22 games corresponds to about 13.6% of the season. That's as good a time as any to take stock, right? No? Well, whatever.
It was a good win for the Jays tonight. The offense came out of their weekend funk with a nine hit, five walk performance, and three of the hits (homers by Patterson, Bautista and Rivera) gave Drabek enough support to pick up his second win. Let's go through what each member of the line-up did tonight and see where they're at on the season.
Escobar picked up two hits and struck out once. Yunel has cooled off since his torrid start, but his curent line of .286/.345/.442 is basically what we were hoping for when AA acquired him. Good contact, strong on-base skills, and some pop leading to an OPS near .800 which, when combined with good defense, is star-level for a shortstop.
Patterson hit a three-run homer. Good for him. Next.
Bautista... best hitter in the AL? I was actually asked this question a few days ago, and my first thought was to think of who else is in the running - I came up with the same guys as Dave Cameron did, Miggy and Adrian Gonzalez. Throw Hamilton, A-Rod and Teixeira in there if you want. But are any of those guys clearly better than Josť? Not the way he's hitting right now. I'm at the point where I expect every plate appearance to end in a walk or a home run. He still didn't have anyone on base when he went deep tonight, but at least Rivera and Patterson did.
Lind singled and walked, but he's been terrible, sporting an OPS just over .600. Weirdly, his OPS is over .200 points better against left-handers, his usual nemesis. Anyway, I've said for a while that I thought Hill would bounce back but was more worried about Lind. I'm starting to worry about Hill, too, especially since he keeps getting injured, but my opinion hasn't changed on Lind. The problem of where to put Cooper and Thames if they keep knocking the door down might have an easier solution than originally thought. (Note: I'm not advocating anything drastic - Lind has a long leash for me, but if he doesn't hit this year that'll be enough for me to label him a platoon player going forward.)
Rivera homered and walked. Great job, buddy! Honestly, how can anyone even care what Juan Rivera does? I can't see him staying with the team more than a couple months, and he won't bring anything back in a trade. Pure placeholder.
Snider singled, walked, and struck out. I'm not worried about Snider yet. The guy is 23! Still, he hasn't hit this year, and he's striking out a lot. Here's a question: Do you send him down? If so, when? One more month of this? Do you give him the whole season? If he goes down, he'll probably just mash at Vegas... will that help? It's not a problem yet, and here's hoping it's solved before it becomes one, but it's always good to have a contingency plan.
Seven base-runners in six innings for Drabek, though only two Ks. Still, he's pitched well. He's throwing a lot of pitches, perhaps being a little fine - would you rather see Drabek put it in the zone and get hit around a little bit to avoid walks/high pitch counts?
Tomorrow: Litsch vs. Harrison. Wednesday: Reyes vs. Holland, and Beer Club at Opera Bob's! Thursday: Morrow vs. Ogando