I Don't Know. Third Base.

I love the "Who's on First" routine by Abbott and Costello. I used to do it with a friend when we were in school. Since it wasn't so famous, back then, people think we were crazy, but we had fun. 

Let's start by saying that I doubt many other managers would have this team over .500. I doubt any other managers would have Jose Bautista hitting 40+ (and maybe 50+) homers this season. I think Cito has done a terrific job with our pitchers. He's got a young starting staff and yet there hasn't been a major injury. I'm not sure how many managers would have stuck with Brandon Morrow the way he started the season and with the number of choices we have  for starting pitchers. He deserves credit for all that and more.

All that said, his handling of Travis Snider is almost unforgivable. Getting Travis at bats should be a more important goal than winning at this moment, not that I think the two are mutually exclusive. And his stated plan of using John McDonald at third, during Edwin Encarnacion's injury, is just wrong. 

I know Cito isn't a fan of Snider's play in the outfield. Nor a fan of Bautista's play at third, but come on. The offensive difference between Mac and Moonraker has to be great than the defensive issues.

Let's look at the various players in our little melodrama:

Jose Bautista: Hitting a wonderful .266/.383/.623 with 42 home runs. His defense at 3rd: UZR/150 of -19.3 this year. -10.5 UZR/150. So some worse than your average 3B. His UZR in RF -9.3. Below average again, that great arm is his best asset out there.  The way he is hitting he could play anywhere for me. 

John McDonald: Hitting .248/.269/.436 in limited at bats. If he would take the odd walk, you could live with it. Defense at 3rd: he hasn't played enough this year for his numbers to be of much value (-23.0 UZR/150 in 68 innings). Career at 3rd he is -6.1 UZR/150. Slightly below average. If fielding average interests you, his is .939 career at 3rd, roughly what EE's is this year. I really don't think it is a good position for him, his arm, to me, is a little lacking. If he could hit, I'd be fine with that defense. 

Edwin Encarnacion: Just throwing him in for comparison sake. Hitting .246/.310/.446. Defense at 3rd this year: -4.3 UZR/150. Fielding percentage .935. His number were hurt by a very lousy start to the season. He was making an error a game early. Since he missed a lot of spring training, they didn't get time to work on hid defense as much as they would have liked, Butterfield has been working with him since and he's been not too bad at all. 

Travis Snider: Hitting .246/.311/.450 this year. I personally think his numbers have been hurt because of not playing everyday, but that's an opinion. I'd think it would be harder to hit if you think you will be riding the bench if you aren't 4 for 4. On defense, he has spilt time between left and right field almost evenly and Cito is right, he has played much better in LF. I'd guess some is small sample size issues but -3.9 UZR/150 in LF and -31.3 UZR/150 in RF. Career he is -8.4 in left and -17.3 in right.

Fred Lewis: Hitting .265/.336/.429. This year in LF he has a -12.6 UZR/150. I like him well enough, just not near enough to sit Travis for though.

Personally, the way Bautista is hitting he can play any position for me, but I don't think he is much worse at 3B than RF. His glove might not be quite what Mac's would be at 3B but it wouldn't be that much worse. Travis should be playing everyday, even if it is right field. Nothing Mac or Lewis can do should be enough to get in the way of Travis' playing time. 

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