Sunday, 13 April 2008

Just 'Cause

I won't profess this as a substitute for Johnny's usual Morning Roundup but having noticed that MacLeod has given us at least two items worthy of comment, it will be a wave in that general direction.

I lead with the second item from the top on the Globe's baseball blog, in which we learn that Aaron Hill has professed his desire to be the #2 hitter on a permanent basis and Uncle Gibby is making nosies that he just might get his wish.


Behold my power!!

OK, OK so maybe it's not exactly MY doing but hey, grab credit wherever you can, right?

Let me pause for a moment and introduce the question - how does the lineup shake down when Scott Rolen gets back? The Jays are blessed with a number of hitters with top of the order (1-5) abilities and while that's a good thing for expanding the effectiveness of the order. It also means that some talented hitters get "slighted" by hitting lower in the order than they normally would.

It's also worth pointing out that Hill batting second has left us with a situation in which, when Stairs plays LF (and eventually Lind, please!) your lefty hitters are all bunched together which is not optimal.

So, we have certain things that seem non-negotiable, on the face of it. The Jays have given no indication they intend to abandon the idea that Eckstien is there defacto leadoff hitter. As long as that is the case, we can assume that - if Hill is our permanent #2 - our 1-4 are pretty much locked in:


Both Rios and Hill have hit well enough to justify their positions and my former observation about Wells hitting #6 is pretty much dead in the water at this point. Thomas at five might have a little wiggle room assuming there are no ego issues involved. Certainly it's true that Rolen is faster afoot than Thomas but I'm disinclined to think Gibbons will move him down any further. Overbay has not found his stroke yet, and Stairs is also struggling some - perhaps due to the hip issue? So, the question boils down to this - do you put Rolen at six assuming he'll be more effective than Overbay, or use him to split up the two lefties? I'm thinking the latter is more likely and as much as I hate to see a hitter of Rolen's quality "disrespected" by hitting seventh, I also think he's the one guy on this team most willing to subsume his ego and NOT feel disrespected. So we are probably looking at:

Stairs/Stewart/Lind eventually

I have to tell you that, IMO, that's one helluva exciting lineup if everyone plays to their abilities.

On another note, MacLeod also notes that BJ Ryan has been activated today and Brandon League sent down to AAA. Uncle Gibby explains that League was rusting on the major league team and needed regular work (who have I heard say that before? Hmmm.) and that he will be "the man" in Syracuse so he can get his sharp edge back. That's fine with me so long as the Jays don't start thinking of him as expendable and let him get away in a trade or something. In any case, it's very nice to see the Beej back in town!

Today's lineup includes Johnny Mac at SS, Stewart leading off, and newcomer Joe Inglett again at 3B. Tip of the hat to Lil' Joe for his impressive Jays debut last night and here's hoping for more.

While I'm tipping the cap, let me also acknowledge the wonderful work from Jessie Carlson in a small sample so far. The adage "you can never have too much pitching" certainly applies.

Finally, for now, erstwhile whipping boy Rickey Romero turned in an impressive performance in his latest AA start. He was awful in less than 4 IP in his first start but he was masterful through eight this time, giving up only 2 ER while striking out 5 over against only 1 walk, and hopefully it's a sign of good things to come. Meanwhile fellow first rounder David Purcey continues to own AAA hitters and is looking more and more like the first option out of the minors should something happen to our major league rotation.

That's all I got for now, let's get our brooms out today and then go put the upstart Orioles in their place, eh?



Anonymous said...

Actually, it seems to me I heard somewhere that Rolen slots in at 4 and everyone else bumps down a notch.

The Southpaw said...

Wilner was just saying Rolen would be a nice fit in the two hole, but really, he could go anywhere 2-7.

Haha, in the future every Romero update should come with mention of Tulowitzi's 2008 line...