Sizzling at the dish

Trivia question …

Who leads the Blue Jays in on-base percentage? Is it Marco Scutaro, the team’s leadoff hitter? He’s had great success in that spot this year, drawing more walks (40) than any other leadoff hitter in the majors (that also ranks second-highest in the American League). Or is it Adam Lind, perhaps the most patient hitter on the club? After all, he sees more pitches per plate appearance than any other Blue Jay. Or is it Scott Rolen? One of the steadiest hitters for Toronto this season, he currently owns a .294 batting average and is tied with the fewest strikeouts (23) among Blue Jay regulars.

No, no, and no. (although their .399, .377 and .367 on-base marks, respectively, are certainly nothing to be scoffed at).

The correct answer, though, is Lyle Overbay, who stepped off the field Sunday following a 4-0 win over the Kansas City Royals with a .404 on-base percentage. Overbay went 2-for-3 on the afternoon with a walk and a solo homer, his seventh of the season to help lift Roy Halladay to his major league-leading 10th win of the campaign.

The second inning homer extended Overbay’s current hitting streak to 13 games, matching Aaron Hill’s (May 17-30) mark for the longest streak by a Blue Jay this season. During that 13-game stretch, Overbay is batting .452 (19-for-42) with seven doubles and 12 RBIs. His batting average has gone from .237 to .302 in the process.

Now the question is, will Overbay – the hottest hitter on the Jays right now – start seeing more playing time against left-handed starting pitchers? Though he’s started a handful of games against lefties, Kevin Millar has received the bulk of the playing time against southpaws this year, resulting in Overbay sitting on the bench.

That wasn’t such a big deal when Overbay was cruising along with a .260 average. But will things change now that his bat has heated up? It might be in manager Cito Gaston’s best interests to ride his left-handed hitting first baseman’s hot hitting as long as he can.

As it stands right now, Gaston won’t be forced to make a decision for at least the next three games, as the Blue Jays will face a trio of right-handed hurlers in Arlington for their first three games against the Texas Rangers. The series’ fourth starter has yet to be announced …

Editor’s Note: On Monday it was announced that Overbay was named American League Player of the Week (for the week ending June 7). In six games, the Jays’ first baseman hit .533 (8-for-15) with two home runs and eight RBIs).

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3 Responses to “Sizzling at the dish”

  1. eyebleaf Says:

    Lyle thinks it’s 2006 again.

    He’s got such a sweet swing. And dude has always been crazy patient at the plate. I heart Lyle.

  2. Masterclark Says:

    I also heart Lyle. Last year was blamed on his hand still not being 100%, maybe the hernia stuff (and maybe not playing everday) affected him and now he’s healthy and back to form … hopefully.

  3. TD Says:

    Yeah, back to form would be great. Now he’s got the longest hit streak (14 games) by a Jay this year!

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