Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is moving from the outfield to third base. This does nothing but increases the already high value of Jose Bautista.
Jose Bautista had steroid-like numbers last year going from 13 homeruns in 2009 to a whopping 54 dingers in 2010. This year, Bautista is proving last year was no fluke; he has 23 taters already.
The Blue Jays had thought about moving Bautista to third coming out of spring training, but they went with Edwin Encarnacion instead. Encarnacion has struggled defensively and the Jays third basemen this season are hitting a combined .177 on the season. Not hard to see why the change was made.
Manager John Farrell said that Bautista has been taking ground balls at third base over the past week and he will begin his stint at the hot corner this week. Taking his place in the Jays’ outfield is Eric Thames.
As for Thames, he’ll see a lot of at bats in the Toronto outfield so long as he doesn’t unexpectedly struggle at the plate. He’ll likely join Corey Patterson and Rajai Davis in the Blue Jays outifeld after Bautista makes the switch.
“Thames is really swinging a hot bat down in Las Vegas. He’s done a good job,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. “Thames is going to be getting a lot of at-bats.”
That’s an understatement. Thames is having a great year in Vegas. In 53 games, he is batting .352 with 25 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 45 runs batted in. In June he is batting .375 for Las Vegas with eight doubles, two triples, one home run and 15 RBI in 17 games.
Sounds like Eric Thames is the kind of guy you’ll want to consider on your waiver wire this week.