Monday, September 26, 2016

ICYMI: I Couldn't Have Been More Wrong About JA Happ


I wrote THIS article on December 2, 2015 for a few reasons. At the beginning of December the news around Major League Baseball is slow. Also it's the best time to be optimistic because basically all of free agency is ahead of you and every team is technically in first place. When the Toronto Blue Jays signed Jesse Chavez I wasn't exactly scared or worried. When they signed JA Happ I only feared for the left-handed hitters on the team, Happ has made it a habit of hitting and injuring left-handed Yankees hitters in recent years, and boy I could not have been more wrong about Happ. 20-wins later and possibly two more starts to go including tonight's star against New York it's time for me to eat crow on the issue publicly.

Here is the article that was originally posted on December 2nd in it's entirety: 

It's the offseason and I don't know if everyone is just turkey drunk, the Black Friday deals are just that good or if the fact that the market is so deep that teams are taking their time but times are slow right now. With the extra time on my hands I have turned my attention to not only the New York Yankees but the other four teams inside the American League East, especially the Toronto Blue Jays. Earlier this offseason I took a look at the fact that Jesse Chavez, a recent acquisition for the Mark Shapiro led Blue Jays franchise, was not David Price but left the door open for a return to Toronto for the lefty. That door is probably officially closed now after the team also signed lefty J.A. Happ to a three year deal and no, he isn't David Price either.

Price was absolute money for the Blue Jays down the stretch posting a 9-1 record in 11 starts with a 2.30 ERA and 1.009 WHIP. Price faced the Yankees four times as a member of the Blue Jays and beat them three times including twice in the middle of their pennant race in September. Without Price that division tells an entirely different story, is Happ enough to replace that production and almost a 6.0 WAR in 2016?

Well Happ only threw to a 3.0 WAR and was less than stellar the last time he pitched in the American League. Happ is no stranger to the American League, the AL East or the Blue Jays as this is his second stint with the club. Remember, Happ was the one that hit Curtis Granderson (the second time) to break his wrist in his final season in New York on his way to posting a 19-20 record with a 4.39 ERA in three seasons. Happ in a National League pitcher at this point in his career.

Happ owns a career .469 winning percentage(four season) in the AL and a .527 percentage (seven seasons) in the NL. If that were not enough then surely his better ERA+, WHIP, WAR, K and his overall numbers across the board are better in the National League. Happ is not the pitcher he was in Pittsburgh for half a season last year and he's not going to be enough to replace David Price. Toronto isn't necessarily in trouble yet but over the course of a 162 game season the Blue Jays aren't running away with this division either, even with Marcus Stroman.

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