Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The Roundup

To borrow a quote from Cosmo Kramer, the Jays' month of May has been "a story of love, deception, greed, lust, and unbridled enthusiasm." Bringing it back from the near abyss, a long-ish winning streak, and three shutouts over the past week? The only explanation must be that the various moons of Endoor are in some sort of strange and favourable configuration.

I need to put the success of our arms and the feebleness of our bats into perspective:

* 6 games into its season, TFC has scored 8 goals and allowed 9 whereas division leader Columbus has scored 11 and allowed 7
* 5 games into May, the Jays have scored 15 runs and allowed 5

I don't know if that really means anything or is fair, but the numbers stand for the themselves.

Bastian has a new mailbag up. If you listen to JaysTalk or read The Oracle, Bastian is pretty redundant. And I say that as someone who really finds no fault with his work. We had some pretty high hopes for him in the pre-season when he started blogging during spring training, but working for the Company (MLB) appears to have injected his work with a certain degree of boringness. Where's the unbridled enthusiam, Jordan?

Speaking of The Oracle, J-Mac in for defense in the 9th? Eckstein to the bottom of the order? I'd like to think that Wilner has finally beat Gibby and JP into submission and resources will be used a little more rationally from here on out. High five!

Griff... he doesn't like naming Lind the starting LF then demoting him to a bench role a week and a half later. And I pretty much agree entirely with that argument. Not the usual horseshit about "sticking to the plan" or Reed Johnson, but the first part about Lind.

Blair noddingly approves of Gibby's constant lineup tinkering, but wonders if he's "gone to the whip hand." Some interesting footnotes on Lind:

Yesterday, he effectively benched left-hand-hitting prospect Adam Lind (1-for-19 in six games) with the full support of general manager J.P. Ricciardi. Shannon Stewart batted second and started in left field as Gibbons ran out his 28th different lineup in 33 games.

The Lind decision is interesting, since Gibbons pushed privately for Lind as an antidote to Thomas. And when Lind and now healthy Scott Rolen were both in the fold, it was clear that Gibbons felt that, finally, he had a team with which he was comfortable.

So what happened?

"You'd like to just kind of settle in on one thing and leave it there, but we've been searching for some things," Gibbons said. "We brought Stewart here for a reason. He never seemed a guy for a part-time role. Stewart's a contact guy. He's always hit at the top of the lineup. I think he [Lind] is ready for the majors, but he's just not hitting now. Right now, we want to get something going."

What that means I don't know because I don't speak Boomhauer, but it seems to bode ill for young Adam Lind this year.

I'm just going to blurt it out: if the organization doesn't have any confidence in Lind, which his "indefinite" benching in favour of Shannon Stewart indicates, we might as well trade him...

to Pittsburgh for Jason Bay.

The case for Bay:

* he's off to a solid .266/.400/.459 start, dampening concerns about a balky knee
* he's a righty, yes, but like Scott Rolen hits right-handed pitching very well (career .875 OPS against righties, .932 against lefties)
* he's a superior defender than Shannon Stewart
* bringing him in would reduce Stew to platoon DH and 4th OF, which is more in line with the role we brought him in for
* he would cost us only about $4.5 million from here on, which is no more than what we're paying David Eckstein this year
* relatively speaking, attendance hasn't been bad (6th of 14 in the AL), but a Canadian star would put butts in seats regardless of how you feel about the marketing strategy of bringing in homegrown talent

Why Pittsburgh should want Lind:

* 2/3 of the Pirates OF (Bay and Xavier Nady) are on their way out this year because of budgetary restraits and someone has join Nate McLouth and Steve Pearce as the inheritors of the Barry Bonds/Bobby Bonilla/Andy Van Slyke legacy
* PNC favours lefty power of the sort Lind provides
* Adam Laroche, the lefty first baseman brought in from the Braves for last year, has rebuffed club efforts to extend him with extreme prejudice, which means the club will be without the sort of lefty middle of the order presence its park demands
* the Buccos want Chase Headley of the Pads (3B/OF) ever so much, but have been thus far unable to pry him away from Kevin "not Josh" Towers; it's time to start looking at secondary trade targets, Huntington

I feel better getting that out of my system and will leave it be from here on out. A Lind-Bay deal makes emminent and imminent sense to me, but I realize a good number of you would be strongly opposed. We'll just agree to disagree then even if I secretly know that I'm right and you're wrong.

-- Johnny Was


Jay K. said...

I am all for Bay coming to the Tdot Odot. Isn't he on the hook through 09? Would JP loosen the purse strings to sign him again? I mean in 05 he signed for 18.25/4 years, so I'd have to imagine a similar deal would be the going rate. I mean, couldn't Uncle Ted cough up 4.5 per for a Canadian? Plus anything that gets "Molly" Shannon Stewart out of the line up is A-OK in my books.

Also, one more win tonight before I am a fan again.

The Southpaw said...

You've got roughly $20 mil coming off the books for next year w/ the Big Turd and AJ gone, and Bay is owed $7.5 millions in '09. That's about half as much as Rolen for an equivilant bat.



The Southpaw said...

Don't kick me off the blog for saying this, but I think getting Bay's a really bad idea. I've been hearing for a year now that he's lost a bit of bat speed, and that more than the problematic knee is the reason he's been struggling.

Check his walk rates, they're ridiculously high compared to the past. I can't find it now but there was a good article on Bay suggesting the increased BB rates were because of a loss of bat speed.

Add that to the fact he's one of the worst defensive LF in the game (currently behind Adam Dunn in ZR), and I'd be really careful into acquiring Jason Bay.


The Southpaw said...

That's it, yer fired!

Is that ZR through '08? I thought the book on Bay through his career was that he had good range and a poor arm.

Just checking now, which means I'm talking to myself rather than leaving a comment... it looks like he was crap on ZR in '06 and '07 but is now at .868, which is about on par with an underperforming V-Dub and Stew's '07 numbers. Ok, you totally won that round. I guess all Bay has defensively over Stew is a slightly better arm, which isn't all that important in left.

Incidentally, I notice that V-Dub is .40 points down on ZR from his career numbers so far this year. It's pretty awesome that espn has easily attainable defensive stats.

I'd rather see Adam Lind blossom into the beautiful flower we all know he can be, so I threw the J-Bay thing out there more out of frustration. I'd still probably be happy if it happened, though. With a .460 SLG, he'd still be one of better power hitters even if his bat speed is declining.


Jay K. said...

So is Gibby Smalls just going to sit Lind indefinitely now? Is that the plan?

Anonymous said...

This is interesting. A straight up trade of Lind for Bay is a loss for us on principle. But we need to and CAN contend this year and that can only be done with another big bat. Stairs/Rolen/Rios/Wells are all great but I don't think they're enough of a threat.

That said, I still don't do it. Lind's gonna be a good one.