The Missing Argument for Starting Jon Jay

The 2015 Jon Jay experiment must end!

I’ll keep it simple with this short dose in between Cardinals games this evening. Mike Matheny needs to stop starting Jon Jay. The project “get Jay back to 2014 form” is dead and has been for a while. Imagine an old high school coach trusting that one legged guy who used to be good before well….he lost the leg, and yet the kid keeps starting. Why? What is going through his head? Where is the reasoning?

Please, save me the Jon Jay stats from 2011-14. I look up stats for EVERY article I write and know Jay’s stats very well. I’m a Jay fan and have defended him in the past or right up until this summer when his bat went limp. What he did last year has zero to do with what he isn’t doing this year. It’s like looking at old pictures of a cool car before its engine broke down. Seriously, don’t do that.

Case in point. Today, in a 1-0 game, Matheny had Jay bunt a runner over in the early innings. The #2 hitter bunting someone over. Tommy Pham wouldn’t do that and Stephen Piscotty wouldn’t do that. Last year’s Jay may not have done that. It’s a bizarre thing that did lead to one of the Cardinals’ runs but also left people scratching their heads.

In case you didn’t know, these Pirates games are super important. Like making that dinner with your in laws because it’s a steakhouse and not a Denny’s. Jon Jay shouldn’t start both games of a doubleheader. Like ever. Especially right now. There’s no way to break it down but do it like this.

For the season, in 203 at bats, Jay has 7 extra base hits. His .566 OPS is pathetic. His WAR is obsolete. In his last 7 games, he is 1 for 7. In his last 15 games, he is 6 for 30. In his last 30 games, he is 13 for 67. Ouch.com is where that belongs.

This is the time of the year where feelings and past connections need to stop. You may ask, if not Jay, who should start? Uh, how about Ray Lankford. I’m kidding. How about Pham?

In his last 7 games, Pham is 5 for 17. In his last 15 games, he is 16 for 44. In his last 30 games, he is 26 for 81. More at bats than Jay but that’s the point. Pham is more in tune and locked in. He also has 4 home runs and 14 RBI in that 30 game stretch. When he is hitting #2 or #6, Pham is a weapon. In just 145 at bats, Pham has 17 extra base hits. See a trend here yet?

Stop starting Jay. He may hit a squib up the middle for a single that eludes a glove(see Monday night) or he may get plunked in the butt by a pitch, but those are the best chances he has of reaching base and there is ZERO logic to start that accidental offense over a guy like Pham. With Piscotty still getting back into his skin after Monday’s collision in center field, Pham has to be the guy. He was inserted into today’s game for Jay, but maybe that was Matheny resting his guy.

I am a Matheny apologist but the one thing I can’t defend is his need to start weak hitting formerly decent outfielders over more electric younger players. There’s no defense lawyer in town who can take the stage in court and defend the reasoning of starting Jay in both games of a crucial doubleheader.

The 2015 Jon Jay experiment has to end. Try again in 2016. This is a lost season for Jay.

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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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