Monday, March 15, 2010

Thoughts to Start The Day

Temporary Closer Required
Sports Illustrated reports that the Twins continue to pursue a closer who might replace Joe Nathan. It's unlikely they'll find any success without paying a high price for an established one. This is why they continue to explore other options like Francisco Liriano and external ones like John Smoltz. Smoltz is 42 and looking for another opportunity at post season and the Twins could be a candidate. He would likely be one of the more expensive options. Jason Frasor and Jeremy Accardo (30 saves in 2007) would be very reasonably priced low risk/high reward options and would cost the Twins an A level or mid grade prospect at best. If nothing else, the Twins would have another strong arm for a bullpen by committee arrangement.

Brian Tallet's Status
Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star has an interesting article today on Brian Tallet. My view is that his best and most effective role continues to be long relief and spot starting. I just don't see him as a season long starter. However, when Cito falls in love with someone, he will ride them beyond what is a reasonable length of time before replacing them. He loves Brian Tallet so he may just be our 5th starter. As previously posted, I believe the Jays have much stronger options.

Shortstop Problems Over?
Blue Jay Hunter has a nice article on Adeinis Hechavarria, the Cuban shortstop apparently ready to sign with the Blue Jays.

Some points of note related to our shortstop situation: the speculation is that Hechavarria could start at AA and be ready within 12-24 month to join the big club. Considering the Jays top SS prospects haven't yet progressed beyond High A ball this is great news if true. With John McDonald signed through the end of next year, we still have some options at the major league level if it takes until the 2nd half of next year before he makes his major league debut. Also, this would take the pressure off the organization with respect to SS development.

They could let Pastornicky, Jackson, Pierre fight it out to see who develops with the greater upside. It has been reported that Hechavarria might have arm action that doesn't translate well to SS and could end up in the OF like Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks. The same has also been speculated about Tyler Pastornicky, so it would be wise to continue to focus on SS development on the farm just in case. If any of them become solid major league prospects at short in the next 2-3 years and Hechavarria is still playing SS for the Jays, they would make great trade material. There is always a shortage of above average SS in the major leagues. Just look at the Cubs who have 4 on BA's list of their top ten prospects including Starlin Castro who is putting on the pressure for the Cubs to take him north this year at only 20. Yet they aren't in a hurry to trade any of the other prospects. Strange things can happen such as injuries, position changes, players being unable to traslate minor league success at the major league level, etc.

Don't you just love where AA is taking this organization? With all the doom and gloom subsequent to the Roy Halladay trade, I find it amazing that the Jays are not only putting together the makings of a competitive team this year but building a strong farm with some very high ceiling prospects. I would guess our farm will now rate in the top half of teams vs. near the bottom only 3-4 months ago.

Most predictions I've seen show the Jays having fewer wins than last year and some have even predicted potentially 100 losses. In spite of our youth, I believe we are going to surprise a lot of people and it is just as likely that the team could play .500 ball this year while continuing to develop the younger players and give them much needed experience. The future looks bright Jays fans!

No comments:

Post a Comment