Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spectacular Scutaro

How good is Marco Scutaro? Really, did anybody think he was going to be THIS good at the start of the season? The guy has been a consistent threat the top of the lineup, provides sensational defense, and displays an incredible intelligence with how he plays the game. Watching this guy day in and day out is a treat, because he leaves everything out on the field.

This past week, Scutaro's aforementioned high baseball IQ was on full display. In a game against the Phillies, the Jays shortstop walked, and sensing that no one was paying attention to him, swiped second base immediately afterwards. Then in the following contest, he advanced to second again on a misplayed ball in the outfield, again illustrating a wonderful heads up play.

Just how important is he to the team? Consider in the first two games against the Washington Nationals. Scutaro struggled, going 1 for 10 at the dish. Not surprisingly, Toronto lost both tilts in extra innings. The last game of the series, Scutsy went 3 for 5, pacing the Jays to victory. Tonight, he belted a 2 run home run. The long fly turned out to be the difference in a 7-5 win.

Oh, and he leads the American League in runs, has the best strike zone discipline in baseball, is second in walks, all the while committing just one error.

And this guy is 4th amongst shortstops in all-star voting? Absolutely ridiculous.

Russ Adams is back!

I might be the only Blue Jays fan to be ecstatic that former 1st round pick Russ Adams is back with the big club. In fact, that appears to be a virtual certainty. But why not see what he can do with a revised role? It seemed like he would never return after busting out as an everyday player, but Adams will attempt to reinvent himself as something of a utility super sub. He was good enough in Cito Gaston's eyes in spring training to head north with the team, but the Jays simply had no room for him at that time.

Tonight, Adams got his first start in 2 years for Toronto, manning left field and hitting 9th in the order. Unfortunately, he went 0 for 4 at the dish, though his plate discipline was pretty good, and he didn't look out of place on defense either. His shoddy play in the field is what cost him a roster spot with the Jays a few seasons ago, but he's expected to be able to fill in for any outfield spots and at 3rd, shortstop and 2nd base.

I understand he was pretty awful in his previous tenure with the Blue Birds. But it's time to see if he can at least contribute in some way with the team rather than having him walk after investing so much time into him. Adams can swing the bat pretty well, and has had success with Las Vegas in AAA this season. I can only hope my faith in Adams will be rewarded.

I probably shouldn't hold my breath.