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Brake for the Break

With a four day break for the Jays it is a good time to look back at Jay's season thus far.

The leader in the Jay of the Day count is Lyle Overbay with 18...way ahead of the runner up Scott Downs with 13. Who have guessed that? Lyle so far this year, well, the polite way of saying it is, has been disappointing. Hitting .269 and slugging just .399 while leading the league in grounding into double plays with 15. And honestly watching the games I figured he must have been up to 30 by now. He seems to be the lightening rod for fan abuse too, maybe because we all feel a first baseman should have more than 6 home runs 95 games into the season. But, he does lead the Jay of the Day count, so he must have had some good games.

The winner of the Most Pleasant Surprise Award, offensively, would have to be Joe Inglett. The man's batting .301 with a .445 slugging average. His on base (.356) has dropped some of late but who heard of this guy before the season started. He had 5 at bats with the Jays last year and 201 with the Indians the year before. This year's Baseball Prospectus says "Triple A roster fodder" and "Occupies a spot on the 40-man roster while Vermilyea and Griffin were removed from it. That's the sort of inexplicable roster management the Jays have repeated time and again during Ricciardi's tenure as GM". Ha, proved them wrong. He's also played almost everywhere defensively, only missing first base and catcher so far, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him wearing the first baseman's glove sometime in the second half.

Most Pleasant Surprise Award, pitchers, has to be Cy Carlson. Again, someone that came out of nowhere and was unhittable for his first couple of months. He's been just slightly less amazing of late, but still has a 2.10 ERA. He's pitched in 39 games and has been used in high-leverage spots. I felt when he came up that his pitching motion hide the ball well and that he'd likely not have the same success as his opponents got a few looks at him. That may prove to be true. But, at the moment, he seems to be more than just a LOOGY. He's very enjoyable to watch.

Most Disappointing Player Award, offense. Man, throw a dart at the roster, likely you'll be able to make an argument for whoever you hit. My choice: Alex Rios. Till this season, he had improved his home run count each season in the majors. Last year he hit 24, this year at 27 years old, we hoped for the 35+ break out season. The year that he truly became a superstar. 95 games in he has 4 homers. 4! Yeah his average looks ok and he's stealing bases but...he doesn't get on base enough to be a lead off type. He's striking out far more than ever before and has 12 of his own ground into double play balls. I've heard people say that he puts on a show in batting practice, would be nice if he could do it during a game. He seems to be pulling off the ball, and I can't see why that should be so hard to fix.

Of course, the list of good choices for most disappointing player is long: Overbay, Rolen lately, Stairs (though, I don't think he's that much worse than we should have expected, he just had a career year last year), Eck, Hill, Wilk, Stewart (again, I think he did about what we should have expected, he hasn't been good in years, why would JP sign him? Think he's going to turn 27 again?). There are many good choices.

Most Disappointing Award Pitcher. Harder....far fewer choices. AJ? Hard to say a 10 and 8 record is disappointing with the offense we have, and yesterday's game was amazing. I think I'd pick the right handed relievers as a group. Not one of them can be trusted with a lead. Accardo was awful, but maybe when he returns from injury he'll be the guy. Frasor? Hasn't done anything to inspire confidence in two managers this season. Camp? Inconsistency as an art form. Wolfe? Isn't the same pitcher as last year. League? Unfortunately is the same pitcher as last year. Benitez? Awful. So as a group they win the award.

So where do we go from here. Well, the good news is Lind is filling the biggest gaping hole we had, LF. And Inglett is a great replacement in any of the spots that need it. The bad new, none of the various choices at shortstop are really good. Eck can't throw well enough, Scoot really doen't have enough bat. I'd put out Mac, feeling that his defense makes up for his offensive shortcomings.

Also bad, with McGowan gone for a extended period, if Marcum's not back soon our starters would no longer be a strength. Especially if they trade AJ. We are not deep. If we have Parrish and Purcey in our starting rotation that uses up all our ready minor leaguers. After that if we needed another starter I have no idea where he would come from.

With luck Wells will be back from the disabled list quickly. Having Wilk in the lineup is not something that will help a team rise from the bottom of the division. Mench looked good in the last game before the break but I'm not hopeful that he'll become the player that we need.

Maybe, if we do trade AJ and Eck, we could fill a few holes.

If the a couple of the bats come around.....and a bit of luck with injuries....I think we could get to around the 87-88 win range. I doubt that will make the playoff though.