Signs of Spring
It’s not quite time for the traditional “at this rate, the Blue Jays will go 162-0 and Frank Thomas will hit 324 HR” projections after the first game, but spring training is always a time for reporters, fresh and dewy-eyed from a long hibernation to make ridiculous overstatements based on a player’s first few hacks:
With every monster home run that Alex Rios launched in batting practice yesterday, the impression grew that he has not only hit his professional stride, he is likely to shake up the Blue Jays, from their batting order to their payroll.
Rios didn’t play winter ball this year and worked once again with a personal trainer in Puerto Rico. He said he “didn’t do anything special,” but something obviously worked.
Rios, who turned 27 today and has been in training camp sporting a Mohawk haircut, seems to have reached another level of power and skill at the plate.
Jesus Christ. It’s batting practice. Spring Training batting practice. (And Rios always puts on a show in BP). Glad to hear he wasn’t grounding out to the pitcher, Mark, but if you can really tell jack about Rios’ development (of course him having a big year is a pretty safe bet anyway) after watching him pound a few floaters, then you’re in the wrong field. Because you are the best scout of all time.
In a couple of weeks the reports will no doubt be “troubling signs from Shaun Marcum as he seems to have ditched every pitch but his fastball this season” after his first 20-pitch outing. Oh well, I guess it’s better than nothing…Here’s some more Jays’ trivia:
- Off the field, it has been a brutal year for the Jays’ #1 prospect Travis Snider. Therapeutic or not, dominating the Arizona Fall League right after losing his mother to a car accident is ridiculous. He had a twinge in his elbow the first day and did not hit but was back throwing today as it was “nothing serious“.
- Ryan Ketchner is totally deaf. I guess the catcher will have to tell him what pitch to throw using sign language or something.
- B.J. Ryan is throwing out of his old arm slot. Brandon League’s pitches are sinking again. (Screw 100mph- I want that best in the league 77% GB rate back). Vernon Wells is tickety-boo. Frank Thomas is working out with his old mentor and not looking forward to having a good year. Scott Rolen is in a coma. Just kidding.
- Chacin is all but out of the competition for the 5th spot before it has started (some reading between the lines required). I personally think his career is over. His first time around the league, a 100% healthy Chacin was a Jesse Litsch. Now he’s had one of the worst arm injuries a pitcher can have and has done squat for two years. If Gus wasn’t a lefty we wouldn’t even remember his name by now.
|24-year old Gustavo Chacin||3.72||9.44||0.89||3.10||5.36||38%||1.39|
|22-year old Jesse Litsch||3.81||9.41||1.14||2.92||4.05||57%||1.37|
Also in that article the idea is floated that Rios could bat leadoff with Eck second. I don’t care if it’s just one of a bunch of possibilities J.P. and Gibbons were throwing around (hopefully over more than a few beers), I don’t want that mentioned it to the press- it’s embarrassing. What a terrible, terrible, concept. I’m not even going to go on about why I think it’s so terrible, I just can’t stand to think about it any longer. Ugh. UGH.