Mid-Season Jays Lineup

I thought it would be interesting to take a peak at “what could be” in terms of the lineup the Jays could have in place by mid-season. To do the same for the rotation would be moot, there are just too many changes that could occur between now and then to get a good feel for what will be. After all, who would have predicted both Brett Cecil and Marc Rzepczynski would make an impact in the second half of 2009? So, I’ll leave the pitching until further on in the season, or at least until the season starts.

To get a good feel for “what will be” I have to make a few assumptions. The first will be that Lyle Overbay will be dealt by the deadline and that no immediate impact player will be received in return. I will have to assume that Alex Anthopolous will deal Alex Gonzalez and go with a combination of players at SS instead of using one player, but that Mike McCoy will get a chance to play the majority of the time once a deal occurs. I’ll also have to assume that none of the hitters will get any serious injuries, which could be far-fetched considering the way seasons seem to go most of the time. As I listed here before, and has been forwarded by Jordan Bastien, the intention for the Jays entering 2010 is to use the following lineup:

  • RF – Jose Bautista (.202 vs right, .293 vs left)
  • 2B – Aaron Hill (.282 vs right, .298 vs left)
  • DH – Adam Lind (.317 vs right, .275 vs left)
  • CF – Vernon Wells (.278 vs right, .206 vs left)
  • 1B – Lyle Overbay (.282 vs right, .190 vs left)
  • 3B – Edwin Encarnacion (.219 vs right, .250 vs left)
  • LF – Travis Snider (.244 vs right, .225 vs left)
  • SS – Alex Gonzalez (.247 vs right, .212 vs left)
  • C – John Buck (.259 vs right, .213 vs left)

The first thing we can notice within this lineup is the inability of the majority of the lineup to hit LHP. Only Bautista, Hill, and Lind have adequate averages vs LHP and Bautista can’t hit RHP, which scares me a little when he’s touted as “the leadoff guy”. The Jays are going to have a really hard time generating any runs against LHP this season, until mid-season that is. The averages get better at that point, and we get some versatility at the top of the lineup. But, with all of that said, I do expect both Vernon Wells and Travis Snider to do a much better job than they did last season against both RHP and LHP, so that should help some.

Once the trades are completed, and callups are made, I see the probable second half lineup as follows:

  • SS – Mike McCoy (.305 vs right, .304 vs left)
  • 2B – Aaron Hill (.282 vs right, .298 vs left)
  • DH – Adam Lind (.317 vs right, .275 vs left)
  • CF – Vernon Wells (.278 vs right, .206 vs left)
  • 1B – Brett Wallace (.307 vs right, .286 vs left)
  • 3B – Edwin Encarnacion (.219 vs right, .250 vs left)
  • LF – Travis Snider (.244 vs right, .225 vs left)
  • RF – Jose Bautista (.202 vs right, .293 vs left)
  • C – JP Arencibia (.227 vs right, .263 vs left)

When you consider the impact that McCoy and his steals can have at the lineup, especially when he hits both LHP and RHP just as well, you get a much better lineup overall. Add to that Wallace and Arencibia’s better performances vs LHP and you get the feel that the Jays may have fewer weaknesses at the mid point than it will at the beginning of the season. Other players will have an impact on the lineup, obviously, but for the most part the Jays should have a much more balanced lineup overall from the mid-point forward. The Jays will also get a power boost from Wallace and Arencibia that will spread out the power in the lineup.

I know I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the season develops and whether the second half will be better than the first. I know the Jays will add pieces between now and then, but as it is, I actually like the future lineup a lot. If Snider, Wallace, and Arencibia provide the pop they are all expected to provide, the Jays could give nightmares to opposing pens and provide more comeback opportunities due to their game changing pops.

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