OK, so maybe by the time I’ve actually published this thing its now Wednesday. Whatever, man, it’s still Tuesday to me right now, and I gotta ketchup on some links [note: ugh] from the past few days. So let’s chow down! [note: ugggggh]
Can We Expect Morrow Of The Same?
John Lott had a piece full of Shaun Marcum praise in Monday’s National Post where he spoke to Brandon Morrow and Jays pitching coach Bruce Walton about what turned around the pitcher’s season. Kevin Kaduk of Big League Stew turned a similar trick Tuesday as his tour of the Grapefruit League took him to Dunedin.
Now, I know that there are some big differences between Morrow’s single year of success and you-know-who’s– Morrow is younger and people have always seen this kind of potential in his arm– but it is kinda funny how few lingering doubts there are over whether he’ll be able to do it again compared to Bautista.
Those lingering doubts were the basis of some interesting chatter this afternoon on Twitter. After news hit that the injury woes befalling the Cardinals’ pitching staff had deepened, Jays fans decided it was time to revisit their infatuation with Colby Rasmus, prompting @DrewGROF from Ghostrunner on First to quip: “Getting it out there now: I’d trade Brandon Morrow for Colby Rasmus. #insanity”
“It isn’t that I don’t believe, I simply question his ability to improve and stay healthy,” he added, when prodded by @TaoOfStieb for not believing in Morrow’s “transcendent awesomeness.”
This, you might expect, surprised some people– mostly those in the “Rasmus for Brett Cecil, B-prospects and relievers” crowd, who… um… are they for real? We don’t sort of figure that if a Cecil-centred package could have got it done it would have been done already? (No, honestly, don’t we?)
Like most, I don’t agree with Drew that I’d deal Morrow for Rasmus straight up– mostly due to sentimentality, I guess, because I have no idea whether to expect further improvements or good health from him– but given the club’s surplus of pitching and need for exactly what Rasmus brings, that probably makes me an idiot.
Still: no. Cecil, relievers and a prospect, though? Yeah, giddy-up. Obviously.
How Ready Is Zach Stewart?
Interesting report today from Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com on Zach Stewart, who we were told last year was “neck and neck” (or something to that effect) with Kyle Drabek, and who, according to the piece, would have had a September call-up if he hadn’t already reached his innings limit– something the Jays hope to avoid… uh… avoiding this year.
“We’d like to get him to the 160-165-inning range,” said manager John Farrell. “But we also want to be sure that he is available late in the season.” (And… um… I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mean in time for the big playoff run.)
Interestingly, though, this doesn’t mean that they necessarily want to fast-track him to the majors.
“We’re going to make sure that he makes every stop along the way,” Farrell said, referring specifically to a trip to Las Vegas of the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. “Sometimes in those offensive environments, pitchers learn more about themselves with the conditions they find themselves in.”
Initially this sounds like it might be a bit of a change of course for the club– Kyle Drabek appears as though he’ll reach the majors straight from New Hampshire, as Jesse Litsch did– but actually, in looking at their minor league numbers, Romero, Cecil, and Rzepczynski weren’t exactly shielded from the PCL, so… um… I’m not sure exactly what my point was…
Bahahahaha!!!! Oh, how I love this. It seems as though when he doesn’t have senile old superstitious rambling nonsense being whispered in his ear, Adam Lind is actually not fucking terrified of being penciled into certain spots in the batting order.
“Whatever works,” Lind said, according to a Toronto Sun report, when asked about hitting cleanup– something he didn’t do once all of last year. “It sounds good. Someone’s got to hit there.
“Part of his maturing is not placing so much emphasis, personally, on his spot in the lineup,” explained John Farrell later on. “We did speak in our meeting and he indicated to me that was something in the past and to me that tells me he’s maturing as a hitter.”
Meanwhile, Joe Pawlikowski of FanGraphs explains why he has faith in Lind to have a bounceback season … unfortunately, most of his theory revolves around Lind staying out of the giant sucking abyss that is the cleanup spot, so… so much for that, eh?
Oh, come on! I’m kidding! What kind of fucking retard would think being in one spot in the order or another would have some kind of drastic impact on a player?!? No, Joe figures that Lind’s second half showed enough to think he can pull out of whatever plagued him last season.
Get your boners out! Tomorrow (as in “today”… as in “Wednesday”) marks the debut of Keith Law’s gig as thrice-weekly co-host on ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast. Nails much?
Double nails programming note: Wilner’s latest blog post for the Fan 590 informs us that they’ll be webcasting tomorrow’s Grapefruit League game. “So be sure to tune in to mlb.com at 1:05 PM Eastern and join me, Jerry and Alan on the interwebs,” he says.
Goserunner on First (see what I just did there?) is loving what he hears about the defensive abilities of the prospect the Jays obtained last summer for Brett Wallace.
Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star seems to see Eric Thames as a severely underrated commodity, is willing to blame injuries for the late start to his life as a prospect (Thames is already 24, with just 179 minor league games to his credit), and– I shit you fucking not– gives credit to JP Ricciard (no, seriously, I shit you not) for taking a chance on him despite Thames missing much of his draft season with a torn quadricep.
Meanwhile, a week or so back Griff’s colleague at the Star, Mark Zwolinski, profiled Jays’ Assistant GM Jay Sartori, who was quickly hired away from the Washington Nationals last summer, once “the Jays realized that people like Sartori normally run banks or develop software for NASA.” Interesting dude.
Lastly, here from Business Insider is yet another reason to envy the Rays and the way they do business– and to hope that the Jays don’t stray too far from emulating them by, say, taking $65-million gambles on possible one-year-wonders. It’s a nifty little flowchart depicting the Rays’ own Human Gift That Keeps On Giving: Delmon Young.