My second thought on Guillen/Balentien
After talking to Dave about our disagreement, I realized something else: one of the things the M’s player development has become much, much better at in the last few years under Bavasi/Fontaine is determining which of their players are ready to play in the majors, and what their roles might be. We’ve seen most of that in filling out the bullpen, and I may disagree with what they do with them once they’ve come to those decisions (Morrow, for instance, was a case where they figured he could help with the bullpen, but that might have come at the expense of his development as a starter).
Bavasi’s stated that he’s unwilling to start two new outfielders, and if that was the limit of discussion, I’d still be pretty hot about it, but I can’t believe that during the season, particularly during the drawn-out discussions with Guillen, he didn’t have a discussion with the player development people and say “Do you think Wlad’s going to be ready in a year? Two years?” And I guess they must have put up their hands and said “We dunno, boss.”
If you grant them that, then it means that the brighter minds in the M’s player development organization aren’t seeing the big leap forward in Wlad’s game, or at least aren’t convinced it’s sustainable. Or they don’t think his performance is major-league ready. And I haven’t seen Wlad like they have — so I’m entirely willing to be humble and say “there may well be something they’re seeing that I’m not.”