Scapegoating the wrist

Hola amigos. It’s been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I’ve been kinda overdosing on the Olympics lately. As great as those two weeks were, it’s over now and baseball and warm weather are here to save the day.

I’d been making a small effort to stay on top of any big news from the Jays’ camp, but I obviously missed some things. Some things like this interview that Alex Anthopoulos gave to the Fan 590 last Friday. Speaking about Vernon Wells and his new role as “team leader,” Anthopoulos said the following:

I talked to him about it (VW’s wrist) and he said it’s fine, he feels great. I said how does it compare to last spring and he said ‘oh you know, it’s night and day.’ You know, last spring, it was bothering him and our trainers had to inject him to take the pain away and he had to take anti-inflammatories the entire year and, uh, obviously once he was done playing and he was off the anti-inflammatories, the pain started to come back. Again, he won’t complain about it and he certainly won’t point to it as a reason for him not having as strong as a year as he would have hoped for, but I certainly believe that it certainly did impact the year that he did have and he certainly feels good about it. I expect Vernon to bounce back and have a strong year for us.

I like Anthopoulos, I really do, but I have a problem with what he said there.

THE WRIST WAS NOT VERNON’S PROBLEM LAST YEAR.

Seriously, I thought that had been covered enough and accepted as fact. Why is it still being trotted out as an excuse for his poor performance last year, and trotted out by the general manager no less!

Now I’m not going to accuse VW or the team of lying about a wrist injury — you’d have to be insane to undergo unnecessary wrist surgery — surely there was something wrong there. But, if there’s anyone reading this who believes that the wrist was the cause of the poor stats, could you please explain to me why it only really seemed to bother him in the Dome?

Just take a look at VW’s home and away splits last season. He was, offensively, well above league average on the road.

Did his wrist magically stop bothering him when he left Canada? Is there something about the Dome, perhaps lighting or some sort of colour scheme in the stadium, that makes it hard for him to pick up pitches there? Was he actually affected by all the negativity flowing his way from the team’s “fans”?

Unless Wells himself comes out and explains it, I guess we’ll never know the reason. But we can say this: His poor performances at the Dome were not because of his wrist injury.

About these ads

9 thoughts on “Scapegoating the wrist

  1. Wells did not have a good year home or away. His home stats were scary bad, and his road stats were hardly average at best. While I agree his wrist isn’t the sole reason, I don’t think its far to say it wasn’t a big reason.

    For me the biggest reason Wells cannot succeed in the Jays lineup is because of his supporting cast. He can only be a good player on a good team. With Delgado hitting behind him he can succeed. He is not a leader, he is not a cleanup hitter. He is a good supporting member that can hit the 3 hole on a good team. The Jays lack anything really to protect him with (unless Lind would hit 4). Having a 2-3-4 of Hill, Wells, Lind would get my a little excited.

    I want SO BADLY to be a Wells fan, but I don’t think he can succeed on the Jays. Wells, prove me wrong buddy. Be a leader, play like you should.

    • While a quick scan of Vernon’s road stats might result in a “hardly average at best” verdict, that’s not the case. Without going into the ridiculously complex stats, the key one to look at is OPS+ which compares a given player’s production to the league average (full explanation here: http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-OPS-?urn=mlb,204667 )

      At home, Vernon’s OPS+ clocked in at 79 (21 per cent below league average). On the road it clocked in at 119, or 19 per cent above league average.

      I think we can all agree that 19 per cent above the average is pretty solid. But beyond that, the 40 percentage point swing between home and away points to something other than a sore wrist. Although, I admit, the wrist may be responsible for the low home run numbers.

      A 2-3-4 of Hill, Wells, Lind would be great, but I’d like to see Wells earn it first. I’d hit him in the bottom half of the order until he shows he can hack it on a regular basis.

      Too bad Cito’s setting the lineup.

  2. A little off-topic here but I also wonder about hitting Wells 6, and allowing Ruiz to sink or swim at 1B/DH and hitting cleanup. Along the same line as you, it would allow Wells to earn hitting higher will not totally sewering his self-confidence (should he have any?!) and who knows… in such a bleak-looking season coming up, why not see if we have a David Ortizesque player we can use for a couple years. If Ruiz is a total bust, well let’s just say it wouldn’t mean he pushed us out of contention.

      • hey there and thank you for your information – I’ve deetfiinly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this website, as I experienced to reload the web site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and can damage your high-quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Make sure you update this again very soon..

  3. i would bat vw 6th and snider 7th, providing some protection and allowing both to succeed lower in the order before being moved up.

      • I have to express my aoeapcirtipn to you just for rescuing me from this particular crisis. Just after checking through the search engines and meeting solutions which are not powerful, I assumed my entire life was done. Existing minus the approaches to the problems you’ve resolved by means of your entire short article is a crucial case, as well as the ones which could have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I had not encountered the website. Your main competence and kindness in handling almost everything was useful. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t come across such a subject like this. It’s possible to at this moment relish my future. Thanks very much for the impressive and result oriented guide. I won’t be reluctant to propose the blog to anyone who needs and wants counselling about this subject.

      • I don’t think Curt would have much of a shot winning any election. Is there anyone out there who actually likes him? For all he did for Boston, still every Boston fan I know doesn’t really like him, they just respond to questions with something like, well, I’m really happy for what he helped accomplish for us, but he should shut his mouth because he’s an idiot.As for Moose in Hall, I guess it makes sense that he not get in if we look at his peers who will be getting nominated around the same time- Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Randy Johnson, Clemens, Pedro. Those are all guys who were incredibly dominant. Moose, as great as he was, just wasn’t in that league. While I have never thought much of Glavine, he does have the magic number and that’s what counts to get him over the hump. As far as Moose playing on the Orioles in the 90s and Yankees in the 2000s, that’s true that that probably helped him get some wins, but it’s also true that pitching in the AL East probably took away it’s fair share of wins from him. Facing at various times the Sox, Yankees, Orioles, and Blue Jays is not an easy task- far more difficult than playing in other divisions. This is the premier offense division and probably always will be.Side note: if Moose shouldn’t get in before Blyleven- should Schilling get in before him? Or before Jack Morris for that matter? Schilling’s got the 3000+ strikeouts, but he doesn’t have the win total of Moose or Blyleven (who also has more Ks, as do Clemens, the Unit, Maddux, and Pedro). He also has the postseason record, making him similar to Morris. If you put those together does it make him Hall worthy? I don’t know. I think right now people think he and Moose should get in, but in five years from now, with some perspective, I think people will answer ‘no.’

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s