It didn't take much, a little Alan & Jerry on the radio during my drive to work the other day and my raging spring boner blasted through my pants into the stratosphere. Malaise? Gone. Fog? Lifted. Clarencephobia? Intensified.
It wasn't anything that The Manager did on the weekend that got me riled up, that doesn't take much. At this point I think most of us default to an anti-Clarence mode, only toggling into pleasant surprise should he remove his feet from his mouth for a few minutes at a time. It was more what he didn't do or didn't say. I know it is early and spring results are anything but reliable, but I'll echo Mikey Wilner's sentiments on the Fan this morning: what does Randy Ruiz have to do to secure a job?
All he does is hit, as Big Daddy Bastian points out in his recent blog post on the slugging huskyman. (Note: Bonus points for the blurb on Ruiz touching nearly all the spring bases. BEST SHAPE OF HIS LIFE mixed with FRESH OUTLOOK with a side of OVERCOMING TREMENDOUS ODDS. The spring hat trick!)
Considering his total contribution &mdash assuming below-average defense &mdash stands (or projects, depending on your belief system) to outweigh Bautista's total contribution since Ruiz's looks like a better hitter and Bautista's defense just isn't that good. The questionable status of Edwin Encarnacion's wrist might prove this point moot, as Bautista will step in to play the hot corner leaving Adam Lind, Randy Ruiz, and
Twitter neophyte Morgan Campbell offers an interesting look into Jose Bautista's path the big leagues in today's Star, but one thing that stands out is some insight into the change in his approach that resulted in an offensive explosion during the dog days.
Bautista went to the plate with a pitch in mind, attacking when he saw it and laying off everything else. He would also cock his hands and shift his body weight to his back leg sooner, allowing him to uncoil more quickly when the pitch he wanted came.Interesting stuff. Sounds like Citocity 101: wait for the fastball and crush it! Sounds simple, and as I discovered in December, works when you're getting said fastballs served to you by replacement level arms. Let's see how this approach works when the pitcher can locate his fastball, or doesn't need to throw it for strikes.
Call me stubborn if you will, but I simply don't believe in Jose Bautista. Perhaps I'm swayed by his unique underdog/drug abuser saga, but the conclusions I drew in December are too powerful to ignore just yet. Not to mention how much cheaper he is, which could make him a worthy trade chip if that's your bag. Spring results notwithstanding, Randy Ruiz seems like the kind of player you need to make room for. Hopefully The Manager gets the go-ahead to do so.