Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Does this make me a bad person?

I sometimes get conflicted about that gray area between wishing ill on a live human being and wishing for a certain outcome relating to moving pieces on a metaphorical chess board called Major League Baseball.

And being in the midst of reading Dirk Hayhurst's wonderful treatise in that vein certainly doesn't help.

So let me qualify the upcoming callous remarks by saying that this is in the context of the chessboard - I do not wish to harbor hopes for any person's career to be damaged by injury.

With that said: The news of the day is that Edwin Encarnacion and Brian Tallet are off to the DL while Aaron Hill is re-activated and Brett Cecil gets the call from Vegas. Both will play Friday night against the Rays. Cecil steps into the rotation quickly because tonight (Thursday) was his regular turn in the rotation anyway so it keeps him on cycle better to start Friday rather than skip all the way to the next turn.

This is a good situation for the Jays in two ways, IMO. In regards to the pitching, Tallet was always logically a placeholder until one of Cecil, Mills, Zep, or McGowan came along and took his job. Eveland too, for that matter, but as long as Dana is rockin' it no one should complain. But Tallet not so much. The flaw in that assumption is Clarance, who gets unreasonably attached to some players, it seems. And he gives every impression of crushing on Tallet which, one could worry, would delay the date on which one of the young guns usurps him.

So in that regard, it's fortunate Tallet is hurt but will be much more fortunate if he's going to be on the shelf for at least a month. That gives Cecil a chance to make a solid impression, and by the by it gives Zep a chance to get back to health. In this building year, I'd rather see Cecil try and if he fails hand off to Zep and if he fails hand off to McGowan or Mills - to find out what we have right now in all those guys - than I had ever see Tallet get another start.

As I've said before - I LIKE Brian Tallet - as a reliever. That said, to digress a moment, with so many teams apparently hurting for and shopping for relief, I would be just fine with seeing 2 or 3 guys from the group which includes Tallet, Downs, Frasor, Gregg, and Accardo being sent on there way if the return was interesting. But back on point.

The other way that today is a kind of good news is this: EE being on the shelf means FLewis gets to lead off every day and show what he can do there. Having started just 4 games so far, the newest member of the Jays hasn't really had a full on chance to show The Manager what he can do. Now he gets to expand that audition to a full two weeks. No one can say for sure, of course, how he'll do. I'm hoping he runs with it. but at least there will have been SOME chance to audition.

Another facet of this is that it gives the Jays an everyday look at Jose Bautista at 3B. Give that I'm a member of the League of Bautista Skeptics, my instinct is that this will serve the team by exposing him. Of course, it's obvious that if he butchers the position for 2 weeks and goes 0-for-RHP the whole time, Clarance will write it off as a slump and keep running him out there, so the value will be limited. But I'd still like it if we got more evidence of just what Bautista is. The membership of the BAS would argue that he's worthy of playing every day. We in the LBS counter that as a platoon player against LHP he has considerable value but will be exposed playing every day. I'm curious to see how he holds up over this "too brief to mean anything" sample.

That said, over the course of the year I fervently hope that Encarnacion gets the bulk of playing time at 3B (unless he's traded) and that Lewis gets the lead-off at bats v. RHP. If that limits Bautista's role, so be it.


Rhys said...

Likewise thinking

Anonymous said...

I'll never feel bad for a guy who is making 2 million dollars this year playing baseball.

We're not talking some life threatening injury here. It's forearm tightness. I get worse pains than that from sitting at my cubicle workstation.

So go ahead, be happy. Because if Tallet himself isn't happy with his situation, he needs to put things into perspective a little.