Posted tagged ‘Kawasaki’

40 in 40: UNIQUELYEST (sic) Blue Jays

June 15, 2017

The folks at Sportsnet recently invited us to submit a list of the 40 greatest Blue Jays from the past 40 seasons. Like you, I will sit down in front of a computer and spend many agonizing hours putting together a list. I’m very excited for the vicious internal debates I intend to have with myself.

But first…

I recently created a list of the most unique players to ever wear a Jays uniform. Remarkably, I managed to come up with 40 names.

So what criteria did I use when creating the 40 “uniquelyest” Blue Jays?

I essentially followed three rules:

Rule #1 – A player would not be considered if he was already on the 60-player shortlist that was put together by Sportsnet.

Rule #2 – Stats be damned.

Rule #3 – Go nuts.

These are Blue Jays who are memorable for reasons other than being an all-star, a slugger, an ace or unstoppable reliever. They’re on my list because they were “blue collar” players, had famous dispositions or had one or a few “15 minutes of fame” moments. Heck, some made the list for simply having great hair, awesome facial and bodily features or just a cool name. I’ve even included some that became infamous.

By no means is this list perfect. In fact, it’s really a toss up after the top three. Almost all of the players on this list are from the early 90s and up. That’s simply because I wasn’t alive in the 70s and wore diapers in the 80s. I also doubt this list would ever lead to a documentary by Fadoo Productions.

Anyway, here are the 40 uniquelyest Blue Jays in team history! Questions and/or clarifications? You know where to find me. Feel free to make your own list.

  1. John McDonald
  2. Munenori Kawasaki
  3. Doug Ault
  4. Joe Biagini
  5. Jeff Frye
  6. Brandon Morrow
  7. A.J. Burnett
  8. R.A. Dickey
  9. Reed Johnson
  10. Frank Catalanotto
  11. Marco Scutaro
  12. Steve Delabar
  13. Jason Grilli
  14. Travis Snider
  15. Charlie O’Brien
  16. Matt Stairs
  17. Joe Inglett
  18. Mike McCoy
  19. Shea Hillenbrand
  20. J.P. Arencibia
  21. Sal Fasano
  22. Brett Lawrie
  23. Rick Bosetti
  24. Dustin McGowan
  25. Colby Rasmus
  26. Gustavo Chacin
  27. Gregg Zaun
  28. Scott Downs
  29. Craig Grebeck
  30. Rob Butler
  31. Marc Rzepczynski
  32. Willie Canate
  33. John-Ford Griffin
  34. B.J. Ryan
  35. Brian Tallet
  36. Russ Adams
  37. Jon Rauch
  38. Brandon League
  39. Marty Jenzen
  40. Mauro Gazzo

ER

Re. The Danny Valencia Trade

July 29, 2014

1. Erik Kratz was a serviceable back up. He was also a bridge between the present (Navarro, Thole) and future (A.J. Jimenez, Max Pentecost). I’ll never forget the 2-run bomb he hit on opening day (March 31). It was the only highlight for the Jays that afternoon.

2. Liam Hendriks started three games and looked good in two of them. He was also putting up great numbers in Buffalo. There’s potential, which means it’s 50/50 as to whether he will actually meet that potential. Therefore, he’s worth the sacrifice.

3. As noted by Bob Elliot, Danny Valencia has great numbers against left-handed pitchers. That’s something the Blue Jays desperately need. Elliot also says Valencia will platoon with Juan Francisco at third base. Although’s he’s spent the majority of his professional career at third, Baseball-Reference.com shows that Valencia has seen time at second and first.

Overall, it’s definitely not a blockbuster. Valencia’s sole purpose is to provide an additional right-handed bat. Depending where Brett Lawrie plays upon his return from the DL, Valencia could continue his platoon with Francisco at third; or, platoon at second with either Munenori Kawasaki or Ryan Goins. I prefer the latter option.

Eric aka @TheHek

So, I have a crazy idea…

July 8, 2014

Going forward:

C – Navarro
1B – EE (when he comes off the DL)
2B – Lawrie (ditto)
SS – Reyes
3B – Joey Bats
LF – Melky
CF – Colby
RF – Alfonso Soriano

DH/Back-up Catcher/Bench – Lind, Thole, Francisco, Tolleson, Kratz

Wait! Before you start throwing spoiled fruit and veggies at me, let me explain.

1. Bautista has played third in the past. Not ideal, but until AA acquires a quality second or third baseman, this is a suitable option. If the hamstring is an issue, have Bats DH and Francisco play 3B.

2. Facing a right hander, both Lind and Francisco are suitable at DH and could also be used as left-hitting pinch hitters late in a game.

3. Facing a left hander, Kratz could DH or be that right-hitting pinch hitter late. Plus, he’s a better option as the back-up catcher than Thole.

4. As long as RAD is on the roster, so is Thole (for now). Just accept it and move on.

5. Tolleson can play infield and outfield. That gives him the edge over Kawasaki.

6. Yes, Soriano’s number aren’t great. However, as noted by Baseball-Reference.com, he’s managed to keep his OPS at .700 or better since 2001. To me, that makes him a better option than Cole Gillespie and Nolan Reimold. Of course, if Reimold turns into his 2009 form, this is all a moot point.

NOW…If the Blue Jays do pick up a quality second or third baseman, then Bautista goes back to right field, Lawrie goes where he’s needed, Soriano can DH and/or PH and Kratz gets sent down.

Not perfect, but it could help.

Eric aka @TheHek

Episode 17: At least there’s Kawasaki

April 25, 2013

April has been a difficult month for the Blue Jays and their fans. As of April 25, the Jays sit fifth in the AL East with a record of 9-13.

The one and only Minor Leaguer of Bluebird Banter discusses the team’s performance thus far and Munenori Kawasaki’s rise in popularity.

Episode 17 Direct MP3 Download


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