If all shakes down right, the outfield we're seeing now should be the Jays' starting outfield for years to come. As long as, you know, Vernon stops landing on himself funny and Rios maintains a consistent grip on his stroke. But Lind looks great, doesn't he?
For real, major league rosters are fluid things, and there's really no telling what the starting L-C-R trio will be in 2010 or beyond, but if all three of those guys play to their potential (matching, or even approaching, career bests for Wells and Rios, while Lind becomes the kind of player we've all been waiting for him to become, and sorta like he looks right now), then I like the hell out of our outfield. I'd put it up against anybody's.
If, on the other hand, Lind fizzles, Wells continues to play tag with the DL (and generally suck it up when he is healthy), and Rios seems more interested in his neat-o RC helicopters than with crushing hanging breakers, well then we're saddled with a sorry bunch. (These either/or scenarios make baseball interesting, don't they?) But hey, I hear Shannon Stewart's available.
And about that... Keeping Stewart coming out of Spring Training made sense. The fact that it didn't work out does not ipso facto mean that it was a bad move. And just because Reed Johnson hasn't dragged the Chicago Cubs down into oblivion does not indicate that JP went with the wrong guy. The Jays played the numbers. In the end, all they needed was a placeholder for Lind, anyway. Lind's in, Shannon's out and Reed's in Wrigleyville. All seems fine to me.
The Litsch is Back
Jesse returns from the 'Cuse to start Thursday, pushing poster boy for Canadian politeness Scott Richmond ("Want me to miss the Olympics? Okay. The bullpen? I'll defer to your experience here, sir.") to the bullpen. Cito says that the issues that Jesse was sent down to work on (like, say, blowing a tire as May rolled over into June) have been resolved. We'll see. You have to wonder, when a starter hits a shitty streak like Litsch did, how much is mechanics and how much is mental. Might have been Litsch's youth showing. I was a "Jesse for 5th Starter" standard bearer out of Dunedin, and I think he's a number five guy going forward, so long as he can avoid streaks like the one he suffered through. Or maybe history will see that I'm wrong. Who frigging knows?
And Another Thing
They played a game last night... and won! Take a look at that box score. A thing of beauty, no? RBIs for Rios, Wells, Stairs, Barajas (3!) and Lind. Good lines from Marcum, League, Downs and Ryan. Things working as they should. Had they not been swept by the Indians (!), we might be looking at some real momentum here.