Here Comes the Cavalry?
After much speculation of a trade to boost the offense, J.P. brought in a duo that at first seems rather underwhelming: Brad Wilkerson and Kevin Mench. What’s funny is that before they became castoffs this year, are both guys who Ricciardi has had a very serious hard-on for years. Before he bloomed, rumours of Rios for either of these guys were circulating.
While not the seismic (read: Bonds) move a lot of Jays fans were hoping for, these are both bargains with some possible potential (and how many blockbusters really happen at this time of year?) The Jays have gone from crushing lefties to being dominated by them with the loss of lefty-killers Frank Thomas and Troy Glaus, and Mench has stunning recent results and career numbers of .305/.361/.561 against LHP. Mench and Stairs are a heck of a platoon.
Wilkerson on the other hand has been nothing more than average since he was 27 (he’s now 31), but he was free and says that his struggles this year were largely due to an spring training injury that he’s over now. (But then does anyone ever say: “boy I just suck now?”)
To me, this is an admittance that Shannon Stewart’s power is never going to return (*cough* told you so *cough*), because once everyone comes of the DL, one of them will have to go. Unless the team decides to go with 5 outfielders and hope that the rotation stays so strong that the bullpen doesn’t need all seven currently in it, which would mean that Syracuse is going to have at least a couple of major league pitchers on the staff once Wolfe comes back.
With Wells undergoing further tests today on his “jammed” wrist, we could be seeing a lot (and needing a lot) out of these two guys. Fortunately, we have a gold glove center fielder in Rios waiting to let his inner Gazelle out patrolling center field…