The cat came back

Frank Catalanotto is back in town this weekend, now a member of the Texas Rangers after signing with them during the offseason. Though he currently owns a .143 batting average, the ‘Cat’ will surely claw his way out soon enough. He’s simply too good a hitter not to.

Catalanotto The Blue Jays certainly know that, having witnessed his prowess with the bat during his four seasons in Toronto (2003-06). During that time, Catalanotto compiled a .299 career average as a Blue Jay. That’s higher than Tony Fernandez (.297), John Olerud (.293), Vernon Wells (.289) and Shawn Green (.286). In fact, only Paul Molitor (.315), Roberto Alomar (.307) and Shannon Stewart (.301) own higher batting averages in a Blue Jay uniform than Catalanotto — among those players with at least 1500 at-bats.

Perhaps Catalanotto’s greatest individual accomplishment with Toronto came on May 1, 2004, when he etched his name into the Jays’ record books. During the second game of a doubleheader against the White Sox that day, the ‘Cat’ became the first player in Blue Jay history to record six hits in a single game. His 6-for-6 performance during the 10-6 Toronto victory, included singles in the first, second, fourth, fifth and eighth innings, as well as a double in the seventh.

Though the term gets thrown around much too often these days, Frank Catalanotto is truly one of the game’s underrated ‘professional hitter’s’. Taking nothing away from Wells, Troy Glaus or Alex Rios, but I know that during Catalanotto’s tenure with Toronto, if a situation arose where a key base hit was needed against a right-hander, I’d have wanted Catalanotto up — every time.

Check out Catalanotto’s performance courtesy of MLB Advanced Media … (unfortunately, the White Sox announcers greatly downplay (of course) the significant achievement)

The Blue Jays turn a near comeback into another blown game Saturday afternoon, as the Rangers come out victors, 9-8, in a back-and-forth affair at Rogers Centre … After the Blue Jays take a 7-5 lead in the eighth, Jason Frasor gets pegged with his second blown save of the season, allowing three runs in the ninth … Though Royce Clayton ties the score with an RBI single in the bottom half, Texas scores again in the tenth to steal the win … It is announced Saturday that Josh Towers will be moved to the bullpen, while Victor Zambrano will assume the No. 5 spot in the rotation … Losers of two in a row, the Blue Jays (11-12) look to Tomo Ohka Sunday to right the ship …

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