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Blue Jays demote starting left fielder Eric Thames to minors

May 29, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

Blue Jays outfielder Eric Thames warms up in left field during an inter-squad game at their MLB American League spring training facility in Dunedin Reuters

Eric Thames had a solid 95-game debut with Toronto last season and then beat out Travis Snider for the starting left field job during spring training, but the Blue Jays have demoted the 25-year-old to Triple-A after he hit just .243 with three homers and a .652 OPS in 46 games.

That represents a 137-point drop in OPS compared to his rookie production and Thames’ on-base percentage was particularly awful at .288, due largely to a horrible 40/9 K/BB ratio.

Snider is currently on the Triple-A disabled list with a wrist injury, which keeps him from getting the nod to replace Thames despite hitting .333 with a 1.015 OPS in 26 games for Las Vegas.

Instead the Blue Jays seem likely to turn to Rajai Davis as the primary left fielder even though he’s hitting just .220 with a .705 OPS in a part-time role and lost a starting job last season by failing to produce at the plate. Once healthy presumably Snider will get a chance, but the timing of the Thames demotion combined with his injury is interesting.

Vladimir Guerrero continues to work out at the Blue Jays’ spring training complex, but he’s not really an option to play the field regularly at age 37 and likely remains several weeks from potentially joining the team anyway.

  1. proudlycanadian - May 29, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Adam Lind to the outfield? Encarnacion to the outfield? When does Ben Francisco come off the DL?

    • proudlycanadian - May 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      And the answer is utility player Mike McCoy. That makes sense with both Escobar and Johnson hurting.

      • Francisco (FC) - May 29, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        That’s an awful answer, he barely bats his weight!

      • proudlycanadian - May 29, 2012 at 12:22 PM

        McCoy isn’t very heavy either, but both Johnson and Escobar are gimpy. Johnson hit well yesterday, but was unable to run full speed on the base paths.

  2. Francisco (FC) - May 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    This is really odd, what’s the rush? Is Davis going to be that much better than Thames? Might as well wait for Snider to be healthy before making a move.

    • proudlycanadian - May 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      With both Escobar and Johnson hurting but not enough to go on the DL, the Jays needed infield depth and brought up Mike McCoy. McCoy can also play in the outfield. Thames will likely be recalled later in the season.

      • Francisco (FC) - May 29, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        What you’re saying is that the switch is due to a situation in the INFIELD and not the OUTFIELD? Tough Luck Thames!

      • proudlycanadian - May 29, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        An alternative option was to DFA Cordero instead of sending down Thames.

  3. missthemexpos - May 29, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Amazing the Jays are winning more than loosing, considering the number of regulars that have stunk it up this season (Lind, Bautista, Thames, Rasmus, most of the bullpen). Thankfully E5 and the starters(not including the recent Texas experience) have helped to keep the Jays in the mix.

  4. b7p19 - May 29, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    That is by far the best picture of Eric Thames I have ever seen.

    • rollinghighwayblues - May 29, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      Isn’t it? Ah!

    • Francisco (FC) - May 29, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      What do you mean Eric Thames picture? Where in the picture is… ohh…right, Eric Thames picture.

  5. dirtyharry1971 - May 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    hope Snider (aka easy out) gets healty ASAP, i sure miss his strikeouts, low HR output and very low batting average

    • proudlycanadian - May 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      Hi Harry. I wondered where the thumbs down votes came from, and then I saw your name and ceased wondering.

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