Gose's Defense or Cabrera's Bat? Who is the Better Left Field Option for the Toronto Blue Jays?

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COMMENTARY | Who is the better left field option for the Toronto Blue Jays? Highly touted Triple-A prospect Anthony Gose or veteran slugger Melky Cabrera?

GOSE IS CLOSE

Gose made his first start of the 2013 season on Wednesday's 4-3 extra inning come back victory over Tampa Bay by replacing Cabrera in the lineup. The 22-year-old is known for spectacular defense and lightening fast speed.

The 6'1", 190 pounder showed no signs of jitters as he was thrust into the lead-off spot. Gose crunched a first inning double and came around to score, while going 1-4 overall at the plate.

A California native, Gose's calling card is the highlight reel dives and catches he makes look easy (see two examples here). It is the hitting component of his game that is a work in progress.

Based on batting statistics alone it was somewhat of a surprise that No. 8 got a call up to the big leagues. A .227 average, 35 hits and 41 strikeouts in 154 plate appearances on Toronto's farm team in Buffalo hardly screams major league ready.

Gose may possess the tools to be the left fielder of the future, but who gives the Jays the better chance to win today?

MELKY IS CLICKING

After going homerless in April, the often criticized Melky Cabrera finally broke out of his slump on May 5.

Slamming his first long ball as a Blue Jay in the club's 10-2 victory over Seattle, Cabrera's extra-base hits are what really stand out as we approach the end of this month.

Amassing only a trio of extra-base knocks over his first 31 games, Melky has more than tripled that amount in May. His batting average over the past 23 days is .338 compared to a dismal .241 for April.

Could No. 53 be turning the corner?

Fears that the left fielder was useless without performance-enhancing drugs as his sidekick may have been premature. Like so many veterans coming out of spring training, maybe it was just a slow start.

He's not free and clear quite yet. Reoccurring irritations in the switch hitter's right quad and left hamstring make him a liability on the base paths and in the outfield.

Manager John Gibbons has been successfully juggling both players in and out of the lineup over the last couple of matchups due to Cabrera's injury.

In Thursday night's 12-6 thrashing of the Baltimore Orioles, Melky went 1-for-3 with a walk and Gose relieved him late and picked up a single.

The best strategy for Gibbons may be that even when Cabrera is back at 100-percent to consisently plug in Gose.

If done correctly then the Blue Jays can get the best of both worlds. Speed and defense from the youngster, while the experienced pro delivers doubles and RBIs.

Follow Andy McNamara on Twitter @AndyMc81

Andy is a sports journalist and broadcaster with over 8-years experience covering professional, collegiate and minor league sports

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