Monday, March 8, 2010


Image courtesy of Relentless Jordan Bastian

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 Travis Snider one of Cito's pets to fight over the corner outfielder and DH spots.

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.


  1. That first paragraph was hilarious.

  2. Good to have you back. Let's hope the JoBau and Ruiz both continue to hit when the real season starts.

  3. Dude, every hitter sits fastball. Why is it an indictment of Bautista and Encarnacion, but it's totally cool that Pujols does it too?

    Minimum 100IP, last year only 56 of 130 pitchers had positive run values on fastballs. The fastball is just kind of a shitty pitch, honestly! Do you not remember Burnett's superawesome 96 MPH heater getting raked all over the field just, like, a year ago?

  4. Sitting fastball and selling out, red or dead are two different things.

    Hitting predictable fastballs is the easy part, working with pitcher's pitches and making yourself a tough out is hard. Adam Lind, Lyle Overbay, and Aaron Hill are tough outs for different reasons. Vernon Wells is an "easy out" for one simple one: he only wants your fastball.

    It's all about breaking your own patterns and taking what you're given, in my humble opinion. I like aggressive hitters but hate guys that seem to get themselves out.

  5. Also, comparing JoeBau and EE is a complete and total party foul.

  6. Hill has the exact same approach as Vernon. The only difference is Hill was good last year, and Vernon was bad. It's a double standard based on results. If you want to criticize hitters' approaches, then fine. But you can't criticize one person for something while praising someone else for the same thing.

    And you compared Bautista and EE with your "only scrubs hit homers in September" articles first.

  7. Drew - I can understand not believing in the tooth fairy, santa and the perfect number 10 that waits in her room every night waiting for JUST you - HOWEVER - I don't understand not believing in Bautista - I mean shit - you can smell the guy from two blocks!

    Seriously, Jose was a very serious prospect at one time. Some guys need a moment of catharsis to see the light. Untill Jose STOPS hitting - I'm prepared to give the little beastie the benefit of the doubt.

    Wells with FINALLY an honest to god healthy wrist, Jose can you see the difference, sweet randy Randy Ruiz, Hill climbing and there ain't no cheese growing on Lind-burger (OK maybe that one was a pun too far) - BUT - you get the idea.

    These little blue birds of ours are getting ready to be the surprise team of 2010. You can take that to the bank and cash it!

    Time for a scotch, I need a few more calories before bedtime.

  8. If both Ruiz/JoBau continue to hit I have no problem sittin EE down. In all honesty come 2-3 years when the Jays are ready to compete are any of these players going to be a part of it?

    I've been thinking about this for a little bit. Everyone is shit scared that Snider will be hitting 9th (realistically 6th may be the best he should be) or sent to the minors. Is there any merit to having Snider/Wallace hitting 3/4 together down in Vegas? AAA's version of the Mash Brothers? They're both bluechip prospects who project to be that, so when they come up you hit them 3/4 moving Hill to 2 and Lind to 5? I guess I could be just grasping a straws to justify a reason that Snider should start down there.


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