Saturday, May 22, 2010

May Long quick hitters

(...^ that, incidentally, is Queen Victoria - the namesake of the May long weekend holiday. Handsome lady, that one.)

With a long week of real life behind me and a much-needed long weekend ahead for us all, I'm going to assume your attention span is about as long as my creativity is short, at the moment. So bear with me while I plow through some Blue Jay quick-hitters here. Or don't. Whatever. But since you've already found your way over here.....

* You know who needs to get going? Aaron Hill needs to get going. IF (note the caps - more later) the Jays are to make a little run at things here, Hill needs to re-establish himself as a power threat. You can put Adam Lind in the same bucket, but for whatever reason I'm not as concerned. Maybe it's Hill's .170 batting average that's causing the palpitations while Lind's .230 is at least within reach of respectability with a nice run of games. I'm sure Hill will get it going, but a stretch of games with a lot of hard-hit balls would help me sleep easier.....

* And no, I don't really lose sleep over these things. Not normally, anyway. But there are always exceptions.

* You know why Eddie Encarnacion fits in so well with this club? He's feast or famine. Killing the ball or contributing nothing. Sportsnet flashed a stat during tonight's broadcast: >50% of the Jays runs come via the long ball. Yep, that's E5 alright.

* If you'll allow me to look this far ahead, Jose Bautista is shaping up to be the storyline of the trade deadline for the Jays. In many ways he embodies the Jays as a team - producing much, much more than anticipated, nobody really believes he can keep it up (with apologies to the Jose Bautista Appreciation Society)....but nobody's really willing to bet against him (them). With his value sure to be at a career high....what to do come deadline time if Bautista continues to rake, and the Jays are on the fringe of contention?

* Come to think of it, the Jays stance come the deadline deserves it's own post, not a quick-hitter. Regardless, it's sure to be a polarizing decision for the fanbase. I will say this - I'm starting to hear whispers from the loyal that they'd like to see the Jays load up, but for my money (a) it's way, waaaay too early to anoint the Jays as playoff contenders, and (b) I'm kind of hoping the Jays stick to the original stated plan of building a team that contend for multiple seasons. But hey, everything is fluid....

* Yep, Brandon Morrow really is AJ Burnett v2.0. So frustrating.

* I used to be all for interleague play. Now, I'm not so sure. And no, it's not because the Jays get their lunch handed to them (though it doesn't help), it's because I don't really give a shit about a May matchup against the Diamondbacks. Can we maybe scale this thing back some, Bud?

* Randy Ruiz - leaving the Jays not with a bang, but with a whisper. The blogosphere has been muted.

......not entirely sure I'll be able to post much more over the weekend, but if it looks like Tao's leave of absence extends beyond Victoria Day, I'll check in with some thoughts....

And on that note, have a great long weekend and be safe. See you in a few.


khole said...

The Jays are the worst team in the AL at interleague play and one of only 3 teams AL teams to be under .500 against the NL. Fun!

Ted Rigby said...

We hate interleague play because we have to watch Padres/D-backs etc. Imagine being in the NL? That would really empty out the last occupied seats at the Dome. Also, found it funny how Cito used creative substitutions to only allow one pitcher at-bat for the entire game. Must....avoid.... embarrassment.

Branden said...

Here's but one of many really good reasons why the Jays should NOT load up at any point during the rest of this season: Who do you propose will be pitching in October, should an unlikely playoff run emerge?

Here's a quick breakdown of innings pitched by members of the rotation last season:

Marcum - 0 (151 in 2008)
Romero - 178
Morrow - 124
Cecil - 142
Litsch - 9 (176 in 2008)
Rzep - 186

We're just past the quarter mark of the season, and the 2 most consistent arms in the rotation (the two without which any kind of run is wholly unthinkable) have already thrown 62 and 63 innings respectively. (Good on 'em for going deep into games, but this starts to get a little uncomfortable when projected across an entire 162 game season, never mind the 11-19 extra games a trip to the World Series brings).

I'm not saying that strict inning counts are necessarily a good thing, and I am in no way endorsing the rigid notion that a pitcher (and particularly a young one) can only increase their innings by 20% from year to year. The reality of the situation, however, is that this methodology is the one being used.

I would love to see this team pull off some sort of miracle by making a run at some post-season games, but I'm not so sure I want to see Marcum throw 220+ innings just one year removed from the operating table, and I equally don't want to see Romero burned to the ground just as he seems to be putting the whole thing together.

So, I pose this as a legitimate question to whoever actually made it this far: who pitches in October if this team makes a run? Are we willing to pay the extortionate price for half a season of a Cliff Lee (or some other such mercenary) a mere 80 games into the post-Doc era? Before this season, I think we might have all unconsciously determined that if the playoffs ever actully came up, Roy would simply pitch ever day, and we would have to worry about these things. Without the good doctor, it's probably something worth discussing.

Leaker19 said...

Typical Toronto, tease me by playing strong and getting to a respectable place in the standings, then step on their collective johnsons against some cellar dweller NL club.

I don't think the Jays are too worried anymore about sneaking Eveland through waivers. Who else would claim him now? Who's primed to take his spot? Jesse Pitch got lit up in his first LV start.

Hopefully Marcum can right the leaky boat today.

Finally, I'm in the win now camp. This building for a great 2011, 2012 or 2018 or whenever is a loser mentality. You can't always be playing for tomorrow.

A Jose Bautista Appreciation Society Member said...

Whither the Kevin Gregg of April?

Leaker19 said...

Lately we've had the 2009 Cubs version of Kevin Gregg.