Sharpening the axes?

Like every Jays fan, both casual and die-hard, I’ve been wondering what Alex Anthopoulos and John Gibbons are up to lately with all the moves. The Jays started their season with 6 rookies and in the last 24 hours, 3 of them – Norris, Pompey (The Sausage Volcano!) and Castro – have been shipped out to Buffalo.

Is it genius? Desperation at work?

Who knows. Only time will tell if this tinkering will work. Regardless of the results, and let’s hope they work, these moves are troubling to watch.

After selling us on the youth movement, we now know that the Jays weren’t gonna stick with the kids at the first sign of trouble. So now I wonder, what was the point? No, they all weren’t burning up the league of course, but they all had some flashes of what got them to the bigs and on the Jays accelerated radar to begin with. And really, what was AA expecting? This kind of two steps forward, one step back is normal for rookies, isn’t it?

What worries me is that the cupboard looks bare. Our depth in the minors is looking paper-thin. We ship out these kids licking their wounds and bring up kids who are even more unproven or guys we’ve motivated by leaving them behind after spring training in favour of the kids we just shipped out. I know these guys are professionals, but that’s not very motivating for them. Hey Delabar, we know you were pissed. Those guys didn’t work out, we want you back. It’s like breaking up with you girlfriend for some new thing and when that goes sour, you want her to come back.

Anyhow, again, hopefully it works.

But for the fans it’s not very motivating either. When we’re asked to root for the kids, we can do that. We can get behind them. But a month later we’re being told that was the wrong strategy. One month.

Where is the plan? Are we on a 30 day plan now, instead of a five-year one?

The offseason began with AA saying he needed to address some areas of the team including Second Base, Left Field and the pitching – both bullpen and starters. He opted to upgrade a couple of positions that didn’t need as much addressing in acquiring Donaldson and signing Martin. And he didn’t sign any pitchers. Perhaps the market was too rich for the Jays, or FAs simply don’t want to come here. In any case, the pitching was not addressed. We even traded away Happ, arguably our most consistent starter.

I’m worried AA is not taking responsibility for that and instead the axe will fall on Gibby soon. It can’t fall on the rookies. No one expected them to catch six bottles of lightning. Maybe the fact that three of them are working out is actually great. Pete Walker? Maybe. It’s been said you can’t fire the team, so you go for the manager.

On Twitter, I said this team reminds me of the 1989 Jays that started out poorly at 12 – 24 and then fired Jimy (one M) Williams in favour of Cito Gaston (interim, but when the players responded he was obviously the right long-term choice). I’d love for the Jays to turn it around without firing Gibby of course. In any case, I think I was wrong and this team actually reminds me more of the 1993 World Series repeat Championship team.

They had tons of hitting. White Alomar Molitor Carter Olerud. WAMCO! And the pitching was thin. They could outclub almost any team and just hope that the pitching held up enough to win.

Mark Buehrle was right the other day in his post-game comments – the starters have let the team down. You expect Norris and Sanchez to have some ups and downs. But Dickey, Buehrle and even Hutchison have to produce more quality starts.

Gibby’s job, and now Anthopolous’ job depend on it. And maybe the Jays fortunes for the next few years.





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