OK, so maybe by the time I’ve actually published this thing its now Wednesday. Whatever, man, it’s still Tuesday to me right now, and I gotta ketchup on some links [note: ugh] from the past few days. So let’s chow down! [note: ugggggh]

Can We Expect Morrow Of The Same?

John Lott had a piece full of Shaun Marcum praise in Monday’s National Post where he spoke to Brandon Morrow and Jays pitching coach Bruce Walton about what turned around the pitcher’s season. Kevin Kaduk of Big League Stew turned a similar trick Tuesday as his tour of the Grapefruit League took him to Dunedin.

Now, I know that there are some big differences between Morrow’s single year of success and you-know-who’s– Morrow is younger and people have always seen this kind of potential in his arm– but it is kinda funny how few lingering doubts there are over whether he’ll be able to do it again compared to Bautista.

Those lingering doubts were the basis of some interesting chatter this afternoon on Twitter. After news hit that the injury woes befalling the Cardinals’ pitching staff had deepened, Jays fans decided it was time to revisit their infatuation with Colby Rasmus, prompting @DrewGROF from Ghostrunner on First to quip: “Getting it out there now: I’d trade Brandon Morrow for Colby Rasmus. #insanity”

“It isn’t that I don’t believe, I simply question his ability to improve and stay healthy,” he added, when prodded by @TaoOfStieb for not believing in Morrow’s “transcendent awesomeness.”

This, you might expect, surprised some people– mostly those in the “Rasmus for Brett Cecil, B-prospects and relievers” crowd, who… um… are they for real? We don’t sort of figure that if a Cecil-centred package could have got it done it would have been done already? (No, honestly, don’t we?)

Like most, I don’t agree with Drew that I’d deal Morrow for Rasmus straight up– mostly due to sentimentality, I guess, because I have no idea whether to expect further improvements or good health from him– but given the club’s surplus of pitching and need for exactly what Rasmus brings, that probably makes me an idiot.

Still: no. Cecil, relievers and a prospect, though? Yeah, giddy-up. Obviously.

How Ready Is Zach Stewart?

Interesting report today from Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com on Zach Stewart, who we were told last year was “neck and neck” (or something to that effect) with Kyle Drabek, and who, according to the piece, would have had a September call-up if he hadn’t already reached his innings limit– something the Jays hope to avoid… uh… avoiding this year.

“We’d like to get him to the 160-165-inning range,” said manager John Farrell. “But we also want to be sure that he is available late in the season.” (And… um… I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mean in time for the big playoff run.)

Interestingly, though, this doesn’t mean that they necessarily want to fast-track him to the majors.

“We’re going to make sure that he makes every stop along the way,” Farrell said, referring specifically to a trip to Las Vegas of the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. “Sometimes in those offensive environments, pitchers learn more about themselves with the conditions they find themselves in.”

Initially this sounds like it might be a bit of a change of course for the club– Kyle Drabek appears as though he’ll reach the majors straight from New Hampshire, as Jesse Litsch did– but actually, in looking at their minor league numbers, Romero, Cecil, and Rzepczynski weren’t exactly shielded from the PCL, so… um… I’m not sure exactly what my point was…

Lind “Maturing”?

Bahahahaha!!!! Oh, how I love this. It seems as though when he doesn’t have senile old superstitious rambling nonsense being whispered in his ear, Adam Lind is actually not fucking terrified of being penciled into certain spots in the batting order.

“Whatever works,” Lind said, according to a Toronto Sun report, when asked about hitting cleanup– something he didn’t do once all of last year. “It sounds good. Someone’s got to hit there.

“Part of his maturing is not placing so much emphasis, personally, on his spot in the lineup,” explained John Farrell later on. “We did speak in our meeting and he indicated to me that was something in the past and to me that tells me he’s maturing as a hitter.”

Sure… “maturing.”

Meanwhile, Joe Pawlikowski of FanGraphs explains why he has faith in Lind to have a bounceback season … unfortunately, most of his theory revolves around Lind staying out of the giant sucking abyss that is the cleanup spot, so… so much for that, eh?

Oh, come on! I’m kidding! What kind of fucking retard would think being in one spot in the order or another would have some kind of drastic impact on a player?!? No, Joe figures that Lind’s second half showed enough to think he can pull out of whatever plagued him last season.


Get your boners out! Tomorrow (as in “today”… as in “Wednesday”) marks the debut of Keith Law’s gig as thrice-weekly co-host on ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast. Nails much?

Double nails programming note: Wilner’s latest blog post for the Fan 590 informs us that they’ll be webcasting tomorrow’s Grapefruit League game. “So be sure to tune in to mlb.com at 1:05 PM Eastern and join me, Jerry and Alan on the interwebs,” he says.

Goserunner on First (see what I just did there?) is loving what he hears about the defensive abilities of the prospect the Jays obtained last summer for Brett Wallace.

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star seems to see Eric Thames as a severely underrated commodity, is willing to blame injuries for the late start to his life as a prospect (Thames is already 24, with just 179 minor league games to his credit), and– I shit you fucking not– gives credit to JP Ricciard (no, seriously, I shit you not) for taking a chance on him despite Thames missing much of his draft season with a torn quadricep.

Meanwhile, a week or so back Griff’s colleague at the Star, Mark Zwolinski, profiled Jays’ Assistant GM Jay Sartori, who was quickly hired away from the Washington Nationals last summer, once “the Jays realized that people like Sartori normally run banks or develop software for NASA.” Interesting dude.

Lastly, here from Business Insider is yet another reason to envy the Rays and the way they do business– and to hope that the Jays don’t stray too far from emulating them by, say, taking $65-million gambles on possible one-year-wonders. It’s a nifty little flowchart depicting the Rays’ own Human Gift That Keeps On Giving: Delmon Young.

Comments (46)

  1. I’d rather emulate the Red Sox than a $40M payroll team that’s peaked that can’t afford to keep any of their good players.

  2. Rays have more attendance the last two years than the Jays

  3. For Colby, I was thinking Drabek + Gose. Too much?

  4. Wow. Rasmus is good but not that good.. I mean Morrow? Drabek? Gose?

    no no noo

    You cant be too sentimental with prospects and players but trading Major league talent off your roster doesnt make much sense, if you trade Morrow or Drabek you create a hole. While it will probably be easier to fill with the depth of arms, you negate the Gose trade.

    There are very few untouchables on this Jays roster in my eyes, Morrow, because of his age and potential upside. I wouldn’t trade unless I got the return of a 26 year old ace.

  5. Hey, you know who else has only one year of success in the majors? Colby Rasmus.

  6. That said, it wouldn’t be a terrible trade considering Rasmus is three years younger, service time, etc. I just though it was stupid to go on about Bautista’s and Morrow’s uncertainty going forward and not mention Rasmus’. It’s not like he’s been doing this for five years.

  7. peaked? HA

    go look at their farm system, in my opinion best in the game, better than the royals .

  8. I give it two thumbs up —————————————————>

  9. Lind has also stated that he is now able to sleep without the light on, but the mickey mouse nightlight is off limits.

    Lind has also said that counseling from jason frasor on how not to be terrified playing a child’s game has really helped, along with ample supply of depends undergarments.

  10. yeah you’re right the big difference is that morrow had an era in the 4′s and bautista you know only led the league in home runs. if only morrow can repeat that superstar performance of last year, what a dream that would be.

  11. Kinda right…. TB had better attendance than the Jays last year… the Jays were slightly ahead (but by a margin slim enough to make them equal) in 2009.

    That being said… point taken.

  12. More Juan Rivera content bitches.

  13. yeah you’re right the big difference is that morrow had an era in the 4′s [..] if only morrow can repeat that superstar performance of last year, what a dream that would be.

    3.16 FIP and 10.95 k/9. Enough said.

    On a side note, that piece of shit Anon must have a man-crush on me or something..

  14. Didn’t Delmon Young step up his game last season? That trade might start looking better for the Twins if his bat is for real.

  15. this has got to be the most un-interesting spring training i can remember, and i thought last year was bad. only another month of irrelevance to go.

    and i wonder what + marcum could have gotten rasmus

  16. Wilner must be losing his mind dealing with Jays fans on twitter.

  17. Based on? I don’t doubt you’re right, but attendance figures are measured differently everywhere. The same number of people are attending Jays games right now as they did 3 or 4 years ago, the only difference is that they’re counting things differently. Apart from the places that are sold out daily (like Fenway, let’s say) I’d take most attendance stats with a grain of salt.

  18. 2010:

    • Tampa Bay (22) – 1,843,445 total; 22,758 average
    • Toronto (26) – 1,625,555 total; 20,068 average


    • Tampa Bay (23) – 1,874,962 total; 23,147 average
    • Toronto (22) – 1,876,129 total; 23,162 average
    -pretty much identical

  19. Jim is right though, the Jays have stopped counting corporate give aways, free tickets from staff and employees.. I have a friend who works for the Jays so I rarely pay for a seat even if I go down with 4 or 5 people all the seats are comped and we dont count towards attendance.

    I’d say, especially on special games (ie doc vs burnett) Yankees on the weekend, there is atleast 2-5000 free tickets..

    Sure they get there free, but every time at the dome I end up spending (ie drinking) my way to a $100 bill.

    So there is still revenue there

  20. LOL at that better system than the Royals comment.

  21. 10.95 k/9 for a starting pitcher is ridiculous…

    If he continues to develop in to a strike thrower, batters everywhere are in big, big trouble

  22. Marcum straight up should have brought Rasmus back IMO. Or Marcum + Mastroianni/Thames/Marisnick

  23. its not that far fetched..
    royals have a lot of talent, but a lot of big bats that are 1B/Dh types.

    Rays have more athletes that play premium positions with better pitching.

  24. I don’t disagree that the attendance figures are skewed due to free tickets etc, but no one can deny that the number for paid seating has decreased exponentially over the last 3 years. If ESPN is only counting paid-for tickets (I honestly don’t know), attendance has dropped 10,000/game over that span in time.

  25. Shit, I think the Jays just won it in the 9th.

  26. definetely… but when the team starts to win I think its easy to predict 35k plus a night easily..

    The city is desperate for playoffs of any kind

  27. why shit? lol

  28. Colby Armstrong plays baseball?

  29. It’s just unusual to see a number other than 0 in the win column haha.


  31. You’ll have to fight with the Leaf fans who have already formed the line on Younge St.

  32. why dont you fuck off buddy? go do a search for the Torontoe Blue Jays

  33. 1) While the Jays have stopped counting comps as attendance, and stopped most giveaways, it’s safe to say that TB has gone the opposite direction. They held free concerts (with acts like Nelly) after their Saturday afternoon games this year. You may remember they also gave away about 20K free tickets to the last game of the season (I remember reading that it was considered a ‘sellout’ in attendance stats).

    2) TB is in the aftermath of a World Series appearance, a Division Series appearance and being one of MLB’s elite teams the past two seasons. The Blue Jays have not been in a playoff race in 18 years, had a sub.500 season in 09, and recently traded the face of the franchise, while essentially announcing a rebuild.

    It’s not an apples/apples comparison. Tampa Bay is likely seeing the maximum potential of their marketplace right now (at least in that stadium). With no playoff races in 18 years, the Blue Jays are nowhere near seeing the potential of their market at present. If anything, the last two years were probably a bottom (barring another long stretch of no playoff runs, I guess).

    Considering that, the fact that the Jays have been even remotely close to TB attendance the last two years says a lot.

  34. A big part of the problem is Rogers Corp. having bought the team merely as a business investment. While there’s nothing wrong with that, and I have a feeling they want the Jays to succeed, them apparently having their hands in every decision before really hurt their chances of a proper rebuild sooner. If they had, there wouldn’t be as big a topic of attendance as there is now.

    The entire state of Florida is a bad market for baseball. It’s pretty much populated by Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays fans who flock down.


    It sounds crazy, but it does seem to make sense. Except, personally I would think of simply relocating the Rays and contracting the A’s with the Marlins, in the Oakland area.

    The Jays attendance will go up when they push for a 90+ win season, which could be as soon as this season.

  35. TB is a smaller city than Toronto. TB also plays in a dome which is not that attractive in a warm weather climate. The economy in TB is much weaker than Toronto. i am very curious to see how attendance will be this year.

  36. I’m not saying there aren’t reasons for poor Tampa attendance (like the ones you mentioned). I’m saying that drawing 20K a game during the absolute height of your on field success is very differerent than drawing 20K after nearly two decades of mediocrity. There are not many cities that draw well no matter what – in any sport. (Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Lakers, Leafs, Canadiens maybe?)

    They say attendance often reflects the performance from the previous season. There seems to be cautious optimism, and the home opener sold really fast. So I’m guessing we’ll see a mild rise in attendance this year. Still a few 11K nights, I’m sure. If the Jays become contenders, something like 35K a night seems like a totally realistic and maybe even slightly conservative expectation.

  37. all this TBR=TOR in terms of attendence talk is retarded. TOR wasn’t competing, TBR made it to the world series the year before this randomized 2 year sample size.

  38. That article on Sartori is hilarious. Sartori probably is a really smart guy, but Zwolinski sure as hell isn’t.

    “people like Sartori normally run banks or develop software for NASA… Sartori’s real expertise was with PowerPoint, Microsoft’s commercial presentation program, and Excel, Microsoft’s spreadsheet application.”

    I can say with some confidence that being skilled in PowerPoint and Excel is not typically what NASA is looking for in its engineers.

  39. I’ve never heard anyone actually have to explain what excel is. I’m surprised he didn’t tell us that sartori is skilled in keyboarding and internet and that mouse thingy. and I really dont think that if sartori could make millions in investment banking he’d be taking a 100k job in baseball

  40. The “Problem” was that fuckface assfucker Godfrey. Everything that ass-turd touches turns to shit. He is a true douche.

  41. And BTW. Richmond will win the 5th starters spot. He will because he can fucking pitch. He may not have much upside, but he will be a .500 plus pitcher for us.

  42. Um, they still have outstanding pitching, have won the East two of the past 5 years and that’s peaking?
    It’s a factory over there – we should be so lucky.
    Draft, develop, trade, get picks – the virtuous circle.

  43. Agree!

  44. That chart doesnt mean anything at this stage. All of those players could be less than league average..

  45. The Rays will be better than people think.

  46. The issue with Delmon is that he never fucking walks…Ever. A 4.1% career BB% is absolutely fucking deplorable, which brings into question whether he’ll be able to repeat his 121 OPS+/119 wRC+ from last year or not. A 121 OPS+/119 wRC+ from a corner outfielder is good to very good, but nothing special, and it might represent the best he can do. Add in the fact that his glove strips away just about all of his offensive value and it’s safe to say that the only thing that’s “real” (as in real shitty) about Delmon Young is his defense.

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