Archive for the ‘Yunel Escobar’ Category

While some folks still aren’t quite ready to buy into what the Jays are selling about the progress Adeiny Hechavarria has made, people who’ve been in the organization continue to heap praise on him. People like… Chris Woodward?

“Las Vegas inflates the numbers on home run hitters, not on line drive hitters,” said Woodward, according to a piece from Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. “He reminds me of Tony Fernandez watching his line drives.”

“I’m watching him in the cage and don’t understand,” Woodward added. “He doesn’t swing like a .235 hitter.”

Omar Vizquel liked what he saw as well, noting that “He’ll be back soon. One year, maybe two,” and adding that, when he does return, “They’ll have to trade someone.”

This brings us to the nut of Elliott’s piece, which is the question of what happens to Yunel Escobar if Hechavarria proves he’s ready and Woodward’s specious analysis of the Vegas hitting environment proves true– and the fact that Elliott thinks the Jays might be most inclined to trade Escobar.

“He’s what, 28 year old? He may be able to move like this for a few years, but what happens when he gets to 32, 33?” asks Vizquel, who says he think Escobar will be more of a third baseman down the line. The Jays seem pretty OK at that position, for the moment, and Escobar signed a team-friendly extension last year, which Elliott notes will make him rather attractive in trade.

Most interestingly, though, is that he says “privately the Jays complain about Escobar missing signs.”

This shouldn’t be entirely surprising. You might recall the time last May when the right-handed Escobar missed a squeeze sign and swung away with Rajai Davis racing from third base towards home, and nowhere to hide if Escobar had ripped one down the line. Granted, that’s kind of a fucking dangerous play, but… do missed signs wipe out that much of the value of a 4+ win shortstop who got on base 37% of the time last year?

I’m gonna go ahead and say no. And I’m also gonna go ahead and say it’s not something we really need to bother even worrying about worrying about at the moment.

Ahhh, spring! Where letting nature take its course is never an option.

The last time I checked, JP Ricciardi is no longer running the Blue Jays, so it seems a little odd– if not a bit nostalgic– that a new tidbit of information about the club could be coming out of Boston. But that could be what we’ve got, by way of Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. He writes:

“What needs to happen – maybe not immediately, but perhaps by next season – is that Escobar must move to second base to make room for Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Escobar loves being a shortstop, so there is a bit of trepidation among some in the organization as to how he will accept this. Escobar is a very good shortstop who could start for many teams, but the Jays have their version of Jose Iglesias; they think Hechavarria is going to be pretty special.”

OK, so maybe anybody could have told you that it’s probably going to be a bit weird to ask an in-his-prime shortstop like Escobar to move over for Hechavarria, once he’s ready to make the jump to the Majors– and, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, there are still big questions about whether his bat will play at the MLB level– but it’s interesting to hear that the Jays themselves, at least some of them, think this might be a problem. It’s not quite akin to working up the nerve to ask Vernon Wells to move out of centre field, which the club never seemed prepared to do, but it’s close.

Perhaps more interesting is that the club thinks Hechavarria is going to force the issue.