Jesse Litsch (also known as Jesse The Red and Jesse The Round), a former member of the Fellowship of the Toronto Blue Jays, was gravely injured earlier last spring when a healing monk accidentally gave him a potion laced with a nasty parasite. No spell or potion from the world of the living was able to reverse the damage, so over the past couple of months he had been practicing the art of necromancy in secret in hopes that the dark magic would restore his health. During that time he hired several shamans to search morgues and graves to find for the right corpse to raise in order to allow Litsch to absorb its organs to fix his own. According to a tweet early this afternoon, his mission is nearly complete, and the divination will begin on January 17:
Finally they found a cadaver that matches so I'm finaly able to nail down a surgery date jan 17th total relief to have found it been waiting— jesse litsch (@JesseLitsch) January 3, 2013
Actually, the free agent pitcher needed a deceased donor with compatible bone structure in order to complete a bone-graft surgery to repair the damaged caused by a nosocomial infection in the spring when he received tainted plasma-rich platelets. Right now, according to a piece by Shi Davidi, Litsch feels pain using his right arm. This would be the first time his physicians have ever done this type of surgery to a baseball player, so there isn't a rehabilitation schedule or protocol available. I joked above, but I do wish Jesse a successful surgery and a swift and complete recovery.
Buster Onley's Rankings
In other news, ESPN's Buster Onley ranked the Blue Jays' lineup eigth in an Insider-only article, ranking them behind division-mates Boston Red Sox (sixth). The top five teams are the Angels, Brewers, Cardinals, Rangers, and Nationals. The placement of the Blue Jays is not outrageous, but Onley's explanation was that the Blue Jays had a lot of questions in their lineup--here's an excerpt (emphasis his):
The two guys who mash in the middle of the lineup, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, could combine for 80 homers, and the cast around them could be excellent. Jose Reyes, the leadoff man, scored 86 runs last season for a bad Marlins team, and he could be the best leadoff man in the AL. Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus could develop into upper-tier players. Melky Cabrera could be a star.
Yes, I agree that things could go wrong with each of those players, but couldn't we say that about every other lineup? Mike Trout could get sophomore jinx, Albert Pujols could slow down to his April 2012 numbers, Josh Hamilton could get injured, etc. I can understand his point about how Lawrie and Rasmus are still unknowns, and I can stretch it to say that Encarnacion hasn't proven himself past one year, and Cabrera may have been a mirage sculpted in testosterone, but doubting Bautista and Reyes? Come on.
Onley placed the Red Sox in sixth place because their lineup "would" (note: not "could") "wreck left-handed pitching" like Mark Buehrle and Ricky Romero, listing some gaudy on base plus slugging (OPS) splits from 2012. Yes, they have a strong lineup and I don't look forward to them facing Romero, but last I checked there were more righties than lefties in every single rotation in the league.
Again, I am not that upset with the rankings (I'd have placed the Jays sixth) but the reasons Onley offered for these two clubs were puzzling at best. Not that these rankings mean much anyway. He ranked the Jays' outfield #11-13, the infield #7, and the rotation #7 in his previous articles.
Jason Frasor Signs With Rangers
MLB Trade Rumors reports that Jason Frasor is now a reliever with the Texas Rangers and has signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract. To make room for the Human Rain Delay (he was the 7th slowest pitcher last season (minimum 40 innings pitched), the Rangers designated Eli Whiteside for assignment. With an empty roster spot, will the Blue Jays re-claim him? Whiteside's offseason has been interesting so far after spending the past four seasons with the San Francisco Giants organization (via Baseball-Reference):
November 5, 2012: Selected off waivers by the New York Yankees from the San Francisco Giants.
December 3, 2012: Selected off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays from the New York Yankees.
December 3, 2012: Selected off waivers by the Texas Rangers from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Where will he end up next?