Evaluating Carlos Villanueva isn’t different from your job


Sep 4, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Carlos Villanueva (33) delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles as rain falls because the maintenance staff is unable to close the roof after it got stuck during the game at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIREThere has been a lot of talk among Toronto Bluejays fans and media about how the Bluejays should have already given Carlos Villanueva a contract extension. Alex Anthopoulos has stated that he wants to let Villanueva make all his starts before the end of the season to get a correct evaluation of him before giving him a contract. Many fans and media say that he’s made enough starts and that the Bluejays are so desperate for pitching that it’s a good idea to keep him around.

What’s amazing is that many of the media and fans that think this are over the age of 14 because everyone 15 or older knows how employment works. Jobs in sports are just like jobs everywhere else. Villanueva has never started for a full 6 month season before. If you work at McDonald’s, the most simplistic minimum job there is, they give you a 3 month probation period before they commit to hiring you. If it takes 3 months to evaluate someone’s ability to use a cashier, cook fast food and sweep floors before you give them the job then it only makes sense that a big league pitcher shouldn’t be guaranteed a contract from less than half a season’s worth of starts. Even if you had previous employment at a McDonald’s you still have to go through a probation period. So the fact that Villanueva made a bunch of starts last season doesn’t really count for much either.

Another argument for keeping Villanueva is that the Bluejays are so desperate for starting pitching that he’s worth giving an extension to. It’s true that the Bluejays are desperate for starting pitching. If there serious about contending in 2013 though they’d be better off getting proven starters that you know for a fact can pitch full seasons instead of just hoping Villanueva can pitch deep into a season.

You could argue that the Bluejays might give Adeiny Hechavarria the job at 2nd base next season despite his lack of experience. Starting pitching is a much bigger role than other positions though. The Bluejays have such a good offense you can afford to let Hechavarria play 2nd base. Starting pitching is such a big part of a successful baseball team though. Just like McDonald’s if all your employees are good you can afford to hire 1 person with inexperience. However, when it comes to hiring managers they want to hire someone they ae completely sure of because it’s a much bigger role.