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9/13 Game Thread: Yankees at Jays

Thursday, September 13th - Toronto, Ontario
7:05 PM (EDT)

Toronto Blue Jays
Johnny Damon lf
Derek Jeter ss
Bobby Abreu
Alex Rodriguez 3b
Hideki Matsui dh
Robinson Cano 2b
Melky Cabrera cf
Wilson Betemit 1b
Jose Molina c

Pitching: Ian Kennedy, RHP

Toronto Blue Jays

Reed Johnson lf
Russ Adams 3b
Alexis Rios cf
Frank Thomas dh
Matt Stairs rf
Aaron Hill 2b
Lyle Overbay 1b
Greg Zaun c
John Macdonald ss
Pitching: A.J. Burnett, RHP

Sitting on the wrong side of .500, the Jays have two possibly competing interests: prepare for next season, and try to finish with a respectable (>.500) record this season for marketing and self-regard purposes. Personally, I could care less whether the Jays win 80 or 85 games this year, but the season ticket holders as a group may feel differently, and who knows? Maybe free agents will also (although I don't see the Jays making much hay in the FA market anyway).

Glaus has already been shut down for the season after having nerve decompression surgery, while I would be surprised were Wells not to soon follow, given that he has been playing with a cyst and/or partially torn labrum all season. If only we could blame his injury for his terrible pitch selection this season, but to be fair to Wells, it is incredibly difficult to sustain quality play while playing in pain (although it is not too hard to get through a series or two that way). Russ Adams appears to be the regular third baseman in Glaus' absence, although Luna may get some run-outs against lefty pitching. Adams actually looks pretty good at the plate from what little I've seen, working the count and spraying line drives as opposed to earlier stints in the majors where he seemed to be too pull conscious. Of course, as we all remember, it was not Adams' hitting that saw him lose the shortstop job (he was actually benched after having a fantastic month at the plate). Still, it would be nice if Adams could contribute as a utility player next season, as he brings a lefty bat, some speed on the bases, and a decent stick for a low price.

In the diaries, we've been discussing the Johnny Mac deal and what it means for the SS position and Jays' offense in general next season. I have a few ideas for SS, but I will unveil them at a later time.