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Wednesday Morning Banter

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Hi everyone.  Just got back from an awesome cross-country skiing trip in the mountains.  What a great sport.  And of course it is nice to be back and have spring training underway. 

  • Jordan Bastian tweetinates that Travis Snider will be playing both right and left field this spring.  I'm happy about that news. 
  • Bastian also notes that Cito has already ruled Jeremy Accardo out for the closer's job and that he is thinking of "using him as a 7th inning arm."  I'm sure Accardo is just hoping to make the team. 
  • Speaking of Bastian, his blog is a must-read every spring, and this spring has been no exception.  News of the day for me, Randy Ruiz hasn't shown up to camp as of yesterday, one of the only players yet to report.  Tomorrow is the last day for them to report - seems a bit strange to me that someone whose major-league job (and career) seem so precarious has not yet shown up. 
  • Richard Griffin has a nice article about Jays pitching prospect Kyle Drabek:
"I just have to go out and prove myself and hopefully it will happen," [Drabek] said. "There's young guys here that have proven themselves in the big leagues. I need to go out and show them I can pitch up there, and hopefully everything turns out good. I'm patient enough to let it happen. I'm just going to get all my work in, try and get as good as I can so I can get up there as fast as possible."
  • The Star's Morgan Campbell has an in-depth article about the new playing surface at Skydome.  Apparently the Jays got the turf at a cut-rate deal thanks to an MLB-Astroturf agreement.  I was raised to appreciate a good deal, and it looks like the field will look much better than the patchy-looking field-turf, but this made me a bit nervous:

Some NFL teams use the same grade of AstroTurf but use an all-rubber base, which makes for a softer field than the one at the Rogers Centre.

  • Robert MacLeod has this bit about the Jays' hunt for a top of the order:

Gaston also has concerns with who will bat leadoff in place of Marco Scutaro, who left to join the Boston Red Sox via free agency. While it is expected the job will fall to Jose Bautista (likely the team’s starting right fielder), the Blue Jays have not ruled out the possibility Overbay, a left-handed hitter and veteran first baseman, could handle the task.

That should provide plenty of fodder for Jays critics, noting Overbay’s .265 batting average from a year ago, including a meagre .190 against left-handed pitching.

But in considering his leadoff credentials, the Blue Jays note that after Scutaro, Overbay’s .372 on-base percentage was the best among the team’s regulars. And with 74 walks, he also comes into camp with more free passes than any other returning player.

"Why not try him there?" one Blue Jays insider said. "At least he gets on base."

 Come clean, Tom - you're "Blue Jays insider," aren't you?  MacLeod's article does a nice job of breaking down the various questions facing the Jays this spring. 

  • Speaking of Overbay, MacLeod has another article about how Lyle is preparing himself for 2010 to be his last year in azure.  Having been previously displaced to make room for Prince Fielder, this can't be anything new for Lyle. 

What's on your minds, fellow banterers?