So the meetings end and we are further ahead than last year. Macier Izturis comes from a great bloodline of average major leaguers. Sufficed to say that is what we have in play for 2nd. Not a terrible move due to the fact the free agent market doesn’t seem to be littered with Brandon Phillips and Robinson Cano types. It is the perfect depth move to keep Hechavarria on course in the minors to ensure that he ready for his time up here.
I still am befuddled (fogie word) by the seeming lack of interest at having Yunel Escobar move to second and let Hech be where he is most valuable…at short. Escobar and his occassional lacklustre play could be hidden more at 2nd. I think an Edwin Encarnacion and Escobar right side sounds pretty good to me. The best infield arms are Brett Lawrie and Hech so keeping them on the left side makes perfect sense. The potential of that infield is great…eventually. For now Izturis is a decent OBP guy with a pedestrian to better than average BA. His defense is so much better than good ol’ Kelly Johnson‘s.
So now we have the pitching issue. I am not going to mention any managerial stuff because I am still tweaked that it is taking so long. Justin Germano is a definite 4A starting pitcher but he has experience. I forsee a lot of “invited to spring training”‘s popping up all over the Blue Jays transaction board as the winter gets closer. Depth is the name of the game with AA and that is great…to a point. We still need two bona fide big league starters with some history to make sure that our depth moves stay in the depths (Germano??). Low risk acquires like Jeremy Jeffress and minor trades like for Esmil Rogers are great for stockpiling power arms in case any falter. If Darren Oliver comes back they would also have a fantastic mentor. The concern though should be ensuring that there are clear roles defined when the season has begun.
I am happy with the groundwork being laid by our not-as-revered-but-still-hopefully-respected General Manager. He hasn’t sat back and watched the off-season, he has been involved in a good chunk of it. I am sure AA is more aware than anyone in the organization at how perception is killing the fan base. He has been slightly more open and forthcoming with plans for this off-season. This was born out of necessity and to curtail the growing legions who want him hung by his knickers.
Hopefully this is the beginning of a bit more transparency at 1 Blue Jay Way. Nothing will keep a fan base going in the off-season more so than trades and innuendos. Best way to hone all that is to play it straight and open…and not like last year.