If there's a lazier trick in the blogging playbook than "Player A/Player B" (other than insert hot girl photo when you're bored), I don't know it. But it serves a functional little device when you're looking to cherry pick facts or stats about a decision you aren't particularly happy about. So guess what, here we go!
Player A: 93.67 mph average fastball, 10.33% whiff rate, 7.7% home run per fly ball, 2.06 strike outs per walk. 27 years old.Wee, such fun! You've likely guessed Player B is big free agent signing Kevin Gregg, one of only three bullpen arms guaranteed an Opening Day job. The other? GBOAT barter chip Josh Roenicke. Maybe it's just the association with Rolen, but I'm convinced Roenicke is awesome.
Player B: 91.71 mph average fastball, 9.52% whiff rate, 15.3% home run per fly ball, 2.37 strike outs per walk. 31 years old.
Based on nothing, really. Roenicke made a handful of forgettable performances towards the end of 2009, nothing I can really remember. Other than the scouting porn. The build, the stuff, the mechanics. Mmmmmm, I'll crosscheck you anytime big boy.
However you get there, watching Roenicke progress and mature has to sound like a lot more fun than praying Kevin Gregg doesn't butcher the rare opportunity to preserve a Jays win in 2010. Just for fun, let's took a closer look at their repertories and what it means for their futures. Click to make image much, much bigger.
The WonderCutter/SuperSlutter that Roenicke humps in there helps him induce a whole lot of ground balls, the rare curve seems to miss a lot of bats. Gregg's splitter should do the same but, for some reason, doesn't. Gregg gets a lot of whiffs with the splitter but next to zero ground balls. That either means it doesn't last long in the strike zone or most hitter know to lay off it.
By all accounts, Kevin Gregg was pretty bad in 2009; worse than his skill set and track record suggest. On the other hand, Kevin Gregg has the appearance of a man who sucks. I don't know what it is (yes I do, it's the glasses. Real men wear goggles.) but I already don't trust him. But Kevin Gregg has pedigree, he's closed at the big league level and all that good stuff. Josh Roenicke is just a guy that probably prefers football. With options. So in Vegas (his home state!) he will rot.
Griping about the job done by Alex Anthopoulos after all he accomplished in the offseason isn't fair nor is it my goal. The Gregg signing doesn't really hurt or hinder the Jays neither in the present nor the future. But failing to give Roenicke a fair shake in the 'pen as the new League would be a real shame.
Hugs and Kisses to Joe Lefkowtiz, the first of his life if you go by the ugly stereotypes in my mind.