MLB: All We Are Saying...is Give Players a Chance
Alas, poor Toronto!
Where be your victories now? Your win streaks, your 13 games above .500, your flashes of brilliance that set the Rogers Centre into throes of happiness? Not one to mock the rest of the AL East to keep me grinning?
In times like these only the Bard, William Shakespeare can truly describe the Blue Jays' plight.
After dashing out to a magnificent start the Jays are now bogged down in trade deadlines and conversations of a franchise in disarray.
What drives me crazy, besides my severe schizophrenia, is that this lineup has stayed the same even as the Jays struggle through the second half. I think it's fair to say Jays fans have had their fill of Jose Bautista, David Delucci, and Kevin Millar.
It's time to call up some minor leaguers to shake things up a bit. And why not? Being two games under .500 is nothing to boast about and it's not exactly bringing hope to Toronto fans desperate for a sliver of success.
The Jays have already shelled out minor league contracts to the three-headed monster of Bauluccar so there's no loss of pride calling up some young guns.
At Triple-A the Jays have some talent they can showcase to themselves and to the rest of the league.
Travis Snider should be the first to get the call. Snidawg has a lot of hopes and dreams pinned on his every swing, and he shouldn't be mired in minor league limbo. He has had his struggles at the major league level, but who hasn't this season?
Eventually the Snidawg will have to face major league pitching once again, bringing him back up to the majors can't hurt the team anymore than shuffling Delucci in and out of left field.
Snidawg has been hitting only .226 in the minors. I don't claim to be a professional psychologist (except in bars) but I think you can chalk some of that up to injuries and the crushing disappointment of having tasted the bigs and being sent back down to a level below Snider's talents.
What about Joe Inglett? Voodoo Joe has been tearing the cover at the ball in Vegas, hitting .379 for the 51's. Inglett was given a brief period to succeed in the bigs and then was shuttled back to Sin City.
Platooning Inglett at short and second base could give some much needed rest to Aaron Hill and Marco Scutaro. He can even play the outfield if the Jays feel so inclined. For a guy who hit .297 for Toronto last season he's being rewarded very well.
Showcasing Inglett could garner some interest from other utility starved teams in MLB, and could also provide a little depth if the Jays feel like now is the time to move Marco Scutaro.
I wouldn't even knock the Jays if they felt like calling up catcher of the future J.P. Arrencibia. Toronto's production from Rod Barajas and Raul Chavez has been a little suspect so giving Jays fans a glimpse at the future could reassure us a little.
Randy Ruiz has been having a whale of a season manning first base for Las Vegas(.321 BA, 22 HR, 88 RBI), and even though he isn't a spring chicken, he could garner a little interest if he's called up and starts producing.
Sure, Kevin Millar bounced back with a big game against Cleveland yesterday, but he still hasn't been the model of consistency. His job is to DH when necessary and to save Lyle Overbay from lefties. Millar hasn't exactly kept opposing teams honest.
Ruiz is a right-handed batter that's been carving up Triple-A pitchers. If he could join the big club and produce anywhere near how he's doing in the minors it could add some much needed bite for when the team sits Overbay.
The big thing is that the bottom third of Toronto's lineup has been a total rally killer
Marco Scutaro-Aaron Hill-Adam Lind has been a scary good 1-2-3 combination. Then you get into the Scott Rolen-Vernon Wells-Alex Rios-Lyle Overbay segment that hasn't been consistently potent, but at any given time it can catch on fire.
That's where things start to get a little too easy for opposing pitchers. Having Rod Barajas-Raul Chavez-Jose Bautista-John McDonald-Kevin Millar-David Delucci batting 7-8-9, isn't exactly keeping teams up at night.
Why not give Snidawg, Voodoo Joe, and Arrencibia/Ruiz a chance to prove that Toronto has more than pitching in its coffers?
What's the worse that could happen? Feelings get hurt? The Jays are in fourth place and sliding, you're past making players feel good about themselves.
If J.P. Ricciardi can justify moving Toronto's best player than he should be able to shake things up for the Jays position players.
And yes, if you haven't realized it yet, I am desperate for anything to work. If the team is trying to prove that things are utterly hopeless they're doing a great job.
If John Lennon could ask for peace in the middle of the Vietnam War, how ridiculous is it for the Jays to give Snidawg a chance?
To be, or not to be? That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in baseball to suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageous lineup, Or to take arms and call up some players against a sea of mediocrity, and by opposing end it. To cry, to go deep-once more.
Oh Willy, you know this team better than I know myself. No wonder people loved your Da Vinci Code so much.
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