Friday, July 23, 2010

Litsches get Stitches

Look, beating up on poor Jesse Litsch isn't fun. I get no pleasure from knocking around the pudgy red-headed kid. Good people? I'm sure of it. A decent athlete? Relative to his cup size, of course! A big league pitcher? Mehhh, I'm not convinced.

Maybe that isn't fair, he IS a big league pitcher, making 58 starts over 4 seasons in The Show. Not me nor anyone else is going to take that away from him. My biggest beef with the Jays continually trotting out Litsch is his ceiling. This is it, isn't it? He can be good in very specific circumstances, but completely vulnerable in nearly every other instance.

A line in Mike Wilner's latest blog entry got me on this line of thinking. Quoth the Wilner:
He (Marc Rzepczynksi) may be the odd man out on Tuesday when (if?) Travis Snider gets recalled, especially given the way Jesse Litsch has pitched lately, but the landscape may change dramatically between now and then, with the trade deadline approaching.
The way Litsch pitched lately? The same as always. Yes, Jesse Litsch put together a good start in Kansas City, holding the Royals to 1 run on EIGHT hits in 5 2/3 innings. Zero walks and zero strikeouts. After giving up two home runs in each of his previous two starts, Litsch managed keep the ball in the yard against the Royals. Which would be good if not for one key detail:


The Royals, charitably, suck. Awful. A punchless lineup of slap-hitters (and Billy Butler) with no power whatsoever. I defy you to find a better match for Jesse Lisch's skills and abilities. That isn't a good start, pitching well against the Royals counts for nil in my book. Let's not forget the heavy air and vast outfield expanses.

The Royals offensive ineptitude nearly drove me to drink this week. It's bad enough that their poor fans have to deal with it every day, but Buck and Tabby blowing smoke up the long-dead ass of Ewing Kaufman nearly pushed me over the edge. "This is Royals baseball!" they exclaimed as the Royals registered two non-consecutive singles. THE ROYALS ARE A TERRIBLE OFFENSIVE TEAM.

Their strategy is one to avoid at all costs. Remember a few weeks ago when I discussed the correlations between various hitting metrics and runs scored? THE ROYALS ARE THE LIVING EMBODIMENT OF THIS VERY RESEARCH. Hitting for a high average does not generate offense. It just serves to piss me off and waste my precious time. Which, as this post should tell you, is in serious demand.

Image of Listch in the dark courtesy of Reuters via Daylife. Note: those dark shadows IN NO WAY contributed to his decent start against the Red Sox


  1. Thank you for kindly taking all my thoughts and putting them down on paper..... GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!1!

  2. Wilner seems unreasonably in love with Jesse Litsch. Earlier this year I heard him say something along the lines of "there's no reason that he can't be as good as Halladay".

  3. My favourite Wilnerism was that trade he proposed involving the Brewers last year. I think it had Prince Fielder and JJ Hardy coming to the Jays, while the Brewers got the electric arm of David Purcey and not much else....

  4. 'This is Royals basebal'. I thought I was hearing things as there is no suck thing as Royals baseball. Also, are Tabby and Buck really any better than say Jamie and Sam? Just sayin'...

  5. Suck was supposed to be such but what I wrote also works...

  6. Jonny, the trade was: Edwin Encarnacion, Casey Janssen, Rzepczynski or Purcey, and one of Mills/Farquhar/R. Gonzalez in exchange for J.J. Hardy and Prince Fielder. And he fervently defended that idea for the next few months. His rationale was something like "Hardy for EE is a wash, and Fielder only has two more years left on his contract so the Brewers would be lucky to get controllable pitchers like that in return."

    Not coincidentally, that was right around the time when I stopped putting any stock into Wilner's baseball-related opinions. Still provides good info and discussion, but I don't understand how anyone can seriously think that trade makes sense at all.

  7. Looking at the return for Dan freaking Haren, no package should ever be consider too crazy.

    Jonah Keri tweeted the other day about the Brewers high price for Hardy. The Brewers GM sent Theo a text (the BoSox were in on Hardy also) saying the price for Hardy was Daniel Bard & Clay Buchholz.

    Theo's response: LOL.


  8. True enough, but as I recall, Wilner was convinced that the trade didn't happen because the Jays didn't want to make it -- not because it was completely outrageous. He made at least one or two blog posts bemoaning the "rebuilding" angle when they had a chance to trade for Fielder and Hardy and just make a run at it this year.


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