Screw the long rant. I’m going to distill it down to some bullets:
1) 22-year-olds who throw 96 mph are incredibly valuable.
2) Pitchers without an offspeed pitch cannot strike out big-league hitters.
3) Pitchers who cannot strike out big-league hitters generally do not last, and always have a maximum value of ‘mediocre’.
4) Henderson Alvarez could still add an offspeed pitch to his arsenal.
5) He is not going to do so in the majors.
It’s just painful watching him get to 0-2 and then try to overthrow or paint the corners because he doesn’t have any other options to punch a guy out. His GB% isn’t because he has league-leading sink on his pitches, it’s because when he needs a chase pitch, he throws his fastball at the very bottom of the zone instead. The league will adjust, it’s just a matter of time.
Henderson Alvarez is not and should not aspire to be Derek Lowe — he is a half-baked monster talent filling a hole capably well because the team is cheap and was desperate both last year and this one. It is not the right thing to do for his future, or the Blue Jays’. Yet another way that paying for filler pays off: the team would not be forced to Sniderize the best arms in the system in order to maintain respectability.