Joe Maddon commented on minor league relief pitcher Dale Thayer before yesterday’s game. Thayer was recently promoted from AA Montgomery to AAA Durham. Of course, to say he “commented on” is being generous. Rather, it was more like Papa Joe telling us that he knows nothing about Dale Thayer.

All I know is he puts up great numbers. He pitched that one inning for us in spring training [against the Mets on March 31] and I liked his aggressiveness. His fastball was like a 92-93 mile an hour fastball, it looked like he pitched up in the zone a little bit. I’m not really sure about his breaking stuff, exactly what that’s all about, but I saw an aggressive guy. You look at his numbers in Double-A the last two years and they’re crazy good. [Joe Maddon]

How is it that the manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays does not know any more about one of the team’s top pitching prospects than the average fan? Thayer owns the Southern League record for saves in a season and the only thing that Papa Joe knows about Thayer comes from one inning in Spring Training when it looked like he pitched up in the zone a bit. Has Papa Joe ever read a scouting report on Dale Thayer? We know more about Dale Thayer just by googling his name.

[From Scout.com] “He has a power fastball,” Tye Waller, the Padres Director of Player Development, said. “When he can command that breaking ball and locate that breaking ball he is tough to deal with. Hopefully we can make that improvement so he can do it at the next level.” His fastball sits in the low-nineties and besides the curveball, Thayer also throws a slider which is quite effective. He also sports a changeup that he would like to throw more often. Thayer admits his breaking ball needs some work, “to get a better breaking pitch, so I am not always just throwing fastball.”

We love Joe Maddon. We really do. But even we are starting to question if being a major league manager is right for him. Whenever others speak of Maddon, they always praise his player development skills. So why does he know so little about the Rays minor league system?

when discussing potential changes? For a team that is so reliant on their farm system, wouldn’t it be a good idea if We understand it is not his focus and it is Andrew Friedman and Co.’s job to scout the minor leaguers. We also understand there is plenty of “player development” to be done at the major league level with such a young team. But is it too much to ask for that Papa Joe read a scouting report every once and a while? Doesn’t Friedman consult with MaddonMaddon knew something…anything about these players before he sits down in Friedman’s office?

The Professor: Hey Joe…There is a kid at Durham. He is name is Evan Longoria. Heard he is pretty good with the bat. Considering his bat speed, would you trust him late in a game against power pitcher?
Papa Joe: His numbers in the minors are crazy good.
The Professor: Eh, nevermind.

Maddon on Thayer [TBO]
Scouting Report: Dale Thayer [Scout.com]

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