Vintage Kevin Gregg is not yet on display in Toronto, but it is only a matter of time. Not vintage like the supercool leather jacket your dad used to pull trim at the Gasworks back in the day, vintage as in "shitty like we all thought he was."
Kevin Gregg's 2010 is all about regression. Came out of the gate like an animal, striking out 14 while walking only 1 in April. The wheels steadily came off as the weeks rolled by until his most recent struggles. The culprit? Walks. Lots and lots of walks. Walks to shitty hitters, as I detailed yesterday. But Gregg's single greatest weakness is yet to surface, meaning plenty of fireworks for the rest of the season. Get ready for the tater tots.
Kevin Gregg serves it up more often than your kid sister after 3 Bud Light Limes. Gregg's great love of the gopher ball is what landed him in Toronto for a song in the first place. So far this year he's kept it in the yard, but fear not, it won't last.
With the walks will come a long, important talk with head cheerleader Bruce Walton. Gregg will take the mound with purpose, determined to throw strikes and challenge hitters. And challenge them he will, no doubt. Except the challenge won't be "here's my best stuff, do with it what you will", it will be more along the "I bet you can log a better time on the Tater Trot Tracker than the guy who just hit one so hard the ball peed a little." It's going to be ugly, yet glorious. This will not end well, but then again, it rarely does.
Prospect Porn is Not For the Faint
In all the hustle and bustle, a couple interesting tidbits on some of the Jays best young arms came down last week. The Futures game featured a few Jays farmhands, including Next Big Thing Henderson Alvarez. First piece of exciting information: Alvarez throws damn hard. Only one outing in an unusual circumstance, but the same held for all the other guys on the list. Weee, smoke! That's good, right?
Hold your horses, Jeremy Greenhouse of Baseball Analysts is about to stomp down on your youth and will to live.
Henderson Alvarez of the Blue Jays is currently starting, and impressing, in High-A, but to me he profiles more as a right-handed reliever. His best pitch appears to be a sweeping low-80s slider, and his hard fastball runs away from RHBs, so unless his changeup develops into something, Alvarez looks like a sinker/slider guy out of the pen.Annnndddd wilt. That's no fun, at all. Sinker/slider guy out of the pen? Great. Jason Frasor is the next big thing. Why is it so hard to retire left handed batters? Scott Richmond should start a support group in Dunedin.
What about giant Canadian Trystan Magnuson?
Trystan Magnuson's best pitch is a cut fastball that comes in at 88, moving across the plate. He also throws a split-finger fastball at 88. And his actual fastball is only a bit harder at 92-93, which makes for a unique repertoire. I don't know how much success it'll have.Unique repertoire is code for "difficult to pigeonhole", in my mind. Is Magnuson one good offspeed pitch away from climbing the ladder? Projectability means a lot when it comes to the kids, I've learned. Taking minor league numbers at face value is dangerous, as is dismissing them out of hand. Where these two guys fit in or end up is anyone's guess, but a hard throwing guy and a unique 3 pitch mix guy are certainly decent places to start.