Wednesday, July 15, 2015

E:6-The Jose Reyes Story

Is this Reyes forgetting he is not throwing grounders during
infield practice with 2 hoppers to first ? 
The Toronto Blue Jays are in an interesting position as they head into the unofficial halfway point of the season known as the All Star Break. Hovering  around the .500 mark, the Jays are still in decent shape in the standings and have a good shot at both the Eastern Division crown or a wild card bid. That is provided that they manage to do something on or before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. The Jays have bats that can put up crooked numbers in a hurry but that can only take them so far. They just recently rallied back from being down 7-0 in the 6th to taking the lead 8-7 going into the bottom half of the inning.....then surrendering the lead immediately and eventually losing 11-10. There are 3 things to take away from this. The jays need at least 1 more, or more realistically 2 more top end arms in the starting rotation, they need to shore up the bullpen so when the offense manages to get them back into games they have no right being in they can hold the lead and not choke it away and third, which is probably the most difficult to do...figure out what to do with Jose Reyes. 

Jose Reyes is a threat at the plate and threat on the bases. No one is going to argue with the numbers that he can give you when healthy. Big problem is, he is also a huge threat to the team defensively. Figuring out what to do about that is no small task. Well the answer is easy, but pull him late in games in place of someone who can catch and throw the ball consistently. Problem with that is, if you choose to do that you are going to loose him and most likely going to loose a bunch of the Dominican players. it is hard to understand how it seems that whenever a Latin or Dominican player has an issue with something ALL the Latin/Dominican players have an issue. Sure Canadian’s and American’s will have respect for one another but rarely do you see them stand up and side with another teammate just because of nationality. It seems island pride runs deeper. That is not necessarily a bad thing, it is good to have pride in your nationality. We as Canadians take true pride in our country. The USA as we know wave the flag as much ore more then anyone but when it come down to a personal level it seems like the Latin players will side with their brethren in spite of what may be best for business. 

The Jays are in a position to make a healthy run at the playoffs and I can't believe that when other Jays like Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and especially the other Latin guys that see that Reyes’ glove and arm are costing them games that that doesn't make them mad, because it should. When they see balls going and Reyes’ glove or between his legs or he double skips a throw to first base how can they not acknowledge that he is potentially costing them games. They, more then anyone, needs to realize that something needs to be done at shortstop, especially late in tight games. Olé-ing balls that should be routine is costing the team runs, innings, pitch count, bullpen arms and surely overall moral and confidence in the team's ability to make a real run towards the playoffs. 

When it gets to the point where you figure the team is more confident with Munenori Kawasaki at shortstop in the 8th and 9th instead of your $22M guy there has to be some unrest in the clubhouse. Reyes is such a table-setter and important offensive catalyst you don't want to rock the boat and loose him. But if you are Alex Anthopoulos and it is your neck on the line and needing a good finish for your ball club to secure your employment and position as GM it is hard to let things go on as they currently are. Sure it might be nice to package him in a deal, but that is not something easily done. His salary is prohibitive and it is also a deal that is more likely to happen in the off season not at the trade deadline at best.

Hopefully Jose can refocus during the second half and really shore things up defensively. If the Jays do manage to make a move to get some arms, the new additions will need to be supported by solid defence. It doesn't even need to be spectacular defence, just make the plays you are supposed to make and that will help everyone up and down the roster.

No comments: