Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coffee is for closers

You can insert your own standard caveat about how early it is in the season to even consider having these sorts of conversations. But what is the point of having the role of a closer and the save stat if you can't piss and moan about it every time the man in the role hacks it up.

Thus, piss and moan we shall.

It could be that the members of Tank Nation could give a fuck about how the Jays seal the deal to win games because, somehow, being the worst team in the league is going to guarantee that we draft first and get our shot at the next Dale Hawerchuk. But we're convinced that winning breeds winning, and young players who play on teams who find ways to win develop a culture and a mindset that promotes winning in the future. And if learning how to win a seemingly meaningless game in April 2010 means that The Rosy-Cheeked Phenom is in the proper headspace to hit a walkoff dinger in October of 2013, then let's learn to win now. Shall we? Mmmmkay?

So far this season, every Jays game has had a save situation, and given the razor-thin margin for error that the team will have, they will be in plenty of close games. And if we're going to try to win games every night, let's at least have a look at what is going on with the closer now so that we're not handing back wins in April that might make this team look respectable in September.

So let's get down to brass tacks: The Jason Frasor that has taken the mound five times this year is not The Sausage King. Frasor's velocity is down (91.2 MPH vs 93.8 on average last year), and our guess is that he knows it. He's trying to finesse his way around at bats.

Where The Sausage King of 2009 went after hitters, stepping on their throats with fastballs for strikes to get ahead in the count, then kicked them in the teeth with his reprehensibly nasty off-speed foshiness. But Jason Frasor 2010 is attempting to tickle-fight hitters into submission, tossing pitches on the margins of the zone, falling behind and having get-me-over pitches sent back the other way at alarming rates. In his first 4.1 innings pitched, he's given up eight hits, including three doubles and a homer to go along with three walks. And were it not for his ability to squirm his way out of some of these predicaments with his six strikeouts, we're sure that he would have given up more than just three runs and two wins.

Okay, let's snap back to reality: Just one week of the season is down, and there are 25 more to get through, so it is probably too early to start making rash decisions on bullpen roles. It's been a crappy week for Frasor, and a good week for big giant manly-man closer-type dude Kevin Gregg. (Although surprisingly, Gregg's fastball velocity is clocking in at just 91.9 MPH, which is shocking to us considering the way we've swooned every time he shot puts a heater past someone.)

Frasor's progress over the next few weeks bears monitoring. If the velocity comes back or balls start finding gloves or Frasor starts getting calls, then we can all chill. But a few more walks and a few more extra base hits, and just maybe The Manager should put loyalties aside and look to find the most effective arm in the bullpen to shut things down.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain why Jason Frasor is called 'The Sausage King'?

The Ack said...

First of all, +infinity for the Dale Hawerchuk reference. Ducky was my boy (even after he whined his way out of the 'Peg in return for the great Phil Housley, who was largely responsible for Teemu's record setting rookie brilliance. But I digress.....)

Secondly, yeah......it's early, BUT....Frasor isn't exactly inspiring confidence in the early going. Not to get too hokey touchy feely, but his body language (& postgame comments) out there speaks volumes also.

I don't understand the 0-2 fastballs either. Fosh notwithstanding, what happened to the sharp little breaking ball he used to flash?

(and Frasor, if you're reading this....head on over to GROF - he still has your back. Confidence!)

Voodoo Matt said...

You know, it took BJ Ryan longer to blow two saves last year. I'm just saying it's not time to panic yet, but maybe we should PANIC! AAAAHHH!

Ian H. said...

I wouldn't really place the blame on Frasor for this one ... how about the hitters who struck out 7 out of 15 times in the final four innings?

William Bruyea said...

Clearly Gaston blew this one. Tallet should never have been in to pitch the 6th so Frasor should have entered the game with a 2-3 run lead. I explain further further.

Anonymous said...

I think Frasor is distracted because of the new season of Glee on Fox!

Voodoo Matt said...

Manager idiocy in the sixth inning has to go to the Oz. No one warming, Peavey shits up the place, emergency warm-up, general time wasting, Williams brought in before he had a chance to warm up, bases loaded, result: Williams couldn't hit a cow in the ass with a shovel and he walks in the go-ahead run.

Cito not pulling Tallet is a pretty minor difference of opinion in comparison.

Leaker said...

After Williams, it was lights out for Chicago's pen. It was tough to watch. I started to wince on each delivery. Also tough to watch was Tallet trotting out there on nothing but fumes and guts. I admire his determination, but last night called for a five and fly. But I'm sure his spirits are up knowing his manager allowed him to be shellacked one more inning.

Hopefully Teahen resumes his career as a non-factor this evening.

Anonymous said...

In other news, where is the Gay Jays Fan?

Rhys said...

http:// theviewjaysedition. blogspot. com/

Hitters should hit - they didn't, and pitchers should pitch, and Frasor, most certainly, did not.

Mix things up, start with Overbay on the bench, and Ruiz at first!!!

Anonymous said...

I thought Frasor's velocity was up a bit more last night. I'm still with him. You can't blame the closer for being 5-2 when Pythagoras says we should be 4-3. Obviously we're a bit lucky right now. It's a long season.

brainiac said...

I dunno...that 0-2 fastball seemed a bad call. One of many of course this year(or any year..or every year) but it is what it is.

How bout that Vernon eh?

brainiac said...

Ha! Landed that Cuban!

I spose thats the end of Johnny Mac...

Gays Jays Fan said...

I've been having a fabulous time watching taht man meat Tallet , The Man with Talent who's so scruffy in a teddy bear kinda way screw things up! Cito is attractive in an older man type of way BUT he should have pulled out Tallet last night! Frasor is called the sausage king for good reason, how did you know anon? were you two playing squeeze the sausage?:)

Yes, the he-men are at 5-2 BUT they could have been 7-0 if not for sausage boy. Cito needs to bend him over and spank 'im! He needs to get his shit in order,it would ugly to see Frasor flush the season down the toilet like this.

at the straight guy who mentioned Pythagoras he was apushy bottom just so you know! He was wrong about the stats. The BP can pitch and the starting pitching hasn't been that bad. and the team of hotties have been hitting too. I just wish they would hit on me for a change!

BTw, I'm going with my Blowboys to support the Jays and I'm holding a sign saying Buck Martinez is the Hottest Older dude and Cito ain't so bad either!

Anyway, I have to go watch Wizard of ass again, I cry everytime Dorothy gets pulled out of Kanass!

Gay Jays Fan said...

ooops I menat the character Kansass! sorry guys, i was so excited I lost myself.

Also Ricky Romero is so fine in a Latin type of way. I hope I see him at the Pride parade like Scutaro!

anyway...GO BLOW JAYS!

Bwilly said...

Is it Buck? Frasor looks uncomfortable out there and maybe its because he doesn't quite trust his catcher yet.

Anonymous said...

What if Randy Ruiz hit .400 last year with 20 homers. Do you think that would get him 2 at bats this season instead of one?

Oh yeah he had to hit .500 in spring training. Thats right, sorry for second guessing you Cito.

Nik said...

Love the "Glengarry Glen Ross" title reference. Tell Jason Frasor:

"Put that coffee down."
"You think I'm fuckin' with you? I am not fuckin' with you."

Eh, maybe Downs is the answer.