Three years ago today Frank Thomas was released by the Jays after a poor start to the season, you can read about it in this post by Hugo. As you can see by the poll in the post, the move wasn't widely loved by BBB folk at the time.
At the time of his release Thomas was hitting a big .167/..306/.333 in 72 PA. He had also irritated the team by not being thrilled when he was benched a day or so before that. There was an underlying issue in Thomas' release, he would have had an $10 million option for the next season, if he got to 350 PA. Course since he was a long way from that number, the team could have given him a longer chance to find his stroke and still have released him long before he locked in the option.
Since he had hit 26 home runs the year before, and since the team was hoping to compete for a playoff spot, that year, it seemed a little quick to give up on him. But then we had Adam Lind tearing up the minors and we needed a to open a spot for him. Then Adam went 1 for 19 (or something) and the team sent him down again. He came back when Cito got the manager job and insisted that he be brought back.
I guess the parallels are obvious. Juan Rivera is hitting .103/..239/.103 in 46 PA. He'd have to go on a pretty good run to get to Frank's numbers by 71 PA. I'm not normally a big fan of getting rid of players after only a handful of at bats. It always suggests to me that the team doesn't have faith in its ability to judge talent.
In Rivera's case, I'm not sure the team ever thought much of his ability, so there shouldn't be much attachment to him. On the other hand, he doesn't have a contract option that will kick in if he gets enough at bats.
He hit great this spring. I know spring training numbers don't mean all that much but why you would hit .350+ in spring and then, when the season starts, struggle to hit .100.
I guess if I was running the team, I'd give him a bunch of at bats before the end of the month and if the bat doesn't come round, I'd let him go. I can understand that they would rather trade him but it ain't gong to happen the way things are going now. If he is on the bench, he is really of no value at all. With only three players on the bench, we can't really pitch hit much, because we shouldn't have anyone left in case of injury. And he isn't going in as a defensive replacement.
He is slower than I thought he could be. I'm not sure who would win a foot race between him and Big Frank. When I saw him this spring, his lack of range amazed me. He looks even slower on TV.