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!!!
Awesomeness at FanGraphs, as Kiley McDaniel checks in again from instructs, giving us the scouting low-down on a few of the Jays’ just-drafted prospects, like Tyler Gonzales and Chase De Jong. “Gonzales looks like he can develop into a reliever with two plus pitches and average command, which would be closer upside,” he says, “but it’s optimistic to see that as a likely outcome at this juncture.” Meanwhile, “DeJong has a chance for three above-average pitches with solid-average command but there’s plenty of work to be done and a decent amount of risk. The upside is a number three starter and the three-pitch mix, bigger frame and 11 months of youth DeJong has over Gonzales give him a better chance to stick in the rotation, though both are far from sure things.”
Awesome, as always, Jon Hale of The Mockingbird goes deep into the Pitch F/X to look at Josh Johnson’s curve. Must-read stuff.
Dirk Hayhurst’s next book is going to be a page-turner for Jays fans, and he gives us an excerpt over at his blog, featuring story from his time with Vegas in 2009, and a rather off-putting character with a bad case thinking he’s Big League, referred to only as “Brice Jared”– a high draft pick and newly minted big leaguer who had started the year with the big club but was busted back down to the minors early in the season, and had accrued two months of MLB service time to that point. Those clues are enough to make me think it’s maybe Travis Snider, though later in the story Dirk suggests there’s a more highly touted prospect on the plane– “Shy Country,” a pitcher– which at the very least gives him plausible deniability on that front. Maybe Brett Cecil is “Shy Country”? No idea. And I don’t know this guy either, but I really want it to be Jeremy Accardo: “One of our best relievers tied on a white tiger-print headband, got smashed at an ‘80s tribute concert, and spent the night passed out in a shrub outside the Luxor.”
Here’s something resembling the kind of the Triple-A depth the Jays are looking for: according to a tweet from the Metis Sports agency, their client, Claudio Vargas, has signed a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training with the club. He posted a 3.69 ERA over 109 innings for Nashville of the PCL in 2012, and also spent some time playing in Mexico.
John Lott of the National Post catches up with Carlos Delgado, recently revealed as the club’s next addition to the Level Of Excellence. King Carlos also spoke with Jeff Blair on the Fan 590 this morning.
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun speaks to a number of friends of Tom Cheek, who share their remembrances as the legendary announcer is selected as the Ford C. Frick Award winner, enshrining him in the broadcasters’ wing in Cooperstown. More here.
At Minor League Ball, John Sickels looks at the Miami Marlins’ top prospects. Justin Nicolino comes third, while Jake Marisnick and Adeiny Hechavarria are six and seven.
Charlie Caskey of Jays Journal looks at the potential Lansing rotation for next season, and figures on yet another treat for the fans there, with Robert Osuna and Dan Norris potentially being the next Jays prospects to hit the piggybacking system.
All kinds of gems from around the league at Getting Blanked, including: Josh Beckett looking less-than-svelte, Zack Greinke’s opt-out options (and the yeoman’s work done by Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports on the topic), Michael Young’s somewhat comical landing in Philadelphia, and the lamest shots ever fired.
At ESPN.com, Jim Bowden looks at the diverging groups of GMs in the league, which he separates into “old school” and “new school” categories. Arizona GM Kevin Towers says “GMs are peppering him with ’9 million ideas’ every minute via texts and emails from all directions, and Towers has more bells ringing than the pinball machines he used to play as a kid.” That’s our AA!
Want a Blue Jays browser theme for Chrome or Firefox, or whatever other web browser you might use? You probably don’t. But if for some reason you did, you could snag one from over at BlueJays.com.
Jay Jaffe talks JAWS– the Jaffe WAR Score system– with CBS Sports, as the Hall of Fame debate heats up.
More from FanGraphs, as Carson Cistulli looks at what every utility infielder was worth in 2012. Omar Vizquel? Not a whole lot. Oh, but the clubhouse factors, people. Remember the clubhouse factors!
Jason Churchill of Baseball Prospectus ranks and reports on the prospects who had been traded so far in the off season, prior to Sunday’s deal between the Rays and Royals. It’s a paywall’d piece, but the top three prospects are visible for everybody, and they include ex-Jays Justin Nicolino and Jake Marisnick.
Lastly, reverberations are still being felt around from last night’s big trade between the Rays and Royals, and because of its implications on the Jays’ chances– in 2013, they’re improved at least slightly, though the Rays’ long-term outlook looks considerably better now than it did yesterday– as well as the market for high-end starting pitching, there are all kinds of reactions worth taking note of:
- At Getting Blanked, Drew tries to make sense of the senseless, scoffing at the rush to discredit Shields’ track record, and the foundation of road ERA that it’s built on. Flags fly forever, he doesn’t say, but he implies it. And he’s hit on the main reason this deal makes sense for the Royals, regardless of optics. Well, that plus the fact that the front office is desperate to keep their jobs. He also quotes Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus, in explaining that “Myers looks like a player but his ‘tools aren’t so loud or the holes not so small’ that he does not project as an untouchable superstar beyond reproach or trade request.”
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs panned the trade in its immediate wake, then today took on the oft-repeated, reductive “unknown prospect” versus “proven big leaguer” narrative, insisting that “it’s lazy to lump every prospect into one barrel and pretend that they all have the same odds of success and failure,” and imploring that we “not pretend that future performance variance only exists around Myers, or around prospects in general.” He adds that “James Shields comes with a significant amount of bust potential himself, much of it simply due to the fact that he throws a ball with his right arm for a living.”
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is one of those using the all-prospects-as-complete-unknowns crutch.
- Jerry Crasnick talks to a bunch of executives about the deal in a post for ESPN.com.
- Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets that a deal was offered to the Mets last week wherein they’d receive Myers straight up in exchange for Jon Niese and Zack Wheeler. Hmmm…
- JJ Cooper of Baseball America talks to executives who don’t think the Royals got fleeced here at all.