FanGraphs Baseball


RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. What’s weird about Rasmus’ season is that it started to follow that pattern you suggested.

    He started off the year hitting well, but running into a lot of BABIP bad luck. Then he did fall into some struggles, but started scorching the ball through the middle of the season. At one point his season numbers had him close to an .800 OPS, and he worth about 2 WAR mid-way through the season. Then he fell apart again, dropping the numbers to where they are now.

    A lot of that could be sample size and narratives, sure, but it does paint the picture of a guy who still has the talent to be the player everyone thought he could be, and just needs to find consistency. Maybe easier said than done, though.

    Overall though, your conclusions make sense. However, if the Jays look at this as a buy-low, and are possibly willing to slightly overpay Rasmus for the next two years to sign him up to a team-friendly deal with a few team options on top of that (as Anthopoulos has done numerous times) it has a chance to turn into a very valuable contract.

    Given the Jays depth in CF, with Gose and Marisnick on the horizon, I’d agree that it wouldn’t make tons of sense to guarantee more than two years, however.

    Comment by Bret — September 10, 2012 @ 9:09 am

  2. If the Jays consider that drop off to be directly linked to the groin problems he’s had from that time onwards, it likely makes more sense to them to get a deal done now while he’s likely under valued. Given how clearly hurt Rasmus looks, it’s certainly a possibility.

    Comment by TtD — September 10, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  3. The Jays need some people who can get on base. The K% for this team is obscene. Lind, Snider (gone), Hill (gone), Rasmus, K. Johnson (leaving), Davis, Thames, Escobar (bad year?), Arencibia. Now we have Gose and Hechavarria who are looking to be in the same mold. I pray I am wrong and they’re just young and undisciplined.

    This team is a long way from contending. We have 5 or 6 players: Bautista, Encaracion (really?), Lawrie (hopefully), Morrow, Janssen (really?), Romero (maybe?).

    This team needs a philosophy overhaul. We have to get on base.

    Rasmus should not be extended. Let him prove he can get on base.

    Comment by Switters — September 10, 2012 @ 9:20 am

  4. Yeah as a Jays fan I’m praying that this late season struggle is only because of that groin thing we keep hearing about.

    Comment by Uh Oh Cordero — September 10, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  5. Aw, look at him – he’s trying. Aren’t you, little guy?

    Comment by Baron Samedi — September 10, 2012 @ 10:31 am

  6. As a Jays fan, I hope they do not extend him, but if they do, no more than 2 + 1 option as suggested. He seems disinterested sometimes and makes mental mistake see vs redsox on EE’s 1 out pop out, he totally forgot there was only 1out. And thats is not the 1st time it happens.

    I think at the time of the trade is was a good risk…I mean… releivers for a potential middle of the line up bat… It just hasn’t work out… maybe its time to move on…offer him arb and if he duplicates this year again… let him walk.

    Comment by tuker1980 — September 10, 2012 @ 10:37 am

  7. Am I the little guy, or is Rasmus?

    His career OBP is .314. His one good year was aided by a .354 BABIP.

    Comment by Switters — September 10, 2012 @ 10:57 am

  8. If he gets an extension, it had better be in the very cheap variety. Otherwise the Jays should have a psychotherapy clause in his contract or something. I’m a Cardinals fan so I’ve been watching his career for a while. While Colby’s got plenty of talent (maybe a bit overrated but still an all-star caliber player), he’s had all the markings of a head case since he’s been a pro. He’s been incredibly streaky but that’s not the real problem. The big red flag was when he blatantly pouted his way through the 2008 season because the didn’t make the big league club. Then in his rookie year he was already clashing with the staff about making fielding and hitting adjustments. In 2010 he put it all together… and then immediately got the big head again. I predict Colby is going to have an all star game in his future some time… but you’d be foolish to pay for it with any long-term contract.

    Comment by stan — September 10, 2012 @ 11:01 am

  9. I don’t see how they can possibly give him an extension. He’s well touted, and expected to blossom into a major league star, but he has failed to show sustained success, having been given numerous opportunities. It’s not to say that he is without value and should be cut loose, but investing in him now, despite his lowered value currently, seems like a risky proposition with a high likelihood of failure.

    Comment by Jim Lahey — September 10, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  10. Good point

    Comment by Bret — September 10, 2012 @ 11:48 am

  11. It’s been interesting to see Jays fans gradually come to realize what Cardinals fans — who were initially very excited about Rasmus, given his prospect status — came to realize from watching him for a few years.

    Comment by WY — September 10, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  12. Funny you make that comment. Hell, you didn’t even try. What does that make you? I know, I know! Someone who doesn’t have an actual opinion, because he doesn’t understand what he’s looking at when it comes to baseball and statistics.

    Comment by J.D. — September 10, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  13. It kills me to say that maybe TLR was right about the kid (and his dad). Can’t fix a bad attitude. They insure that every streak fades quickly into a slump and every slump becomes a lost season.

    Comment by Irrational Optimist — September 10, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  14. Then he was traded to the Blue Jays and started floundering.

    If I remeber correctly, Jon Jay was taking some playing time from Rasmus before the trade.

    It would be great to see a review of the Rasmus trade as a Fangraphs article.

    Comment by Anon — September 10, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  15. That’s right. Jay was outplaying Rasmus at the time of the trade — at least, in TLR’s eyes.

    Jay, despite a few weeks lost to injury, is now sitting with 4.5 WAR this year (thus besting Rasmus’s 1 good year). As it currently stands, TLR’s assessment that Jay is the better player looks correct.

    I’m a Cardinals fan who was a bit worried about the trade at the time, but given how everything has unfolded, it’s hard to think that TLR/Mozeliak weren’t right. If there was a mistake, it was probably not cutting bait sooner (e.g. the offseason before). Rasmus surely had more value then.

    With Rasmus now going into year 5, he’s going to be playing at or near market cost for the rest of his career anyway. In the end, the Cards gave up little and got some of the pieces they needed for last year’s run (e.g. Scrabble & Dotel).

    Comment by Ryan — September 10, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

  16. Yes. Rasmus had barely played in the month leading up to the trade. Jay had been matching his production and playing more and more in April and May and Colby started pouting in June, which really tanked his performance and led to Jay being the clear starter for a while. The Cardinals needed to trade Colby not just because they needed pitching but also because having him on the roster was a distraction because he was not contributing anything.

    Comment by stan — September 10, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  17. “Rasmus…hasn’t fielded well”

    This contention is not backed up by any facts. Starting with the metrics on this site, he’s slightly above average by DRs, slightly below average by UZR. To get average defense from a CF suggests a player who is quite good defensively. The Fan Scouting Report has him a little about average. Personally, in terms of the eye test, all of this is about right. He looks to be around an average CF, which is just fine in the field. Not someone not fielding well

    Comment by AnonJaysFan — September 10, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

  18. … not to mention the draft picks the Cardinals got for Jackson and Dotel, the $3M the Jays threw in (instead of the originially reported 3 ptbnl), the salary dumps of Miller and Tallet…

    I thought it was a good gamble for the Jays to take given Colby’s potential but those who panned it for the Cardinals really had no idea what type of player Rasmus really was.

    Comment by stan — September 10, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  19. Booyakasha.

    It’s a good one…

    Comment by hindsight — September 10, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

  20. High K % is fine if you still get on base. Unfortunately, a lot of those guys don’t

    Comment by Dustin — September 10, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

  21. Two problems with your claim that there isn’t evidence to say that Rasmus is someone who hasn’t fielded well.

    UZR–yes, a model with flaws–does have four seasons of data points for Rasmus the CF…and it says that he ultimately costs teams more runs than he saves. Having a net negative defensive value, to me, is the definition of not fielding well.

    Furthermore, since 2010, of minimum qualified CF, Rasmus ranks 23rd in terms of UZR of those centerfielders. If you include his 2009 (which was his “good” defensive year), he actually ends up 28th of 40 qualified CFers. So he’s below average when compared to his peers too.

    I’m all for considering the data points of DRS and FSR in concert with UZR, but even with them, taking a long view, it seems much more appropriate to conclude that Rasmus is, at best, “average” and more likely “below average” as a CF. We also should consider, especially in the context of a contract extension discussion, that defensive value for premium defensive positions typically peaks early. Which is to say…true talent improvement is less likely than skill erosion going forward.

    Comment by UZR>DRS — September 10, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  22. His overall numbers have been terrible, but he’s still only 25, and what I saw from him in June was real. Every at-bat was a pitch just waiting to be deposited insie the RF foul pole. And given what’s happened with Encarnacion and Bautista in Toronto, I don’t think it’s unlikely that Rasmus will one day develop into something more consistent.

    That said, it could take 3-4 years, by which time Gose will have designs on being the primary CF and even with an extension Rasmus would probably looking at free agency. And if we’re looking at that type of long-term investment and potential sunk costs, I’m not sure we shouldn’t have just stuck it out with Rios and Snider.

    Comment by dougiejays — September 10, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  23. Turn this around for a minute. Suppose they don’t extend him. What then?

    The consequences for Toronto seem negligible, although I’m not a Blue Jays fan and may be missing something. But what becomes of Raz? Will anybody be willing to expend a major-league contract and a spot on the 40-man for a guy with as big a gap between projected and real performance as he has? If so, who? If not, then is he done, or does he go back to the minors and become a break-glass-in-emergency AAAA guy?

    If this non-extension does come to pass, one suggestion: keep a VERY careful eye on what Jeff Luhnow in Houston does, or does not, do to sign him.

    Comment by Bad Bill — September 10, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

  24. “Keeping Rasmus around for another couple of seasons is a decision with some merit, for sure, but the Jays need to be careful here. Rasmus hasn’t shown any true sign of turning the corner or improving his productivity, and he simply isn’t the same player that topped 4 WAR with the 2010 Cardinals.”

    While that may be true, he was also pretty solid in his 2011 season with the Cards (110 wRC+) and unless you believe he was worth -9 UZR in 94 games, that’s a pretty damn good line.

    A lot of people ignore his splits, but Rasmus has been significantly better vs RHP. He’s got a 102 wRC+ vs RHP and 56 vs LHP. In his career he’s got a 108 wRC+ vs RHP and 74 vs lefties.

    At worst he’s a league average or very slightly above league average hitter vs RHP who can play solid D in CF. Get a good fourth OF who can hit LHP and play decent D in CF and you maximize Rasmus’ skillset. I’d extend him now, because I don’t think he’s this bad vs lefties and should continue with a similar production vs RHP.

    I’m sure someone will tell me I should ignore his vs RHP/LHP splits but over the next few years I could definitely see him posting a 100~ wRC+ vs RHP and you know what, given the position and his D that’s pretty useful.

    Comment by Mark — September 10, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

  25. Do you guys think not having lawrie and bautista bat after him has any affect as well? July 17 and August 3rd.

    Comment by PeterC — September 10, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

  26. Thanks for the link. That article had very little analysis, but there were some really good comments.

    Comment by Anon — September 10, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

  27. Will anybody be willing to expend a major-league contract and a spot on the 40-man for a guy with as big a gap between projected and real performance as he has?

    No, that’s never, EVER happened before… :P

    Comment by Radivel — September 11, 2012 @ 12:53 am

  28. “only 25″ doesn’t really apply. It’s pretty close to make or break time. 25-30 is typically a player’s prime. Maybe he’ll have a great age 27-30 peak but the clock is ticking. It’s not like he’s 23, he’s getting to the “alright dude, let’s see it” age.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — September 11, 2012 @ 1:58 am

  29. Not really Peter, his swing has just fallen apart since around the time the groin injury first showed up, and has just never recovered. It’s not been a matter of lack of protection, as he’s seeing the same kinds of pitches.

    Comment by TtD — September 11, 2012 @ 6:54 am

  30. In theory, I know that, but he WAS only 23 when the trade was made, so just because he’s had a single inconsistent season since then I don’t think it’s time to completely write him off. And as a Blue Jay fan I’ve seen my share of age-29 breakouts.

    Comment by dougiejays — September 11, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

  31. Of course it’s been done before, and it’ll be done again. That does not, however, mean that it will be done with Raz.

    A look at Rasmus’ comparables lists is edifying. (I’m using the baseball-reference version here, btw.) There are some players on it who got it together after age 25 and had significant major-league careers (Roger Maris, Jim Wynn). There are some others who … didn’t (Oddibe McDowell, Corey Patterson). Just the presence of Patterson on that list would give some GMs pause; if that’s what the future Raz looks like, well …

    I repeat: it will be very interesting to see how Jeff Luhnow reacts if Raz does get his walking papers. He was there when Raz was drafted and signed by St. Louis, he was still there when he was defenestrated, and he has already shown interest in ex-Cardinals, both in the front office and on the field (e.g. Tyler Greene). He knows some things about the lad that the rest of us don’t know. If Luhnow makes a run at him, that tells you something. If he doesn’t, it tells me that as a GM for a different team, I probably shouldn’t either.

    Comment by Bad Bill — September 11, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  32. Not to mention his insistence on his dad being his hitting coach.

    Comment by TRob — November 16, 2012 @ 9:29 am

Leave a comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Close this window.

0.250 Powered by WordPress