So… is it All Griffin, All Day here at DJF? Um… apparently, as– even after the Hentgen stuff– there’s still more Grifftacular content to be mined from the lead baseball writer at the Toronto Star, who chatted with readers back on Friday, and offered enough treasure for me to make a full post out of it. (And apparently there’s a mail bag on its way at some point, too!)
I’ve mentioned a couple times– both here and while podcasting– that I’d read Griffin’s previous chat, and actually found a lot of valuable, interesting stuff in it that hadn’t managed to find its way into his pieces for the Star. Lo and behold, the same can be said for the most recent one. Around here we’ve always been of the mind that Griff is at his most enjoyable when writing less formally and more off the cuff, so I guess it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
Anyway, here’s what intrigued me in this week’s GriffChat…
- Griffin thinks– or at least he did on Friday– that there’s a non-zero possibility that Vladimir Guerrero will join the Jays when they leave Tampa for Texas after Wednesday afternoon’s game. “I’m sure Vlad would be fired up for the Rangers,” he adds.
- On the subject of John Farrell’s bit-part in the tossed helmet melee of last week, Griffin assures us that, “Oh he got fined alright. And he glared at me when I asked him if he might be suspended. That was close, but I’m sure the fine was healthy.”
- Eric Thames’ struggles haven’t gone unnoticed by the club, nor has Yan Gomes’ versatility, he suggests: “I get the feeling from Thursday’s Farrell session that Rajai is going to be seeing more starts in left than Thames now because he talked about wanting a lefthanded bat on the bench. When Lawrie comes back, I wouldn’t be surprised if Francisco was the odd-man out until after inter-league because the Brazilian Bomb is more versatile in NL parks.” He later adds on Gomes that “Farrell likes him a lot.”
- At the same time, he thinks that the Jays are going to be giving Ben Francisco more looks until Interleague starts, or Vlad comes up, to see what they have and “to gauge if there is any interest” in him on the trade market.
- More reason Brett Lawrie’s actions were, literally, indefensible: “I think that with certain umpires that even if he doesn’t hit another umpire ever with equipment, they will look for him to be a problem. So, yes, it will linger.”
- John Farrell likes Henderson Alvarez– a lot. “Ask that question to Farrell and he looks at you like you’ve got two heads,” he says to a reader who worries about sustainable success for the young Venezuelan due to his low K rate. “He says Alvarez has a heavy sinker and that to strike guys out even at 95-96 mph he needs a better breaking ball away from righties and since the pronation of the wrist on the sinker is the opposite, it will take time — or never.”
- Asked of the ex-manager’s role with the club that still employs him, he explains, “Cito spends most of his time scouting golf courses. He has earned whatever title and salary he gets from the Jays, but even when he was managing he had little interest in who was in the minors.” That’s our Cito!
- “Rasmus is important to the Jays because of his really good defence,” he says. “They will be patient and leave him in a bottom three spot.”
- Lastly, regarding the winter trade market he explains, “Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos were both on AA’s radar, Latos more than Gio. The concern with the former A’s pitcher is that he did not throw enough strikes to compete in the uber-patient AL East. But the Jays prospects were all at least a year away and that was a problem for Billy Beane.”
Image via @ShiDavidi.