Here today, gone tomorrow

Baseball can be very unforgiving. And that’s especially true for players on the downswing of their careers.

Take David Dellucci, for example.

A veteran of 12 major-league seasons, Dellucci was released by the Cleveland Indians at the end of May after appearing in just 14 games in his third year with the ballclub. Prior to that, he had played for five different organizations.

So, at 35 years of age, Dellucci was left searching for an employer once again. Only this time he knew that the number of suitors would be fewer this time around. Fortunately, the Louisiana native found a caller in the Toronto Blue Jays, who signed him to a minor-league deal on June 10.

“When we got him, I was hoping that he could come in and help us from the left side, as far as swinging the bat and giving us a little bit more pop from that side,” Jays’ manager Cito Gaston said. “If he goes back to his old form … and can hit us some home runs and drive in some runs, we really could use that help. That’s kind of what he’s here for.”

Although he got off to a slow start at Triple-A Las Vegas, Dellucci rebounded quickly, posting a .375 (15-for-40) average in his last 10 games with the 51s before earning a call up to the big club last week.

Of course, Dellucci was thrilled to get the call, but he also knew very well what he was getting into.

“For me, every day in a baseball uniform is a bonus,” the 35-year-old said. “Who knows? You have to go out there and play to realize if you’re coming toward the end of your career or not.”

So far, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the veteran in his early days with the Jays. Including tonight’s 0-for-2, two-strikeout performance against the Rays in a 3-1 Toronto loss, Dellucci is 0-for-13 in his first four starts in the outfield.

The unfortunate reality is that Dellucci is likely on a short leash. Though the Jays’ minor-league system doesn’t exactly have a ‘sure thing’ major-league ready left fielder to take over the job, they certainly have some bats down in the minors capable of getting their own tryout with the big club (in fact, the left field position may continue to operate as a revolving door for the foreseeable future). So, while 15 plate appearances is far from enough to prove oneself, Dellucci simply doesn`t have the luxury of getting 100 at-bats before decisions are made.

One thing’s for certain considering Dellucci: the veteran is going to have to start producing soon. Otherwise, the end of his career may come sooner than he`d prefer.

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2 Responses to “Here today, gone tomorrow”

  1. eyebleaf Says:

    FREE BUCK COATS!1

  2. TD Says:

    Coats has definitely earned a shot. He might be the next in line for this left field carousel the Jays got goin on.

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