griffbag

Another week, another mail bag, and… actually not a whole hell of a lot to go nuts about. Hell, in this one I even make some kind of tepid, half-hearted defence of J.P. Arencibia. So strap in! As it’s once again time for me to hijack Richard Griffin’s latest (read: six-day-old) mail bag from over at the Toronto Star!

As always, I have not read any of Griffin’s answers.

If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, email it to askrich@thestar.ca and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!

Q. Hey Richard Stoeten,

How much is Gibbons to blame for the Jays’ crappy start? He seems like a nice guy and all, but I can think of at least five games he’s cost the Jays because he refuses to implement a bunt, steal, or advance the runners in some way.

Marc Losier, San Francisco, California

About as much blame as he deserves credit for the fact that they’re now going  pretty well– which I bet in your mind isn’t a whole hell of a lot, right? Like… seriously, how long do we really have to do this for? Giving away outs is a horrible idea, so the less Gibbons does it– unless the right part of the lineup is up and it’s really late and really close– the better off the team is. Say no to small ball.

-

Q. Hi Richard Stoeten,

I couldn’t be happier for Adam Lind. It’s been so exciting to watch his resurgence with the bat. The plate approaches of Lind, Bautista, EE, and Cabrera have been studies in contrast lately compared to JPA, Izturis, and Bonifacio.

Matthew McKean, Ottawa

Yeah, it’s almost like they’re different human beings with different skills and senses and abilities.

-

Q. Watched the Jays’ (oops, sorry, I mean BLUE Jays) 7-5 win over the White Sox tonight and although we won it was hard to ignore J.P. Arencibia’s “performance”: Three times at the dish with a runner on third and less than two out, and three times he goes down swinging at pitches nowhere near the strike zone (a common theme in his season thus far along with the shoddy defence).

Is J.P. Arencibia really the team’s long term plan at catcher? Other than platooning with Josh Thole (which doesn’t seem sensible given J.P.’s reverse splits), what options does the team have this year and beyond? What’s in the minors? Anything on the free agent list for 2014? Catchers possibly available via trade? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

James B, St. John’s, NL

Arencibia has come around a little since the game you refer to, and, in fact, hitting coach Chad Mottola says it was the final straw for him as well, and that afterwards he implemented some mechanical changes to his swing. But… yeah, it’s been a dispiriting couple of months, even for someone like me who has been as down on him as anybody– or, y’know, as I’d prefer to put it, as down on him as his play has warranted.
But I fear there isn’t a whole lot that seems likely to change at the position for the Jays for a while. A.J. Jimenez is back in Double-A after missing most of last year with Tommy John surgery, and he has some promise– a defence-first guy with not much pop but a decent hit tool, from what I’ve been led to believe– but even though he’s getting closer, don’t expect him to displace Arencibia to start 2014 or anything. And Thole isn’t any great shakes either, as far as we’ve seen so far, or as far as his statistical record shows. So… yeah, maybe the best hope, begrudging as it may be, is further progress from the current incumbent– or, y’know, any progress. The fact that Mottola is making changes is, at least, a good sign. By his own words he likes to work changes in slowly, so things can still change, but with how bad Arencibia has been at the plate and for how long, it’s a hell of a task.
Not a lot of free agent help on the horizon, either– Brian McCann is the big name out there, but it’s not like the Jays are going to be the choice destination. Then again, it’s also not like the bar has been set very high, so I suppose someone from outside the organization remains a possibility. Meaning: these next three months may be big for ol’ Aaron Cibia– especially because all of the home runs an RBIs are going to inflate his compensation as he hits his arbitration years.

-

Q. In many cases, a switch hitter will have much more success batting one way. Case in point – Melky Cabrera is hitting over .300 left handed and under .200 right handed. Why not drop the switch hitting and just bat left handed all the time? Doesn’t seem likely to me that he would have less success against left-handed pitchers. And he could concentrate his batting practice on his stronger side.

Phil Ford, Ottawa

Melky hit .395 against lefties last year, and .304 the year before. I think he’ll be OK.

-

Q. Hi Richard Stoeten,

I was just wondering if it’s in the realm of possibility that J.P. can play himself out of the starting job and for Thole to take over? Everyone knows about J.P’svery unproductive stats. He is a slightly below average defensive catcher, with questionable game calling skills and can hardly throw any base stealers out, doesn’t know how to frame the pitch (so many times he quickly throws the ball back to the pitcher when there’s a chance it can be called for a strike if he holds it).

Thank you Richard Stoeten.

Kam H, Richmond Hill, Ont

Anything is possible, but let’s not pretend Thole is really that much of a threat. He could cut into J.P.’s playing time, for sure, but… I see what you’re getting at, and I understand why, but like I say… I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Doesn’t feel quite so horrible now that they’ve been winning, at least, right?

-

Q. Hello Rich Stoet,

I would like to know what is happening with J.P. He is not making contact with the ball for so many games now, he appears to be striking out frequently after chasing balls outside the strike zone and pitchers seem to know this and pitch him accordingly. I wonder why the batting coach is not being successful in doing something to get him back on track. He is a pretty good hitter. What are your thoughts on him and his lengthy slump?

Tony D’Souza, Toronto, Ontario.

That’s pretty much who he’s been for like 1150 plate appearances in the big leagues, so… they’ve started publicly acknowledging making changes to help make it better, but the Jose Bautista story isn’t one that gets repeated a lot, and especially not from guys who’ve shown so little at this level. And you can even say that Bautista controlled the strike zone well before 2010. Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus all showed an ability to succeed at this level before refining, seemingly, their approaches and returning– at least for now, when it comes to the latter two– to a level they achieved in the past. Arencibia hasn’t shown that in any regard except for his empty power– so don’t go expecting him to one day turn into an on-base machine, or something resembling a really valuable hitter.

-

Q. Hi Richard Stoeten,

In light of Dickey’s and Johnson’s struggles this year, we keep hearing from many in the media that the AL is a superior league in terms of offensive talent, and thus there are greater demands on the pitchers, etc. In fact, there is a story about Tony Clark asking Manny Ramirez once after coming to the NL how he liked it and he replied that “it was like AAA and he loved it.”

I was wondering how much you buy into this notion of AL superiority, and if so why do you think the AL is ‘superior’? Having the DH is the obvious difference, but other than that, you would think things would balance out over time given the draft, free agency, etc. The recent World Series results do not suggest such a discrepancy…

Many thanks!

Dave Paskar, Toronto, ON

The World Series is a horrible barometer because it’s such a small sample of games– and between only two clubs as well. It tells us nothing about the relative strength of each league.
Obviously the big thing is the fact that the DH isn’t an automatic out like the pitcher is– so, AL pitchers numbers look inflated because of that– and also because the AL has long been home to the two huge money teams in baseball (and even now that the Dodgers are as wealthy as anyone, it seems they’re still the Dodgers). Are the leagues really so different in terms of top end talent? I don’t think so. I like to joke about the Junior Varsity division and all, but it’s not like a guy like Buster Posey or Clayton Kershaw wouldn’t be a beast on any team. It’s mostly just the roster construction and that some of the numbers look a little different. And that for some reason the narrative endures, despite plenty of players moving from the NL to the AL and quietly succeeding.

-

Q. Hello Richard Stoeten.

The Jays have had a number of underachievers this year but the most disappointing and not much talked about is Izturis. What is wrong with this guy? To say he has been horrible is an understatement. His career numbers were decent which is why, I am thinking, AA signed him. But how long can they stick with this guy in the lineup?

I imagine a kid from the farm couldn’t do any worse than he’s doing. Seems to me AA is keeping him in there to justify his trading for him hoping and praying he starts to do something fast. But the season is wearing on and he continues to flounder. What would you do if you were the manager?

He’s been terrible, yes, but fortunately we don’t have to be so ridiculous as to believe his last 200 plate appearances are the only ones in his career that matter. There is a lot of reason to believe he’ll be better– not great, mind you, but better than whatever scrub from the farm you think can magically appear. Yeah, that guy might be better than what Izturis has shown so far, but that’s kinda Maicer at his lowest. And you’re paying him for two years after this one anyway, so…

-

Q. Hi Rich Stoet,

Given his season so far, I think it’s fair to say that Mr. Lawrie has some growing up to do. Given that the wild card spot is becoming farther away with every starter that goes on the DL, don’t you think that he should do his learning somewhere else…say Buffalo?

Peter Thomson, Elizabeth City NC

No. That would be absurd. I don’t actually, really, seriously have to explain why, do I? Playing your best players is a good thing. Pretending Lawrie’s issues aren’t entirely overblown by over-serious nitpicking clowns is bad.

He’s 23 and has a .266/.324/.433 line through 860 plate appearances and has been the best defensive third baseman in baseball since 2011 by DRS, and fifth best by UZR/150. I think we can maybe not be fucking ridiculous about this, eh?

-

Q. Hey Griff Stoet,

Not sure if anyone has asked the question yet, but with the impending return of Jose Reyes sometime this month do the jays have a plan for Munenori? It’s clear that the guy is a fan favorite and a positive influence on the team. How would you shuffle the lineup to keep him in the majors? I’m fairly certain people would be very disappointed if he gets sent to the minors or (worse) traded.

Jeff

Ugh. The fact that he’s a fan favourite should have absolutely no bearing on whether a player should be here or not– and I should think that any so-called fan understand that. Plus… come on with this bullshit about understanding through your TV what kind of an influence he has behind the closed clubhouse doors.
As for shuffling the lineup when Reyes comes back, it seems as though Kawasaki may have received a stay of execution when Brandon Morrow suffered a setback, as it’s possible they keep him– to do what, I’m not entirely sure (second base against righties?)– and send down a reliever. But is keeping a platoon second baseman really worth giving up a reliever for when you’ve got a pair of switch hitters who can cover the position? The part of me that thinks eight-man bullpens are stupid says maybe, but even then, is Kawasaki really the most valuable piece to keep (minus the intangible stuff fans love but that doesn’t really matter)? I don’t know. And the part of me that doesn’t want to fuck with a bullpen that’s working well knows even less.
Neil Wagner has options remaining, as far as I can tell from this piece of research at Bluebird Banter, and I suppose he could go– as could, technically, Juan Perez or Dustin McGowan, who are out of options and would need to pass through waivers– but… I just don’t know if it makes enough sense for the Jays to do it.

-

Q. The Blue Jays are always, Always, ALWAYS a strike three in the dirt and a double play away from killing any, Any, ANY rally. The ENTIRE coaching staff should be fired and replaced by the staff in Dunedin. Fundamentally lame doesn’t begin to describe the 2013 Jays. NL pitchers learning the AL is big boy hitting. A preseason pick to complete. Please. Unbelievable.

Harry Billingsley, Kalispell, MT

PS: and don’t get me started on Buck M’s beyond lame play by play.  What a company man.  Call garbage, garbage, Buck.

Bahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Might I suggest not shitting out such monumental garbage the next time you feel the need to tell someone to call garbage garbage. Because holy fucking garbage. Hope it felt good pushing this giant turd out of your system, at least. Because, seriously, holy fucking hilarious garbage.

-

Q. Richard Stoeten,

I’ve had just about enough of JP. His defence has significantly regressed this season: He jabs at pitches rather than letting it come to him and as a result is making a lot of borderline strikes look like balls. He’s not getting any favorable borderline pitches as strikes for his pitchers and he’s also turning at least 3-5 strikes per game into balls by poorly receiving them (for example, he’s setup inside but the ball is thrown to the outside part of the plate but he reaches to catch the ball and follows through too far on the ball making it look like it is 3-4 inches off the plate).

His arrogance and outright refusal to take a walk has hurt the Jays so often. It’s almost like he realizes he’s getting close to a walk and he is in swing mode no matter what the pitch or where it is.

I could write an entire article on his deficiencies and why he isn’t even a major league catcher.

Could the inability for this club to take the next step in pitching be associated to his game calling behind the plate? Maybe it is pure coincidence but since JP has been the catcher here full time (2.5 seasons), the number of pitcher injuries is drastically up and team ERA is up even though the trend over the last 3 years in MLB is down.

Joe C

Uh… why the hell anyone would feel the need to pull a bunch of shit out of their ass to take a giant dump on J.P. Arencibia? It’s not like there’s not a whole lot of not-made-up stuff to complain about.

Comments (63)

  1. I know these entries were sent before or at the beginning of the winning streak.; but people will still find shit to complain about when things go really well.

  2. “Brian McCann is the big name out there, but it’s not like the Jays are going to be the choice destination”. I hate this defeatist attitude. If the jays offer the most money, they will most likely be a choice destination. Thats what it hinges on more than anything.

    • Also, why wouldnt mccann want to join a good team on paper? Of course he has other factors to consider but money is very likely #1.

      • He’s not coming here. Sorry, but you’ll have to get the ol’ brain fired up and thinking of alternatives.

        The Yankees will be looking to add a catcher, most likely, as will a number of other teams. And the Jays, before arbitration raises, and with Johnson, Oliver and Davis off the books, are already committed to a $110-million payroll next year. Just being realistic here. They’re really going to put their limited budget to use outbidding clubs for the top free agent catcher, who will be looking for a scary multi-year payday as he enters his age-30 season?

        • Ok, care to explain why he isnt coming here and you know this for a fact?

        • I don’t think he’s coming here because I think the Jays FO will conclude that that isn’t the best way to spend their dollars. Not because he would for some reason refuse to come here if they did give him the best offer.

          • and now with Stoeten’s revision my post just looks like I’m reiterating what he said except less… smart…er…..

            • Sorry. Thought I could explain it quickly enough that no one would have replied by the time I finished my edit. Way wrong on that, apparently.

          • i think if JPA can keep improving little by little, he is going to be the best bang for the buck

            there should be something to be said for the catcher/pticher relationship, knowing how the pitch is going to move, getting the signs right, knowing what pitchers like to do as an out pitch, stuff like that. I think at his age, his D will only get better with time as hes not a “veteran” catcher yet. He seems to have a drive to impove himself. So lets just see what the remaining 70 or so starts look like before we start looking to replace a guy that IMO is just a few years away from being a above average catcher. And if we can tick that OBP up 20 points or so, this wont even be a conversation. Hes more then likely going to hit 30hrs plus with 75 RBIs. Ill take that if he D comes around.

            • The stuff about working with the staff is a little overblown. Russell Martin, A.J. Pierzynski, John Buck, and John Jaso are all new to their teams and the pitchers seem to be getting on fine. Evan Gattis has caught a bunch for the Braves, too. Take away Buck and, for what little this is worth, you have guys catching four of the top 10 staffs in the Majors by ERA. So… how much does getting to know the pitchers really matter?

              • is it overblown? Maybe. But the pitchers are getting better as the season goes a long, and so is JPA glove placement?

                I believe you even made ref to this in the Blanco DFA days on how Dickey just pitched his best game of the year blah blah.

                And aren’t you the one who is constanly harping on small sample sizes? to say 4 of top 10? is that because of the pitcher/catcher relationship? or simple fact that they have good pitchers on their teams? or that maybe the hitters they faces are slumping at the time they face them, but who can tell with the small sample size and all.

                I dont think its overblown, nor do i think its the only factor. tis why i said, there is something to be said, der by’

                • Huh? I’m not saying the 4 of 10 thing is BECAUSE of the pitcher/catcher relationship. Did you comprehend my point even, like, a little bit? I’m saying: numerous staffs throwing to catchers who had never caught them before spring training are pitching very well. Sure, they have good pitchers. But doesn’t that tell you something about how overblown the notion of needing years to get to know these guys is? There is plenty of data in the sample, because your theory suggests that it would get better over time anyway, right?

                  • JPA didn’t get spring training. And it is a small sample size when you look at it. there is an effect. Take a look at who he has had to catch, factor out dickey, cause, well not even i can defend that shit show. You have a hard throwing Right hander in JJ, Morrow is kinda the same, but with different movement. Mark is a soft throwing lefty, whos pitches are getting better, as he even pointed out because of how him and JPA have gotten the feel for each other, i do not believe JPA cought him until the reg season, but im prob wrong there. Happ is a mild left hander with way different stuff then Mark. and thats just what we started with. 12 starting pitchers in 71 games played, and you can’t expect a 27 year old guy in his 3 year to be able to know them inside in out, with regardless of if you agree or not, is a thing. I am with everyone when its said his d is sub par, but what has it been 25 plus guys in his time here just from the starting stand point. i would argue that the Jays have the most diverse of all the pitchers of all the teams. JPA is still learning, and yes, it does take time, but the catchers you meantioned sept for Gattis are vets, who have been around long enough to make the adjustments easier when coming to a new club, plus to point out again, JPA had very few reps in spring training. Most of which came with Morrow, RR and Happ who he already had an understanding of. And i also pointed out, as you have that he is attempting to right the ship, showing that he is willing to learn and adjust. again i point out that you even said it was a thing when the let Blanco go, so theres that.

                    So all i am saying is JPA relationship with the pitchers is a factor, not the whole thing in why hes bad at times behind the plant, but its still a thing. Also didn’t call him an allstar or anything remotly close. But if he continues to learn the pitchers, none of which were starters for the jays last year as of right now, he will get better and will be the best bang for our buck.

                    • fuck i need to proof read, protest for an Edit tab!

                    • I’m not talking about JPA at all here. I’m saying the whole concept of that relationship mattering is kinda blown apart by the fact that guys can come in completely unknown to pitchers and have their staffs be entirely as good as expected. It’s not quite that simple, and a thing like catcher ERA is horrible to wade into anyway, but… seriously. This isn’t really a thing– it’s an excuse for JPA.

                    • im still going to say its a thing with a young catcher

                      did you remove the reply tabs lol?

            • I have to disagree. JPA is 27 or 28. He is what he is. Defensively, I just want a catcher that can receive the pitcher well, block the plate etc. Offensively, the thing I want the most is obp. Just dont be an automatic out. Thats the thing jpa is worst at. I think if this lineup can have guys at the bottom with decent obps that can get on base before the top heavy lineup turns over, this offense will be fucking amazing. A couple of guys outside the organization that could be attainable are castro on HOU or Ellis on LAD.

            • 20 points on his OBP would hardly make a difference. He needs almost 100 more points to be league average!

              • those are hard to find…..great D and Great OBP from the catchers spot is so sout after that its just out of our price range right now, which is why i said, he is going to be the most bang for our buck atm.

          • he is not coming

            be thankful for that as well

            let the yankees or dodgers pay him 8 yr and 120 mil

            • Bang on, Captain Obvious. McCann’s been on a downward swing for a couple of years now(yes, I know he’s hitting more dingers so far this year). Gattis is the scariest catcher -power wise- in the league right now(he’s a beast).

        • I agree that it’s pretty damn unlikely. I also would’ve said that it’s pretty damn unlikely that Reyes would be a god damn Blue Jay this year so I’d be hesitant to be completely certain about anything at this point. Still, pretty damn unlikely.

          • Depending on price, should the Jays be in the playoff hunt come trade deadline, I could see picking up McCann as a rental as a really nice option. I guess the Braves would have to be out of it to willing to dump him, but if Gattis keeps up his play once he’s back from the DL, they might take the opportunity to get some value for McCann.

        • Who cares where he wants to go? As jays fans we should be glad an aging catcher with a real bad injury history that will cost a shit load of $$ wont want to be here. The jays just need a guy who can catch a game. The lineup has plenty of fire power as it is. Fuck Brian Mcann and fuck JP Arencibia.

    • More on JPA:

      From 2011-2013, Fangraphs only spits out 17 catchers with a qualified number of PAs. Of the 17, JPA ranks 15th for WRC+ at 90.

      If we consider health and conditioning a skill, and a WRC+ of 90 at a premium defensive position not that awful then, well, the picture isn’t quite as miserable for JPA. His atrocious defense of the past few years isn’t quite as bad now. All in all, he may not really be as bad as we like to make him out to be. In the next year or two, he should be in his ‘peak years’ and may be decent value.

      • It’s not because of conditioning, though, so much as it’s because of the way catchers are used and the fact that you need a lot of PA to qualify. Knock back the minimum plate appearances and a bunch of catchers are added, and a good number of them are better offensively than Arencibia. JP gets most of his value, in fact, from simply being a catcher and having his name written on the lineup card practically every day.

        I wrote about this stuff here: http://blogs.thescore.com/djf/2013/06/12/defending-arencibia-just-wont-fly/

        Ex.

        “Among catchers with at least 700 plate appearances over the three year span, he’s 24th of 28 in WAR and– hey!– way up in 19th in wOBA. Of course… he’s 20 points of wOBA behind the hitter in 18th spot, is virtually tied with the guy who comes in 22nd (a .303 wOBA versus .300 for the Reds’ Ryan Hanigan), and is riding his strong-ish (.311 wOBA) 2011, despite his numbers dropping off in 2012, and again so far this year.”

        • 700 PAs over three years isn’t even half-time, is it?

          While JPA isn’t great, are there really 30 humans out there who would be doing better as a full-time catcher? Seems to me there are about 15-20.

        • Thanks. Still, you can’t completely discredit his ability to play a physically demanding position and not get injured. It may be mainly luck but, if we’re going to applaud the White Sox and Phoenix Suns etc. for keeping players healthy – I’m going to at least tally his playing time on the positive side of the ledger.

          More to the point, though. JPA’s career wOBA .304. Presumably, you can project that to increase at least a little bit through his 27-29 yr. seasons but, even if it doesn’t, the average wOBA for catchers is .308 (http://www.blessyouboys.com/2012/8/27/3270935/detroit-tigers-position-adjusted-batting-statistics).

          JPA’s flaws are qutie obvious and offputting to watch. However, the stats do suggest that – overall – he can be a league average catcher. And, if he’s paid as such, there’s no reason to complain.

  3. “Seems to me AA is keeping him in there to justify his trading for him ” This was in the Izturis question

    shocked you didn’t catch this and shit all over him for not even know how the jays got him

  4. How are things at work there Stoeten? You’ve seemed a little agitated lately.

    The way I see it, the Jays are getting fun again, the trolling here seems to be at least a little less, and your content has remained more significant than any other similar blogs. Hope you’re still enjoying your work.

    • He gets like that sometimes.
      Probably from dealing with idiots all day .
      Can’t blame him.

      • Agreed. Still haven’t found a better, more consistent jay’s blog despite the hit to the stoet morale over the last couple of months…

        Dealing with the bandwagon is about 99% of the reason I don’t do a baseball blog. I could probably have several hundred half-decent posts just based on the comments I’ve made on various baseball blogs over the years…. It is a tough job being a fan, putting yourself out there.

  5. Shouldn’t the jays number one need next year be second base?

  6. “The Blue Jays are always, Always, ALWAYS a strike three in the dirt and a double play away from killing any, Any, ANY rally.”

    I still don’t really get this. I guess he’s saying that’s what the Jays do whenever they start a rally? Cause really, every team is a strike out and double play away from killing a no out rally.

  7. Wow! This mailbag was full of JP bashing. i guess we gotta learn to love/like/tolerate him until somethnig better comes along whenever that is.

  8. afternoon content is the best

  9. Funny how Buck gets ripped on in some circles for being a company man, and in others for being too much of a cheerleader for players on the other side…

    As far as Kawasaki goes, I have no doubt that he’s a wonderful teammate and a great guy. However, I seriously hope that the Jays put baseball ahead of PR, and all the mythology about “chemistry.” When the time comes to make a roster decision, it should come down to Kawasaki and DeRosa. Both are supposedly great clubhouse influences, but I’ll pick DeRosa’s bat over Kawasaki’s enthusiasm any day of the week.

  10. We keep hearing from Buck/Pat/Jack about the great instruction that JP got from the Great SAL Fasano… my question is.. if a guy like SAL is able to help that much, then why do the Jays not have a special instructor hired for this very reason.

  11. Arencibia’s wOBA, wRC+ and WAR this year are almost identical to Pat Borders’s from 1992. I think the biggest difference in production between the two is that Borders hit almost exclusively in the eight spot in the lineup, while Arencibia has been picked up most of his plate appearances while hitting fifth, and that definitely creates different expectations.

    I know none of that really means anything other than that teams have always been successful despite having weak spots in their lineups. I wonder if people would care about his production this much if the Jays were 43-28 and leading the division like they were in 1992. It seems like he’s just the easiest target (understandably and deservedly so) of fans’ frustration during what’s been a rough season until recently. Something tells me all will be forgiven if this streak keeps up much longer and Reyes and Lawrie can bump him down in the lineup a few spot.

  12. I’ll probably get shit on for this, but I’d send down Izturis; not so much because he deserves it (though he kindof does) but just to see if anyone would claim that contract. If he clears then he’s probably back up in a few weeks anyway.

    It looks like Maicer will be a slightly above replacement level utility guy, which is basically just a little worse than what he’s been his entire career. No sense paying 3.5 million for that when we need to maximize every payroll dollar we have.

    • It’s not a bad idea, but I just don’t know if it’s tenable once you factor in stuff like the club wanting to be in good standing with agents and players and all that. It may also be untenable because of the fact that the clubhouse looks at Izturis as a “big leaguer” and the team may not want to upset that– I’m just guessing, and I’m not saying that justifies it. Maybe that stuff is overblown, but I just don’t think it’s as comfortable a move in reality as it is in a vacuum. And still, you’re keeping Kawasaki for what? As a platoon guy with one position, as opposed to switch hitters with the ability to play three? Still not seeing it.

      • I don’t see Itzuris clearing waivers. With the prices paid to middle infielders on the open market over the last 1-2 years, in addition to recent trades like that of Pedro Ciriaco (was DFA’d by boston, wasn’t going to clear to Padres, Padres paid cash), there is no reason for a team not to take a bite on Itzuris.

  13. Question: I know that sending down Kawasaki is the easiest thing to do as he has options and can come back up if someone goes down again (as much as I enjoy watching him) but why is everyone saying that he can only play SS, I’m sure if you stuck him at 2B he’d be fine enough. If anything SS seems much harder to play than 2B.

    • If Kawasaki was a boring white guy this wouldn’t even be a question.
      Bon is a better hitter, more versatile, has had way more career success, and is a better base runner, this is a no brainer

      • lol i didn’t mean for that to be a reply,
        that was my own separate private thought.

        • Check the numbers:

          Bonifacio – .208/.234/.317 with 2HR, 12 RBI and 9 SB in 195 PA
          Kawasaki – .221/.337/.307 with 0 HR, 19 RBI and 7 SB in 172 PA

          Now I know Bonifacio has a better track record and can play more positions but I would say Kawasaki is better defensively at his one position that Bonifacio is overall (personal opinion).

          Again that being said it should be Kawasaki to go down but doesn’t make me like the move. Also why is it that he couldn’t play 2B if tried? I’m sure he could do it.

          • Actually that’s 14 RBI for Kawasaki.

          • Check the facts:

            Kawasaki – minor league options remaining.
            Bonifacio – no minor league options remaining.

            If you want to compare the players side by side, this is the only choice. We can debate as to whether or not Bonifacio will clear waivers, but I assure you he will not.

            But to address your points: Yes, Kawasaki has been better vs RHP. However, our biggest weakness right now, which Kawasaki cannot really help out with is at 3B and at 2BvsLHP.

            While playing an average MLB SS like Kawasaki does should suggest that he can be an average MLB 2B, it is unlikely that his defense at the position is a large enough upgrade over Bonifacio/Itzuris/Derosa to steal any at bats at all from them vs RHP or vs LHP. In regards to 3B, it is unlikely that Kawasaki’s arm will allow him to compete on the level of E5/Lawrie/Itzuris/Derosa, once all other factors are taken into account. (Read: this does not mean I am suggesting that E5′s arm at 3B is better than Kawasaki’s hypothetical arm at 3B, just that there is no way Kawasaki would take any at bats from E5 at 3B vs LHP until Lawrie came back, and it is unlikely he would take many 3B at bats away from Itzuris vs RHP during this time either)

            This is baseball though and things change quickly, mostly because of injury.

            • Who cares if they lose Bonifacio?

              He had exactly 1 MLB year where he was better at the plate than Kawasaki is now, every other year he’s been worse.

              Kawaski’s fielding numbers are better too.

  14. Is one AB considered a small sample size?

    In any event, the part that sticks out to me most about last night is the walk JPA drew near the end of the game (and then subsequently got gunned down on a botched hit and run).

    Yes, it was one AB, I can’t remember him ever having a better one. Maybe, just maybe, it’s starting to sink in that he has to take more pitches in order to be successful.

  15. Harry Billingsley, Kalispell, MT #1 garbage

  16. These make me sad

  17. Why not play Kawasaki at 2B? He has been almost as good as deRosa and he’ s a much better fielder.

  18. I don’t quite see what the big deal is with sending Kawasaki down. He’d be back up in a couple of months anyway when rosters expand. If the Jays are in it then, he won’t play, but could service as a workable backup, familiar with the team. If the Jays aren’t in it, he’ll make watching post-game recaps less depressing. Besides, he’s a good option for Buffalo to have – keep them happy, lest it’s back to the desert.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *