As I see it, building a team/contender/profitable on-field commodity is a never-ending process. Those in charge must constantly consider and reconsider if the man they're paying to do a job is the best choice at in that role. It started this winter, when the "Scott Rolen is overpaid" chorus grew loudest. After I made my impassioned case that Scott Rolen earned his paycheck and more, wundercommenter Torgen pointed out that not only is Scott Rolen great, there isn't an immediate option that would step in to that role even remotely as well.
Stoeten of Drunk Jays Fans today brought up a very interesting point regarding Brian Tallet's tenuous spot in the rotation. (A point I was bouncing around my head on the subway ride to work. Damn you speedy Dutch bastards!) He may not last long there for two reasons: there is another role he can fill better than the current placeholder while there are plenty of people behind him that can do his job nearly as well.
Jesse Carlon's pitched exceptionally well for the Jays these last two seasons though he's run into a rough patch of late. For the season the defense has propped him up a little, shaving a full run off his ERA. Here in May however, his ERA and FIP are nearly identical, sitting right on 6.00. Carlson's a fly ball pitcher who's strikeouts are down, contact is up and whiffy swings are down. His BABIP is still too low though his strand rate is coming back to the norm. In other words, he's becoming a regular, run-of-the-mill bullpen arm rather than a Blue Jays penbot from beyond the moon.
I don't come to bury Jesse Carlson, but if the Jays are to continue their success; they must make tough decisions like this. We as fans--especially as it relates to joyless roles such as spot starter or lefty specialist--can only hope the organization makes the right one that will ensure continuous improvement. Keeping Scott Rolen made sense as he's a gift from god, one not easily replaced internally, externally, or galactically. Jesse Carlson is easily replaceable, as are Brian Tallet's starts. For the good of the club we should be willing to consider it.
Other Stuff Quickly
- The psychopaths at Fangraphs have done it again. Now freely available for your perusal: pitch type linear weights! What this tells us: basically how good many runs a given pitch provides compared to average. As usually, I have no idea where they derive these numbers but they're sure fun to look at! Roy Halladay saves 3 runs per 100 snaps of his mighty curveball for example. His fastball's been his worst pitch this year according to these findings. Same with Scott Richmond: excellent results with his slider are often given right back with his fastball. Wanna know why Brett Cecil's here to stay? Positive results with all four of his pitches, most notably his curveball. His sample size is tiny but I surely don't care.
- Lesley Visser hates fun and shrimp.
- Beyond the Box Score tracks UZR by age. Just a quick reminder that Alex Rios is 28 and Vernon Wells is 30. Their best defensive days are behind them. So much for moving Rios to centerfield. Dammit.
- On the Walkoff Walk Furious Five podcast this week we discussed Steve Phillips inane comments regarding Carlos Beltran. I may be of the opinion that Carlos Beltran is amazing. The playoff probability added post from the weekend featured THREE Mets in the top 5 in the NL. The Mets have an unbelievable core surrounded by shitty, replacement level players. That doesn't mean they aren't fun to watch though! In fact, I'll be live blogging their game against the mighty Dodgers tonight for the Score. Come by and say demeaning things about Juan Pierre. It's good for the soul.