McGowan update; State of the Franchise

dustin-mcgowan.jpgSome good news on the injury front for everyone’s favorite enigma: Dustin McGowan.

Chatted some with Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos this morning and McGowan completed a pain-free bullpen session this morning. A small step, but an important one.

“We’re taking it step by step,” Anthopoulos said. “But, we’re not looking too far ahead. We don’t want to build any expectations or timelines or anything like that. He threw off a mound today. He didn’t have any pain or any soreness. It went well and he looked good and it’s a step in the right direction.”

Over the summer, McGowan walked away from a similar mound session with tightness in his surgically-repaired right shoulder. No such turn of events this time around. Dustin is definitely a pitcher to keep an eye on during Spring Training. If he’s healthy, he is a darkhorse for a spot on the pitching staff.

STATE OF THE FRANCHISE

For those of you who were not following my Twitter coverage or did not see my story covering last night’s State of the Franchise event, I’ll run through some of the highlights on here for you really quick:


SoF2010.jpg–Anthopoulos admitted
that the Blue Jays have talked internally about free-agent outfielder Johnny Damon and that he’s called Damon’s agent,who you may have heard of before, Scott Boras. Damon could fill left field and leadoff, but unless his asking price comes down I’m not sure how serious Toronto’s interest is right now. If the price seems reasonable and the Jays feel Damon could net some assets in a later trade, or by being worth a Draft pick if he qualifies as a Type A free agent again, the club may consider it. Would Damon consider the Jays? Probably not if he has an offer from a team with a better shot at contention.

–Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston basically lobbied for the club to bring Carlos Delgado back to Toronto, even though Anthopoulos has said in the past that he’s not currently a fit for the team. Gaston feels Delgado could be a great asset for the young hitters. That said, he’d have to DH primarily and Anthopoulos said he prefers to leave Adam Lind in that role.

–Gaston and Anthopoulos both said they have confidence in John Buck as the starting catcher. Rod Barajas is still out there as a free agent, but the fact that he is worth a Draft pick when he signs elsewhere is big for the Jays. Had the club not commited to Buck, though, AA said the Jays would be been more serious about maybe bringing Barajas back. Raul Chavez is in the mix as the backup right now, but AA noted that he’s still seeing if he can bring another backup catcher into camp to compete for the job.

–The closer’s job is “up in the air,” according to Gaston. He said there are “two or three guys” who can do that job. That’d be Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and… someone else. Asked about Jeremy Accardo, Gaston got him confused with Casey Janssen again. Then he laughed it off, saying “I get my guys mixed up there sometimes.” Anthopoulos said if Accardo has a strong showing this spring, he should be in a good position to make the cut for the bullpen.

–The lineup? “Right now, if you asked me who was leading off, I would say [Jose] Bautista. Right now, if you asked me who was hitting third, fourth and fifth? I could probably give you some answeres there, but it might not be the truth,” Gaston said. The lineup will be a work in progress all spring. Gaston did say he feels the Jays have potential for a lot of power. “I think there’s going to be some power out there. We’ve just got to get it out of these guys this year,” he said. He said he believes guys like Lind, Hill, Bautista, Encarnacion, Wells, Snider and Overbay all have the potential to hit 25 homers. We’ll see. Cito also sees Bautista as a starting outfielder as things stand right now.

–Gaston noted that the Jays might do some “crazy” things this season in order to score more runs. “We’re going to have some fun this year,” he said. “We’re going to do some crazy things, as far as trying to score some runs. It might look crazy, but it’ll work out.” Later, Cito elaborated, saying the club might play some more small ball — bunting more, maybe stealing more and definitely trying to get better with the hit-and-run, something Gaston said the team did not do well last year. “Hopefully we can execute some of the things we haven’t been able to do in the past,” he said. 

–The main complaint from the fans was in relation to marketing, wanting the club to do more in the community or at the ballpark to add to the entertainment value. President and CEO Paul Beeston said there is a marketing plan in place and admitted that the club needs to improve in that regard. The Jays Care foundation is doing a lot behind the scenes, though, as are the players. Also, “Doc’s Box” will still be at the ballpark, though likely under a different name, run by the JCF. Roy Halladay would host children from Sick Kids Hospital in his private suite throughout each season and that program will continue.

–The turf at Rogers Centre was being ripped up and new long strips were being installed — no more squares of FieldTurf. Some players have complained about the previous playing surface, so hopefully the new stuff will get better reviews. It wasn’t completely installed yet, so we didn’t get a chance to really scope it out.

–Beeston emphasized that the Blue Jays HAVE money to spend on free agents if they need it. The payroll has been trimmed, but funds have been poured into scouting and player development, that’s the focus right now. He said when a young core is established, Rogers is ready and willing to pony up the resources to add high-profile players through free agency if it makes sense. They may have the money now, but the Jays don’t want to spend for the sake of spending.

Q&A WITH HAYHURST: If you haven’t checked it out already, be sure to read my interview with Jays pitcher Dirk Hayhurst from earlier this week, discussing his upcoming book, “The Bullpen Gospels.” A great read. Check the previous post for my review of his book. It’s available for pre-order online and will hit bookstores on March 30.

~JB

30 Comments

I have to admit, I had pretty much written off McGowan up to this point. After reading this though, If he is actually able to come back and regain his previous form? What a huge asset to this young team. Marcum, McGowan, Romero would be a pretty amazing 1-2-3 in the rotation, not to mention the other young guys who will fill in behind them…Morrow, Drabek, Ray, Szep, Cecil…the list goes on. Some of those young arms could be used as trade bait as well when the time comes.
Either way, McGowan coming back this spring would be an amazing boost for this team.
I look forward to seeing him on the mound again.

Great stuff Mr. Bastian,

I find it troubling that Cito confuses Accardo and Janssen… especially as they are both righties. Could make for some confusing calls to the bullpen.

One thing: Dustin McGowan is our favourite enigma.

Also, he is a darkhourse and our GM is named Alex Anthoupoulous.

Marketing idea: The Jays stop off for 1-2 exhibition game on their way back to Toronto every year, so how about a couple of games in Canada? The Mariners in Vancouver or Trail, or the Mets in The Big “O” come to mind. The Twins in Winnipeg might be a stretch, but you might be able to get a game in in Halifax with Boston. There are some huge Sox fans in NS.

I love Dustin. He has overcome so much to get where he is. Two Tommy Johns, shoulder surgery, knee surgery, Insulin Pump, and he still keeps coming back! Go Dustin!

Yerouttaheah-Not sure McGowan has had two Tommy Johns, but then again its tough enough coming back from one. If McGowan does come back with the same effectieness and potential he once had, it would be like signig a top notch free agent pitcher and have strong impact on the team-so fingers crossed.

I like the idea of playing exhibition games in Montreal and Vancouver. Actually, I’d like to see us have a AAA team in Montreal and a AA team in Vancouver, even Alberta is a bit of a hotbed for baseball and could support a minor league team in Calgary. That would surely generate strong national interest in the Jays.

Signing Damon or Delgado is a mistake, and would only help us win another 5 or so games this year while taking precious at bats away from our kids. It would also confuse the fans who are just now signing up for the rebuild with kids plan and look forward to seeing these kids play and develop.
Personally, and I’ve posted this many times, I couldn’t care less about how many games we win this year. I love the moves we’ve made so far and believe we’re finally going in the right direction to ultimately win. But we can’t go off the path and sign guys like these two who are detrimental to the kids development because they take at bats away from them.
Trade Overbay, bring up Dopirak to see what he’s got, play Lind in left, Snider in right and Ruiz/Bautista as DH and let the season begin. I’d also like to see us take a long hard look at Mike McCoy, who has good speed , phenomenal plate discipline and could potentially fill that lead off role.

gsjays, as you know, I agree with the whole kid movement. However, I am quite worried about the message this club is sending to Lind. Last year he quitely complained in a radio interview that his baseball career had been reduced to taking 4 or 5 at-bats per night then going home. This kid wants to play in the field, yet AA and Cito continue to send the same message to him — you are a DH first and foremost. I doubt Lind will sign here longterm under these conditions. I know that you are a fan of AA and his moves. However, it would be nice to see some criticism when due. Rather than even suggest that they are interested in other outfielders, AA should have stated clearly by now that Lind is a valuable member of this team who is going to get every chance to deveop into a decent outfielder next year, by being played regularly in the outfield. The same thing applys to Snider and, hopefully, to this kid Wallace. The deck must be cleared for what arguably could be the three strongest bats in the organization. Again, I like Antho’s moves. However, he has shown NO LEADERSHIP or DIRECTION with regards to HOW the resources he has acquired are going to be MOST EFFECTIVELY used. These kids need to be told that they are going to play and play often! Let the Bautistas of the world ride the pine or DH if required.

burt-I guess you haven’t figured out yet that not putting Lind and Snider in the outfield is Cito’s idea, not AA’s. Cito stated that over and over again, as he has also emphatically stated Bautista is his right fielder and lead off guy.

By the way Cito is also the guy who wants Delgado back, is seriously lobbying to bring him back and “on side” with the club signing Damon who’s the worst outfielder in little league, never mind mlb.
So here you go, Cito won’t play Lind in LF, because of defense, but he’s damn prepared to put Damon out there-how does that work?
And you got to know if Damon is signed, Snider goes back to AAA, because Cito loves Bautista. Cito even mixes up the names of his players, but he knows he wants Bautista in rf. In my opinion, Cito is the only reason Bautista was resigned.

The problem as I see it, is The Jays gave Cito a 2 year contract at $2 million dollars per year (out of Ripley’s believe it or not) and AA inherited Cito, he didn’t pick him. Cito has a fan following and Beeston likes him. I think Beeston believes Cito got a rough ride out of the City first time around( which is probably true) and believes the organization owed him something for winning two series.

So it’s a, let’s just let him manage this year and then we’ll bump him up to consultant type of deal which AA likely has to deal with until he finds a replacement, and since we’re paying Cito $2 mill. per year, I doubt we’ll see that happen mid season.

In addition, as we saw last year, it’s difficult for anyone to get Cito to do something-remember Millar, so it’s a difficult situation which imo, has to be handled by Beeston not AA. My hope is Beeston calls a meeting with Cito and AA and reviews each player and gets the message across to Cito, cause he’s the only one Cito will listen to.

My position has been the same for the start. I want Delgado traded, bring up Dopirak to see what he’s got ( before Wallace is ready), play Lind in left, Snider in right and Ruiz as DH. Also considering how well Mike McCoy did in both AAA last year and winter ball, I’d like to see us take a long hard look at him for the short stop role, because he certainly could fill that lead off position if he can maintain anything close to the same obp he has at lower levels.

BY the way, next time before you’re so quick to criticize me or another poster, you might learn more if you ask a question instead of telling anyone else how to post because you have assumed something that might or might not be accurate.

Woops- that should state I want Overbay traded, not Delgado

I think everyone wants to see Overbay traded. The issue is Overbay wouldnt be the starting 1st baseman on any other mlb team. His value is nothing, if they put him on waivers no one would claim him. They would have to cut him and pay his salary to get rid of him just like BJ, who we are still paying 10M this season. I am excited to see Wallace come up in September.

Marc Hulet of Fangraphs rates the Jays top ten prospects and suggests some potential bust out sleepers for the year. An interesting read. I hope he’s right about a break out season for Moises Sierra. Seems like everyone of these guys like Henderson Alvarez, it will be interesting to see how he and others do this season.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/toronto-blue-jays-top-10-prospects

gsjays- I always enjoy your insights and love that you come up with ideas for the team to try, a la Mike McCoy. I also agree Overbay is on his way out as soon as we can find a taker. What I don’t agree with is your desire to see Dopirak play, Brett Wallace is the future there and the future is sooner rather than later I believe. I believe in terms of development Wallace is probably more ready than Dopirak. I understand your reasoning to see what Dopirak has got, however I think if anyone is to get a shot at 1b other than O-bay, its Wallace (and I can’t wait for that day to come).

okgojays-The reason I say bring up Dopirak and see what he’s got, is because it sounds to me like the Jays want Wallace to start in AAA. So my thinking is if Dopirak breaks camp and hopefully does well his value would be more to the Jays than simply leaving him sit in AAA, because if we do his value is minimal.
This would also mean Wallace plays everyday in AAA and gets ready faster whereas if they’re both there, then they’d have to share playing time at 1st base which wouldn’t help either of them.

No question at all about who is the better prospect-it’s Wallace and if he’s ready to go or when he’s ready to go-then 1st base is his for at least the next 6 years. However, in order for either of then to come up Overbay needs to be traded, and so far we’ve seen no movement on that and most teams who were looking for a 1st baseman have already signed their guys.
So I’m not sure it happens until the trade deadline and if we keep him that long it might make sense to keep him all year and get the 2 draft picks for him next year.
That would then mean Wallace is a September call up, and hopefully Dopriak has a great year in AAA and increases his value so he brings something in a trade.

okgojays-Here’s the case for Mike McCoy.
In 2008, he played 93 games, hit .313/.376/.438 with 34 walks, 48 k’s and 13 stolen bases.
In 2009, he played 132 games, hit .307/.405/.400 with 80 walks, 70k’s and 40 stolen bases. He hits lefties and righties equally.
In winter ball this year, he played 59 games, hit .304/.413/.400, walked 41 times, 35 k’s and 26 stolen bases.
The thing that I find really impressive is his walk to k ratio which is the reason his obp is so high. I think the only Jay that had more walks than k’s in the recent past was Scutaro last year.
That’s why I think the Jays should take a long look at him, because he could be that lead off hitter we need. Of course he does turn 29 before the season starts, so he’s a bit old for a real prospect, but he’s also played every position there is except catcher.

Gsjays
I agree with you the time to see what dopiraks got is in the first half of this season. Wallace will be the first baseman for years to come and if there is some value in dopirak now is the time to see it. Rest assured though AA is exploring all possible options and if Overbay could be unloaded he will be.
In another note I say let Snider play right, Lind play left and let Ruiz DH. In a season like this who cares about defence lets have the best possible hitting team.

gs – no offence intended. :-) However, AA is the GM. Just like Riccardi,the buc stops with him. He must provide the vision and direction for the on-field product. It is the manager’s responsibility to realize that vision and direction. If Cito cannot do it, he should be released, or forced to do things Antho’s way. This franchise has become well-known for its half measures. We don’t want to miss a glorious chance to find out what we do or do not have next year.

gs – no offence intended. :-) However, AA is the GM. Just like Riccardi,the buc stops with him. He must provide the vision and direction for the on-field product. It is the manager’s responsibility to realize that vision and direction. If Cito cannot do it, he should be released, or forced to do things Antho’s way. This franchise has become well-known for its half measures. We don’t want to miss a glorious chance to find out what we do or do not have next year.

I suppose if they traded Overbay now, they would have to pay his $7 mil salary and get a player to be named later in return, and I imagine AA has been trying to move him. If they keep him, however, and he manages to hit somewhere close to what he used to, then he would be more valuable if somebody needed an injury replacement during the season.
The other reason for using Dopirak this year is to keep Wallace in the minors so they don’t lose a year of eligibility down the road when things matter. He would get regular playing time, and the Jays would have time to find a stud shortstop, a leadoff man, and for Drabek and Jenkins to catch up

You were right about McGowan gsjays. The only list I found shows 1 Tommy John, and his minor league record only shows 1 gap, where he made 6 starts in 2004.

I can’t argue with your reasoning on wanting to bring up Dopirak to start the season, obviously we all would rather see him there than Overbay, but I also agree it makes sense to keep Overbay and see how he does so that maybe he can net something in return in a mid-season trade. On Mike McCoy, those stats are certainly impressive, my mind wonders how he is defensively? I find it hard to believe someone who’s been putting up numbers like that isn’t higher on some other teams radar.. or ours for that matter. The only thing I can come up with is that there is more to baseball than numbers (from a scouting perspective), perhaps the fact that he’s 29 and already into his prime is a major factor against him.

I agree with Beeston that the Jays have no purpose for going after significant free agents at this point. If on the off chance that the Jays do very well season, then we could always take on some salary in a trade. This year will be a test to see how far we can go with this young core. Adding players only hinders the development of some of these guys. I’m giving AA a lot of ‘leeway’ for the performance of the team this season. If he makes some hasty signings on the hopes of contending, he is leaving himself open for scrutiny.

The McCoy and Hoffpauir signings I liked. They are definately added depth for the Jays. 2B has become more of an impact position in MLB, so it is ‘weeding out’ some of these fringe hitters. The Jays are lucky enough to have one the premier secondbasemen in the league. Both McCoy and Hoffpauir become viable options if they transition smoothly to SS. The main concern is defensive, but it is good to see that AA got some depth in the middle infield at the minor league levels. We were seriously lacking that in the past.

http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

Ruiz helps PR power past Mexico.First baseman drives in two runs in club’s first win. By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com

MARGARITA ISLAND, Venezuela — Randy Ruiz’s key to a big Spring Training with the Blue Jays this year is showing up to Dunedin, Fla., smaller.

“[Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston] told me to be in the best shape ever, and that’s why I’m working so hard,” said Ruiz, who was listed at 240 pounds last year. “I’ve been working out and losing a lot of weight. I’m ready. I’m faster, I’m stronger and I’m lighter.”

Ruiz was among the heavy hitters for Puerto Rico in Thursday afternoon’s 5-3 victory against Mexico on the third day of play at the 2010 Caribbean Series at Estadio Nueva Esparta. Puerto Rico and Mexico each have records of 1-2 after three games. The Dominican Republic (2-0) and Venezuela (1-1) square off in Thursday’s nightcap.

Ruiz finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be an everyday guy, but if I’m a bench guy I’ll be ready when they put me in,” he said. “I hope I can go into camp and win a spot. They know what I can do.”

Ruiz hit .320 with 25 home runs and 106 RBIs for Las Vegas last year. In 33 games for the Blue Jays, he hit .313 with 10 home runs and 17 RBIs. He will be trying to earn a spot on Toronto’s roster as a part-time designated hitter and backup first baseman. Ruiz can also play left.

“He’s a good player and I like him, but I think sometimes he gets down on himself, and he can’t do that,” Puerto Rico manager Max Oliveras said. “He’s a good kid and a big boy. He’s a big leaguer.”

Ruiz has several Puerto Rico teammates with the same Major League goal.

Luis Figueroa’s path to the Caribbean Series is not uncommon at the round-robin. He signed with the Pirates as a free agent in 1997 and played in four games for Pittsburgh in 2001, at age 27. In ’06, he showed up in the big leagues again, this time with Toronto for eight games. One year later, he played six games for the Giants.

He never made it back to the big leagues, and at age 36, his chances are slim.

Center fielder Jesus Feliciano, 30, shined for the Mets’ Triple-A club in 2009, hitting .311 in 130 games. His teammate Michael Hernandez, 26, spent last season playing for Newark in the Independent League, and spent 2008 with the Mets at Class A. The designated hitter reached Double-A while with Detroit in 2007 but has never played at a higher level in the United States.

Puerto Rico left fielder Miguel Abreu, 24, has hope. He hit .290 with 45 RBIs in 130 games for Baltimore in Double-A. He also stole 25 bases.

Former Major League third baseman Vinny Castilla, who now works in the front office for Colorado, knows what it takes to stay in the show. On Thursday, Castilla went 1-for-4 for Mexico and is now hitting .333 in the tournament. Chris Roberson, who spent last year with Arizona’s Triple-A Reno club, went 2-for-5 and sports a .357 batting average.

As for Ruiz, he feels much healthier than he did in the past, and as an added perk, his uniform fits much better these days.

“I haven’t put myself on a scale yet, but I know I’ve lost a lot of weight since last year,” he said.

Go Randy go!

Yep, the new slimmed down Randy is turning it on when it matters. In the Caribbean series, Randy Ruiz is hitting .385/.500/.615 with 1 hr and 3 rbi’s over the first 4 games in the round robin tournament.

Cito are you listening??????????? Lind in left, Snider in right and Ruiz at dh.

I hope Randy steps into some kind of role with Jays this year too!

Looks like the Jays may be taking a look at another Ruiz, as well. Jose Julio Ruiz many rate as the third best prospect in Cuba, behind Chapman etc.. He is 25 years old, and would definately be an asset to the Jays system. I like how AA is thinking on this one, as we may soon be loaded with young 1B talent.

http://twitter.com/jorgearangure/statuses/8728936631

From baseballreference.com:
Jos Julio Ruz
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Jos Julio Ruiz Barzn

* Bats Left, Throws Left
* Height 6′ 2″, Weight 194 lb.

* Born March 24, 1984

Jos Julio Ruz was a productive Cuban league player for several years, having led the Serie Nacional in a couple departments. He never made the Cuban national team for a top-level event but did play for their “B” team once.

Ruz debuted with Santiago de Cuba in the 2003-2004 Serie Nacional, going 6 for 26 with a walk; he also pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing four runs. He did not play in 2004-2005. In 2005-2006, he hit .357/.428/.473 but only homered twice in 241 AB despite manning a power position. He was 7th in the league in average.

Jos batted .323/.430/.455 in 2006-2007 and led the Serie Nacional with 72 RBI. He was with Cuba for the 2007 World Port Tournament and put on a fine show, hitting .290/.405/.742. He was second in the tourney in slugging (behind Alfredo Despaigne), led in home runs (4, winning the World Port Tournament Home Run King award), tied Jordan Danks for second in runs (8, behind Hector Olivera Jr.), tied Roger Kieschnick for 4th in RBI (6), tied for second in doubles (2), second to Despaigne in total bases (23) and tied for 4th in walks (4).

Ruz had another fine campaign in 2007-2008 batting .341/.423/.492. He was third in the Serie Nacional with 83 runs, led with 126 hits, was 10th with 69 RBI (only 4th on his own team one year after leading the circuit), 8th with 182 total bases and led with 32 stolen bases (caught stealing 9 times).

Ruz was hitting .305/.408/.467 after 52 games in 2008-2009 with no steals after his speedy 07-08 campaign. He then vanished from Cuban box scores and was rumored to have defected to the Dominican Republic. The defection was confirmed in July, when Ruz appeared in Miami to announce his intention to try to make the majors.

One knock on Randy Ruiz that I could think of last year was his record with RISP (190, 0-8 with 2 or 3 men on). He seems to have fixed that a bit in the Carribean series.

Anyone that wants to see Randy’s 2009 ML splits can go here:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=ruizra01&year=2009&t=b

He doesn’t hit well with RISP or when he is behind in the count, and his strikeout/walk ratio is abysmal. My own observation is that he swung at too many bad pitches last year. His numbers hitting 7th, however, were off the clock. As it stands, definitely not a top-of-the-order guy.

IMO, this is a very talented athlete that is basically unschooled in major league hitting. In other words, a project. If The Jays could invest 400+ at bats in him this year, give him some good coaching in pitch selection, and help him make some mental adjustments, this is a guy with tremendous potential, with a 10 year career ahead of him as a very good hitter.

I’d pass on Jos Julio Ruz, if he wasn’t good enough for the Cuban national team, I question what he could do here and we do have lots of depth in the position.
Yerouttaheah-Ruiz hit well with risp pretty much throughout his minor league career-so I think his mlb stats last year could just be an anomaly.
I wouldn’t be so quick to take him out of the top of the order, he did hit .313/.385/.635 here last year, so yes he swings at bad pitches like every other hitter, but an OBP of .385 was the highest on the Jays last year.
If he has slimmed down and sped up( although he was quick already) , he might be an option for the 2nd hole, moving Hill to 3rd. He also hits both lefties and righties, better against righties, so he’s almost like a left handed power bat.

gs jays , the minors are full of players that hit well in the minors, but flop at the major league level, for reasons I have re-iterated before. They are called career minor leaguers.

What I said about Randy was, AS IT STANDS, he is not top of the order material, because his major league numbers (both with The Twins and Toronto) show that his numbers are spotty with runners on, or when he is behind in the count. He is also not good at the top of the order. For instance, in 50 ABs with a 0-2 count, he has struck out 34 times. In 72 ABs with men on, he has exactly 1 homer. Batting 3rd or 4th, his BA is 0.00, while batting 7th, he is at .469.

Don’t get me wrong, I want Randy here as much as you do, because I love pulling for the underdog, but in order to succeed in the majors, it looks as if he needs to make some mental adjustments to the higher pressure in The Show, and maybe learn to shorten up his swing a bit when he gets behind in the count.

AS IT STANDS right now, IMO he is still a rookie, and still needs to earn his spot at the top of the order. He is a player with a high upside and low risk, and IMHO, there is nothing wrong with him that 4-500 AB’s and good coaching won’t cure.

The problem I see with fitting Ruiz in with the 2010 Jays is that we already have a DH that ‘legimately’ hits a ton. Adam Lind’s mobility in the outfield is very suspect, and I’m beginning to believe, more and more, that team speed in the outfield is very important. That is also why I am worried about Travis Snider. Ruiz will be good to have in a utility 1B/DH role. Honestly, I would have much rather had him doing that last year than Kevin Millar. I’m sure that Ruiz will get his opporitunities, but I’m not counting on him doing what he did last year in AAA/breifing in MLB for 2010. Though, it would be AMAZING if he did! That might be a little too optimistic, in my opinion. But you never know?

http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

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