The Mockingbird

Here Comes the Cavalry?

with 4 comments

After much speculation of a trade to boost the offense, J.P. brought in a duo that at first seems rather underwhelming: Brad Wilkerson and Kevin Mench. What’s funny is that before they became castoffs this year, are both guys who Ricciardi has had a very serious hard-on for years. Before he bloomed, rumours of Rios for either of these guys were circulating.

While not the seismic (read: Bonds) move a lot of Jays fans were hoping for, these are both bargains with some possible potential (and how many blockbusters really happen at this time of year?) The Jays have gone from crushing lefties to being dominated by them with the loss of lefty-killers Frank Thomas and Troy Glaus, and Mench has stunning recent results and career numbers of .305/.361/.561 against LHP. Mench and Stairs are a heck of a platoon.

Wilkerson on the other hand has been nothing more than average since he was 27 (he’s now 31), but he was free and says that his struggles this year were largely due to an spring training injury that he’s over now. (But then does anyone ever say: “boy I just suck now?”)

To me, this is an admittance that Shannon Stewart’s power is never going to return (*cough* told you so *cough*), because once everyone comes of the DL, one of them will have to go. Unless the team decides to go with 5 outfielders and hope that the rotation stays so strong that the bullpen doesn’t need all seven currently in it, which would mean that Syracuse is going to have at least a couple of major league pitchers on the staff once Wolfe comes back.

With Wells undergoing further tests today on his “jammed” wrist, we could be seeing a lot (and needing a lot) out of these two guys. Fortunately, we have a gold glove center fielder in Rios waiting to let his inner Gazelle out patrolling center field…

Written by halejon

May 10, 2008 at 10:40 am

Posted in Seriousness

4 Responses

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  1. Shannon Stewart has done his job as far as I’m concerned – he helped get that turd Reed Johnson out of town, who was going to be the starting LF if Gibbons was allow to have his man-crush on him. Wilky and Are We Not Mench? (We aren’t Devo!) [My new personal nick-name for him, all hail 70s new-wave] are useful players… who ought to be more productive, Are We Not Mench a good counter

    With Wells out, we’ll get to see how good Rios is in CF for at least a week. More information is always a good thing as it could increase Rios’ trade value or allow them to be proactive and move Wells to LF if he truly has lost half a step as some have suggested (which I haven’t seen myself).

    Christopher Taylor

    May 10, 2008 at 11:19 am

  2. To me they’re an offensive version of the Ohka, Zambrano and Thomson mess. I don’t know if you can expect over the hill, washed up dudes who were JUST OKAY players in the past suddenly help out your team.

    Like one was released by the worst team in the AL while the other wasn’t even in the big leagues.

    Adam Lind >>> Mench&Wikerson???

    Erik

    May 10, 2008 at 2:36 pm

  3. Chris: I know where you’re coming from and have had this conversation before with you, but in what world is a .591 OPS doing your job? I’d still take Johnson over lefties and for defense. Full time not so much but then neither is Stewart anything but a replacement player any more. Wasting less money on someone is a heck of a thing to get excited about.

    Great nickname. I just stole it.

    Outfield defense has to be one of the hardest things to evaluate with the naked eye, especially if you’re not at every game. Who the heck knows if someone is taking a step in and then breaking back or taking a slightly stupid angle, or whatever. Gotta think that eventually Vernon is going to end up in a corner though, so yah- nice to see what Rios can do. I thought he was a little rough around the edges but still had great range in limited time last year. But then I thought he was rough in right too and all the metrics went absolutely bezerk over him. Man he has so much more value in CF it’s sick.

    halejon

    May 10, 2008 at 8:03 pm

  4. Erik: But it’s the same thing as those pitchers- nobody is expecting them to be amazing, but they cost next to nothing and aren’t so old that it’s ridiculous to think they could get back a good amount of what they had. I still think those pitchers were very good signings even though none of them worked out. The only other name I heard available was Kearns, and he’s no great shakes these days either. I’m sure J.P. would love to have 16 million to bring in a slightly-less questionable player like Abreu for the Yankees last year, but he’s playing the hand that he’s dealt the best he can.

    And I think Mench was just in AAA because he’s totally lost what little ability to hit RHP that he ever had. He’s still a lefty killer, just can’t play for anyone full time.

    Yeah, Lind…don’t get me started. 20 AB and some hard hit balls, I just don’t get that. I was defending taking it slow on him this year but not this…reminds me of that guy in every fantasy pool who drops Ortiz and Howard after an 0-12 start. First game back in AAA, Lind goes 2-4 with a double. Give me a break, he’s ready and not a AAAA player. If he was still looking stupid on high fastballs or something the scouts were screaming I could see it, but after Thomas this just smacks of more impatience/desperation.

    That being said, I would still rather have these guys and dump Shanny instead. If you look at his batted balls he just can’t get around on anything inside. Throw him a fastball and he’ll get jammed and hit a groundball to the left side every single time. DONE.

    halejon

    May 10, 2008 at 8:17 pm


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