Sunday, May 02, 2004


If Derek Jeter dropped his mojo in that nasty collision at the Skydome with Ken Huckaby last season, it looks like Chris Woodward was more than happy to pick it up for him.

Going into Sunday, Jeter is hitting .166/.255/.232 with Woodward putting up a line of .323/.384/.538. Even more impressive, Woodward is hitting .356/.388/.578 against righties. Even though he is only hitting .250 against lefties so far, he still has an OBP of .375 and is slugging .450 against them.

I'd like to tell you that Chris's L/R splits will balance out but Chris's track record is a bit weird in that while he did hit over .300 against lefties and .242 against righties in the 2003 season, in the 2002 season he actually hit over .300 against righties and an atrocious .149 mark against southpaws. Why the flip-flop, I'm not sure. But at the very least this tells me that he has the talent to hit both lefties and righties very well, if not within the same season, and if he is finally finding a balance between the two, as he seems to be, then all of J.P. Riccardi's lip service as to how talented Woodward is might not be such hot air after all.

WARNING!: The remainder of this entry is mainly idle conjecture and me rambling out loud.

Of course with Russ Adams and Aaron Hill on the way (this might be what finally motivated Chris to get his poop together), it's only a matter of time before Woodward will have to make way or the Jays will have to do some shuffling. Moving Eric Hinske to 1st when and if Delgado leaves is certainly an idea to explore with the way Hinske plays defensively, and then Adams, Hill, or Woodward could take over at 3rd. There is also the very distinct possibility that if Woodward stays relatively hot the Jays might trade him for some much needed bullpen or starting help. This is probably the most likely scenario, given the fact that Hinske is locked up for five and Orlando Hudson is probably the best defensive 2nd baseman in baseball (yeah, you heard me) and the Jays sure need his glove playing on turf and all.

Anywho, I'm getting a little bit a head of myself here, Woodward might revert back to his former self, although which of the 2003 or 2002 Woodward I'm not sure, and the Blue Jays will have a much easier decision on their hands.

OOPS!: No sooner than I found a silver lining for poor Carlos Tosca, I find out that Woodward had to leave last night's game with a tight hamstring. To which Jose Reyes said, "SHUT IT DOWN!".

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