Jordan Bastian twitted that
Cito said today that 1B Lyle Overbay will play full-time, not in a platoon situation for the Jays.
This makes no sense to me at all. Last year his OPS+ against right handers was 132, against lefties 53. 53. To put that in some perspective, John McDonald's OPS+ was 72 last year. And John's bat isn't good enough to keep him in the lineup even with a great glove at SS.
Not only that, but, Cito also says that Edwin Encarnacion will likely be ready for start of the season. So with unless the Jays totally lose all baseball sense and send Travis Snider to the minors, right handed hitting Randy Ruiz will be begging for at bats. Ruiz, who Cito says could hit .280 with 20 to 25 homers, if he had regular playing time, would sit on the bench so that Lyle could hit .190 against lefties.
Last year, Cito platooned Lyle with Kevin Millar. Millar may not be my favorite former Jay but he was a better choice to bat against lefties. Ruiz would be far better than Millar.
One of the theories going around is that Overbay was one of the ring leaders of the player revolt at the end of last year, that he wasn't happy not playing everyday. But why would you worry if Lyle is happy or not, it is his last year with the time. If he becomes a problem. release him. It's as important for Lyle to show he can be a team player too. If the Jays release him he'd be unlikely to get as much money as a free agent after the season.
The other excuse is that the Jays will be looking to trade him and he could have more value if he was an everyday player. I don't understand that, last year he had a 122 OPS+, partly because his at bats versus lefties were limited. Other teams are smart enough to know what Lyle can and can't do.
You have to figure that Cito will change his mind on this, or at least hope he will change his mind, though once that man has made up his mind, it takes a lot of information to change it.
Reading around the Jay Blogoverse, I was starting to feel sorry for Cito. I know I'm not his biggest fan either, but he's been beat on a lot lately. I thought he did a number of things better last year than he had in the past. He doesn't leave starters in far too long as much as he used to. He is from the minimalist school of managing, which might be just as well in most cases. I'd like him to pinch hit more, but it doesn't cost us that much. He is talking about sending runner more often this season, I'm not sure that suddenly deciding to make a radical change in how you do things would be the best idea. We'll see.
But I can't understand this at all, Ruiz will need some at bats and they might as well come in spots where Lyle is unlikely to succeed.