Monday, June 27, 2011

Another Swing of the Pendulum

A week ago, we're all climbing the walls and losing our senses and shouting from the rooftops about just how goddamned mad we are about the shite state of affairs for the Jays.

A week later, we're all good. A weekend sweep will do that.

Okay, it could be that we're swinging a little too far towards the positive after going way over into the negative (or at least what passes for negative from us.) Some of you haven't quite managed to get the taste of the past few weeks from your mouth, and to be honest, we haven't quite either. Getting a weekend to pound on the NL Central is fun and all, but it still featured a pretty sparse lineup that, for the most part, continues to struggle.1

Still, if there's some saving grace, it is that that the brain trust of the organization seems at the very least prepared to adapt and adjust course at this point of the season, and that they recognize the failings of the team as constructed. The announcement last week that José Bautista would return to the infield to patrol third base might have been seen as a radical move in some markets, but given the year-long exhibition of Jayson Nix's offensive befuddlement and Edwin Encarnacion's immunity to Brian Butterfield's magical defensive coaching powers, Jays fans were ready to give up some of the One Man Gang's outfield worth in favour of a rebalancing of the lineup.

Mind you, the Jays brought up Eric Thames and sat him on Sunday afternoon in spite of the right-hander on the mound. Of course, this speaks to the deeper problem of having one centrefielder who can't hit, three leftfielders to cycle through and only Corey Patterson to fill in up the middle.2

Still, all indications seem to be that Travis Snider will return as soon as he gets a few more games in AAA to shake of the post-beaning rust, and Brett Lawrie will be recalled at the earliest possible time. So there's forward motion, of a sort.

And with all of this, the Jays still sit at an even .500, with a 39-39 record. Now think about all that's gone wrong with this team, and the injuries and backsliding, and the fact that a guy who most wouldn't have figured to make the bullpen is now the team's second-best starter...and yet this team is still ahead of where many of us thought they'd be this year.

Those are small mercies, to be sure. But there are still embers of optimism to be stoked.
Endnotes are back! Because we love them!

1. The Ricky Romero two-run single is really fun, and we can all enjoy it. But take those two runs he drove in and set them aside, and it underscores the paucity of offensive production that the Jays continue to get, especially from Rajai Davis.

2. And boy howdy! Didn't Corey Patterson do an exquisite job of demonstrating his inability to play CF yesterday.


BFG900 said...

the fact that I'm wondering if you meant Villenueva or Reyes neatly underscores your point about this team's state of affairs.

Brad Fullmer Fan said...

Morrow is the second best starter, Villanueva is third (though we'll see how long that lasts, his BABIP looks rather unsustainable).

And as bad as Corey Patterson is in CF, Rajai Davis might be even worse. The answer is probably to platoon them, though I wouldn't be surprised to see the Jays even try Snider there when he comes back.

Anonymous said...

Loewen has been playing CF a lot in Vegas....just saying.

Tao of Stieb said...

I think Loewen has been playing CF for lack of a better option in AAA. (Mastroanni has been hurt a lot.)

Still wouldn't mind seeing Snider get a few games in CF...

DaveC said...

BFF, I don't think Morrow's been the second best starter this year- do stats disprove that? At work, so I can't really look them up.

It kills me to say I think Carlos and JoJo have been better, but I figure Morrow rights the ship and passes those guys easy by season's end. said...

It cannot truly have success, I believe so.