Sunday, 9 March 2008

Morning Roundup

I think my home is now buried under the Artic ice cap and the interweb is my only means of communication with the outside world. Seriously, the snow needs to STOP. We've got baseball to play in three weeks!

John Parrish gets the flashlight in the face this morning from the Sun and the Star. Parrish is a veteran lefty reliever who came to camp as a non-roster invitee. You might remember him from his tenure with the O's, or then again, you might not. I have made dismissive comments about him in the past chiefly because I'm skeptical that any major league pitching coach can "fix" a pitcher with control as awful as his (career BB/9 of 6.63, WHIP of 1.74).

To his credit, Parrish has done a fairly decent job of keeping the ball on the ground and in the park, and his K rates are very nice, if not his K:BB. His "stuff" has always been good, especially his slider. Yet I'm doubtful of the notion that he can transform himself into a useful 7th reliever (ok, that's an oxymoron) after only six weeks in Dunedin, but there's nothing wrong with stashing him at Syracuse and hoping he works it out.

As Ken Fidlin notes, this will turn some heads:

The 30-year-old journeyman left-handed pitcher, who is being groomed as a starter at the triple-A level, pitched three innings yesterday, striking out seven of the 10 batters he faced during a 4-3 Toronto win over the Detroit Tigers.

Here's what Gibby thinks of his new rhinestone cowboy:

"John's always been a tough pitcher to hit," manager John Gibbons said, "but he was sometimes a little scattered. When he came in here this year, our guys suggested some adjustments so he'd have a straighter line to the plate and it seems to have made some difference. "We're not looking at him for our rotation, but you never know how he might help us."

Alan Ryan contradicts Fidlin, saying that Parrish is being stretched out because youneverknow, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be starting in AAA.

There you have it folks, one more name above Gus Chacin's under the heading "Minor League Lefties, break glass in case of emergency."

More Fidlin. I'm an unabashed fan of Matt Stairs and have been since he was an Expo, so I was rather delighted to see this long, readable un-Sun-like profile of the man I consider the club's 2007 MVP. It's not just what he does with the bat that impresses me, it's that I'm certain Uncle Matty is just the kind of guy who'd hold a stranger's legs while he (or she) was doing a keg stand. His swan song begins next season suiting up for Team Canada for another World Baseball Classic. Sweet!

The Beej continues to make progress.


Ok, Ok, contain your excitement. Red Sox ace Josh Beckett, who grew morbidly obese over the off season gorging on ribs and Lone Star Ale, is now suffering from "back trouble" that may keep him out of action for awhile. Apparently he'd been bothered by back spasms for about a week. Normally, I'd agree with the sentiment that it's bad karma to wish injury on opposing players, but I also think we all know it's going to take some outside intervention for us to squeak into the playoffs this year. So, ya, I'm going to treat this as good news even if it means I might end up going to hell for it.

* In the same vein... I'm relatively superstitious, and seeing A-Rod say his goal for 2008 is playing in all 162 games rather than any specific offensive benchmarks, I have to wonder if the New York Post just put the injury jinx on him. A-Rod hasn't really been hurt in over ten plus seasons in the bigs, so you'd have to figure he's due for a big'un sometime on the horizon. That is the second karmic strike against me the morning.

-- Johnny Was

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