The Mockingbird

Tallet Employable!

with 2 comments

In a rare showing of loyalty, the Blue Jays have decided that unlike last season Brian Tallet is a lock for a bullpen spot. That says something about Toronto’s relief corps: left handed relievers with with sub-4 ERA’s two years running usually don’t have to be told that. In fact, there are a lot of relatively large contracts being handed out to guys with not that much better of a track record or performance in 2007 (see: Scott Downs).

From the way he’s throwing, it’s clear that League has won a spot. He was touching 97-98 on the gun today, but more importantly his pitches are sinking so well. He didn’t strike anyone out today but induced 4 ground balls (one of them squeaked by Rolen), increasing his GO/FO ratio to an amazing 16-2. That means despite all the reclamation projects and minor league signings and a rule five pick, etc, etc, there is only spot still available for opening day and that’s if B.J. Ryan isn’t ready. Then John Parrish can sit out there and mop up instead of some combination of Frasor and Tallet riding the pine. Who cares!

Apparently Thigpen was “stunned and shaken” by his demotion last year and his time in the majors may have retarded his progress? Huh?! That and a bunch more confusing takes on what the plan is for Thigpen. Lecava says:

    The next time he comes to the big leagues, it’s going to be because of his versatility. He can play third, first, catch, possibly even some left field, right field.

    So Thigpen is a starting catcher in AAA year, but they really see his value as a 2010 fringe utility guy? Great. This brings up the very real question of who is going to be the Blue Jays’ starting catcher in 2009. So far the Jays may have depth but there doesn’t seem to be much serious expectation of anyone taking a full-time role. I figure that they see Jeroloman and Arencibia as the real tandem of the future while some combination of either Diaz and Thigpen can plug the gaps before being shuttled into the role of a “versatile” (read: bench) player.

    Written by halejon

    March 21, 2008 at 6:18 am

    2 Responses

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    1. I have to disagree on your comment on track record with lefties comment. In a 3 year split just as a reliever, Tallet has a 3.86 ERA in 119 innings, whereas Downs has a 2.80 ERA in 144.2 IP. Not that I like Wins/losses as stats…but Tallet is 5-4 whereas Downs is 9-2 with 3 saves (again only RP stats). And while it doesn’t show WHIP…if I did my math right, Tallet = 1.32 in relief, and Downs = 1.175.

      He’s more than a full run lower dude. I’m a huge fan of Tallet, and I know he’s underrated, but Downs has been unbelieveable as a reliever. His stints as a temp starter makes him look worse than what he is – arguably one of the best relievers over the past few years. Reliable, consistent, a workhorse guy. Compare his splits to Fransisco Cordero – the dude has a 3.38 ERA over the past 3 years. And while his K rate is better than Downs, his WHIP has been worse. His WHIP’s been 1.26 the past 3 years. And yet the Reds are paying him 4/46 to do a similar job to Downs, who just got 3/10. I’m probably overstating my case here – and I realize it was just a throwaway comment you made. But Downs has been incredible in RP, and I thought it was worth pointing out.

      Thigpen reminds me a lot of Hill, at least offensively. And his career minor league offensive stats are similar to Posada (although Posada became incredible in the majors, and I don’t expect Thigpen to do the same…). I can’t figure out why they don’t want him behind the plate.

      And as League’s biggest fan, I really enjoyed watching the game last night. He’s got his unbelievable movement back, and his velocity is there. He’s the best reliever on the team as of now, and I feel that way whether or not BJ is on the team. That’s how much faith I have in him.

      Twitch.

      Twitchy

      March 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    2. On the other hand Tallet’s batting average against in that time has been .215 to Downs’ .223…Point taken that Downs has been absolutely amazing lately, but other than ERA in 2007 Tallet and Downs were comparably effective last year, and are at similar points in similar careers. No question I’d rather have Downs (especially against lefties), but isn’t it funny that one of them is extended for big bucks to be a late inning guy, and the other is mopping up and not guaranteed a spot two years running?

      For most teams other than the Jays Cordero would probably be more valuable- the groundball defense they have goes a long way to make his groundball% as valuable as more K’s.

      There’s gotta be something wrong with Thigpen as a C. Maybe he just doesn’t work well with pitchers? They dont need another utility infielder, and really do need someone to tread water next year. But they really don’t seem to have him in mind.

      Wow! Now that’s some League Lovin’! With Ryan at his best, I dunno, but I agree that if League has that 97-98 sinking heat working again I could see him outpitching Accardo.

      halejon

      March 24, 2008 at 6:01 pm


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