Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Small Note In Re The Colby Rasmus Trade

It's a basic truism that if everyone believes something to be true, it usually isn't. And that's where I am right now with the Cardinals moving talented OF Colby Rasmus to the Jays in an effort to get pitching depth, and to rid themselves of someone who was not working out on the field or in the clubhouse.

Now, the Cardinals' manager is Tony LaRussa, who isn't exactly the easiest guy in MLB to work with. And the return that they got for Rasmus could easily all wash out in a couple of years; there is a reason why Edwin Jackson has been on so many teams despite having youth and stuff. I like lefty Marc Rzepcynski and Octavio Dotel has his uses, but for a guy with Rasmus' pedigree, it seems a little lacking.

That is, until you actually look at Rasmus' numbers.

Age 22 - 714 OPS
Age 23 - 859 OPS
Age 24 - 738 OPS

So... what exactly are the Cardinals giving up here? A lefty power bat who's high water mark was 23 homers in 2010, in 464 ABs. A middling speed guy; he's 20 for 31 on the basepaths in the bigs. A guy that doesn't walk enough. He's got some pop, and the six triples this year speaks to the talen... but MLB history is positively littered with talented guys who don't put it all together. And that's especially true of guys who couldn't work out with their management at an early age, let alone a guy who has Rasmus' daddy issues, or T-shirt choices.

Sure, Rasmus could turn things around and make LaRussa look silly; young guys who can post average OPS scores frequently do that. And yes, had the Cardinals made less of Rasmus being difficult to manage, they could have probably gotten a bigger package of talent for him.

And maybe, just maybe, they perversely drove up his value by making his pedestrian numbers look to be a case of managerial screwing around, rather than Rasmus just not being very likely to do more than this. Perhaps LaRussa has learned a few things in the four decades that he's been winning baseball games and managing personalities. Perhaps there's even more trouble under this hood than you and I know about.

When you look at the guys that Rasmus is similar to in baseball history, there are some intriguing names: Bobby Bonds, Andrew Dawson, Roy Sievers, Jim Wynn. But there's also Ben Francisco, Armando Rios, Garrett Jones, Oddibe McDowell and Corey Patterson. So in the immortal meaning, if not the words, of Winston Wolf... let's not start servicing Toronto's manhood yet. Jays Fan really doesn't need a repeat of the Rios Experience.

(Oh, and a final note on this? Rasmus is 0 for 8 with a walk in his Toronto career as I write this. Small sample size and all that, sure, but still... and I saw the last at bat today, leading off the ninth down 3-0. Let's just say that Colby's intensity wasn't exactly, um, intense. Lotsa luck, redneck.)


Anonymous said...

Colby was 2-4 today.....YEEHAW! This blog is just awfully bias but I wouldn't expect different more from a clueless liberal.

DMtShooter said...

I swear, folks, I don't edit the troll comments.

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