May 23, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Eric Thames (14) reacts after he struck out in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Toronto Blue Jays option Eric Thames

The Toronto Blue Jays have optioned 25-year-old outfielder Eric Thames to Triple-A Las Vegas after a poor start to the season. Thames won the starting job in left field over the powerful Travis Snider, who is currently nursing a wrist injury.

Expect Snider to take back the starting job, but the speedy Rajai Davis will be the starter in LF in the interim due to Snider’s injury. Davis, who is coming off of an awful 2011 season, has already stolen eight bases this year. His 97 wRC+ through 64 plate appearances is a little higher than his career average, but a lot of that has come from an early power boost that will not last (.424 slugging percentage). Still, he has a low .281 OBP mainly due to a .244 BABIP, so that will also normalize. At this point, he is a 0.5-1 WAR player.

Eric Thames, meanwhile, has been nothing short of awful. A poor defensive player, Thames has had a 75 wRC+ in 160 PAs this season and deserves his demotion after a 0.9 WAR rookie season. The Jays need some more offensive production out of their left fielder, especially considering how poor Thames is on defense. He is on pace for a .305 OBP and 15 homers, which isn’t enough. He had a solid 108 wRC+ last year, but his early start to the season shows that he needs to figure things out. Thames has a .308 BABIP and a .243 batting average, so there is more to it than regression.

The Blue Jays have called up Mike McCoy in a corresponding move to take Thames’s place on the roster. The 31-year-old infielder will help provide some depth due to injuries to Kelly Johnson and star shortstop Yunel Escobar. McCoy has had a meager .294 slugging percentage in Triple-A this year, but he has also been getting on base at a .381 clip and made up for a lack of power. Still, McCoy is nothing to write home about and is just veteran depth.

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Tags: Eric Thames Kelly Johnson Mike McCoy Rajai Davis Toronto Blue Jays Travis Snider Yunel Escobar

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