TORONTO — On my walk to the ol’ ballyard this afternoon, saw a crew finally removing the gigantic Frank Thomas poster from the windows on the south side of the Rogers Centre. Rumor has it that Alex Rios will soon be replacing the Big Hurt.
With Thomas officially taken down, it seems like a good time to check in with the future Hall of Famer and how he’s faring over in Oaktown:
Since joining the A’s: .282 average with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 24 games.
The Jays have used nine different players as the designated hitter this season — most recently Mighty Joe Inglett. Entering Friday’s game against the Royals, Toronto’s DHs had combined for 18 runs (11th in the American League), six homers (ninth), 23 RBIs (ninth), a .220 average (10th), a .311 on-base percentage (ninth), a .363 slugging percentage (.11th) and 61 total bases (12th).
Those numbers aren’t so hot. Then again, those figures all include Thomas, who labored in the season’s early going as Toronto’s regular DH. On Friday, Kevin Mench started at DH against the Royals, making his first appearance among the starting nine since bruising his right knee by running into a wall on Friday.
Matt Stairs — Toronto’s current primary DH — was still out with a stiff neck, meaning Inglett got the nod again, but this time as the right fielder. David Eckstein (strained right hip flexor) DHed in his rehab appearance with Class A Dunedin on Thursday night, but was due to man shortstop on Friday. He could be back as soon as Monday, when shortstop John McDonald (sprained right ankle) might begin his Minor League rehab.
Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells could be on his way to Florida on Monday as well to begin rehabbing his broken right wrist. He’s still a ways off from thinking about playing in a game, though. Without further adieu, here are…
KANSAS CITY (21-26) at TORONTO (24-25)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre
David DeJesus, RF
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B
Alex Gordon, 3B
Jose Guillen, LF
Mark Teahen, 1B
Billy Butler, 1B
Miguel Olivo, C
Tony Pena, SS
Joey Gathright, CF
PITCHING: RHP Zach Greinke
Shannon Stewart, LF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Scott Rolen, 3B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Kevin Mench, DH
Gregg Zaun, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
Joe Inglett, RF
PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay
COUNT ‘EM: The Jays have used 42 different lineups in 50 games