Covering the Bases: Game 10

FIRST: How about that Dana Eveland?

Not many people had him in the Blue Jays rotation when Spring Training opened and here he is with a 2-0 record and a 1.35 ERA through two outings. Sure, it’s early. But Eveland looks similarly good all spring, so there has been plenty for the Blue Jays to be pleased with in terms of the results.

A strong season from Eveland would benefit the Blue Jays in two ways. One, it gives them a more than reliable option for the fifth spot on the staff. Two, a full season from him means Toronto did not need to rush one of its prospects to the bigs ahead of schedule. Eveland was acquired for cash and this deal has paid off so far.

It will be interesting to see how long Eveland can keep this strong run going, though. Up to this point, he has thrived on keeping the hitters guessing. It was changeups and fastballs against the O’s. It was first-pitch curves against the Sox. He mixes things up, changes speeds and tries to keep lineup’s confused.

“It helps,” Eveland said. “They can’t go back and really look at my last start and go, ‘Oh, he’s going to do this,’ because I’m going to be a little different every time you see me — I hope. That’s my goal.”

So far, so good…

SECOND: Now, for some bad.

Entering Thursday’s 7-3 win, the Blue Jays led the Majors with 75 strikeouts. This is the offense I’m talking about here. Against the Sox, Toronto hitters whiffed 15 times. From the fifth through ninth innings, the Jays had a stretch of nine outs in a row on strikeouts and 10 of 11. The posterboy in the latest fanning? First baseman Lyle Overbay, who finished with four strikeouts in an 0-for-5 showing. Overbay’s average has dropped to .077 and he slipped to 0-for-12 against left-handed pitching. Next lefty on the schedule is Joe Saunders for the Angels on Saturday. Let’s see if Lyle gets a day off…

THIRD: Back to the good…

Travis Snider snapped out of an 0-for-14 funk in a big way, slamming a 2-1 pitch from Sox starter Freddy Garcia for a second-inning home run. Snider didn’t look like he even got all of it, and the baseball crashed well into the second deck in right. Snider went 2-for-4, raising his average to .129. He also drew an important leadoff walk in the fourth inning. It’s a start. At least that’s what the Jays are praying.

HOME: I only have one category left here, so I’m not going to waste it on the “awesome double play” (Eveland’s words) that happened in the sixth inning. Let’s just say that you’re supposed to touch third base again if you run beyond it and need to head back to second base on a flyout to center field. Got it, Juan?

I’ll use this last section on Mr. Alex Gonzalez, who went something like 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs to raise his average to .349 in Thursday’s win. This begs the question… with Overbay struggling out of the fifth hole, and Aaron Hill due back next week from the DL, and Gonzalez doing so well out of Hill’s two spot, might there me some lineup rearranging upon Hill’s return? For example, now I’m just throwing this out there, but maybe Gonzalez second, Hill third and Lind in the five hole? I mean, it’s just a thought.

Cito was asked if Gonzalez might still have a home in the two hole when Hill comes back…

“He’s done a great job for us in that No. 2 spot,” Gaston said of Gonzalez. “But I guess when Hill shows up we’ll find somewhere else for him to hit.”

If you were lining things up, what’s your order when Hill returns?

~JB

15 Comments

Bautista-Gonzalez-Hill-Lind-Wells-Snider-Buck-Overbay-EE….i know Lind doesn’t want to hit cleanup, but realistically it makes no difference. suck it up and deal with it homeboy!

1. Bautista
2. Gonzalez
3. Hill
4. Wells
5. Lind
6. Ruiz
7. Encarnacion
8. Buck
9. Snider

This gives some protection to Wells, and to Lind.

1. Bautista
2. Gonzalez
3. Lind
4. Wells
5. Hill
6. Ruiz
7. Buck
8. Encarnacion
9. Snider

I’d move Hill to 5th. Not to discourage him, but 1-4 have played well like that. And clearly Ruiz instead of K.O.-Bay

1. Lewis
2. Gonzalez
3. Hill
4. Lind
5. Wells
6. Ruiz
7. E5
8. Snider
9. Buck

Jordan, come on dude, you don’t bat your best hitter at #5. You build the rest of the lineup around Lind in the #3 spot. Hill should be hitting 5th when he comes back, until Gonzalez (inevitibly) cools off. Then Hill moves right back into the #2 spot, and hopefully, Snider’s mashing & moves into the #5. But you don’t move Lind until he starts holding his bat backwards.

CHILL123: Just trying to stir up the debate. In all honesty, I wouldn’t move Lind, either. I was just tossing the idea out there to see how people would react. And, really, keeping Hill in the No. 2 hole and Lind in the No. 3 hole means your two best hitters gets a high volume of at-bats in each game. What really needs to happen is for Overbay to snap out of this slump. That five spot needs an upgrade.
~JB

Gonzalez is off to a great start with an ops almost 400 points above his career average-this does not continue. Trade him now, his value will never be higher.

Everyone has Snider hitting 8th or 9th, doesn’t everyone see that for some reason, even though he’s achieved nothing that pitchers for the most part stay away from him?? He has no plate protection, so they either let him reach for a pitch or strike himself out, or if he’s patient, take a walk. . imo, if they way to keep running overpaid out there to see if he snaps out if thats fine, but he can’t be hitting fifth, I wouldn’t move Snider there just yet, but at least 6th. Have someone behind him who can somewhat handle the stick.. this lineup just isn’t deep enough to have a power lefty bat with a high SO rate at the end of the lineup, especially when Bautista isn’t a threat at the top.

Lind’s our RBI man, he can hit to all fields and too me is the best offensive threat on the team. He should be hitting 4th

I say they move Gonzalez into the leadoff role. Bautista hasn’t impressed me there. He has cooled off mightly since his hot spring. I don’t like moving Hill or Lind out of their spots, and Vernon seems to be enjoying the 4th spot. Gonzalez has been having some really good at bats, fouling off pitches and getting himself a good pitch to hit. I think he could easily trasnlate his approch to the leadoff spot. I have a feeling Snider will be up in the 5 spot before the end of the year. Hopefully that homerun takes the pressure off, because he hasnt been himself. I think they need to put Snider in a position to be successfull as soon as he shows signs of impoving. I look at other top prospects around the league and they are put in the roles they have always been in. Austin Jackson – Leadoff in Detroit and Matt Weiters – 5th in Baltimore are two that come to mind.

Gonzalez
Hill
Lind
Wells
Snider
Encarnacion
Overbay
Buck
Bautista

“Gonzalez is off to a great start with an ops almost 400 points above his career average-this does not continue. Trade him now, his value will never be higher.”

gsjays, if even you can see that A-Gon can’t keep up the pace for the entire season, whatever makes you think that other teams with their highly paid scouting staffs and managers wouldn’t be able to see the same thing? Therefore, why would his value be any higher now than when the Jays signed him?

After all, he has had hitting streaks before, and if he does hit well for the entire season, he would likely be a type B free agent, but you need 162 games to determine that.

I am not going to try and outguess Cito on his lineup, because he will likely turn out to be right in the end, and me, wrong.

1. Bautista
2. Gonzalez
3. Lind
4. Wells
5. Hill
6. OverBay
7. Buck
8. Snider
9. Encarnacion

Jordan, any comment on Joe Cowley’s article in today’s Chicago Sun-Times saying that it’s time for MLB to move the Jays from Toronto? Seems kind of irresponsible of him to write an article like that since he’s only in town a couple of times max per season.

Attendance has always lagged at this time of the year.

yerouttaheah-You know at one point either under this alias or your previous one, you were a good poster and added a lot to the conversation.
However, in the last month or so, in your haste to post insults or demeaning remarks to either me or other posters, you never get facts straight.
If you had checked the facts, you’d note Gonzalez only hit 8 home runs last year, this year he’s hit 4 in 10 games and is on pace for a career power year-which is exactly what Pro scouts would see. They’d also see the reason for it-a bit better discipline at the plate than he’s ever had.
In addition, if you’d have checked his contract, you’d see why your suggestion he could be a b grade fa at the end of this year is full of holes. So as I said his value could never be higher, so check your facts next time.

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