Far be it from me to actually give too much of a shit about the ins and outs of every spring training game– especially those with three weeks still to go until Opening Day– but with both Dustin McGowan and Kyle Drabek pitching today, at the very least their performances warrant some scrutiny. Y’know, as much as anybody’s performance does at this point in the spring. Or in a game against the damn hopeless Astros.

ESPN’s Keith Law was at the game and tweeted out some stray observations, including an assertion that McGowan, who pitched first, looked “very ordinary so far.”

That, however, was early on, and by the end of the outing, McGowan had come around.

The Fan’s Mike Wilner echoed the sentiment that McGowan improved as his day went on. “He looked very good after the first inning,” he tweeted, “not so great in the first.” On the day McGowan went three innings, giving up one hit, an unearned run, walking one and striking out three, which on the whole is pretty successful. However, he threw 46 pitches, 27 for strikes, according to Wilner. That rate is close to the percentage of strikes he threw in his 21 innings in the Majors last year, which I think we can agree simply isn’t going to cut it– however, we’re talking about such small sample sizes here that just an extra strike or two one way or the other changes the way the rate looks pretty significantly. Still, it’s hardly doom and gloom, and any day that McGowan finishes where he’s still healthy remains, at this point, a pretty damn good day.

Not only that, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star points out that McGowan threw a bullpen session between today’s start and his previous one, the first time he’s been able to do so since since 2008.

“It feels good, it’s peace of mind,” McGowan said. “That to me was as big a step as anything just because last year I was trying to get the arm to recover in between and now it’s showing it’s recovering.”

“He’s passing every physical plateau,” added John Farrel. “From his first bullpen in camp it’s been very good, very consistent. There hasn’t been a dropoff in stuff and I think that speaks to what he’s done in the off-season and how he’s physically responsible in the work sessions. It’s been all positive.”

And it may have been an even better day, by the sounds of it, for Kyle Drabek.

Fuck yes.

Wilner adds that he’d thrown 22 pitches for 15 strikes heading into his third inning of work, though he lost track after that. Drabek finished having pitched three innings, giving up an unearned run, one hit, tossing one strikeout and walking nobody.

I wouldn’t say he’s totally on the outside looking in, either,” noted John Farrell, according to Griffin’s piece. “The most encouraging thing is he’s been able to take some of the work done pre-spring training and in the early phases of camp and taken them out to the mound. While we come into camp with somewhat of a pencilled in plan for everybody, that’s somewhat subject to change. It depends what they do in between the lines and he’s affecting it in a positive way.”

“He’s got a very clear plan on how to address both [his mechanical problems and his tendency to lose his composure],” Farrell added. “Now it’s just a matter of going out there and doing it consistently.”

Asked if looked like Drabek was unfazed by the misplays around him that led to an unearned run in his third inning of work, Wilner simply answered, “Yup.”

All in all, sounds like a pretty good day.

Comments (75)

  1. McGowan’s a lock due to options. The ral battle is between Cecil and Drabek, and Cecil might want to start ironing his 51′s Jersey from last year.

  2. didnt see the game at all, but i guarantee you that after wilner “lost count” of drabek’s strike/ball ratio, drabek threw significantly more balls than strikes

    • What are those dickhead quotes implying, dickhead?

      • wilner is notorious for stats where he says for example, things like sure, pitcher A is 5-4 with a 6.32 ERA but if you throw out his 4 losses his era is actually 1.28

        i remember dennis eckersley retorted on a nesn broadcast a couple years ago when brad arnsberg regurgitated one of these garbage wilner stats about i think it was AJ, “gosh, if i could remove all my bad starts from my stats every year i would have won a cy young every year”

        there is a fine line between wilner’s garbage stats and “i lost count”

        in case my implication is not totally clear, let me be: over the years wilner has demonstrated himself to be a rogers shill/lackie and i think he represents stats in a way that raise questions about his credibility on occasion

        anyway, would be great if drabek turns things around this year

        • So he intentionally lost count, claimed it was an accident in a tweet that came out as the inning was going on, and you think it’s because he decided that Drabek was throwing too many balls and it wouldn’t serve his corporate masters to point it out? Do you honestly comprehend what you’re suggesting?

          Jesus fuck, the lengths some of you morons will go and the twists of logic you’ll allow yourselves to believe just to keep feeding your negative impression of the guy– probably because you called him once and he shit on you so now you’re all butthurt– is pretty fucking astounding.

          • nope, my problem with him is he makes a lot of arguments that are intellectually dishonest, particularly when it comes to stats where he’ll use microscopic sample sizes if it supports his argument and criticize the same practice if it undermines his point

            i am not saying he is a habitual liar, i just assert he has significant credibility issues

            and think about it, he sat there and marked every pitch presumably so he could report it, why do you think he suddenly stopped?

            maybe he was getting alan a coffee i suppose, but ive listened to wilner a lot over the years and im not cozy with him like you obviously are, i submit i see this guy in a more clear light than you do

          • his assertion is misplaced, Andrew – but Wilner IS notorious for ignoring groups of less-favourable or bad statistics in order to give a skewed or false positive impression of players, and he does it quite often enough that I’m guessing you’ve also noticed it, however i don’t think thats what Wilner was doing in this instance.

          • I’m not cozy with him at all. He’s been on the podcast a couple times and I’ve met him, briefly, maybe twice. I submit to you that you’re ignoring the absolute fucking ridiculousness of your scenario and trying to talk like an grown up to cover your tracks.

            Also, before you go talking out your ass, maybe look at the stuff you’re talking about. He says he was too busy tweeting and lost count. And it is, indeed, amid a number of tweets.

            But thanks for suggesting that I defend the guy for some reason other than the fact that the people who like to shit on him are almost always pathological drooling fucking morons with an axe to grind. (Where is Radar today, anyway?)

          • I have to admit, when I first heard Wilner on the radio i was surprised that he was employed by the FAN, I thought he was pretty insulting to the Jays Talk callers and slightly unprofessional, nut Stoeten takes it to another level with all the outright douchebaggery!! At times it seems like he’s dropping random, out of place F bombs in his article just for the hell of it because he can! And now he’s attacking his viewings for giving their opinions of Mike Wilner! lol!

          • You called?
            “that the people who like to shit on him are almost always pathological drooling fucking morons with an axe to grind. (Where is Radar today, anyway?)

            You certainly don’t like it when people have a different opinion than you,do you?
            Read quite a few of your battles in the last couple of days.The venom coming from your keyboard shows a frustration with DJF commenters that I haven’t seen before.Decorum has gone right out the window and your ability to carry on a logical hearty debate has unfortunately digressed.I know this isn’t an attempt to create controversy thus increasing pageviews.

            Concerning Wilner.

            His friend of 25 years J.B. Rainsberger said in this blog.

            “I think Mike could show more patience, and also worry that he overdoes it”
            “I’m as much as pedant as Mike when it comes to grammar and writing. I have cut back on pointing those issues out to people; he hasn’t cut back as much as I’d like him to.

            PS .I had to look up the meaning of “pedant”

            1. a person who makes an excessive or inappropriate display of learning.
            2. a person who overemphasizes rules or minor details.
            3. a person who adheres rigidly to book knowledge without regard to common sense.

            I have noticed a softening with Wilner and his callers.He is extremely knowledgable about baseball.It’s the way he transfers that knowledge to his listeners.

            As you know Stoeten,I have have an emmense respect for what you do and the knowledge you have amassed.
            I just don’t always blindly agree with you.I’m also confident in the knowledge I’ve amassed from the people who’ve allowed me to learn from them.
            You know one side of baseball and I know the other side.

            So from one “pathological drooling fucking moron”to another.
            Take Care.( maybe have a couple of beers)

            • Ahh, so cordial and not ridiculous when you want to make it look like you’re cordial and not ridiculous.

          • here’s a basic rule you MAY want to live by Stoeten…if you wouldn’t say it directly to a mans face then dont write it on the internet. your bully tactics are pathetic. pretty sure u grew up as the fat kid with acne and paid for it the first time you ever touched a girl.

            I wont even touch the fact that I can all but guarentee Smalls from the Sandlot would put you to shame on the baseball diamond. (why does this guy think he’s such an authority on the game of baseball? same question to parkes? mr. “guys shouldn’t run hard down the line if they think their going to be out”)

            just because you have a voice now doesn’t mean you get to be SUCH a douche. somebody at the score needs to put this troll in his place and remind him that conflicting opinions should be welcomed and not scorned.

            you remind me of Colton from this years Survivor you fat turd.

            ps i would love the opportunity to say all of that to your face.

            • You admit you watch Survivor and you’re trying to say anything to anybody about anything? Wow.

          • Uhhhh okay.

            You’re pissed when I disagree with you and you’re pissed when I’m cordial with you.
            We disagree on a variety of issues and agree on others.
            That’s part of debates about baseball.
            Not everyone is going to agree with you all of the time.Find a way to deal with it.

        • Wilner had his birthday yesterday or the day before. He might still be hung over. Have you no respect for a drunk jay fan?

          In all seriousness, Wilner probably went to get some quotes from players in the locker room during Drabek’s outing.

          Not here to put Wilner on a fucking pedestal but its only spring training coverage.

          • c’mon stoeten

            for years you deleted pretty much any post on here critical of wilner, in fact youve been up front about that

            and every now and then wilner would tout your blog on his show

            nothing wrong with that

            but i remember the night the sox claimed rios on waivers and wilner shouted down every caller about it being a non-story notwithstanding reports the jays were considering walking away from rios

            the problem wasnt that wilner mistakenly thought it was routine player movement, it was the next night, after the jays let rios go for nothing, wilner did not say a word about his performance the night before, he just pretended he didnt blow arguably the biggest story of the jays season, that was the final straw for me

            i could go on and on but i’ve “lost count” too

            his selective use of garbage stats only puts an exclamation point on it all

          • “or years you deleted pretty much any post on here critical of wilner, in fact youve been up front about that”

            Oh fuck off. Yes, ANY post I’ve deleted. Not, y’know, just the entirely baseless incoherent nonsense from giant piles of shit. ANY post that says anything about poor helpless Wilner I’ve dispatched of.

            Oh, poor you had to endure a talk radio host insisting what would be a non-event 99% of the time was going to be a non-event. WAHHHHHH. Jesus…

        • “Jesus fuck, the lengths some of you morons will go and the twists of logic you’ll allow yourselves to believe just to keep feeding your negative impression of the guy– probably because you called him once and he shit on you so now you’re all butthurt– is pretty fucking astounding.”

          I completely agree with this.

          You don’t like Wilner, fine. You don’t like him.

          But the ‘Rogers shill’ suggestion is so idiotic. As if Wilner is watching Drabek’s third inning and thinking ‘hmm. I know! I’ll pretend I lost count of the balls and strikes!’

          Also – how is the guy a shill for everything Blue Jays when he got suspended for arguing with Cito? He basically shit over everything Cito did.

          Saying you don’t enjoy his on air persona or method of arguing is enough. You don’t have to concoct silly theories.

        • Fuck Yeah where the fuck is the like button stoeten??

      • I think Wilner is a guy who hates typical talk radio caller overreactions. I do think he can be mean to callers and pretty damn snarky.

        But uh – he’s a radio host. Bob McCown has some mansion in Hogs Hollow because he’s created an on air persona of ‘Im an argumentative dick’.

        Personally I enjoy him a lot. I find hearing him shooting down clueless callers to be hilarious usually.

        • What is wrong with pointing out that a pitcher can be dominant in his wins? He is not lying about the pitcher, just saying that when he is hot, he’s scorching, and when he is not, he stinks.

        • while i don’t agree with everything stoeten has to say i enjoy the blog but seriously that immature bull crap you just pulled on a guy who has a valid opinion is .. well the most amateurish thing i’ve seen in a long time – why would you so viciously attack someone who has a different opinion than yours? especially when it was a fair enough comment that wilner is horrible at his job and skews stats to make sure he always ‘wins’ his arguments – really disappointing stuff….

          • Ban them all!!!

          • I remember on an episode of jays talk early last season a caller stated that Lance Nycks was a better defender than Escobar and wilner cut him off, presented some b.s. stat and silenced him and implied that his opinion was absolute absurdity, not worthy of being heard by anyone. I found it very amusing that a few days later, in the booth during one of the games Jerry asked Allan Ashby about Nycks vs. Encarnacion as defenders and Ashby basically said anyone who thinks Edwin is the better defender needs to have their eyes checked, I somehow doubt wilner would have been so rude and condesending towards him though.

            This is very disappointing, I enjoy the coverage this blog has on the Jays, and im a die-hard fan – but I lost a lot of respect for Stoeten today, if he said half the stuff to this guy’s face you’d expect an ass kicking to ensue.

        • I remember Bob McCown doing Jays Talk about in the early 90′s. It was amazing radio.

      • After seeing you lose your shit whenever people disagree with you, I, Ottawa_Jays, do hereby revoke your right to call other people butthurt.

      • Go Jays?

    • Checking the play-by-play, in the 6th inning (Drabek’s third inning):

      First-pitch ROE for Schafer
      First pitch hit for Sanchez
      D’Arnaud catches pinch runner stealing
      First pitch strike followed by an RBI ground-out by Martinez
      First pitch groundout by Lee

      Care to revise that statement?

      • Gameday is all fucked up, though.

      • sure i’ll revise my statement

        you are a fucking idiot if you think every out recorded in that game (other than the strikeouts) was the result of somebody swinging at the first pitch

        sorry i wasnt clear about that in my original statement

        “you fucking idiot”

  3. keith law is very ordinary

  4. Marcum is injured again. I thought at the time that AA was skeptical about his durability, making the Lawrie deal even greater.

    • Blair has alluded to the fact that there were those in the Jays org. who felt he was an injury waiting to happen.

      It always worried me how Marcum seemed to run out of gas by late August. Last year was no different, looking at the playoffs.

  5. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see McGowan pitch around 25 games and 150 innings, shut down in mid-August after putting up top of the rotation stats…only to walk away as a free agent because he refuses to sign the one year contract with four team options that AA will surely present him with…

    • Assuming your scenario (150 effective innings) we have two options:

      1) McGowan signs with the Jays based on the many years of scouting, training, rehab that the team invested in him. A thank-you for believing in him.

      2) McGowan signs elsewhere and players around the league say “wow, they put 4 years of rehab into that guy, then they let him get his big $$$ payday! What an awesome org!”

      I don’t see any negative repercussions that could come from McGowan pitching well, especially since 150 quality innings from him likely puts us firmly in the playoff chase, with an attendance/payroll boost to follow.

      • The comment was tongue in cheek. I do not in any way think McGowan performing well is detrimental to the Jays.

        However, he is a free agent at the end of the year. And we typically don’t believe an athlete owes the franchise a home team discount, regardless of how they supported him. They supported him because of the immense potential. Jesse Litsch would not get the same support, for example.

        If this did play out as I’ve hypothetically suggested above, you know that the warm and fuzzy stories of this winter will be replaced by a few ungrateful asshole stories next winter.

  6. What the fuck is depicted in KLaw’s twitter pic? Anyway.

    Great to see McGowan pitch 3 effective innings. Didn’t realize that this was his first outing after throwing some BP between starts since 2008. Touching 95 and 96? That is like totally balls out! Awesome that he’s able to crank it up. Hope his arm doesn’t fall off tomorrow moring.

    Meanwhile, Red Sox nation’s experiment with Daniel Bard wasn’t so successful. Bard’s line vs. St. Louis:

    2.2 IP, 6 H, 7ER, 4 BB’s, 1 HR, only 1 K

    Fuck yeah. If he keeps it up, will Bobby V. continue with the whole Bard is a starter experiment?

  7. Whats the deal with the “read the rest of this entry”?

  8. There were 3 big rotation question marks. Dustin, Cecil and Drabek. So far, 2 of 3 show some positive signs – Dustin and Drabek. I still think it will be Cecil and Dustin to come up because I believe they want Drabek to have more time to have all these new things (mindset, mechanics, attitude) become more habit and less of a focus.

    Let’s hope Cecil and Dustin can keep hope alive in the first half. Let’s remember that the 5th starter only needs to be better than the Jar Jar Binks of 2011 Blue Jays (Jo Jo Reyes).

    My 2 cents.

    • If Cecil manages to replicate his 2010 numbers in the first half of 2012, I imagine he’d be worth quite a bit in trade as a young, cheap, mid-rotation lefty coming out of the ALE.He’d quite possibly be worth more than Marcum when he was traded…

    • One of the reasons AA is looking at Laffey and Blanton is because of all the shit that goes on with a rotation in the course of a season. Drabek, Cecil and McGowan arent the only question marks. The law of averages has to catch up with Ricky sometime and Morrow is still in the process of becoming a full time starter. This year -if all goes well- he should pitch over 200 innings. He wouldn’t be the 1st pitcher to have physical problems with that if it comes to pass.

  9. I don’t often comment on this site, but when I do… Stoeten, you’ve got to lay off whatever meds you and Wilner have in common. Your first dickhead response of the day either suggests that you’re coming off a bad coke jag, you’ve just broken up with your girlfriend, or you honestly don’t give a shit if you have readers/ a job.

    Rogers politely suggested that Wilner take a break from broadcasting when he started to take himself too cocksuckingly serious. In spite of all your asshole-breathed bad languaged cool-attitude fuckery, you’re reporting on entertainment and are lucky to have a professional forum to voice an opinion. Maybe you’re starting to take it all a little too seriously.

    Go Jays.

    • Not to jump in the middle of all this, but…. hevhas a paying job writing about sports.

      Shouldn’t he take it seriously?

    • It is frustrating to put things into context (on basic information and quotes) everyday for morons.
      Stoeten has been consistantly doing so for years now. Fuck off.

      • If it was that frustrating,Stoeten woulda stopped years ago.
        He’s turned it into a paying job.He got Parkes a job.Ditto Drew.

  10. OK last I’m going to say on it, but everyone, can we maybe take a step back to review things for a second, before the narrative gets stolen by the hopeless tools talking about what I would or would not say to someone’s face.

    Guy concocted a theory that Wilner intentionally lost count of Drabek’s pitch counts because for some reason this would please Wilner’s corporate masters at Rogers, or would otherwise somehow serve his agenda– though we don’t know how or why that’s so, and we’re supposed to ignore the fact that the count of Drabek’s balls/strikes was almost certainly going to be recorded in full somewhere else anyway, and the fact that Wilner said he lost count because he was tweeting too much, which is borne out by his Twitter timeline.

    This is all plausible, according to our fucking idiot friend, because Wilner is nothing but a self-serving, rude, fanatical, cynical, totally unprofessional, lying, scheming, in-the-tank-for-Rogers, meanie who eats babies.

    I merely pointed out– quite rightly, I must stress– that the person who made this suggestion is either an intellectually dishonest fuckface with an axe to grind, or one of the too-many fucking idiots who pathologically despises everything Wilner does and can make twists and turns of logic and reality to actually get himself to believe the most absurd fucking nonsense, as long as it serves his predisposition to believe that Wilner is, as I said above, nothing but a self-serving, rude, fanatical, cynical, totally unprofessional, lying, scheming, in-the-tank-for-Rogers, meanie who eats babies.

    And now certain people here are defending him and saying I have a problem for using too much colourful language? Hilarious.

    • Don’t play dumb. If it’s a ridiculous theory – and I agree with you that it is – then explain why, with reasons.

      And to the extent that a narrative is being created, it’s because you do this almost every time a commentor says something that you disagree with. If all you do is belittle people who disagree with you and shit on their positions, ignoring any evidence they might have provided, people will notice.

      Most of us enjoy all the up to date content on your blog and come here for intelligent discussion about the Blue Jays. It would be nice if you could take part in that, rather than dismissing us as ignorant retards.

      • Like +1

      • When Stoeten resorts to one of his token respones, be it “WAAAH”, “did I hurt your widdle feelings?” or “all of us in the office are laughing at you”, it is an admission he has lost the argument. It is evident to any logical person who frequents this blog.

        Sometimes we need to seperate the DJF blog from Andrew Stoeten the person. I enjoy this blog both for its content and espescially for the discussion. Stoeten provides the content, but he is not active in every single discussion thread obviously.

        Stoeten the commenter is typically witty and rational, but this does not preclude him from going off the deep end on occasion. For those who take issue with this, why do you care?

        I can appreciate Stoeten’s blog without believing he is my intellectual superior. I suggest others who take issue with him adopt a similar approach.

        Yes, he gets paid to write about baseball. But many of us can write about baseball without being dependent on it as a source of income. Hence, we have more intellectual freedom.

        I don’t really know much about Stoeten’s history except the random tidbits that he or others mention on this blog. I gather he was/is in a band and prided himself on being a fuckup in university. Is it because his parents paid his way so he could take his band to its logical conclusion of artistic and financial failure? I don’t know.

        But he has an entertaining blog which I appreciate without thinking he should be revered.

        • very funny

          i appreciate stoeten’s passion for the jays and the way he vacuums up every jay story worth reading and puts it here and i dont have to go find it myself,

          seriously if you told me in the 90s about a technological advance like this id have creamed myself

          but really?

          there are people out there who “revere” stoeten’s intellect?

          if such people exist please point them to this days post, stoeten actually posted as being newsworthy the following:

          “Asked if (it) looked like Drabek was unfazed by the misplays around him that led to an unearned run in his third inning of work, Wilner simply answered, “Yup.””

          i sincerely hope we dont look back at this as being the day stoeten proverbially “jumped the shark” and stopped passionately seeking quality jays info and instead compromised his standards and just started posting junk so he could punch his ticket and go home

  11. well lets go further then

    in the off-season i didnt understand the the rumour du jour you were featuring on your blog

    it went against everything you used to stand for, you know when you used to look down on page view whores or whatever you used to call it

    i just chalked it up to a fellow jays fan getting all jazzed up about the team like i am, i looked the other way when the darvish, beltran shit all went south because hey, you weren’t the source of this info and there were a bunch of msm guys saying the same thing

    but then you started posting that whacky gavin floyd shit, not sourced from somebody reputable but from some fucking blogger nobody had ever heard of before, who almost sounded like a guest on a jerry springer show ‘i heard his sis tell his wife’ it was pure fucking laughable but it came from you so i gave it a modicum of respect

    little did i know at the time you had some score executive standing behind your back while you typed that shit and he was promising you theyd pay you to come in at noon and look up jay shit all day if you could raise your page view count or whatever the fuck its called

    makes sense now

    • Hahahahaha.

      Holy fucking dumb as shit, man. Give your head a shake, and do yourself a favour and stop inventing little worlds in the fucking local baseball media that you know dick all about. Not only is it an amazingly bizarre waste of time, it’ll save yourself some grief if you ever get the opportunity to find out how clueless you are.

      I mean, fucking really. If you’re not bright enough to have understood how I was framing those things while they were going on, or were incapable or reading my words explaining to you precisely what I was doing and why, I’m just wasting my time here even bothering to try and set you somewhere in the direction of straight.

      • you went beyond the way you originally framed it and started advocating the theory

        seriously, the lady does protest too much

        • Insufferable twat, are you seriously still on about this?

          If you couldn’t comprehend what I was saying, I pity you. If you’re intentionally trying to put false words in my mouth, jesus, get a better fucking hobby– and maybe one that you’re not fucking terrible at.

        • Also, do you think there’s an executive behind me now encouraging me to shit all over any commenter here who wants to be a shit in my cut while demonstrating that he can’t think his way through a paper bag? I really display a lot of page-whoring qualities to you?

          Seriously. Maybe think for two seconds about your moronic little theories before you get all proud of yourself and post them– I assure you, you’ll look considerably less dumb as fuck for it. A highly valuable few seconds. Not that, y’know, you value your time or anything. Obviously.

          • a video montage of stoeten and his winter post about the gavin floyd “rumours”:


          • thanks stoeten

            re: gavin floyd montage

            heres the credits

            fonz = stoeten (first time youve been told that)

            richie = score exec (metaphorically)

            shark = every piece of integrity you used to stand for

            swim suit clad extras = (few) naive blog readers who dont see thru your shit

            cancellation = your fate if you dont get back to your roots

            i want my………….i want my…………. i want my djf

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