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Monday, December 02, 2013

Gregg Zaun: World Series Champion, Analyst, and helping families in need

Okay…so the analyst bit was a reach.

GZ: I think the game has deteriorated fundamentally. High-level players are rushed to the bigs too soon. They don’t get enough reps in the minors anymore. Just look at the bunting and the inability to command the fastball. Pitchers who throw 95 are out there trying to trick guys and end up with Tommy John surgery from throwing too many sliders, etc. Players focus on the areas of their games which get them paid.

...GZ: Don’t assume that a veteran is automatically a leader. Poor starting pitching, defense, and situational hitting were the reason they stunk. Refer to the previous answer for clarification. The formula for winning is almost always good starting pitching, timely hitting and defense.

GMs: Can you see a complete turnaround next year if this nucleus stays together, or is another so-called “rebuild” on the horizon?

GZ: I can’t see a COMPLETE turnaround. These guys should already know how to play the game the right way. They are in THE SHOW after all. The current nucleus of players needs guidance and discipline. They need to put in the work to do the little things and excellence needs to be demanded of them. It feels like a Country Club atmosphere to me. There just aren’t any consequences for poor play or behavior. One of the reasons may be that a lot of guys are a little too comfortable at too young of an age. I looked over my shoulder for 16 years. It motivated me. It’s healthy.

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:29 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, history, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4608491)
High-level players are rushed to the bigs too soon. They don’t get enough reps in the minors anymore.


Just once I'd like to see an old ballplayer say, "You know, those young kids are pretty good! They should he given a shot to play in the bigs!"

We always think that kids are being "rushed" to the big time -- not just in baseball, but in all aspects of life. Because if the scene is being filled with youngsters, who are just as good (if not better) than us, that means it's time for us to go. And we don't wanna.
   2. formerly dp Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4608502)
Tangentially related: Jays inked Navarro for 2 years. This'll push JP to the bench...and it's about time...
   3. Greg K Posted: December 02, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4608547)
Just once I'd like to see an old ballplayer say, "You know, those young kids are pretty good! They should he given a shot to play in the bigs!"

I will say, in this one case, I wouldn't be surprised if sports broadcaster Gregg Zaun could have put up a higher OBP than youngster J.P. Arencibia in 2013.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 02, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4608576)
Just once I'd like to see an old ballplayer say

I think a fair number of them have. We only remember the cranky guys for whatever reason.
   5. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 02, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4608590)
Tangentially related: Jays inked Navarro for 2 years. This'll push JP to the bench...and it's about time...



Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! You've made my year.
   6. SG Posted: December 02, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4608600)
This'll push JP to the bench...and it's about time...


I'd think this will push Arencibia out of the Blue Jays organization completely.
   7. RJ in TO Posted: December 02, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4608635)
I'd think this will push Arencibia out of the Blue Jays organization completely.


We'll see. With this addition, they still only have Thole, Arencibia, and Navarro as major-league ready catchers on the 40 man roster, and Thole has been worse than Arencibia over the last two years. There's also A. J. Jiminez, but he didn't exactly light things up in his short time at AA.

Until they add another catcher or two, I'd guess Arencibia is going nowhere.
   8. formerly dp Posted: December 02, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4608692)
Until they add another catcher or two, I'd guess Arencibia is going nowhere.
I know Blanco was gone a while ago, but what happened to Mike Nickeas? Ronny Paulino might be available, if they're still into collecting ex-Met catchers...

Along those lines, catching the knuckler will likely be a consideration in terms of which player to keep around as a backup.
   9. RJ in TO Posted: December 02, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4608711)
Along those lines, catching the knuckler will likely be a consideration in terms of which player to keep around as a backup.

So not Arencibia then.

The other thing to consider is that it's not like Navarro has a strong history of success. And while it may look like he's learned to hit over the last two years, it's still only a total of about 350 PA, and he was unbelievably dreadful over the 750 PA (57 OPS+) before that. It's entirely possible he comes up with an absolute crap bag of a season and Arencibia ends up being their best option.

By the way, none of the above should be taken as an endorsement of Arencibia, but rather just an acknowledgement that it may be in the Jays best interest to keep him around for a while.
   10. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 02, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4608731)
it may be in the Jays best interest to keep him around for a while.


Exhibit "A" in why the Jays are ###### for 2014.
   11. RJ in TO Posted: December 02, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4608745)
As for Zaun's analysis, he so very badly wants to be the Don Cherry of baseball.
   12. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: December 02, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4608748)
RJ, the non-tender deadline is midnight tonight. MLBTR predicted a 2.8 million salary in arbitration, which I'm not sure the Jays are interested in paying. There's a solid chance he's out of the organization by tomorrow.

And I think the Zaun-Don Cherry comparisons are apt, but also largely a function of Rogers media as much as Zaun's personality.
   13. Greg K Posted: December 02, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4608752)
I know Blanco was gone a while ago, but what happened to Mike Nickeas? Ronny Paulino might be available, if they're still into collecting ex-Met catchers...

A player of Ronny Paulino's calibre doesn't stay available for long. The Tigers snatched him up last month.
   14. Greg K Posted: December 02, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4608753)
Shi Davidi reporting that if a trade isn't worked out by the non-tender deadline tonight Arencibia will in fact be non-tendered.
   15. RJ in TO Posted: December 02, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4608756)
I would be both pleased and nervous if I'm wrong about them not cutting Arencibia. They seem to have less than no depth and, while he was a nightmare last season, he's not far removed from being a tolerably useful player. At the same time, it would mean no more having to watch him "catch" or "hit".
   16. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: December 02, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4608760)
Yeah, the only hangup here is the lack of depth in the system, which applies to just about every position aside from maybe OF. I guess you can never have too many catchers.

But if JP really is a replacement-level player (which I believe him to be) then finding a...replacement...shouldn't be too hard, by definition. Plus it would be about 2 million cheaper.
   17. RJ in TO Posted: December 02, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4608770)
But if JP really is a replacement-level player (which I believe him to be) then finding a...replacement...shouldn't be too hard, by definition. Plus it would be about 2 million cheaper.

The problem is it's only this year that he's been replacement level. Over the previous two seasons, he was above replacement, although below average. I'm inclined to think he's about replacement level going forward, but I'm well aware my prediction abilities are ####, and there's a decent chance he'll return to be tolerably useful.

Except when it comes to catching a knuckleball.
   18. formerly dp Posted: December 02, 2013 at 04:48 PM (#4608893)
I don't have much faith in Navarro either, but how many guys like JP/Thole/Dioner does a team really need? Navarro's a career .267/.337/.441 against LHP (.361/.451/.672 in 2013), so it's not like JP would be a righty portion of a potential platoon. I think the more likely scenario's Thole on the bench, with another borderline major leaguer in Buffalo in case something goes wrong.
   19. The Good Face Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4608927)
As for Zaun's analysis, he so very badly wants to be the Don Cherry of baseball.


Man, who wouldn't want that job?
   20. RJ in TO Posted: December 02, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4608934)
Man, who wouldn't want that job?

I don't blame him for wanting that job. It's just unpleasant as hell to watch.

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