With Aubrey Huff and Eli Whiteside on the first-place Giants roster, Miguel Tejada, Jerry Hairston, and Oscar Salazar on the second-place Padres roster, and Melvin Mora and Jay Payton playing for the Rockies, a whole slew of ex-O's will have a say in the N. L. West pennant chase. Pretty weird.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Jay Payton, 2009 Topps Black #189
Just when you thought it was safe to watch National League West baseball, Jay Payton went and rose from the dead. Yes, the 37-year-old outfielder was probably the oldest September callup for any club, as he received a late-season promotion from the Rockies. After he produced a grisly .250/.292/.363 slash line for the Orioles in two seasons, he was out of the major leagues - indeed, out of baseball altogether - in 2009. But the former first-round draft pick of the Mets signed a minor league deal with Colorado in 2010 and batted .323 with 36 doubles for Colorado Springs in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. As the Rockies make yet another furious late-season push for the playoffs, they've used Jay largely as a pinch hitter and defensive replacement. So far, it's paying off; he's hit safely in five of ten at-bats (.500) with a couple of doubles and the Rox are only a game and a half out of first place.