Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Morning Snack…

Additional Programming Note: Yes, it’s an ultra-rare, we-don’t-even-have-a-graphic-for-it Morning Snack. I’d like to say that we’re doing this because the season has kinda partially started, what with the A’s and Mariners going at it in Japan, and that I’ve been watching the game and it’s a real ripper. But no, I’m writing this at night, mostly because I haven’t done an Afternoon Snack post since Friday, and I’ve got links to meaningless games stories coming out my ass, and I really need to either shit or get off the pot and be done with them.

At Getting Blanked, the Common Man awesomely looks at all the potential outcomes of Dustin McGowan’s recently-inked contract extension.

Meanwhile, Chris Cwik of FanGraphs says something I’ve yet to hear anywhere about the McGowan contract, suggesting that “there was really no reason for Toronto to hand out this kind of extension to such a risky player.” Hmm.

House of the Bluebird would like to see Travis Snider given the chance to get every day at-bats in the majors. Yeah… well… get in line on that one.

Steve Kornacki of the Globe and Mail looks at the Snider-Thames situation from a more Thames-oriented side.

Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter has a great interview with Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.

By way of a rave review for the Jays new clothes in the Uni Watch season preview at, it’s an awesomely snarky bit of logo history from the National Post.

Jays Journal pulls a familiar-sounding trick and provides us all the Jays-related tidbits from John Sickels’ latest All Questions Answered thread at Minor League Ball.

John Lott of the National Post talks to Brett Cecil, who is unfazed by his less-than-optimum velocity. He also talks about Omar Vizquel, who he says is on the brink of claiming a roster spot with the club.

Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun looks at the work-in-progress that is Casey Janssen’s splitter. His colleague Bob Elliott talks to scout Pablo Cruz, who remembers watching Roberto Clemente.

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet talks some ridiculousness about it being a buyers market for Travis Snider.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tells the long, sad tale of brief member of the Jays organization, Matt Bush.

Larry Millson of the Canadian Press, by way of the Globe and Mail, writes about Brandon Morrow’s focus on using his fastball less this season, in order to pitch more efficient innings. It didn’t help him Tuesday, as he threw 96 pitches in a game against the Pirates’ minor leaguers, according to Lott in the Post– a less efficient rate than the 17.35 pitches per inning he threw last year, but with 11 Ks for his trouble.

Gregor Chisholm of comes with a notebook post also related to Tuesday’s games, explaining that the Jays were pleased with Kyle Drabek’s composure, Brandon Morrow’s complete arsenal, and were being very cautious with Adam Lind’s back, which they insist hadn’t flared up at any prior point this spring. It’s something they’ve anticipated having to be mindful of over the course of the year, says John Farrell.

FanGraphs looks at Evan Crawford as a potential unexpected rookie contributor in 2012– and Darrin “Joey” Mastroianni as well, who is now with the Twins… or someone. They also talk about the Sophomore Curse, and see the value of Henderson Alvarez quietly heading up. Me too.

Mop Up Duty examines Travis Snider’s horrible, horrible trouble facing left-handed pitching.

Just a little food for thought, but according to MLBTR’s database, Dustin McGowan is represented by the ACES agency, who Tim Dierkes wrote about back in September. Other clients for the group who “always has a strong record getting multiyear deals and success with veteran free agents who aren’t quite star-caliber?” Heath Bell and Jonathan Papelbon. Ya, they’re doing OK for themselves lately.

Beyond the Boxscore looks at the correlation between spring wins and regular season wins, and finds what might just be a cloudy little hope for Jays fans. Maybe. Kinda.

Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette suggests a statue in tribute to Gary Carter outside of the Bell Centre. Sure, why not?

Lastly, the Blue Jay Hunter discovers YouTube clips of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion giving testimonials for a local laser hair removal clinic. Um… OK?

Comments (31)

  1. “Meanwhile, Chris Cwik of FanGraphs says something I’ve yet to hear anywhere about the McGowan contract, suggesting that “there was really no reason for Toronto to hand out this kind of extension to such a risky player.” Hmm. ”

    … And most the 39 responses to that Fangraphs article disagree with that position. It seems that this same scenario has been playing out on various websites.

    • Fangraphs guy Mike Newman thought the deal was reasonable.

    • There is a reason, this is business. ROI is what its always about. This is the biggest splash the Jays can get, on a team that has more cost certainty than all others. Buy your season tickets now! Come see the man with the bionic arm, before all the good seats are gone. There’s another one born every minute.

  2. Any news on Opera Bob’s?

    Does anybody have a review of any previous Opera Bob trips? Is everyone as messed up in person as they appear here? (I kid of course; everybody who posts here seems perfectly normal…honestly.)

  3. I was reading somewhere that the longer Vizquel remains at ST without getting cut or assigned, the more the Jays must pay of his major league salary ( as per CBA rules about vetran players).
    Not sure if this is true,but it would suggest that Vizquel has a good shot of making the team due to the financial commitment by the Jays.

  4. “..and were being very cautious with Adam Lind’s back, which they insist hadn’t flared up at any prior point this spring. It’s something they’ve anticipated having to be mindful of over the course of the year, says John Farrell.”

    For fucks sake.

  5. Cecil goes today against Dana Eveland. If you count forwards to the start of the season Cecil is slotted in behind Romero and Morrow as the 3rd starter and just ahead of Henderson Alvarez who starts tomorrow. That would also mean that Alvarez will pitch the home opener against Boston.

    • Are you counting McGowan pitching/not pitching in this?

    • Makes sense. Cleveland’s lineup is heavy on lefthanders. Cecil can still get lefties out can’t he?

      • Well Boston is pretty lefty heavy too (Ellsbury, Crawford, Gonzalez, Ortiz, Sweeney, Salty much better LH) so I think its more likely they are shielding Cecil from the Red Sox.

    • Last minute switcheroo. Cecil’s playing the minor league game, little-known 23-year-old Lansing pitcher Ryan Tepera’s handling the Orioles. And it’s not much of a lineup to handle, the O’s didn’t bring a single fucking major league starter to the game:

      Davis8, Flaherty3, Beerer9, Paulino2, Miller0, Machado6, Hoes7, Schoop4, Esposito5 – Eveland1

  6. The Matt Bush story is a tough read. He’s likely done with baseball.

  7. I was thinking about the ST record/reg season record correlation thing last night. I found this article from 2010:

    Basically, the author posits that if ST records have any information, they should be able to improve upon the PECOTA forecasts. His statistical model suggests that ST records do in fact contain some additional predictive power. And that a strong ST record, should add about 3 wins to a team’s predicted record by PECOTA.

    PECOTA predicts the Jays finish 77-85 in 2012.

    So bump that up by 3 wins, and we have the Jays finishing 80-82.

    So…..there’s that.

    • Pecotas logic is horribly flawed, Jays will easily win more then 77 games. Almost certainly more then 80 as well

      • Care to elaborate?

        Granted, margin of error seems pretty large. PECOTA average error in 2008 (via wikipedia) was 8.5 wins. So the Jays could be a 89 win team!

        • Yeah, the PECOTA numbers are just the Pythag you get when you punch in their projected runs for and runs against. For runs for, they are projecting only 14 more runs then 2011. 14 more runs over a team that gave over 2000 AB’s to Hill, Rivera, JMac, Nix, McCoy, Snider, Patterson and Davis, a group that combined for a sub .600 OPS (I did the math in another post a few weeks ago, can’t be bothered to look it up, but it was something like .590). And as a group, their 2000+ (it was something like 2200 or so) AB’s counted for about 52 games of AB’s (using the average PA’s/game of 38).

          So that’s 50+ games of giving AB’s to a group that had a sub .600 OPS. I don’t see how 2012′s team (barring mulitple serious injuries) can score ONLY more then 14 runs. 80 runs sounds more appropriate. I would be surprised if our worst starting player does worse then the best player of that 8 man group.

          And then there’s the pitching, they have us giving 40 MORE runs then 2011. Again, I just don’t see that as likely, considering the 2011 team had a horrible pen, This was also a staff that gave 20 starts to Reyes and 14 starts to a horrible Drabek (I understand 2012 is going to have a lot of starts with Drabek as well, but I’m assuming that he will have quite a better year in 2012 then 2011).

          All in all, I think the RF and RA that Pecota uses to make their projection are just wrong.

          • Great post Rob. I hope you were being conservative with your numbers beause you are putting the Jays really clost to the post season with the RF and RA ratio.

  8. No reason to extend McGowan? Of course there’s a reason….WHat was the reason to extend Bautista? Longoria? Matt Moore?

    The reason is, because there is something that is keeping their present value down (Moore/Longo because they were young and somewhat unproven at the time, Bautista because of the unusual career path, and legit concerns over whether 2010 was a fluke, and McGOwan because of injury conerns) but if you think you can discount that negative factor, then you can take advantage of the temporary depressed value of the player and sign them up to what you hope will be a below market value if the player does what you think they will do.

    Put another way……they believe McGowan is going to become a good pitcher, and if he in deed does, then he will probably cost betwen $5-$10 million/year (depending on how good he actually does). So that’s all the reason you could want when you’re in a division with Boston and NY…….to try to sign players below market value due to temporary value depression of said player. It’s really what AA’s been doing since he got here, don’t know why it’s surprising now.

    Romero/Bautista/Yunel (and probably soon Morrow) are all signed to below market contracts because AA did just that…..relied on his scouts to tell him that these guys are going to figure it out and will be worth much more in the future. He’s doing the same thing with his medical staffs recommendations of Dustin.

    • I made this point yesterday…not that Stoeten really acknowledged it.

      All these examples are risk/reward. The fact that ONLY $3.5 million is being handed out (as opposed to $65 million) means the risk factor is the LOWEST amongst the 4 contracts (Longo, Moore, Bats, DM).

      • Although the sentiment is understood, it seems pretty silly to be comparing Dustin McGowan to Bautista, Longoria and Matt Moore, doesn’t it? Haven’t you ever played that game ‘One of these things is not like the others?’

        • What? Nobody is comparing Dustin to Bautista, Longo or Moore as players…..simply saying the reason for the extensions was the same for all of them.

          Of course Dustin can’t compare to them on the field. I’m not sure how you got that at all from the post.

      • Exactly….and at the end of the day, as AA said, this is what we need to do to remain competitive in this division.

        Imagine if Bautista and Romero both had market value contracts right now? Our payroll would be $15-$20 million more then it is (I’m guess Bautista could fetch $25 million, and Romero $10). and we all know Rogers wouldn’t allow that yet.

        Without the Bautista gamble, there is no doubt in my mind he’s playing for someone else in 2012.

        What better “reason” could you have to sign this kind of deal? We’re locking up players that we feel we won’t be able to afford if we don’t. And even though the specifics are different, the Dustin extension is fundamentally the same move as the Bautista one, which was the same move as the Moore/Longo ones.

        If you feel you know what you have, and you trust your scouts/doctors, then you ned to make moves like this if you want to compete with the Yanks/Sox.

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