Monday, August 22, 2011

Loving Luis Perez and Other Weekend Reflections

Okay, hands up all those of you who had figured in March of this year that Luis Perez would pitch 50 innings with the Jays this year. No one? Okay...How many figured he might get a cup of coffee?

Well then. Who among you knew who the hell Luis Perez was coming into this season? (And if you're getting all like Horshack, straining to raise your arm until you throw out your shoulder, shouting "Ow ow ow...Mr. Kot-Tao! I knew who he was", then just stop. You didn't. You saw him on the 40-man roster and thought: "Who dat?")

Perez' start yesterday, impressive though it may have been, was far too small a snapshot for us to draw any real conclusions. But in a year in which the Jays have required 11 pitchers to take the ball at the start of the game, Perez has been a pleasantly surprising asset. He's shown himself to be a respectable arm who can throw hard and down in the zone and eat bullpen innings, and to get through 162 games, you need someone dependable to do just that.

One more question: Who figured that on August 22, Luis Perez would be rocking the same 0.3 WAR as Jason Frasor, Frank Francisco, and Shawn Camp? And that he would have produced more value than Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel and Kyle Drabek combined?

Oh, of course you did, smarty pants.

Frankly, on Franky Frank
When Frank Francisco couldn't answer the call yesterday afternoon, we saw mostly joyous exaltations of Casey Janssen and jovial ribbing of the Jays sorta-not-really closer. And yet, it bears mentioning that Francisco's output since his terrible outing in Cleveland on July 7th has been pretty exemplary. Just one run allowed in 13.1 IPs with 11 strikeouts and one walk. Hitters posted a .204 OBP against him, and he hasn't allowed an inherited runner to score.

So before you make your comments about how it won't be a big loss to replace Franky with whatever random organizational arm we can scrounge up, think about how that tomato can is going to replace those numbers as opposed to a couple of disaster outings in the distant annals of the season.

Kyle Davies Is a Blue Jay
A number of you flipped this news to us on the weekend, and the weird thing is that when we'd heard that the Royals were giving him the heave-ho, we had this sneaking suspicion that the Jays would pick him up. We won't embarass ourself with some sort of rationalization of how he's an arm that might have something left and worth a flyer, because he's really been terrible since his not-awful 2008 season.

Then we reach for out standard "...but still...you never know...", only to be reminded of how Jo-Jo Reyes' opponents have OPSed .910 against him since his rebirth as an Oriole.

And yet...He's an arm. You never know.

House of Grim
Is there any more depressing sight than watching your team struggle against the A's in Oakland? Watching as much of the games as we could (usually on some errand-induced delay), it was just a depressing vibe to see the Jays whiff and pop up into the expansive foul territory of the deserted Alameda County Mausoleum.

For whatever history that team has in that market, they've got to get out of that stadium and out of that town. The San José A's has a ring to it.

11 comments:

allisauce said...

You can make the case tat FF has been quite good for longer than that, too. Since June 1, he's had a 2.74 ERA, striking out 23 while walking 7 in 23 IP.

Callum said...

The Coliseum is truly the most awful ballpark I have ever set foot in.

rwag said...

I wrote about the Davies signing on my blog yesterday. In short, not a bad zero-risk, medium reward ply.
In full:
De3buting in this game for the 51s was the newest member of the Blue Jays’ system, RHP Kyle Davies (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K), recently released by the Kansas City Royals. A former top prospect of the Atlanta Braves, Davies was traded to the Royals back in 2007 in exchange for RHP Octavio Dotel (small world!) as new Royals GM Dayton Moore sought to fill his organization with as many members of his ex-employer’s system as possible. Receiving chance after chance for the Royals over approximately 4 full seasons, Davies put up some of the worst pitching seasons since the happy ball 1930′s. The reports on his stuff remained positive, as he pitches in the low-mid 90′s, with decent secondary pitches. It seems his command was not strong enough to get batters out consistently. It has been suggested in some circles that Davies has the tools to make a decent reliever. Like most pitchers, he has been more effective (relatively speaking) the first time through the batting order than in subsequent matchups. His appearance in the 8th inning of a close game here suggests that the Jays are going to try him in that role. This is a good low-risk, medium reward move by the organization.

Drew said...

Jays fans love to talk about Fenway park being cheap and the Red Sox cheaters for playing in said park. How is that toilet not cheating? Ricky Romero would win the Cy Young every year if he pitched there.

mlaffs said...

Two surprising factors to the Davies signing for me:

1. The AAA season is over in three weeks - are they that desperate for arms in Vegas that it's worth picking him up now?

2. Given that he was popped for disorderly intoxication the day before the Royals gave him his walking papers, he doesn't exactly fit with AA's stated preference for players with 'character'.

Tao of Stieb said...

Drew - Somehow, it only seems to be cheating when it pumps up offense. But watching a bunch of low scoring games this weekend, I can see how Barry Zito made his bones in that park. It's crazy.

mlaffs - Not sure if the deal with Davies was that the disorderly intoxication was part of a larger issue, or if it was just the last straw on top of a bad few years. Scouts always loved his arm, if not the results. I can imagine a room full of scouts would have clamoured for giving him a shot.

Raiders of Baseball, yo!

Anonymous said...

More on Jokeland's stadium:

http://deadspin.com/5306316/why-your-stadium-sucks-oakland+alameda-county-coliseum

"well, first of all, and to get it out of the way before all those asshats in the comments who've never actually been to our fair city make the tired joke, it's in oakland. second of all, mt fuckin' davis. not only did it replace a spectacular view with an eyesore that reminds all in attendance of the corpse that ruined oakland sports, it also fucked with the wind patterns to the point where, on the worst nights, it can be downright candlestick-esque. this is particularly harrowing for me as it brings back memories of a drunken father, a shitty team, and a darker time when i was, ugh, a giants fan. third, it's a big old mess of concrete and plastic seemingly designed only for sterile functionality which, aside from the few planted areas outside the stadium, would look more at home in the eastern bloc than the east bay. add to that the fact that it's situated between the nimitz freeway, a mostly stagnant bay runoff, the train tracks, industrial wasteland, and one of oakland's gnarliest neighborhoods and you've got the basic foundations for the world's stereotype of our city. on the plus side though, it's not in fremont, i've never had an easier time smuggling in booze, and you can generally find a joint rotation to weasel your way into in the smoking section." (Ian H.)

Anonymous said...

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have acquired 2B KELLY JOHNSON from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for 2B AARON HILL and IF JOHN McDONALD. The Blue Jays will also recall C BRIAN JEROLOMAN from Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League (AAA).

CJ said...

Hey, Alameda County Coliseum's OK. Yeah, Raider Nation may not be everybody's cup of tea but security is good and -- oh, you're talking about baseball -- oh, well then yeah, it sucks, and not too many people want to take a family of little kids into Oaktown.

Don't hold your breath on any changes though. Ask anybody who's lived in California lately just how hard it's become to build anything, develop anything, do anything there -- it's pathetic.

@dwbudd said...

I lived in San Jose, Calif for many years, and had the "good fortune" to spend several evenings a the Coliseum watching what at the time were pretty mediocre to awful A's teams (the mid-90s were not a glory days for Oakland). They did put together some good teams later on, but still, no one came to the "park" to watch.

In reality, the Coliseum had everything going for it as the worst stadium in the big leagues. Location? Tucked in between the Nimitz Freeway and a mess of freight and BART tracks, within gunshot distance of the war zone otherwise known as the Fruitvale Neighbourhood. It was a nightmare to get there (the Nimitz was regularly one of the worst commutes in the Bay area, and that is saying a lot; the alternative was to drive from the Valley up to Fremont, which required 30 minutes on the Nimitz parking lot, and then BART to the Coliseum station - not the safest way to travel). The stadium was sterile and unwelcoming. Massive, poured concrete facades; little to no organic charm. A mile from the seats to the field. Poor visibility. And the evenings in Oakland in the "summer" are not warm. The ushers were surly and rude. The team was being run on the cheap, so anyone who was any good was quickly gone.

All in all, if I were not a transplanted Jays' fan, I would not have bothered.

For what it's worth, Candlestick Park was really only marginally better - another frigid, unwelcoming park set amongst one of the worst neighbourhoods in San Francisco, with few options to get to - the Bayshore Freeway was if anything, worse than the Nimitz, and there was NO public transport to the Stick...

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