April 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Rajai Davis (11) makes a catch in foul territory to get Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson (not pictured) out in the sixth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsAlmost every baseball team has a different starting lineup against left-handed starting pitchers than the lineup they have against right-handed starting pitchers. For most teams their lineup is weaker against lefties. The Toronto Blue Jays lineup against lefties without a doubt is much worse. It’s downright horrible.
That puts Rajai Davis at either DH or center field. It moves Maicer Izturis to shortstop so Emilio Bonifacio or Mark Derosa can play 2nd base. Bonifacio can also play center field. Derosa can also play 1st base or DH.
All 3 of these players have decent numbers against lefties compared to the left handed hitters on the team that would be worse. But that still doesn’t make them great options.
The AL East also isn’t exactly the division to not have an adequate lineup against lefties either.
The Blue Jays have to face some tough lefties on a regular basis; CC Sabathia, Jon Lester, David Price, and Matt Moore, just to name a few. Those pitchers are hard enough to score runs off of without their being several easy outs in the lineup.
Rajai, Bonifacio, and Derosa all struggle defensively, to put it nicely. The Jays are already going to struggle to score more runs than the other team when the other team has a tough lefty on the mound. The last thing they need is players that aren’t going to contribute that much offensively also giving the other team extra outs or runs.
So what can the Blue Jays do about this lefty pitching problem?
They can try to pick up hitters that can hit lefties using the waiver wire (has AA ever tried using the waiver wire??). If the solution was that easy they would have done it by now.
The more realistic scenario is that the Jays are probably going to have to suck it up (in more ways than one) until the July trade deadline and try to address their problem against lefties then.
Who knows what the Blue Jays situation or problems will be by then. The Jays hopefully have enough talent for the rotation, offense, defense and bullpen to all be straightened out by then. The lineup against lefties is probably one of the things that isn’t going to get straightened out by itself.
Let’s just hope the Jays straighten it out sooner rather than later.