While some folks still aren’t quite ready to buy into what the Jays are selling about the progress Adeiny Hechavarria has made, people who’ve been in the organization continue to heap praise on him. People like… Chris Woodward?
“Las Vegas inflates the numbers on home run hitters, not on line drive hitters,” said Woodward, according to a piece from Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. “He reminds me of Tony Fernandez watching his line drives.”
“I’m watching him in the cage and don’t understand,” Woodward added. “He doesn’t swing like a .235 hitter.”
Omar Vizquel liked what he saw as well, noting that “He’ll be back soon. One year, maybe two,” and adding that, when he does return, “They’ll have to trade someone.”
This brings us to the nut of Elliott’s piece, which is the question of what happens to Yunel Escobar if Hechavarria proves he’s ready and Woodward’s specious analysis of the Vegas hitting environment proves true– and the fact that Elliott thinks the Jays might be most inclined to trade Escobar.
“He’s what, 28 year old? He may be able to move like this for a few years, but what happens when he gets to 32, 33?” asks Vizquel, who says he think Escobar will be more of a third baseman down the line. The Jays seem pretty OK at that position, for the moment, and Escobar signed a team-friendly extension last year, which Elliott notes will make him rather attractive in trade.
Most interestingly, though, is that he says “privately the Jays complain about Escobar missing signs.”
This shouldn’t be entirely surprising. You might recall the time last May when the right-handed Escobar missed a squeeze sign and swung away with Rajai Davis racing from third base towards home, and nowhere to hide if Escobar had ripped one down the line. Granted, that’s kind of a fucking dangerous play, but… do missed signs wipe out that much of the value of a 4+ win shortstop who got on base 37% of the time last year?
I’m gonna go ahead and say no. And I’m also gonna go ahead and say it’s not something we really need to bother even worrying about worrying about at the moment.
Ahhh, spring! Where letting nature take its course is never an option.