Saturday, 13 April 2013

Jose Reyes, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Muni

I can already tell that this post is going to be all over the place, based solely off of the random direction of thoughts currently in my brain, so let's just get in to it and see how much sense it makes later.

Life without our best player-- and frankly, let's face it; Jose Reyes is our best player-- begins tonight.  Not sure how long that's going to be, though Alex Anthopoulos and the twitter doctors all seem to think that it's anywhere from 1-3 months as a best/worst case scenario.  The result is Munenori Kawasaki.

Munenori Kawasaki is pretty terrible at baseball, relative to the other 1200 or so people who make up the various 40-man rosters, but, as mentioned many times before since he signed a minor-league deal with the Jays, he is certainly the most giffable player in baseball.  For all intents and purposes, moving forward, refer to this paragraph when I accuse anybody present on a major league (or even professional) baseball roster of being terrible at baseball.  He's terrible relative to his peers.  Who cares though?  Gifs!

Basically, what I'm trying to say here is that for absolutely no reason other than my nerddom and love of funny Asian people, I really like Munenori Kawasaki.  Not so much as a ballplayer, but as a person.  A person who happens to be a ballplayer.  A bad ballplayer, but a ballplayer all the same.

What Muni does well for the Jays is provide bench depth.  That was once a job reserved for whichever of Emilio Bonifacio or Maicer Izturis weren't playing, but both are probably going to be cast in to most lineups in wake of Reyes' absence, at least until Brett Lawrie returns.  To boot, Izturis is struggling with a foot issue after fouling a ball off the other night.  Gotta have Muni.

Both Bonifacio and Izturis have had some pretty hilarious moments defensively so far, which is apparently an area that Kawasaki can help with late in games.  He had better be able to help defensively anyway-- .192/.257/.202 career slash line, albeit over a terribly small sample.  Of course, we can't forget about Mark DeRosa either.  DeRosa has arguably been better than both Izturis and Bonifacio to this point.

As for Reyes, obviously we hope that he'll be back as soon as possible, and healthy and as awesome as ever.  He started the season about as well as anyone could have ever hoped for, putting up 0.6 WAR in just 10 games.  Obviously this pace wasn't really ever sustainable (.435 wOBA!), so it's tough to say what we're going to be missing out on, even if he's only out for a month.  ZiPS rest-of-season (ROS) only liked Reyes to end up with another 3.8 WAR, which I suppose we could try and extrapolate to figure out how much this will cost, thanks to our good friend math.

Those ZiPS ROS projections are based off Reyes playing another 129 games.  3.8 WAR over 129 games makes 1 WAR per ~34 games.  The Blue Jays will play 34 games between now and May 19th, which is just over a month.  That ought to ball park it.  Call it a WAR every month.  Izturis, Bonifacio and DeRosa, platooned correctly, aren't replacement level players by any stretch, so if you're some math dick living in his parents' basement who doesn't watch the game and only reads about baseball off a stats sheet the way I do, this isn't a massive catastrophuck of a problem.  Yeah, it sucks, especially since he's the only person on the team who is hitting and getting on base at the moment, but it's going to take more than this to fuck everything up.

The season is still a long one, regardless of who is hurt or how hurt he is.  We're less than 1/16th of the way there.  Sit down.  Have a beer.  Take your pants off and relax.  Panic at the all-star break.

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