I’ve always felt that first impressions and timing are the most important things in life. All the good things that have happened in my life have been due to those two things. Bad things? Well, they often have had to do with one or the other of timing or first impressions. But there haven’t been many bad things happen, I’ve been lucky.
Dalton Pompey? Not quite as lucky. At the start of the 2015 season, Pompey was our center fielder. Dalton had a crappy April, hitting ,203/276/354. Kevin Pillar had a good start to the season, hitting .314/.314/.486 in his first 9 games. Pillar would soon take Pompey’s job in center. Then Pillar would have a terrible May, hitting just .181/.237/.257. But it is hard to erase first impressions.
If the team had had a bit more patience with Dalton things might be different. I hate when teams are impatient with young players.
Since then Pillar has been our center fielder and Pompey has been waiting for another chance.
And dealing with a stretch of injuries.
This year is, very likely, his last chance with the Blue Jays. He needs a very good spring to convince the front office he should be part of the team. He was having a pretty good spring, until he fouled the ball off his knee and missed a few games. Since coming back he has only had a couple of hits, but I think he’s getting the swing back.
In 33 spring at bats, he’s hitting .242/.242/.394 with 1 home run and 2 steals. He’s been playing good defense. I’m not worried about the fact that he hasn’t walked, many players want to get their timing down the first couple of weeks of spring training games and will swing at everything. I’m ok with that. Dalton has taken close pitches for strike three a few times, some of them 50/50 calls. If a couple of those had gone his way, he would have a walk or two.
PECOTA doesn’t even have a prediction for what he would hit in the majors, showing that they don’t think he’ll make the team. ZiPS has him hitting .218/.288/.337, which isn’t very hopeful either.
Will he make the team? I go back and forth on it. I originally thought no chance. Then they let Dwight Smith Jr. go, and I started to think “you know, suddenly there isn’t a lot of outfield depth, they can’t lose Pompey too”.
Other times I think the only chance he has is if there is an injury or if there is a trade. I’d imagine the team has listened on trades for Pillar but nothing has happened. With about 10 days until opening day, I think the chances of a trade are slim.
The other chance that he makes the team is if they decide to go with 7 relievers. The only way this happens is if they decide to return Elvis Luciano to the Royals. Elvis hasn’t been great this spring. His ERA is 10.80 (in just 6.2 innings) and he’s given up 11 hit and 5 walks in that time, with 8 strikeouts. He hasn’t shown he can have success now. Of course, none of us really thought he could have success now. When they picked him it was to hide him on the roster and hope the year doesn’t slow his development too much. I don’t see them returning him, but maybe they will weight having him against having Pompey and decide that Pompey will be the better bet.
There is also the chance that Elvis will suffer a mysterious injury in the next week. That could open a spot for Dalton and put off the decision for at least a couple of weeks.
Beyond that? Is there any chance that they send Teoscar Hernandez or Billy McKinney to Buffalo and keep Dalton? I doubt it. Montoyo is talking about McKinney hitting leadoff. He’s not going to the minors. Teoscar started spring on a tear, he was hitting over .500 a few days ago. He’s had three hitless days in a row now, but he’s still hitting .394. It is a surprisingly empty .394, he only has one extra base hit, a double. He hasn’t been hitting the ball hard, he’s had a lot of BABIP luck, but still .394 is a good looking number. Of the two I think Hernandez is the one more likely to go down, but I can’t see it.
The other chance is that Dalton ends up on the DL before the end of camp. Given his history, over the past 2-3 years, it is more than possible.
Is there any chance he clears waivers?
Very little. I mean there is a chance. There will be a lot of players on the waiver wire at the start of the season, teams looking for a waiver pickup might find someone they like better than Dalton, but the Orioles grabbed Dwight Smith, I’m sure they would rather Pompey, all things being equal.
He’s a player I’ve always liked, speed, some power, good defense, can play all three outfield spots and would be a good defensive replacement.
There are always whispers about him. That he doesn’t always listen to coaches, that he listens to friends and family too much. Mike Wilner alluded to (well no, he didn’t allude, he flat out stated, without giving any details) that he has had mental ‘issues’. I totally hate when people make statements like that and then don’t explain. Mental issues can cover so much, not explaining what he means allows people to fill in the blanks with whatever they want. That’s not good.
Does Pompey start the season with the Blue Jays?
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Blue Jays or not, will Pompey get 200 MLB at bats this season?
This poll is closed