Like anyone else, I suppose, I’m somewhat inclined to scream “small sample size” at bad results I don’t believe in, while getting all worked up about people using tiny samples to shit on guys they don’t like, but… oh man, I’m encouraged by what we’ve seen so far from Kyle Drabek (and also, keeping with that line of thinking, if you think Brandon Morrow is now AJ Burnett, Jose Bautista has turned back into a pumpkin, and Jeff Mathis needs to start ahead of JP Arencibia, please show yourself the door before I call you fucking hopeless).

Turns out I’m not the only one, as Keith Law said as much– with the same caveats– in his chat yesterday with readers at ESPN.com, along with several other Jays-related nuggets that I’ve scooped up for your enjoyment…

Klaw
Sorry if I’m a minute late, Arencibia told me I needed another donut.

James (Vero Beach)
Travis Snider: Vegas pumps up numbers, but in a small sample, he’s cut down on Ks. Can this translate at the major league level?
Klaw
I like Snider quite a bit and think his swing changes will lead to better results in the majors. That said, not only is he repeating AAA in a hitter’s park, he’s got more than a season’s worth of ABs facing better quality pitching. This is a step down for him – he should be raking.

Rick (Vancouver)
Keith, do you think you were being a little bit hypocritical when you tweeted about JP earlier? Pretty sure you called Mike McDade “Muffin Top” earlier this year.
Klaw
I made that comment about a specific photo of McDade. I didn’t take a random shot at a reader’s weight, which would be the analogous situation.

Lawrence (Toronto, Canada)
We’re about a dozen games into the season; does anything stand out to you so far?
Klaw
Yes – overreactions to tiny samples are at an all-time high.

Frank (Toronto)
Do you think bringing Hutchison up to be the 5th starter for the Jays is a lot premature?
Klaw
He’s pretty polished, but yeah, this is a lot earlier than I expected. I hope the intent is to keep him up for a while – I don’t like bringing up elite guys for spot starts. I’d have taken Deck McGuire for just a single outing.

John (Canada)
If you had to pick one … Marisnick or Gose as your CFer of the future?
Klaw
Marisnick. Much higher offensive upside. I’ll give back the 5 runs a year on defense (if it’s even that much).

Twitter Etiquette (Non-existent?)
Given we agree that J.P. Arencibia’s comments were childish and immature, where do you stand in regards to media members using twitter to attack/troll athletes? i.e. using the @PlayersTwitterHandle so he sees the offensive tweet
Klaw
I would never do that. Taunting players is inappropriate for fans, never mind for professionals.

Erich (CT)
Do the Jays shift JP off catcher once d’Arnaud arrives? Or do they entertain trading him?
Klaw
Bat won’t play anywhere else. He’s trade bait.

Brandon (Santa Maria, CA)
Henderson Alvarez has great velocity and control. Why doesn’t he miss more bats?
Klaw
Good question. Slider isn’t good enough?

Erich (CT)
Why are people all upset with what JP said? The guy tweeted AT him that he basically sucked. Of course he’s going to take offense to that. Give me a break
Klaw
While I don’t agree with using Arencibia’s handle there, the initial comment was pretty innocuous.

AA (CANADA)
Small sample aside, are you allowing yourself to get excited about Kyle Drabek’s improvements? Samardzija of the AL?
Klaw
Yes. I think it’s real.

Comments (76)

  1. http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/blue-jays-arencibia-appealing-one-of-three-error-calls-on-tampa-bay-rays/1225769

    For somebody who claims to be unconcerned about his stats in such a small sample size, Aaron Cibia appears to be awfully concerned about his stats in such a small sample size.

    Also, even though his batting average is fucking atrocious, I’ve never quite seen somebody so insecure about their own batting average.

    • That being said, I don’t disagree with his point regarding the scoring on that particular hit/error. But it doesn’t seem like the type of thing you need to concern yourself with when you’re standing at third fucking base, several fucking batters later.

      • You really take issue with JPA talking (and likely joking around) with Longoria at 3rd base over this play?

        This is normal.

        • He can talk to Longoria about whatever he wants. He comes off as a whiny dickbag when he’s bitching about a hit being scored an error robbing him of the opportunity to raise his batting average over .100.

          I would definitely be looking at this with a different lens and not batting an eye if he didn’t subsequently go on Twitter calling people commenting on his stats fatsos and blocking respected Baseball Prospectus contributors for the heinous crime of citing his career batting average.

          Given that context, he sounds like an entitled dickbag.

          • Hitters appeal plays like this all the time. The only reason you know about it this time is because Longoria talked about the conversation he had with him.

            Move on.

          • Way to miss the point.

            It’s one thing when random player X is chatting to Longoria about a scoring error and launches an appeal about the scoring error.

            It’s quite another thing when random player X is also simultaneously engaging in a social media campaign to actively silence people citing statistics that make you look bad.

            If you think (a) and (b) are completely unconnected, you’re not very smart.

          • So Arencibia’s single joke of a tweet is now a “social media campaign” and his possible appeal of a scoring error (a normal occurrence in professional baseball) is an “entitled dickbag” move. That’s what you’re saying?

            Somebody here needs some serious perspective.

          • I guess it’s too much to ask for you to inform yourself before you start typing.

            It was more than just a single tweet. He blocked several Getting Blanked commenters among that tiny subset in the internet (look at the comments from yesterday’s post) and a BP writer for innocuous comments about his stats and constructive criticism. I’m sure hundreds more met the same fate. There’s tons more evidence of this that you can easily find.

            You don’t need to be Colombo to figure out the guy is insecure about this sort of thing.

          • Sounds like somebody is upset over getting blocked by JP Arencibia on Twitter.

            Seeing what you posted here about him, though, I can’t say I blame him.

    • You’re going to see more of this with the changes to MLB’s official scoring policies.
      i.e. A catchable ball falling between two fielders,one of the fielders will get an error.
      i.e Player agents can now request a review of an error.( Dunno what happens when the both the batter and fielder are represented by the same agent, think about if both are Boras clients)

      Etc.

      • There would be no conflict if the agent represents both the batter and fielder. In this case, both JPA and Longoria would welcome a change in the scoring from error to a hit… It is the pitcher who wouldn’t want the scoring to be changed.

        • Ur right I should have said the pitcher.
          Still interesting conundrum,hitter says he appeals to change the error to a hit but the agent for hm also represents the pitcher who may have his ERA rise by 3.00.
          The answer is that the agent protects who makes him the most money.
          LOL

    • Nothing wrong with an appeal on that play to 3rd. Official scorer dropped the ball on that call.

    • What he should appeal is the decision to give Bautista the error on the botched play at the plate yeasterday. He should ask them to give him the error. Basic fucking honesty.

      • difference is that error had to be attributed to Jose b/c of some dumb rules about the ball bouncing in the dirt.

  2. Alvarez,Drabek, and now Hutch.All with a great upside and high ceiling but still learning their craft. Can’t expect too much for this season.
    I’ll enjoy watching their development but competing for a WC spot seems to have slipped a little farther away.

    • I think the exact opposite. I think these guys have a better chance of succeeding than McGowan and Cecil ever did, frankly.

      • As much as I defended the thought process of AA extending McGowan…since I don’t think the risk is as indefensible as others do, I HATE the idea of relying on injury prone pitchers.

        One of the Cubs’ biggest issue many years ago was relying on Wood & Prior after their multiple injuries. Sure, this is different because McGowan really just needs to be a back end starter/reliever some of the time for the deal to work out fine, but I much prefer looking at Hutch et al in that spot as opposed to waiting on McGowan until June or whenever.

      • There’s no way anybody can seriously expect this young a rotation to handle itself in the AL East over a full season, though. I doubt even AA expects that.

        If the Jays have aspirations of making the playoffs this year, they’ll need another quality starter.

      • I agree. It pains me to view Cecil as a bit of a lost cause who, at best, will be a long reliever or a passable fourth or fifth starter on a second division team, but I’m about ready to give up on him. I always figured he would wind up being a good number three/passable number two on the “next great Jays team”, but unless he figures something out and fast then he probably doesn’t have a role on this team long term.

        I still haven’t totally given up hope on McGowan because his stuff has looked good when he’s healthy enough to throw a ball, but that necessary condition for success is a dicey proposition to say the least. I don’t know what I would do with him at this point (keep him as a starter or move him to the bullpen to save his arm a bit), but my fingers are crossed.

        • Part of me wouldn’t mind just turning him into a reliever. If a reliever gets injured, whatever, call up Joel Carreno or whomever.

          If a starter gets injured and if a team begins relying on an injury-prone starter…I don’t think it’s a recipe for sucess.

      • Don’t disagree with you Stoeten, but to expect to get to the post season with 3 young ( basically rookie) starters would be unrealistic,don’t you think. On the other hand it gives them MLB experience,which would bode well for next year. Like I said, expections for this year may have slipped but I’ll still enjoy the ride.

    • For what it’s worth, using projections it simply is not a big dropoff. If we were dependent on these options it might be a problem. But when you have as many near-ready pitching prospects in the org as the Jays do, you don’t have to stick with them if they show they need more development. Any of them could be replaced with McGuire or Jenkins or someone taking a big step forward if needed later this year

  3. While I agree with the “chill out, it’s a small sample size” mantra, Morrow’s fastballs sure looked hittable for a supposedly elite velocity guy. No movement, no deception, just straight 94 MPH beachballs. It was quite a contrast watching him and Price simultaneously.

    • Price is a tough comparison for anyone. Latos, Garza and Kuroda all got lit up as badly as Morrow did on Wednesday. We gotta let one bad start go until it becomes a pattern.

    • He was very good in Cleveland, and all spring. Let’s not go nuts. It’s fixable.

      • Yeah but Cleveland is shit and the weather was cold. (He still looked good)

        But he still seems to be one of those guys whose talent and ability isn’t getting the results. He still has shit command and throws piles of pitches that even shitty hitters take. The fastball hasn’t been as nasty to start this year and he’s elevating it too much.

        He is putting out an A.J. Burnett vibe.

        • Waiting for Morrow to put up a season as good as any AJ put up in his prime years. Maybe that’s not saying much but that says more about Morrow’s inability to execute so far.

    • how did Price’s stuff look last week in Boston? not very good. Even Elite arms just don’t have it working every night. Its the great pitchers that can still get wins even when their stuff isnt on and Morrow will mature and be able to do that as he grows.

  4. Oh. Klaw making fun of someone’s weight is totally different than JPA or any of us troglodyte fans doing the same. Good to know, because for a second there I thought Keith Law was a sniveling hypocrite!

    • +1 Well said.

    • Yeah, I know it’s weird. It’s like the fact that it is a player he made fun of, rather than a reader, is what is important to him. They are both random shots at the fatness of a person because of a picture. I don’t get it.

    • Law is not a “sniveling idiot”, he is a “member of the media”.

      But, given that less than 15% of US citizens believe you should trust what a reporter says (even off the record…) those two things are so close as to be indistinguishable.

      It’s not symmetrical – we expect more from JPA – we expect him not to be a sniveling idiot, which is what his tweet made him out to be. The troll deserved no attention.

    • What Klaw did was worse than JPA because JPA retaliated..Klaw simple attacked.

      • I agree with you, mr. e.

        I think it’s silly how seriously Twitter is taken, since it started as a way to announce to the world when you were pooping. But there’s lots of people semi-involved with Toronto baseball who lack the ability to admit they were ever wrong about anything. It’s quite childish and sad.

  5. I usually love Law and his opinions, but this is complete bullshit:

    I made that comment about a specific photo of McDade. I didn’t take a random shot at a reader’s weight, which would be the analogous situation.

    Law, like JP, brought up weight without prompting. It’s the exact same thing, except that Arencibia was responding to a guy who was poking at him, whereas Law was just making fun of a fat guy for no reason. I’m embarrassed for Law that he can’t just say “Yes, that’s basically the same thing, and while neither of the comments are at all worth discussing, it would be hypocritical of me to criticize anyone in this case.”

  6. JPA seems like a really entitled asshead. Posing with Trump, never more than five feet from a camera.

    The guy thinks he’s a star after one pretty shitacular season. He really is taking the dumb girls seriously like some Gino in clubland.

    I like this turd less and less.

    • Posing with Trump because his team told him to?… yeah that’s worthy of criticism.

      • Yeah Oscar – keep in mind that being a pretty boy means the team will have you all over the PR stuff.

        Still… cold streaks are easier to deal with when you’re a modest guy, something he might learn from this. That’s why ballplayers are so generically modest most of the time. It’s called being prodessional.

    • dude come on. The Jays need more recognition in the league. Do be hating because you see someone in the media’s eye.

    • I am sure JPA and many other athletes get ridiculous tweets from followers. Imagine the tweets he gets from fans and such. In this case, it was a member of the media who made the tweet and was basically trolling him. If a media guy trolls your twitter handle, I say fuck him, he’s fair game.

      JPA could have handled it alot better. All he needs is media training on how to handle media pot shots.

      Is JPA a douchebag? Probably is. College star at Tennessee, PCL MVP, self-proclaimed top 10 catcher, etc. You don’t get to the Show without a large dosage of want in your game. Having played golf with a few NHL guys over the years, I can assure you that half of them are fucking douchebags.

      Shitty year notwithstanding, JPA is the starting catcher for the foreseeable future. All I care about is whether or not he hits and plays good defense. What he does in his free time, like hanging out with the Trumps, I could care less.

  7. So apparently it’s OK when the media makes fat jokes about players (McDade), but not OK when players make fat jokes about the media.

    Keith Law needs to drop this bullshit before he comes off looking worse than he already does.

    • While I, like others, think was hypocritical in this one instance, it’s kind of accepted that this is just part of his media persona. It attracts some and turns others away.

      Whereas JPA as a professional athlete has something to lose in regards to his public image.

    • Completely agree–Klaw definitely has an accountability problem. We all make mistakes, but he’s unwilling to own up.

  8. More important than JPA doing something stupid…Drabek!

  9. I can’t believe people are blasting JPA for making fun of some clown in the media. Are you guys serious? I can’t believe anyone would side with some dork in the media especially on this site. I thought we read this site because Stoeten isn’t some knob rehashing the same old quotes and articles and asking athletes BS questions like “{Pitcher A}, how much of a pick up for you is it when {Outfielder B} makes a great defensive play behind you to save a run?” Keep in mind that it’s members of the media who vote on things like the MVP award, and their track record in that category is reason enough to make fun of them at any point in time.

  10. Boring. JPA again. I thought you all talked about that yesterday.

  11. i understand that hockey talk is a natural predator of 21st century toronto blue jays baseball fan, but i think we can make an exception for the following link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asOmo8a4hrE

    it kinda makes you appreciate how civilized the modern sports professional has become.

  12. It’s so hilarious how fast the Media Darlings like JPA can fall out of favour with fans. Its ok that he hits like shit so long as he loves hockey/leafs and says the right things but as soon as he fucks up people start dissecting his personality. There’s a reason players (ie Adam Lind) give really stock interviews after games, its so people can’t blow up their comments and make something from nothing. Growing pains of the social-media/player split class.

    • I agree with this statement: “There’s a reason players (ie Adam Lind) give really stock interviews after games, its so people can’t blow up their comments and make something from nothing.”

      but not the Adam Lind example. I’m pretty sure his reasons have more to do with him having about the same level of intelligence as a bag of used baseballs.

      • I knew i’d pick the wrong example.
        BTW you can’t insult Lind for at least a week since he had a good game a couple of games ago.

        • I can insult him and still cheer for him!
          For example I love making fun of Colby Rasmus, but I’m probably rooting for that guy more than anyone else on the team right now.

    • JPA will start hitting again soon and the fans will love him again, I’m sure.

      • Why would you assume he’ll start hitting again? He hasnt hit well the entire time hes been at the major league level. Homeruns are not the best stat for how well he hits. if that was the case maybe we should bring in Mark renyolds over to fill in a spot. JPA is not very good defensively, he can hit hoe runs the first game of the season and 20 times through out the season and thats it. thats not good hitting.. The guy is bum. He mumbles when he speaks, is funny in an awkward way and had 1 good attention whore moment..his impression of Tim Kurkjian. I am starting to long for a cardboard box behind the plate again

        • Because he had a good offensive season for a catcher last season and there’s little reason to think he’s suddenly regressed from that level based on 10 games.

          • if good offensive season means he hit 20 HR’s yes but I dont only look at HR’s for offense. He was terrible in every other stat, even for a catcher and has done nothing offensively except hit home runs. Yes HR’s are good Im not buck martinez saying theyre not but he has nothing beyond dingers and I think his defense loses more games than it would win. and I’ll base my opinion on his lack of offense on his entire mlb career and not just these first shitacular games which look like the end of his first call up and entire 2011 season. Shitty

    • It will blow over. Remember Lawrie posing behind that Coyote’s 300lbs fan? People are quick to forget over stupid bullshit.

  13. Random question:

    With Hutchison being called up for a spot start, how does that impact his status regarding team control? I recall that Lawrie was held back until after June (aside from his injury) with alot of people speculating that it was to avoid the Super 2 situation re: arbitration.

    Sorry… all of this arbitration/team control makes my head spin and I’m wondering how calling Hutchison up early affects anything with his long term future in Toronto.

    Thanks!

    • Random Answer: Butternut Squash!!!

    • Cannot know yet. It’s early enough that if Hutch spends the whole year in TO, he will probably qualify for Super 2 status – meaning that instead of becoming arbitration eligible after his 3rd full season, he would do so after his second. Under the new CBA, you have to be in the top 22% for service time amongst players with betweem 2 and 3 years of experience.

      Per some cases put together by mlbtraderumors not too long ago, Super 2 status would increase the cost of Hutch`s 6 years of team control by some $3m to $6m, depending on how well he plays. It could, of course, be more or less than that, I`m just using recent cases to ballpark it.

      • Who cares about super two status, we are not a penny pinching team like Oakland who tries to pay the lowest possible salary to it’s players (well at least according to Rogers)or cut them loose for costing too much. If he makes Super Two status it also means he is absolutely raking up in the majors and deserves to be compensated for his skills. By that time he should be top of the rotation talent (ie. Bumgarner).

        If Hutch is the best pitcher put him on the field NOW!

        • Pretty sure AA agrees with you. Pretty sure most folks do. In fact, if a single GM ever admitted openly to demoting/not promoting a player for the purposes of manipulating the Super 2 process, you can bet the Uniion will be reacting; privately at the very least.

          That said, if the simplistic view of financial planning espoused by some folks in these pages were true (i.e. that dollars saved today correlate with spending available tomorrow) then it would actually matter somewhat. $6m over 4 years of Arb! That’s as big a risk as the McGowan extension!

  14. Personally, it’s not about the hitting and the small sample size for Arencibia. And I have no idea what this twitter stuff is or fat jokes. However, he is lazy behind the plate. You see it in the way he blocks balls behind the plate and as much as Pat, Buck and Zaun say he has improved drastically back there, he really hasn’t. Matt Weiters allowed 1 passed ball all last year and I know Arencibia is not nearly as skilled as him but it looks as though he’s just not putting all his effort into making sure the ball stays in front of the plate (see Cleveland vs. Santos). This is more last year, but when he’s on his knees trying to throw out guys at second because he’s not ready is a product of his lack of focus I think. It just happens too often. It’s nice to know that D’Arnaud is sitting down in AAA so really this isn’t much of a concern. That all said, he’s been swinging the bat a lot better that last couple of games.

    • I honestly think he has improved a tonne behind the plate. He’s by no means a wizard back there, but he looks a lot better than he used to.

      Also on this one thing I actually do kind of trust the opinions of Buck and Zaun….

      • You don’t find that he has been oddly inconsistent? Seemingly improved one game and back to his old self the next. I just don’t know what to make of it yet.

      • Agreed. Its not that he looks spectacular behind the plate by any means, but I think a lot of us are forgetting just how bad he really was last year. He is improved, no doubt.

        • He has improved, he just is still not at all a good defensive catcher. So he has improved from being one of the worst defensive catchers in the majors to being below average.

  15. To add to the whole JP thing, for what it’s worth: my mom is on Twitter these days (yeah, it’s weird), and one of the Jays fan-type people she tweets with is apparently a bigger lady who was way overly offended by JP’s tweet. Well, JP actually sent her a DM personally apologizing for the tweet, and saying he was sorry for offending her.

    That’s the kind of thing that obviously isn’t going to get widely reported, but good on Arencibia for that. While people like Law are being misusing their platform to call him out for a pretty innocuous fat joke, he’s out there privately apologizing to fans whose feeling were hurt.

    • Unsurprising about JPA, but good to know.

      The fact that Keith Law is hung up on some insignificant joke that JPA posted is the stupidest thing about all of this.

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