Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Losing Hoffpauir a Calculated Move

The Jays placed Jarrett Hoffpauir on waivers to try and create some roster flexibility and lost him to San Diego Padres. It was a calculated move on AA's part but one that won't cause much hardship or give AA any heartburn. Why? Because the Jays have a similar player in Brad Emaus already on the roster who is capable of playing both 2B and 3B, has some power, and just above average defense.

Though Hoffpauir had slightly better stats at AAA, he had 2 auditions with the Jays this year and didn't distinguish himself in either. Granted the sample size is small, but obviously the Jays saw enough to decide it would be a minor loss if claimed on waivers. Remember also, that Emaus has had strong spring training performances the last couple of years so after a solid year at Las Vegas, they may be setting him up for a possible audition at 2B if they decide to leave Bautista in RF and move Aaron Hill to 3B as he offered to do.

Though not flashy or dramatic, Emaus is a solid player hitting .298 with 10 homers and an OBP of .395. If you extrapolate his numbers for at bats (Emaus had 40% fewer than Hoffpauir) then the homer and RBI totals are almost identical. The Jays simply didn't need to protect two players of the same type on the roster though they'd have kept Hoffpauir around as insurance in the minors if he had slipped through waivers. Barring an offseason infield moves, Emaus could be competing for the second base job in the spring with Hill playing third.

I don't think anyone including AA thinks this is the ideal solution so I expect some offseason activity, but this is likely the fall back situation the team has in mind.

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