Is it because he reads books? What the hell gives, dickholes?

There wasn’t a whole lot of Jays-related content in this week’s Keith Law chat at, as the upcoming Rule 4 draft (i.e. the amateur draft) commanded most of the attention. What was there, however, definitely could use some expanding upon, so… um… I dunno, let’s just do that!

J (toronto)
Drew Hutchison…… in the top 25, where would his relative spot be? Do you like what you have seen out of him so far in the majors? Do you like the fact that the Jays brought him up to the majors?
Would not be in the top 25.

KLaw is already on record having said that he thinks Hutchison has been kinda rushed by the Jays, so we know what he thinks on that front, but I suppose that, with all the movement, it is surprising that prospect number 42 on his pre-season Top 100, who is already in the Majors, would be so easily dismissed from the top 25. I don’t know if it’s a ceiling thing, or what, but I guess Hutchison doesn’t get bonus points for being called on to develop under the Big League lights. I don’t think it’s unfair, and… y’know… not having seen anybody who’s ranked higher, who the hell would I be to suggest it isn’t.


RD (Toronto)
Why is Thames still the starting LF!?
I have no idea.

This is the question that’s been on the minds of an ever-increasing number of Jays fans this month– we spoke about it on today’s podcast, in fact– and what the answer seems to actually be is that there just isn’t much in the way of viable alternatives. And maybe that’s OK, because, as Drew and I discussed– and maybe Parkes, who the fuck knows?– the Jays’ plan all along has seemed to be to let Thames prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s not actually, seriously a better option than Travis Snider. He’s close to having proven it, I think– his career weighted on-base is now down to .322, within four points of Travis Snider’s .318, and while it’s unfair to say that represents the best of Thames, we certainly can’t feel we’ve seen the best of Snider, despite what an odd category of insufferable, smug twats who want to be first to have called “bust” on him will brainlessly tell you about his ability to hit a Major League fastball, or a Major League slider, or whatever they’ve decided he can’t do– but I actually could live with seeing Thames getting a little more time, just so we can be absolutely certain that it’s time to put this debate to rest and give Snider the keys. Not that we have much of a choice at this point anyway.

And– seriously, we talked about it on the podcast too, but seriously– what the hell was with the bullpen’s utter disinterest in Thames’ injury in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s game against Tampa? Like… I don’t know if we can call that any kind of indication of how Thames is thought about on the team, but… yikes. It was uncomfortable. And yet, he seems so nice! Is it because he’s practically a rookie? Because he reads? Because it’s one of those the bullpen guys don’t care much for the hitters and vice versa things? I don’t know. Weird.


Craig (toronto)
Glad to Aaron Sanchez mentioned in your top 25 article. Good chance he makes your top 50 he continues to perform well?
He’d have a better chance if he was allowed to turn a lineup over twice every now and then.

And here’s possibly the maybe kinda big (but not really) one, as we get some rare criticism for… well… for anything related to the big fuck pitching prospects the Jays currently have at Lansing. Obviously the club’s main goal in handling their developing pitchers isn’t to get them onto top prospects lists, but… Law kinda makes a good point about asking them to turn over some more lineups, doesn’t he? It certainly can’t hurt to have these guys starting to see hitters more than once, as they essentially are, with the piggybacking scheme the Jays are following. At the same time, it’s not like they’re not ever going to have their in-game workload stepped up, so… is it really a concern?

Comments (67)

  1. When I watch hutchison pitch, I dont see anything special. I mean, I think he can be a good MLB starter but I think he was definitely overhyped by the Jays front office. Particularly by AA and Farrell. He has good fastball command but that only gets you so far in the majors. His fastball velo is avg and so is his breaking stuff currently. He seems to be the type of RHP that really struggles against LHBs as well. He can improve but I dont see the upside of more than a No.3 starter at best.

    • Overhyped? How so? He was never talked about as a potential ace and if you look at scouting reports, they would tell you he could be a #3 starter which is pretty darn good.

    • he’s 21. he was in lansing last year

    • Youre talking about a 21 year old. He looks pretty poised to me considering. I mean, where might this guy be in 6 or 7 years when he’s at the ripe old age of 28?

    • Well a healthy number 3 starter is a great thing. What would we pay to get a healthy number 3 starter, locked up for 5 or 6 years?

  2. No.4 starter might even be more realistic for Hutch.

    • and you have this figured out after a month of him pitching as a 21 year old? Less than a year removed from A ball…

    • maybe relative to the other guys in the rotation, but as long as he can continue to deliver relatively consistent results, the consensus among talent evaluators seems to be a number 3. that being said, that doesn’t mean he’s going to get slotted into the 3 spot in the jays rotation, as they have an awful lot of other 3s with better projectability and higher ceilings, plus a couple with 2 and (although it’s way too early to project this) 1 ceilings if everything comes together.
      Personally, as much as its way too early to get this deep into the rosterbation, I don’t see hutchison as a jay in the long term as the rest of the higher ceiling kids start to make their way up and define themselves.

  3. Stoeten – 

    i missed the injury to Thames. do you have any more info on it – and any better understanding of the bullpen’s reaction? i was kind of hoping the clubhouse chemistry, everyone at Ricky’s place thing, was true. don’t like the idea of outcasts . . .

    • All I know is what I saw on the broadcast, which is missing far too much context– did he assure them he was fine?– to draw any possible conclusion except, “that looked kinda weird.” I’d be uneasy reading anything into it, which is why all my sentences about what it might mean ended in question marks. I wouldn’t worry, though.

    • Yet another bizarre rule specific only to the Trop: should any opposing player appear to injure himself–within spitting distance of the opposing team’s bullpen–and be aided by members of said bullpen, it is officially deemed a “balk by committee” resulting in the home team’s runners advancing as many bases as they choose. So stupid.

  4. I could be way off, but I don’t think facing some random fucking A ball hitter a second time is going to change how these guys pitch. In A ball it isn’t about learning how to to ‘pitch’ or how to work through a lineup, these guys are throwing their pitches trying to perfect them.

    Worry about turning over lineups when they are stretched out and facing better hitters in AA.

    • It all just shows how silly it is to worry about where your guys end up on some prospect list of some guy.

      Rating people of different positions and ages and experiences and ceilings all on a linear list makes no sense anyway. Even just within a list of pitchers, what would Rivera rate if he was 18 years old right now playing in single A with one pitch? What about Nolan Ryan as a kid? Did anyone know he would play for 63 years? When Santos was a SS, where did he fit in the pitching prospects rankings?

      These lists are pure masturbation. Enjoyable but ultimately not productive for anything.

    • Law’s point is actually that he can’t really give an accurate evaluation of Sanchez’s true talent level because he’s not seeing him have to make in game adjustments, utilize his secondary pitches or face the adversity that typically comes with having batters make in game adjustments. He’s not saying that he thinks its inhibiting the kids. Both he and the guys from the Baseball Prospectus podcast have been talking about this with regards to Dylan Bundy of the OriLOLes system for the last couple months, as he was being similarly protected. The point they’re making is that it’s hard to evaluate a pitching prospect’s true talent level over three innings, even if they understand why the teams are doing it.

  5. Absolutely nothing wrong with being a 3-4 starter.

  6. Regarding the thames and bullpen thing its weird. I never see any of the jays mention thames on twitter even though he has an account. They all interact with one another except thames who seems to be left out always. Maybe there is something to the rest of the team not liking him that much?

    • And they still interact with Snider. Could be resentment, wanting their friend back up with the team?

      • It seems pretty obvious to me that Thames may be gay. The players not reacting to him possibly being hurt might be due to homophobic crap that no doubt is pervasive in the big leagues to this day.

        I mean even if you dont LIKE a guy, you still at least act somewhat concerned if they may be injured while lying at your very feet.

        this was more sinister. this was something that can only be explained away by something as sinister as homophobia.

      • Wow you sure glean a lot from a video clip from 3000 miles away!

      • “Resentment”…riiiiighhht… I’m sure they all resent Thames for taking a seat on the bench every half inning, ’cause God knows Snider would be sitting there the WHOLE game…injured.

        • Wow. Just fucking wow. blatant homophobic bullshit on the internet. Fucking shocking.
          As someone who has a friend who just attempted suicide over homophobic bullying, I am so proud to see the tradition of attempted murder via oppressive speech being continued here. Slow. Fucking. Clap.
          Reconsider your fucking priorities douchebags.

    • maybe he’s the only one who likes Motley Crue?

  7. So not only does Thames have to outhit his shitacular defense to be a major league regular, he now has to outhit his negative clubhouse influence?

    No fucking way!

  8. At least the bullpen didn’t throw bags of Spitz on him.

  9. I see Klaw’s concern about the Lansing 4 not turning over lineups but the explanation I heard from AA was to gradually increase the innings count so they can still be active in late Aug/Sept to gain some additional experience of pitching in playoff games against theoretically better teams and higher leverage situations.

    • There was also the notion that there is value in having a pitching prospect work, maintain and well, pitch, over a 5/6 month period as opposed to being shut down early. The length of the season is something they also need to get used to, without blowing their innings limits.

    • I’ve also heard this many times and I don’t get why KLaw and others don’t understand that is what they’re doing. Maybe they do understand and would still rather have them pitch more innings now, but personally I like this method of limiting their innings better.

      The only thing I don’t understand is that they have them on an innings limit and not a pitch count limit. I’ve heard that several times Sanchez or Syndergaard finished their innings but then went to the pen to do a side session to get more work in. Why not allow them to continue to work in the game?

      • I posted this above, but Law isn’t critiquing the org philosophy of slowly stretching players out- he understands that (try listening to the baseball today podcast when he’s on, he talks about this about once every two weeks). He (and others) are just frustrated from the point of view of professional talent evaluators who can’t get a handle on what a guy is capable of without seeing them in game form. By holding them to short stints, it minimizes the amount of adversity they face, how their pitches vary as they tire, how they deal with adjustments etc. He made the point about Dylan Bundy when he was mowing down batters at the beginning of the season that, due to his dominance and innings cap, after 4 starts he still had yet to throw from the stretch! Not exactly representative of what life will be like at the major league level.

  10. This post was epic. Stoeten was brilliant. I mean these are such little things that he couldn’t even be bothered to shit out an opinion that takes a side. I agree 100%.

  11. funny I distinctly remember seeing him land in front of the rays bullpen but in the pic it’s the jays.

    thames was a complete embarassment. oh let me count the ways, diving for balls 10 feet out of reach, getting a rug burn because he can’t slide, slowing down a mile before the corner because he has the stopping power of a freight train, then waiting for the ball to come to a complete stop before picking it up barehanded no less, then throwing a lollypop that completely misses the cutoff man. juan rivera would be proud.

    when your options are thames, bff and rajai, this is a cruel joke.

    of course there are no options, can’t call up hech and move lawrie to left because it’s more important to placate the ego’s of these players than win games.

    • Hech is not a third baseman at the major league level. Sure his defense plays, but his bat is a bigger hole than Vizquel’s would be everyday at the position. You are a fucking idiot. In fact, I think you were one of the asinine douches blowing their loads over Brett Lawrie’s “passion”. Now you’re bitching because Thames actually tries? Fuck off. You know what, the team isn’t as perfect as your precious MLB 12 squad where you’ve edited every player to be perfect. It’s fucking real life. Have a little patience and let things come together.
      Oh, and WHY THE FUCK DO YOU KEEP PUTTING LAWRIE IN LEFT? He’s actually playing a pretty decent, and improving, 3rd base, a much more demanding defensive position, and a place where his bat plays at an all star level (when he’s actually hitting). The fucking hilarious thing is that, in all your obsessing over prospect porn (even though you seem only to be able to talk about non-prospects and an infielder) and hatred of the left fielder… you have yet to actually bring up the usage of the top two outfield prospects in Vegas, Snider and Gose.
      Fucking dumbass.

  12. so why didn’t the jays put a waiver claim in on john gaub? instead the rangers get him? we should be stealing players from the rays. this guy is only 27 and has a carrer k/9 of 12.5. but of course evan crawford is a much better option. for fuck’s sakes.

  13. Yeah, I watched the game and that thing about Thames was indeed weird, I felt sorry for the guy in that moment, the bullpen didn´t react at all, and that thing about twitter it is true, they never interact with him, and they are very active on twitter, I mean I like the guy but this is becoming akward. by the way I hate the stupid Devil Rays

  14. Stoeten – I thought the exact same thing about the Thames wipeout. It was just … odd how he was lying there seemingly in pain and the bullpen essentially ignored him,

    Like you, I thought – ‘I have no fucking idea what these guys think’ … But it did seem weird. it wasn’t just like they didn’t get up to help him, it was like they were going out of their way not to look.

    I heard a reporter (Blair I think?) note how you never saw him interact with other teammates on twitter, with what seemed like an implication that he was unpopular in the clubhouse. From a fan perspective that seems like a shame, because he seems awfully nice.

    Really – who the hell knows, but at least superficially, the Thames crash did seem very odd,

  15. lind and darnaud 3hr last night ouch

    • Clarification

      Lind – 1 HR (1 for 5 with 2 K’s)
      D’Around – 2 HR’s

    • Why is that “ouch”? Because they obviously would’ve both performed the exact same way in entirely different circumstances?? I heard there was an 8-year old in Nebraska that had two grand slams in one game recently. AA’s really kicking himself for not having signed him already and brought him up.

      You’ve outdone yourself again, grouchy.

  16. Regarding Thames, I was a proponent for him making the club out of spring training, to give him some exposure and playing time while Snider worked on his mechanics. Well, after over 100 AB’s, it has become painfully obvious that Thames might have been giving us the old smoke and mirrors on his offensive potential and his defence has become a big issue in LF. They can’t give give the keys to Snider just yet as he has a wonky wrist and needs to get his shit together in Vegas. Hopefully Snider gets the call soon.

    On Twitter, Goldstein stated that Hutch’s ceiling (you know, perfect world scenario) is that he becomes a number 3 type starter, which would be terrific, cause you know, number 3 guys don’t grow on trees.

    As for the Lansing trio, the Jays will be increasing the pitch counts as the season progresses. The idea was to give the young arms the opportunity to pitch deeper into the season as oppposed to shutting them down in July. Law doesn’t like it as it makes his job more difficult. Boo hoo.

  17. Simple explanation to Thames incident as per MLB rules?

    Players and substitutes of both teams shall confine themselves to their team’s benches unless actually participating in the play or preparing to enter the game, or coaching at first or third base…PENALTY: For violation the umpire may, after warning, remove the offender from the field.

    Now while it sounds pretty strict [and I doubt it would have been enforced given the extraneous circumstance] it seems like players would know this rule — especially at fields where the bullpen is in play.

  18. A bit surprised Drew Hutchison isn’t getting more love. At 21, with his talent combined with his mindset and demeanor, I see him as a solid three in the rotation down the road a bit. Maybe even higher. Reminds me of Shaun Marcum in more ways than one, in the good ways. I’d wager other teams have him on their radar, watching with big eyes for a chance to grab him, which I hope they don’t get. I say he’ll be fun to watch grow and get better. Because he will.

  19. Thames vs. Snider may carry on for a while yet…

    Offensive upside: Snider
    Offensive output at MLB so far: a wash
    Defense: Snider ++
    Baserunning: Snider
    Age: Snider
    Durability (no small thing): Thames

    The Jays keep saying “they both need to play every day”, implying one has to stay in the minors, but I’m not sure that’s necessary. Particularly for Thames, who isn’t likely to take a big step forward at this point- his long term outlook may be as a MLB role player. Although he’s in tough, because not many teams carry bench outfielders that aren’t good in the field (or can play centre). I say platoon Vlad and Thames at DH, Snider plays left, and 2012 = Playoffs!!

  20. jerkstores.

  21. Every team has their “outcast(s)” and it appears Thames is definitely one of the Jays’. I don’t think that necessarily translates to him being a negative influence in the clubhouse nor is it something to really be concerned about. There’s a difference between a couple guys in the clubhouse who keep to themselves and are not really liked on a personal level and teammates actively hoping for failure from one of theirs. However, it wouldn’t surprise me that there would be some level of resentment from the “popular” guys that Snider is toiling in Vegas and Thames is up there taking his ABs

    I know us nerds appreciate Thames’ tweets about his interests, but I can see how that doesn’t make him too many friends in the clubhouse. At the least, he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who cares that he’s not invited to Ricky’s mom’s bbq

  22. thanks for all the tips. looks like the baseball rule is the culprit, and i won’t be reading into the conspiracy theories.

  23. As much as I like the Snider bandwagon he isn’t exactly the viable option he’s made out to be. Everytime it looks like it’s the perfect time to call him up (this weekend would qualify as one of those) he is out with a wrist injury. Last year when Thames went down in August would have been another perfect time. Unfortunately he was also out with a wrist injury so we had to suffer through DeWayne Wise. Seriously, is somebody tracking how many times he’s been on the minor league DL with a wrist injury? It’s been twice this year, 3 or 4 times last year and I know it didn’t just start last year. Is this not a major concern for people??

  24. Last season I was at the last home game of the year, front row CF, first seat next to the batter’s eye. Rasmus was (is?) mired in an abysmal slump, but made an awesome catch to end an inning. On their way back to the dugout Thames jogged beside him with a huge smile, fist-bumped his heart (symbol for respect or brotherhood), and said “awesome catch, man”.

    He’s funny and articulate and quotes literature and listens to metal and is at least somewhat aware of memes.

    How can anyone not like this guy?

    • “He’s funny and articulate and quotes literature and listens to metal and is at least somewhat aware of memes.”

      Pretty much why not many on a major league roster would like the guy, especially when he’s sucking and taking the spot of their buddy.

    • “How can anyone not like this guy?”

      He can’t hit and can’t field.

  25. Francisco to the DL, Crawford down. Cooper and Igarashi up.

  26. gee who was the one who said crawford needs to be sent down and cooper called up? oh wait that was me. I gotta start my own twitter account so stoeten can follow me.

  27. Drew has gone off the rails with the call-out for dong shots, he doesn’t give a shit, that was fuckin hilarious!

  28. Call up Sierra, more likely a fourth outfielder but give him a shot he’s already on the 40 man roster.

  29. sitting in the front row on the RF line a couple of weeks ago i spoke to the security guard who works the clubhouse door before/after games. he said that eric thames is BY FAR the nicest guy on the team. maybe too nice for his teammates? who knows.

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