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.