Thursday, November 8, 2012

Find The Pieces

Alex Anthopoulos is at the General Managers’ meetings this week and has said he will not concentrate on the manager position for the next few days. So, I cannot grumble about his choice until it’s made. I just hope it is soon.

Several changes need to be made to the starting nine this coming season. With plenty of question marks that will still remain, it time to access each position and see what's up.

Pitching is the most important and hardest to get. Ricky Romero this season went the wrong direction completely. In my opinion, Romero's demise was strictly the pressure of leading a team that fell apart by injury/ He felt he had to be perfect and could not be. With a healthy staff and a more realistic approach he will be fine. Tech surgery is not a factor and he will hopefully have his head together. This does not mean the front office can coast. The possibility of Kyle Drabek or Drew Hutchinson returning next year are slim to none. Anthopoulos must get at least one high powered starter for whatever the money is. Maybe a Zack Greinke would fit the bill. So would Shaun Marcum who is on record as being interested in returning. As an aside, I hope that Sergio Santos can last this coming year. Let’s see what he’s got after being out a season. He has really no record to fall back on other than one very good year, two years ago.

First base is pretty well decided. With Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind doing the platoon thing with the DH spot. I think it works very well.

Second base needs change. Kelly Johnson should be gone and Mike Aviles has come and gone already. We traded away Aaron Hill to get Johnson and wound up with the same player. As I see it, I don’t think Adeiny Hechavarria should be put at second. AA needs a good glove with some consistency in the bat.

Short stop is another strange position. Yunel Escobar has done well on defense and less then stellar with the bat. However, his continued attitude with the players and public is now more like he was with the Braves, where they wanted rid of this head case. He is part of the Latino click and is not much of a team guy. He should be gone and that’s where Hechavarria comes in.
Adeiny Hechavarria
He is the only one of the young bunch I think may be ready for the bigs and deserving of the chance. So done, trade Escobar with other pieces and see what you can get.

Third base should have been a lock. Everyone was pulling to have a five tool Brett Lawrie on third. He has shown his arrogance several times this season. He has also made comments about how he plays and that he does not need to change. Well… Maybe he needs taking down a peg or three. I like many things about Lawrie but not his attitude and continued ineffectiveness at the plate. He is not yet a batter but a swatter. His discipline is sorely lacking. He needs to get benched the next time he does not take instruction. He needs to grow up. I hope he does. We need a manager who can manage the talent.

Right field is done.

At centre, there is another head case – the Jays have a few. Colby Rasmus has much talent and little brain apparently. He can fly on his feet and if he is paying attention and not distracted by “whatever”, he can catch a ball. At the plate he is still a mess and is only a lucky hitter who will not last long in the bigs. For now though, with the Jays in such a terrible state, he will remain the centre fielder.

Left, wow. Rajai Davis has gone beyond expectation this year, but he is not the long term solution. He has turned out to be a great piece off the bench and one who can accomplish what he is asked to do. His position play was much better than expected. However, the Jays need a big bat. Davis had a BA of just .257 and OBP of .307. For 2012 he did smack 8 dingers for a career high while totaling only 43 RBI. Not a great bat. He did steal 43 of 59 attempts. Very quick on the base paths. So free agency or trade is the only hope for the Jays. The late season call-ups are still not ready to perform. Rick likes Moises Sierra. Sierra has a good throwing arm but is slow on the run. His batting is a bit raw and needs to work on hitting the breaking ball and MLB pitching, in general. In his 147 at bats, he had 6 HR and 15 RBI. Too soon I think. Anthony Gose had a BA of .223 forty points below his minior league totals. Not yet ready for the prime time. The Jays list him is as the starting left fielder. I don’t think so.

Catcher is a bit of a problem since it seems to be born-out that JP Arencibia is not the bat of the future. He did have 18 HRs and a low BA of .233. How long before Travis d’Arnaud is called up? For now though, I foresee no change.

Will the Jays choose to be able to afford anybody in free agency, either batter or pitcher? Will they bid for Tori Hunter or Josh Hamilton or Zack Greinke? Unlikely. With the injury list reduced, it is time for a winner to be put on the field. The fans need a team that can compete. AA has run out of time. Remember JP Riccardi? He had a five year plan for eight years. The Jays have some good pieces. When healthy, they should be able compete. If AA can find the right missing players, we could be in the hunt. Now, only for some direction from the bench.

1 comment:

Will Braund said...

Great post, John, a thorough and realistic evaluation of where the Jays stand at each position. It'll be interesting to see which holes the team repairs and where they just hope for the best.