Brandon Morrow gets the start today in the rubber match. This will be his first start back in Safeco since he was traded, hopefully the mound is to his liking. Morrow looks to pitch better than Brad Mills last night. The Jays comeback in that game helped obscure Mills inability to hold a six run lead.
While Morrow has been a very good pitcher this year, he seems to have an inning or two in every game where he loses it. Some pitchers give up a run here and maybe two there, but Morrow is more likely to give up four runs in one inning and pitch shutout ball for the other six. Can anyone explain why?
I assume Jose Molina will be behind the plate for Morrow today. The personal catcher role is back for Morrow, even if Farrell had tried to get away from it earlier in the year. It will be interesting to see if the Jays bring back Molina next year or if they use either Brian Jeroloman or another free agent and how that impacts Morrow.
As an aside John Farrell tried to break the personal catcher role earlier in the season but he seems to have acquisced to Morrow's wishes. The Jays also ran a lot more earlier in the season. It seems as though Farrell has evolved, changed or developed a lot in his managerial tendencies as the season has progressed. Hopefully that makes him a better manager in 2012.
Brad Mills had a rough start last night and on the TV Buck Martinez and Alan Ashby were all over Mills. Ashby calls it like he sees it and that seemed to bring the same out of Buck which was a nice change from the Buck, Tabler, "let me tell you about when I played" style. Ashby was saying that Mills should not pitch up in the zone, not a surprise there. But he added that it was harder for pitchers who throw more over the top, like Mills does, to throw down in the zone. Mills does have deception in his delivery but I wonder if that same deception causes enough movement in Mills' body that it impacts his control. In any event Mills has serving them up, belt high, last night and that can't continue. I am sure one of the topics of conversation with the manager today will be who starts on Sunday in Oakland. If I was to guess I would say Luis Perez but the Jays have options.
Eric Thames has his bat back in good form and he looks like he can hit major league pitching. His fielding however is not as good. Thames does appear to be relatively speedy so he should be able to be passable in left field, but the Jays will have to decide if the can be passable enough to play left or if he is a DH in waiting.
Richard Griffin has a story in todays Star about Aaron Hill's chance to return in 2012. Hill seems to be very willing to come back, even on a different deal. Here are some excerpts from the story:
“It’s something I’ve been part of for a long time and it’s something I believe in,” Hill said of his realistic desire to return. “What Alex has done, and especially this last year, has been huge for us. Obviously when it comes to the contract situation, you just have to keep going. Whatever they may decide it doesn’t mean that I can’t be back there. You know, we may be able to work something out."
However, the catch is that in order to secure the pick, the Jays would need to offer Hill salary arbitration. If they do, there’s a good chance he would accept it, the way Jason Frasor did last winter, rather than throw himself on an ice-cold open market. If that’s the case, why not tear up the two options and, instead, in October negotiate a one-year deal closer to the $5 million he’s earning now, maybe with another option for 2013 that would make him easier to trade next summer. Back to win-win again.
"Honestly, salary has never been an issue,” Hill said. “My wife and I both live very simply. We know the value of a dollar. That’s never been an issue. I wasn’t thinking about the three options to get by. That’s never been an issue. When we signed it was obviously, if you play great you’ve got the options. If you don’t, they don’t and you’ll be a free agent anyway.”
“It’s very rare that you can play your whole career in one place nowadays,” Hill reflected. “It would be pretty neat to see it through. From what they’ve done since I started here to be a part of that when they do win, because they are going to win. I think to be a part of that would be pretty special. But I know you’ve got to perform. That’s the way the game is.”
But Anthopoulos insists that the set-in-stone plan is to send Hechavarria back to Las Vegas for a full Triple-A season as a shortstop and there is no second base in his future. We’ve all seen plans change, but if that’s the short-term plan then there is room for Hill — but at a reduced rate.
It is a good story by Griffin and worth the read.
Is there anything else bubbling?