grabarkewitz wrote:Kenley is one of the top closers in the game, and you call him nothing more than a converted catcher? You call giving up a double and then the new catcher failing to properly block a breaking ball and whiffing on a high fastball, a meltdown?
beefchopper wrote:In all fairness, Kenley completely missed the location. Ruiz was set up down and Kenley must've thought he was throwing to the taller Ellis because that ball had steam and was heading to the screen as soon as he let go. Let's keep in mind that Kenley had a complete meltdown because he cannot hold runners and it messed with his mind. Reading some writer kvetch because Ruiz isn't 6'2" seems like blaming the wrong person. Kenley, for all of his positives, is still nothing more than a catcher turned into a pitcher. The basics of pitching are beyond him and he will never be comfortable with a secondary pitch, holding runners or even the mental aspects of the game on the hill. Dropping $75 to $80 million on him is a scary proposition. Would rather drop that coin on Chapman, at least he can handle runners on base and he has a secondary offering.
The new catcher acquired in the A.J. Ellis trade had a nice debut ruined when he was unable to handle closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning. A strike-three slider in the dirt bounced off his backhand glove attempt to allow the tying run to take third, then when calling for a high cutter, he simply missed the pitch that let the tying run home. The official scorer ruled a wild pitch that could have been called a passed ball.
"I don't have an excuse, I should have caught that ball and I don't know what happened," said Ruiz, who went 1-for-3 with a walk and was hit by a pitch. "It's the first time that I caught him and his ball was moving real good. It surprised me right there. Like I said, I should have caught that one. I'll move forward, come back tomorrow, and get it done."
Hope you saw Baez today give a bunt single, throw it into right field, balk the runner to third, allow a single on a hanger, and then walk the next guy in a 30 minute two out effort. If giving up a double and your catcher flubbing two is a meltdown, this must have been a nuclear holocaust.
Wow, I guess I have to explain this is in simple terms. Kenley cannot hold runners! He is great when no one is on base, but he is not the guy you want out there with a guy who can steal bases or even make Kenley think he will. Like Matthew said, he has learned little of the finer aspects of pitching in six years. He gets flustered easily with runners on base, he doesn't trust anything offspeed and he is getting by on pure stuff. Someday in the not too distant future, he will have to adapt and I would prefer that he do that with another team paying the bill. Even at this point in his career, he is not a pitcher but a thrower. He has the magic pitch, but as pitching is relatively new to him, he doesn't do the little things like the slide step, altering his windup to keep baserunners honest and the minute he figures out that changing plains on the hitter he will be close to unhittable.
I can almost understand the Ellis love of late because that is the only reason I can get the venom directed at Ruiz. I almost wish I could be a slow, glib catcher who can't hit but knew enough to make friends with the best player on the team. I might be making over $4 million per for being the 26th man on a 25-man roster. Hell, the first thing I thought when I heard about that deal was that Ruiz will be blamed for any and all shortcomings of this team. Of course, Ellis had very little to do with the fact that the team is in first save being an expensive cheerleader. But, that is besides the point. Ellis is a lifetime Dodger and because he is eligible for a gold watch, he deserves a roster spot until he is walks away on his own volition even though he has been done for the past two plus seasons. I respect loyalty, but it works both ways and I cannot remember Ellis giving back any pay checks lately.
Lastly, I didn't see the Baez play, didn't get the game in Lower Canada and ended watching some high school kids play soccer. But, don't count me in as a Baez backer. I was calling for him to be dealt in March. I still think he will end up as a one pitch pitcher who will find work, but because he can do little more than throw, he will never reach his potential.