I don’t wanna jinx nothin’, but Carlos Villanueva has been kinda damn good this year. And he actually was a little terrific for a stretch of starts last season, too.

You may recall that over nine starts from May 23rd to July 7th, 2011, Villanueva pitched to a 3.76 ERA, holding opposing batters to a .648 OPS. The wheels started coming off at that point, and after a blow up in early August, he landed on the DL with a right forearm strain, which kept him out most of that month. “There were nights before he would start he was unsure if he would be healthy enough to pitch,” we wrote in a Game Threat at the time of his return.

This year he’s walking more guys, but his strikeout rate is way up too. His 2.68 ERA over 50 innings outperforms his peripherals, but they’re still very solid, as he sports a 3.75 xFIP and 3.60 SIERA heading into tonight’s start against Boston’s own thrown-to-the-wolves spot starter, Aaron Cook.

I got a good feeling about Los Del V. And not just for tonight. But I’ve probably lost my mind.


As you’ve surely heard by now, according to a team release of earlier today, apparently Jason Frasor has hit the DL for the Jays, with what they’re calling right forearm tighness. Ugh.

Here’s something awesome: at the Mockingbird, despite wanting him to cut down on his curveball use, Jon Hale really likes the Jays’ acquisition of JA Happ, who is “a pitcher that has been getting steadily deadlier,” he says. “Wojciechowski and Musgrove,” he adds, “are pitchers that many years and hopefully not too many surgeries down the road you hope develop into something like J.A. Happ someday. It’s like the Santos deal all over again! Errrr…forget I said that.”

John Farrell talks about Friday’s trade, and Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star provides a transcript.

TV: Sportsnet One

And now the lineups, by way of the live box score at theScore.com. And for those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with Score Mobile

Toronto Blue Jays

A. Gose RF
B. Lawrie 3B
C. Rasmus CF
E. Encarnacion 1B
A. Lind DH
J. Arencibia C
K. Johnson 2B
Y. Escobar SS
T. Snider LF

C. Villanueva RHP

Boston Red Sox

D. Nava RF
C. Crawford LF
D. Pedroia 2B
A. Gonzalez 1B
C. Ross DH
J. Saltalamacchia C
W. Middlebrooks 3B
R. Sweeney CF
P. Ciriaco SS

A. Cook RHP


Image via Ronald Martinez/Getty.

Comments (660)

  1. just under the wire Stoeten…remember its an afternoon game tomorrow. Maybe just throw up the game threat now?!?!

    FamousAmazingGuy says:
    07.17.12 @ 9:53 PM EDT
    not sure why they’re burning coco in a low leverage situation?

  2. It’s weird that we probably feel most confident with Aaron Laffey and Villa on the mound at this point. Don’t think anyone saw that coming.

    • Anyone who did would have been nuts.

      • I remember when he was signed how most of us thought how fucked we’d be as a team if he even pitched one inning for us. Jo-Jo redux I believe was one of the terms going around.

  3. who’s a worse interview, jason frasor or colby rasmus?

    • Frasor seemed like a guy that was terrified of what the future holds. Another Tommy John surgery would effectively end his career.

      • Frasor to the DL is another blow to the team. He is pretty reliable but does have a history of a few blow ups each year.

        I don’t think that he will need Tommy John surgery but I wonder if he will come back next year.with the Jays

    • Colby rocks at interviews because I can go take a piss, come back and only miss 2 or three words..No PVR needed!

      • Adam Lind is definitively the worst interview on the team. Don’t question that shit.

        Felt bad for Frasor during that interview, seems like a good dude, if not a little bit dense – “Retroactive, whatever that means.”

        • Rajai Davis is the worst one. Frasor and Thames are podium finishers.

          • Escobar in Spanish is rather meat-headed… but I would agree on Davis. Lind has things to say but is too scornful or skeptical of the media, I deem. Davis has nothing to say.

            Then again, this is the city that ate the effusive Ken Dryden alive, so I don’t suppose it matters. There is only one Dave Winfield.

        • Jason has been a good interview in the past, IMHO because he doesn’t resort to cliche-type answers. He always comes across as thoughtful. Tonight he seemed a bit emotional though, like he’s trying to convince himself the sky isn’t falling.

          • Frasor is usually a great interview. When he got traded last year he was really insightful and thoughtful talking about the game and what it meant to play for Toronto.
            Tonight he seemed either really emotional about this injury, or on pain killers.
            Weird comment for him to say “I’m old and breaking down” heading into free agency.
            He’s a class guy. Hope he’s ok.

    • Adam Lind gives the worst interviews. I can’t tell if he thinks the questions are dumb or he can’t speak coherently.

      • Agree. I’ve said before, I can’t tell if Lind is a dullard or just rude.

        • You’re talking about a guy who is a professional athlete, but doesn’t believe in working out. I wouldn’t put much stock in his deductive capabilities.

          • I’ve always had a soft spot for lind after the first time watching him be interview. He’s dumb as shit, like the white Manny

  4. Wow not a Frasor fan as far as his pitching goes but that was a tough interview to watch for a guy that’s a pretty nice person. You could see he was holding a lot back regarding his injury.

    Also you have to wonder just how long he really was dealing with it before he finally said something.

    • It seems that frasor was waiting for the jays to get reinforcements from the trade with houston.

      He’s a good guy & he is married to someone from Oakville so I can’t complain about him.

  5. Why doesn’t Gose just tuck that fucking chain in? Buggin me

    • Plays with it a lot doesn’t he? I was noticing that too and was wondering if a team policy regarding shit around your neck and pointing to the sky shouldn’t be abolished. I was also thinking the Jays must make before and after team commercials IE: Heart and Hustle before and Shit we are sorry after type of thing.

  6. ahhhh, why the upset Pedey, was big bad EE in your running path, just bowl him over Baldy Smurf, go ahead

    • lol@baldy smurf

      FamousAmazingGuy says:
      07.17.12 @ 9:53 PM EDT
      not sure why they’re burning coco in a low leverage situation?

  7. Pedroia’s acting credits:

    Father Phil in Sopranos and Ryan Chappelle in 24, among others


  8. Its Aaron fucking Cook, cmon

  9. 0 out runner on third, maybe we’ll get to see Gose or Snider show off their arm

  10. Fuuuuck

  11. Crap!

  12. FUCK….I go to wash my ballz for 5min, comeback and its 3-0 with nobody out. Time to start into the shine early.

    FamousAmazingGuy says:
    07.17.12 @ 9:53 PM EDT
    not sure why they’re burning coco in a low leverage situation?

  13. Well, any day now we’ll have our new pitching depth….

  14. Well we won one last night

    • True, but you figure that with Los vs Cook, this was a golden opportunity. It’s not too late, it hasn’t started out well.

  15. At this point I think the Jays have to take a long hard look at the way they’re training their pitchers. This has happened waaaaaaay too often now to blame it on dumb luck and coincidence. The pitchers simply aren’t being prepared the right way to pitch every day.

  16. So for the fourth time in five games, we are down multiple runs early.

    Getting sick of this shit.

  17. Arencibia reminded the pitcher that the signs are changed right?

  18. Laffey our most reliable pitcher and Cletus and EE our reliable bats in the lineup these days. what a different a half a year makes

  19. Wow

  20. Don’t really feel good with Gose with bases full

  21. Not a fan of the bunt normally but a runner on 2nd no outs with an extreme ground ball pitcher vs an extreme ground ball hitter in Escobar would scream bunt to me.

  22. Gose has no business being up here

  23. Fucking Gose! If they send Snider down and keep him up there is no god

  24. Gose looks overmatched

    • It’s not an optical illusion, either.

    • He surely did. Douchefucks like RobA, similarly, have no business being here with that short an attention span.

      Although “fans” of that sort would fit in well under Bobby Valentine’s regime.

      • Yeah, cause that’s deserved. Only douchefucks state the what is obviously obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes.

    • Looked silly striking out against a guy who strikes absolutely nobody out (0.6 k/9, no joke)

      I have no idea why AA brought him up over Snider. He can barely hit AAA pitching in goddamn Vegas. All he’s doing here is killing his trade value.

      • You well know that Anthopoulous intended for Snider to wage a full campaign at one level this year – AAA, as it happened. If not Gose, who would you have preferred? It might also be worth considering that, perhaps, they have no intention of shopping Gose at this hour.

        • Is that fact that he was supposed to spend all year there? And if it is, it’s idiotic.

          Yeah, lets bring up the 21 y/o who is 10th on the AAA team in OPS (behind such studs as Perales and Sierra) and hitting .517 vs LHP over the guy who is mashing at AAA (and has foR over 600 PA’s) and who is out of opens next year, so unless we want to lose him on waivers, we’d better find out RIGHT NOW what we have in him and if he can contribute to what is going to be a very good 2013 team.

          • I won’t conflate your out-of-context argument about Snider with that of Gose, as if injuries and “depth moves” haven’t permeated this blog for weeks now. I too was quite surprised by Gose’s promotion, but ask yourself this. Which player can better afford to be perceived as weak offensively? If you are going to regard trade value exclusively, I shouldn’t have to tell you this.

        • Granted There really aren’t many outfield options right now.. But the point is he Is 21 years old and looks like he isn’t ready yet at all.. There is no need to rush him up here at this point.

          • I wasn’t happy when they brought Gose up, but maybe the thinking was that a few starts in the Bigs will show him what he needs to work on in Las Vegas and that his numbers there mean squat

          • Barfly-If that’s the case, the plan is working.

      • And it doesn’t bode well for Hech and his fancy-dancy .320 average in Vegas

      • your a fricken idiot watch some baseball or better yet take baseball 101

  25. And here comes Brett “Ground Ballz” Lawrie.

  26. Cletus can do no wrong, he’ll save the day

  27. Gose is the reincarnation of Tom Goodwin.

  28. Gose hasnt put a ball into the OF yet, has he?

    • Gose has one hard hit ball since he’s been up. A one hopper to second last night.

      Small sample size aside, his relatively large minor league sample size tells me he does not put the ball in play enough, nor with enough authority, to be in the bigs at this time.

      Given the natural history of contact rates, there is a good chance that he never does.

      • Hmmm. Please define “natural history”.

        • contact rates normalize early in careers. they dont generally change much. There are excpetions of course, but it is rare for a player with horrific contact rates to improve to the point of being average

  29. Expeted runs with bases loaded and none out: 2.437

    jays scored: 1

  30. Can someone remind Buck that there are no “Captains” on baseball teams…

    • Varitek was the Red Sox Captain for years. And there are always unofficial leaders.

    • Carlos Delgado was designated team captain.
      Tek even wore the “C” on his jersey.
      It is rare in BB though

  31. Wait, does Varitek still just show up to the park in his jersey? To do the radio?

  32. geez: the SCOUT comments on MLB Gameday are so idiotic. “That was pitch number 45 for Carlos Villanueva; his effectiveness may start slipping……

  33. Garza yanked from his start…

  34. CV bends, but he doesn’t break.

  35. I went to the other room to fart, since my kid is grown man fart sensitve..I come back in and the inning is over?

  36. Umm. that was about to roll foul my man.

  37. I’m not entirely sure how that was ball 4 there…

  38. All you nerdz giving it to Gose, take a fuckin breath. He’s had 10 AB’s.
    Granted I think he’s up too early but he’s extremely talented and I could see him looking like Devon White one day.

    • Not really ripping on Gose. He’s 21….he’s not EXPECTED to be ready for this level yet. But That doesn’t change the fact that he is absolutely not ready for this level. And nothing in his AAA numbers suggested as such.

      And I’m not really talking about his lack of results….I’m just going by the eyeball test. He looks completely matched and hasn’t squared up anything.

  39. C’mon Anthony, prove us wrong. A double of the wall….

  40. Pedroia is quite bald under that cap already.

  41. I love Villenueva! He’s like the Johnny Mac of pitchers, except actually good. He’s scrappy as hell, and been nothing but timely and very reliable for this team, except for when he was hurt last year and his numbers went down. This is gonna sound cliche and all that but I don’t give a shit, I love the guy’s intensity too, he demonstrates a fiery restraint out there, gets pumped up, but never out of control emotionally.

  42. Chicken Wing it up yo!

  43. That was absolutely smoked

  44. The whole Chicken Wing thing.

  45. whewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…NICE chicken wing Eddy! Fuck did that fly out of the park.


  47. fucking EEEEEEEE! instead of E5 he’s now E4 for the bases he touches

  48. i love seeing home runs from the jays that you’re sure of off the bat from the start on tv.


  50. Nice to see Obnoxious Jays fans in Bahsten, standing cheering EE’s blast, Let’s Go Blue Jays chant last night, Stand Up Nova Scotia/New Brunswick – great job

  51. I love how Buck and Tabby were just saying the Cook doesn’t walk anyone, strike any one out and doesn’t give up home runs…..and then he yields a two out walk and a game tying two run bomb….I love it

    Eat shit buck and tabby

  52. With that new 2 handed follow through swing, he pulls that bat through the zone so damn fast.. He’s always had power, but I don’t remember him hitting the type of lazer beams he’s been hitting this year in the past.

    • Totally agree

    • Just out of curiosity, and being that you are a cat, can you explain why my wife calls baseball players pussies? Please note she also mixes vodka and Olympic events on a rotating basis but still…whats the deal?’

  53. Who do the Jays have on the depth chart (other then Yan Gomes)for twobag if we trade Kelly Johnson to the Giants as ESPN has been speculating.

  54. Watching this on a Vipbox.tv stream right now. It’s the NESN feed with the Red Sox broadcast team, in English of course … but the commercials are in Japanese, and every so often there is a scoreboard with the Blue Jay and Red Sox symbols on the left and then Japanese names for the teams and a “Japan MLB” logo. Cool.

  55. Remember when RSux fans were salivating about the power numbers Adrian Gonzalez (The Beefeater Gin coverboy) was going to put up at Fenway (geez look at what he did at Petco, can’t wait). Yeah, Agonz has ISO numbers in the Casey Kotchman/Justin Smoak area (18th among 1B-men)


  56. It`s hot in Houston, even with the roof closed. I miss the jerk chicken roti in Toronto.

  57. a run here and villanueva will be on the hook for a win; way to hang in there carlos, baby

  58. Farrell: JP, I want you to hit a home run.

    Arencibia: Okay, skip.

  59. BOOM

  60. Middlebrooks has got “a lot of arms and legs” according to Tabby.

  61. A’s broke that Stankees’ streak of 3-runs of offense – thank you, did not want to hear any more of that shit – Jays face those pesky A’s next series and have to leap them for WC

  62. Cmon Snider, I really want this guy to succeed.

    • Been jerked up and down like a yo-yo, but in his latest interviews he sounds almost Zen and non-bitter about it

      • Snider is a very bright guy who has had to deal with his mom’s cancer & her untimely death afterwards in a car accident.

        The kid has been through so much.

        I hope he stays here all year & becomes the opening day LF in 2013.

        that would close a big hole for the Jays.

    • He struck out but he looked good in that at bat vs a tough lefty. He pulled a couple inside low 90′s fastballs which would not have happened couple years ago

  63. Man if JP were only a bit more consistent.

    OPS per month of .513, .890, .531, and .959+ in July after that homer. As my old dad would say “he’s up and down like a toilet seat”

    • Your Mom obviously trained you boys right.

    • He is so streaky it’s unbelievable. The potential is there though, and he seems fairly durable. As much as we complain about him, he’s probably going to have a 2WAR season… which isn’t that terrible.

    • Which begs the question, which would you prefer: JP going from terrible to really damn good month to month, or d”Arnaud being consistently good every month, i.e. 800 OPS on a monthly basis? Assuming d”Arnaud turns into that player, which most signs say he will. I think I’d still take d”Arnaud putting up monthly numbers like that.

    • Imagine how good his numbers would look if he wasn’t completely inept in April – Avg .188 OBP.232 SLG.281

  64. Why pinch hit and dramatically weaken your defense when you already have a one run lead and there are already two out in the inning? This could come back to bite.

  65. Gose just needs to swing away and stop worrying. He seems overly lost and I think nerves or just trying to impress too much is hampering him.

    • I dont think its nerves. Its that he’s not even close to ready. The early returns on the Snider vs Gose competition are quite one sided.

      • So far and I am happy for Snider to be honest. Still don’t understand the Gose call up over Snider and I am a big Gose fan.

    • Gose seems scared to hit the ball. He must be freaked out playing at yankee stadium & fenway.

  66. Alright Bretzky, this Fatt Albers is the kind of guy you and your girlfriend laugh at (you know, plumbers crack and all), now taking him OVER THE MONSTER

  67. Mesomorph meet Endomorph

  68. Fat Albers is hitting 95 mph

  69. MESOMORPH!!!!!

  70. Nice.


  72. Atta boy Maple Boner

  73. What a fucking noodle arm in LF

    • That was a pathetic throw wasn’t it? I thought Rajai was screwing up there but he scored easily.

  74. I’m starting to like this game.

  75. Schwing! Maple Boner time.

  76. Haha, walking Colby to get to Edwin? Okay….

  77. IBB Rasmus to face Edwin? What?

  78. Who’s arm is/was worse Crawford or Shannon Stewart?

  79. I know they are setting up the double play, but walking someone to get to Edwin?

  80. 6 runs back to back – Boston Red Sux, slump buster

  81. Hahaha, this game is getting funny. *knock on wood*

    • ya…don’t say that shit. We still have 3 innings to play. At least we don’t have to worry about coco coming in.

      FamousAmazingGuy says:
      07.17.12 @ 9:53 PM EDT
      not sure why they’re burning coco in a low leverage situation?

  82. Okay, maybe they were planning on walking two to get to Lind. Right? RIGHT?!

  83. Two things about this lineup (now that we have Snider back)

    -Imagine its potency if you take out gose and replace him with Bautista

    -Imagine if there were a big lefthanded bat between Jose and Edwin..

  84. Please pinch hit Gomes for Lind

  85. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually happy for Pete Puma.

  86. Time for a double off the “monster” for Lind…

  87. Do we have Yan Gomes?

  88. That was a situation built for Gomes to come in….

  89. When did Lind become a guy you dont pinch hit for vs a lefty?

  90. I saw him on the bench.

  91. Oh well, too bad we don’t have a bench. Cest la vie.

  92. Yep

  93. What’s Happ-ening??

  94. So does AA try and sign Villanueva to an extension now? Does he promise him a rotation spot. I think he brings more value to the team than a Laffey because of his success out of the pen but how much do you pay a guy like that who could probably start for a lot of teams. Also is he durable enough to start? Personally with the way things have gone and the scarcity of high ceiling arms at AAA and AA (Stilson being the only one and he might be better in the pen) I’d be willing to fork over the dough unless I felt I had a very good shot at a Greinke or Hamels type this winter. If he was willing to give Coco $4.5 million what does Carlos command?

    • I really believe that the Jays will finaly go after the big ticket free agents this winter, it fits with what AA and Beeston have been saying. Villy has been really good but I’d use the 4 or 5 million he will probably expect to lump into a big offer for Hamels and others.

      • The one worry I have this winter with all the pitching injuries is what the optics look like to potential free agents. Personally I think it’s just a fluke and shit like this happens and it’s nothing to do with team philosophy or pitching programs. That said if you’re thinking about going to a place and the money ends up being roughly in the same ballpark what is such a rash of injuries going to look like to someone who pitches for a living?

        Of course if it’s a career defining monster contract then it probably won’t matter but we know how the Jays feel about those types of deals. Also the plague of pitching injuries is surely not going to help management change their minds when it comes to awarding long contracts or spending big dollars there.

    • Come on, man, I’m developing ulcers worrying about all the other shit. This one’s on your shoulders. Fill yer boots!

    • I’m assuming he gets similar to jansenn, 3-4 mil on a 2 year deal plus option

    • who is stilson?

    • I think AA will try to work out something with Carlos V. He is a useful swing man, sort of like Tallet was in the early years he was here.

  95. you see the book is out on farrell. every other mgr knows that he won’t pinch hit for a vetrun. that’s why valentine saved miller for lind. farrell completely outmanaged once again.

  96. M Night Shamalamadingdong brings you The Happ-ening, scary story for opposition I hope

  97. Why oh why no pinch hit there?

  98. Villanueva and Laffey, our new Koufax-Drysdale

  99. Can Buck stop calling him J. Happ… It’s not fucking J. Arencibia is it?

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