Archive for the ‘Juan Francisco’ Category

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So here’s the news that a lot of Jays fans weren’t hoping to here, but should probably have been expecting: according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, Anthony Gose is headed to Buffalo for a couple of weeks, in order to make room for Edwin Encarnacion.

This won’t sit well with those who are ready to run Colby Rasmus out of town — or even those who still like the promise Colby holds, and think he can do better than we’ve seen so far, but have also noticed that Gose has been worth nearly a win more to this team in 2014 in over a hundred fewer plate appearances.

And it definitely won’t sit well with those who are ready to stop watching Juan fucking Francisco tumble deeper into the goddamn abyss.

Francisco has been awful basically since the start of June — a .184/.240/.380 and a 67 wRC+ in 171 plate appearances — and somehow even more fucking terrible than that over his last month. His defence isn’t good, which is why he’s mostly been at DH or first base of late. But, unlike Gose, he’s out of options, and hey, at least when the other team needs a key strikeout, Big Juan’s a guy they can totally count on.

Ugh.

Bitterness aside, the decision seems to be based on the fact that the club currently doesn’t have anyone other than Munenori Kawasaki who can hit right-handers at all. Steve Tolleson and Danny Valencia can’t. Problem is, um… Francisco can?

As much as we love a good, old fashioned platoon, they become a bit unwieldy with respect to the finite number of spots on the roster, and the Jays are in a bit of a pickle with this one. But, as is usually the case with these matters, it’s not necessarily as completely fucking stupid as it seems — though that maybe depends on how big a risk to their seasons you think moving Bautista or Encarnacion to third against right-handers until Lawrie is back would be. Francisco has to have a short leash here. Ryan Goins can come back after the mini-series with Milwaukee, and while he gives absolutely nothing with the bat to this offence-starved club either, at least he does fucking something well. And it’s not like Francisco can’t heat up, either — plus, the power is a very nice asset, and given the career turnarounds of Encarnacion and Adam Lind in recent years, you can sort of understand not wanting to expose him to other clubs… sort of — it’s just… are they really so desperate that that’s what they feel they need to hold out hope for at this point?

Maybe they are. Yeesh.

juanfranciscoPHI

This week Dan Szymborski had a piece at ESPN.com (Insider Only) in which he told about just how close the AL East is now expected to be, based on the ZiPS projection system. As of yesterday morning, he explained, “ZiPS projects four of the five teams in the AL East to have a mean projection of finishing at 83 wins, with Toronto only a couple of games back.”

“Now,” he continued, “that doesn’t mean that 84 wins will win the AL East; it just means that, according to the projections, no single team in the division is more likely to finish with more than 84 games than not. In other words, the AL East isn’t likely to come down to who has the most talented team, but simply luck and which of the very evenly matched teams play above their expectations.”

So how can a team do that? There are all kinds of variables at play in this, but on a very basic level, one way for a team to play above what the projection system can register is to have a players come out of nowhere, to make a change, or to simply have something click in a way that it couldn’t be foreseen by any mere assessment of his track record — and in case you haven’t noticed, the Jays may genuinely have some of those.

Without a doubt, Drew Hutchison could be one, but 2014 has also been going swimmingly so far for a player whose grip on a contributing role may loosen this week — provided Adam Lind comes back on Thursday, as expected, and Brett Lawrie doesn’t wind up on the shelf — and that, of course, is Juan Francisco.

And Francisco really could play above the expectations/projections if he continues taking walks at the highest rate of his career, I think.

But can he?

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