Thursday, August 7, 2008

Three things to celebrate about a three-game win streak

Shaun Marcum is back (knock on wood): Although Marcum pitched better than his pitching lines indicated over his first three starts, last night's performance (seven innings, one run, three hits and seven strikeouts) was the first time that he truly looked comfortable and in control since his return from the DL. It doesn't hurt that he was facing the inept Oakland A's lineup, but nevertheless, it's good to have him back.

Rod Barajas is an offensive monster and a defensive beast: In addition to his montrous first inning dinger off rookie Gio Gonzalez, Barajas had a stellar game behind the plate. Rod the God made a great play to pick a John McDonald throw out of the dirt to get a force out at home with the bases loaded, and he called an excellent game for Marcum. We think...or we suppose...Maybe we're just piling on Zaunie here, but it seems to us as though Jays pitchers look more comfortable pitching to him.

Alex Rios is quietly turning things around: In his last seven games, Rios has scored eight runs and has 11 hits. While only two of those hits have been for extra bases, Rios is putting good wood on the ball and is keeping the line moving. His OPS this season is still sitting at about 100 points below last season's, but it has been ticking slowly upwards since his dreadful May, when he posted a .585 OPS.

Given his performance this season, we're coming around to the idea that instead of thinking of Rios as a a corner outfielder who mashes, maybe he should serve as the Jays' leadoff hitter going forward, somewhat in the vein of a Johnny Damon (in his prime): a leadoff guy who hits for average with a bit of pop and lots of speed. Assuming, of course, that the Jays have a better option next year in the middle of the lineup.

13 comments:

eyebleaf said...

interesting point about rios becoming a damon-like leadoff hitter. i'm intrigued. he can hit for a high average, he's got good pop, a much, much better arm, and can run like the wind. it makes complete sense.

and rod, while he was struggling, i think has proved in the last week or so that he's the number one guy. even tho it came in the first, we needed that 3 run home run last night ilke a crackhead needed a hit.

you think marcum can be a legit #2 behind Doc (if/when AJ leaves?)? or is that mcgowan's spot?

The Ack said...

Unless they sign a big arm, I think Marcum has to be the "#2", because even if McGowan is back by, say, May 1/09, I don't think we see full strength Dusty until 2010. Which is a real shit break, because he's running out of precious "development time", if you ask me. But I guess nobody did.

Torgen said...

A better option like... Manny Ramirez?

eyebleaf said...

truth is there, ack. hopefully all this injury bullshit will be behind marcum now. dude's already had the tommy john, and now this cuff bidness...

i got faith in marcum being the number 2. kid is sick.

eyebleaf said...

and i meant behind mcgowan, of course.

The Ack said...

I'm hoping Manny gets into it with Jeff Kent soon, because all this talk about how he wants to end his career there is straight pissing me off.

Now we hear Teixeira openly stating how it would be a dream come true to play in hometown Baltimore (don't ask me for a link, because I'm pretty sure I read that, but can't give you a source).

But hey! Raul Ibanez is a free agent! 4-$40M! Awesome!

I think the dollars invested in that potential contract would be better served invested in a top-secret state of the art juicing program to turn Vernon, Alex, and Young Adam into 40 HR mashers.

Wait, did I just say that?

**The opinions expressed are the views solely of The Ack and do not reflect the opinions of ToS management.**

Tao of Stieb said...

Err...Ack? You feeling okay?

We may need to discuss YOUR current doping regimen.

RE: Marcum - Optimistically, he's a number 2. But haven't we gone into each and every season for the past decade, hoping that everything plays out just right? We'd rather have Marcum slot in as a strong three and have the Jays sing A.J. or someone else as a number 2.

The Ack said...

^^ you didn't say anything about random drug tests before I started contributing....

Just be happy I banged that beauty out in a comment instead of a post, otherwise you might be seeing "SEN G MITCHELL" on your call display.

Joanna said...

Tao, what kind of tune would they sing AJ? I love spelling errors that actually change the meaning!

Re-up AJ and sign Manny, if only for the entertainment factor. Someone needs to be an emmissary, work on it in LA. I nominate myself.

Tao of Stieb said...

Goddamnit! Fcuking seplling mistasks!

We'd assume that to woo A.J.'s tender redneck heart, J.P. would sing him that Kid Rock song that mashes up Werewolves of London and Sweet Home Alabama. (Both of which are much better songs in their own right than Kid's lame co-optation of their hookiest parts.)

eyebleaf said...

i hate that fucking kid rock song. every time i'm ready to belt out "sweet home alabama" it never comes...it's all a big tease. sort of like our jays

Darren Priest said...

Dan Haren just signed for less than AJ's option. Who would you rather have as the Jays number 2? Burnett or Haren? (That is not intended to be retorical, but it is intended to illustrate that 12MM for Burnett seems plenty fair.)

Tao of Stieb said...

The distinction there might be that the D-Backs were buying out a couple of arbitration years, which would have driven down the price.

On the open market, Haren makes a shit-ton nore...except that he wasn't eligible to go on the open market and A.J. is.