Archive for the ‘JA Happ’ Category

romeromonochromeFAES

The line for Ricky Romero didn’t look particularly horrific today. Not great, mind you, but not absolute disasterfuck. He tossed three innings– was scheduled for four– giving up three runs on five hits, and two walks with four strikeouts. The issue, however, as it’s been since the end of Spring Training last year, was his ability to throw strikes.

By Wilner’s count it was 62 pitches, 32 of which were strikes. Which… is not good.

Last season Romero threw the eleventh-most balls among qualified pitchers, on the fewest number of pitches of anyone in the top 30 save for Barry Zito, and with the fewest number of strikes thrown among the top 45, save for Tommy Hanson. Which… is not good.

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Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees

It never quite ceases to amaze me that there’s this conception among fans that athletes should think the same way about the good of the team and the sanctity of the game as they do. This arose earlier this winter in the fan reaction to the bluff made by Darren Oliver’s agent in an attempt to extract more money from the club, and I’m seeing it again today after sixth starter J.A. Happ voiced his displeasure with appearing to be ticketed for Buffalo to start the season.

“Considering it’s spring you’d think he would just keep his mouth shut and do what is good for the team. There’s no way AA is going to trade at this point in time no matter how much he cries? He’s still making major league money, time to suck it up,” says one comment.

“Happ needs to check his ego at the door and realize its all about winning,” says another. “Yeah, playing in the minors sucks but hes the 6th starter for fucks sakes. Its basically a given he will be up at some point and it could be even earlier if romero continues to suck.”

There are elements of these comments that I can’t help but agree with. The first is absolutely right that Happ doesn’t have much of a choice in the matter and should probably do a better job of not talking about it. The second is bang on about the fact that Happ isn’t very likely to wind up as John Lannan, who spent the bulk of 2012 in the minors after making 122 big league starts over the previous four years. The Nationals had remarkable health in their rotation last year– remarkable effectiveness, too– and it’s a solid bet that the Jays’ collection of arms aren’t going to quite be so otherworldly fortunate.

What’s missing, of course, is that Happ is concerned about his earning power as he heads into his third and final year of arbitration. Being “stuck” on this team as opposed to a number of others, where he’d actually get to start, could end up costing him two- or three-million dollars– if he stays down for a significant portion of the year. That’s not a tiny amount for a player of Happ’s stature in the game, even though it drives fans batty to think that someone could have the audacity to be upset when he’s already being paid more money than most of us could ever dream of. These players have a very short window in their lives in which to capitalize on the earning potential their baseball abilities, and at least a decade of full-on dedication to the sport have afforded them.

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STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND FORM AN OPINION ON THIS.

The Blue Jays may not have a bunch of jerseys frozen in giant blocks of ice all over the city right now but that isn’t stopping the team from pulling out all the stops to make headlines.

Basically everyone that makes a living reporting on transactions for the team just momentarily flooded timelines all over the internet with the news that J.A. Happ will be returning to the team for the sure-to-be-illustrious 2013 season. So yeah, you can rest safely knowing the customized Happ jersey you had made up last season still has a place in your game day rotation.

Any quick, nearly effortless attempt at penciling a starting 5 rotation together at this point sees Happ lining up as a long reliever / spot starter. Knowing the Jays injury history at the position there’s a very good chance he’ll be seeing a fair share of work this season. He managed to contribute 1.8 fWAR between Houston and Toronto last season, to go along with a 4.01 FIP / 3.92xFIP that led to a slightly unlucky 4.79 ERA.

At the risk of beating you all over the head with statistics, I’ll admit that the thing that makes me happ-iest (Holy shit I’m a genius) about all this is the guarantee that we’ll see more stuff like this:

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Can’t a man just watch a stream of Holland-Turkey while writing a Griff Bag post on a Friday afternoon? Apparently not, as TSN Radio producer Lawrence Dushenski lays this on us from the mouth of Alex Anthopoulos. Or maybe it was John Farrell, or… whoever it was:

 

Well, of fucking course he is.

I… uh… I don’t know what to say, to be honest. How did it happen? What does it mean for Romero’s nine days of being shield– er… I mean rest? No clue just yet. The club has made it official, though, via Twitter.

So it goes.

But wait, there’s more!

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Is Kevin Comer Houston’s PTBNL?

Comer? I just met her!

According to a tweet from Joe Musgrove, who went from the Jays to Houston in the deal that brought JA Happ, David Carpenter, and the ability to watch Brandon Lyon for two months, instead of Francisco Cordero, it sure looks like Kevin Comer, 57th overall pick in 2011, is going to be the Player to Be Named Later going to the Astros.

Wow.

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Not mentioned in the post once.

Bylines, people. They’re right underneath the titles of posts on this site, and they tell you who wrote what you’re reading.

In the case of the one about this morning’s trade, you’ll notice that it was Drew, not I, who wrote it, and therefore to whom your scorn should be directed– which isn’t to say that I disagree with what he was saying, but simply to point out that t’wasn’t me.

Now, if it had been Parkes writing, that may have been a different story. Though… OK, he kept his damning of the Jays on this deal to a minimum in his post at Getting Blanked, before he went uncorking the champagne for Jeff Luhnow and company in Houston on today’s podcast.

True, the Astros had no use for JA Happ because he’ll hit free agency long before they’re ready to be competitive again, and his real value is as a swingman, a depth starter, or maybe at the very back of a rotation on a decent team. And perhaps the price shouldn’t have been so high, as the Jays could have waited until the off-season and picked up a player to fill that kind of role for nothing more than a little bit of cash.

The prospects they gave up were the price of doing business now, though, yet perhaps Parkes is also right that it’s foolish to acquire a player like Happ now in exchange for players with any kind of promise, given the position the 2012 Jays find themselves in.

But it’s not like they have a lot of ready-made fall-back starters in case they have trouble finding pitching this winter or that Happ– unsexy as he is– isn’t better than the Aaron Laffeys of the world who’ll be available for nothing; it’s not like they’ll have Luis Perez to step into the lefty specialist role that may be vacated by the terrific Darren Oliver, should he be dealt or choose to retire (as rumoured); and it’s not like they’re not going to need a guy like Happ at some point over the next season-and-a-half.

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