Sunday, 24 February 2008

Shannon Stewart?

No, not THAT Shannon Stewart (but hey, which pic had you rather look at, this one or the one over at the Mockingbird?)

Aaaanywho....what was I talking about?

OH YEAH! The OTHER Shannon Stewart! Well, it seems the Jays have handed out a minor league contract and camp invitation to our favorite noodle-armed left fielder from days of yore. I find it a puzzling move.

I know that some of my fellow baseball thinkers are relatively pleased, and not to say I am all busted up about it myself, but neither do I share any enthusiasm.

Why? Because I don't see the logic. Do we want Stew in case Reed is injured again? then why did we not sign Kevin Mench while he was available, given that he does what Reed does (back all three position and pound the stuffing out of LHP)?

Do we want Stew as a general safeguard in case some other OF can't go? What does he bring that Adam Lind doesn't? And who does Lind have to fellate to get a fair shot anyway?

Do we want Stew because we already know Reed isn't feeling right? How does that comport with the published report that he is at full speed? And if we want marginal defense from a guy who can hit lefties (and with Stairs there that's all that's necessary) then why not This Guy with his gaudy 1.023 OPS vs lefties last year instead of Stewart and his .682 over the last three seasons?
Do we want Stew to actually play in AAA? Ya know, the team who already has a guy in LF named . . . Adam Lind? Who sits? the veteran who resents being in the minors to begin with? Or the kid who is only in the minors so he can play every day?

And before you say "DH!" remember, we already have two young catchers down there who both need to hit every day. Four guys can't play three positions every day.

As that dog said in that classic Warner Brothers cartoon (and if you don't know what I mean go get yerself some culture) "It just don't add up!"

The only logic I see here is if the Jays are simply carrying Stewart through camp for the sake of a safeguard and Stewart accepted in order to be in someone's camp just to get in shape for whoever he actually ends up with. No one is any more found of former Jays, in general, than I am, but Stewart doesn't fit this team in any way and I'd be stunned if, barring injury or trade, he's still in the Jays organization on April 1.



Jonathan said...

Sigh. Someday I will accept posting the pictures I would much rather, and someday people will actually start reading by blog...

Here's my take: we already have two kinda questionable lefties in Lind and Stairs. Of course Lind is going to be solid someday, but it's not crazy to keep him back another year to stop his free agent clock from ticking.

But Reed is a big question mark- he could very easily not recover from his injury particularly well, or return to his 2005/2006 numbers. Mench would have been a reasonable alternative, but what do we do right now if Reed absolutely tanks and Stairs returns to where he should be at 40- go with the lefty/lefty platoon? Assuming this signing is on the cheap, it's nice to have another righty sitting in the minors whose name isn't Chad Mottola- and I assume he's only taking this deal because he's willing to play the role of potential injury/disaster callup because the FA market is stone cold.

johnny said...

The only reasonable explaination I see is that Stew isn't seen as a potential platoon guy, but, as Jonathan says, insurance for a King Ralph scenario where both Reed and/or V-Dub are seriously hurt. There are probably concerns about whether Stairsy can weather 120 or so starts in LF over the course of a season should a strict platoon be in the cards.

I'm actually kind of surprised it's come to this for Stew after a pretty decent '07. I would've figured that at least the Giants might've given him a whiff, antique collector that Sabean is.

Ok, we have to stop the slippery slope here before we become a softcore porn site. Not that that wouldn't boost our readership... hmmm... Kudos for finding one of her rare clothed photos!


Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that people DO read your blog. I rather like it. I just don't really comment very often. Keep up the good work!

As for Stew, any chance he can play CF or something for the Chiefs? I'm pretty sure our options down there are Lind and scrubs and maybe Ryan Patterson.

The Southpaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Southpaw said...

For what it's worth, and I say this assuming all parties are equally willing to sign which is obviously something I can't know, If we want a broader skill set than just a really good hitter vs. LHP, I would have went with Shawn Green for my "Old Home Week" signing or, better still, Kenny Lofton.


The Southpaw said...

Stew can do CF in a pinch (104 games over his career, 6 last year), which I think might have been one of the reasons for this deal.

One might argue that JP is now over-compensating for the lack of decent injury replacement position players from last year. Definitely better than chucking ABs away on the Howie Clarks, Jason Phillips's and Hector Lunas of this world, though.

Thanks for reading!