Thursday, June 16, 2011
It’s report card time.
Alex Anthopoulos, in his second season as GM and he has made some big and bold moves with the team. I will just take a look at a few. The minor league moves are too many to discuss here. His first was the biggest and involved the best pitcher in either league.
Roy Halladay, the “Doc Deal”: Cy Young.
Roy Halladay was traded for Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and Travis d’Arnaud. Taylor went to the Athletics for Brett Wallace who went to the Astros for Anthony Gose. Halladay and his contract would have not allowed the financially confused Jays to move to improve their other weak positions. It was painfully clear that the team around Roy was not competitive enough to give him a chance to get to the World Series. Also, the Jays were not prepared to offer a large extended contract that Halladay needed beyond free agency. Anthopoulos sought the best deal he could get on paper. In retrospect, a deservedly great deal for Halladay and weak one for us. Drabek has been sent down for seasoning (too many walks and anger issues), d’Arnuad and Gose working there way up. This rates a D so far.
Vernon Wells: Games -42,BA -.192, HR -6, RBI -16
Wells had a career year in 2006 and another good year in 2010. But, with the big contract and sporadic production in recent years, Anthopoulos traded Wells to the Angles for Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli (who was immediately filliped for Frank Francisco). So, Rivera has proven to be a good go to guy who has contributed with the bat and with surprisingly soft hands at first base. Judgment on Francisco is still out as one cannot tell how good he will be when he takes the mound. He could walk the first three or serve up a big hit and not go for the save but have to work for a win. He is not truly a closer, at least at this point. Back to Wells, I do not think that the injuries are what plagued him the most. I think he can no longer actually see the ball the way he did. His power hitting days are done. Over all, with the money and the lack of production, I think the Jays did well with these transactions. Maybe Kyle Drabek can get over himself. I give the Jays an A+.
John Buck: Games -59,BA -.230, HR -6, RBI -24
John Buck had a great and career year in 2010. The Jays did not want to offer him a long-term deal so he left a free agent. I think the Jays forgot that one also has to call a game. JP Arencibia is improving all the time but still leaves his pitchers hung out to dry and does not always calls the best game. In a previous blog, I mentioned how he did not help the now departed Kyle Drabek. Arencibia is a rookie as well. He needs more seasoning. Buck called a great game, just ask Romero. I appreciate that he has much more money now, but we lost something here. I give the Jays a C.
Shawn Marcum: 7-2, ERA 2.68
After the Tommy John surgery and rehab assignments, Marcum was the opening day starter in 2010. He headed up a promising rotation including a second year man Ricky Romero. Both had good years and contributed 27 wins. This year, Marcum is ahead of last years pace and his ERA is lower. We should not have dumped him so fast. The Jays had their eye on Brett Lawrie and got him for Marcum from the Brewers. Lowrie was expected to fill the dismal third base position. He was to be up by now. It is a very tough call to give up pitching for an up and coming bat and glove but the Jays were desperate. If the rest of the pitching had not gone south I would have given an A. If your ace is a third year guy and the most experienced, maybe the pitching has gone exactly the way it should have, South. I give this a C+
Alex Gonzales: Games -66,BA -.264, HR -7, RBI -22
Alex Gonzalez was traded for Yunel Escobar and JoJo Reyes. Escobar (Games -62,BA -.284, HR -7, RBI -39) is finally fitting in with the team. He is a very tall short stop who has limited range but is swinging the bat quit well this season. He seems to have found his spot and has caused no personal issues as he did in Braves. Reyes (W-L: 2-5 · ERA: 4.30 · K: 47 · BB: 25 · IP: 73.1 · WHIP: 1.51) is now famous for being tied with the longest streak of no decisions at 28. He seems to have good stuff most of the time. With the entire pitching staff this year the Jays have gone on to long without making changes. Three of the starters have been sent down already. Will there be more? The bullpen is blown up and now not able to finish games without way too much excitement. I give this trade an A for what is and what could be.
So as the bell curve goes, I give Alex Anthopoulos and the front office a C+ for the season so far. The record shows it I’m afraid. Not up to last year’s standard.