Leading off, as always (or usual), it’s today’s edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast– which for the duration of the season will be coming at you daily! We’re not double posting this year, but I’ll be sure to include the link in the first Daily Duce or Game Threat that follows the post going up over at Getting Blanked. Otherwise, you can find the podcast at Getting Blanked on iTunes, get it via the RSS feed we have setup, or like Getting Blanked on Facebook in order to get each day’s podcast straight into your news feed (if we remember to post it). While you’re at it, go ahead and like DJF on Facebook, too.

J.P. Arencibia is not short on confidence, and does some sabermetric cherry picking, “defiantly” telling Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star that “no one cares about strikeouts other than people that aren’t in the game. People who understand baseball understand that strikeouts, for myself, really don’t mean as much.” And he’s absolutely right that strikeouts alone aren’t as big a deal as they often get made out to be, it’s just… the astronomical K-rate combined with the absolute lack of anything resembling an ability to walk does not a productive offensive player make.

Arencibia is on pace for 38 home runs; a number topped by catchers just six times in Major League history, and by catchers not named Piazza, Bench or Campanella only twice. By that very imperfect measure, it would seem to me there’s a pretty decent chance his power doesn’t continue at even these levels (just nine qualified hitters in baseball posted a higher ISO last year than the .245 J.P. currently sits on), and yet that power has only “carried” him to 16th of 25 catchers with 100 plate appearances in terms of wRC+. Despite the flashy shows of power, and despite being right (sort of) about strikeouts, he’s just not a productive offensive player, even for the low bar at his position. Last year, too, he was 18th of 25 catchers with 350 PA in terms of wRC+ (Josh Thole, for those about to ask, was dead last with a mark of 60). Steve Slowinski wrote an interesting piece at FanGraphs back in 2011 about why, though the sabermetric argument is still essentially correct, strikeouts are still kinda bad.

More from Brendan Kennedy of the Star, as he looks at R.A. Dickey’s honorary doctorate from the U of T’s Wycliffe College, which he received yesterday. He also looks at MLB’s new home run derby app, which stars former derby participants, including Jose Bautista.

Elsewhere at the Star, Richard Griffin chatted with readers today, including one whose name you might recognize (though I can assure you it wasn’t really him).

Chris Toman of BlueJays.com fills us in on what happened at The Curve Ball event that the Jays held last night.

Toman also spoke to Alex Anthopoulos and Paul Beeston, and in a separate piece at the dot com has some “never give up”-type quotes from them.

John Lott of the National Post looks at the return of Marco Scutaro. Meanwhile, Tom Maloney of the Globe and Mail talks to Giants manager Bruce Bochy about a long ago game in Calgary– and separately, profiles the reigning World Series champion skipper.

Eno Sarris of FanGraphs goes looking for R.A. Dickey’s lost velocity– which, as noted in the post below\, will hopefully start to return tonight, now that he says he is no longer dealing with the neck and back issues that have plagued his early season so far.

Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Marc Hulet looks at some bad luck on the prospect front had by both the Jays and the Texas Rangers.

The Tao of Stieb finds a glimmer of hope.

Nifty infographic from the New York Times, which shows that the Jays have 27.9% of their payroll on the DL currently, which represents the third highest dollar amount in baseball. Today alone they’ve paid over $130,000 in salaries to injured players.

At Bluebird Banter, Tom Dakers looks at how a tonne of former Jays from around the league have been doing to start the season, and thankfully, it’s not all Wells and Overbay-ish spectacularness.

In another piece for Bluebird Banter, we get a primer on the Giants via some questions asked in the way of the excellent Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles.

Via MLBTR, Ben Badler of Baseball America calls the Jays the favourites to land Venezuelan shortstop Yeltsin Gudino, who is one of his ten international prospects to watch.

Michael Beraskow of Jays Journal looks at ways in which the Jays could elevate their fan experience– something that, I don’t think you’ll disagree, is badly needed.

Lastly, while not Jays-related, this is Expos-related, as it seems Fernando Tatis, ex of Montreal, Texas, the Cardinals and more, is really good at MS Paint. Also: hilarious.

Comments (24)

  1. Why not always bat your best hitter second? Hell, why not bat him first? The more AB’s for Jose the better, right?by Dustin Parkes 10:17 AM

  2. When did Coors start sponsoring you guys?

  3. “Spectacularness”? The Wilner metamorphosis is complete.

  4. Wow!

    $8,171 per hour in lost injury wages.

    Mind blowing.

  5. Surgio Santos.

  6. I can’t wait to make a game this year. When they ask me to throw out the first pitch, I’m going to drop my pants drop a hangover driven deuce on my Jays joisey.

  7. “He’s not an effective offensive player” assuming you accept wRC+ as the official measure of offensive effectiveness.

    Never had accepted that these metrics will give extra credence to a base hit in the late innings of a close game, a hit that MIGHT produce a run, while totally ignoring hits that DID produce runs.

    I get all the mumbo jumbo about RBI’s being “opportunity dependent,”
    but to pretend that they don’t matter is just stupid.

    • Yeah, those hits don’t get extra significance because the timing of them has nothing to do with some kind of extra special skill Arencibia has. They were important hits, obviously, but they tell us nothing about Arencibia as a player.

      RBIs matter in the course of a game and a season– they tell a story– but they tell you far too little about a player to be useful in any way at all in terms of analysis. Sorry.

      • Of course, RBI’s just determine meaningless things like whether games are won or lost and whether or not players produce in critical situations.

        Assigning arbitrary constants to cherry picked variables to produce a metric of dubious value is far more useful.

        What nonsense.

        You won’t find a GM in baseball who describes RBI’s as “irrelevant.”

        You’ll find lots of bloggers who think that; and, of course they know far more than the players, agents and GM’s.

        • You’ll find plenty who don’t care about RBIs. Their favourite thing to do is to try to find the ones who do care about RBIs.

        • You’re totally out to lunch here. Without question 100% of all GMs in baseball accept that RBIs are opportunity dependent and weight them appropriately in their analysis of players. You completely ignored Stoeten’s point. RBIs tell a story – they explain what happened. They are not an effective tool for analysis – the do NOT explain what WILL happen in the future. Unless you believe in the insane notion that guys are “run producers”

        • RBI determine whether a player happened to get hits at opportune times, but apparently not whether a player either has a long-term tendency to do so, nor whether a player has an ability to do so at will. Sorry.

  8. A bit off topic but since there are so many ex-Jays involved, you might enjoy this read.

    For those of you who are stats wizards, before the Horton goal, according to the Elias stats bureau, the Leafs had a 97.8% chance of winning. Just before the 4-3 goal, they had a 99.9% chance of winning, and after the 4-3 goal they had a 95% chance. How did that all work out for ya.

  9. Too lazy to check the NY Times piece – does the Jays injury amount include Romero?

  10. The Tatis art is fucking great.

    I want to pet him on the head.

  11. I love stationwagons Richard. Can you milk me?

  12. No wonder jp has to be “defiant:” no matter what the guy does he gets no respect.
    If he hits 30 HRS hes a productive player no matter if doesnt walk the rest of the year. Like, I get what youre saying, but youre going to far with it. Yeah, he’ll never be great if he can’t improve his ratios and it would be nice to have a higher obp but 30 hrs is really really good.

    • If he hits 30 homers but costs his team outs almost every other time he’s up to bat then hes not a very productive hitter. Remember, every out you make for your team is one less chance to get a hit and score a run. If he finishes the season with an obp of .260, that’s a lot of extra outs relative to a league average obp of .320. Bang, tere goes all the benefit of those home runs.

    • No. If he hits 30-35 HR, then that makes him an average offensive performer, once you take into account the other aspects of his performance. Now don’t get me wrong: I prefer average to below-average, but guys with high HR totals and low OBP cost more than equivalent, more balanced offensive performers. That wastes money.

  13. Carlos Villanueva: Maybe we should have held on to him. 1-2, 3.02 ERA in 7 starts, 47.2 innings, 14 walks, 35 k. 1.5 WAR.

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