The spring training season started in 2010 with lots of guys vying for spots in the lineup. I had a feeling that some of the battles would get my blood flowing and would make an impression on the club’s direction under Cito Gaston. On the one hand, he is giving every opportunity for both Randy Ruiz and Brian Dopirak to show us what they can do. Rany has received 17 AB while Brian has received 14. Just to show how tight and tough this battle is, Randy is hitting .529 while Brian is hitting .357. I guess the edge goes to Randy for average and the fact that he has 1 HR to go along with it. In the case of the other bench spots, however, I don’t feel as though the battle is fairly squared off. Joey Gathright has had 16 ABs so far this spring, while Mike McCoy has had only 9. So how’s the battle going (in its short start)?
McCoy has 6 hits, Gathright has 3
McCoy has 3 walks, Gathright has 1
McCoy has 1 extra base hit, Gathright has none
McCoy has a .750 OBP, Gathright has a .235 OBP
MCCoy has .778 SLG, Gathright has .188 SLG
McCoy has .667 AVG, Gathright has .188
Both have been caught stealing once, while Gathright has stolen 1 base.
Knowing all of this, and also realizing that the battle is there between Jeremy Reed, Joey Gathright, and Mike McCoy for a bench spot, what does the Jays blogger Jordan Bastien write about? How great Joey Gathright’s chances are of making the club. Why? Because he is getting the feeling, from Gaston and the playing time, that Gathright has a real shot at making the team. The subtitle of his Gathright article even says “Veteran competing for Jays’ left-field job with Snider, Reed”….really? Wow. Should I be excited to go to the game and watch a LF that couldn’t make any starting roster in 2009 and was dumped by Kansas City? Shouldn’t I get some sort of discount on my tickets if that happens? Please tell me it’s not going to happen. Please tell me that Travis Snider will not be replaced in LF by Joey 1 tool Gathright. Put Chris Lubanski in there, Jeremy Reed, Mike McCoy, anyone, just not Gathright. He is not a starter and has no potential to grow into one. None. My argument and desperation don’t end there, however.
Jordan Bastien does make the point that in the fight for the bench spot, it comes down to Reed, Gathright, and he specifies McCoy as a utility man. That, to me, is the most important point. If you’re already getting a better performance from a guy who is just as speedy, if not speedier than the others, and he can play 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF, C, and pitch the odd inning, while the others can only play LF, CF, RF….which one do you keep? Yet, who is the article based on? Joey Gathright. Who is getting the attention and playing time? Joey Gathright. Why? Is it because he’s made some nice catches against the Jays in the past or because he used to be with the Red Sox? I have no idea, and no answers, just questions.
I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why Mike McCoy isn’t getting more playing time even after performing a ton better in a limited role. I don’t get why Travis Snider continues to hit in the 9th hole since it’s not working for him. I don’t get why Joey Gathright is still the leader for the bench spot in the OF when all he has to play with is speed and he’s played as his history suggests thus far. No hitting, just speed. Newsflash – you need to be on base to use your speed! And that’s exactly what McCoy does, he gets on base!
I’ll update this battle next week or so, but it better start shifting towards more playing time for McCoy, or it’s going to be one long season under Cito Gaston folks, I can guarantee you that.