Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday News Noms

When news is what you're after, ordinarily GROF isn't the place to come. But I'm stuck at work tonight and a few quasi-interesting news bits leaked from Twitter like braincells from a Red Patch Boy.

Eye Chart Tries on a Necktie

With Marc Rzepcynski all but assured a starting slot from nearly the start of spring, I'd all but counted out Brett Cecil's chances to make the big club out of spring. Not so fast, completely uninformed guy 3000 kilometers away from the action. Jordan Bastian says otherwise:
One battle that is not drawing much attention right now is the quiet competition between young lefties Marc Rzepczynski and Brett Cecil for a rotation spot. It has been assumed all spring that Rzepcynski — a favorite of Gaston's — was a virtual lock. It's worth noting that general manager Alex Anthopoulos made the near three-hour drive to Fort Myers on Friday to watch Cecil spin a strong five-inning outing.
Alex Anthopoulos must have some dirty-ass fingernails from turning over every last stone in Florida. Driving for three hours in Florida counts as six hours of driving in Ontario, as every mile driven along a Florida highway brings you that much closer to death.

Before I get my Brett Cecil boner all engorged once again, I might balk at the viability of this battle. Unless Rzepcynski forgot how to throw strikes, I'd let him start the year at the big league level. It would make sense if, as Hugo at Bluebird Banter suggests, that Cecil is a part of The Plan while Rzepcynski is just a happy accident. Should the roles reverse and RZep starts the year in Vegas while Cecil's clock runs, would it be reckless it assume the opposite, that the Jays think they've got something special in Rzepcynski? Or is it just good old-fashioned baseball "who's throwing the best right now" thinking? The answers to theses questions say a lot about the direction of the Blue Jays; luckily I haven't a clue to those answers.


The drugged up Dude singing in the back of the Malibu squad car is one of the funniest moments of The Big Lebowski. Though I'm sure Paul Beeston both makes a mean Caucasian and enjoys treating objects like women; I doubt he had a hand in branding Jason Frasor the closer. A report on Fox Sports by Jon Paul Morosi claims "Frasor is the guy they (ed. the Jays) seem to be peddling," attributing the quote to Bob Elliott's infamous "NL scout".

Could AA and friends market Frasor as their closer in an attempt to drive up his value? Would this even work? "He's our closer to start the season, YOU'D REALLY HAVE TO BOWL US OVER" hardly seems like the best way to extract maximum value for guy in the last year of his deal. Just as the rotational battles were likely over long before they began, I seriously doubt any team changed their valuation of Jason Frasor because Clarence deigned to name him The Closer.

Unless...added counting stats (like saves) could goose Frasor's value into Type A territory. If so, bravo Alex. You're a fucking genius.

Image of the last thing left-handed hitters of the AL East in 2011 will ever see courtesy of Getty Images via Daylife.


  1. your labels are correct but the article is missing a z in rzepczynski.

  2. As much as I hate to admit it, I think Gaston had more to do with Frasor closing than Downs. With Carlson out there's no lefty in the pen outside of Downs, which means it's better to save him for set up duties. Plus Frasor got in Gaston's good books last year by doing a good job when he was called on as the closer.

    Which is for the best, because Downs is the better reliever, and it's never a good idea to make your best guy a closer.

    AA's done a good job but I don't think naming Frasor the closer was his call.

  3. I lay myself at the mercy of Rzepczynski. You name bested me, you Polish dynamo.

  4. Mark, you're probably right. That doesn't make it wrong to wildly theorize about the Jays front office engaging in psychological warfare with needy NL GMs.

  5. I'm curious to see if all of Frasor's improvement last year was due solely to perfection of a fringy changeup or owed in part to some modicum of random chance.

    (I don't know what that means, but for some reason feel like I can't use everyday english on this blog.)

  6. I think the changeup helped Frasor in more ways than one. He's always had good stuff, but he used to freak out whenever he got behind and gave up a lot of runs because he tended to throw bad pitches when his nerves were getting the best of him. Not to get all "intangibles" here, but I think having a pitch that he can use to effectively get lefties out probably did a lot for his overall composure on the mound and probably played a role in his overall improvement last year, too.

  7. (That point about composure obviously being second to the fact that, y'know, he can also use said pitch to get lefties out now -- just in case that wasn't naturally implied as I'd meant it to be).

  8. Eh.

    Not buying it. if you are trying to sell the league on how valuable Frasor is to you because he's your closer, then you never acknowledge any possibility that there is a competition.

    When they signed Gregg and left doubt as to whether or not he or Frasor would close, they blew the "value building" angle (if that had ever been their intent)

    On another note, if I'm going to have to put up with Gregg closing, I'm gonna be pissed if we DON'T get something of actual value for Frasor.

  9. Yeah, I'm with southpaw. Our bullpen has been good lately in no small part because of the efforts of Downs and Frasor (and League for that matter). If we're going to deal them, lets get something back. Otherwise, lets keep 'em around, maybe extend them.

    It's a bit presumptious (very presumptious) that the next batch of relievers will be effective at all.

  10. I think I read on Bastian's blog that Clarence said there is a possibility both Cecil and Rzep could both start the season in Vegas?

    Cecil, yes. RZep, maybe? But both? Seems a little crazy to me.


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