Friday, February 26, 2010

A Few Trade Chips

There is no doubt that if (and 'when' in many peoples opinions) that Jays are without a shot at the playoffs that Alex Anthopoulos would be looking to move certain players in the right deal. Contenders are looking to boost their chances to go deeper into the playoffs while taking advantage of their trading partner. The Jays would surely look at any deal that would give them a piece moving forward.

One thing that many people always wanted from former G.M. J.P. Ricciardi was an admission that the team was not in contention. Often, it seemed, he was in denial and refused to move pieces before the trade deadline. For example, when A.J. Burnett was pitching well in what would be his final season for the club, Ricciardi was unable to make a move that may have helped the club. He may not have had a viable offer (and he could not have foreseen the Yankees signing two higher rated free agents), but there was little doubt that he was going to opt-out of his deal and leave for another long-term contract. If there was a deal that could have brought back prospects worth more than the picks that they would have received, then a deal should have been made. That all sounds familiar to the Roy Halladay situation that was just endured.

This year, the Jays will be a team which will be called early and often. As a rookie general manager, Anthopoulos will probably receive some low-ball offers, but he is smart enough to know the value of his assets.

A few Jays that contending teams could be looking at:

1B Lyle Overbay
With an expiring contract at $7 million and hot shot prospect Brett Wallace hot on his heels, Overbay will be moved if there is any deal that would bring back proper compensation. Not only would the acquiring club receive a good defensive first baseman (and righty masher), but they would pick up draft pick compensation at seasons end. If the player package heading the Jays way cannot exceed the compensatory picks then the deal may as well not be completed. However, if Wallace is able to surprise in spring and get off to a good start in Las Vegas, he may force the Jays hand in making a deal.

RP Scott Downs & Jason Frasor
Both releivers would, assumably, slide right into a contending teams 7th or 8th inning role perfectly. Both pitchers may be forced into a closing role here in Toronto, but the team getting them would probably have someone already in place as the closer. Teams would probably be hesitant in giving up any top prospects, but many are prone to give up more than normal when they are in a playoff push. Another guy who may fall into this group, but has the ability to start too is Brian Tallet.

SS Alex Gonzalez
As I have said before, many clubs are in search of stop-gap shortstops who are reliable with the glove and won't kill you with their bats. Gonzalez was a victim of the trade deadline last year when he was shipped from the Reds to the Red Sox. He may be in a similar situation this year if he has a strong enough year to gather some interest.

Something that always bothers me is when contending teams are looking to acquire players, but are reluctant to give up unproven prospects for legitimate major-league players. All teams should keep an eye towards the future, but if you are building up your minor-league system for the major-league playoffs, then why wouldn't you be willing to ship them out for someone who is going to help you in the present time. A perfect example from this offseason is the Philadelphia Phillies and their refusal to keep Cliff Lee. To pair him up with Halladay and Cole Hamels would have created a formidable playoff rotation. They were willing to give up a proven pitcher for prospects who are highly-regarded, but not sure things.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Fantasy Squad

I had my fantasy draft last night at ESPN and I wound up with the 10th and 11th picks. With those picks I chose Miguel Cabrera and David Wright. The rest of the way I tried to get stud starting pitchers, but I forgot about the oufield spot somewhere along the way. If you are interested in my team you can see the pictures below of my roster. It is a standard 10 team, head-to-head, 25-man roster, league that counts batting average, home runs, RBI's, runs scored, and stolen bases for hitters and ERA, WHIP, saves, strikeouts, and wins for pitchers.

Tell me your opinion of my team or talk about yours in the comments section below. Remember you can follow my twitter @anotherjaysblog.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Key Position Players

With the expected season the Jays are about to go through it is easy to say that a good portion of the lineup would need to have career years for the club to compete. In years past, when the club thought it was in position to contend for a playoff spot, the Jays suffered from certain players either not performing to their expectations or not being able to play at their career norms due to injuries.

Last year, for example, Adam Lind and Aaron Hill played at levels that no one could have foreseen. On the other hand, players like Alex Rios and Vernon Wells were not able to continue their play of years past.

This year the Jays and their fans will look for breakout seasons from players like Brandon Morrow and Travis Snider while searching for continued dominance from Hill and Lind. With the relative inexperience that is on the roster, the chances of breakout seasons from some of the younger guys are unlikely to happen.

At this point in the re-building of the organization, general manager Alex Anthopoulos is looking to see who can handle the majors and who needs more development time.

As I mentioned, though, since it is unlikely for every player to have career years which would push the Jays into contention, there will be key players which could really progress the building of a competitor in the tough AL East. 

Adam Lind
At 26-years-old, Lind will look to build on his sensational 2009 season where he found himself as a LF/DH for 151 games. After posting a .305/.370/.562 with 35 homers and 114 RBI, Lind will be put in a similar position in the lineup where he is going to be expected to be amongst the top sluggers in the American League. With the track record of being a top-notch hitter at every level of baseball, there is no reason to expect he cannot continue what he started last season.

Aaron Hill
While missing nearly two-thirds of 2008 with a severe concussion, Hill rebounded with a sublime 2009 season where he hit .286/.330/.499 (36 HR and 108 RBI) and won the Silver Slugger award for his position. It has been said that he may not be able to smash home runs at the same pace, but if he is able to get on-base a bit betterwhile still seeking his pitch to hit he will continue to be amongst the best young second basemen in the majors. For an interesting read on Hill's spray chart for homers last year, check out this article from Fangraphs. 

Vernon Wells
Wells will hope to bounce back after a 2009 season where he hit .260/.311/.400 with 15 homers and 66 RBI. After the season he had surgery on his wrist which will hopefully give him some of his power back. Cito has mentioned he wants to place Wells in the cleanup spot behind Hill and Lind so he will be given every opportunity to show he can be the hitter he was in 2003 or 2006. I am sure the Jays would settle for something around his career averages of .280/.329/.470. If Wells were able to find his previous form he, at the age of just 31, could give some justification to his massive pricetag.

Travis Snider
At just 22-years-old, Snider will look to fulfill on the promise which everyone has heralded him with since being drafted. It looked like last year was going to be that season, but after slugging .484 in April (and smashing two mammoth homers while in Minnesota) last year it was all downhill. Snider has admitted to going through some rough times last season (recounted here) and is looking forward to having a strong spring. He has not been guaranteed an outfield spot on the major-league club, but it would benefit the club for him to make a statement at the highest level. Snider is the type of player who contending teams place in the middle of their orders and expect top-10 MVP type seasons. His vast potential has allowed him to cruise through the minors and it should allow him to flourish in time.

These are some position players that I feel could help the club grow into the contender they hope to become. Obviously every player would benefit the club with a good season, but they are obviously the core of the current major league club (in terms of position players). If players like Edwin Encarnacion and Lyle Overbay could have solid seasona they may be in line for an extension or a quality trade, respectively. The club will look to boost the minor league system to fill positions of need while promoting those who are currently in the system. Some of the key position players who may see playing time in the majors as soon as 2010 are: Brett Wallace (1B/3B) and J.P. Arencibia (C).

You can now follow me on Twitter @anotherjaysblog

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Barajas Signs

Barajas Inks a Deal with the Mets
Good news for the Toronto Blue Jays and their fans because now former-Jay Rod Barajas has signed a major-league deal worth $1 million (with $1 million in incentives) for the 2010 season with the New York Mets. The deal, as explained in an older post, will allow the Jays to receive a supplemental pick in the 2010 amateur draft.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, this signing will allow the Jays to pick up the 41st pick in the upcoming draft. After thoughts that Barajas may have to settle for a minor-league deal, it is a good thing that he will sign a guaranteed major-league deal. With a minor-league deal, the Jays would not have received draft pick compensation.  

McGowan Throws Successful Bullpen
Another fact-filled blog post by Jays reporter Jordan Bastian that you should check out. The best news is that Dustin McGowan, one of the spring's biggest storylines, has thrown his sixth pain-free bullpen session after coming off an injury-plagued 2009 season which saw him go down with right shoulder and left knee injuries.

McGowan is quoted as saying that he hopes to makes the Jays rotation as soon as opening day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jays Welcome (Jose) Molina

According to the twitter of Jordan Bastian, the Jays have signed catcher Jose Molina to a one-year minor-league contract with a club option. He is guaranteed $400K and another $400K if he makes the opening day roster, which is not necessarily certain to happen. He will battle it out with Raul Chavez in spring training for the right to back-up newly signed John Buck.

Last year the 34 year old was a backup to Jorge Posada for the Yankees where he hit .217/.292/.268 in 138 AB's. Chavez did have a better year at the plate (.258/.285/.346) in 159 AB's, but they may want Chazez do go to the minors to backup J.P. Arencibia because he is on a minor-league deal.

The brother of Bengie and Yadier has a career caught stealing percentage of 40%, but threw them out at a rate of 28% last season in 52 games (Chavez had a 38 CS% last year).

The club option is worth $1.2 million for 2011, but that is not likely to be picked up. The Jays would like Arencibia to have a good start to the year and hopefully take over Molina's spot on the roster at some point in 2010.

It's really hard to find anything to say about this move and I don't think anything needs to be said because I would have been fine with Chavez (or even Kyle Phillips) starting the year as the major league backup with Arencibia taking over at mid-season, but this move just puts another mediocre catcher on the depth chart.

UPDATE: Bastian is reporting that Molina is the "clear favourite" to win the primary backup spot on the roster. That is a not surprising because Molina has name value, but Chavez definitely deserves a shot considering his 2009 season. He is also saying that the club has placed Jesse Litsch on the 60-day disabled list to clear room for Molina on the 40-man roster.

Lind Leads Jays Fantasy Players

ESPN has come out with their 2010 player projections and there are a few Jays who I am interested in for the upcoming season. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I, when drafting, will more than likely avoid any of the three potential closers (Downs, Gregg, and Frasor) and it looks like they are saying they are feeling the same way. There are a few intriguing players who could help someone's roster either from the draft or later on in the season. Roy Halladay has long been the Jays top fantasy player amongst Jays, but his loss leaves others to step up.

As expected Adam Lind and Aaron Hill lead the bunch of Blue Jays (click to expand):

Now I will give you some players who I feel could be significant fantasy contributors for Toronto (no particular order):

Obviously these are just estimates of the stats these players will put up, but they are always fun to look at. Some players will fail to meet expectations, while others will rise above any prognostications. I am sure no one expected Adam Lind or Aaron Hill to do what they did last year.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mets Interested in Barajas

Recently, MLB Trade Rumors linked to an article stating the New York Mets interest in former Blue Jay catcher Rod Barajas. Initially it seemed as though they were making a "hard push," but those statements have since been re-stated. They are now looking on bringing in the hard-luck catcher on a minor league deal.

Barajas, as any Jays fan over the last two years will tell you, is a good receiver behind the plate that is capable of handling inexperienced staffs, while throwing out runners at a good clip. With the bat though, he struggles to get on base, but is capable of hitting the ball over the fence.

His string of bad luck in free agency (as the Drunk Jays Fans will tell you) may continue as he was probably expecting a multi-year deal heading into the offseason. At the very least he should receive a guaranteed major-league deal. The Jays felt the same way and offered him arbitration knowing he would decline in order to receive a more lucrative offer elsewhere. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, if Barajas does not receive a major-league deal, theywill not receive the draft-pick compensation they were looking for.

As a "B" level free agent the Jays would expect to garner a "sandwich," or supplemental, pick while the other club would not have to give up a pick. You would think that the only starting catcher left on the market would be in line to get a major-league deal, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Barajas at the age of 34 could help a lot of teams solidify their catching position and the Mets are the leading candidate at this point with Omir Santos, Josh Thole, Chris Coste, and Henry Blanco. Teams such as the Mariners and Rangers would seemingly get in on Barajas and possibly drive up the price on him. He had a solid season last year hitting .226/.258/.403 (with 19 homers) in 460 plate appearances while throwing out 29.3 per cent of his attempted base-stealers and earning $2.5 million.

If the Jays are able to get a pick for Barajas they are going to have nine picks in the top three rounds of the 2010 amateur draft which could really help the Jays minor league system if they draft well. Anthopoulos told Batter's Box that he plans on drafting the best players available despite age or position. Hopefully with a heightened scouting system they will feel more comfortable with the available players and spend above the slot level in order to sign them unlike last year.
UPDATE: Jon Heyman is saying that Barajas is likely to accept a minor-league deal with the New York Mets worth about $1 million where he would be the favourite to start at catcher. This would not allow the Jays to collect a draft-pick.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ace in Hand?

When the Blue Jays acquired righty Brandon Morrow in the offseason, I immediately approved of the trade. It was not long after the trade of Halladay and they needed someone to provide effective innings for what looked to be an extremely inexperienced rotation. While he played with the Mariners I was able to catch a few of his starts after Jays games and he certainly impressed me. I watched him almost no-hit the New York Yankees and watched him dismantle the A's last year in his final start of the year. Obviously those starts were/are not the norm, but it did show his vast potential.
When the M's drafted him 5th overall in the 2006 amateur draft he was thought of as a future ace who could potentially help in the bullpen as soon as that upcoming season. He was an enigma of sorts and the organization admittedly gave him the "yo-yo" treatment by sending him between the rotation and bullpen, both in the majors and minors. They obviously regretted the decision because his potential was never met in the Northwest.

Furthermore, the fans saw the success of local hero Tim Lincecum who was taking the National League by storm just as he had done at the University of Washington. With every Lincecum quality start the Mariners fans would shake their collective heads at the fact that he could have been on their team. I think Jays fans know the feeling after the proposed Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum deal fell through.

Brandon League, along with highly touted outfield prospect Johermyn Chavez, were sent to Seattle in a deal that could work out well for both teams. The Mariners are hoping to contend this year with League moving into their bullpen and the Jays will likely move Morrow into the three-spot in their rotation (they can send him to the minors by using his remaining option, though).
I, unlike some fans, enjoyed watching League even though he did struggle at times (especially in multi-inning situations), but it is a swap where all players involve may prosper with a change of scenery. Morrow, more so than League, had worn out his welcome and tried the patience of the new front-office of the Mariners and they sent him packing. With the dearth of bullpen arms available to the Blue Jays they could afford to move one piece for a big-armed starting pitcher.

Immediately we heard Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos compare Morrow to former Jay A.J. Burnett. Morrow is a guy who struggles with command, but can reach 98 on the radar gun with relative ease. It is that type of "stuff" that fans love to watch and opposing batters hate to face. On any given night he can strike out twelve or walk six. He can tantalize or frustrate fans or opponents alike and that is what the Jays will attempt to harness.
The Jays, who have a history of turning mediocre pitchers in to serviceable ones, will get the opportunity to turn a talented (albeit wild) pitcher into a future front-end starter.

Something that I will enjoy this season is going to be turning on the television every game and having the possibility to watch something special. Whether it be Morrow, Romero, Marcum, Cecil, or Rzepczynski. In addition to those guys, there are pitchers such as Drabek and McGowan who are just as young, talented, and fun to watch. In a year where there are no expectations, these are the guys I want to see pitch. With all due respect to guys such a Brian Tallet the Jays know what they have in him.

Here are some of Morrow's statistics from years past along with Bill James' projected 2010 statistics:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Keith Law Kills Gregg Move

While reading Keith Law's recent ESPN chat, I came across this zinger from former Jays front office employee Keith Law:

Josh: Which of Alex Anthopoulos' moves do you hate most so far?

Keith Law: I'd love to know who said, "You know, we should sign Kevin Gregg to a major-league deal." And why he's still working there.

Pretty good stuff which perfectly sums up both my and the Jays blogging communities thoughts on the move.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Closing Conundrum

While reading MLB Trade Rumours I found a link to Roto Authority that talks about the 2010 Blue Jays closing situation. I, like many others, play fantasy baseball and while I am drafting relief pitchers in search of saves I will certainly try by best to avoid any of the Blue Jays closing options. There is not likely to be one featured closer like we have seen is some previous seasons (Accardo and Ryan) and the Jays are not projected to have a lot of save situations. There will likely not be a lot of late-inning lead situations and comebacks are not likely with the Jays offence.

The Jays, in general, do not project to have many fantasy studs with the exception of Adam Lind and Aaron Hill. Also, most fantasy "experts" are not expecting Hill to put up similar numbers in 2010. I have read that Edwin Encarnacion is a sleeper for the upcoming season mainly because of the lack of third base depth around the majors and his power and run-producing potential.

To get back to the closing situation though, the Jays have three pitchers who could close adequately, but not to the levels of a Joe Nathan or Jon Papelbon. Those pitchers are Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, and newly signed Kevin Gregg. Gregg has the most experience and probably has the upper-hand because of Cito Gaston's tendency to go with the proven commodity.

As mentioned in the article, both Downs and Frasor are entering their walk years and may be moved at the deadline or let walk at the end of the year for draft pick compensation. This may push them to have better seasons as we have seen so often. Downs and Frasor both had better peripheral pitching statistics compared to Gregg and they accomplished those numbers in the much tougher AL East.

Gregg has been heard saying that he is finally healthy from bumps and bruises that have hampered him in the past and looks forward to competing in Spring Training for the job. I feel as though the job will be his, rightly or wrongly, regardless of his spring numbers.

So I could see Gregg being a fantasy pick-up either somewhere in the late rounds or off the waiver-wire for those who are in need of saves and strikeouts. According to Marcel, which predicts stats for MLB players, Gregg is expected to post numbers like this:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Romero Ready for 2010

Really good article by Morgan Campbell in the Toronto Star today that explains how Toronto starting pitcher Ricky Romero is working to put himself on top of the jays rotation for good. Talk around the team indicates that it is a two horse race between him and teammate Shaun Marcum who is coming back from Tommy John surgery. I believe newcomer Brandon Morrow, if he has success in Spring Training, could see himself vault into the conversation.

Last year Romero came shooting out of the gate with a hot start before hitting the disabled list with a freak oblique injury that he suffered while sneezing. His season long stats were 29 GS, 178 IP, 192 H, 18 HR, 141 K, 79 BB, 13 W, 9 L which are not spectacular, but are surprising considering he wasn't projected to even break camp with the team. After defeating another highly-touted pitcher, Rick Porcello, in his MLB debut he posted a solid April month (3 GS, 21 IP, 19 H, 1 HR, 13 K, 4 BB, 2 W, 0 L). In one of those starts, Romero was dazzling at home against the Athletics where Jack Cust compared his pitch repertoire and body build to that of Cy Young winner Johan Santana.

The start was definitely too much to keep up, but the promise that lead the Jays to draft him with the 6th pick in the 2005 amateur draft was becoming evident.

As you can see in the graphic below, Romero's numbers fell off drastically after the All-Star break:

According to the article, Romero does not attribute the drop-off to fatigue, but rather to a sudden loss of the strike zone. It's true that his control suffered as he walked batters at a clip that put him near the worst in the American League with former-Jay A.J. Burnett.

With the loss of Roy Halladay, the Blue Jays need someone to step up and take over the role of ace of the staff and it seems as though Romero is working hard to put himself in that position.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Jays Acquire Eveland

Via MLB Trade Rumours, the Blue Jays have acquired left-hander Dana Eveland, 26, from the Athletics for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Eveland was originally drafted by the Brewers in the 16th round of the 2002 amateur draft.
Eveland was sent to the A's from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Dan Haren trade and performed well in 2008 before struggling last year. In 2008, he threw 168 innings where he put up solid stats; 9-9, 4.34 ERA, 29 GS, 118 K, 1.482 WHIP, and a 1.53 K/BB. Last year was a different story, he pitched only 44 Major League innings where he saw his numbers balloon; 2-4, 7.16 ERA, 9 GS, 22 K, 2.182 WHIP, and a 0.85 K/BB.
This is seemingly another rotation depth move by Anthopoulos where the Jays would not be giving up a highly touted prospect or a ton of cash. Eveland did spend time in AAA last season with the Sacramento River Cats (a teammate of Brett Wallace) where he did not have a lot of success. I am reading that he is out of options so he could very well be designated for assignment down the line if he doesn't perform in the spring. The swap simply ensures that no other team would be able to claim him before the Jays got their opportunity.
I have no problems with the Jays acquiring all of these pitchers and seeing if they can find something of significance. I mean what did people say when the team acquired Scott Downs? Toronto could even look to dangle someone like Brian Tallet now if they feel as though Eveland could fill the hole that would be left behind. Both of these players are left-handed and are versatile enough to be able to come out of the pen or start.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Search for a Solid Shortstop

In yesterdays post I talked about the Blue Jays lead off spot for the upcoming season. That job was handed to the starting shortstop, Marco Scutaro, at the beginning of 2009 and he ran with it. Scutaro got on base at an outstanding rate all while providing the team with great defence at short.

This year, however, they Jays will be without Scutaro after he left for greener pastures in Boston. He signed a two-year pact with the Jays division rivals while the Red Sox would let their previous shortstop, Alex Gonzalez, leave in free agency. Ironically, the Blue Jays would eventually come to terms with Gonzalez on a one-year deal with a team option to play shortstop. The Red Sox did not offer arbitration to Gonzalez so the Jays were not required to lose any draft picks in the upcoming draft.

Alex Anthopoulos in his "building" efforts wisely offered arbitration to the Jays free agents; Scutaro and catcher Rod Barajas while knowing both were likely to decline. Barajas has yet to sign with another club, but he is sure to net the Jays a high draft pick when he signs. The Blue Jays will receive two picks for letting Scutaro leave the team in free agancy. Scutaro very well could have been the Jays shortstop for the next two years, but at the price required to keep him aboard, the Jays would be better off using the money elsewhere (amateur draft?). Also, Scutaro had a career year at the age of 33 and no previous track record to suggest continued success similar to what he had in 2009. Is it a smart investment to spend significant money on an aging veteran shortstop while the club is re-building?
The shortstop position, for as long as I have been watching the club, has been a trouble spot for the organization. We all heard about Russ Adams and thought he was the future, but that never panned out like we had hoped. Minor League prospects such as Gustavo Pierre, Justin Jackson, and Tyler Pastornicky all have potential, but are nowhere near the big club. We have been hearing rumblings of Anthopoulos searching for a young, high-impact shortstop while offering numerous minor leaguers in return.
Prospects, particularly in Major League baseball, cannot be relied upon very often. That is why players such as Alex Gonzalez are signed to be placeholders until someone else can take over.

Last Year, Gonzalez provided excellent defence at short (UZR/150 of 10.5) while batting .238/.279/.355/.635 in 112 games for the Reds and Red Sox last year and isn't projected to be any better in 2010. This stop-gap type of player fits in well behind a young pitching staff which produces ground balls at a high rate.

Fan Favourite John McDonald is sure to see a bit of time as well, although he is not any better with the bat. McDonald could see himself taking over the full time gig if there is interest in a player like Gonzalez at the trade deadline, just as he did when David Eckstein was around.

Who really knows what is to come at the Jays shortstop position in the years to come, but for this upcoming year we pretty much know what to expect in Gonzalez; a slick fielding defender without much of a bat. Not much different from years past.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bautista Leading Off?

To lead off this blog I could not think of anything more fitting to write about than the Blue Jays lead off spot for the 2010-11 season.

By the sounds of things Jose Bautista will head into spring training with the spot his to lose. Coming off a season in which he hit .235/.349/.408 Bautista is certainly not the worst option on the current Jays roster. Those numbers certainly will not excite any Jays fans after the stellar season Marco Scutaro gave them last season (.282/.379/.408).

Unfortunately, Bautista's splits differed greatly when matched up against a lefty and when facing righties.

Against Lefties: .293/.382/.537/.919

Against Righties: .202/.331/.333 /.664

That OPS difference is similar to sending '09 Adam Lind (.932 OPS) against righties and '08 Kevin Mench (.678 OPS) against lefties. Yikes!

This massive split is cause for concern and definitely a driving force behind the Johnny Damon talks. I am all for bringing in the veteran left fielder who put up one of his best major league seasons at the top of a potent Yankees lineup in 2009 (.282/.365/.489). At the age of 36 he would not go along with the "building" theme that has been stated, but the move would certainly have it's benefits. The idea of not seeing Bautista against righties would seemingly be reason enough, but the potential for compensation at seasons end or a trade at the deadline is good too.

The disdain against Cito Gaston and some of his head scratching managerial decisions is definitely growing amongst Jays fans and it is well founded in most cases. The idea that he has pencilled in Bautista to be the everyday right fielder is scary considering the way he handled the Jays young masher Travis Snider last year. Obviously the projected Lind, Wells, Snider outfield would not inspire confidence in the Jays young pitching staff, but there are no excuses for Snider not to be playing everyday he can handle.
Also, the offseason acquisition of speedy outfielder Joey Gathwright (who of course can be viewed leaping a parked car here) may help Gaston in his search for a lead off man. This has the potential for disaster. Gathwright checks in with a career .327 OBP which is just bad. The defence, speed, and base stealing ability is great for late inning pinch running or defensive sub situations, but not effective in a lead off role because as they say "you cannot steal first." Heck, I would prefer a guy like Lyle Overbay (.372 OBP in '09) leading off just because he is willing to take a walk to get on base for guys behind him like Aaron Hill and Adam Lind.
So does an Overbay/Bautista platoon at the leadoff spot make sense. Overbay mashed righties to the tune of .282/.396/.509/.905 in 2009.