Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Great Southpaw Hope, pt V: Marc Rzepczynski

First, they gave us David Purcey. The flame throwing ginger had his moments of dominance (notably against the Tampa Bay DEVIL Rays), but ultimately, had no clue where the ball was headed when it left his confused left hand. The verdict? Fail, for now.

Next, the much maligned Ricardo Romero joined the rotation. It doesn't take Judge Wapner (or maybe Judge Joe Brown for the kids out there) to decide that case. Win, boners, etc. You get the picture.

We've had a few (mostly sour) tastes of Franchise Cecil and the allegedly gutsy Brad Mills (who, coincidentally, has a mysterious case of bruised ribs after dominating in his last AAA start). It's far too early to render a decision on these kids - cases remanded.

Next up, Marc Rzepczyncrosbystillsnashandyoungczepczynski. Or Rzepczynski for short. Let's just go with R-Zep.

Full disclosure, I've had a minor-league man-crush on R-Zep for a few seasons - he's one of those guys who seems to put up good numbers as he advances through the system, but fails to garner the attention or respect he might possibly deserve for a variety of reasons:

Reason #1: "He's too old for the level he's pitching in."
As one of those notorious Ricciardi draft "polished college arms", this may have been true early in his pro career. But in 2009, we're talking about a 23 year old pitcher succeeding at the upper levels of the minor leagues. So fuck that reason.

Reason #2: "He lacks a true out pitch."
I'm not a professional baseball scout (can you tell?), but the following '09 numbers indicate to me that R-Zep is missing enough bats: 88IP, 104K. Get the hell out of town, Reason #2.

Reason #3: "His name is too difficult to spell in order to sustain a successful major league career."
OK, so I made that one up, but I said "variety of reasons", so I couldn't very well end with just two factors working against him. Besides, it's not that hard....R-Zep-czyn-ski. Dig it.

Turning serious for a minute, there are some warning signs, like 40BB in 88 minor league innings this season, so control could be an issue (please, not Purcey 2.0...). But offsetting that is the fact that R-Zep is an extreme ground ball pitcher, and playing behind the Jays' superior infield defense will be a huge benefit that he wouldn't have received in the minors. He's also not going to blow his high 80's/low 90's fastball past major league hitters, so he's going to have to spot the pitch accordingly (read: down in the zone) and throw his breaking stuff for strikes.

Baseball Prospectus (buy it - trust me on this) calls him a "lefty starter with a bowling-ball sinker, a good curve, and a decent change that also sinks, making it nearly impossible for hitters to get the ball in the air off him." Boners.

Bottom line - I'm excited about Marc Rzepczynski. And if Carlos Pena hits a Werthian blast off him in his debut....then free Fabio Castro, The Great Southpaw Hope, pt VI!

(...and Buck Coats. We must always work to free Buck Coats.)


Drew - LtB said...

We must work tirelessly to free Buck Coats.

Welcome Polish guy!

eyebleaf said...

I'm simply pleased that we have so many Great Southpaw Hopes.

Been one nutty half season in respect to our starting pitching.

I'm excited about R-Zep's debut, much like I was all the other kids' debuts. But I'll be honest, I'm still gushing about Shaun Marcum's rehab start down in Dunedin. It might lead to one of those four-hour boners. Crazy.

And I'm confident that the emancipation of Buck Coats will occur soon. Dellucci shouldn't be in the big leagues, and while Bautista played the field like a fucking rudey yesterday afternoon, I'm all for a Buck/Jose platoon.

Mylegacy said...

I have been to the mountain top and from that lofty level I see Roy, Ricky and Rzeproctologyski giving us THREE ACES the second half of the season.

Marc is VERY unusual; an amazing ground ball rate, an excellent strikeout rate and a stunningly low line drive rate.

Believe - we've got ourselves a keeper.

Anonymous said...

The repeated use of "boners" in this entry tells me that "the Ack" is doing his best to get the homoerotic juices flowing on this blog while Tao is way. Go big boy, go. You're really original. Why don't you go write for the DJF?

Stedron said...

Got to see R-Zep pitch earlier in the year. Kid's got a shot, I'll say that.

In other news, Knudson has taken to erasing all of our comments. This has solidified my resolve...

Darren Priest said...

I don't think you use boners enough to be a DJF scribe. Keep trying though!

The Ack said...

Sorry to have offended your precious sensibilities, Anonymous.

And you're just figuring out that I'm unoriginal now?

eyebleaf said...

I still can't believe The Ack's not a pro baseball scout. All this time...

Ice Cream Jonsey said...

What does "bowling ball sinker" mean? He's able to give it as much movement as a bowling ball? He's able to throw it for strikes? It is covered in lane grease? =(

Stedron said...

As a fairly decorated bowler, lane "grease" is offensive.

This term is to say hitting his pitches is like hitting a bowling ball.

Torgen said...

I've been calling him RZA, but if he shuts down the Rays I could be convinced to call him the Ghost Faced Killer.

eyebleaf said...

Shit, Torgen, RZA is golden.

The Ack said...

Sorry. I've been distracted. Buster Olney's article has left me feeling nauseous and disoriented.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you have game threads? I'd much rather post here. Anonymously.

Stedron said...

Ack? Share? I can't get there from work (amazing I can still get here.)

Anonymous said...


eyebleaf said...

Wow. Fuck.

Anonymous said...

All I'm saying is as a former Expos fan, the Doc is the ONLY reason i enjoy watching a Jays game. He doesn't even need to pitch.

He goes, I go.

We'll never recoup that value. Fucking Rogers, Fucking Teachers Association (leafs long standing corporate attitude) and their cheap ass mentality.

This GD team is 16 out of 32 teams in spending. If we want to compete we can't bank on the Rays method. The market is as big as Chi-town at least and should spend accordingly.

I'm committed to becoming a fair weather fan if JP kills us with this potential move. I think we all know where the Doc would land, and that makes me sick or at least willing to drink...heavily.

I hate being emotional about this, but the move honestly could rank pretty high in the list of dumbest moves ever considered. It's a business, but the fact is the Doc is the only commodity selling tickets. See attendance - when Doc pitches compared to ANYONE else on the staff.

Aggravated that national Jays news in the US, is Doc moving news. Fuk.

MadMurphy said...

I miss Russ Adams already