the Jays, I clearly am a happy guy right now after watching the Jays polish of THY (i.e. The Hated Yankees) in impressive and professional fashion tonight. So far on the season, I have seen very little to complain about in a Jays uniform (in fact, with the notable exception of one Gary Darling I'm not disappointed in anything) SO do not take what I am about to say as the whining of one who is certain things would have been better if I had my way. I'm simply getting something off my chest that I have let slide commenting on because my partners have brought it up before.

In fact, I'm not only bringing it up, I'm making it my "cause" until it changes - you know, the thing I go on and on about until your eyes bleed every time you have to read more about it? Every self-respecting blogger needs one!

The issue? Aaron Hill should be hitting second! Now, I suppose this is no shock to anyone since I have been very pessimistic about the contribution we can expect from the erstwhile Shannon Stewart this season, so clearly I am not bubbly with anticipation at the contributions he'll make in the 2-hole. Hill, OTOH, stands poised, in the view of almost everyone, to move into the class of elite second basemen with the bat. I can't conjure any reason at all why a guy with Stewart's dubious offensive skills needs to be hitting that high in the order. In my not-so-humble opinion, he should be hitting ninth. He can use his Eckstien-like bat down there to serve as a "second lead off hitter" when he starts the inning later in games which can turn the lineup over faster.

To illustrate, as it stands now we have two essentially identical batters at the top of our order - if in fact that is a good arrangement (and if we didn't have such an obviously better option it would be ok) then it's a good arrangement if they are reversed. So, if you go through your lineup 1-8 in, for instance, the first two innings, then you have Stewart in the nine leading off the third, you have, in effect, started a sequence with goes Stew > Eck > Hill > Rios > etc . . . that seems to me to be a respectable lineup in itself so you have "re-booted" into a top of the lineup situation one batter earlier. You could, of course, make this argument with any hitter who's capable of being a #1 or #2 hitter, but the reason I make it for Stewart is because it's pretty much the highest value position in the lineup for his limited skill set. Argue Eck at 9 and Stew at 1 if you want but you get the picture.

So, thus begins my regular carping for Hill as our second spot hitter - happy reading!



jwjays said...

Yeah, my anonymous post yesterday was basically agreeing with you there. I don't want to see two of our worst hitters batting 1-2, it doesn't fill me with confidence as the lineup turns over.

Hill's a good option - I'd like to see him cut down on the strikeouts, but what can you do. Overbay isn't bad, but I think he's too important to be taken out of a RBI spot right now. Rolen might not be bad either.

Or, hell, just move the entire lineup up one spot and Stewart or Eckstein down to ninth.

The Southpaw said...

Healthy Stairs goes along way towards partially solving the problem, because then you have a legit bat in the two hole. Other problems remain, but still, it's a start.

Jonathan said...

Pretty good choice of a cause...especially because it has to happen eventually