Thursday, 7 March 2013

Dunedin Dispatches: Week 3

The Dusty Edition! Now with no lambchops (thank the gods, I much prefer the new look).

Yes as you might imagine, THE big story for me this week is the rekindling of the elusive dream of watching a healthy Dustin McGowan take baseball by storm. Yes, I know I know the odds have to be astronomical, but as long as HE believes, I believe. The Jays are saying, obviously, that his opportunity for now is in the bullpen, and that's new territory for McGowan in terms of the physical demands. But, while I'm assuming there will be a 15-day stint on the DL to open the season (to give him time to catch up AND to see who in the bullpen proves himself unworthy (I'm looking at you, Jefress) I'm going to go ahead and pencil McGowan in as the long man and theoretical #7 starter.

This means that Jefress, options or no, has an uphill battle (I hope I don't have to explain why the Jays would rather lose HIM on waivers as McGowan). It also means Brad Lincoln is that much more likely to be the Bison's closer rather than be in the majors on opening day. What has not yet been said, but which I believe to be true, is that if the jays had relatively long term injuries in the rotation, McGowan would be no worse than the second option (behind JA Happ) to step in, even if it meant he had to be stretched out "on the job."

In other news - cue the Chicken Little crowd, Sergio Santos has mild tricep soreness. Keep calm for now.

Item: Colby Rasmus is a complex dude. He offered a negative review of  John Farrell's choices; he noted that he tried too hard to get out of the slump (understandable, and part of the maturation process to recognize the error of that); and he notes that he's probably more comfortable being "just another guy" out of the spotlight instead of a high-profile cog (which given what we've learned of his personality makes perfect sense). Along with Morrow and Lawrie, he's the guy i expect to really step up to the next level this year.

Item: there as a minor kerkuffle ofmedia noise about Bautista's supposed anger issues at the plate. meh. i don't careto give that any thought.

Item: a bit more buzz around Aaron Loup than seems warranted given the crowded situation for middle relievers.  Loup is pitching very well so far, but combine AA's "I've learned not to make decisions based on ST" with the reality that you have to find a way to deal with an out of options guy if he sticks, combined with his relative age and inexperience, combined with the potential that McGowan might somehow hold together...I just don't see it.

Speaking of relief pitchers, the common cliche is that if Jeremy Jefress (for example) doesn't make the team, they would likely lose him on waivers since he's out of options. But i don't think so. My guess is that by the third week of March Alex will have fielded multiple offers on the three OOO guy sand be prepare to pull the trigger on whomever doesn't make the cut.None of them will be "lost" to a simple waiver claim, IMO.

Item: more and more you see the stories praising both DeRosa and Blanco as Magical Mystery Players who bring serendipity and success to those around them even when they don't contribute much at the plate. I guess we'll find out.

Item: making an exception to the "why bother with links?" principle again - it's worth your time to check out this update at DJF because it includes a section on the Centennial college writers who are doing features on interesting Jays prospects. That's refreshingly different.

Item: in the ex-Jay department, Shi Davidi has a nice piece on Aaron hill that reinforces what we all should know but sometimes forget - there's so very much mental about the game that you simply can't assume that any statistical based projection system is going to give you a definitive idea of how good a player will be this year. It's the best we've got, but there's so much it can't adjust for. I remember many a conversation in 2011 about how Hill was clearly done, one of the worst 2B in the game, and Kelly Johnson was far superior.
Even though I was a Hill supporter in that conversation, the experience taught me to try and not be so adamant about my views. There's so much more the team knows than what we know that to assume you KNOW the team made a mistake is irrationally foolish.


Anonymous said...

I was going to challenge your support for Cecil before today's game, but I feel like he put a punctuation mark on that concern once again.

Frankly, I can't remember when he last impressed me, it is so far back. Some games he gets lit up; others he misses bats by also missing the strike zone.

People seem to think that his velocity is an issue, but when he seems to pitch in the low 90s, he still doesn't fool anyone. He seems like the classic guy who needs to be perfect in location or else he just won't succeed. But he is far from perfect in location, usually pitching up in the zone way too often.

If they want a lefty specialist, I would far rather they went with Loup. If they want someone to go long and soak up some innings, I would far rather they used McGowan, or until McGowan is fully ready, Jeffress.

Right now, my call would be Santos, Jannsen, Oliver, Delabar, Rogers, Jeffress and Loup. When McGowan is ready, I would put both Jeffress and Rogers on the bubble.

Cecil has been on notice for a long time that he needs to re-earn a place on this staff. Eventually, if he cannot step up to such a challenge, in the Jays club of 2013, someone like him needs to be moved out, 'pour encourager les autres', don't you think?


Anonymous said...

I would also be interested in your views of who the starting pitching staff will be in each of AAA and AA. It seems that there are plenty of excess bullpen candidates that the Jays went hunting for in the off-season, but I cannot name a full starting roster with real back-ups at either level. If injuries subsequently occur, the genuine scarcity may be even worse. So far:

(So, who would be #5, let alone #6 and #7 at this level, in case of injury?)

At AA, I can predict:

Who would be #6 or #7 at AA in case of injury?