Thursday, 16 January 2014
It Getz Better
This offseason in general has been kind of a letdown, what with the incredibly slow developments in the pitching market, and the lack of Jeff Samardzija acquisitions, right. That's not to mention that the Jays currently have Ryan Goins and Maicer Izturis slotted in to be the 2B platoon as it stands, 30 or so days before pitchers and catchers report (sidenote: !!!!!), which, to me, might be a bigger problem then the no Samardzija thing. After all, there's still Tanaka, Garza, Santana and Jimenez to be had-- I left out Bronson Arroyo on purpose-- while the 2B market is all but dried up, now that Cano and Infante are settled in.
Ryan Goins, this past season, gave us .252/.264/.345 over 121 plate appearances, walking just 1.7% of the time, and striking out in over 20% of his plate appearances. That is, of course, terrible. He made up for it a bit by being worth 6.5 runs defensively, per fangraphs, which translates to .4 fWAR. Any and all projection systems I've seen don't see a whole lot of promise from Goins though, and we're dealing with some pretty small samples when it comes to the fielding metrics that are making up all of his value. He seemed pretty outmatched by AAA pitchers, let alone MLB ones, so I think he'd have to be Brendan Ryan-good defensively to ever stick around.
Maicer Izturis is probably not as terrible at baseball as he was this past season, but he's also probably not good enough to be an everyday starter either. If Izturis wasn't the worst everyday-or-so player in baseball last year, he was certainly close, putting up an astonishingly bad -2.1WAR, though this was kiiind of outta nowhere. He's hovered around league average for his career until his last year in Anaheim, where what little power he had completely left, as his isolated slugging went from .111 in 2011 to .059 in 2012. It's not like Anaheim is exactly a hitter's paradise, but I guess he's on the wrong side of 30 now. The big thing that changed, though, with Izturis, was his defense. Whether he just didn't take kindly to the turf, has no mobility left, was playing too often in a position that he's not used to, or he just went blind, Maicer Izturis' defensive numbers took a nosedive this past season. He had graded out as an average fielder for his career through 2012, and had been a well-above average 2B, but he happened to clock in a -26.7 UZR/150 at 2B, and was nearly as bad at 3B too. Oh, and he sucked offensively too.
It's certainly possible that Goins is good enough defensively that he can provide some value to the team, even if he's bad offensively. And it's not completely far-fetched that Maicer Izturis isn't the worst player in baseball, and that he regresses back to "somewhat mediocre" now that he's a little more accustomed to the turf. But given the lack of really solid options for 2B in town right now, and the lack of anything on the market at 2B, it doesn't hurt to have a couple of backup plans.
Enter: Chris Getz.
The Jays have picked Getz up on a minor league deal. He isn't very good at baseball (relative to other Major Leaguers, of course), but he's certainly not -2.1WAR bad at baseball -- or at least, he won't get the chance to be, the way Izturis did last year, since he was fresh off of signing a 3-year contract. He doesn't offer much in the way of offense (career 67 wRC+, 52 wRC+ in 2013) or defense (career 2.1 UZR/150 at 2B), but he's not going to kill you either. He's a halfway decent baserunner, according to stolen base totals (87 of 105 career), so there's at least one nice thing to say about him.
Between Goins, Izturis, Getz and our very beloved Munenori Kawasaki, something, somewhere, is bound to work. And by "work", I mean not be a terrible, gaping mess of a shitty butt hole. Which is a giant improvement over last year.