Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What a Waste of Talent

One of the few fun things about Spring Training is muckling on to that next rookie sensation and anticipating how things will go. In the past, that anticipation usually was sated when the rookie started the season with the big league club. Now, whether it is because of delaying the arbitration clock or saving a pitcher's innings or "taking the pressure off" by having the prospect start the year in the minors is the new norm. And it stinks.

Let's start with the old reliable, "Let's save the pitcher's innings for later in the season rather than the beginning." Excuse the Fan's stupid question, but what exactly is the hurler going to be doing in the minors? Sit on his duckus and spit sunflower seeds? Isn't that pitcher going to pitch down there? If so, don't those innings count? And if they do, wouldn't it be nice for those innings to count for the big league club?

But that is the logic Jayson Stark related concerning the Bay Rays' David Price, who seems to be headed to Norfolk in AAA rather than starting the season with the Rays. Didn't this guy blow away the Red Sox in the biggest game of the year? Didn't he have a great spring? Everyone Stark quoted in the story mentioned that the pitcher might be the best talent of all the Rays' starting staff. So, why send him down? Doesn't make any sense.

Daniel Bard threw 98 MPH gas all spring. Blew away every major league hitter he faced. Did not give up a run all spring, but that wasn't good enough to make the Red Sox. They sent him down. Why? Doesn't make any sense.

The Fan has already foamed at the mouth on a couple of different occasions about Matt Wieters. The guy is just flat out ready to go. Why wait? Why hold him (and us) back? And now the Yankees will soon make a decision on Austin Jackson. Gardner has had a great spring and is fun to watch, but Jackson is the Yankees' centerfielder of the future. He might be their best outfielder right now. He is batting well over .300 this spring and hit his third homer in part time duty today (a grand slam no less). But, might as well send him down for more seasoning.

The Fan spent a decade on a farm and planted lots of vegetables and had apple trees and everything. One lessen learned from the garden is that you never let crops get overripe. There is just the right time to pick them for optimum flavor and freshness. It seems all the players listed in this post are ripe and ready for the picking. And we want to see them play.

Geez Louise, GMs and managers! [rant over]

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

The Wieters thing is ridiculous. Andy Mac-Fail.

Price SHOULD be in the rotation. I still think he needs to work on his command and endurance a little, but for now his stuff is good enough to make up for missing his spots.

Bard is probably ready, but he still hasn't seen any action in AAA yet, so it's not a horrible idea to send him down.

Austin Jackson still looks a little raw to me. Give him 1 or 2 years, and he should be ready. Right now, it's Gardner's time to shine.