Friday, 11 May 2012

Free Money

Boy, them Twins are a tough group to play against, huh?  You just never know what you're going to see next.  I mean this in terms of having a hard time knowing just how badly they're going to fuck up, or what basic fundamental of baseball they're going to butcher next, when you least expect it.

Edwin Encarnacion was probably the main benefactor of the whole Minnesota "defense" fiasco, getting two free RBI's that he didn't really do anything for, the first on a routine groundball to short that Yunel Escobar just decided to score on, and the second on a popup in to the Bermuda Triangle area between the pitcher's mound and home plate, where people have struggled to defend dating back to the glory days of Ruth and Mantle.

If we can ignore Jose Bautista's new-found ability to still not get on base anymore, and Adam Lind's shittiness in general, the Jays offensive output was pretty awesome last night.  Brett Lawrie hit the ball hard a few times, and more or less put the game out of reach in the first inning and also happened to take two bases on a passed ball (thanks Ryan Doumit!), Colby Rasmus went 2-for-3 with a walk, and Yunel Escobar got on base 5 times, including 4 hits.

All of these items kind of overshadowed another pretty good outing from Henderson Alvarez, who threw 7 reasonably good innings, though the control wasn't quite what we've come to expect.  He walked 3 and struck out two, but of course, with Alvarez, we're looking more for groundballs, and less at the K:BB ratio.  We'd still like the K rate to come up (i.e. develop another pitch that isn't a fastball), but 14 groundballs against 1 line drive will certainly play.

I know I've written about this exact thing before, but again, I don't see how Alvarez can maintain this kind of performance.  SSS, but a babip of .212 and a strand rate over 87% just aren't sustainable stats, so the ERA will definitely rise.  The groundballs, double plays, and shifts could conceivably help keep his babip and strand rates stay above league average to a certain degree, I just hope he keeps working on stuff like finding a swing-and-miss secondary pitch or something, because you don't get to play Minnesota and Seattle very often.  I am glad that they're taking advantage of these games against the drivel teams though.

Speaking of getting starts against drivel, Kyle Drabek gets the ball against Minnesota.  He has been just fair in his last couple of starts, missing gloves and throwing strikes and balls at a pretty equal pace.  He really does need a game against a garbage lineup like this Minnesota one, and hopefully he just slams pitches straight in to the zone and lets them swing and miss.  I'd love to say that I have a lot of faith in Drabek as a major league pitcher going forward, but until he shows me that he can pound the zone and not miss absolutely everything down and away to righties, I'll not have that opinion.  I'd feel absolutely fine with moving Drabek to the bullpen or minors when Mcgowan and/or Cecil come back, or when the Jays acquire Matt Garza in a few weeks.

Notgraphs is going crazy with the Bluejays content so far today.  Brett Lawrie twitter nonsense, and Sergio Santos party's hard.  This works nicely with the Fangraphs take on Vlad Guerrero.

Ricky Romero was on the MLB Network yesterday talking about a bunch of stuff like baseball, basketball, his dog, and twitter.


Apparently the Jays have checked in with the Phillies about the availability of Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels.  The Phillies don't expect to be sellers this year, according to Ruben Amaro Jr., GM of the sinking ship that is the Phillies franchise, but he's said that he's got to at least be mindful and keep certain doors open.  Both players are free agents after the season, and if neither gets extended, a trade could happen.  Victorino would be an upgrade over Eric Thames, and could send Jose Bautista to 1B to jettison Adam Lind from the lineup.  Hamels would instantly become the best pitcher on the Jays staff, and would be a very welcome addition for a playoff stretch if the Jays are still hanging around a few months down the road.

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