Game 80: Tampa Bay at Toronto pregame

wells.jpgThe Blue Jays’ lineup wasn’t drastically different on Wednesday morning, but manager Cito Gaston did make some noticeable alterations to the local nine.

First and foremost, slumping center fielder Vernon Wells was out of the lineup, given a day off to “clear his head” as Cito put it. Come Friday in New York, Wells will be back in the lineup, Gaston just isn’t sure where he’ll be batting.

“I’ll think about it,” Gaston said. “Give me a couple days to think about it and I’ll see what I can come up with.”

We chatted some with Wells, who once again said he’s as frustrated now as he has been at any point in his career. Asked if about potentially being dropped lower in the order by Gaston, Wells shrugged and had this to say:

“Unfortunately, I haven’t given him a choice,” Wells said. “If you swing the bat, you’re going to be in the position where you’re supposed to be. If you’re not, you’re going to be put in a different position. That’s part of this game and that’s something that, if you’re moved, you’ve got to try to prove that you need to be back in that position.

“It puts it right back on your shoulders and you’ve got to go out and start swinging the bat better and get back to where you’re used to.”

Gaston also shifted left fielder Adam Lind to the third spot of the order — a place previously occupied first by Alex Rios and then by Wells. Rios has struggled and is now batting seventh. Wells will likely be batting fifth or sixth when the Jays open a four-game set against the Yankees on Friday.

“You wouldn’t want him hitting ninth or anything like that,” Gaston said. “I think you have to put him somewhere that certainly he’s not embarrassed or you just put him so low that he’s not getting enough at-bats either. He’s a guy that we need. We need him to hit.”

Going forward, Gaston said that Lind will continue to bat third for the Jays. Shortstop Marco Scutaro and second baseman Aaron Hill won’t be moved out of the Nos. 1-2 spots any time soon, and third baseman Scott Rolen has performed well as the cleanup hitter. Everthing else is up for debate right now.

Today’s lineups:

Rays.jpgTAMPA BAY RAYS (44-35)
Third place AL East, 4.0 GB

1. B.J. Upton, CF
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Carlos Pena, 1B
5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
6. Pat Burrell, DH
7. Jason Bartlett, SS
8. Gabe Kapler, RF
9. Michel Hernandez, C

Starter: RHP James Shields (6-5, 3.41)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (41-38)
Fourth place AL East, 7.0 GB

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, LF
4. Scott Rolen, 3B
5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
6. Kevin Millar, DG
7. Alex Rios, RF
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Jose Bautista, RF

Starter: LHP Ricky Romero (5-3, 3.20)

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian

~JB

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4 Comments

Hey guys I was wondering if anyone has heard anything about David Purcey since he went down? Is he still a possible call up because he had to have been better than Brian Burres, Bobby Ray etc.

I was also wondering about him recently…maybe that’s a question you can put into Jordan’s mailbag

what did you guys think of the uniforms yesterday ? I personally loved them and thought they looked really good. Here’s hoping they use them next year as a third jersey.

I really liked them too…… it would be funny to have red jerseys for the blue jays, but they looked great.

I’m wondering what people think of Vernon Wells, I hate to bash the guy to the end of the earth, but I like what the team looks like without him, e.g. Rios in centre.

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