From the Outfield to the Hot Corner
|Image courtesy of Daylife via Getty Images|
In baseball, even the best laid plans often go awry. 2011 was supposed to be Travis Snider’s breakout year, and now he’s retooling his swing in the minor leagues. Brett Cecil was supposed to be a solid number three starter, and that didn’t happen either.
Over the course of 162 games, things can change at the drop of the hat. As the Boston Red Sox can attest to, you can have the best team on paper at the beginning of the season and yet things can get off to a horrible start.
So it was no shock when the Blue Jays asked Jose Bautista to move from right field to third base to try to help provide some semblance of a decent major league third baseman. I wasn’t a big fan of the movie at first, but now I’m starting to warm up to it.
Initially it didn’t really seem like something that could benefit the Blue Jays very much. Bautista moves to the hot corner, so what? That still means Rajai Davis and Corey Patterson are in the lineup nearly every day.
Buried somewhere in between bashing my head off the wall, I had a moment of clarity. By using my Inspector Gadget mystery solving skills, here’s what I suspect the reasoning is behind moving Jose Bautista to third base.
Moving Bautista to the hot corner keeps Jayson Nix/Johnny Mac out of the lineup and puts Juan Rivera and Eric Thames back in more often.
The offensive output by Rivera and Thames far outweighs any defensive benefits of keeping Nix and McDonald in the lineup. So by moving Bautista to the hot corner, you get the best of both worlds: defensive stability and much more offensive flexibility.
And I can’t recall where I read this, but I believe it was in the comments of somebody’s blog that suggested platooning Corey Patterson and Rajai Davis in centre field. The problem is both of Patterson and Rivera’s splits are better against lefties, but I don’t even think that should matter.
The big problem here is John Farrell really doesn’t have all that much to work with in the first place. When it’s gotten to the point where he’s batting Aaron Hill second, you can tell Farrell’s grasping at straws.
Shuffling around pieces here and there might help in the short term, unless the lineup as a whole can start contributing, it will be up to the 1-4 to continue to get things done offensively.