Friday! Which is the day after KLaw chat day. Quite a few Jays nuggets, with special attention given to yesterday’s BP report on the Lansing rotation and the unique innings limit in place for the Midwest League affiliate.

Steve (Toronto)
Hi, Given this year’s performance, do you still rank aaron sanchez above nicolino and syndergaard? What’s sanchez’s ceiling?
Klaw
I wouldn’t change their rankings based on two weeks of performance.

Andrew (Toronto)
Who has the higher ceiling between Dwight Smith Jr. and Jacob Anderson?
Klaw
Anderson. Not even close.

Grant (Winnipeg)
Much scorn has been heaped on Baltimore for Bundy’s three inning limits. But Jays are doing the same thing with Sanchez, et al, and they’re a year older. What’s going on there? Isn’t that even crazier than Balt holding Bundy back?
Klaw
Don’t love what the Jays are doing either, but none of those three kids is remotely as advanced as Bundy. Sanchez is only about four months older than Bundy, BTW.

Ari (Toronto)
You were a lot higher on Drew Hutchison than the other publications this winter. After a first glimpse in the majors, can you share any thoughts? To me he looked like a kid with some command but not nearly enough secondary polish to be ready for the big leagues. Are the Jays rushing him?
Klaw
Command wasn’t there on Saturday, at least. Don’t think he’s ready yet, but will be soon enough.

Ari (Toronto)
Bundy & Norris were both top prep arms in the last draft. One is apparently almost MLB ready while the other is still in extended spring. What are the primary differences between them?
Klaw
They weren’t the top two prep arms, though. Had them 20-30 spots apart on my list.

The stuff about the Lansing innings limits is very interesting. Some folks on twitter seemed really angry about the Jays decision to piggyback these young arms, worrying they’ll never build up the required arm strength. While it does seem strange, it is still only April.

Let’s wait and see how the Jays stretch these kids out and what kind of pitch counts they’re running up in August. The results for the three big guns in Low-A are outstanding (with Syndergaard pitching well last night) so let’s not worry until things don’t progress or these young arms stop inducing boners.

Comments (7)

  1. Really don’t know why anyone cares at all about the piggybacking approach. These are 20-year old kids in low-A. There is no way it’s going to have any negative impact on them. For one, it’s April and it’s low-A. I’m pretty sure Syndergaard will not be throwing 3 inning relief outings in August. Also, it’s not like these guys are new to pitching. They’re all big boys and won’t lose their ability to throw 100 pitches.

    That all said, I am curious as to why the Jays are doing it. Anything to do with the fact that Syndergaard (TX), Nicolino (FL) and Sanchez (CA) are all warm-weather kids, and April in Lansing can get chilly I wonder. Anyone have an article with insight?

  2. I’d prefer the Jays to be much more aggressive with these kids. Innings limits early in the season I can understand but would prefer them to be pitching at high A now and AA by the end of the year in some cases. Good competition is what they need. Maybe AA might be a stretch but it’s worked out fine with Alvarez and Hutchison and did with Molina as well before they traded him.

    It’s just a pity they have the shit hole that is AAA Vegas for 5 rotational development spots. Still think that they need to fix that pronto with the number of arms in the system that will be progressing towards there in the next year or two. Personally the way Vegas skews all the numbers makes it quite the pox on the organization imo.

  3. If by June they’re still babying them like this, I’d be a little disappointed. But, as it stands right now, I don’t have a problem with it. All three have the ceiling to have golden arms, so you can’t blame them for being a little cautious.

    John Stilson is also being piggybacked.

  4. Syndergaard and Sanchez are both 19 and Nicolino is 20. Last year they threw between 54 and 61 innings, so going by the Jays rule of 25% bump they would pitch 85 or so innings this year. Assuming they get bumped a bit more than that to 100, but also realize Lansing will be in the playoffs.

    That said the schedule for Lansing would have each of them starting 27 games and if they each went 6 innings they would accumulate 162 innings for the year-which isn’t gonna happen.

    The Jays plan of having these kids all throw 3 innings pr outing is wise and will hopefully give them room to finish the year without getting shut down. These 3 are very precious arms and need to be stretched out slowly so that when they do arrive they are healthy.

  5. So here’s an idea. What with Verducci’s article about the state of the modern bullpen…

    Why not just have ten “starters” and have them piggyback each other’s starts, and leave a two-man bullpen for emergency use?

    Each “starter” could pitch 4-5 innings per game.

    Thoughts?

    • Interesting idea, I’d suppose the problem might just be those finding ten pitchers who can give you the 4-5 innings of low scoring ball. If teams had access to that kind of pitcher capital, maybe they’d try it.

    • Interesting idea. On another note though, haven’t alot of articles been written in the last while about their being no actual evidence that the Verducci effect even exists?

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