Vladdy will help the Blue Jays in 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Vladimir Guerrero is a professional hitter. During the last 15 seasons, he has never hit less than .290 and has hit over .300 during 13 different seasons. Sure he may not be able to hit his lifetime average of .318, or even duplicate some of his power numbers that had him a perennial 30 HRs and 100 RBI guy. Vlad Guerrero will definitely help the Blue Jays. Heck, if he can hit .290 like last year, then that would be leading the current version of the 2012 Blue Jays. The team has had great production out of Edwin Encarnacion at the DH position. Although a move to first base for EE would free up that position for Guerrero.
The Blue Jays have not been hitting this year like in the previous few years. This signing will give them many options. The first of which would be to force the hand of Adam Lind, (.189 3 HRs and 11 RBI) to start playing his way back onto the team. Ideally, if you asked me before the season, I was a proponent of signing Vladdy to hit in the Blue Jays lineup. Back then, I envisioned a lineup that would go: 1. Yunel Escobar 2. Kelly Johnson or Colby Rasmus 3. Jose Bautista 4. Adam Lind 5. Vladimir Guerrero 6. Brett Lawrie 7. Kelly Johnson or Colby Rasmus 8. J.P. Arencibia and 9. Eric Thames. Now that Vlad has signed, plus considering the .276 (11 HRs 9 2B and 29 RBI) start for Edwin Encarnacion, you have to alter the lineup. I would favor a lineup that was 1. Escobar 2. Johnson 3. Bautista 4. Encarnacion 5. Guerrero 6. Lawrie 7. Rasmus 8. Arencibia and 9. Thames. I would give Adam Lind a shot in the OF to replace Eric Thames. Having Lind return to form would really help the right-handed heavy lineup.
Yet another option would be putting EE to his natural position of 3rd base and trying Brett Lawrie in the outfield. However here is the thing, Brett Lawrie has played pretty good defense at third base so far and I think moving him anywhere would be detrimental to his development right now. I am not sure Edwin Encarnacion will keep up his torrid early season pace. For this reason alone it is still worth it to keep Lind in the organization for the remainder of the year. At the very least, the Jays should put the fear of the world into Left Handed Pitchers. With a heavy dose of inter division matchups still looming, the Canadian club should be primed to face starters such as: CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte from the New York Yankees, Brian Matusz of the Orioles, David Price and Matt Moore of the Rays and Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester.
Vladimir has certainly played well at the Rogers Centre in his career. He has a .359 career average with 12 HRs and 36 RBI in 223 AB, including .361 with 1 HR and 5 RBI in 9 games just last year. Vlad also has thrived in hitting north of the border. His lifetime career in the country of Canada is .337. Now we are not expecting these gargantuan type of numbers. I fully expect Vlad to receive around 300 AB if he is up with the big club by the end of May. Nice projections for this man would be a .280-290 Avg with 12-15 HRs and 35-45 RBIs by years end. These type of numbers would propel the team to DH numbers in the top half of the league. Provided Edwin Encarnacion can put up decent numbers for a 1st baseman, then the Jays should be okay in the offensive department.
The Toronto team only had to invest about 1 million dollars on Vlad, which by today’s standards is a very low risk. Guerrero is still one of the most exciting players to ever swing a bat in the Major Leagues and you might catch a hot half a year like the Texas Rangers received in the first half of 2010. The attendance should also see a bit of a boost with his arrival. It is not often that you get to watch a future Hall of Famer perform for your team. To the Toronto management: Make sure you that you pull Vladdy aside and tell him to never try for that extra base as he is 37 and not 27. He tends to be one of the worst baserunners in the Major Leagues for being picked off, so you need to curtail his extra curricular adventures. If you are wondering about some of the legend that is Vladdy, I did write a previous article detailing my experiences seeing Guerrero play. You can view that article right here. As for the signing, I love the risk to reward ratio on this move. By the end of July, the Jays should be able to see if they need to make another move for a bat or not, this at least gives them option right now without sacrificing any prospects in the process.
***Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “Chuck” Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his successful Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book please click here . ***
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Posted on May 14, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged adam lind, AL East, andy pettitte, baltimore orioles, boston red sox, brett lawrie, brian matusz, cc sabathia, colby rasmus, david price, edwin encarnacion, eric thames, jon lester, jose bautista, jp arencibia, kelly johnson, matt moore, new york yankees, rogers centr, skydome, tampa bay rays, texas rangers, toronto blue jays, vlad guerrero, yunel escobar. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.