offered his evaluation of the Boston Red Sox portion of Nelson Lu's
lineup. This struck me as a good idea, so I am offering my evaluation
of the Toronto Blue Jays at the 1/4 point in the season. I hope
others will post similar analyses of the remaining American
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
1B John Olerud/Pat Tabler
Olerud starts about 2/3 of the time, but continues to
struggle at the plate while looking good in the field. Tabler
has struggled defensively at first and been mediocre at the
2B Roberto Alomar
Strong, both defensively and offensively. Surprising power, he
is 2nd on the team to Carter in RBI's. Wonderful!
SS Manuel Lee
Adequate. Hitting .250, makes the routine plays routinely. Not
yet comfortable with Robbie on DP, I suspect. Has played hurt
recently, was sorely missed when replaced with Rene Gonzales
for a few days. Tony Fernandez is a hard act to follow.
3B Ray Giannelli*/Ed Sprague*
Sprague playing full-time last few days. Hitting impressively,
still re-learning 3rd (he was moved from 3rd to catcher several
years ago in the minors). Watch for him to stay up and
compete with Tabler and Hill for right-handed DH when Kelly
returns (see DL below). I wonder if Sprague could play
LF Joe Carter
Class act. Offensively among league leaders in several
categories, having a career season. Defensively he is strong,
makes us wonder how we got by with George Bell in left field
all those years. Looks comfortable, confident, and happy.
CF Devon White
Supposed to be all glove, no bat when he arrived from the
Angels. Exceptionally strong both defensively and offensively
(.283, third on the team in RBI's), playing great ball. Many
said he'd never be a decent lead-off hitter, but his OBA is
.361. with 12 walks/25 strike outs.
RF Mark Whiten/Ken Williams
Whitten continues to be erratic both offensively and
defensively. Williams would look great in AAA Syracuse, IMO.
Too many bonehead plays and he's hitting .211, about his
lifetime average. I don't know what Cito sees in him.
C Greg Myers/Pat Borders
Great platoon. Myers is hitting consistently for the first
time, while Borders who had a very slow start (0 for first 20+
at bats) is now on a tear. Collectively they are averaging
.270, have 2 HRs, 14 RBIs. Defensively adequate, though
neither has gunned down too many baserunners recently.
DH Mookie Wilson*/Glenallen Hill*
Mookie seems ready to contribute as a role player, although he
has never been an offensive power. Hill is struggling (.217, 2
HRs, 8 RBI's in 60 ABs), and seems to lack confidence. He
osccasionally plays RF, and Tabler also DH's occasionally.
SP Dave Stieb, David Wells, Jimmy Key, Todd Stottlemyre, Denis Boucher
The first four started strong, have all struggled in the last
two weeks. Still, collectively they are 20-9 up to today (5-26
Sun) with 3 ERA's under 3 (Steib is 3.17). Boucher is gone to
AAA, Acker out of the bullpen becomes the (occasional) fifth
starter. (Yes, THAT Jim Acker! See recent discussion here.)
RP Duane Ward*
Henke is off DL, back as stopper. Ward is now the set-up man.
He says this is fine with him, but you have to wonder how easy
it can be to leave the glory role after being a great fireman
and collecting 12 saves in just over 2 weeks? Also back from
the DL is Ken Dayley (dizzy spells) who will be the only
left-hander in the pen (MacDonald sent down). Mike Timlin is
doing great middle relief, while Willie Fraser has been very
erratic; he is the only current Jay pitcher with an ERA over
4. Al Leiter is gone, hopefully permanently IMO.
* Tom Henke, rp
He's back, and he has to be looking over his shoulder at Ward.
* Rance Mulliniks, dh
Ready to return from heel injury, expect Giannelli to go down
soon. Had a very poor start before the injury, could be
dispensible if a strong left-handed DH was around.
* Kelly Gruber, 3b
Expected to be out another week to 10 days, but these
(Continued in the next message)
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