Time for a notes post
This is one of those ideas where I had a whole bunch of good ideas and don’t have time to finish any of them, so in lieu of a real post, have the abbreviated version.
1. Geoff Baker has spent the last few days blogging his thoughts on the Adam Jones situation, the value of experience, how rookies earn playing time, and so on. He’s done a good job of laying out the argument and articulating the organization’s philosophy on the issue of how players are evaluated. Not surprisingly, I think he’s wrong, and I’ve got a mountain of evidence to back me up, but it’s not the kind of post I want to spend 20 minutes on and slap up as a counterpoint, so a rebuttal will have to wait until next week.
2. Somewhat related to that, the Tigers are designating struggling veteran Craig Monroe for assignment today and calling up 20-year-old Cameron Maybin to take over as their regular left fielder. Maybin was promoted to Double-A last week, played five games there, and is now on his way to the show. You can add Maybin’s name to Andrew Miller, Ryan Braun, Justin Upton, Philip Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and the ever growing list of highly talented rookies who have displaced veterans and been handed prominant roles on playoff contending clubs as teams decide that talent trumps experience.
3. Jose Contreras takes the hill against the Mariners tonight. I’ve heard from multiple people that this is essentially an audition for the M’s – if he pitches well tonight and the scouts like what they see, he could be joining the Mariners as soon as tomorrow. He’s undoubtedly a huge upgrade from Horacio Ramirez, but the remaining 2 years and $20 million left on that contract are ugly with a capital U, and the fact that he cleared waivers when every pitcher of any value is getting claimed should tell you just what the rest of the league thinks of that deal.
4. Speaking of waivers, Jayson Stark reported that Richie Sexson was claimed on waivers and pulled back by the Mariners. This news generally sparked a lot of anger among M’s fans, since dumping Sexson’s salary and handing his at-bats to Ben Broussard sounds like a win-win situation to a lot of people. However, I’ve been told that one of the claiming teams was the Detroit Tigers, and as much as I’d like to see the M’s move Sexson this winter, I can completely understand the organization’s reluctance to hand Sexson to a team they’re trying to beat out for a playoff spot.
5. Yes, there’s a Future Forty update coming soon. Probably early next week. Short version – Carlos Triunfel is awesome and Chris Tillman has made big strides lately. The farm system is in better shape now than it has been at any time in the last five years.
6. Wily Mo Pena has been traded to the Washington Nationals. I’ve been joking for a few years that I think Jim Bowden’s Baseball America subscription ran out in 1997 but he still uses the old issues as his main reference when trading for players, but he just keeps giving me reasons to keep running that joke out there. The man has a toolsy outfielder fetish that is unrivaled in the history of the game. I’m somewhat surprised he hasn’t flanked Wily Mo with Ruben Mateo and Kenny Kelly yet.