Willing To Settle For What We Have

Inspired by, and mostly stolen from, this MLB.com piece about Austin Jackson, but this is not really about Austin Jackson, unless saying it’s about Austin Jackson will make you more interested in reading it.

YOUR CITY — Your favorite team has spent part of their offseason looking at alternatives at troubled position, but that doesn’t mean they’ve given up on young struggling player doing things they wish that young struggling player would do.

On the contrary, they still see potential there. But they see some maturing to do in a bunch of critical baseball skills.

Somewhere between the rookie sensation who did something statistically unrepeatable, and the sophomore who reverted back to the mean, there’s the real young struggling player. That’s what your favorite team believes, and they hope time and teaching will bring out that form.

Time will tell if that form is good enough for young struggling player to succeed over the long term, but he’s the best option your favorite team has at the moment, and it’s good enough to keep trying, since there aren’t any alternatives.

That was a topic for discussion between reporters and officials from your favorite team at the recent Winter Meetings.

“We’ve gone through a lot of stuff with him,” manager said last week, “and we just think that somewhere in between [his 2010 accidental excellence and 2011 regression], you’ve probably got the real young struggling player. But he’s pretty good, and he put on a pretty good show that first year.

“We’ll do everything we can, like we do with every player, to get him as good as we can. I don’t want to talk about mechanical changes, because that’s not my expertise, but I’m sure there’s going to be some adjustments, I would think,” continued manager, reading off a cue card.

Hitting coach has been looking at information on young struggling player, and will probably visit him at some point before Spring Training. So might pitching coach, trainer, traveling secretary, and the guy who cleans the uniforms.

Young struggling player arguably stands as one of the biggest mysteries looming over your favorite team going into next season. Even if they find someone else to do what they wish young struggling player would do, as they’ve investigated doing without success, they arguably need a productive season from him anyway to take advantage of his primary skill and balance out an offense largely driven by the opposite skill.

The dropoff in young struggling player’s stats wasn’t as dramatic as we’ve made it seem, in order to justify this article. His statistic, in a very small sample size fell a statistically insignificant amount, according to research done with a Google search, calling this entire article into question. Nevertheless, we’ve come this far, so we’d better stick with our thesis statement.

“He’s fine. I don’t want to give any indication that I’m down on young struggling player, because I’m not. I’m just telling you what I saw happen, and I think some of those reasons are what I spoke about. I mean, he’s fine. I think he’s going to be a real nice catalyst for us.”

Hardly-related note: I had Austin Jackson on my (AL-only) Scoresheet keeper team this past season. It came down to Jacoby Ellsbury or Austin Jackson. I chose Jackson. This is why I’m writing for NotGraphs and not RotoGraphs. This offseason’s keeper question as of now —

I can keep one of the following: Francisco Liriano, Wade Davis, Casey Kotchman, Kendrys Morales, or Travis Snider. If anyone wants to weigh in on that, I’m all ears. And, please, don’t say the answer is ‘none of them,’ even though it probably is.

Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

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Robert J. Baumannmember
10 years ago

If someone was saying that Morales was going to be ready for spring training, I’d say he’s the easy choice, but I haven’t even heard anyone say that.