Fred Lewis, acquired in a mid-April trade from San Francisco, is turning into a key component of the Blue Jays. While he started off slow for Toronto, he’s really turned it on in May, hitting .429 with five extra-base-hits, including some very deep doubles. Not to mention that slotting him in leadoff in place of Jose Bautista has really revived Bautista’s prowess at the plate, who’s certainly been more productive since Lewis joined the club.
Travis Snider has also been heating it up as of late, batting .417 in April with four extra-base hits. The big thing I’ve noticed about him is that he’s been getting much better contact, and driving the baseball hard. He had a flyout yesterday that was about a foot and a half from flying over the fence – and Shin-Soo Choo’s glove.
The Jays had a game to play yesterday, and what a game it was. In the top of the ninth, Cleveland’s (interim) closer Chris Perez allowed a deep double to Fred Lewis with two outs, and then induces a soft grounder from Aaron Hill straight at the shortstop Luis Valbueno to end the ballgame – yet Valbueno lets the ball go right through his legs and lets Lewis score to put the game at 4-3 Cleveland. You could tell Chris Perez wasn’t very impressed and he let it get to him, as Adam Lind took Perez for a two-run home run to right to put the Jays ahead 5-4. With Jason Frasor pitching for a single out in the eighth, he came in for the ninth as well as shut down the Indians to lock up the win.
Brandon Morrow pitched well in the game, although he only went 5 1/3 with three earned runs, he struck out nine with his fastball that touched 100 multiple times. Since he sometimes struggles through games and get’s lit up, I’m very happy with how he pitched this outing.
Meanwhile the question most Blue Jays fans are asking is, “What happens to the lineup when Edwin Encarnacion returns from injury?
With Fred Lewis coming in, the Jays logjam of batters has gotten even worse and something drastic will have to happen when Encarnacion gets back. With Jose Bautista currently starting most games at third base, and Travis Snider or Fred Lewis unlikely to sit in favour of either Encarnacion or Bautista, it really comes down to who’s more valuable for the Jays: Bautista or Encarnacion? They’re practically the same player hitter-wise, low-average players with 20-home run power and some speed.
I think that Encarnacion will get slowly put back into the starting role as he has the most potential, with Bautista starting every four or five games, while getting some outfield starts as well.
Top Prospect Watch
Brett Wallace went 3/5 last night with a double, a walk, and two runs batted in, leading Las Vegas to a 13-7 win over Reno. With his efforts he has pulled his average back over .300 to .304.
At AA, Kyle Drabek took the loss against New Britain while putting up a confusing stat line: 5 2/3 innings pitching with one earned run and a 7/2 strikeout/walk rate, good numbers for Drabek. Yet he managed to also allow 5 unearned runs, which ran his record back to 4-2.
Photo courtesy of Associated Press