I’ve pretty much been going through this early Blue Jay winning streak with a skeptical attitude. I thought that our hitters could not keep up this torrid pace for much longer. Something happened now to change my mind. The Jays keep hitting! We just don’t stop! It is awesome!
Every night I’m watching a Blue Jay lineup that is similar to some of the Red Sox and Yankee teams of the past 10 years. That is, we have hitters 1 thru 9 that can give our pitchers a very good chance to win on any given day.
The ‘Cito Effect’ is indeed correct, (referring to an earlier preseason post of mine). Blue Jay hitters are dismantling the baseball right now. It is more surprising that we are being led by some players that we didn’t have for the majority of last year.
Aaron Hill is one best hitters in baseball right now coming back to the Jays after suffering a concusion that saw him sit out the majority of last season. To me, Hill is right there with Kinsler and Pedroia among American League second baseman. The man can flat out hit, and he is hitting everything right now, batting .339 with 10 homers and 32 RBI’s. Slowly Hill is asserting himself as the strongest hitter in the Blue Jay lineup.
Rod Barajas split time with Gregg Zaun last season. Totally outplaying Zaun last year, the Jays decided to sign him, and part with the aging fan favorite Zaun. Boy, are they are glad they did. Barajas is now proving to be a plus .300 hitter with gap power for the 2009 season. Rod has been a big surprise getting a lot of opposite field hits lately. I never saw him hit that way earlier in his career? Barajas’ success I attribute primarily to Gene Tenace and Cito Gaston. Rod was also born in Ontario, California, so it must have been divine fate that he would succeed here.
Last but certainly not least is Adam Lind. Lind was sent down early in the 2008 season because of a cold spell when he was called up to the majors. Lind was hitting everything in AAA in 2008. Whatever John Gibbons or the hitting coach was trying to do with Lind was not working. Cito Gaston promoted Adam Lind right away at the end of 2008. There was a big difference in Adam Lind’s approach at the plate. He has carried that over into 2009, gained some muscle and is now hitting the cover off the ball in 2009. Lind is hitting .324 with 6 homeruns and has driven in 32 RBI’s. Love those numbers!
So, here are three guys that we didn’t have the majority of last season. Three guys that are now making a huge difference for the 2009 Blue Jay team. I haven’t been able to compare those kind of numbers to a set of Blue Jay hitters in a while. Let me tell you, it feels very good. Can they keep it up? I am starting to believe they can.
The Jays have a three-game series upcoming in Fenway Park against the division rival Red Sox. If we win the Boston series, my hopes for this team will go through the roof and I’m gonna start talkin playoffs – even though it is still very early.