#1: Aaron Hill despite hitting the occassional homerun is friggin awful. He should come around, I mean he was one of the best 2B in baseball last year, right? BUT there is not one logical argument that can be made as to why he is currently batting in the 2 hole. He is one of the worst hitters in baseball right now. Yet we give him tons of at bats and put loads of pressure on him to produce.
#2: Overbay sucks again. That it took a 10 game hot streak to get him up around 210 before he started plummeting again the last few days. We've now released Ruiz and are stuck with this guy and he flat out needs to produce for us to have a shot.
#3: Our bench is absolutely awful right now. Johnny Mac, Mike Mccoy, Jeremy Reed and Jose Molina? Seriously? Yeah we are going to get Snider back and that is going to push somebody to the bench (hopefully Overpaid). But man... can we at least call up the Big Lubanski or someone with some pop in the meantime?
#4 Gaston is talking about going with a four man rotation. That's an awesome idea, when you have four good pitchers. We have three, Morrow these days is lucky to give us 5 innings. Essentiall this means if any of our other starters struggle to give us innings we are going to have a gassed bullpen. That is the last thing this team needs.
#5 Kevin Gregg has turned up the suck and because of his hot start the Jays may be way out of it before Cito reacts and makes a change if one is necessary.
So what is the solution? Here is what I would do to keep this ship from sinking:
#1: Swap Jose Bautista with Aaron Hill in the batting order. Everywhere we've put Bautista this year he has produced. Moving Hill down in the order will take some pressure off him and in the meantime Bautista will be coming up in the key situations that Hill has been choking in every game.
#2: Encarnacion is going to kill this team with his defence. We all know it. Bautista is by far the superior defensive third basemen. So why not slide Edwin across the diamond? It is a tried and proven tactic to move your worst defender to first base and minimize the damage that player can do to your team D. I'm absolutely convinced Encarnacion's bat is higher value to the team than Overbay. There would also be some value to having a lefty off the bench. We'd then have Edwin on first, Bau on third, Lind DH'ing and Lewis/Wells/Snider in the outfield.
#3: Rommie Lewis to close? I puked in my mouth a bit as I typed that. I wouldn't do this immediately. Gregg has bought himself enough rope to get a few more games to show he can rebound. But if we do need a new closer who would you go to? Back to Frasor? Sure that is an option but we know what we have in Frasor and I like him as a versatile mid innings guy. Shawn Camp? This is intriguing actually. I'd love to see how he would do the way he is throwing right now. But Camp can give us multiple innings a few times a week and he's our best option with inherited runners so I have to say no dice. Which brings us to Rommie Lewis, here is his statline:
Hard to hit - check.
Strikes guys out - check
Solid control - check
AND -- he was closing in AAA so it isn't like the role is new to him. I actually think Rommie might do quite well in the roll.
#4: Go get Kevin Millwood! I never was that big of a Millwood guy in his prime 95+ mph fastball years. But I've grown to appreciate him late in his career. Millwood is a grinder who is a virtual lock to give you 6+ innings every game and keep you in it. With the amount of runs we are scoring he'd win a lot more than he'd lose. He'd also allow us to give Litsch and Rzepczynski some more starts to round into shape before thrusting them into the rotation. When Litsch or Zep is ready they could then push Morrow if he can't develop consistency. Millwood would also go a long way to keeping the pen fresh and would be a great influence on the young staff.
The Sox have caught us, the Yanks and Rays continue to be great... we need to do something to hang around.
That's my 5 cents.