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The Replacements

As a reference to Sly Stallone and his repeated attempts to stay relevant in Hollywood (at least he has a paying career mind, so I can’t really be that negative), this post will hopefully intelligently break down the players who joined the C’s through the season.  In many instances it will be these ‘replacements’ that will carry the C’s through the remainder of the season and into the playoffs, if, in fact, your Vancouver Canadians make it that far.

I was just updating the schedule portion of the site when it dawned that there really isn’t a ton of games left in the season.  I count 18 games total, with 10 home, 8 away.  The 8 away are against Salem-Keizer and Yakima so not the toughest road schedule to deal with.

The C’s currently have a 2 game lead in the West over Eugene and are probably (i say ‘probably’ as I can’t get milb.com to work for me) in a dead heat with the Emeralds for the 2nd best record overall.  That being said, the Everett Water-Sox are struggling a bit this half so a different winner in the second half seems more than realistic.

Sorry, tangent.  Back to the replacements.  Stupidly, I didn’t have a special category on my roster spreadsheet so I’m going to have go by memory.  Hopefully everybody gets covered.  I’ll talk about position players to start, and if we’re not too bored after that, will move on to pitchers.

Right, this should be quicker than expected.  For some reason I had it in mind that there’s been quite a bit of movement, but the only players I have making the jump from lower levels are: Jason Leblebijian, Art Charles, Carlos Ramirez, and Dwight Smith Jr.  The problem with writing a post such as this is that all the above will be subject to small sample size syndrome, but, they are important players, so let’s go.

I’d prefer not to spell Leblebijian over and over again, so let’s call him JL.  JL came out of the gates flying with Vancouver, hitting over .400 for a couple of weeks (fueled by a very high BABIP).  He’s cooled off considerably since then, but still has an abnormally high BABIP of .372.  This leads me to believe his other peripherals will continue to sag.  JL splits time on the left side of the infield with Jorge Flores (the single digit assassin) and, in fewer cases, with Kellen Sweeney at 3B.  If I were a betting man, I’d say Jorge and Kellen are the SS and 3B starters come playoff time.  JL has done some time at DH this season, but with the Big Bopper Balbino and Sir Art Charles providing a bit more power, I can see JL starting the playoffs as a bench option.  Which is not a bad thing as he does provide quality at bats.  As the Jays are now experiencing, having depth on the bench is always a positive.

Speaking of Sir Art, after some early struggles, this latest homes-stand seems to have Art finding his stroke.  Not that anyone predicted that:

The last 5 games has seen an upswing in Art’s power stroke with 2hr’s and a 3b.  And by all accounts, one of the dingers was a monster shot.  It’s also seen a slight down tick in his k numbers, which, like Balbino, are too high at the moment.  I’ll be very curious to see how the rest of the season goes for Art.  His OBP numbers have dropped 150 points since he moved up to Vancouver.  Here’s hoping he narrows that spread over the next few weeks.

Carlos Ramirez is a bit of an enigma.  A rangy OF, Carlos has been seeing time mainly in RF with a few starts in CF.  Seeing him a few times at the Nat, he has plus speed and a good arm.  But simply put, he can’t hit.  Not only was it easy to see, but looking at his numbers proves the first glance.  His BB/K ratio is under .10 and OBP is .226.  This all with a fairly healthy .289 BABIP.  Like JL, I can see Carlos providing a bench option come playoff time.  Not that the C’s OF is stacked.  With Dalton Pompey being lost for the season, there is still a gaping hole in CF.  Ian Parmley has been getting the bulk of starts in CF since Pompey went down.  Ian is perfectly average in many respects.  His ability to get on base is offset by his complete inability to hit anything but singles.  I don’t have any defensive metrics (that statement itself is a bit of bullshit as don’t think there is defensive metrics in milb) but I don’t think any sort of range could make up for a 22 yr old who slugs .267.

I’m not sure if Dwight Smith Jr (DS JR) was called up to fill that hole.  He did start in CF tonight, but so far LF has been his position of choice.  It’s only been 5 games so really a bit too early to say anything, but DS JR hasn’t gotten off to a great start.  Again, let’s hope it is only a bedding in period, similar to Sir Art.  Obviously his sample size is too small to draw any conclusions so will reference Jays Journal’s description of him when drafted.

I’m off to the Nat today so will hopefully get to see all of the above in action, some for the first time.  I’ll post some thoughts, not only on ‘The Replacements’ but Taylor Cole as well, who I’ve been dying to see pitch.

Gonna be a good day today




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