Sure, I could write up a typical Game Threat, and touch on series-related stuff, like the fact that today’s starter, Staff Ace Brett Cecil (TM) hasn’t been bad enough to lose his job, despite the presence of JA Happ, that the defence yesterday made some terrific plays, that the club still somehow keeps on winning with Spring Training lineups, or that I’d really wish I could remember what absurd person on Twitter scoffed so hard when the Jays were in a low ebb against either the Yankees or the A’s and I said they should give it three games, because the Jays’ entire damn season has been a swinging pendulum of mini win streaks and mini losing ones. Yup.

But no, let’s briefly talk about some other stuff…

Romer-uh-oh!

Lots of folks still trying to figure out what to do about Ricky Romero, who is scheduled to pitch tomorrow in Seattle. Folks like Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, John Lott of the National Post, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, Robert MacLeod of the Globe and Mail, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, and– most of all, John Farrell, Alex Anthopoulos, and Ricky Romero himself.

Osuna the Better

Holy shit, 17-year-old Roberto Osuna, the Jays’ big signing on the 2011 international amateur free agent market, and one of the top two talents available then, showed why last night in his debut for the Vancouver Canadians. Giving up one hit and one walk in five shutout innings of work, Osuna– who, granted, was pitching against more advanced competition in the Mexican League at 16– struck out 13 of the 19 batters he faced.

I’m not entirely sure if his polish and advanced feel for pitching isn’t maybe something that’s going to really give him an edge against the kind of competition he’s being asked to face but not necessarily indicative that he’s going to be able to match these results as the quality of the hitters he faces improves, but… it sure made people take notice.

Ben Badler of Baseball America instantly recapped the game (adding in a video clip of Osuna), and Justin Nicolino and Marcus Stroman each tweeted about it, with Stroman calling Osuna– four years his junior– “one of the best pitchers I have ever seen.” There was considerable buzz about it on Twitter, with Kevin Goldstein promising to have him in Monday’s Ten Pack at Baseball Prospectus, and saying that he’s not now the Jays best pitching prospect, but he’s “very exciting.”

The best praise, though, came from his pitching coach in an MiLB.com article about the performance…

“The way he looked tonight, the way he threw his fastballs, the way they took bad swings, it was like a grown man throwing against a Little League team from 45 feet,” said Vancouver pitching coach Jim Czajkowski. “They couldn’t touch him.”

ETA: 2016

It’s Quiet. Too Quiet?

Not a whole lot happening on the Jays front, trade rumour wise, which… maybe that’s a good thing? As I’ve gone to great lengths to point out, many of the moves made by Alex Anthopoulos haven’t come as completely out-of-nowhere as he’s often given credit for, but it’s also certainly true that most times he’s not executing deals that have been discussed frequently, for multiple days, as they reportedly develop and go back and forth.

Obviously, we don’t really know anything at this point, except that time’s a-ticking, and that it sure as fuck seems like somebody with the Marlins wants to handle any Josh Johnson deal, in part, through the media. Check MLBTR: there are lots of reports of the asking price being too high for some teams, being Teixeira-like, or the Marlins reportedly telling people that they’re not all that interested in dealing him– which totally doesn’t sound like noise from a club hoping other clubs will hear it and raise their offers, amiright?

Buster Olney tweeted yesterday that we were simply in the calm before the storm. I’m kinda hoping so…

 

Image via Mike Strobe/Getty.

Comments (159)

  1. Reply forthcomingish!

  2. New game threat.
    Some commenters lost a bet.

  3. Any one else having issues with SN1?

  4. When Jays are on SN1, there’s no Jays feed on MLB Extra Innings in the states. WTF? Makes no sense.

  5. Cecil hitting 91 mph? Improved fastball or juiced gun? You be the judge.

  6. well, one casualty of AritificalTurf – Snider’s left hand wrapped due to “massive blister” from slide on his awesome catch – I’m sure the stock answer is “no I don’t mind playing on this surface and I don’t change my game at all” but gut feeling is that is not 100% true

    this bullshit surface is “costing” or going to cost the Jays something – obvious question is how much is it worth to change?

    • A shit-ton.

      And it’s not easy to fucking keep it alive once its installed. Just take a look at the new Marlins park.

  7. I was yelling at the screen there – Jesus Lawrie, what the FUCK??!!

  8. Kamikaze Maple Boner.

  9. STOOOOOOOOOPIDDDDD

  10. Firster?
    You brought her here!

  11. Needs an edit option… this.

  12. Cecil might wind up in the dugout after one of these pitches.

  13. Real curious to know what Cecil’s ERA is in innings after the Jays score.

  14. I’m fairly confident I can work Cecil for a walk.

  15. Shitballers gonna shitball and I think we can all see what’s coming.

  16. BOOM

  17. Gee-I didn’t see that coming.

  18. Easily predicted. It’s unfortunate that the Jays have suffered such a large number of injuries this season. A guy like Cecil should not be on the big league club but they really have no choice.

    • He could probably fill a Darren Oliver-style role in the ‘pen for the Jays. I imagine he could probably gain a tick or two on his fastball velocity in this scenario.

      • I don’t know if that’s enough. Cecil seems to walk way too many guys and, honestly, it’s almost preferable because more often than not he doesn’t have the stuff to get them out. Sure, he can have the odd good game but he is not a good enough pitcher to be on a decent major league team unless he gets his shit together.

  19. A Cecil shut down inning.

  20. when a finese pitcher faces an ump who squeezes him, makes for a long day.

  21. wow, this ump is just guessing up there.

  22. The Cat in the house, looking tanned, rested and ready.

  23. Jesse Barfield just on with Jerry and Alan, Ernie Els is going to be on with Buck and Tabby in the 6th , Sports Bag Day with the big crowd – ITS A PARTY – now get that W!!

  24. I think Walton’s walk to the mound is almost as slow as Al Widmar’s.

  25. Where’s Ginger Campbell, in London for the games?

  26. Fister looks like one of those pitchers that is hard to hit just because of downward plane and gangliness.

  27. Cecil needs an “ephus” pitch.

  28. Jays play in Oakland this week and I’ll be in San Francisco. I’ll maybe get there on Thursday evening. Sadly, it’ll probably be Cecil pitching. Unless he goes down with an injury…

  29. Anyone know a website I can watch the game?

  30. Fucking squandering these opportunities… Going to bite them in the ass.

  31. I still think Fister for Furbush has to be one of the best sounding trades of all time.

  32. Cecils’s got a quality start.

  33. Fatter infield than Detroit? Got some chunky dudes out there.

  34. just doesn’t feel like a win today.

  35. how do you throw only 7 pitches in an inning in which you

    1. give up a hit

    2. strike someone out.

    3. DONT record a double play

    • Swinging for the fences boyeez.

    • well, you could do it on five pitches (1 for the single, then 3 for the K (and 1 of those could be a throw thru on a steal attempt and record an out or get a pick-off) and then 1 for the final out)

  36. Seattle is good

  37. Throw out the 2 really bad starts where he got bombed by the White Sox and Angels and old shit balling Brett has actually pitched very well in his 8 starts. In the other 6 starts including today he’s gone:

    35IP 30H 14ER 12BB 29K 1.20WHIP 3.60ERA.

    That’s not exactly shabby for a number 5 type starter especially if 75% of his starts are pretty good and give your team a decent chance to win. Unfortunately, you’re always going to get the real bad stinker every now and then.

    • Ricky Walkmero is the weakest link in this staff by far. Fucking hilarious.

      • Well it just goes to show you if he could get himself back on track that next year’s pitching staff with at least one veteran upgrade could be pretty damn decent and have lots of depth while they are at it. I have no clue what they are going to do with Carlos Villanueva. I didn’t really believe in him last year but he’s really making a believer out of me this time around.

    • I don’t buy into anything where we have to “throw out x number of starts”. He made those starts and they were shitty.

  38. I really like it when Boesch strikes out. Must be some sort of transference going on there.

  39. Gotta love that…Jays are stealing them blind and the one steal the attempt , Jackson gets boinked in the face. Nice throw Mathis…guy is definitely under rated.

  40. Yeah but he wont call that pitch for Cecil.It was at least 4 inches off the plate…

  41. This fucking ump is ejaculating in the Blue Jays’ collective asshole. What the fuck is this shit?

  42. Really grinding out the ABs today.

  43. Valverde blowup please

  44. It would be hilarious if the Jays traded for Brandon League.

  45. Still an inning left but this is a really dissapointing loss should it end that way.

  46. That pitch looked like it was in the exact same place as the one Cecil threw.

  47. Zombie Peralta choses today to re-animate.

    • Yeah. Doesn’t help that the bats went completely fucking limp against Doug Fister.

      • Would’ve liked to have seen Gose bunt.

        • Fister got lucky with some of the stranding he did. Still terrible that we couldn’t string together a couple of hits… it’s not like this is fucking Verlander on the mound.

  48. if you’re frustrated by why this team is a 500 team you can look at this game right here

    • People show that its pitching that is killing us, but we have lost 12 one-run games this season.

      I was perusing through baseball reference today, there were 17 games this year that could have been won by scoring 5 runs (or more) total in a game.

      • Er… Pitching doesn’t effect the outcome of 1 run games?

        I would say a craptacular bullpen is responsible for that more than the offence.

    • I’ll do a little more research when I get some spare time, but I mean, even if you look at Ricky Romero’s absolutely terrible start against the Athletics last week… did it really matter how bad Ricky pitched? We didn’t score a single fucking run regardless.

      • Let me see if I understand what you’re saying.

        The pitching is whatever but we need to score more runs?

        You’re complaining about the lack of runs from the highest scoring team in baseball?

        • It’s not simple enough to look at the amount of runs scored… because there have been blow-outs where stats were significantly padded. At some point teams give up and put their mop-up guys out there, etc.

          What I’m saying is that we’ve lost a lot of one-run ball-games, and we’ve lost games where scoring an average amount of runs would have resulted in a win.

          Pitching is definitely a concern, don’t get me wrong. But Brett Cecil pitched a QS today, there is not much more you can ask for. Even if we had CC Sabathia on the mound today, there’s a good chance we’re losing if we can only score one run.

          When I get some time, I’ll look at how many “decent” outings Aaron Laffey, Carlos Villaneuva and Cecil have had since joining the rotation. They have been holding down the fort pretty well — albeit with a couple failures.

          I get the feeling people think we add Gio and all of a sudden we win 10 more ball-games this year. Many of the pitching options we could obtain may not give us much more than an extra win or two (granted, this may be all we need to put us into the coin-flip game).

        • The offense isnt THAT good. Yes, they are first in runs scored but that doesnt mean as much as you think. They will win one game 13-5 and lost the next game 4-1. Yeah, they scored 14 runs in those two games but only finished 1-1. Im pretty confident in saying a team like the yankees with their offense is able to score say 5 runs/game or more at a more consistent rate and win games as a result.

      • When you are down by double digits after two innings, you can’t tell me the hitters are thinking “fuck this, I guess we have to go stand in the box for 7 more innings and waste everyone’s time”

        I get that they are pro’s and they aren’t supposed to give up…but really, that game was over before Ricky got yanked, no?

      • One reason I like Zaun is because he makes a good point once in a while. Today he said (and someone here actually said it before Zaun) that Fister was sinking the ball really well and with his heighth, the downward plane on the ball made it almost impossible to hit.

        He went on to say that sometimes you have to tip your hat to the pitcher, and that good pitching beats good hitting every time.

  49. Nice one, Kelly.

  50. Eh. 2 out of 3 isn’t bad, I guess.

  51. On to the next let’s beat up on the shitty mariners

  52. That was a Fisting. Ouch.

  53. Cecil again pitched pretty well, but man can he never give up solo homers?

  54. Stoets, nice to see you here on the weekend. Just like the good ole days. Peas!

  55. Why can’t we win 4 in a row?

  56. This homestand was a microcosm of the jays season. They have two teams come in to town that are ahead of them in the standings. So what do they do? Go 3-3. They dont lose ground or gain much either. The jays have been doing this shit for virtually the last 19 years.

  57. That may be true, BUT, this year they are doing it in a more interesting, and, dare I say, exciting fashion. Far less easy to predict outcomes AND since only 1 of 30 teams “wins” and sports are for many of us some kind of “play”, I am appreciating the commitment of this team and it’s fans. I want to suggest that a lot of negativity that is expressed here illustrates in a reverse psychology kind of way, why the mental game is so difficult. Each team is the totality of ALL of its relations.

    • Yeah, I’m going to go further with that and try to encourage the Nervous Nellies who keep falling off the band-wagon … try to bring them to a better seat; less painful than being dragged along, bumping on the ground; kicking and screaming. Some of us in the more stable seats assume that AA is playing a Bigger Game … that someone who can game the Angels to take on Vernon’s albatross, can also game Rogers when the time is right. That someone can bring in Mr. Happ and not immediately displace Brett like a lot of folks thought should happen. He now has a few more degrees of freedom to work with the puzzle that Ricky has become. Suppose that puzzle is, to a large degree, the result of the tag “Ace” that the media and others hung around R’s neck and that, due to the rash of injuries … THIS is all WAY more complicated, than grabbing a piece here and plugging it in what looks like the right hole. I like to view AA as a juggler more than a ninja; perhaps a juggler on a tight-rope where balancing happens in many dimensions. But hey, I’ve been on this wagon for 30 years and the ride is getting VERY interesting.

  58. Yeah they just had two teams ahead of them come in and go 3-3 without gaining a lot of ground, but look at the overall picture: ten days ago they had just been swept by the Yankees, lost Bautista to the DL and we didn’t know how long we were going to lose Lawrie who had been hurt in that last game. And they knew there were five teams ahead of them for the final wild card spot with three of these teams coming up in the schedule. Most of us thought they’d get killed, no?

    Instead, the Jays went 6-3 against teams ahead of them in the wild card race, when most of us would have understood it if they folded their tents and mailed in most of these 9 games. Gotta say I’m proud of these boys for sticking it out and fighting their way to go 6-3 with a rag-tag rotation and lineup and think this bodes well for when they do have a healthy rotation and lineup whenever adversity comes up next year.

    • Considering all the injuries and the regression of a key starter like Romero the fact that they are even close to .500 amazes me more everyday. Throw in a bullpen that overall has been generally shitacular (dead last in ERA in the AL 25th overall) and I think it shows there’s a lot of talent here. Have to remember they’re doing it on a payroll that’s well into the bottom half at 23rd. There’s certainly going to be holes to fill going forward and I think it’s going to be tougher to do it this winter than in previous years because a lot of teams are seeing how the WC is playing out this year.

      Should be interesting to see what AA and Rogers does this winter. They certainly can’t say anything about revenue this year. Attendance is up 21.5% over 2011 as of Saturday and they are on pace for 2.2 million fans which is their best year since 2008. TV ratings are through the roof too. Of course they’ll continue to lose another portion of the revenue sharing money they were receiving.

      • “Should be interesting to see what AA and Rogers does this winter. They certainly can’t say anything about revenue this year. Attendance is up 21.5% over 2011 as of Saturday and they are on pace for 2.2 million fans which is their best year since 2008. TV ratings are through the roof too. Of course they’ll continue to lose another portion of the revenue sharing money they were receiving.”

        Personally, I don’t really care if they spend like crazy or not, I just want moves that make the team better. If that’s through shrewd trades, fine. If that’s through FA signings, fine.

        But I think you’re right. The option to spend SHOULD be there this offseason, if AA feels the time is right for it. The Jays need another addition or two going forward, but the club is right there with a very weird year for pitching, and plenty of guys having average or sub par offensive years.

    • The Jays have done much better than expected given the injuries since June.

      This is the first year of the second wildcard & it is much closer race than anticipated.

      I hope AA gets the pieces he needs to win in 2013.

      Snider full time in LF fixes another hole.

      He said that the team will tell him when it’s ready to compete.

      It’s clear that they are competing even with the injuries they have.

      • That’s why I laugh when people have said things like ‘trade Bautista and aim for 2016′ here and there since this past offseason.

        We’re not in era where the Yankees and Red Sox both win 95 games every year, they get the two possible playoff spots, and no other AL East team should bother showing up anymore.

        The Red Sox aren’t the same team, and the 2nd WC has really opened things up.

        If the Jays are able to acquire a Johnson or Shields (plus the return of Morrow and maybe Hutch), I think they would have a legitimate outside shot of sneaking in to the one game playoff this year, and a foundation for a team that is absolutely good enough to contend in 2013 really without having to add much at all.

        • here is the REAL irony..for all the shit Im hearing about how the SECOND wild card spot has opened things up..people dont seem to realize that the first and second wild card spots are pretty much the same record right now..so in fact even if there were still only ONE wild card spot, jays would be in the race.

  59. Heading to Safeco in Seattle for the next 3 games… Anybody with me???!!! Looking to get old-fashioned hammered on Pacific Northwest MicroBrews and sing the Canadian Anthem.

  60. Anybody know what happened between Cecil and Cabrera in the middle of the first inning? I was at the game and saw Cabrera jawing at Cecil as Cecil walked by on his way to the dugout after the side was retired. Cecil stopped, turned around and jawed back at Cabrera and then turned around again and walked back to the dugout. After he got in the dugout, Miggy was pointing and jawing at somebody in the dugout (I assume Cecil). Was any of this covered during the broadcast?

    • No nut Cabrera is an asshole.

    • Yeah I noticed that watching on tv. Buck and Pat never said anything about it, too busy rambling on about something or other. I don’t know about the radio crew. It actually looked like Cabrera was laughing/grinning on tv.

    • Just reading your post again you’re talking about after the inning apparently. During that inning, while Cabrera was up, after a pitch he pointed back to Cecil and said something, then stepped out of the box and looked back at the Jays dugout, then back to Cecil, then talking to the catcher or ump and was sort of laughing too. I don’t know what happened.

      • It’s possible that it was good-natured…I was in the 500s, so I couldn’t really tell. It was weird because Cecil stopped on his way to the dugout and turned around to say something to Miggy, which I figured he wouldn’t do if it was nothing.

  61. @Stond Jays Fan – I hear they let a small number of fans in to the bullpens early to watch teams warm-up… trying to catch that one of the three days. Always seem to find myself hammered at Boomers after the game… brilliant place.

    • That is wicked, I haven’t partaken in being in the pen. Last time I was at Safeco was 2009 and it was a riot, what a beauty of a ballpark.

      One of the clowns I was with, grew up with Jamie Campbell. So after the game we went boozing with him and he took us to a bar where Marcum, Scott Richmond were there, et al. It was a pleasure to talk baseball for the few drunken minutes that night….from what I remember.

      Maybe see you at Boomers, I will be wearing an old baby blue Aaron Hill throwback jersey.

  62. Do any deals by any gm come out of left field? I’m sure traces can be found somewhere no matter what since so much times new roman font is wasted on rumors. Your premise: AA is not stealthy because there are rumors or names mentioned out there is like saying the polar ice caps are not melting because people have written as much. It makes no concession to the value placed on the sources at the time and is a post hoc analysis.

    • It’s abundantly clear that ideally AA likes to work with as under the radar as possible. I think Stoeten’s premise is that it’s absurd to summarily dismiss any rumor related to the Jays because of AA’s perceived infallible stealthiness, not that AA is not stealthy.

  63. In the “Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold” department, Lansing won a walk-off game today – blown save and loss to . . . . . . Jake Barrett

    yeah, The Two Jakes (Eliopoulos and Barrett) are now feelin’ the Malocchio from The Beest – Watch out Paxton, your next

    Beware Beede.

  64. See you guys, I’m off to California for a little while. Where I may see a Jays/Oakland game but I know I’m seeing a Dodgers/Rockies game…

  65. Sounds like the Indians might make Justin Masterson available. Don’t know what it would take to get him but he would seem to fit the typical AA mold–young, cost-controlled, some up-and-down performance but significant upside.

  66. one guy who would know Masterson well is John Farrell (had him as a pitcher until the 2009 trade to Cleveland). He is a ground ball pitcher, the type Farrell thinks will succeed at the RC and Masterson publicly lobbied for Farrell to be Cleveland manager back then:

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view/20091002tribes_justin_masterson_makes_pitch_for_john_farrell

  67. Kevin Goldstein on Stroman:

    Relief; star closer. RT @scheskes88: @Kevin_Goldstein What’s your final opinion on Stroman. Starter or reliever and how good can he be?

    **Star closer**

  68. of course, that is an “upside” question, as it says: how good CAN he be?

  69. AA is offering up yunel to his WC competitor the A’s. if this is true and the A’s are squawking at the pricetag it means AA is gonna rake their pitching staff. if he trades this season with the enemy he had better rake to justify this move. can hech replace yunel this early? in AA we trust……..yikes this is dicey

  70. Lind is done again. Cooper coming up. Thus we preserve next spring’s narrative of “look how good he was (for about two weeks) when he came back from AAA! He only started to suck because he got hurt (which he does every year)! He should totally be our starting 1B/DH and cleanup hitter now that he’s healthy again (which he never is)! We have to give him one more chance to see if there’s value there (because three years isn’t enough to show that he’s finished)!”

    Can’t wait.

    • This guy should be ashamed of himself as a professional athlete. He has the body of a 50 year old man.

      2009 is a long fucking time ago in baseball terms.

  71. Since April 30th vs. the Jays, Yu Darvish has had 14 starts: .228 BAA, .704 OPS, 105 Ks in 89 innings – pretty awesome right???

    1.38 WHIP and 4.74 ERA – 7 wins, 7 losses

    Seattle has OWNED him: in 3 starts, 16 ERs in 15 innings. Is Ichiro a good scout or have some good contacts? Can’t wait to see Yu vs. Stankees next time around.

  72. Day before trade deadline and we’re still looking at yesterdays game thread??!!

  73. Cliff Lee may be available. He’s making a HELL of a lot of money the next three years. Maybe the Phils would kick in on the salary?

  74. Why would AA trade Yunel? if Hech comes up and sucks there’s no backup option. Who’s our next best shortstop prospect after him? Mike McDade repeating AA? Dickie Thon Jr, who’s still in rookie league? Trading our everyday shortstop would make absolutely no sense. even if Hech came up and was awesome if he got injured we’re stuck with Omar Vizquel everyday.

  75. Jeez slow news day eh stoeten?

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