Wait a minute, do I really believe that adding Hardy & Beltre would be enough for the Jays to be competitors?I felt awful. I felt dirty and dishonest. There is no way those two&mdash even with Carl Crawford thrown in for good measure&mdash are the missing pieces to the Jays puzzle. But then I thought some more: neither are Chone Figgans and Jason Bay.
If those are the big time, no guts no glory signings the Jays need to make, they're fucked. Matt Holliday is the lower end of guys I'd consider big-time impact players. Figgans and Bay, even if both provided 5 WAR, don't get you much closer. I'm all in favor of a splashy signing so long as the team throws down a legit cannonball rather than a bellyflop.
Let us not forget the Golden Rule
In the wake of my pining for Adrian Belre, some were quick to point to the recent resurgence of both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. To which I say: good for them, it means less than nothing. Why? Because we DON'T BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN APRIL OR SEPTEMBER.
Consider the pitching woes of our local nine. How many other teams are doing the exactly same thing? Shutting down promising rookies while sending out gassed shadows of their summertime selves (see Romero, Ricky or Price, David.) How many runs did Sergio Mitre yield to the Jays when he was left in the game for the sole purpose of sparing the bullpen. This stuff happens nearly every night in September when teams at both ends of the spectrum&mdash methodically marching towards a division title or restlessly counting the days until October 3&mdash are playing out the string.
Every pitch Scott Richmond throws in pointless attempt to prolong his nascent big league career is one pitch the Jose Bautista of the Tigers or Rays doesn't see in July. I'll cut E5 some more slack but to me, Bautista had 5 months to prove he could still/ever hit.
His strong arm/no range defense is fun to watch as plays at the plate are exciting. In fairness, many outfield assists mean many people are running on you, but Baustista ranks well in Fangraphs more complete ARM metric in limited innings. To his detriment, other part-time outfielders with similar arm abilities all put up vastly superior range numbers. Again to be fair, he's never been a full time outfielder though he did log 600+ innings in the field in 2006. No matter how you slice it, he still isn't much more than a 25th man off the bench.
What does my ceaseless Bautista Bashing have to do with my earlier rosterbation? Plenty. A optical success in September could influence the decision makers into believing Bautista is valuable piece moving forward. You and I know that just ain't so. Every rep he gets the rest of the way is a strike against developing the young talent of this Blue Jays ballclub. Remember, all our hopes and dreams are banking on Aaron Hill's ability to pull everything and sustain a home run per fly ball rate double his career average. The is no amount of insurance too small to consider for 2010.
Something Completely Different
The very good and very wise people at Pitchers and Poets launched a new project called the Rogue's Baseball Index today. An "alternative baseball lexicon" of terms they didn't teach you in Little League. It is great fun and a great way to kill a few stray moments. They were foolish enough to let me contribute a few entries (see related on this entry). Please do check it out.