Alright, so it's a little late but it can't hurt to do it now...
As I'm sure you've heard by now, Shaun Marcum is going to be ok. Well, according to Doc Andrews, the report says that he "confirmed the Blue Jays’ diagnosis that the pitcher has strained ligaments around the elbow and forearm but nothing more worrisome. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday."
So he doesn't need TJ surgery or anything crazy, and he should be back to help anchor the rotation while only missing a couple of starts. The most popular names to get spot-start opportunities include John Parrish & David Purcey. There are some open spots on the 40 man roster, which means that Parrish could be added and brought up. I'm hoping it's Purcey, who hopefully does so well that it encourages the Jays to trade AJ ASAP. I have my doubts that AJ will be a type A free agent, and I'm not alone in this belief.
If AJ isn't a type A free agent, the Jays absolutely need to grab at least two prospects in a trade. Otherwise I believe the only compensation they'll get from him is a supplemental round pick.
Speaking of the devil, AJ faces off against Bronson Arroyo. An interesting matchup against the Jays - Bronson is worse away from his home park, which is surprising considering that a routine fly ball anywhere else is a HR there. Arroyo has had a ton of HR problems this season - luckily for him the Jays refuse to hit any. Expect another 0-0 game, unless....Adam Dunn decides to pretend JP's face is on every baseball thrown to him. Despite a 219 BA, Dunn has still managed a ridiculous 384 OBP, and an even more impressive 491 slugging. If his BA is 250, we're talking about a 530-540 slugging!
I have nothing against Gary Denbo, but his philosophy didn't seem well suited to the Jays. I love having patient hitters, but the collection of hitters JP assembled are built to hit the first good pitch they see and, in most cases, pull it as hard as they could. Denbo essentially wanted them to draw out an at bat and use the whole field, which I believe may have played a part in the offensive struggles so far. Which is why at some level, it's very refreshing to hear this:
"We have to get back to the basics," Tenace said. "We've got to get more aggressive in the strike zone. The on-base percentage will take care of itself. I think they're a little tentative at the plate. They're feeling for the ball.
"We've got to get more aggressive and let it go. Then, let's see how we do with that. Once we get a couple of these guys going, it's kind of contagious."I think I mentioned something to this effect in one of my earlier posts. Once they stop taking pitches and hit the first good pitch that they like, they should start getting back to hitting to their career #'s. And like Tenace says, one these guys start feeling comfortable, the walks will start coming naturally. I didn't have a lot of faith in the bats returning to their previous levels of established production, but maybe there's a chance that things can turn around. I'm not talking about reaching the playoffs - just hitting the damn ball. I'm tired of 1-0 games.
Look, I think bringing back Gaston isn't a horrible move. I mean, he seems to be making the decisions here. All indications are that he wanted Lind in LF, which makes Gaston a hero in my books. He brought up League too, and again, these were moves that should have been made sooner rather than later. So I'd definetly like him to have some input on the 25 man roster. But this article by Griffin about how Gaston should be GM is downright retarded.
There's a big difference between being a GM & being a manager. Gaston is clearly a smart baseball man, and can make a difference as a manager. He's obviously good at getting players to be calm, relaxed, and produce well. Look at the difference between Lind now and earlier in the season - one Lind looked like he knew he'd be sent down if he didn't hit like Lance Berkman, and the other looked like he knew that he'd get a shot at playing whether or not he hit like Neifi Perez. So from an outside point of view, Gaston seems to be extremely good at communicating, and I'll buy into the fact that maybe, he can get underpeforming players to perform better.
But being a GM is more complicated than that. He's got to focus on every single player in the organization - he needs to know when to promote who, who to demote, who to release, and most importantly, what to trade for. Knowing who to acquire is one thing, knowing what to give up to acquire who you need. And I don't know if Gaston is the best candidate for the job. Everytime a GM spot opens up La Cava's name pops up, so when JP is kicked to the curb, I'd love to see La Cava get a shot.
Another thing is that it's very rare to have a manager be a GM. It's just too much work, and I'd rather have Gaston focused on getting the most out of the 25 men playing for the Jays, than worrying about balancing the present & future of the organization.
Shame on Griffin for even suggesting it. I'll throw out one thing he said that really bothered me (and only one, because otherwise i'd be quoting the entire damn thing):
That leaves the GM's role. Baseball's best GMs are not necessarily the smartest. They are the best because they surround themselves with complementary talents. If Gaston became GM (and he likes living in Toronto, as opposed to some) he already has a talented young assistant in Canadian Alex Anthopoulos to handle the minutiae and contracts. As for the senior guys on the baseball side, Gaston has a lot of friends from his many years in baseball to tap into.
Really? Baseball's best Gm's aren't the smartest? You're gonna tell me Beane & John Schuerholz aren't (or weren't in Schuerholz case) the smartest in the game, or even the most successful GM's considering their respective situations? Are you fucking kidding me? What the fuck is this bullshit? The GM better be the fucking smartest person on the team. He's gotta make the most important decisions on the team. And if Gaston has this talented assistant (who hypothetically stays assistant GM despite being brushed aside for a guy who's essentially never worked in a front office position like a GM), why wouldn't the fucking talented assistant be GM over Gaston?
So yeah. Gaston is a big help as a manager, but this is just ridiculous. La Cava for GM, starting 09! Git'er'done!
Barry Zito is apparently "making mechanical adjustments" which would help him increase his velocity and give him more movement. My inside sources tell me that his increased velocity was due to a light breeze that carried the ball almost all the way to home plate before bouncing in the dirt. Brian Sabean continues to compete with Richard Griffin for "The how the fuck does this guy still have a job?" award.
Once again, I'm sorry this was done so late. I'll do my best to do it in the morning tomorrow...