Sports Outside the Beltway

Jays Place Overbay on DL, Call Up Prospect Thigpen

TORONTO — The Blue Jays put first baseman Lyle Overbay on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken right hand Tuesday and recalled catcher Curtis Thigpen from Triple-A Syracuse.

Thigpen is one of Toronto’s top prospects and is athletic enough to make the Blue Jays consider moving him to the infield. He played four games at second base earlier this season.

In 44 games at Syracuse, he hit .299 with three homers and 16 RBIs.

Overbay is expected to miss four to six weeks. He was injured in Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox when he was hit by a pitch from John Danks.

Overbay was just beginning to come out of an early-season funk when he was hurt. In 55 games, he was hitting .256 with eight homers and 27 RBIs.

Pitcher John Thomson was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Thigpen on the 40-man roster. – The Associated Press

This is a pretty big blow for the Blue Jays but did they really have a shot this year? Let me get to my point.

Curtis Thigpen is a great athlete. Like the article said, he plays catcher mainly but is athletic enough to appear in 4 games at 2B. At 5’11 and 190 he’s not your typical catcher but he is the Jays catcher of the future.

In my opinion, the Jays should not play Thigpen at 1B in Lyle Overbay’s absence. Thigpen just turned 24 and needs to stay at catcher and harness his abilities behind the plate. He also doesn’t fit the prototypical first baseman’s build and power.

Thigpen has only 25 career homers in 1096 at-bats in the minors but he has 65 doubles and 9 triples. He is more of a gap hitter. He does have the ability to develop more power and could be a 10-15 homer guy annually. He has a great knowledge of the strike zone with a BB/K ratio of 157/176 in his minor league career and a .374 on-base percentage.

If the Jays are serious about his development they should either leave him in AAA at catcher or let him catch for the big league club now.

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