Cleveland Indians’ outfielder Shelley Duncan, after being removed from the Tribe’s 40 man roster and outrighted to AAA Columbus, has chosen free agency.
Duncan would be a good fit on the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays.
The Jays aren’t likely to get serious consideration from Type A free agents this winter. By everyone’s admission, they had a dreadful 2012 season, and 2013 may also be disappointing. Until the kids develop and the rotation is restored, they’ll have to patch the lineup with a veteran here and a fringe free agent there to stay competitive.
Enter David Shelley Duncan, son of former major league pitching coach Dave Duncan; about whom the fan doesn’t hear much, but who plays the game as it should be played: hard, with heart, all the time.
Your Jays Writer, over two years of listening to Indians’ games, recalls the times when Duncan, inserted in the Tribe’s injury-riddled lineup or as a pinch hitter, got the hit that gave them a lead. The old hand who can play once or twice a week, or come through after sitting all night, is a good guy to have on the roster.
Duncan, for the Jays, could pinch hit and DH, occasionally play first, and back up the outfield corners. His presence would also allow Anthony Gose to learn how to use his speed, and Moises Sierra to master the use of sunglasses, in the minors.
He hit .203 in 81 games in 2012, and is a lifetime .229 hitter with 41 homers in parts of six seasons. Not a star, but a journeyman who plays the game right and gets the most out of his ability. Another of the writer’s favorite kinds of players.
And the writer would find the major leagues a lesser place without at least one guy named Shelley on a roster.