Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Regression to the frakin' mean

Oy! Let's get back to some sanity please.

first, let me just note in passing the recent unfortunate money-driven content. I thought the views expressed were, regrettable, but the finances which made it necessary are much more regrettable.

Let me put it more plainly in light of the replies to that post: I hated it. But i'm not in a position to reject any source of income. I hope in the future you guys will pick up on the context of something so obviously out of place like that.
So we shall hopefully let the unpleasant memory fade from our attention, no?

Speaking of unpleasantness, the last ten Blue Jays games certainly qualify. Every time they seem to be breaking away from .500 level mediocrity, they regress right back in that direction. It's maddening to me. Worse, the team will have past the 1/4 mark by the end of the season with some noticeable ongoing difficulties. Two starters on the team are at or above their career levels. On the other hand, four are over 100 points of OPS below the career number they brought into the season and another is almost in that category. It is, IMO, the sort of performance that provokes teams to fire their batting coach (and with Chad Mottola in AAA likely a better option anyway...)

On the mound the news is somewhat better but Ricky Romero's recent control issues are becoming a legitimate worry. Ten walks and seven K's in the last 11.1 innings is very queasy-making.  As much as I love Henderson Alvarez, i know what i'd be saying about 13 walks and 15 K's in 55 IP if he played for any other team. Kyle Drabek also has a walk rate that does not portend future success unless it changes. Clearly he's much progressed from 2011, but another step is called for. Add to that the reality that Drew Hutchison, as well as he's done, is very green and I'm a lot more nervous most days than i'd like to be.

The bullpen? Two words - Francsisco Cordero. i was real nervous about him when he was signed but i bit my tongue because Alex has fooled me like that before. I'm reminding myself as i write this that on May 28, 2011 Frank Francisco had an ERA of 6.59 (and a 1.61 WHIP, and it was 2.43 thereafter. with a 1.22 WHIP.

However, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Am I still happy with the makeup of this team? Apart from the absence of Travis Snider (more and more I'm climbing in board with the roster shuffle that puts snider in the line-up and Lind on the bench or worse) yes, yes I am. but I grow increasingly discontent with the way in which the high level of anticipation on Opening Day is slowly but surely being eroded by under-achieving results.

That said, let me spit-ball a bit:

I'm growing restless with the notion Roy Oswalt won't come to Toronto;

I'm still not impressed with the list of potential 1B acquisitions, unless we are surprised. Bryan LaHair would be a nice add if the price is not nonsensical;

Eric Bedard would be a solid acquisition if he's still healthy when the time comes;

Two final thoughts:

1. As I look at the top prospect list, i'm pretty disappointed  at this point in several names. for instance, while I never anticipated Deck McGuire and Chad Jenkins playing an important role in Toronto, i would have very much like to have seen them make themselves desirable when it came time to, for instance, try to grab Bedard. I also note that i said on a couple of occasions that the Jays should have let Gose start the year  - maybe even do half a season - at AA before promoting him to Vegas, so that his next offensive adjustment could have been made in a "truer" environment for hitters. I stand by that view. Also, while I love d'Arnaud and Hech as much as anyone, the Jays can afford a slower approach with them than many fans seem to want.

2. I'm aware of Lawrie's meltdown. There's little else to say that hasn't been said but in my view, suspension or no, it's the cost of doing business. if Lawrie had thrown with the intent to hit the ump then I would be outraged at his poor judgement. but what actually happened, is a function of his passion, which is very good for the team, and a monstrously bad call which invited it. It does not strike me as a sign that Lawrie will be regularly abusive with the umps. i'm more worried about Bautista's constant griping than Lawrie's explosion.

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