It is officially spring:
Signs of spring: first robin, geese flying north, and first 'setback' for Dustin McGowan. I feel sorry for the guy, I was thrilled, as we all were, when he pitched in 2011. Then, I was less than thrilled when the Jays signed him to a two year, plus an option year, contract for $1.5 million a year, with the half million buyout on the option year. But then, last spring, every time I heard his name mentioned, it was quickly followed by 'electric stuff'. I was told by several people that he was throwing really well, in side sessions. Games, well, not so much.
I didn't like the contract, but what I liked far less that the Jays seemed to be counting on him to be part of the rotation. $3.5 million, well, in the big scheme of things, isn't all that much money, for a company like Rogers. But, thinking that we could count on him to be one of the 5 in the rotation, that was a bigger error than the contract. We really weren't deep enough, in starting pitchers, to take
This year, well, they weren't counting on Dustin. When listing pitchers to back up the starting 5, J.A. Happ, Brad Lincoln, Justin Germano were the names coming out of Alex Anthopoulos' mouth. Dustin's name didn't come up.
From a Shi Davidi post:
McGowan will continue with "a little throwing program," said Gibbons, "but he's not going to get back on a mound."
That last little bit doesn't surprise any of us.
I wonder if the option year has been officially declined yet? I'm all for seeing if something can come of this season, he's being paid and all, and you never know. It doesn't cost anything more to see if he can pitch a bit, but I really don't think we are in a spot to experiment with a pitcher. No matter how much we'd like him to succeed, we can't give Dustin time to see if he can figure out how to get major league hitters out again.
John Gibbons also had an interesting quote about Brett Lawrie:
"I'm not going to tell him to back off because that's what got him here," said Gibbons. "That's what put him on the map as an amateur. Three or four years from now, I'm sure he'll slow down a bit but intensity is a big part of this business. Guys that have it, who can bring it every day, are often your better players."
But isn't the job of coaches to teach him to be a better player than he was when he was an amateur? Isn't that the point of having all those coaches around? You want to help the players become, you know, better. We don't say 'hey, Kyle Drabek made it to the majors with that delivery, we won't try to fix him'. Batting coaches don't say 'hey that's the swing that got him here', they say 'with a bit of help, this guy could be better'.
Someone said (I wish I remember who) that Lawrie ran the bases like someone that didn't understand he could be tagged out. I think that is a great description.
I mean, Lawrie is an exciting player, I like watching him play, but he really does need someone to point out that he could pick his moments. Making outs on the bases costs the team runs. If a there is some part of a player's game that is costing the team, why wouldn't we want to talk to him about it. Instruction ought to be part of the major league experience.
Grant Brisbee tallies up how many times each team will appear on Fox' Game of the Week. Guess how many times the Blue Jays will be shown? If you guessed zero, you are right. Red Sox are on 9 times. Red Sox vs. the Yankees, will be on 5 times. The Blue Jays? None. Never. Zero.
For a lot of people in the US, the first time they will see the Blue Jays is the first round of the playoffs.
That's enough for today. Remember guys it is Valentine's Day tomorrow. You are welcome.