You can’t blame the fact that the Jays bats were horrible throughout the series against the Angels on the absence of Aaron Hill alone. There are other guys who needed to contribute and quite simply disappointed repeatedly in the series. Aaron Hill‘s expected return Friday will help the offensive side of the Jays a ton, don’t get me wrong, but guys like Lyle Overbay (who’s bat came alive a little during the last game), John Buck, Jose Bautista, and Travis Snider need to find themselves quickly if the Jays want to avoid a tailspin into obscurity in 2010.
Ricky Romero was “ace like” once again Sunday and gave the Jay every opportunity to win the game. He deserved the win. As it was, Ervin Santana just happened to bring his A game and shut the Jays and their meager bats down hard. The pitching dual was slightly fun to watch as they worked very similar innings up to the 5th inning, but the game wasn’t that great overall.
Since the Jays were swept by the Angels and are now back down to earth, I thought we should look as some positives before beginning the next series:
- Aaron Hill is coming back Friday – what a boost to any team! This also means that Alex Gonzalez will head to the lower part of the lineup, which makes the Jays much better there. Could he hit 5th instead of Lyle Overbay please?;
- The pitching is still great overall and Brian Tallet is making it easy to take him out of the rotation with a stiff arm – someone should get a look from AAA as a result, either Brett Cecil, Reidier Gonzalez, or Brad Mills;
- Fred Lewis looked outstanding Sunday. He hit a double and stole 3rd against one of the best defensive catchers in the game. Great stuff Freddy, glad to have you aboard! I have to add that he is much more intimidating than most at the plate in the lead off role. He seems to be daring the pitcher to bring it;
- Brett Wallace is less than 1 month away from being the Jays first baseman, while JP Arencibia may be on the same flight! Both should make the Jays more powerful at the plate, and a much better lineup overall 1 through 9;
- The arrival of Fred Lewis also means that his splitting time with Jose Bautista may make the Jays more effective against both LHP and RHP;
- While the hitting has looked less than impressive, the pitching throughout the organization has been simple outstanding;
- Travis d’Arnaud is making Alex Anthopolous look like a very smart man thus far through 40 ABs, as he is hitting .425, 3 doubles, 3 HRs, 10 RBI, 2 walks, 4 strike outs, .442 OBP, .725 SLG, 1.167 OPS.
- Marc Rzepczynski is less than 1 month away from returning, providing the Jays will another option in the rotation;
- The Jays are still 1 game above .500 and sit 3rd in the AL East, a much better outcome than say the Baltimore Orioles, who are now a meager 2 and 11, or even the Red Sox who are currently 4 and 8.
- The Jays are done playing the Angels and now begin a 3-game series against John Buck‘s old squad, the KC Royals. Hopefully they can get their bats going during this series, but they will face Zack Greinke on Wednesday, which is always a hard match up. The key here is that the Jays get Hill back just as they begin a series against the division rival Rays.
- The draft is just over a month away, during which the Jays will grab a multitude of new prospects to cheer for and evaluate. We’ll get to see if Alex Anthopolous has really done a good job in selecting the right scouts and whether his new format bears fruit.
So as you can see above, there’s still a lot to look forward to and to smile about in Jays land. Sure, I could have picked up on the 100s of things that have gone wrong for the Jays in the last week, but I think this was more fun and productive than sounding like a whiny 5 year old.