Wednesday September 9, 2009 12:00 am
John McDonald Cracks Number…Two
John McDonald is on a tear. Last night, he cracked his second home run of the season; a three-run shot that gives him a whopping seven RBI in 2009. The blast brings him within one of tying a season high and he now totals 11 home runs in his 11 year career. Like I said, John McDonald is on a tear.
Realistically, McDonald is a bench player. As the backup shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays, McDonald has suffered from limited playing time in the last few seasons, but when his name has been scratched into the lineup, he’s wowed fans on a nightly basis with acrobatic defensive stops and highlight-reel plays. The only thing that has kept him out of the everyday lineup is his below-average bat. His under-.240 batting average over his career has been enough of a hindrance to his team to drop him to a utility position with the Jays.
McDonald will be a free agent at the end of the season, and manager Cito Gaston is giving him every chance he can get to prove his worth to interested teams. He’ll turn 35 on September 24, and having spent the majority of his career as a backup shortstop, he’s dedicated himself to making as much of the opportunity that has been given to him. Earlier this season he made his first career start in left field. Literally. The man had never played left field professionally, not just in the Major Leagues. His one play was a fly ball that he handled with perfection.
Toronto loves John McDonald. Go to YouTube and search for his highlight reel plays. You’ll see dozens of videos documenting exactly why there are thousands of fans who have bought the jersey and proudly wear the number “6” of a bench player whose hard work and dedication to improving has only given him the chance to play more than 100 games in a season twice. At this point in his career, he’s not going to improve his bat any more, so the fact that Toronto is giving him all the chances he needs to prove his worth as a defensive replacement, but with his resume at the plate, even a golden glove won’t help him very much.
- Related Tags:
- american league east, bench player, career, free agent, home run, john mcdonald, major league baseball, toronto blue jays, utility man
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