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Tom Verducci's View
Tom Verducci
July 31, 2006
PEACE COMES TO THE TORONTO CLUBHOUSE
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July 31, 2006

Tom Verducci's View

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DOES LOSING SHEA HILLENBRAND HURT THE BLUE JAYS' LINEUP?
Toronto won't miss Hillenbrand in the clubhouse, and the team can do without the 31-year-old infielder-DH's bat as well. Hillenbrand was not making much of an impact at the plate: He had 14 walks, a .342 on-base percentage (52nd in the league) and a .480 slugging percentage (30th). Hillenbrand's Equivalent Average (EqA)--a Baseball Prospectus calculation that measures a player's total offensive value per out--was only .275, seventh among DHs in the AL. ( Indians DH Travis Hafner leads the league with a .351 EqA.) Hillenbrand's departure allows the Blue Jays to expand the role of rejuvenated outfielder Eric Hinske, who despite a .274 batting average had better OBP (.360), slugging (.535) and EqA (.291) marks than Hillenbrand. Giants fans hoping that Hillenbrand, who's playing first base in San Francisco, will help get them to the playoffs should be warned: His current EqA of .271 ranked 16th among first basemen in the NL, and he's just average in the field.

? More from Tom Verducci and Baseball Prospectus at SI.com/baseball.

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