All Hands on Deck


In yesterday’s Organizational Filler (In) post I rather flippantly dismissed Deck McGuire as a pitcher worthy of only throwing batting practice.  As in, ‘all that guy needs is a L-screen and a bucket of balls’.  But hey, he threw a good game against the Binghampton Mets, so credit where it is due.  I’m big enough to not only admit my mistake, but write about it.

March 2, 2012; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Deck McGuire (72) poses for a portrait during photo day at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The line:

IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO    HR    ERA
7.0    2    1      1        1        5      0      3.09

I suppose the stat that jumps out at you the most is his strike out numbers thus far.  I know, it’s only been two starts, but still.

Twelve punch-outs, good for a 25.5 K%.  His FIP sits at 2.17 which, if maintained, would be his career best by a mile.  He’s currently getting by with a .258 BABIP which should average out as the season wears on, thereby increasing his FIP as well.

I’m listening to Around the Nest, a round table discussion by the radio play by play men of the minor league affiliates.  New Hampshire’s broadcaster, Tom Gauthier, claims that it was the best start he’d seen in Deck’s Fisher Cats career.  He did add the caveat that it was a cold day and Binghampton’s hitters were quite aggressive, but you can only get the batters out in front of you.  And we all saw how Josh Johnson pitched in the cold yesterday.

I’m sure most know Deck’s story.  An eleventh overall pick in 2010, with Deck now in his third season in double-A, it is hard not to call McGuire a bust.  That being said, when drafted, the product of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s ceiling was that of a durable fourth or fifth starter.  A big body that can eat a lot of innings.  Can he reach that ceiling?  I doubt it.  But, after battling through some injuries early in his career, the fact he is now healthy and pitching fairly well, I may be proved wrong.

Going back to the radio roundtable, Dunedin’s Tyler Murray read out my tweet!  I’m famous:

Murray wasn’t worried about the lack of K’s, saying that Sanchez threw a great game, mixing a fastball that was hitting 98 on the gun with an 82 mile per hour change-up and 70 mph slow curve.  Any time you can create that kind of separation between your pitches, hitters are going to be uncomfortable.

One last note on yesterday’s games.  I was hopeful that Kevin Pillar‘s double on Wednesday night would be the start of a power surge.  So far my hopes have been answered.  Pillar went two for four with both those hits going for extra bases.  A double and home run upped his slugging percentage to a healthy .486.  Gauthier also mentioned that Pillar is second in the Eastern league with three stolen bases.  Is there anything this kid can’t do?  If he maintains this pace, it’ll be hard for the Jays brass to continue with Ryan Langerhans in left for Buffalo.