The view from the (temporary) yard…

At FanGraphs, J.D. Sussman looks at the Jays’ decision to trade Noah Syndergaard and keep Aaron Sanchez by comparing the two former members of the Lansing Three, and seemingly edges towards Sanchez, explaining that that he “has the athleticism, body control and repeatable delivery coaches look for when gauging whether a pitcher can harness his command. It’s more difficult to determine whether Syndergaard can develop a curveball, which is tied to a skillset he’s yet to showcase: consistent tight rotation due to wrist pronation and tensile strength.”

Whether it’s from a keen observational eye, or simply the innate knowledge of where his bread is buttered, Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail can drop juicy, delicious, McDonalds “grilled onion cheddar” burger-like nuggets like few others. In his latest, ostensibly about Casey Janssen and his stronger-than-we-maybe-thought position as the incumbent closer, he also shares news of Ricky Romero’s blood-platelet procedure on his knees, and John Gibbons’ suggestion “off the cuff that knee pain might be an issue for Romero.” He tells us that Sergio Santos claims that he really was working on a changeup last spring, when he was kept being shielded. He also lays this on us: “Among the items on Alex Anthopoulos’s to-do list on this breezy, coolish Monday morning was catching a glimpse of Colby Rasmus’s reworked, quieter swing during an eye-popping session of batting practice.” Whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut?

Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com takes a closer look at Rasmus and his approach, including some quotes from the club’s new hitting coach, Chad Mottola.

At Sportsnet, Mike Wilner also talks about Ricky Romero and his knees, plus his pride, and his leaning on Mark Buehrle, which apparently he’s already doing with the veteran lefty– exactly, one presumes, as Alex Anthopoulos hoped when he signed off on swallowing that contract.

Wilner also has an earlier piece about Brandon Morrow, who he sees as being poised for a breakout season– which makes total sense, given that 2012 would have been one for the Jays’ game two starter, had he not been hurt.

Wilner’s Sportsnet colleague, Shi Davidi, looks at the Romero knee situation in-depth, and… man, it would be worrying if he weren’t already the fifth starter, or if J.A. Happ wasn’t slated for Buffalo, despite his being better than Romero down the stretch. Not that I want them to go pissing away depth, but… y’know?

In a different post, Davidi tells us that Moises Sierra is going to be joining Team Dominican at the World Baseball Classic. Jays Journal had it too, sans link. Ugh.

In a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm also talks about Romero’s knees, as well as the relationship between Mark DeRosa and Brett Lawrie, as the veteran has been “attached at the hip to Lawrie during the early stages of camp.” So… he’s the babysitter. Sure, why not?

Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun also has a piece about the relationship between Lawrie and DeRosa, as well as look at new pals Ricky Romero and Mark Buehrle. Fidlin also says that the competition to be the Jays’ main guy at second base may last all season, and very briefly gets some comments from Gibbers about Josh Johnson, who the returning manager says he’s counting on, and… uh… no, that’s pretty much all he says. Like I say: brief. Johnson, of course, is slated to debut at Rogers Centre in the fourth game of the season– in the Friday following Opening Day, which will mark the return of John Farrell to Toronto.

“That was a bullet. I couldn’t believe it,” says an anonymous player of Melky Cabrera’s All-Star Game home run last season., according to an ESPN.com piece from Buster Olney (Insider Olney). “Because I remembered what he was before. He wasn’t a very good player, and then he’s one of the best outfielders in the world? Please. It just pisses me off.”

Over at the National Post, John Lott writes more about AA’s rebuke of sad blue collar 1950s anthropomorphic cartoon cat, passing along the lesser-noted fact that the GM explained that Lind, who criticized the club’s mixed messages, hitting-wise, last week, “has been in the league long enough now and it’s up to him to say I’m a little confused, I need a little help and what not.” Uh… right?

Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, via the Globe, talks to Jays VP of marketing and merchandising, Anthony Partipilo, about the club’s new maple-bedecked batting practice caps– and is much less quick to talk about the compromise it took to put it together than Paul Beeston was, according to a post of a couple weeks ago from Minor Leaguer at Bluebird Banter.

The Tao of Stieb kicks off this season’s x-number-of-Jays in x-number-of-days series with a look at Esmil Rogers.

At Bluebird Banter, Blake Murphy looks at the adjustment the Jays’ three ex-NL starters will have to make as they move this season into the American League.

Steve Adams of MLBTR looks at the make-or-break year that Josh Johnson is about to embark on, and on a similar note, at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin talks about Colby Rasmus being in a similar situation.

Also via MLBTR, we get a Jon Morosi tweet regarding the Jays’ failed off-season pursuit of Jason Grilli, who ended up staying with Pittsburgh. He confirmed that “that he made his final free-agent decision among the Pirates, Jays and Cubs. All offered similar deals.”

Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com looks at Canada’s WBC pursuit of Cardinals uber-prospect Oscar Taveras, who holds a Canadian passport after living briefly in Montreal when he was younger, while the New York Daily News talks to Jussell Martin, who still intends to play shortstop for the red and white, for some reason.

We’ll probably stop doing this eventually, but not yet! At Minor League Ball, John Sickels compares the game’s best catching prospects, Mike Zunino and ex-Jay Travis d’Arnaud.

Weekennd Punks Versus The Flaming Phoenix Of Flames has clip of what would be, if you didn’t know any better, a nifty old-school-esque video game featuring the current Jays.

Lastly, at ESPN.com (Insider Only, unfortunately), Keith Law gives us his “desert island” stats, and breaks down why they’re the ones he can’t live without. Even if you have a good handle on why certain stats matter, it’s definitely worth a read– and an Insider subscription is definitely worth the price, if only just for the KLaw stuff.

Comments (89)

  1. Who’s going to fill in for Lind this year

  2. Jussell Martin?

  3. just a comment and not an indictment but in seeing spring training pics of Melky, I am more confident then ever that he will be somewhere close to what he was last year (at least in the power department) .. the man looks large and not Sandoval large .. if he can ignore all the BS media stuff he is gonna be great for the Jays the next 2 years!

    • we have LF options atleast, even if he does regress back to the shitty player he was.

      either way it was worth the gamble on a 2 year deal, even if he busts, i want my GM taking chances like that.

      • Of Note: The shitty player he was before is roughly equivalent to the slock we trotted out to that corner of the outfield for all of last year.

    • @Beeds

      Did you watch Eric Thames last year?? I wouldnt put too much stock in size or bulk or whatever

      • Yeah h
        but Thames sucks. Obviously juice alone wont do much. Its only effective if it pumps up the musclesnof an otherwise good player. That is, a plYer with all the other skills/traits (patience at the plate, vision, hand/eye coord etc)

        We know Melky already has the other skills, as hes performed at a high level. And remember, its not the PED’s coursing through their veins that helps these guys. Its the muscles/strength those PEDs give them. So if Melky can get those muscles another way (I dunno, say by working out and eating right maybe?) then the effect should be the same.

        25-30 lbs of mostly muscle is not at all crazy to add naturally in 10-12 months if you have the time to devote hours in he gym and afford the best nutrtionists. Melky has had the time and definitely the motivation to get himself ready for this.

        And he does look pretty damn big this year. Ill be shocked if we dont get at least 2011 Melky

        • You are wrong sir. Without taking exogenous steroids it is essentially impossible to add that many pounds of MUSCLE to one’s frame, lest they are ten feet tall.

          You would be lucky to add a pound of muscle a month.

          • sorry, not true. Most studies done suggest that 4lbs/month is entirely possible, given proper training and (most important) perfect nutrition.

            Now, obviously gains are not linaer and as he adds muscle it willl getbharder and harder….But 25 lbs in 10 months is absolutely in the realm of possibility. There is of course a point where genetically you cannot (naturally) add more muscle, but I dont think Melky is there.

  4. Fuck Buster Olney’s articles seem to be getting more and more unbearable as time goes on.

    • Olney does come off as a Jays hater at times. No doubt about that but as far as Melk goes if he shits the bed Olney aint the only person who is going to be Pissed Right The Fuck Off!!

      Does anyone have more pressure to perform this year than Melk given all circumstances?? Prolly not

      Hope he does well…

    • I thought they were already so unbearable that there was no possible way to gauge the unbearable-ness.

      He’s just a pessimist who also happens to be a Boston homer. If it’s not a Boston player, it’s all put in a negative spin.

  5. Could Rogers trade be the Delabar trade of last year??

  6. could you imagine if rasmus hits even a portion of his potential?

    our lineup would terrifying

  7. Nice to see ole Jussell is treating playing for his country like it’s a beer league softball game.

    • It isn’t?

      • Well yeah, but you don’t see Sidney Crosby showing up at the Olympics talking about wanting to play goalie. I know it’s not a big deal, but I’d rather Team Canada and its players be trying their best to win and I think guys playing their proper positions is probably a good first step.

        • Isn’ t the reason he wants to play shortstop because he thinks it gives Team Canada the best chance to win? The Crosby analogy is not really the same because Team Canada has Luongo, Brodeur, etc. If Martin (who has IF experience and played SS in college- another thing that makes the Crosby analogy bullshit) can do the job better than whoever else they have, why not?

          • You’re taking my analogy way too seriously. It was a joke. But anyways, almost all MLB players were shortstops at one time and aren’t any more for good reason. Martin admitted its selfish that he wants to do it, not motivated by giving the team the best shot. I mostly just think its funny. Like if Lawrie said he’d play SS I’d think “ya I could see that”. But Russell Martin? You’ve seen him move right?

    • WBC All Star at SS for Jussell…..lol

      either way, i want to see Brett bunch a mexican durring their game, just because.

  8. Last week, Stoten called me the village idiot for defending the McGowan contract
    because it had nothing to do with on field performance
    and everything to do with establishing a reputation throughout MLB
    as an organization that ” takes care of its own.”

    Yesterday on PTS, Freedman told a story about former Laker owner Jerry Buss.

    Did not get the name and job of the guy…he was a college coach, former Laker coach/scout or some such.

    He was going in for an operation and there was a good chance
    he would not make it off the operating table.

    Before he went in, Buss signed him to a 3yr scouting contract.
    So that no matter what happened, his family would be taken care of.

    In baseball there is no salary cap and a guy on the 60 day DL
    is not using a spot on the 40 man roster.
    It is only money.

    These things DO HAPPEN in pro sports.
    Stats and on field performance have nothing to do with it.
    Taking care of “family” has everything to do with it.

    • This is just sad on so many levels.

      The McGowan contract was ridiculous, sorry.

      • @Stoeten

        You have already called the McGowan contract defensible. No need to go circling back to “ridiculous” as the contract cannot be both at the same time.

        But you’re right about the goodwill stuff being overblown.

        • Is it overblown though? For a guy that we drafted 1st overall and showed tons of potential until the injuries. It’s not like we’re paying him 10 mill or something, 1.3 for 2 years plus an option (a big, stupid, no chance in hell option for sure) is hardly giving away the farm. Who even cares, unless you’re a Rogers shareholder or something, I can’t even see how this matters. He doesn’t take a roster spot, he doesn’t prevent us from signing other pitchers, it’s basically a no lose situation. Worse case scenario he doesn’t play and we end up paying 1% of our total payroll to a guy many people thought still had an outside chance to come back pretty strong 2 years. Big wup, move on!

          • @Geomo

            When I say that the goodwill talk is “overblown” I mean that the contract made sense simply for baseball/economic reasons in the risk/reward model.

            I think of goodwill between GMs and players/agents as extras. It’s nice to try to build it and maybe it can help you sign a free agent or get a player to take a more favourable contract structure down the road if they like your organization.

            As an example, perhaps the extra effort AA and his staff put in with RA Dickey convinced Dickey to sign the same deal he wanted from the Mets. Which is counter to what some in the media were suggesting it would take the Blue Jays to sign him.

            But I don’t really think it’s prudent to spend $3.5 million on goodwill alone. And I don’t think that is what AA did.

            • Is it fair to question whether or not they are being / have been extra cautious as a result of what happened with Carpenter?

          • No it’s not that’s a legitimate point

            • Given that this is the franchise that gave up on Chris Carpenter, it’s understandable that they want to make sure a great talent is absolutely done before they give up on him.

    • was it anywhere close to the millions flushed down the pipes into lake Ontario like McGowans contract? Doubtful at best.

      They signed him thinking he was recovered, it was a bad bet, the house won on this one, sorry.

    • McGowan wasn’t dying. And had already made some money in baseball. Sure throw him one year at 500k if you like. But beyond that was crazy.

    • @s_t_w the contract was bad because of the timing. They didn’t have to sign him at the time, they could have waited to see how he would have performed. Who cares about this taking care of his family bs. He has been in the majors for years and made a lot of money. It is a business and the contract imo was ill timed and not necessary and for all intense purposes, a bad contract.

  9. Why not bring in mike carp?

  10. That video is fucking awesome. 80 grade want that was totally actualized.

    Suck it Farrell.

  11. the Blake Murphy read on the NL to AL for pitchers was a good read, looks like there was a lot of thinking into those projections. But I dont know how i feel about Reyes being that much worse then old black eye. I think Reyes played on a team thats D was shit, and coming to a team that D is important (not that its not in Miami, but who can tell down there), he will help as opposed to hurt as the stats stated suggest. Just IMO anyways.

  12. wait…..”eye popping bp” from Rasmus?

    A little elaboration please. Actuallly, a lot of elaboration.

  13. This game (although it looks just like a video and not playable) is awesome


  14. So Paul Quantrill was named a Blue Jays consultant. Which brings up an obvious question: anybody actually know what a consultant does?

  15. Baseball America’s top prospect list is out.


    Syndergaard -54

  16. Drake continues to be the goodwill ambassador of Toronto sports: at the NBA Dunk Contest cheering on Terence Ross and Jays hat in his newest video here at 4:48. Keep on reppin’. Good times could be rolling.


  17. Here’s an interesting statistical quirk I just found in this (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130219/baltimore-orioles-adam-jones-buck-showalter/?sct=hp_t13_a6&eref=sihp) Verducci article. Verducci doesn’t mention it at all, but what he did mention got me thinking.

    If the Jays were to improve by 22 wins to 95-67 this season, and then made the playoffs again the following season, the Jays would be the first team in the Wild Card era to sustain that large of a leap in success.

  18. Stoeten, are you in Florida?

  19. Dunno about those jeff Blair comments, but he said pretty much the same thing on the radio this morning but sounded far more surly about it. Context I guess?

    And re: Colby’s “eye-popping bp” I’m beginning to believe more and more that Farrell fucked up Colby’s head in a big way last season. Hopefully Gibby will just let him go out and have comfortable at-bats instead of Farrell’s insistence of having him pick and choose his moments.

    If one of Colby or Lind could get their shit together at the plate this season,
    they’re in good shape.

    • Colby has a much better chance than shitbag lind

    • I’m sure it will help Colby to have a manager who speaks the same language as him. Just like how the Jays got Rivera to help the spanish speaking players, they got Gibby to speak hillbilly with Rasmus..

  20. I hate saying this cause I’m a pretty big Rasmus fan, but that Chisholm article sounded way to much like any number of articles on Lind the past few years.

  21. So because Cooper took care of the back problem, Lind should be healthy this year right? He’ll just have his usual shittiness, rather than health-related shittiness?

  22. Da.

  23. Couple decent pieces on RA and JPA here http://aleastbound.com

  24. “sad blue collar 1950s anthropomorphic cartoon cat”


  25. Blanco just looked like he just got out of prison

  26. Breaking: Charlie Sheen is in for the Joe Carter golf fundraiser.

    Jeff Blair was extremely dismissive of Lawrie. To paraphrase, Lawrie doesn’t even know LaRosa has been brought in to babysit him.

  27. Have you guys seen this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4SleSgaixs
    SOOOOO good. If your a fan of NES and the Bluejays it is a must watch!!!

  28. Take a chance on overbay?

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