Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of (and that I need to distract myself with in order to keep from arguing with the commenters), with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!
Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs has part two of his Reports from Instructs series on the Jays, with this one looking at Marcus Stroman, “a small righty that flashed four 55 or 60 pitches (on the 20-80 scale) in a relief stint.” Money quote: “But he’s got to sell out with a high-effort delivery to generate that kind of stuff, right? Surprisingly, no.” He says he figures “Stroman’s ultimate upside is a number two starter,” and also provides some notes on Alberto Tirado. You’ll remember that it was in part one that he raved about Roberto Osuna.
At Grantland, Jonah Keri finishes his piece ranking the players with the highest trade value, including a pair of Jays– Jose Bautista at 25, among a group of untouchable veterans (Tulowitzki, Kemp, Castro) and Brett Lawrie at 21, among some serious kids (Bundy, Machado, Profar). “If he’d run for prime minister a year ago, he might’ve won,” he writes of Lawrie. “Now, we’re talking governor general at best.”
At BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm looks at what the club still has left to do as we get set for next week’s Winter Meetings– and the post comes complete with a video of Peter Gammons speaking on the MLB Network on the Jays’ recent moves.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet writes about John Gibbons and the selection of his coaching staff– the new-old manager is excited and comfortable with the guys he’ll be working with.
Starting around the 14 minute mark, Alex Anthopoulos joined Montreal’s The Kaufman Show last night. He spoke about the need to continue adding to the bullpen, and to add rotation depth– which sounds like it may mostly come via minor league free agents, as he wants guys who can still be optioned to the minors (though JA Happ still fits that bill). Baseball America has a list of the MiLB FAs for your perusal, and… ugh.
More audio, as Dirk Hayhurst joined the Jeff Blair Show this morning on the Fan 590, discussing the Jays’ new coaching staff– all of whom he sees as a terrific fit for a Jays’ club with so many new players. Pete Walker, he says, has ascended to pitching coach very quickly, but partly that seems to have been a way for the Jays to keep him from bolting to Boston, and it will have added benefit to the club, as he found Walker more open and approachable than the departing Bruce Walton. Similarly, he praises the hiring of Chad Mottola as hitting coach, and his newer-school, less rigid approach, as well as the Jays’ retaining of Dwayne Murphy, who has done excellent work with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
Tom Dakers of BlueBird Banter gets conspiratorial when discussing the Jays’ recent trend towards not announcing player surgeries until after they’re successfully completed, as well as the source of rumour about Darren Oliver only wanting to play for Texas. On the latter point, I don’t know if it’s anything more than an educated guess based on Oliver’s end-of-year comments about mulling retirement and wanting to be closer to his kids.
At Getting Blanked, Drew writes about the good ol’ Yankees– er… the good old Yankees.
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times wonders openly– riffing on ideas from a USS Mariner post– about when the regional sports network bubble is going to burst. Wendy Thurm looks at this at FanGraphs as well, in the wake of the just-announced multi-billion-dollar Dodgers deal with Fox Sports West.
Lastly, RIP Marvin Miller: the former MLBPA executive director passed away today at 95. Maury Brown argues for his inclusion in the Hall of Fame at Baseball Prospectus. While elsewhere at BP, Chad Finn looks at what passed for baseball analysis in 1984, including a gem about the Jays’ Mulinicks/Iorg third base platoon.