Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What in the world happened today?

So today the Astros claimed St. Louis 2B/3B Ryan Jackson off waivers, outrighting J.D. Martinez from the 40-Man roster. Who is this guy?

Jackson was the Cardinals' 5th Round pick in 2009 (yep, a Luhnow draftee) and made his ML debut in 2012. He went 2x17 in 13 games (18 PAs) for the Cardinals in 2012, and 0x7 in seven games for St. Louis in 2013, giving him a robust -42 OPS+ in a ridiculously small sample size.

In five minor-league seasons, Jackson has hit a combined .270/.339/.365 with just 378 strikeouts in 2417 PAs (565 games). In two seasons at Triple-A Memphis, he hit .275/.343/.371 with 166K:95BB in 238 games. So: good OBP, not much in the way of slugging, and since he spent most of his defensive time at shortstop in 2013 (72 games at short; 32 games at third) he may provide some insurance should Jonathan Villar get injured/suck/not be ready for 2014.

Cards Conclave had this to say about his potential 2014 season:
With shortstop being such a focus this offseason, I expect Jackson will either be a throw-in to a deal or will be outright released to make room on the 40-man roster.  Even if he somehow stays in the system, he’ll do a lot more time in Memphis.

In addition, Jake Elmore was claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox (.242/.313/.325 in 136 PAs). Baseball America's J.J. Cooper said that Jackson basically replaced Jake Elmore in the infield, which is a "definite upgrade."

Meanwhile, J.D. Martinez has been tearing the cover off the ball in ten games (I know, it's just ten games) for Carolina in the Venezuelan Winter League so far, hitting .293/.341/.610 with four homers and a double (11K:3BB) in 41 at-bats. I guess I'm more surprised that Eric Thames was left on the 40-Man roster, and Martinez was the corresponding roster move.

And not only that, but the John Ely Era is over, with the Astros releasing him. Ely was acquired on December 19, 2012 in a trade with the Dodgers involving Rob Rasmussen (whom the Astros acquired from the Marlins in the Carlos Lee trade), and needed Tommy John surgery after one appearance for OKC.

The Astros tweeted that there could be more roster transactions tomorrow, in advance of the Rule 5 draft, and the Astros' 40-Man roster currently stands at 34. 

7 comments:

Andreemus said...

Out of genuine curiousity, doesn't Thames seem like a better player than JD? I haven't looked at JD's minor league numbers but Thames' looked pretty good and albeit in a small sample size has been better that JD has managed in the ML. I used to be a big fan of JD but he just can't seem to put it together for some reason.

Pablo "Tater" Indigo said...

I also haven't looked at his defense but seems like JD wouldn't be toooo hard to beat.

JKA said...

JD played well when he first came up but has plateaued since....nobody ever had a better opportunity to claim a big league job (except perhaps Brett Wallace).....

As far as Ryan Jackson, hear he's a solid fielder and can play SS, a major upgrade from Jake Elmore....and maybe he can pinch hit for Wallace against tough lefthanders, which Elmore used to do....

Tater Indigo said...
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Tater Indigo said...

Yeah, I know. I really started following the team again in 2011. JD and Altuve were my two favorite players at the time. I was hoping for a long time that JD would get back to where he was before a month or so into 2012.

Again out of genuine curiousity, why is Jackson an upgrade? He's only 1 year younger than Elmore and his minor league numbers aren't as impressive.

Anonymous said...

Had a lot of hope for Elmore in ST but he was a klutz. IF Jackson can field a grounder he is an upgrade.
Gee, I wonder if the Astros don't think a lot of JD Martinez. Thank Goodness. If we could just not go into 2014 with the same players who got crushed in 2013 it would be so great! 1oldpro

(Not Hank) Aaron said...

Tater. Defense Defense Defense. A backup shortstop who can't field is next to useless. That's what Elmore was.