Friday, 9 May 2008

The Roundup

Last night's game became unwatchable in the 10th when the Jays couldn't push the winning run home from third (Alex Rios finally woke up and hit a triple). It was impossible to shake the sinking feeling that if the Rays were allowed to pitch around Rolen, they'd get of the jam and ultimately win the game. They did and they did.

Shannon Stewart struck out looking on a pitch low and right over the middle of the plate for the first out. He's a singles hitter who fishes for walks, so what did you expect? After Rolen was intentionally walked putting runners on the corners with one out I was hoping beyond hope that Gibby would dig deep into his Knute Rockne bag of trick plays and attempt a double steal.

What am I talking about? Send Rolen to second, if Donair Navarro makes the throw, Rios bolts for home (and scores). If Navarro doesn't throw, Rolen takes the bag uncontested and Matt Stairs is probably walked intentionally to load the bases for Vernon Wells (who then hits a game-winning grandslam? Ok, a game-winning sac fly to LF). Suffice it to say that I never hope to see another game ride on the broad shoulders of BA Barajas. As it actually played out with the sacs drunk and two away, all we needed for a win was a walk. BA wanted to win it hero-style, though, and quickly fell behind 0-2 before intevitably striking out.

It was at that point that I bailed on the game and switched over to Lost. In season one, I kind of liked Locke, but then I thought he was a dick in seasons two and three. Now I kind of like him again.

Jays lose, 8-3. Shawn Camp wears the goat horns. Why even bother to mount a spirited ninth inning comeback if you're not planning to win the game?

So far we've got a .601 OPS out of LF, by far the most glaring weak spot in the lineup. Adam Lind put up .678 OPS last year in a disappointing rookie campaign and had shown at Syracuse early this year that that he'd corrected a flaw on in his swing. Yes, I'm totally beating on a dead horse when I say that he was "the guy" and should've been given more than 19 ABs to audition for a starting job. So what do you do when you've got a gaping hole in the lineup that needs to be fixed?

Sign Brad Wilkerson?

Jigga what now?

So, we don't play "the guy" AND we don't make an impact deal to upgrade at the position?

Before examining the numbers, let me first say that this is a move that appears on the surface to be too clever by half and JP certainly appeared amused at how brilliant of an idea this is going by what Cathal Kelly reports.

Going forward, it appears to all and sundry that we need a platoon DH to couple with Matt Stairs, someone who mashes lefties, can play some D somewhere on the diamond, is mature enough to handle not playing for a few days in a row and is cheap like the budgie. We, progressive-thinking anarcho-syndicalist collective that we are, provided a comprehensive list of candidates that fit the bill. Brad Wilkerson was not on the list.

Bradley's ages 25 through 27 seasons avec les Expos de Montréal were quite good, but not great. He K'd alot, but showed good power and nice OBP, played slightly above average D at first and in the outfield. The only problem with that is that he's now 31...

After being traded from Washington to Texas for Alfonso Soriano in one of Jon Daniels more bone-headed deals, he had two awful seasons at The Ballpark in Arlingon, were he was supposedly going to break after after playing too many home games in the unfriendly confines of Stade Olympique and RFK. Didn't quite work out that way. Bill Bavasi thought he'd do a Billy Beane and resurrect the career a once pretty good player in Seattle, but it didn't quite play out like that and Bradley found himself DFA'd 56 ABs into this season.

Can Wilkerson hit lefties, which is the primary responsibility of the dude who fills his roster spot? Kind of, he has an .818 career OPS against southpaws despite hitting lefty, but hasn't been consistently pounding them year in year out like say, Kevin Mench. Could he handle semi-regular playing time like Stewart (and unlike Mench)? Yeah, definitely. But he's not going to be brought in for that role, right?

He was free, though, wasn't he? Well, I can sleep tight tonight knowing that we didn't have to throw away a key cog like Jean Machi or Tracey Thope or Curtis Thigpen to get the sort of player we actually needed.

I'd give this move something in the D- to F+ range.

For the record, The Oracle pined for Jason "Go"Botts whereas we placed all of our hopes and dreams on getting Kevin Mench. I guess we get to share some disappointment, eh Mike?

There's an interesting discussion going on over at Batter's Box on JP's legacy. It's my feeling that he's a very good talent evaluator and gets 80% of it right, but he's not far enough ahead of the curve to win with this club in this division. There's nothing wrong with that because there probably aren't more than a handful of execs up to the task. And thus, I think he needs to be given a cordial handshake and shown the door at the end of this season.


* Nothing to report here. So, how's your fantasy team doing?

-- Johnny Was


eyebleaf said...

mench for cash considerations...and wilkerson...

very nice.

Anonymous said...

According to game notes they got Wilkerson AND Mench.

who's the oracle now.

The Southpaw said...

Thanks gentlemen!

Darren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.