Another week, another Griff Bag! Aka Richard Griffin’s latest mail bag from over at the Toronto Star! On time and everything!
If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, unless it’s about fucking Ricky Romero and J.P. Arencibia, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!
The Jays are playing listlessly and ever since the trade deadline came and went without the owners doing anything to improve the team that was performing quite well without some key players like Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie – have given up hope and the grit that they had and it is now a case of “Roger, it’s all over and out” (I should make that plural).
I wish that some group or company with the money and the love for the game purchases the team and the ball-park that the current owners got for a song, from them. All the very best to the Blue Jays team that has shown courage and great performance in so many games – thank you guys.
Have a great weekend
Tony in Toronto
Thanks, team, for your courage and spirit for all those games before you packed it in like a bunch of spoiled children with two months to go!
What a load. You want to cry about Rogers? Fine. But don’t make shit up. Whatever listlessness you want to pretend you’re seeing is just coincidence. They’ve played poorly. They’re not sulking and letting it show in their play on the field — or if they’re so unprofessional and collectively out of their minds as to be actually doing so, you sure as fuck aren’t able to divine it through your TV.
Could you give me some information on Ricky Romero? I keep going to the Bison’s website and all it reads is that he is on the 7 day DL. But he hasn’t pitched since June 1st. It’s like he has fallen off the planet. I have sent two E-mails to “The Fan” and it’s like they get lost
in cyberspace, no one even mentions his name. I even tried google, nothing.
In June, Romero had surgery on one of his knees that cost him the rest of his season. Hopefully it helps him.
Big fan of your writing and coverage of the Blue Jays Just wondering why we haven’t heard more about Kendall Graveman who has flown through the system this season as 2013 8th round pick Last start vs Norfolk for Buffalo was outstanding. Overall he is 12-6 1.76 era 1.02 whip 148 ip.
The only thing can see is he is not overpowering judging by strikeout numbers and K/Bob ratio but he obviously throws strikes 1.76 bb/9 IP. I guess his ceiling may not be too high but his numbers in 4 different levels In milb have not flucutuated like some Other prospects do you have any insight
DJ , London
Graveman’s numbers are certainly eye-popping, but they’re probably a little bit deceiving, too. For one, as 23-year-old who was drafted in 2013 as a college senior he was old for the first couple levels he pitched at this year. And while he was an eighth-round pick, he was one of the cheap seniors the Jays took in order to save bonus pool money elsewhere — his bonus of $5,000 pales in comparison to the $150,000 slot level for where he was picked. So he was never really a prospect-prospect, at least by those measures, or the fact that he was taken in the 36th round as a junior. On the other hand, he was the highest drafted pitcher from Mississippi State team that was runner-up in the 2013 College World Series, and he certainly wasn’t too old not to take his numbers at Double- and Triple-A seriously — and they’ve certainly been good.
He’s been posting a terrific groundball rate, and it’s not impossible that he can have some big league success as a low-strikeout groundball pitcher with what’s been termed a “fringe-average fastball,” but… yeah. Let’s maybe not just see the numbers and lose our shit.
I wrote a bit about Graveman here.
If the Jays are not going to give a Qualifying Offer to Rasmus this offseason, why don’t they put him through waivers and either put him in AAA, release him or trade him? Gose has proven that he is better in the field and that was proven Tuesday night with all those doubles and hits the Brew Crew threw Rasmus’ way. His plays not made vs. the plays that are made by Gose the value to the Jays is in the latters hands at this point. Why in the world is Rasmus still being pushed out there everyday?
Scott Cochrane, Niagara on the Lake
Gose has a wRC+ of 80 and Rasmus has a wRC+ of 100. And two of Colby’s previous four seasons at the plate were better than anything Gose could ever dream of as a hitter. Colby, while bad, is much more playable against left-handed pitching than Gose is, too — though I’ll grant that there may be more value to this particular lineup in Gose’s higher OBP than the wRC+ (which punishes his total lack of power) may be giving him credit for.
Sure, Colby’s defence has indeed seemed to be noticeably poorer this year — it’s seemed like too many balls have been hit over his head, though even coming close to what it looks like you’re trying to say with “all those doubles and hits the Brew Crew threw Rasmus’ way” is absolutely preposterous — but don’t kid yourself about how big the gap between he and Gose is, or pretend Gose is going to get to every ball that Colby can’t. And don’t kid yourself about this, either: ZiPS projections for the rest of the season, in very nearly the same number of at-bats, have Rasmus being worth twice as much by fWAR as Gose (though, granted, neither number is particularly impressive).
Factor in money and payroll and all that stuff they’ll have to deal with in the off-season and the equation changes significantly, but believe it or not, right now there’s a lot of reason to believe they’re playing the right guy.
I’m writing because I have yet to understand why there is not a much louder hue and cry to get rid of John Gibbons. I raised some of these same points last year, yet I don’t see how his (in)action can be defended in any conceivable way. He was handed a good baseball team. When they were largely intact earlier in the season, they excelled. As soon as Gibby has to start doing some juggling due to injuries, they begin to falter.
I think the final straw for me is the comments he made after the recent Brewers game. “You get a good outing from your starting pitcher and you hope you score one more run than the other guy” and the even more grating “It’s a trick-less game” get on my nerves. It’s not a ‘trick-less game’. Good managers make the moves that get that extra run. Perhaps this explains his in game demeanour of being slumped in the corner watching to see what is happening. That’s okay if I’m sitting in front of the tv watching the game with a beer in my hand; I don’t think it is what I would expect of a manger whose head should be fully in the game. Gibby is right that you need one more run than the other guys, but often it can be some smart management that gets you that run. It may be a long season, but if Gibbons had made the right moves, or bothered to make any move, six or seven times and found a way to get that one run, then the Jays are quite handily in the playoff race. Instead his managerial inaction is costing us and if his attitude is that there is nothing you can do about it then it really has to be time for him to go.
Holy shit, you actually believe this??!??! You honestly fucking think that the reason the team played worse when key players got hurt was the manager’s inability to juggle a lineup and not — I DON’T FUCKING KNOW — the fact that his team is missing good players?
Good lord. I mean, If you really want to build up Gibbons in your head as some boogeyman for the season, whatever, that’s fine. But FYI, there hasn’t been a louder hue and cry to get rid of him because that would be fucking stupid.
I can’t seem where to find an area to submit questions for your next mailbox, but here is one: With Colby Rasmus not performing well and becoming a free agent in the offseason, how do you feel about a CF platoon next year of Gose and Pillar? They were sharing CF duties during the (winning) month of May and complement each other very well.
I’m almost sold on the idea of going with Gose as the left side of a platoon in centre — his defence is so good, and his on-base skills have been good this year (an interesting piece from Blue Jays Plus suggests the improvement is sustainable) — but an extended run of poor play in September could still probably change my view. And he certainly has been terrible in the minors this year, so it’s not impossible.
Pillar, though? Everybody is understandably impressed with the big hitting streak and the gaudy numbers in Buffalo, and… I guess you could do worse. But I have concerns there. His defence doesn’t carry a poor bat the way that Gose’s does, his 5% walk rate (just 21 walks in 424 plate appearances) doesn’t bode well at all, the .350 BABIPs he’s been posting in the minors don’t feel like they’ll be sustainable (and haven’t been in his small sample of big league action), and he’s certainly looked overmatched in the times that he’s had to face big league pitching.
That doesn’t mean that he’ll always be overmatched here or that we should read too much into the poor MLB results and overlook his minor league success, but the warning signs are there.
It could work. It could not work. It’s possibly worth a shot because of the cost, depending on how far the Jays want to go down the path of platoons and the whole stars and scrubs thing, but they could do better. If they were really serious about winning in 2015, I think they’d have to try.
Q-Sir: I am really disappointed not only in the Jays collapse, but also your reluctance to print what is becoming increasingly obvious. The Jays season is done and it is also time to lay blame. The manager must go. He has wasted an incredible amount of talent to the point that players are mentally hurting their game. While I am a Canadian, I have lived extensively in the U.S., and have seen the sports press take on management and, sometimes too aggressively, call for changes. Not once have I read, “Gibbons, time to go”. He was sacked once before and I can not fathom why he was rehired. Are you afraid of the front office? While I am elderly, I am not senile and am familiar with the game having not only played at low levels, but as a kid worked at Cap Stadium when Vancouver was but a Class B team and I have a real love affair with the game. I also take offense at your (Kennedy) story lead, “Stroman’s Worst Start Buries Jays”. Wait a minute. He gave up five runs. Jays scored five runs. Who in hell gave up six more? The batboy? Do you not wonder what you do to Stroman’s head with a lead like that?
Most fans would not see it my way as they are more interested in Day-O or the wave, and are not even aware of the infield fly rule. Your job – educate them. Watch Zahn explain the subtleties of the game.
Zen Burianyk. Toronto
That you can, with conviction, say something as thoroughly baseless as “he has wasted an incredible amount of talent to the point that players are mentally hurting their game” is absolutely mind-boggling. How do you possibly think you’ve seen a shred of evidence to back up such a claim?