Friday, May 4, 2012

This is he . . .

. . . of whom I've been speaking for the last two off-seasons.

Brandon Morrow may finally have arrived. Last week when Mike Wilner was asking the question "Had you rather have the high K, don'e by the 6th inning, power version of Morrow, or the pitch-to-contact longer lasting version?" my reply was - I want the guy who can adjust back and forth and do either as the situation dictates - not unlike a certain ex-Jay who now wears a lot of red.

Last night, that's what he was. And it was glorious. Let's hope this is the guy we have going forward.

In case you hadn't noticed, the suddenly hot Jays are now 5-1 in their last six games and seem to be shedding the annoying tendency to regress to .500 every few games. they HAD to have gotten a major confidence boost from the Texas series, and the shuffle at the top of the line-up looks good in a microscopic sample.

Four teams in baseball have a better run differential.
Four teams have scored more runs (#1 is 9 runs ahead of Toronto) which is frankly insane the way several key hitters have hit so far.

And there are more reasons to think the team will get better than that they will get worse.

Before I finish what would be a very brief post for me, a couple of  the grumbles buzzing around the Jays-verse:

Jose Bautista - is he not taking a bit too long to come around? Yes.

However, this is Bautista through 26 games this year:
.172/.310/.323/.633 - 2 doubles, 4 homers, 12 RBI, 18 BB, 16 K and .158 BAbip
And this is he through 26 games in 2010
.206/.301/.402/.703 - 7 doubles, 4 homers, 16 RBI, 13 BB, 24 K and .225 BAbip

And we know how 2010 turned out. Can we be certain he will rebound in such a huge way in 2012? No, but neither should we assume that he's turned back into a (relative) pumpkin either.


Adam Lind - on and on and on it goes, the eternal debate "why is Adam Lind hitting cleanup?"

I can't really understand why this debate is so strident when the answer is so blindingly obvious. As things stand right now, as of this writing, Except for Edwin Encarnacion and Kelly Johnson, every other hitter on this team is putting up mediocre or worse numbers right now. John Farrell has two problems to solve - lead-off and clean up. Flipping Johnson and Escobar addresses the former (finally) and it took 24 games of the season to do that. It's true, and an inarguable point, that EE would look better as the #4 hitter - but then Farrell has the problem of 3 straight RH hitters (which in turn means you stack some already struggling lefties too at some other point in the lineup. For example:

Johnson
Escobar
Bautista
Encarnacion
Thames
Lind
Lawrie
Rasmus
Arencibia

You could make a case for flipping Rasmus and Lind but i don't see that happening. The point is, opposing managers can bring in a LH reliever to go after both Thames and Lind and will routinely. Farrell is going to be reluctant to do that. I think it's clear that his current thinking is that if Lind has any chance to rebound that it's going to happen while he's nestled snuggly between the legend of Bautista and the most dangerous hitter at the current time (Bautista and Encarnacion). If he continues to flounder that WILL change, but i don't think the reasoning for why it hasn't yet is all that difficult. If another LH hitter were as hot as EE, or even above average, then it would be much easier to move him out.

After tonight's game, they will be exactly 1/6 of the way through the season, and with a win they would be on pace for 96 wins, with a loss on pace for 90 which I believe virtually every Jays fan would be really happy about. And the best is yet to come, in my opinion.

Coming up this weekend, the return of the Fifth Reports on the farm system.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I agree with much that you have written, what most people are objecting to is 2 + years of flailing hopelessly by Lind.
What I can see happening is that we will continue to be subjected to this futility for the next 2 months. At which time either a deal with another club or Snider is proved ready, either of which could shift to Lind out of town.

MarkBel said...

I think everyone is missing the statement being made to Adam. This is your slot - playing first base you need to make it in the middle of the order. This is not a rookie to ease into things. It's swim or drown, pure and simple. Lind needs to hit 4th or 5th until it's clear whether he is or is not gong to pull through. Hope he does. But of he doesn't, no one is going to have to spell it out.