Here’s something that I may just do the once, or I may keep going to occasionally as the tedious days of the Grapefruit League continue on toward Opening Day: a completely unscientific chart showing the progress of the battle for the Jays left field spot!
I, of course, have no fucking clue where the Jays heads are at on this, with the exception of Alex Anthopoulos and John Farrell having said over the off-season that Thames must have an edge, because it’s his job to lose, that defense is going to be a factor, and that spring stats are going to count for less than the quality of at bats, and presumably the opposing pitcher– hence the unscientific, completely perception-based nature of this exercise.
Thing is, as the club’s lone non-rotation position battle, I figure that for the next month we’ll be paying undue attention to how Travis Snider and Eric Thames fare against the league’s cannon fodder and developing prospects, with a small mixture of actual MLB-calibre pitchers thrown in for good measure. So, why not shoehorn myself it into treating it entirely like a horse race, y’know, like the way they’ve unbelievably somehow managed to even further dumb down American election year political discourse!
The Jays lost their first game of the spring today, 4-2 to the Detroit Tigers, and while Snider didn’t play, following his 2-for-4, 3 RBI performance on Sunday, Thames did, going 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts.
Should that alone have dropped him as much as we see on the graph, considering his two-hit performance on Saturday, which included a home run? Probably not. But Snider gets extra points thanks to Larry Millson of the Globe and Mail, who wrote over the weekend that Snider “took up reading about Zen” following his difficult 2011 season– a process which started with The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 MPH by none other than ex-Jay Shawn Green.
Hmmmm. I can’t image why a book by a former hotshot Jays prospect who got jerked around by Cito Gaston but then went on to have an extremely productive MLB career might speak to the 24-year-old.