Rolen out.



"I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own"




Scott Rolen is now a member of the Cincinnati Reds. Considering JP's recent "we're going for it in 2010" attitude—Halladay still remains a Blue Jay and no other moves were made at the deadline—I just don't get this one. In my humble opinion, I suggest that having the top defensive three bagger in the league would be a key component to building a playoff contender in the ALE. I also suggest that keeping the team's most consistent hitter—especially in a lineup that has lacked consistency at the plate—might also be an asset for any team considering a post-season run in '10.

Notwithstanding the above, veteran leadership is also a huge plus for any contender—especially given the youth of the Blue Jay lineup: Lind, Snider, Hill, Cecil, Romero, Rzepczynski. Scott Rolen time and time again has proven himself to be a professional: he goes to the ballpark and plays his position; he is never distracted by anything off the field; and you have to love how he buries his head and sprints around the bases after a home run.

Given the Jays' new/old philosophy for next year, this trade stinks. I'm not saying that the trade itself is bad; I don't mind the players that we got in return at all. But, I do think this seriously hurts the 2010 Blue Jays. Sure, I can understand that Rolen was going to make 11M+ next year and that he probably wasn't going to resign. That's baseball.

Alright, that's my opinion on that trade: I hate to see Rolen leave. He was without a doubt my favourite player. Had this been part of a rebuilding situation wherein Halladay was traded for a group of young players, I would have been very happy with this deal.

So, who did we get in return?

Edwin Encarnacion has been a full time player for the Reds since 2006. 2008 was his best season and he his .251/.340/.466 with 26HR in 146 games and 582 plate appearances. This year, however, Encarnacion was on the DL from April 25th to July 4th. Since his return from the DL he has hit .267/.368/.507 with 4HR and 10RBI in 23 games. Encarnacion might bring more power to the lineup, but won't compare to the consistency Rolen was showing this year. The story on defence is much worse, I'm afraid. This season, Edwin has a terrible -23.1 UZR/150. However, he has only played in 43 total games giving a relatively small sample size. Over his career, he has boast a bad -12.2 URZ.150. Compare these to Rolen's numbers—7.9 UZR/150 this season and a career 15.6 UZR/150 (only going back to 2002)—and we see that the Jays are giving up a lot on defense. Looking at the WAR numbers shows that Rolen has given the Jays 3.0 wins, while Encarnacion has cost the Reds -0.2 wins. Overall, the deal will save the Jays about 6.25M next year (depending on how much cash went over to the Reds in the deal).

Josh Roenicke provides immediate help to the Jays' bullpen, as Accardo was optioned to AAA upon acquiring the right hander. Roenicke, the soon-to-be 27 year old, started the season in AAA where he pitched in 27 games. He posted a decent 2.57 ERA and recorded 12 saves with no losses. He also posted a very impressive 10.29 K/9, 1.93 B/9, and gave up no home runs. Roenicke also saw some play with the Reds, posting a 2.70 ERA, 14K, 4BB over 54 TBF. Roenicke is hard throwing and mostly relies on a fastball that touches 95mph and a cutter that touches 88mph. He was not rated as one of the Reds' top 15 prospects of 2009 by Baseball America, but was ranked as the number 6 prospect by the hard grading John Sickels. Sickels gave Josh a B- grade and said "Very impressive arm, could be a closer perhaps." Good pickup if Roenicke develops into a decent closer.

Zach Stewart a 22 year old RHP was probably who the Jays were after in this trade. Steward was a third round pick in last year's entry draft and has since progressed very quickly up to Class AAA. He started this year in HiA and Class AA, where he was used as a starter; he went 4-1 over 14 starts and posted a 1.82 ERA. He also scored a good 7.15 K/9, 2.04 BB/9 and only gave up two home runs. In Class AAA Stewart has been use exclusively out of the pen. There, he has faced 55 batters giving up only 1 ER, recording 16 K, and 8 BB. Stewart was not on the Baseball America top 15 Reds prospects, but he was given a grade of B- and ranked 7th by Sickels: "Strong arm, command issues, could move fast in the pen. Maybe a C+?" I would imagine that this grading is higher now since Sickels' December 6, 2oo8 ratings. JP Riccardi commented that the Jays were going to try Stewart in a starting role in Class AAA Las Vegas for now.

All-in-all, the Jays did receive a couple nice young arms in this deal and someone to fill the void at 3B. If the Jays were actually trying to rebuild, I'd really like this deal.

For any of you who can take it, here's a little tribute to Scott "The Human Highlight Reel" Rolen. You will be missed, but not forgotten:


4 comments:

Ian H. August 1, 2009 at 2:54 PM  

I can't tell you how many times I've listened to Viva La Vida over the past 12 hours to help with the loss of Rolen.

physicist_percy August 1, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

My night last night: Bought a 24 of Sleemans original draught. Drank while listening to Viva La Vida until 10pm for TWIBB. 10:30pm Jays connected trade talks cause more drinking. 11pm was tired but wanted to watch game, but horrible play lead to more drinking. Passed out top of the 4th, had to watch the rest of the game this morning on mlb.tv.

Brutal.

Joseph van der Jagt August 1, 2009 at 3:11 PM  

Edwin Encarnacion...the poor man's Troy Glaus?

physicist_percy August 1, 2009 at 11:56 PM  

Troy "the third baseman who can't throw across the diamond anymore" Glaus...

JP's legacy: Rolen for Glaus straight up.

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