The Mockingbird

Posts Tagged ‘Troy Glaus

Good News/Bad News

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Ok, first the good news. Which is obviously not coming from the JAys’ big-league team…In a post over at ESPN insider, Jason Grey gushes about Travis Snider and points out why him hitting .263 cannot in any way be considered “dissapointing” when he’s the third-youngest player in the league and showing “light-tower” power. It’s a long, interesting article and includes a couple of quotes from the man himself on everyone’s favorite (*cough* overrated *cough*) ability- going the other way:

“Last year, I saw that my highest percentage of base hits are going the other way,” Snider said, “because pitchers aren’t going to bust you in on your hands very often because that’s the pitch you turn on and make a name for yourself. I looked at my spray chart and saw a lot of my success came on the left-center gap and down the left-field line, which is something I’ve always been able to do.”

“I got the best piece of advice I ever got hittingwise from Matt Williams [his AFL coach]. He said ‘for RBI guys, your approach has got to be up the middle. It’s the biggest part of the field and the most room to be able to put the ball in play without someone catching it. If you can stay up the middle, especially with guys on base, it gives your team a chance to score runs.’ To me, that made a lot of sense. I’d heard it a hundred different ways, but the way he put it clicked for me, and that’s what I try to do. I try not to get too caught up in pulling the ball 500 feet when you can go 380-400 in the left-center gap for a double or a homer.”

This year, Snider has gotten away from doing that a bit too much, rolling over a lot of balls to the right side of the infield, perhaps pressing a bit as he hasn’t been mashing as much as he did in the low minors.

“Sometimes you get into an approach where you start to try and pull pitches too much and you start to hook and pull,” Snider said, “so a big part of my development has been working to stay up the middle with pitches and allow my natural swing to work and my hands to react.”

Grey also confirms that although he was healthy enough to play, Snider’s elbow was causing him mechanical problems earlier this season that lead to his slow start.

Speaking of mechanics, here’s the bad news, that I’m sure you’ve already heard but not lathered up with enough doom and gloom.

“It’s not strength — it’s not flexibility,” Rolen said. “The problem is the mechanical functioning of my shoulder. It’s not functioning properly — the way a normal shoulder is supposed to function.”

Ok, so third baseman for the next three years is going on a rehab program even though the problem isn’t strength or flexibility. Lovely. “The trend has been too familiar the last few years” sent some chills down my spine as well.

Before the season, Rolen said that the real test would be if he could get separation of his hands from his body during his swing. Last year he couldn’t get his hands back and out, which threw off his mechanics and sapped power. Well, he’s had an almost identical year at the plate so it’s safe to say that it wasn’t the scar tissue that they cleaned out that had been causing that – his shoulder is just fucked permanently.

I was all for this trade because the Toronto medical staff was absolutely glowing about his physical condition, to the point where it seemed like they thought they knew something that the Cards didn’t about the shape of his shoulder. It tells you something about even the best sports doctors to evaluate something tricky like the range of movement required to not just function, but do so at an elite level.

Meanwhile, Troy Glaus has played every game but two this season and is mashing the ball after getting off to a slow start.  Maybe he was right and the turf would have exacerbated his Plantar Faciitis, but right now it looks like the Jays have been left given a good old fashioned hosing in this round of “trade the cripple”…

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Written by halejon

July 31, 2008 at 8:52 am

Posted in Blue Jays

Tagged with ,

Broken Record

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There’s already been a drunken remark and a little ranting directed at Griffin’s latest mailbag, but did anyone notice that the first question:

My question is, where’s the plan?

So we re-sign Johnny Mac, then you trade for Marco Scutaro, then you go get David Eckstein?…

Is the conclusion to an old Griffin article read backwards.

Here is how the Jays have gone about building an ’08 contender. First, they traded for super-sub Marco Scutaro from the A’s, to fill the McDonald super-sub role. Then they signed Eckstein to a one-year deal, returning McDonald to his super-sub role. One of them is obsolete. You don’t need two of them. It’s why the Jays finish third every year. Ricciardi needs to formulate a plan and stick to it for more than a year.

And his diatribe on why improving the hot corner over time is a bad thing:

The Ricciardi philosophy of ratcheting up his instant gratification can best be seen at third base. His first season, J.P. had slickly traded for the rookie-of-the-year, third-baseman Eric Hinske. He quickly signed him to a five-year deal. Two years later, he bailed on Hinske and signed Corey Koskie to a three-year deal, talking about clubhouse influence and veteran (Canadian) leadership. One year later, he dumped Koskie, eating major money and traded the best second baseman in the league for Troy Glaus, a veteran with three years left and an option at the hot corner, who had more power than Koskie, supposed clubhouse presence and had won a World Series MVP…

Is also completely recycled from an old mailbag:

Ricciardi and his treatment of the third base position have constantly been a mystery. No matter who he has had at that position he has tried to upgrade, even if it meant diminishing at another position – like second base.

His first trade as Jays GM was for Eric Hinske that turned into a rookie-of-the-year season at third base in 2002. After rewarding Hinske with a multi-year deal at spring training ’03, he quickly lost patience after two more seasons and went and signed Corey Koskie as a free agent, moving Hinske to first. Then, with Koskie already in tow under a long-term deal, he went and traded away his best defender and most popular player, Orlando Hudson, for another third baseman under a huge multi-year deal. He dumped Koskie to Milwaukee and ate a significant part of the contract…

You probably already knew Dick writes his own questions in a pinch, but rehashing his own weak-ass argument is so incredibly lazy it has left me completely uninspired to rip into the insanity of complaining about “losing patience” in Hinske and/or going with the “plan” of staying pat in the AL East. Just read my old post on his original article, from back when we both still had fire in our bellies.

Written by halejon

March 6, 2008 at 7:41 am

Chasing Away

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Who has the best eye in the majors? Who has to be given the take sign on an intentional walk? Bases on balls and strikeouts don’t tell the whole story- they are also a reflection of the most feared and therefore most likely to be pitched around. But with pitch f/x, we can tell who swung at the fewest pitches out of their strike zone as well as what they did with them.

[Read on]

Written by halejon

November 26, 2007 at 8:46 pm

Troy Glaus Might be the First Guy

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glaus_troy051223getty.jpgWhen asked about the chances of Troy Glaus being suspended for possession of Steroids, J.P. Ricciardi didn’t exactly leap to his defense, but downplayed the chances of anything happening to even if (read: though) he did take steroids.

“If he were suspended, he would be the first guy,” said Ricciardi…

However, now an unnamed official is hinting that suspensions might be handed out once the postseason is over, and Troy Glaus would certainly be one of the first names on the list. It looked like these players were in the clear because there were no penalties even for positive drug tests before 2004, and no mention at all in the drug agreement for penalties for merely possessing a banned substance. However, apparently the league can punish players based on the “just cause” standard for a first offense that occurred before 2005. The players union will then go ape, and is expected to argue that any punishment for possession should be less than that for a positive test. Still, that was 10 games in 2005 and 50 games as of 2006.

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Not to be one of those annoying fans who sees everything the members of their teams does through rose coloured glasses, but this would set a heck of a double standard if this were to happen. Jason Giambi got off with a slap on the wrist and some charitable donations, and there are plenty of players out there who have just as much circumstantial evidence against them although it hasn’t been released through official channels.

Sure he’s guilty- but this would be a case of being punished for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, just as enough evidence has been collected that MLB decides it has to start making examples and saving its image. Think about it: if Troy Glaus was caught in the act of shooting steroids into his body in 2004, he would have been sent for counseling and no punishment would have been handed out. But since it’s coming out now that baseball been forced to take it seriously, he could be suspended for posession. Can you imagine if the legal system worked that way? “Hey, remember when you did that thing that we didn’t lock people up for? Well we do now. Get in the car.”

As well, this could be just the tip of the iceberg. Considering that names from operation “Raw Deal” (the biggest global steroid bust of all time that occurred two weeks ago) will likely be released over the offseason, we could be seeing a lot of replacement players come April 2008 if MLB manages to make suspensions for past crimes stick. Something tells me if the players union can come up with any sort of defense MLB might not press the matter too much because it would be an absolute disaster if they had to follow through with a tough stance on the huge number of offenders that are about to be revealed.

  • Update: And the Mitchell report is coming out soon, too! Heads are going to roll!!! Rumour has it that there are going to be a lot of new, big, shiny names coming out. Expect a leak ASAP.

hype it up! :: Digg it

Written by halejon

October 12, 2007 at 9:11 pm

All or Nothing

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It doesn’t take a lot to see the problem with the Jays offense. The team is hitting a collective .257, when last year hit .293 over the first half. Thirty-six points of average across the board! Imagine you had a lineup that hit .300 from top to bottom and then the next season they all dropped down to mediocre .264 hitters.

From top to bottom, every player except for Alex Rios is hitting below their career averages. Glaus’ average is up, but he’s missed a lot of games and his power numbers are down. This is why management continues to insist that the team will eventually hit once it’s healthy. Barring more injuries, it is incredibly unlikely that the entire lineup will continue to underperform over the entire season.

However, it is fundamentally against human nature to be able to accept that these sorts of things just happen, and you have to wait them out (unless you are a professional poker player in which case you live and breathe this concept). And so, theories abound as to what is wrong with the Jays. One of the most popular is that we don’t steal enough, even though all of baseball discovered long ago that the effect of the SB was hugely overrated and it has dropped off the map for good reason.

Another is that we rely on the HR too heavily: the “all or nothing” theory. The Fan 590 published an article today by Michael Hobson that made my head spin. The author claims that we would be better off with hitters in the middle of the lineup who hit for average rather than the perpetual 100 RBI machines that are Troy Glaus and Frank Thomas. This is wrong on so many levels.

First, baseball analysts will tell you that clutch hitting doesn’t exist to any significant degree. You don’t have to look any further than their splits from the last three years to see that Troy and Frank‘s averages with RISP are right in line with their normal averages. (And as for “men on base”, the term the article uses- Frank is hitting the same as his normal average with men on base and Glaus is hitting much better (.301)).

Second, a power hitter will always drive in more runs in the long run. Yes, it hurts to watch them take huge cuts at a 2-2 pitch with the bases loaded when you wish they could choke up, but the fact that they strike out 100 times a season has nothing to do with their potential to produce runs. They also lead the team in OBP (which means they get out the least often) hit sacrifice flies at command, and on and on.

The entire definition of a power hitter is he will drive in more of the runners on base in exchange for doing it with slightly less frequency. There’s really no way to argue it- a team’s success is most directly linked to the number of runs it scores. If a player manages to drive in 100 runs, it doesn’t matter if they hit .150, they are greatly helping the team. The conclusion that it would be better to have two contact hitters in the 4-5 spots instead of proven RBI producers is absurd.

While I’m at it, the article also asks the rhetorical question:

This is a club that is at the bottom of the league in hitting with men on base. Why?

To which I can only be a broken record: Because they’re hitting .257 (21st in the league). In fact, they’re hitting better with runners on base, at .269 (18th), and even better with runners in scoring position: .272 (11th). I seriously doubt that they are “among the lead leaders in leaving men on base”.

Written by halejon

July 12, 2007 at 9:54 pm

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