(Shit. That's a TWEED bag. This isn't off to a rousing start.)
Let's get to it, without delay. The dandiest man in rural Nova Scotia (four years running!) @dpriest asks: The Jays are now where SI predicted they would finish the season: last in the AL East. Do you think they'll stay there?
First off, DP: It's "i before e". You're lucky we happened to notice this. And second: No, dude. The Jays' April was a rough trip, literally. In the last 28 days, they've played four games at home, and have gone on two 10 game road trips through the west coast and the teeth of the AL East. Not to say that it get's easy from here, but some home games and a lighter schedule, and they should soar to the heights of fourth place in the AL East. O! Lofty goals!
Next! From a man who has never said no to the producer of a political roundtable: @mstoreshaw offers gifts of praise and a question: Your blog is as enlightening as 1000 suns (fawning - check). True/false question: by trade deadline, Aaron Hill is an ex-Jay.
Only 1000 suns? Well then. As for the question: Our first instinct is to say "false", as we don't think the Jays get full value for him this year. And there isn't necessarily someone waiting in the wings to step into the 2B role (though we're watching Adeiny Hechevarria's progress closely). Still, it strikes us that some team (the Phillies?) might get into the rough part of a pennant race or be looking ahead towards the playoffs without a better, healthy option, and might be willing to hand over something of value. And if Anthopoulos were to get something close to his asking price, we think he'd move him. All of which is to say: True.
On a related note, @timmyd_ goes light on the fawning and praise, but asks: Aaron Hill in 2011: .242/.265/.290. SSS aside, how much leash does he get if those numbers don't improve?
It took us a moment to recognize that "SSS" stood for "Small Sample Size"...but considering the hissssssing tone with which many tosssssss out the sample size argument, thisssss issss completely reasonable.
As for how much leash Hill gets: He is the starter. He doesn't sit, no matter how much he struggles at the plate. He's their man until he's not, but he'll be moved to another team before he's moved to the bench.
And another! From our Man in Caribou, Maine, @FlagrantFan: You are the greatest, man. Fawning enough? Adam Lind has been amazing of late. Hot streak or is he going to have a big year?
Yeah, we are the greatest, aren't we? Though a little more fawning would have been nice. As for Lind: This is real deal, Holyfield. He's not chasing bad pitches, and he's shortened up his swing nicely. He's also hitting lefties in a somewhat respectable fashion, which means that the overall numbers won't look quite as bad.
With the Jays' offense being pretty thin right now, Lind is going to be an essential part of the team's success...maybe THE essential piece to the team's offensive well-being. José Bautista is going to have a lonely, frustrating existence if there is no one hitting around him, but being buddied up with Lind will help him see more pitches, and will help to produce the big innings innings that they'll need to stay afloat.
Do we sense more praise coming? This from @GrubersMullet: Your handsomeness should be bottled and sold for $19.99. Will we ever see the 08/09 version of Yunel?
We are nothing if not handsome. Though $19.99 seems a little cheap...that's Brut 33 territory. We like to think we'd be more in the Burberry London, $79 territory. (By the way, that's a not so subtle hint, in case anyone was thinking of buying us a gift set of fragrances this June, for whatever reason.)
As for Yunel: Let's not focus on what he was. Let's think of what he can be. (Right? We're trying to convince ourself of this...are you buying in?) For instance: Have you seen how solid he's looked in the field this year? He's getting to a lot of balls, and his throws are strong and accurate and devoid of unnecessary flourish. This is all good.
Unfortunately, since braining himself on the knee of Adam LaRoche at the beginning of last month, Escobar has been one of the Jays weakest hitters, posting a .207/.275/.261 slash line, with three extra base hits in 102 plate appearances. So does this mean that the 3.0ish WAR that we envisioned for June-Yell is out of the question? No. But he's going to need to start producing soon if he's going to get there. He should be a concern to Jays fans right now.
More compliments? @Roll_Fizzlebeef offers this: O, wise and powerful Tao, do you have any suggestions on mid-late summer games to head out to?
You know what? It's always a good day for baseball. Don't get too worked up about which matchup you're going to see, or who is pitching, or what have you. The great thing is that every team has their something going on. At the end of the 2009 season, we went to a Jays-Mariners game and sat by our lonesome in the outfield with about a dozen Japanese Ichiro fans. That was fun. But if we're being a sport and playing along, here's a few series that intrigue us.
In May, this weekend's series against the Tigers will be interesting, as it will give us a bit of a sense of how the Jays measure up against the best of the AL Central.
In June, the mid-week series at the end of the month (June 28-29-30) against the Pirates sounds fun, as we really like some of the Bucs' young talent. And their awesome uniforms.
In July, there's obviously the Canada Day weekend series against the Phillies, though we counted off Roy Halladay's likely starts, and it seems as though he'll miss the Jays this time around. Will be worth tracking.
In late August, there is a homestand from the 23rd to the 28th versus the Royals (who by then should have more of their future stars playing at the big league level) and the Rays (who remain a good team, and with whom the Jays will hopefully be battling for third place in the AL East.)
In September: The Orioles series (9-10-11) might be interesting to gauge where the Jays sit with their fellow AL East also ran cousins. And get this: Last home game of the season is September 22! Versus Vernon and the Angels. Don't put off your trip to the ball park!
One more tweeted question, and then we tie up the old TweetBag for another week. @didhenley asks: What's your favourite planet?? Mine's the sun
Well, the sun is pretty awesome. But it's a star.Then again, planet or star when that thing burns out we're all going to be dead.
We don't want to leave you on a sad note so just one more before bed time @The_Indyman (who is noticably light in the area of fawning ) asks: whats going to be the future of Snider...and Hill? Do you think Snider will ever reach his potential?
If we didn't know better, we'd think people were pretty hung up on Aaron Hill right about now. The responses above probably suffice for that part of your question, but as for Snider: We get that there are concerns for him, and he really didn't look very good at all in April. Still, we keep hearing people writing him off, even though he's just 23 years old. (The Father-in-Law, for instance, tossed out a comment about "what a disappointment" Snider is last week. We're guessing that for the average fan who watches the game and listens to Bob McCown, that's pretty much where their head is at.)
We're not sure what Snider's potential is, though we probably trotted out 30 HR/100 RBI/.850 OPS numbers in the past. Can he still reach that? For sure. But probably not this year. Not until he quiets down that swing.
Okay, for reals! That's it! Let's call it a weekend. May you all have a good one, and may the roof be open and the sun shine down upon you.