Old Friends Are With Rays
Jun 3, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) is congratulated by second baseman Kelly Johnson (2) and shortstop Yunel Escobar (5) after hitting a 3-run home run in the 1st inning against the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY SportsEveryone knows how The New York Yankees right now have an antique collection of classic authentic ex-Toronto Blue Jays. Well the Tampa Bay Rays like their collection of ex-Jays to be recent. The Rays have the Jays shortstop and 2nd basemen from just last year, Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson.
If the games against the Yankees were a sign of things to come Escobar and Johnson should be hitting homeruns, making great defensive plays and getting clutch hits against the Jays.
So far in this young season Yunel Escobar is having another down year. He has 15 hits in 25 games. Munenori Kawasaki has 13 hits in 22 games! Escobar has an ugly 174 average, 237 on base percentage, 279 slugging percentage and a 516 OPS. Like just mentioned Kawasaki has played in just 3 less games and he has a 241 average, 333 on base percentage, 296 slugging percentage and a 630 OPS. Mostly not great numbers by any stretch of the imagination but they still blow Escobar’s numbers out the water.
But let’s not forget Escobar is signed under a team friendly contract so the Rays can afford for him to go through stretches where he’s not very good for 5 million a year. Especially with the defense he brings.
I still love me some Yunel Escobar so I’ll save him the embarrassment of comparing his numbers to the Jays real shortstop whose name will be unmentioned until he’s not injured.
Kelly Johnson has been playing left field in addition to 2nd base for the Rays. So far he’s got better hitting numbers than Izturis, Bonifacio and even Melky. As you would imagine if you watched the Jays all last season he’s got 25 strikeouts in 26 games. I don’t have any idea what his defense is like in left field because he never played left field for the Jays. But it would have been nice if he could have played some left field for the Jays since they got practically no offense from left field last season anyways and Johnson’s defense at 2nd base isn’t great.
We may not actually get to see a lot of Johnson during the Jays first series with the Rays since he is a left handed hitter and the Blue Jays are throwing Buehrle, Happ and Ricky at them. Although Ricky has worse numbers against lefties so Rays manager Joe Maddon tends to keep lefties in the lineup against Ricky.
You have to take your time machine years back to mistake the current Yankees for the Blue Jays. If you want to mistake the 2013 Rays for the Jays you just have to go back a year.