Blog Entry

Where Do We Go From Here?

Posted on: June 9, 2009 2:15 pm

Smart money in the AL East has the Yankees and Red Sox both in the playoff picture come September and after a surge to start the season, the Jays have fallen behind both teams heading in to play before the middle of June after a 9 game losing streak. So I posed the question to myself, how can this team possibly compete with the deep pockets of the Yankees, who just opened a new billion dollar stadium, and the Red Sox who have two World Series crowns in the past 5 seasons? Well quite simply, they can't. Not unless management can figure out a way to get some legitimate offensive threats so Cito can pencil in a lineup that frightens opposing pitchers every single night. I'm not knocking the job Cito has done, he has done a great job with what he has ben given. But, management, or rather J.P. Ricciardi, has to realize that Cito is not a miracle worker and he can not make guys like Lyle Overbay and Scott Rolen hit like Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. Those two guys are both a direct result of J.P. and Cito has to be asking himself if that's the best management can get, how does J.P. still have a job in the big leagues?
I can't talk about the Jays offence without mentioning how disappointing it is to watch Vernon Wells and Alex Rios on a nightly basis. Wells seems to lack any sort of character or the heart displayed by guys like Aaron Hill and Marco Scutaro, he almost looks like a robot out there that just goes through the motions without a care in the world for winning a baseball game. When most of the premier hitters in the league step up their intensity, he seems go into a shell, as witnessed by his measly 11 hits in 69 at-bats with runners in scoring position for a .159 avg. but for some reason he is able to hit to the tune of a .291 avg. with the bases empty. For some reason Wells seems content just stroll up to the plate and swing at the first pitch. I'd prefer to see him work the count more and wait for the pitcher to make a mistake that he can drive to the gap or over the fence.
Rios actually seemed to have something going when he hit .302 with 5 home runs in the month of May but has seemingly reverted back to where he was in April with a .185 avg. through seven games in June. He has however shown more aggressiveness on the bases having already stolen three bases in those after stealing just four through his first 52 games.
Aaron Hill and Adam Lind have slowed considerably since their red hot starts and because of this, the offence has gone through some rough times. These two guys are good contributors and when they are rolling the team can be unstoppable but they can not be relied upon to carry the team like they did for the first month and a half. The teams all-stars have to play like all-stars or this team will be left in the dust by New York and Boston and soon enough Tampa Bay with their young potent line-up will be leapfrogging them as well. It's time for the Jays veterans to step up and shoulder the offensive load before it's too late, because even if Roy Halladay were to start and finish all 162 games, he can't help the team score runs. If the bats don't wake up soon, maybe it's time for J.P. to say goodbye to Wells and a couple other veteran hitters and bring in a some young hitting prospects that are close to being big league ready and can develop into a consistent threat.

Category: MLB
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