Since so central to the path forward to LCS (and beyond), I thought worthwhile to share for any who didn't see Jay's press conference today. I've been thinking along exactly the same lines without a tenth of the knowledge he obviously has. Excerpted from the transcript posted to Jamie Ramsey's blog:

Q. What do you see from Joey right now? Doesn’t seem like he’s driving it like he has been, but he’s still hitting the ball.

JAY BRUCE: I see that. I don’t think Joey feels 100 percent, but he’s a “hit getter.” If you were to ask me who do you think the next person would be to hit .400 in a season, I would have to say him. I’m not going to say he’s going to go out there and do that, but Joey has the ability and the talent level that not a lot of people have because he sets such a precedent with his offensive game. One year he hit 30 home runs, 25, 26, 29. I would consider that setting a precedent for a guy that hits like he does, hits 40 some doubles.
But even when he’s not able to do that, he can take the other aspects of his game and make them the best in the league. He got on base although a .470 something percentage, that’s an alarming rate.
He missed eight weeks and he walked almost 100 times. That’s not something that a lot of people do, they play the full season and that’s what they’re best at. Joey’s best asset is the ability to not make outs and doing that tends to help you score runs, and even when he’s not driving the ball he’s the best at getting on base.
It’s something special to see because, like I said, you take a huge component of his game and he can almost transform himself into a different player, that’s still the best. It’s pretty exciting to have him on your team, you know? I tell you what, if you need somebody on base, he’s the guy.

Link to full transcript here: