What’s this? A second straight week where we’ve been treated to a fresh edition of Richard Griffin’s mail bag over at the Toronto Star??? Welp. I’d better get to hijacking that.
If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!
I was wondering if Gibby’s recent frustration is in part directed at AA? You’re right about his ranking as a manager (not the best, not the worst) but I like him for his honesty and at least attempting to treat these guys as adults. Despite some bloopers of his own, doesn’t failure of the Jays to be well above .500 lay with AA’s failure to address or recognize the following:?
-Given his lack of a bat, Goins was always destined to go back to the minors. So why no suitable back up if Maicer Izturis went down? Replacing a light hitter with another light hitter (Getz) who didn’t even have Goins defensive ability was plain goofy.
-Given the obvious pitching weaknesses why no experienced starter picked up to fill in. I don’t mean a stud Cy Young –just someone competent. It meant replacing a guy who couldn’t get out of 5 innings (Morrow) with a dud (Happ) who can’t get out of 4.
-Why wasn’t the bullpen refreshed? With a few exceptions bullpen pitchers don’t carry one good season over to the next. Janssen and Cecil yes, Loup, Delabar, Santos etc., no. Given the fact they had already decided to start McGowan using his loss as some kind of excuse for a weak bullpen is plain rubbish.
At least the batting is keeping us in it and hopefully this doesn’t slowly start to turn into a return to 2013.
all the best
Frank T., Prescott, ON
No, no, and no.
1) I’m not going to disagree with you that the decision to hope for Goins to transform into a completely different player over the course of the off-season was ill-conceived, but that — and the subsequent collection of replacement level guys the Jays brought in hoping to take the reins at the position before Juan Francisco forced them to play Brett Lawrie there — has had what, exactly, to do with why they aren’t father above .500? I’m going to go with pretty close to nothing. They haven’t helped the team a lot — the Jays second basemen have been about replacement level so far — but they’ve hardly killed them.
2) Now, if you’d said not getting a full-fledged starter — an Ervin Santana — so that Dustin McGowan didn’t have to be thrown into the rotation by default at the end of Spring Training, you might have had a point. The McGowan experiment was a noble, hopeful one, and pragmatic given the options available, but Alex — and Rogers — should have absolutely done better. But picking on Morrow and Happ? Huh? Morrow was going to be in the rotation no matter what, as he absolutely should have been. The fact that he didn’t perform before he hit the DL certainly did hurt the team, but that’s worked out about as well as it possibly could have, frankly. Happ isn’t nearly as bad as so many negative fools want so desperately to believe, and it’s created a spot that’s going to eventually be assumed by Marcus Stroman — who, fingers crossed, is close to as good a pitcher as was available this winter, and who was already in the organization and ready. Yes, starting pitching — particularly the inability of starters to get deep into games — and the failure to address it has been a big part of the reason the record hasn’t been better, but not in the way you’re suggesting.
3) The bullpen, and the uncharacteristic blow-ups they suffered in the weeks while Casey Janssen was out, has had a lot to do with why the Jays failed to separate themselves from the rest of the AL East in the early going, yes. But key word: uncharacteristic. They’re absolutely fine. Pretending you understand the volatility of relievers on one hand and then calling it a weak bullpen after just over a quarter of the season is a much horseshit as the ridiculous woe-is-me “hopefully this doesn’t slowly start to turn into a return to 2013″ garbage. Come on.