The Royal Visit

Tuesday, August 23 2011 @ 01:54 PM EDT

Contributed by: Dave Rutt

Kansas City's in town. I don't want to jinx it, but what are the odds the Jays don't sweep? Oops, I just jinxed it.

Tonight: Bruce Chen vs. Brandon Morrow. Morrow has been pitching well lately - maybe he'll even get that ERA down to match his xFIP. In other words, maybe he's starting to "fulfill his potential". Wouldn't that be nice.

Tomorrow: Luke Hochevar vs. Ricky Romero. Romero is on fire, and much of the talk 'round here lately has focused on whether he's an Ace. It doesn't really matter. But he has been really friggin' good.

On Thursday, Canuckian Jeff Francis matches up against Brett Cecil. I'm getting repetitive here, but Cecil has been pitching well lately. Really, ever since getting called back up. Let's hope that early-season blip was just that and he'll come into 2012 ready to pitch a full season the way he can.

On offense, the Jays are a very exciting team right now with the only regular non-exciting player, in my view, being Aaron Hill. Brett Lawrie has been amazing since getting called up, Colby Rasmus has been heating up, Josť Bautista is back in top form - seems like the offense is firing on all cylinders. Kansas City has a decent offense that's been carried this year by the outfield trio of Alex Gordon, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur.

Question of the day: what do you about second base in 2012? A friend mentioned Jamey Carroll to me. No wait, before you laugh, go look at his numbers. Yes, he's like 37 or something, but he's been a better player in his 30s than he was in his 20s, and could may be an average player in 2012. That would be a significant upgrade over Aaron Hill (at least the 10-11 version) for a team that looks like it might be close to contention, and you could get him on a cheap one-year deal. Now, Carroll is clearly a stopgap solution, but if the plan is for Adeiny Hechavarria to come up in 2013, a stopgap is all that's needed. Of course, Hech as a MLB-calibre player is no guarantee despite his recent hot streak.

Other options from the free agent market include Omar Infante and Kelly Johnson, both of whom will be more expensive in terms of dollars and years (especially Johnson).

I'm not sure who would be available on the trade market. The top five second basemen this year in terms of WAR are Dustin Pedroia (7.0), Ben Zobrist (6.3), Ian Kinsler (5.5), Howie Kendrick (4.6) and Robinson Cano (4.3). I don't really see any of those guys being moved, but maybe someone like Maicier Izturis who doesn't have a starting job but still plays a lot for the Angels.

Or, of course, you could stick with Hill and cling to the hope he goes back to the Aaron Hill we know and love. So: what would you do?

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