It’s no secret that Cito Gaston has fallen out of favour with Blue Jays fans, or at the very least, with Blue Jays bloggers. But the team is bringing him back for another season, so we may as well try to find something positive in it. It’s no easy task, but I may have found something to watch.
I may be grasping at straws and possibly a little delusional, but bear with me.
I really like the addition of Joey Gathright (and not just because he can jump over cars). Good defence, lots of speed, a real threat on the basepaths — that’s a player that could be really entertaining to watch. He could also be frustrating as all get out, since he seems to have real trouble getting on base.
So, trying to justify my little bit of excitement over this signing, I realized that the situation seems a little bit familiar. I seem to remember that the Jays of yesteryear brought in an outfielder with tons of athletic ability, stupendous speed, amazing defence and real difficulties getting on base. I also remember how a certain man named Gaston helped turn this speedy outfielder’s approach around and in the process creating the dangerous W of WAMCO.
Now, I’m not saying that Joey Gathright is anywhere near as good as Devon White on one of White’s bad days, but I can certainly see the similarities.
Before joining the Jays, White’s best OBP was a disappointing .306. Gathright’s coming in with a career OBP of .327.
In his first year with the Jays, White’s OBP went all the way up to .342. Now, that’s not spectacular, but it was enough combined with all of his other gifts to win over Toronto fans.
Who’s credited with White’s development at the plate? None other than Cito.
Does Gathright have the potential to produce at a Devo-like pace? Since potential isn’t something that can really be measured, I’m going to just say yes.
Does Cito have it in him to turn Gathright’s career around? Probably not, but let’s hope so. It may be The Manager’s last chance (barring some miracle PLAYOFFS!!!1) to leave his position on a positive note.
I know this post has holes big enough to drive a truck through, so go ahead if you feel inclined. I just saw a loose connection and really, really want to hope for the best.