Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Paying for Pedigree

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.

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.
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.

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.


  1. fuck, I already hate gregg. it is mostly your fault, but my hate is also based on the fact that we could have signed a decent platoon partner for jobau and/or useable piece (like filipe lopez or even, wait for it, hinske!) for less. I know, lopez had a career year and all, but I sure as fuck would rather his 29 year old outlier of a great season to gregg's old, tired, loss-of-velocity, pure kife performance from 2009. especially considering we have roenicke, accardo, janssen and others who, i bet are better than he is in the long run (or short for fuck sakes).2.75 for this clown is bullshit, especially when we can't pickup any decent free agents. if we had been offered a few other pieces for similar money, and AA added gregg to the mix, i wouldn't be sitting here foaming at the mouth at 2:30am. but here i am.

  2. I thought the super splutter was a reference to a Gregg splitter that didn't do much. That seems to work too - a splitter and a splutter from Gregg.

  3. I hadn't even thought about Roenicke until now, but you're right, why not give him a shot instead of Greggg? Roenicke's low sample ERA is obviously misleading, but at least he keeps it in the park. The big knock on him is the walk rate but even that's not much worse than Gregg's. Fuck, I hate the Gregg signing even more now. Hopefully he's gone at the deadline.

  4. Either way, one hopes that part of the Trader Alex philosophy is doing as much business with/fleecing of old guard GMs like Walt Jocketty before they die off for good.

  5. I feel sorry for Gregg. The Manager will lean on him heaviliy early in the year for no other reason than he is older; then, after the second or third or fourth disappointing relief effort of the season, Mr. Gregg will disappear into the oblivion of the bullpen, never to be called on again.

  6. WonderCutter/SuperSlutter
    goes to the gutter
    makes him mutter
    and Jays fans sputter

  7. I'd sign Blake Lively over either of those guys.


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