John Farrell spoke to a crowd of reporters today, as he tends to do pretty much every day during Spring Training, and fortunately for us, Mike Wilner of the Fan 590 has been kind enough to post the audio of the scrum on his blog.

We know that the manager spoke about using Adeiny Hechavarria as an emergency second baseman, but here are some highlights of the things he said that haven’t been talked about quite as much.

- Like Dustin McGowan a day before– though hardly as impressive a story, seeing as they’re not coming back from years of injury, but their own shittiness– Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek threw very encouraging BP sessions today.

- Farrell had this to say about Drabek, and the interesting methods the club is using to get him to repeat his delivery: “To date he’s taken that early work that he did in the off-season, the early bullpens– I’m sure everybody’s seen the strings that have been put on the mound just as a visual reminder for him. The true test will be once you get into games, and you’re all of the sudden asked to balance the running game, the emotion of the game, all those. That will be more the real limus test of taking all the drill work out to go out and compete.”

- Farrell notes that Drabek won’t be using the strings during live batting practice against live hitters.

- A reporter asks, “if he does get into BP and he’s maintaining the lines, is that the sign that it really is starting to take?” Farrell responds that, in BP, “he’s seeing a hitter, he’s executing all types of pitches that he has. Ultimately it will be the focus on executing pitches, rather than thinking so much about his delivery– that’s a natural progression– but again, it’s first step first, and he’s doing that.” So… I guess that’s good.

- On Adam Lind, from the Key words (one hopes): “right now” file: “We are not looking at a platoon situation at first base. He is our first baseman. When we get into the season and how we monitor his off-days, that’s where Edwin’s play at first base will come into play, but right now Adam Lind is our first baseman.”

- In addition to the news about Adeiny Hechavarria playing second, Farrell says “he just looks stronger.”

- He’s got a “fairly simple swing, but this year there’s a little bit more authority to the swing than there was a year ago. Even meeting with him today– we did his one-on-one meeting with him today– and he just talked about the difference his off-season this year had, compared to last year, leading up to Spring Training.”

- Lastly, asked about Hechavarria’s experience playing second base, Farrell said that “when he was 15 was his last time.” I’m sure he can handle it.

Comments (23)

  1. such a nice hat though 

  2. Man, does that blue ever pop

  3. Blue pop or not, it doesn’t hide the fact that he is about to scratch his balls.

  4. Farrell has a serious sears catalogue mens department casual wear vibe.

  5. When your 1B has a career .615 OPS vs. LHP, you’d think that would give the team the incentive to platoon him.

    I guess we’re just going to have to get used to watching Lind flail away with Bautista on 1st base for another year.

  6. While I understand a “healthy” Lind should be given another chance vs Lefties I am kind of disappointed a platoon doesn’t seem as likely right now. 

    Also interesting about all this talk regarding Hechavarria at 2nd all of a sudden.

  7. why are his hands in his pants?

  8. What about that gave you the impression that it’s going to last a whole year? I thought the opposite– that he’s aware that a platoon might be a necessary development.

  9. Hechevarria couldn’t hit .250 on my kids baseball team. The guy turns into a .900 OPS hitter the SECOND he gets promoted to AAA, when he can’t hit for shit for the previous two years at A/AA?

    I’m not buying it. He’s getting a serious premium from whatever the Vegas effect is. He can’t hit at above or below AAA. Let him hit .800 for half a year at Vegas, then trade him before anybody else realize he’s horrible.

  10.  All he has to do is hit a bit better than McCoy did to be a decent utility guy if his defense is as good as everyone says. Sure he’s most likely not going to be the short stop of the future as people once thought, but it doesn’t mean he can’t be an asset. I argued quite a bit about not putting too much stock in his AAA numbers with those that were anointing him as a sure thing at the end of last year. That said, maybe all he has to do is be Elvis Andrus at the plate for him to be worth a lot as trade bait or to the Jays in the future. The neat thing about hitting as a short stop is that you don’t have to do much offensively to be considered successful or garner a nice WAR rating.

    The nice thing about the Jays going forward is if Rasmus can bounce back and they can extend Johnson the Jays will have plus hitters in positions mostly known for their defense at SS, 2nd and CF.

  11.  by all accounts he’s considered to be one of the top fielding SS on the planet,  that in itself has value.  so so so so much value. 

  12. If that is the case I’ll start throwing shit on the field and yelling like a crazy man every time he comes up to the plate…basically I’ll take one for the team and get myself kicked out.

  13. exactly. Lots of value. So let’s trade him. Some people may be satisfied with Alcides Escobar -2.0, but I’m not interested.

    I’m 100% happy with our SS as he is.

  14. I get it, but hopefully they are trying to pump Lind’s tires. He needs all of the help (psychological or otherwise) he can get 

  15. Yunel won’t be a SS forever. So why  trade Hech now? 

  16. Because he’s likely a sub .650 OPS career hitter. And could be a lot worse.

    I’d rather not have Hech ever play a game for us. Yunel will be fine for another 5 years at least, we can get someone else when he gets old.

  17. using minor league OPS from his 2 first years of professional baseball?

  18. Jays spent 10 millon this guy, they will for sure try him out this year

  19. Ozzie Smith: career OPS .666; career OPS+ 87; career WAR 64.6

    And Ozzie didn’t have a really good year till he was 25. And then he had a poor year at 26 before he became great at 27.

    The kid could be as good a SS as Smith. If he turns out to be, his bat isn’t going to be an issue. If the Jays don’t have a lineup that can cover for him, some other AL team will, and pay well to have him.

    Escobar is 29. He will begin to lose range soon, and while he remains a well above average SS at the moment, he’s not as good as Hech. He has the bat to move to 2nd, or could be a valuable trade piece if they wind up keeping Johnson.

    And in any case, saying at this point that Hech is destined to hit like Smith, or worse, is a bit premature for a kid who’s about to turn 23, is still filling out, and hasn’t finished what’ll likely be a full season in AAA. The Jays aren’t going to part with this investment for a considerable while yet.

  20.  He plays with his balls to help him decide who’s playing LF this season – eenie meenie minie moe going from ball to ball.

  21. Farrell looks like he’s about to pull two handguns out of his pants and start firing at inane reporters.

    Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Farrells

  22. The game is different now. Ozzie Smith wouldn’t be nearly as valuable in today’s game as he was then. And certainly not in the AL East where you need hitters from top to bottom. I’d have no interst in Ozzie Smith even in his prime to play for us.

  23.  WAR is WAR, then or now, regardless of league, division, style of play. You may want to take exception to WAR as a useful stat (no doubt it has its weaknesses), but to generate as much of it as Smith did primarily through defense means that massively fewer runs were scored against his team than would’ve been had an average shortstop played the position.

    Fewer runs against mean more wins for the team, and those wins are just as valuable now as they were during the time of Smith’s career, and that’s true in any league, any division.

    Let’s say Yunel Escobar plays short for the Jays for 10 more seasons, and plays at exactly the same level, offensively and defensively, that he does now without any regression. In that (utterly unlikely) event he would have zero chance of contributing anything close to as much value to the Blue Jays as a Smith clone would.

    If Yunel Escobar were Derek Jeter or Cal Ripken, then maybe I’d take a different view. But despite being a vastly superior hitter, Derek Jeter has contributed only slightly more to his team than Smith did to his, and if the past two seasons are any indication, I would expect Jeter to start costing the Yankees wins in 2012 and beyond if he continues to play SS.

    I don’t know if the kid will be as good a SS as Smith was. But he has a chance. Certainly he will be far better defensively than Yunel, who is no slouch. To write him off at this point is silly. And sillier yet is having no interest in Smith “even in his prime” playing for the Jays. He would make them a better team, and they would win more games.

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