Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Why a change would do Vernon, Rios, and the Jays a world of good
Let's pick up on Jeff Blair's recent spate of blog posts and items referring to Vernon Wells' spot in the order.
Back when we were in our "run-the-Texan-out-of-town-phase", we were going nuts over his constant jerking around with the lineup. But the time has definitely come for Gibby to at least tweak the lineup to reflect a few simple trends.
The Jays' leader in RsBI after 63 games is Aaron Hill with 37. That's good enough for a tie for 21st in the AL. Meanwhile, Alex Rios is currently 4th in the AL in homers, but has only 36 runs driven in to show for his power surge. Ten of Rios' homers have come with the bases empty.
(Granted, Rios' rate stats take a dive when there are runners on, so maybe he prefers that spot, or maybe he just doesn't get much to hit.)
Meanwhile, V-Dub's .676 OPS out of the three spot is absolutely killing the Jays' offense. It doesn't get a lot better when he moves up to the two hole (.723), but you simply can't allow that sort of futility in a run producing spot in the order.
When (if?) Reed Johnson makes it back, and when (IF!?) he regains his 2006 form, the lineup might sort itself out naturally, with Johnson first, followed by Wells, Rios, Glaus, Thomas, Hill and Zaun.
Speaking of Thomas, do you suppose he's enjoying his road trip?
Update from Tuesday's game: Rios hits second in the lineup, and hits a homer with a man on. We love when reality bends to our every whim.