Archive for the ‘Vladimir Guerrero’ Category

Updated again: Vlad tells the Blue Jays that they need to either call him up by 1:30pm or he’s out. Here is exclusive DJF video.

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Prior to tonight’s opening of MLB’s Rule 4 Draft– and the Jays’ charity golf tournament, which is happening today– Alex Anthopoulos jumped on the Fan 590′s airwaves and spoke to Jeff Sammut about draft strategy, and where Vladimir Guerrero is at, among other subjects. Obviously there’s not a whole lot that the GM could reveal about how tonight is going to go down, but that’s largely because he doesn’t know for sure himself.

“We kind of run these quasi-mock drafts,” he explains. “Then we’re looking at signability, because now at this point every one of the advisors and the families and the players have pretty much given an indication of what it will take to sign them. So, you start looking at it and you start to say, OK, well, is there a scenario where if we get a few of these selections, and we have to pay them, do we maybe take not as good a talent in the fourth round or in the eighth round and try to save some money there, so we can sign the picks up high? So, that’s all part of it. It’s the opportunity cost of the pick– is there one player who’s good enough to forgo taking not as good a talent a round a few rounds behind. So, that’s going to be part of the strategy that we’re going to talk about, but we’re going to have to obviously let the board play out as well.”

The impression given was that this was something that wasn’t focused on too heavily until late in the process, because it’s so dependent on who’s available at which pick. If we believe him, then, the club doesn’t appear to necessarily plan on maximizing the amount of dollars they can spend on early picks by punting ones later, rather, it’s going to come down to who’s available and how they think they can make the money fit.

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Rare glimpse of Vlad Guerrero actually stopped on second base at Dunedin, not trotting past it.

It would be kinda ridiculous to get overly excited about the A-Ball performance of an aging, positionless slugger who had a .694 OPS on September 1st last season, then feasted on some September pitching to the tune of an .894 September OPS, bringing his season numbers up to just a shade below respectable, but… Vlad Guerrero hit two more bombs for Dunedin tonight, so here we are!

Both home runs came off 6’8 left-handed Tigers prospect Brian Flynn, at 2011 seventh-rounder who was the 11th-best prospect in that system coming into the season, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, the eighth-best according to John Sickels at Minor League Ball– who mentions Flynn’s 90-95mph fastball– and seventeenth overall, based on the aggregation of several lists by Steal of Home.

Of course, knowing who Flynn is likely (read: sure as fucking fuck does) speaks more to the huge learning curve for even top tier prospects as they try to work their way up to the Majors, than it does anything about Vlad. But it’s interesting in that it possibly shows that the power is still there, and maybe even the bat speed– or, at the very least, that it isn’t not there, as much as High-A pitching can.

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I think I kinda remember this from when it went viral after it first surfaced (YouTube tells me it was posted on Big League Stew), but stale or not, I think this warrants posting today because un) the Jays just signed Vlad Guerrero, and it’s very possibly that this is the only time all summer that he’s actually going to be topical, et deux) holy shit! This little slice of pop simplicity is actually kind of a great tune, if you ask me. Maybe it’s just genre-bias and the nostalgia talking, but all impossibly hokey loathsome sports tribute songs (read: all of them) should aspire to be as genuinely listenable and not cringe-worthy, and when they realize they aren’t even anywhere fucking close, they probably shouldn’t feel so bad for themselves.

Good on ya, as usual, Montrealers…

 

Crotch grab in the direction of @RyanPinder for the clip.

Well, isn’t this interesting, in a whole lot of ways…

He adds this about the terms…

So… there’s that.

On the field, I think we’re talking about a rather inconsequential signing, frankly. But in the hearts and minds of a lot of people– unfortunately, especially people who aren’t embarrassed like a normal goddamn person to love a Canadian connection for the sake of it, or just ones who are such casual fans that they’re thrilled to see a recognizable name on the roster– this is great news. And I guess I count myself among that giant group, even though I’m wary of the possibility of watching one of my favourite players as an absolute husk of his former self.

But still… Vlad!

Now, there’s no guarantee that Vladimir Guerrero will ever even actually play for the Jays at this point, but if he does, here’s what I think we can expect: Rajai Davis goes back to the more appropriate role of pinch runner/defensive replacement in left field, Ben Francisco– who I’m not convinced isn’t better than Guererro at this point– probably doesn’t have a place on this team, and Adam Lind probably doesn’t have a place facing left-handed pitching.

I’m obviously fine about the latter– literally, or as close to literally as possible, anyone could hit left-handers better than Lind has over the last two-plus year. And I think the first one makes sense as well, I think. But… as much as Ben Francisco is really only nominally a guy who can play defence and really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to have on the roster, does Vlad actually fit any better?

Vlad had 429 plate appearances against left-handers last year with Baltimore, and he while he wasn’t Adam Lind terrible, he was pretty terrifically bad. A .311 wOBA, .098 ISO, and a .708 OPS against what should be his preferred opponents– however, in 2010 he destroyed lefties, with a .401 wOBA, .198 ISO, and a .932 OPS.

Basically, if he can maintain the level he performed at against lefties in 2011 he’s still better than Lind, and if he can give the Jays anything remotely resembling 2010 they’ll have found themselves a decent, cheap asset that’s going to– if you want to be cynical about it, and I do– tug at the heartstrings of just about every baseball fan in this half of the country.

Because, when he was with the Expos, Vlad was fucking great.

Thing is, this isn’t the same Vlad, and even the notion that at 37 he might be capable of reproducing what he did at 35– especially given that he also had a down year against left-handers in 2009– is a little bit rich. They don’t have to play him if he’s no good (though their use of Vlad’s possible soon-to-be-co-mascot, Omar Vizquel, suggests they may not feel the same way), there’s not much risk to giving him a shot, he doesn’t cost much, and I can’t imagine someone not being thrilled at the prospect of it actually working out. It’s just… I’m having a similarly hard time imagining it doing so.

But shit… if his being on the bench makes John Farrell more inclined to sit Adam Lind against a lefty than Ben Francsico being there does, it’s hard to see it as a terrible thing. Having flexibility is never bad. It’s just, let’s maybe not lose our shit over the possibility of him even getting here just yet. But yes… Vlad is a little bit cool– even at 37, and especially if you don’t have the obligation to run him out there for nearly 600 plate appearances, the way the Orioles did last season.

Parkes give his similar-looking two cents at Getting Blanked.

 

The Jays, FYI, have made the signing official via a team release. Image by Jose L. Marin/Getty.