Which Jays were better — 2010 or '11?

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:58 PM ET

TORONTO - Which Blue Jays team was better — the 2011 edition, or the team we watched in 2010?

Here is a position by position comparison of the players who saw the most playing time at each position in 2010 and 2011.

CATCHER

Year Name Gms Avg HRs RBIs OPS

2011 J.P. Arencibia 129 .219 23 76 . 720

2010 John Buck 118 .281 20 66 .802

Advantage: Buck had a better average and OPS, but for a first-year player, we’ll take the rookie, who they say is better at blocking balls in the dirt.

FIRST BASE

Year Name Gms Avg HRs RBIs OPS

2011 Adam Lind 126 .251 23 78 .734

2010 Lyle Overbay 153 .245 20 67 .768

Advantage: Overbay was almost run out of Dodge for a lack of production. Lind’s production is a tad better. Although he did compile them in 27 less games and impressed the Jays with his defence around the base. He did have an ugly .297 on-base mark.

SECOND BASE

Year Name Gms Avg HRs RBIs OPS

2011 Kelly Johnson 33 .270 3 9 .770

2011 Aaron Hill 104 .225 6 45 .584

2010 Aaron Hill 138 .205 26 68 .665

Advantage: The old version of Hill wins for fun with 26 homers. He tried to be a home run guy with the Jays with a mighty upper cut swing producing a lot of pop ups and high flies to the warning track.

THIRD BASE

Year Name Gms Avg HRs RBIs OPS

2011 Jayson Nix 46 .169 4 16 .554

2011 Brett Lawrie 43 .293 9 25 .953

2010 Edwin Encarnacion 95 .243 21 51 .779

Advantage: Encarnacion produced more offence a year ago, yet Lawrie’s burst in 43 games is something to look forward to. Some argued he should have made the team out of Florida, but two months in Vegas helped his development. He was supposed to be promoted in June but was injured.

SHORTSTOP

Year Name Gms Avg HRs RBIs OPS

2011 Yunel Escobar 134 .290 11 48 .782

2010 Alex Gonzalez 85 .259 17 65 .793

2010 Yunel Escobar 59 .276 4 16 .696

Advantage: We’ll take this year’s Escobar as he increased his average and power numbers. Did the job as a lead-off hitter and solid in the field.

LEFT FIELD

Year Name Gms Avg HRs RBIs OPS

2011 Eric Thames 95 .262 12 37 .771

2011 Travis Snider 49 .225 3 30 .616

2010 Fred Lewis 110 .262 8 36 .745

2010 Travis Snider 82 .255 14 32 .767

Advantage: Snider was demoted early and Lewis could not hold the everyday job. Thames hit well enough with an aggressive approach. Yet he will still have to compete for the starting job next spring with Snider, Adam Loewen, Rajai Davis ... and maybe even Anthony Gose. Unsettled.

CENTRE FIELD

Year Name Gms Avg HRs RBIs OPS

2011 Rajai Davis 95 .238 1 29 .623

2011 Colby Rasmus 35 .173 3 13 .529

2010 Vernon Wells 157 .273 31 88 .847

Advantage: Ah, next question. Wells had 31 homers, his replacements four. Rasmus is a gazelle, but after homering in back-to-back games on the coast he hit .073 (4-for-55 with 23 strikeouts).

RIGHT FIELD

Year Name Gms Avg HRs RBIs OPS

2011 Jose Bautista 149 .302 43 103 1.060

2010 Jose Bautista 161 .260 54 124 .995

Advantage: Few thought Bautista would hit 54 homers — he might have hit 50, but he played 12 fewer games. Hit .300, led the league in OPS and is an outside MVP candidate.

DH

Year Name Gms Avg HRs RBIs OPS

2011 Edwin Encarnacion 134 .272 17 55 .787

2010 Adam Lind 150 .237 23 72 .712

Advantage: Upped his average over Lind and was a doubles machine (36 to lead the team). Solid contributor.

ROTATION

Year Name W-L ERA GS IP BB SO

2011 Ricky Romero 15-11 2.92 32 225.0 80 178

2011 Brandon Morrow 11-11 4.78 30 179.1 69 203

2011 Brett Cecil 4-11 4.73 20 123.2 42 87

2011 Jo-Jo Reyes 5-8 5.40 20 111.0 35 64

2011 Kyle Drabek 4-5 6.06 14 78.1 55 51

2010 Ricky Romero 14-9 3.73 32 210.0 82 174

2010 Shaun Marcum 13-8 3.64 31 195.1 43 165

2010 Brett Cecil 15-7 4.22 28 172.2 54 117

2010 Brandon Morrow 10-7 4.49 26 146.1 66 178

2010 Marc Rzepczynski 4-4 4.95 12 63.2 30 57

Advantage: What does it say about this year’s rotation when the man with the third highest win total (five), Reyes, was released in July. Drabek made 15 starts at triple-A Vegas, Cecil 12. Henderson Alvarez made 10 starts.

CLOSER

Year Name W-L ERA S G IP BB SO

2011 Frank Francisco 1-4 3.55 17 54 50.2 18 53

2011 Jon Rauch 5-4 4.85 11 53 52.0 14 36

2010 Kevin Gregg 2-6 3.51 37 63 59.0 30 58

Advantage: Francisco had a strong finish, converting 17 of 21 saves (81%), after losing his job to Rauch 11-for-16 (69%). A year ago Gregg was 37-for-43 (86%). In all, the relievers blew 25 saves.


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