Sunday, 14 March 2010

Going Young

Probably no writer connected to the Jays swings as wildly from good sense to "WTF!?!" as Richard Griffin, and he catches his share of grief for the latter. But this time he does pretty well - well enough I want to steal the idea in order to modify it a bit.

Griffin proposes to look at what the Jays future roster would look like made up only of players born after January 1, 1984 but honestly, that's really just kind of a gimicky way to tie into a well known number. It has no specific baseball related relevance. So even though it's an interesting thought, he still kind of screwed it up looking for the hook.

So here's my modification: Lets agree that Aaron Hill is the new heartbeat of the team. with all due respect to Vernon, the burden of his contract undermines the idea this is "Wells' team" plus, he's old enough that the exercise is kind of silly if you set his age as the cutoff.

So, while noting that there's no way to move Wells for at least the next three seasons, let's say that he's the only guy on the team older than Hil (who is just about to turn 28).

So you'd lose, off the current group, the following -

Jose Bautista
Lyle Overbay
John McDonald
Mike McCoy
Alex Gonzalez
John Buck
Jose Molina
Merkin Valdez
Brian Tallet
Scott Richmond
Shaun Marcum
Casey Janssen
Dirk Hayhurst
Kevin Gregg
Jason Frasor
Scott Downs
Jesse Carlson
Shawn Camp
Jeremy Accardo

Okay hold it - let's make an exception for Marcum, he's about 3 months older than Hill so he can be the "senior" man on the pitching staff.

Otherwise, what you have there is a list of players who, no matter how good they are, are placeholders, or bridge players to the players who'll make up the next Jays contender. I have no problem, of course, letting some of the older guys stopgap - I'm not saying waive the lot of them. I'm just illustrating the idea that none of these guys are integral to the Jays' medium range future. Even though some of them were late enough getting to the majors they might well still be here in 2012 (such as Jesse Carlson).

With few exceptions, if any, there's a clear picture here of guys who are only keeping a spot warm for younger players to come (Accardo and Camp give way to Collins and Farquhar for instance, or Buck and Molina holding a spot for Arencibia)

Like many others, I'm really excited about how that team stands to come together. It should be an easy team for which to root. If I can just grit my teeth and make it through one more year of The Manager's . . . creativity.

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