Brett Wallace is hitting .311 on the season with 10 HRs, and .372 over his last 10 games, so everyone sees the writing on the wall. As soon as it is viable, most likely as soon as we hit June, Brett Wallace will be called up to the Jays. Whether it results in the demotion of Randy Ruiz or the dealing of Lyle Overbay remains to be seen, but the bigger question is where will he hit in the lineup?
Travis Snider has shown some maturity at the plate in recent games and has inched his way up to hitting 7th in the lineup. It took him a while to do this, but he was only placed there after he had struggled while hitting 5th and 6th, so does that mean Brett Wallace will get a shot to prove himself? Or, will he simply follow in the footsteps of Travis Snider and hit 9th?
Lineup with Wallace at 1B – Snider following edition:
Lewis – Hill – Lind – Wells – Gonzalez – Bautista – Snider – Buck – Wallace
Lineup with Wallace at 1B – taking the spot Overbay had in the lineup:
Lewis – Hill – Lind – Wells -Wallace – Gonzalez – Bautista – Snider – Buck
Whichever option is taken, the Jays will benefit from more power at the bottom of the lineup when he arrives. I’m not sure that Gonzalez can keep up the pace he’s been on in terms of power, so adding Wallace to the lineup will help the Jays maintain some power over the long term. If Hill and Lind can get going this lineup will be getting a major boost very soon.
My thoughts on where Wallace hits is that he is older than Snider and more experienced at the plate at high levels, therefore he should get the benefit of the the doubt and hit 5th instead of at the bottom of the lineup until (or if) he proves he needs more time. Placing Wallace behind Wells provides him with more RBI opportunities, makes use of the fact that he is extremely patient at the plate – meaning that he’ll take more pitches and will wear down opposing pitchers as a result, and also lets him know that he’ll be counted on to drive in runs.
However, and this is a big however, would putting Wallace 5th in the lineup be a slap in the face of Travis Snider? Here’s a guy who’s been forced to suck it up at the bottom of the lineup and earn his keep. If he sees someone like Wallace get promoted and put into the spot he would love to have, how is he going to react? How would you react? I’m fairly certain I’d be pissed. Therefore, I believe that the Jays are really hoping that Snider’s bat continues to get hot so that they can slide him up into the #5 spot. That would mean that the Jays could field this lineup instead, without ruffling any feathers:
Lineup with Wallace at 1B – Snider slides up to #5, Wallace gets #6:
Lewis – Hill – Lind – Wells – Snider – Wallace – Gonzalez – Bautista – Buck
The future is now when you look at this lineup.
Looking at any lineup above, I have to say that it’s beginning to look pretty potent overall. Add the pending arrivals of JP Arencibia and Travis d’Arnaud right behind him, and the Jays are looking at a very much improved lineup than I can remember them having since the early to mid-90s. I’m so anxious to see what Wallace can do in the majors.
By the way, here a comparison of Michael Taylor who was traded to Oakland for Wallace:
Taylor: 125 AB / .232 avg / 29 hits / 8 doubles / 4 triples / 2 HRs / 22 RBI / 10 BB / 24 SO / .290 OBP / .408 SLG / .698 OPS
Wallace: 132 AB / .311 avg / 41 hits/ 11 doubles / 10 HRs / 30 RBIs / 14 BB / 35 SO / .374 OBP / .621 SLG / .995 OPS
I’m pretty sure the Jays did well here. Do I hear any more complaints about the Jays needing a 5 tool outfielder more than another 1B? I certainly hope not with this comparison. I know Oakland had Carter too close to ready to keep Wallace at 1B, but why not have him play 3B? Once again, Alex Anthopolous upgraded the Jays by quite a margin when he made this trade. We’ll have to see who has more success in the majors, but in my opinion it’s almost case closed.
The wait for Wallace continues, and the anticipation builds……bring it on big guy!