The Jose Mijares Pick up
This move surprised me yesterday and after reading Pavlovic’s *post game* notes and the links he provided on the *Kansas City* take it not only surprises me but it doesn’t make sense how or why we were able to simply snap him off the waiver wire for $20,000. Side note: I always LQTM when I see a writer say that a team was trying to “sneak a player through waivers”– like contending teams aren’t watching the waiver wire. I envision a GM like Brian Cashman saying something like this: “Goddammit! I told Marge from accounting to keep her eye on the waiver wire and she was on a smoke break when the Angels were busy trying to sneak Trout passed waivers! MAAARRRRRGEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!”
But in this case, it does seem strange that at a time when almost any contending team would gladly accept near-free left handed specialist help in the bullpen. And yet, not only were the Royals not able to trade him before the deadline, but not a single AL team even wanted him for free. And we don’t know how many NL teams passed on him before the Giants finally hit the “add player” button but it had to be most of them.
So what is wrong with a guy with a 2.56 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning?
For starters, he’s not going to win any bodybuilding competitions:
He’s listed at 6 feet/230lbs. Unlikely. This is a pic of him last year in Minnesota and while it’s hard to get a good idea with an untucked shirt of just how bulbis this guy is, my guess is that if he wears Benjie’s old number then Murph could easily just dust off an old *big titty* jersey and give him that.
But being fat doesn’t preclude you from being good at baseball. It could be a sign though which we’ll look at later……
Looking at his season game-2-game, he didn’t allow an earned run in 19 straight appearances from May 30th to July 18th. That stat can sometimes be a little misleading, especially for a lefty specialist. But he did pitch at least a full inning in 8 of those 19 appearances.
Looking at his splits this year, not too many stand out. His kryptonite is the #2 and #7 spots in the order (batting .368 and .353 respectively). The flip side is that the #4 and #5 guys are cake for him (and in his case it looks like *2 slices*). Those spots are batting only .133 and .125.
Looking at his *clutch stats* (and I know the samples are small) he seems to have the most trouble when the game is tied, batters are hitting .417 off him. In fact, his other 2 *clutch stats* (2 outs, RISP .300 and late&close .344) are pretty bad, too. He’s much better when the team is behind or as the score differential increases. And frankly, all of that sounds pretty bad. You want a pitcher who is good when it’s tied, when there are runners on and/or when the team is ahead and it’s close…….
Kansas City is in sort of a *reshuffling* mode right now. I wouldn’t call what they’re doing right now as *rebuilding* because the news coming out of KC is that they have been ditching some players with bad attitudes. Yuniesky Betancourt got designated last week for what was described as a bad attitude. They also fired their first base coach for some reason. After Mijares was waived, here’s what the Kansas City Star article said about those moves:
“…..All three moves appear part of a unified effort by the club to refocus its on-field efforts, although manager Ned Yost chose not to elaborate further on his Sunday statements regarding a need to reverse the organization’s “losing culture.”
Even so, multiple players confirmed a brief closed-door meeting Monday before batting practice centered on the need to place team success over individual achievement.
Club officials say the decision on Mijares, like that on Betancourt, resulted primarily from priorities attached to a long-term organizational viewpoint….”
So when you read between the lines on that newspaper blurb, it’s not to much of a stretch to think that the Royals thought Mijares had an attitude problem. Part of attitude is keeping yourself in shape, by the way. Just something to consider. And the *individual accomplishment* note is something he might have a problem with, too……..
And the fact that every team in the AL passed on the guy (and they had first shot at him over the NL) makes me wonder if there was a *bad word* on the street about this dude……
Another theory is that the Royals didn’t want to have to pay Mijares the suspected 2.5 million he would earn in arbitration next season……
But most of what I’m saying is conjecture. He wasn’t pitching very well prior to the break and that could be the reason the Royals couldn’t deal him (and they said they had tried to).
Here are some optimistic reasons to embrace him:
1) lots of fat baseball players are successful
2) The Royals make tons of bad personnel decisions
3) It’s possible that Mijares, Betancourt and the dastardly first base coach are nothing more than fall-guys to take the blame for yet another losing season in KC.
Yesterday, I said I thought it was a good move to pick him up and I’m a little less enthusiastic this morning. Also, he’s not a long guy and he’s not going to take any appearances away from Lopez or Affeldt. According to an article in the Merc, he’ll pick up some appearances in place of Affeldt who is going to see more save opportunities as Bochy has decided to stupidly go with the bullpen-by-committee move……
My personal theory as to why the Royals bailed on him: They had to call up “Francisley Bueno.” –one of the great names in all of baseball. That’s right up there with “Fausto Carmona”, the guy who got busted for lying about who he really was to make himself younger. I never really got that, if you were gonna try to pull that move off wouldn’t you try to lay low, fly under-the-radar and just roll with a hum-drum common name like *Juan Gomez*?
Anyway, I digress. Jose Mijares, for whatever the reasons you are here, Flavor Nation welcomes you with 2 flaps up. Take it easy on the clubhouse spread, you don’t want to anger The Panda…….