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 Afternoon Snack…

John Lott of the National Post talks about the Jays search for a pitcher to call up to make a start on Saturday night in Kansas City. Their fifth starter coming out of Spring Training, Joel Carreno, is scheduled to start tonight for Las Vegas. “If Carreno does make his Triple-A start, then the choice likely boils down to Double-A prospect Drew Hutchison or Triple-A journeyman Jesse Chavez,” Lott explains.

Sticking with Lott, his game story for last night’s win focussed largely on the Jays’ defence, which– Eric Thames excepted– has been pretty terrific this year. Pat and Buck made quite a deal of the changes in infield positioning last night on the broadcast, which was actually kinda interesting, I must admit.

Speaking of Thames, he really does seem like a ridiculously nice guy. BlueJays.com tells us about his trip to a Scarborough school to talk to some grade-sixes about healthy living.

SI’s FanGraphs-powered power rankings have the Jays at 21st in MLB, based on a system that analyzes “how well they’ve performed at the underlying traits that predict future performance better than wins and losses.” Pffft. Worse still: they use the shitty old logo in the piece.

Robbie Alomar? Fergie Jenkins? Jim Rice? Tim Raines? The Maple Leafs are really bringing out the big guns this year, says the Toronto Sun. No, not those Maple Leafs. The ones that play at Christie Pits.

Sticking with The Sun, apparently Ricky Romero didn’t care much for Joe Maddon’s pre-game comments yesterday about wanting to put nine lefties in the lineup against the Jays’ left-hander, if he could. “He can start nine guys for all I care,” Romero said. “I really don’t care what he has to say or what his mindset is against me. If he has nine lefties against me I’ll find a way to win, that’s just the bottom line.”

Sportsnet figures it’s all on Jose tonight, as the rest of the Jays regulars have had a devil of a time with the Rays David Price.

Lastly, on Thursday night at the Ossington bar in Toronto, Parkes and I will be winging some kind of baseball-related talk for a few minutes as part of The Little Red Umbrella’s Variety Spectacular. 10% of bar sales go to support the AIDS Committee of Toronto, so let’s get drunk. Hit up the Facebook invite and all that.

Comments (45)

  1. Love Thames, he’s a great kid.

  2. Well this is as good a night as any for the Jays to light up price for a few runs.

  3. “If he has nine lefties against me I’ll find a way to win, that’s just the bottom line.” Loved this line.

    As for a number 5 pitcher, I hope it’s either Carreno or Hutch. Chavez just makes it feel like Jo-Jo Reyes or Dana Eveland all over again, and I’d rather be past those days.

    As for Thames – love the guy, but I’d rather see Snider here. I know it’s Vegas, but he’s raking it down there and will play better D up here. If Thames isn’t delivering with the bat by the end of May let’s say, Snider should get to come back up.

    • To add to the snack, Mop Up Duty has an interesting little article about Thames’ struggles at the plate thus far. They’re in the blog roll.

  4. Thank you for leaving out the, “(see what I just did there?)” – as a reader I felt more respected to be left to figure out your word plays on my own.

  5. That SI power rankings is even dumber then using the old Jay’s logo, they have the AAAstros and OriLOLe’s higher up then Toronto.

    • Which is why SI needs to stick to their swimsuit edition. They try to be baseball savvy, and produce homers like Jon Heyman.

      • Except they are now using “fangraphs” based WAR stats to produce the rankings.You can’t blame SI.This is what the stats geeks have wanted for years.
        This is supposed to be an improvement on their system from last year.

        • Sure you can blame SI. They’re the one’s that created it. I, however, have no complaints with the Jays being ranked 21st. It’s only 10 games into the season.

          fWAR is a flawed stat, badly with pitchers IMO. While I like the FIP stat, they really should look at altering the equation by replacing FIP with SIERA, seeing as it’s a more true representation of a pitcher’s skill.

          • It’s early,like you say.

            After the first week last year,Jays were ranked #1 by SI.

            As for the stats,I’ve been reading the arguements for years.FIP VS xFIP etc.
            The concensus seems to back you up on SIERA as the best.
            I’m still trying to figure out how to calculate ERA and what the hell is OPS really is.
            Fuck, I’m old.

    • Oh, power rankings.

      It’s early, so using only this season data will produce funny results. Which is why this happened.

      Also, WAR does not take into account strength of schedule, which I feel is one of if not the most important additional consideration to produce power rankings.

  6. I know Vegas numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt…blah blah blah.

    I have no idea how Snider “looks”, but the K/BB is very encouraging along with the return of power.

  7. Snider is too risky right now, if he comes up and his K’s start happening again, he not only hurts the Jays, but he is out of options too. Thames can and will hit, and this is a team that desperately needs that skill set.

    • I don’t think you understand how options work. He can be sent down to AAA and brought up as many times as the team wants this season without any problem.

      • Jim you could be right, but I don’t think so….so here you go
        Once a player has been placed on a team’s 40-man roster, a team has 3 options on that player.
        A player is considered to have used one of those three options when he spends at least 20 days in the minors in any of those 3 seasons.

    • If he comes up and K’s a lot, I think he can be sent down as many times as AA pleases for the duration of this season. I base this on that options are equivalent to years, not the number of call-ups that occur.

    • The Jays burned their last option year with Snider, meaning all of 2012. In fairness, the Jays are past worrying about options with Snider.

  8. If everyone discounts Vegas numbers, how does snider prove he is a major leaguer? what else can he do?
    And when is he going to be called up?

    • People who know far more about baseball than we do watch his swing, and when it looks good he is ready.

      • +1. The Jays are not merely looking at stats to judge his progress. There are several other metrics being used on a daily basis to judge his development.

        Most professional scouts who have recently commented on Snider (Law, Goldstein and Dave Cameron come to mind) have all said that Snider needs to figure out where the strike zone is located and how to recognize pitches. Let him work on his swing in AAA. Too much risk to do this at the MLB level.

        • @Ballsdeep

          This.

          If we only looked at Rasmus’ numbers, for example, we’d join in with the masses that are forever enveloped in intellectual hebetude, and claim he sucks.

          Thankfully we know better, as should “john holmes.”

        • I don’t know if you are talking about second hand reports, but Goldstein and Cameron were never scouts, and are not watching the guys they give comments on. Law was a scout, but hasn’t been doing that for years.

          I respect the work those guys do, but they are pundits who rely on second hand opinions, stats but do not see these guys day after day.

          Bottom line, if the Jays scouts/brass think Snider is ready, he will be brought up. If Snider can turn a corner, Thames is a placeholder who can hopefully contribute to the team and/or bring some value in by trade.

          • That said, I agree with your general point about Snider’s approach. The Jays scouts/brass are the ones who will determine when/if he is ready, along with AA who is getting their daily notes. I just take issue with going off what KG, Law and Cameron have to say. That’s probably what they have heard from their non-Jays scouting sources, but we don’t know that that’s what the Jays are focused on. It could be any number of things.

    • They’ll also look at things like strikeout to walk ratio, which he’s doing pretty well in right now.

  9. Thames is on a 5 game hit streak (and 6 of 7gms), and has a .917ops in his last 7 days.

    After opening the year 0/7 in his first 2gms, he’s gone his next/last 19ab with a .368/.428/.421/.849 line.

    He also outhit Snider in ST, and all of last year in MLB and AAA.

    • Since you’re a Thames backer I’ll have to use Thamesian numbers to impress you. Snider has a .429 avg and 16 rbi in 11 games. Wow. Plus he’s on an 11 game hit streak and had 9 games straight with rbi.

    • Thames doesn’t have a .917 or .849 anything in 2012. He’s a nice guy, but your stats are absurd.

      • the stats are correct, not absurd.

        what we’re talking about is tiny sample sizes here, samples you don’t dump a player for.

        and hey, Thames is hitting better than the great Desmond Jennings, at least.

    • #TeamThames

  10. Im not a baseball geek, but what is with this looking at a swing and when it looks good he is ready? a swing looks good to me when the ball goes over the fence. Like in Golf they say some swings look sweet, but at the end of the day if you have a shitty looking swing and you can score a 69….thats all that matters. Why not the same in baseball? your swing looks like shit and you hit .330 why do people care?

    • First, forget golf. Completely different than baseball.

      It’s not so much about having a good-looking swing or bad-looking swing, it’s about having the ability to adapt when opposing pitchers and coaches figure out holes in your swing or approach. Guys with beautiful swings I would say are generally less vulnerable to holes in their swing, but are no less vulnerable to having holes in their approach. Ill-fated guys like Ben Grieve (who’s swing was supposed to be god’s gift to baseball) come to mind. You could have the nicest, most fundamentally sound swing in the world, but if you can never get past chasing bad pitches etc, it just doesn’t matter.

      • why forget golf? my point was all that matters is results. You hit 50 homers and have a .350 average who gives a fuck what yoru swing looks like.

        • For so many reasons but by far #1 being that in baseball, your opponent can impact your results despite the fundamentals of your swing, while in golf, they cannot.

        • When people talk about how nice a swing looks, they aren’t literally talking about it’s visually pleasing appeal. At least, not from an aesthetic sense.

          • That’s a good point but they are to some degree. To old school baseball types, there are some “aesthetic” characteristics in describing a nice swing (eg. hands back, barrel staying in the zone, proper head movement) that would be pretty universal. They are aesthetics, but more importantly are generally fundamentals that make a good hitter

      • When people talk about an “ugly” swing, they’re talking about weaknesses or holes in that swing that will be exploited by better pitchers at higher levels.

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