Monday, February 25, 2008
I know it's been forever since I did the last Forward Thinking segment, but in my defense...I've been real busy catching up on The Wire. And in the words of Clay Davis....Oh shieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.
With that out of the way....I'm going to move on to the key pitchers after the franchise changing year of 2010.
Roy Halladay - Halladay's the best pitcher on the team right now, and looks to be that way heading into 2010. McGowan looks like he could be a strong #2, and even one of the best pitchers in the game if he continues to improve. But that aside, this franchise revolves around the Doc. He's taken paycuts, he's put this team on his back time and time again, and rumour has it he even saves kittens caught in trees. But you don't hear about that because the media is too busy talking about how Global Warming is somehow responsible for the polar ice caps melting. Look, it's gotta be -20 on any given day here, and I gotta say, I'm not buying it. I mean come on, they talk about it in the summer too - hey wait a second, it's hot in the summer - someone should tell them ice melts when it's hot!
....Wait where was I? Right. Doc. Yeah, if this team is winning (and they damn well better be), Doc's gonna be here.
AJ Burnett - AJ's contract runs through 2010, but JP decided that since all the cool kids were getting opt-outs, that Burnett should get one too. So here's how I see it - if AJ does well this year, he opts out. If AJ needs TJ or various other injuries derail his season, he'll be here till 2010. But odds are, he won't be here past 2010.
Dustin McGowan - After years of having the potential or even 'bust' label, McGowan had his long awaited breakout in 07. He's going to be here for a long time, and you bet he'll be here past 2010. Probably the only guy in the organization who could best Doc in any given year going forward, and that's saying something about how talented he is.
Shaun Marcum - Solid pitcher, although others believe he still has to prove himself to prove 07 wasn't a fluke. That's fair, although I think he's more a 4.00 ERA type guy goin forward. For a #4/5 starter, I'll take it. Unless Purcey/Cecil/Romero or others develop within the next 2 years and overtake him, Marcum looks to be here for a couple of years at the least.
Casey Janssen - I'm hoping Casey is a starter going forward. He'll be on the team after 2010, although if Purcey et all develop he might be pushed to the pen. I think he's got significantly more value going forward, and should do a better job than Marcum.
BJ Ryan - Before we get to 2010, let's focus on 2008 for him. I hope he's ready, and I hope they don't rush him. That being said, he's another guy who's contract runs through 2010. While I'd like to see them re-sign him, if JP decides he needs to go cheap in the pen (due to hopefully long-term deals to Dusty, Hill & Rios to name a few) Ryan may not be here past 2010. But since I can't stand on the fence, I'll say he's got a good chance of being here a bit longer, if productive.
Jeremy Accardo - After a lousy start in 06, Accardo had a phenomenal 2007. Taking over as the closer and absolutely dominating everyone in sight. One of the team MVP's in 07, Accardo's going to build off a strong season and be a key man in the pen for the forseeable future. He'll be here in 2010, and hopefully beyond.
Brandon League - My favourite reliever on the team. Throws 100, strikes out a fair amount, excellent control, and amazing GB rates. I'd be willing to bet he's our best reliever over the next few years, and that's high praise from this anonymous blogger. Plus, he's got wicked goggles. I'll bet Gary Sheffield is more afraid of the goggles than the 100 MPH fastball dancing all over the place.
Scott Downs - He's been extended till 2010, and I don't think the Jays will extend him beyond that point. By then either Cecil will be in the pen, or Downs simply won't be as effective. It's a damn shame cause I like Downs, but I just don't see it happening.
Jason Frasor - Throws poorly for 2 weeks and Gibbons refuses to use him the rest of the season. I can't see him staying considering how many talented arms are in front of him....
Brian Tallet - He's a lot better than people give him credit for. He's got terrific strand rates on inherited runners (going off memory here...), and as long as he isn't used on consecutive days or multiple innings he'll get you through the night. If he's here, it'll be because he hasn't reached 6 years of service time. I can't see the Jays extending him.
Brian Wolfe - He's a great pitcher against RH hitters, but lefties have this habit of hitting the ball where the fielders ain't. I'm not a big fan of Wolfe, so I hope he isn't on the team unless it's as a 7th reliever type guy, or if they don't expose him to lefties...