Afternoon links!

Jesse Litsch refused the assignment when the Jays tried to send him to Triple-A earlier in the winter, becoming a free agent. He’ll now miss the 2013 season as he recovers from cartilage replacement surgery in his shoulder. Yes, you read that right. CLNS Radio explains that “cartilage replacement is a relatively new procedure that involves taking a bone and cartilage from a cadaver and attaching it inside the patient’s body. Litsch’s surgery is the first time cartilage replacement has ever been used on a baseball player, and the success of his surgery will likely set a precedent for future pitchers in the same scenario.” They add that Litsch “will likely draw interest from teams if he proves he is healthy during winter ball next year. Because the surgery is the first done on a baseball player, recovery time is unknown.”

In the National Post, John Lott looks at out-of-options reliever Jeremy Jeffress, who is looking to put his problems with drugs (or whatever you want to call weed) behind him.

Lott also tells us about the spring’s overlooked mentorship: Henry Blanco’s and A.J. Jimenezeseses. And in yet another piece about John Gibbons, who is ready to get the games started already. Because… y’know… as fun as hype is, Spring Training is actually really fucking tedious.

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet looks at the club’s starting pitching depth, including a not-very-J.A.-Happ-like Brad Lincoln, who is happy to take on whatever role the club has for him, as well as some other guys slated for Buffalo, like Esteban Germano, Dave Bush, and others.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Wilner talks about the impressive Sergio Santos, who says he feels as good as he did before the injury that derailed his 2012. And so does Ken Fidlin of the Sun, who looks at another new member of the Jays’ ‘pen, Esmil Rogers.

In a notebook post at, Gregor Chisholm writes about Gibbers’ insistence that the Jays will be going with the best team possible this year, not worrying about guys out of options as much as in years before, and also about Brandon Morrow getting the call in the first game of the spring, which goes Saturday in Dunedin. There’s also something about Paul Quantrill and whatever the thing is that he’s doing with the Jays this season. Elsewhere, Gregor talks about Josh Johnson.

Another notebook post from Gregor tells us that it’s been confirmed by the club that R.A. Dickey will have a personal catcher this season, and that Brandon Morrow will go just one inning in his spring debut on Saturday.

At his North Of The Border blog, Gregor also has an extended transcript of a Q&A with Pete Walker, and a look at the pitching schedule over the first few games of spring. Next Monday’s game, which I’m aiming to be at, will be started by Ricky Romero. Which… I was going to say is boring, but it could actually be interesting.

Richard Griffin of the Star reports the “personal catcher” angle, as well, noting more specifically that J.P. Arencibia is unlikely to catch Dickey this season. Because… obviously.

Jeff Blair of Globe and Mail checks in from Dunedin, looking at how the Jays have brought in a pair of tough catches: the quick-working Mark Buehrle and the quick-working knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, via the Globe, looks at the long, strange story of Steve Delabar’s MLB career.

Scott Johnson of Franchise Mode gives you some excellent reasons to run away from the rush release they call MLB 2K13.

Dirk Hayhurst gives some thoughts– and pictures– on Tuesday’s Spring Training session.

The Tao of Stieb keeps looking at Jays players as they head into the 2013 season, stopping today on Josh Thole.

Baseball Prospectus (not paywall’d!) lists their best moves of the off-season, and the Jays’ series of “go for it” moves rank fourth, just ahead the Rays’ pickup of PECOTA projected 3-win $5-million shortstop Yunel Escobar. Number one? The Clevelands’ hiring of Terry Francona, so get out your giant grains of salt.

Also at BP (paywall’d!) they rank the top fantasy shortstops in the game, with Jose Reyes coming in second, behind Troy Tulowitzki.

Richard Griffin’s latest Bullpen post at the Toronto Star looks at the Jays’ waning prospect depth (in the wake of this winter’s deals, obviously), Connecticut-born Rajai Davis and the tragedy in Newtown, and PEDs.

Speaking of prospects, only two Jays make Baseball America’s new Top 100 list, with Aaron Sanchez checking in at 65th (behind Noah Syndergaard, FYI), and Marcus Stroman at 98.

Mike Rutsey of the Sun writes about potential AL MVP candidates, including Jose Bautista. His colleague, Ken Fidlin, writes a multi-topic post about Casey Janssen, Roy Halladay, and the club’s speed on the basepaths. Fidlin has another one still, this time about Brandon Morrow.

Matt Klaassen of FanGraphs wonders what the hell the purpose of Adam Lind serves, and ultimately concludes that he could be a decent-ish platoon guy. And… yeah… I can buy that, I guess.

Alex Anthopoulos is crossing his fingers over this one: at Minor League Ball, John Sickels looks at one case where a club drafting a bag full of tools worked out: Kenny Lofton.

Mop Up Duty looks at R.A. Dickey’s fastball, which is… actually pretty amazing.

The Blue Jay Hunter peers into the soul of the great unknown, aka Melky Cabrera.

Joshua Menezies of Jays Journal is betting on Colby Rasmus, and also looks at the difference between Jose Reyes and Yunel Escobar.

Scott Lewis of Getting Blanked makes us want like David Price more than we do: the 25-year-old Rays hurler says that the Yankees’ ban on facial hair is far too old school, and that he’d never sign as a free agent somewhere like that. Meanwhile, Drew looks at some highlights from picture day across the league. Which… holy shit, Jayson Werth.

Lastly, Bluebird Banter takes us on an annotated journey though yesterday’s 2013 Jays video game video thing.

Comments (44)

  1. Interesting thing about that BA ranking is that Osuna finished ahead of Stroman on the Jays top 10 (and I’m assuming top 30), yet finished behind him in (and out of) the top 100

    • How old is Osuna now? Cant be over 18. That kid’s gonna be good if he’s rated ahead of Stroman in any poll.

  2. Happy birthday Kurt Cobain

  3. Wow thats a shit tonne of links Stoeten, the one that leaps out at me is SERGIO SANTOS, who I think is going to be a fucking rockstar this year…

  4. If UCL replacement is Tommy John Surgery, does this mean cartilage replacement is going to be Jesse Litsch Surgery?

  5. Justin Morneau on WBC teammate Brett Lawrie: “It’s funny. Most Canadians are soft-spoken and quiet. Lawrie makes up for everybody (else).”

  6. Excellent troll job with the Farrell pic

  7. I think Jayson Werth stole Stoeten’s beard

  8. Best of luck to Jesse Litsch. Hopefully he makes it back.

  9. Who’s the rather lumpy pitcher in Hayhursts first picture?

    • pretty sure that’s Chad Beck, if i’m thinking of the same picture – he’d talked about his delivery in the post, and then has a few pics of him right at the top…

  10. Arencibia can’t catch Dick(ey).

    • If JPA tried that he would establish the modern day record for passed balls

      • was watching sportsnet, they had stadler & waldorf provide some insight into the jays’ cathing ‘situation.’ the zauninator tried to create some kind of…something, about how it was bad having a personal C for dickey (thole), that taking JP’s bat out of the lineup for the opening game in each playoff round (or something like that…honestly, it was all so stupid, i may have become temporarily brain-injured) wasn’t a good idea stupid. by the end, he was back-tracking all the way to the whole, ‘but yeah, JP kind of already has a problem with passed balls, so…’

  11. So what’s up with cecil

    • what about Cecil?

      • Release candidate?

        • No he will almost certainly start the year in the pen. He has better numbers vs lefties than most realize. I expect Happ to start along with Lincon in AAA. Loup has options and will prolly join those two.

          I think Jeffress will be gone. Unless he finally puts the Leftys down and finds some control of his wicked fastball. He has to really impress at camp*

  12. Da, Canada is good country, and, Jays have good team.

  13. i think the jays might be set up for a beautifully run pen. if santos comes back as the guy we thought we were getting he should be the clearcut best pitcher in the pen. with janssen having the closers role seemingly locked up that would allow for gibbons to use his best bullpen weapon in the highest leverage situations instead of saving him for a ninth inning lead.

  14. Dadadada coca cola the blue jays!! (OK. Blue jay. LETS. PLAY. BALL.)

    • It must have killed Coca-Cola to make the ’92 Congrats to the Champions ad. It’s based in Atlanta…

  15. Morosi with an interesting column on Morneau and the jays

    • Morneau would look nice at 1B – DH. Two things, is he healthy? And what would it take for the Twins?

      Considering that the Twins gave up Span and Revere for prospects, a prospect centered trade could do it. But what do you give up? Aaron Sanchez and Osuna likely are un-touchable. The Twins like soft-tossing strike throwers, why not Deck McGuire? :)

  16. Now that Dan Shaughnessy is persona non grata down at Fenway after ghosting the Terry Francona book it’s gonna finally get interesting. He’s already done a piece about Cherington that isn’t a slam but is not real supportive. He’s writing for The Globe, so there will be a limit on some of this stuff. But icing Shaughnessy and taking shots at him at a press conference may not have been the best move by the Sox Front Office.

  17. If Litsch would have accepted AAA, would he have been covered by medical insurance?

  18. Man, I think Jeffress should be allowed to pitch as high as he wants. Hey, has anybody ever thought about how it makes no sense, on any level, for marijuana to be illegal? Dude, why do they even test for it?

    • On any level? Of course there is but this isn’t the place dude. Shut the F-up. Your out of your element.

  19. I dislike the 20-80 pitch rating system.

    That is all.

  20. Hey Stoeten,

    I know this isn’t necessarily related to the product on field, (and there certainly isn’t a shortage of news to put in the snack blogs), but TVO (of all places) captured a bit of Paul Beeston’s guest lecture to the Ted Rogers School of Management about his early career and his strong stance on a casino in Toronto toward the bottom. I found it an interesting read. Perhaps worth a mention? Or whatever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *