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Time to consider the bench.

Which, as it was originally constituted, was filled by:

Jeff Mathis
Omar Vizquel
Rajai Davis
Ben Francisco

As always, I grade on the following curve:

A - Outstanding (You could be an MVP, and ought to be an All-Star)
B - Good (You too could be an All-Star)
C - Average (You're getting by, there are probably bigger problems)
D - Below Average (You passed. Big deal.)

E - Fail. (You don't belong at this level. Not at this moment anyway - not yet or not anymore)
F - Epic Fail (You need to look for a new line of work.)
Blue Jays Report Card: Fourth Preliminary | 25 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
BalzacChieftain - Tuesday, September 11 2012 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#263301) #

Mathis - C.

He did what a backup catcher was supposed to do. Overused in my estimation, but that was because of injuries and managerial decisions.

Vizquel - F

In my estimation, he shouldn't be taking up a roster spot on a major league ball club and he has played too much. Again though, that's not really his fault but was lack of planning by the front office to have a viable backup middle infielder on the roster. I think Johnson was playing in some discomfort for awhile, and Farrell's hands were tied in that he couldn't give KJ proper time off to heal because of the weak option of Vizquel off the bench.

Davis - B

As a 4th outfielder, Davis was decent. Hits lefties well, steals a ton of bases, and is overexposed when subjected to regular palying time.

Francisco - E

Francisco did not contribute much and was rarely even used as an extra outfielder - more often as a bench bat or a DH once in a while. I didn't see the point of the Jays taking a flyer on him in the offseason, and still don't now. Another waste of a roster spot.

CeeBee - Tuesday, September 11 2012 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#263302) #
Mathis - C good backup- JPA's injury caused over-use
Vizquel - C- decent backup from a defensive position- got to hear all the "future hall of fame" talk from Pat and Buck tho.
Davis - B Good 4th outfielder- marginal starting one
Fransisco - I Incomplete. mostly rode the pine or was injured.
Oceanbound - Tuesday, September 11 2012 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#263303) #
Mathis: D
Somehow managed to slug his way to rival Arencibia's stat line for a while. Since then, he's reverted to being one of the worst hitters in the league. I'll have to concede that he has some magic defense pixie dust that can't easily be noticed, because otherwise he is just awful.

Vizquel: F
When you have a short bench and one of those spots is already occupied by an epically bad hitting catcher, carrying another no bat guy is just asking for trouble. Vizquel hit like a pitcher and basically contributed nothing on the field. I hope he was a really great mentor, at least. Certainly he showed that it was time to retire.

Davis: B
As a bench player, Davis gets a B. As a regular he would get a C. He pretty much completely lived up to his reputation as a good fourth outfielder and below par starter.

Francisco: D
The only thing I can remember about him is that he was sort of bad and there didn't seem to be a reason for why he was on the team.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, September 11 2012 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#263304) #
Jeff Mathis was as good defensively as was expected. His hitting was and is a big surprise as he wasn't supposed to be this good. I'm glad he was re-signed.

Omar stunk more than I thought he could.

Rajai Davis is a Game Changer. Overall, he's better than average and worth keeping.

A guy named Who? was a ????? when acquired. Then he hardly ever played. Almost a non-entity.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 11 2012 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#263305) #
Mathis- C+
Vizquel- E
Rajai- B-
Francisco- incomplete (54 PAs isn't enough)

Mathis- above-average performance from a back-up catcher
Vizquel- I can't measure intangibles; Escobar had an off year and we didn't see much of Hechavarria
Rajai- he would have had a fine season if used as a 4th OF; as an almost everyday left-fielder he's a C-, but I am not going to ding him for failures of management. 

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, September 11 2012 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#263307) #

Jeff Mathis- C-

What you see is what you get, a backup catcher who has reached his full potential.  I really don't think his defense is as good as everyone else seems to think, although his arm is ok.  He has had no impact on the team either positive or negative which is pretty much exactly what you want out of a backup catcher. 

Omar Vizquel- F

On the other hand Vizquel has provided absolutely nothing to the team. Sad to see how far he has fallen- he's versatile in so much as he is equally terrible at every position and his bat makes his defense look like it did circa 1998 by comparison.  This is a spot in the lineup where I'd really like to see us spend a little.  Having a versatile infielder to spell the regulars is really valuable and I think it would have shown in less wear and tear on Lawrie, Johnson, and Esco if we had a good option.  If we aren't going to do this, then we should at least give the job to Jonathan Diaz or someone with more upside than downside.

Rajai Davis- B-

Ideal fourth outfielder who for the second year in a row has been thrust into regular duty. I give my grade to him in the context of being a fourth outfielder and I actually think he's held his own when you consider that as his role. 

Ben Francisco- D+

Categoric waste of resources, but you really can't fault him for that.  Davis was our fourth outfielder and was better suited for the role.  'Cisco just didn't provide enough power to be of substantive value beyond what Davis brought to the table.

Chuck - Tuesday, September 11 2012 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#263309) #

Jeff Mathis ... His hitting was and is a big surprise as he wasn't supposed to be this good.

His 204/240/384 slash line, good for a 64 OPS+, has me positively weak in the knees.

Mike Green - Tuesday, September 11 2012 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#263317) #
Anthony Gose was awfully fast down the line in the ninth on that hard hit ground ball right at the shortstop playing up the middle.  It's easy to see why he reaches on errors a lot. 
Gerry - Tuesday, September 11 2012 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#263318) #
Jeff Mathis - C .... as expected

Omar Vizquel - E ..... should be retired

Rajai Davis - C .... as expected but over-exposed

Ben Francisco - D
John Northey - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 06:13 AM EDT (#263321) #
Jeff Mathis: D, after a great offensive start he slowed drastically. Scary thing is his 64 OPS+ is his career high. His sOPS+ is 121 for the first half, 38 for the 2nd.

Omar Vizquel: E-, his 37 OPS+ is easily his worst ever, but pretty much what was expected sadly enough. He is no more than a 25th man at this stage and that is all that was expected. Playing at all infield positions and even LF at a competent level keeps him from an F.

Rajai Davis: C, 83 OPS+ vs career 86, decent defense around the outfield, as advertised he is an ideal 4th outfielder with speed. Not an everyday player.

Ben Francisco: F, didn't see much point to him last winter, guessed that AA saw potential but then he was left deep on the bench and finally dumped. He has played for 3 teams this year and his 81 OPS+ here is his best figure. His season by season OPS+ are 107-105-106-104-94-78 - mediocre at his 'peak' and now collapsing. I doubt he gets another shot in 2013 in the majors unless he tears apart AAA for some team with a shortage in the outfield.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#263324) #
Mastroianni has more WAR (in far fewer ABs) and is cheaper than Davis, so for me Davis isn't quite the "ideal" fourth OF. Davis is fast but IMO isn't very good defensively, his one brilliant catch and the odd good throw notwithstanding. His 2012 line against RHPs is 242/295/363 (career 260/302/361), which is horrible.

I think Mathis is a good defense-first backup C who was performed well in that role in 2012, but who wore down and/or got exposed in full-time duty when Arencibia went down.
AWeb - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#263326) #

Jeff Mathis - C. Backup catchers are almost by definition not very good hitters, he's been acceptable in the role.

Omar Vizquel- E. Defense not good anymore, offense terrible, baserunning not very good. McCoy is likely better..

Rajai Davis - C. Perfect 4th OF type - steals bases, can play all three spots, not unusable in limited fulltime action. Ended up starting by default, never a good way to find your starting LFer. Above replacement level (I assume, I haven't looked up his WAR), but not threatening an all-star game.

Ben Francisco - D. Who knows, didn't get much of a chance.

Dave Till - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#263327) #
Omar Vizquel didn't do anything, but his only competition for his job was Mike McCoy, and the Jays did need a backup infielder. Perhaps AA should be faulted for not bringing in a better player, but the player in Vizquel's role was only going to play about once every two weeks or so, as Farrell doesn't rest his infielders much. Anybody good enough to have been more useful would not have taken on the job.

I'd forgotten about Ben Francisco. Which says enough right there.

John Northey - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#263330) #
Mastroianni has had a good year in Minnesota - 263/335/368 for a 96 OPS+ with 19-3 SB-CS ratio. He's been used in RF/LF mostly with 4 games in CF and an inning at 2B. He was put on waivers when Cordero was signed.

Looking back one understands how Mastroianni was behind Thames & Snider in the outfield depth game, but why Francisco? That is still the signing that makes one wonder. He seemed signed to be part of a platoon but started just 4 games in April, 6 in May, and 5 between June & July (injured part of that time). He just wasn't used much from the start which suggest a lack of a plan for him.

Ah well. Horse out of the barn and all that.
Moe - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#263332) #
"but the player in Vizquel's role was only going to play about once every two weeks or so, as Farrell doesn't rest his infielders much. Anybody good enough to have been more useful would not have taken on the job."

A more competent player might have seen more action.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#263333) #
Francisco was not a signing, but acquired for Frank Gailey, a non-prospect 26 yr old RP, who was eventually released by the Phillies. I believe the fact AA could get a relatively cheap MLB player for basically nothing overrode the fact he was totally redundant, and a waste of a roster spot the way the roster was constructed.
jgadfly - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#263336) #

My 2 cents ...

Mathis       B+  ... as a back up catcher ... good defense ... plus running (not clogging up the bases) ...hitting better than projections

                  C-  ... as a fulltime catcher  ... bat doesn't measure up to Jay paradigm ...

                   a keeper

Visquel       F   ...   as someone to get inside Yunel's head (daunting task)

                  B   ...   as someone to tutor Hechevarria

                  D   ...  as backup infielder  ... there have been worse but what does one expect from a 45 year old ... still fields better than most

                  F-  ...  as an aspiring artist who decorates baseballs


Davis         B- ...   as a #4 outfielder ... proneness to mental errors lowers grade ... no complaints about the speed

                 D+ ...   as a full time outfielder ... not quite up to requirements

                    Plus trading chip

B F       ...    GBF  ... Gone But Forgotten 


hypobole - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#263340) #
Mathis - D+ which is probably a pretty good grade for a backup catcher. Far too much swing and miss to play every day.

Davis - D+ want to rate him higher, but this year he's basically provided similar production that Colby Rasmus has, and that is what Colby has been worth.

Visquel - E which is probably excellent for a 45 yr old MI.

Francisco - E this was a case of "you get what you pay for"

Shaker - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#263343) #
"Davis...a plus trading chip"

Sadly he's an FA at the end of this year.  The O's though could use a RHB OF now that Markakis is down and had interest in Rajai-clone Juan Pierre...

I wonder if the O's would flip us INF Wilson Betemit for Rajai today?

Betemit has had only 6 AB since his Sept 1 recall from the DL, thanks to Machado.

Betemit has had great success vs RHP the last few years and can play 3B if/when Lawrie goes down.  He's just finishing the first year of a 2-year $3M contract that contains an option.

vs RHP in 2012 (OBP/OPS) .360/.868 and from '09-11: .363/.849

We sure could use an effective LHB.  Not sure the O's value him that highly.

Original Ryan - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#263345) #
If Baseball Reference's service time data is correct, it looks like Davis will be 5 days shy of 6 years of service time, so he's still under control for another year.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#263346) #
BRef also says that the Jays have a $3M team option ($500K buyout) for 2013 on Davis. He's not a FA until 2014.
Shaker - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#263348) #
Apologies. Serves me right for using Rotoworld as a source.

It's not clear to me whether that option/buyout has value.

I'd still rather have Betemit for 2013 and think Rajai has more value to the O's for their playoff push.
rtcaino - Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#263355) #
So AA can use the 3m option, or take his chances with arb/negotiating a new contract?

Arb/negotiation plus the 500K buy out could save some of coin, if that were the case.

I previously thought he'd be a FA is option not picked up.
scottt - Thursday, September 13 2012 @ 07:01 AM EDT (#263364) #
Mathis B

Started strong but ended up as expected.

Vizquel F

They really needed someone who could hit.

Davis B

If a guy deserved an A he wouldn't be a bench player and for a while Davis became a regular.

Francisco E

I've resigned myself to never know why he was on the team. Trade bait, I suppose.
Shaker - Thursday, September 13 2012 @ 07:01 AM EDT (#263365) #
True, but Rajai unlikely to be awarded a pay cut in arb, so after the buyout you'd come out worse.

As an aside Juan Pierre made less than a million this year and Reed Johnson, just over a million.
Blue Jays Report Card: Fourth Preliminary | 25 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.