Boom. That's the money quote, right there. And now that it's seemingly starting to come together for our (yeah, "our"...you heard me, Wilner!) Toronto Blue Jays, it all seems so simple, doesn't it?
Build your big league club and organizational depth around young, cost-controlled pitching, and the rest will take care of itself. Dedicate assets to it. Make it a priority. You can never have enough. There is no such thing as a surplus. All the cliches apply.
....and they apply because they're all true. There's no such thing as a 5-man rotation. Not for 162 games, anyway. In a world where even the casual fan understands the implications of the phrase "Tommy John surgery", a steady supply of starting arms is no longer simply a luxury, it's a requirement. And if you happen to be so lucky as to escape the season relatively unscathed - you're probably the only one. Which means rival GM's will come calling, and you can name your price.
Friends, this is why I'm high on the future of the club. Under Anthopoulos, the Jays are well on their way to being there. Inheriting Ricciardi-era arms such as Marcum, Romero, and Cecil, Anthopoulos has added to the team's core strength by dealing for emerging ace Brandon Morrow and top prospect Kyle Drabek, and dedicating his first draft to further bolstering the arms race.
And just when you think you've got the near-future rotation all figured out (Marcum, Romero, Cecil, Morrow, Drabek...with maybe a spring push by Stewart), along comes Marc Rzepczynski tossing his hat (along with bowling-ball sinkers and well-placed offspeed pitches) into the ring.
So, yeah. I think AA might have it figured out. Mix in a core of young (and young-ish) hitters smashing the ball all over the park, a few well-timed and reasonably played upside trades (Wallace vs Gose), a blatant rip-job here and there (Morrow! Escobar!), a renewed dedication to scouting in general (fuck slot!) and Latin America specifically (Adeiny!)....and we just might be onto something here. Whether that "something" is the playoffs remains to be seen, but I'm optimistic.
Given the way the team is playing and the organization as a whole is improving...how can you not be?
More on RZep...
I stand firm in my belief that Kyle Drabek will be in the team's rotation plans next season - whether it's right outta' spring or a month or two in (arb clock...), which means that, barring trade or injury, there's no room in the rotation for Rzepczynski.
But he absolutely has to figure into the club's major-league plans next season, doesn't he? Would it be an egregious waste of his talents to assume a middle relief/spot start role - ie: a rich man's Brian Tallet? The value of such a pitcher can often go wildly overlooked - they're the dudes in the pen you don't notice unless they're getting lit up - and Rzep (though over-qualified) would fit the bill nicely.
Nice problem to have, isn't it?
...Less on JPA
How quickly the tides have turned. After following up one of the better big league debuts in, oh, history with a couple of 0'fers, seems JP Arencibia has earned back-up duties under the watchful eye of
Then again, it's tough to argue with lineup decisions when the club is playing as they are. So I'll hold off. For now.