Monday, April 26, 2010

Abdicate the Throne

Foolish as it is to completely write-off Jason Frasor, we have to believe something is up. He's missing a couple ticks off his fastball and leaning on his foshy thing more than ever. He isn't missing bats and it looks like he isn't nibbling as a dignified king should. More than anything, finally, he's getting hit hard. Lots of line drives and far too many base runners. It isn't fun to watch (he grinds the proceedings to a halt faster than an impromptu marching band-version of Twist and Shout) and hopefully it won't continue.

The scuttletweet skews towards injured, the reactionary conjecture almost laughable at this time. Worth noting is Frasor's sky high early season BABIP of .467, a number sure to make any BP tosser proud. Hopefully somebody within Castle Ted can set Frasor right; as one of the longest-serving Jays, fans should fight the urge to toss him aside so quickly.

Not to parrot Wilner too closely, but assuming Jason Frasor and/or Scott Downs are now officially useless is plain crazytalk. They obviously aren't firing on all cylinders, and perhaps 5+ years of warming up and high-leverage stress and strain are starting to show, but it doesn't all come apart at once like this. The ground balls will return, the walks will dissipate, these two bullpen stalwarts will ride off into the distance at the end of the year knowing they pitched really well as members of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Brett Cecil - Bat Missing Fool

Man, Brett Cecil is pretty awesome. He'll battle the long ball forever since he isn't really overpowering, but he pitched his ass off on Saturday night. 11 big whiffs (8 ks) in less than 7 innings of work is a welcome change to the guy with spotty control in 2009.

The Jays starters — Brandon Morrow excepted — continue to throw strikes at very impressive rates, walking only 2.75 hitters per 9. If this is the legacy of Bruce Walton, he'll be a rich, rich man in a very short period of time.

Interesting to hear Cecil interviewed on Wilner's pregame show*, discussing his new change, a discovery from his thumb-slicing incident in the spring. Cecil marveled at the effectiveness of the pitch when thrown at full power, rather than making a conscious effort to heave it at 80% effectiveness. Call me crazy, but that just makes sense. The grip on the ball should slow it down as much as you'd need, shouldn't it? Anyway, Cecil reiterated what everybody should know by now: the change up is the best pitch in baseball right now. Throw one or suffer the consequences.

* - I use the word interesting here very, very liberally. Cecil dropped enough "yuh knows" in the 2 minute interview to make me think I'd suddenly turned to HockeyCentral. He did mention he was a big Caps fan, so he's not perfect.

Have All the Donuts in the World!

So Lyle Overbay finally got a day off, after putting together his best offensive day of the season. I'm willing to believe almost anything about The Manager, but accusing him of punishing Overbay for complaining about his playing time last year seems a little extreme. Not beyond the realm of possibility, mind you, but far enough out there that I won't give it too much thought.

One would hope a man who prides himself on treating players the way he wished to be treated wouldn't stoop so low as to allow petty grudges into his professional decision making. Then again, there must be SOME explanation for the ongoing Citocity.


  1. "but it doesn't all come apart at once like this"

    see: Ryan, BJ; Ligtenberg, Kerry; Speier, Justin. I'd say if there was ever a position where an above-average player can turn into a chump overnight, it's a major league baseball relief pitcher.

  2. Do you not recall the 32 saves B.J. Ryan begged, borrowed, and stole in 2008. The signs of dropoff were there, he managed to hide it better than most.

  3. Also, Kerry Lightenburg was never very good, the poor season he turned in for the Jays was no worse than any of his previous three.

    Speier had a bad year last year but I wasn't off the map, forgot how to throw strikes terrible. He's better thus far in 2010.

  4. I tried to comb through the stats to see what the hell was wrong with Frasor, too. The only thing that jumped out at me was the inflated BABIP.

    Maybe the Sausage King is just in a slump?

  5. I don't ever recall his fastball looking so straight. There's zero life to it and I'm pretty sure big league hitters have an easy time squaring it up. He used to throw it with his middle finger raised-threw it more off his index finger and it had two seam movement. Haven't noticed him doing that this year.

  6. Question: who's the dude in the white jersey in between Hill and Litsch in your banner?

  7. The secret pariah Marco Scutaro


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