Oh so close …

You can’t blame Buck Coats if he’s feeling a bit dejected right now. After all, the 26-year-old outfielder came mighty close to receiving a call up to the Blue Jays last Friday.

Instead, J.P. Ricciardi & Co. opted to recall utility man Joe Inglett, who had just returned to the Las Vegas 51s on Thursday after missing a month with a hamstring injury. Inglett, who went 1-for-5 with an RBI against Oklahoma City on Thursday, learned later that he had been called up to the Jays to fill the void left by Travis Snider, whom Toronto sent down to Triple-A to work on his swing and get at-bats every day.

Inglett played a big role with the Blue Jays in 2008, filling in as a leadoff hitter and second baseman when starter Aaron Hill went down with a concussion. In 109 games, the 30-year-old hit .297 with three home runs and 39 RBIs. So it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise when Inglett was tabbed to fill in for Snider.

Still, it could easily have been Buck Coats.

He’s certainly earned the call. In 40 games at Triple-A, the outfielder has batted .318, tops among Las Vegas regulars. His team-high 55 hits, meanwhile, are good for fifth best in the Pacific Coast League. The 51s leadoff hitter also has 28 runs, a .372 on-base percentage, and a team-high 10 stolen bases.

But his call will have to wait. It’s been more than a year since Coats wore a Blue Jays uniform for the first (and only) time. The outfielder broke camp with the big club in 2008, and saw action in 12 games for Toronto before being sent down to Triple-A Syracuse on April 12. In the meantime, he’s switched cities – to Las Vegas – but not leagues.

So how did the 26-year-old react after learning he was bypassed for a ticket to the show? By hitting up a storm, of course.

On Friday night, Coats went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs in a 10-1 drubbing of Oklahoma City. On Saturday, he was 4-for-5 with a run and a stolen base in a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the same RedHawks.

If he keeps swinging it like that, he’s bound to get a shot soon …

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One Response to “Oh so close …”

  1. Ian Says:

    Actually, I never even thought of Buck Coats when they said Snider was being sent down. That is definitely a possibility if someone else gets injured … for the time being I’m glad Inglett is back with the team.

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