Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees

Aaron Laffey made a start for the 2013 Jays. Ugh.

Josh Johnson pitched well in his return to the mound in San Francisco last night, failing to get a win thanks more to an offence neutralized by Tim Lincecum and a pair of defensive miscues that led to an extra baserunner being on when Andres Torres homered to centre in the bottom of the second. He hadn’t pitched particularly well in his first four starts of the season– though his numbers were blown apart by an atrocious rain soaked outing in Detroit– but his return to the rotation for the first time since April 21st was a welcome sight, given what we’ve seen in his absence.

Just how bad has it been for a rotation vaunted all winter for it’s elite pitchers– R.A. Dickey, the reigning N.L. Cy Young winner; Brandon Morrow, whose 2012 ERA was 12th in baseball among those with 120 innings or more; Mark Buehrle, with twelve straight years of 200-plus innings and only three season ERAs above 3.90 on his resume; and Johnson, who many thought would round into pre-injury form after a solid 2012 return following a lengthy layoff that ended his two-and-a-third year run as one of the game’s absolute best pitchers– and, with J.A. Happ and Ricky Romero battling for the last spot, for having too much depth?

About as bad as that run-on sentence.

Scott MacArthur of TSN tweeted yesterday that for every one inning thrown by a Blue Jays reliever this year, they’ve received just 1.36 innings from a starter. From there, I decided to look deeper– though I kinda wish I hadn’t.

Looking at MacArthur’s stat in total, we see that the Jays have got 297.2 innings from starters, 219.2 from relievers, or just a shade under five-and-a-third innings per start.

Granted, disasters from Aaron Laffey, Ricky Romero, Sean Nolin, J.A. Happ when he got hit in the head, Brandon Morrow when his forearm tightened, Ramon Ortiz when he felt his elbow go, and the time they had to give the ball to Esmil Rogers– who, to his credit, pitched well, but only into the fourth– haven’t exactly helped the average, but still. Still. Only Twins starters have logged fewer innings in total, yet only ten teams (nine with one more, and one with two more) have played more games than the Jays at this point.

It’s really only been Chad Jenkins (in three starts), Buehrle (who’s failed to reach the fifth only once and the sixth just twice), and Dickey (who’s pitched fewer than six just once) who’ve been dependable, in terms of logging innings… which would be great, y’know, if the two guys expected to be stalwarts hadn’t been so damn shitty.

The overall rotational issues are not entirely their fault, of course– the too-many blow-ups and the injuries and the Romeros are skewing the numbers a bit– but holy fuck, check out the gory details:

- Heading into last night’s contest, as a group, Jays starters were 25th in terms of K/9 (27th by percentage), they had issued the second-most walks per nine innings (fourth-most by percentage), and the third most home runs per nine.

- As a group they sported the second-worst ERA in the Majors, and were dead last in terms of FIP and xFIP.

- They were third-worst in both tERA and SIERA.

- They sat second last in terms of win probability added.

- They were dead last in first pitch strike percentage, second last in percentage of pitches in the zone, and 24th of 30 in their percentage of swinging strikes generated.

- In terms of fWAR provided, only the Twins’, Astros’, Brewers’ and Padres’ staffs ranked worse– and the Jays’ group flips spots with Minnesota, dropping to fourth-worst in baseball, if you go by RA9-wins.

By damn close to literally every measure, the starting pitching this club has received has been simply awful, taken as a whole.

But hey! Fire the manager! Can the hitting coach! Shit on the fucking hopeless defence and the one-dimensional catcher! Those things aren’t entirely overblown as fatal flaws due to the fact that this team– albeit with rare exceptions like last night– apparently can’t get starting pitching to save its life, righhhhht???

Which isn’t to say that those other issues don’t exist, it’s just that’s sort of the whole thing right there.

And this: the Jays have used eleven fucking starters through just over a third of a season, so… you have to expect that the numbers aren’t going to be good. Yet, you also have to expect that, with a guy like Johnson getting healthy, a guy like Buehrle rounding into form, and one like Dickey surely-to-fucking-god having some kind of a corner-turning in his very near future, things are going to get better. And better still when Morrow and Happ make their way back, or someone truly steps up in their absence.

Of course, understanding all that makes so much of the finger pointing and vitriol pretty thoroughly pointless, which I understand is a wholly unsatisfying thought as we watch frustrating result after frustrating result pile up. It’s just… it’s true. Knowing it won’t keep the season from continuing to slip away, but I guess it’s a much better feeling that believing this roster is suddenly, hopelessly, irrevocably fucked. With even just average starting pitching, I suspect things would look much, much better. Y’know, for whatever little that’s worth.

Comments (129)

  1. Remember when we were trying to figure out if we had the best rotation in the division before the year started. Fun times fun times.

    When is happ back anyways ?

    And does anyone have confidence that dickey will have any sort of success this year?

    • Oust Gibbons…………….NOW. He has no more energy for this team. He sits on the bench with not one concern on his face cause he knows he will get his money no matter what and he got fired by them once, why the hell did they bring that useless bum back again anyways/ They have the staff there to beat ANYBODY…………….but no one to manage them and MAKE THEM WIN !!!!!!!

      • Cool opinions, but you’re posting them to the wrong site. is that way —->.

      • “MAKE THEM WIN”??? What a laughable fucking comment.

      • I just have to ask, with these “no energy” comments, what are you expecting from a manager? Not every manager is going to kick dirt and cause shit like Earl Weaver or Lou Piniella or that double-A guy who used the rosin bag as a grenade. Some managers are very good and know the game without making SportsCentre for putting on a show and throwing shit around. Hell, I seem to recall the Jays won two World Series with a laid-back manager who just sat in the dugout showing little emotion, what was his name…oh yeah, Cito, the guy you probably want to replace Gibbons.

      • You’re right Kevin. In fact all 30 teams should hire managers who will make them win. Right now! Then everyone can win and no one needs to feel bad.

      • There is an old saying…you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. That is the position Gibbons is in. He can’t MAKE them win. The players have to do that themselves.

      • troll

      • I hate when trolls hijack the first comment to post unrelated bullshit. Post your comment on the bottom if it is not an actual reply.

  2. And yet those SP stats would look exponentially shittier if you divided them by salary.

  3. I think everyone knew these pitchers that were brought in would have their numbers inflated, but not by this much. The AL East consists of 4 hitters parks, one of which the Jays play 81 games in, so it goes without saying. The injuries have been insane too, but they have been to the usual suspects.

    I’m not one for blaming coaches, but if this keeps up, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if at least Pete Walker gets canned.

    • I wanted to blame a lot of this on team defense but the staff FIP and staff ERA are nearly identical so although the pitching staff clearly hasn’t been helped by the defense, it’s basically been every bit as bad as it has seemed.

      • Many of the defensive miscues don’t even show up in stats.

        Routine double play ball hit to Boni last night.
        He fumbles it but “recovers” to get the out at first.

        Up comes Belt (who should have been trotting out to his position at 1B)
        and smacks a two rung dinger.
        Ball game.

        This kind of thing has been happening way too much.

        Don’t know your defensive stats well enough
        to know if we’re saying the same thing in different words,
        but yeah, the failure of the defense to get to balls and to make routine plays
        has mad the pitchers seem much worse than they have been.

        And they don’t need any help looking bad.

    • I have no time for the practice of firing managerial staff mid-season but… best handle ever. Really. I want my own fucking parrot.

    • Hiring and firing coaches, unless there’s an actual issue with the coach seems like something GMs either do when they first get hired or as an act of deperation when their plan has failed and they are about to get fired. This doesn’t seem like a problem caused by Pete Walker that putting anyone else in there would fix. The only reason I can see to fire him would be because AA is desperate to ‘shake things up’. Not only does that shit never work but I just don’t get the sense from what I’ve heard him say on the radio and such that he’s that close to losing his own job. Even assuming the team continues to shit on the world I’d be surprised to see any major coaching changes on this team before at least this point next season.

  4. anyone know what happened to the Hum & Chuck blog? really enjoyed it

  5. nm got a bad link,

    p,.s., good luck to us next year!

  6. Let’s get real here. The catcher for like 80% of those starts is JP, and he is, well, let’s say below average. Going into last night, he had thrown one, yes 1, base runner. How many wild pitches attributed to the pitchers are his responsibility? Lots. Not to forget all the trips to the mound, bad pitch selection, no target for the pitchers and errors. He is, at best, a bench player, backup catcher. Added on to that, his patience at the plate..what is it, 3 walks, almost 60 strikeouts?

    • You can blame jp as much as you want for his hitting and defence but it’s absolutely fucking ridiculous and stupid to blame him for the poor pitching.

      • Agreed.

        • Also agreed.

          I think people need to stop blaming JPA for so much shit. Yes he strikes out a ton, walks less than Steven Hawking, and hasn’t thrown out many runners… but he isn’t the one throwing the fucking pitches! He’s not the (only) one making errors, and bad decisions all over the field. He’s not the one blowing peoples arms out.
          For me JPA is the least of my worries on this team. How about getting on Izturis and Boni for their abysmal bats, and possibly worse defence? I mean… fuck, who gives a shit about JPA at this point, he is a small part of a big fucking disaster.

      • Sorry, JP is a bench player at best. He is tragic defensively, passed balls et all, and the opponents run on him randomly. Pitch selection is wanting..why is he constantly out at the mound? He cost them the game the other night with that half-baked throw to third. We will get no better until we have a certified big league catcher…and third baseman.

      • Meh. I’d maybe attribute a small percentage of the blame to him. I don’t know what percentage, but I do believe that a catcher can positively or negatively influence a pitching performance in a number of ways.
        He is, by no means the ONLY cause, or likely even near the top of the list of reasons for shittiness though.

    • Something tells me you like that CERA stat. Personally, I don’t call it CERA, I call it “noise”. You know, as in “not signal”.

      • CERA is definitely gabage. Something that wouldn’t be garbage is looking at JP’s framing data and estimating how many runs are gained or lost by having him versus an average pitch framer. His ability (or lack of) to frame pitches is going to have a greater impact on the pitching staff than any other aspect of his game. If he’s hurting the staff, that’s where it’s going to show and it shouldn’t be too hard to put a number on that.

        • Well put. I think it was somebody on a Rays blog that did that pitch-framing study last year… hopefully that will become a recurring practice. It certainly suggested that pitch-framing matters, with league leaders (like Jose Molina) being worth multiple wins just via pitch-framing. Some have questioned whether other effects were properly neutralized though.

    • Are you forgetting that Dickey has been awful without JPA behind the plate? Are you forgetting that when they put Blanco in to catch Buehrle he pitched a horrible game? The pitchers are responsible for their stats. There is no reliable stat, metric, or fact giving JPA any more than marginal influence on poor pitching performance.

  7. It really is remarkable how bad the starters have been. I would have liked if you had just looked at the 5/6 guys who were slated to be starters back in February, so that there’s no hiding behind Ortiz and Rogers and the rest. The fact is that the front five (plus Romero) have been woefully bad, coming up WAY below their career norms, and not one has had a statistical aberration that is above what we would have reasonably expected. This whole piece would be much more easy to swallow if we could say, ‘at least so-and-so has been amazing – although we can’t expect him to keep up his career year here forever, can we?’

    The two trades are likely going to hurt a lot in a couple of years when we look back on what these players became the minute they landed at Pearson, and as we watch (at least) four prospects develop. A year ago we were all very high on D’Arnaud, Marisnick, Syndergaard, and Nicolino, and if we watch the four of them (or even just two or three) develop while the Jays wallow in mediocrity (or worse) for the next few years, it’s going to really suck.

    Maybe tonight will be the turning point. Right guys? …hello?

    • It’s still early.

    • Evaluating the trades after 2 months isn’t really fair… and to your point, every single player has played below their career averages. Dickey, Reyes and Buerhle are under contract for several more years. Bautista and EE are in their prime… lots of reasons to at least hold off on declaring this offseason a total loss.

    • The trades can’t be judged except in hindsight at the end of the 2015 season.

  8. I’d be interested to see a comparison of this year’s starters vs last year when the Jays had Alvarez, Hutch, and Drabek and the like. I’m guessing last year’s was better (didn’t they start with a string of 5+ inning starts?) I would never have guessed this year could be just as bad, if not worse.

  9. The starting pitching has been brutal, no doubt. But I do remember a lot of games where the pitching kept the jays in it and the offense faltered big time. Hence, all the 1-3 run losses they have. The one thing the starters have done a terrible job at is stopping the other team from replying after the jays score. It really does seem like every fucking time the jays score, the other team replies in the bottom of the inning or next. That happening all the time is very deflating for the club.

    • Dude… you need to audition for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. They would eat this shit up!

      • Sun nite baseball?? What about buck and tabby. They can give a lecture for 4 innings about this shit. Regardless, it does seem like its happened a lot this year. I probably shouldnt have called it deflating. Frustrating is a better word.

    • You do understand that if that were ACTUALLY an ability pitchers had, it would show up easily in the data (performance would be repeatable and independent of general talent level). Just because your mind, quite naturally, prefers narratives to “randomness” does not mean that those narratives actually represent something real. That is why you turn to the objective techniques – to tame your fucking mind.

      • Never said it was an actual pitcher SKILL, bud. All I said is the starters have let the other team respond a lot. Whether its bad luck, I dont fucking know. But its happened a lot. I can fucking guarantee it.

        • You’re right that it has happened a lot. You’re certainly right that it is deflating. Hopefully, it stops.

  10. With all those rally-killing homeruns our pitchers are giving up, I’m surprised we’re this many games below 0.500.

  11. Some good info here, good research. Seems the use of the F word is simply unnecessary

  12. the devastating injuries to Drabek and Hutchison last year really killed the Jays in 2012 and 2013.

    successful teams reach into their system for SP depth with guys they’ve developed (Odorizzi, Colome with the Rays; Wacha, Lyons and Miller with the Cards; Skaggs with the D’backs; Anderson with the A’s; and so on.

    Because of the injuries to Drabek and Hutchison AA was forced to try and use the waiver wire and cheap minor league FAs to build up SP depth in AAA. and that just isn’t a very good way (or proven way) to add depth to your major league starting staff.

    Ricciardi’s drafts in 2008 and 2009 were terrible and those are the guys that should be helping the major league team now (and that’s the case with other teams). that horrible drafting hurts the SP depth and still hampers AA’s work. but AA seems to have his own blind-spot. with Drabek, plus the long injury histories of Santos, McGowan, Morrow and JJ, it does seem that AA is way too optimistic with these types of pitchers. it’s silly that the training and medical staff bear the brunt of the blame for the pitching injuries when all of those pitchers have repeatedly shown to be injury prone.

    maybe they need to place greater weight on a pitcher’s history of arm injuries. whatever they do, i just hope that this injury pattern on the MLB team isn’t systemic and reflective of a blindspot with guys they’ve drafted, like Osuna and Sanchez, who have been hurt this year too.

    • Some good points here. But i dont think they miss drabek that much. The guy cant throw strikes. Hutch is a loss for sure. Also, AA fucked up drafting deck mcguire. The guy was supposed to be here by now. He has been a huge bust.

      • well when you’re trotting out guys like Aaron Laffey and poor Ramon Ortiz out there and rushing up prospects like Sean Nolin, you certainly should be missing a former top 20 prospect like Drabek.

        and it’s way too early to close the book on Deck McGuire.
        this year Deck has got a great K rate (7.95/game), amazing HR rate (.30/game) and a really good FIP (3.32). he’s been the victim of some very bad luck (.339 BABIP and 62.5% strand rate).

      • Other than Chris Sale, which pitcher taken after McGuire would be having any kind of impact on the Jays starting pitching depth right now?

  13. Say what you want about heart, TWTW, etc – but this Jays team is soft.

    • Specifically what are they lacking? Ductility? Or is it the tensile strength that is weak?

    • I assume TWTW stands for “The Will To Win”, but my first reaction was to assume it meant “To the Window, To the Wall”

    • Yes Hawk. They aren’t hard enough. That’s a sound plan you have there. Get hard people.

      We should get winners too. And gritty guys. Have to have gritty guys.

      Let’s see, are there any other completely unquantifiable, narrative based, character traits that we can randomly call for?

  14. How much do you blame the lack of pitching success on the porous defence?

    • Someone commented on this point earlier. Surprisingly little was their conclusion.

    • I think the porous defence is the difference between this staff being where they are and being somewhere in the middle of the pack. It’s not just the errors, but I can think of plays by every player on this team that were missed that I know high-quality defenders on other teams would have made. How many times have the Jays had runs stolen by amazing plays in the field? Yet on the flipside, when we need big plays, a lot of times it’s a ball that EE just misses, or that Rasmus misreads off the bat and can’t get to (I can think of several examples off the top of my head)…these are not errors, but they are plays that need to be made if you want to win.

      • You know you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for scapegoats when you start blaming Rasmus’s defense for the shittiness of the pitching. The infield defense has sucked compared to last year, with major downgrades up the middle and Lawrie missing a lot of time, but the starting pitching has just plain sucked. If it was the defense, the relievers would suck too.

        I agree that AA is way too optimistic about injury-prone pitchers. Santos and McGowan might as well be released as even if they get back by next year its not like we can count on them to pitch more than a few innings. Morrow should be moved to the pen as its painfully obvious he can’t handle the workload of starting.

    • There is a metric called FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) that lets us test your theory:

      2012 2013

      Buehrle 4.18 4.73
      RA Dickey 3.27 4.90
      Johnson 3.40 4.26
      Morrow 3.65 5.44

      Even when you remove fielding from the equation the Starting Rotation has regressed.

      • lol damn formatting lol

      • Yeah, that’s very helpful and proves a lot. The walks and HRs have been especially killer and you can’t blame the defence for those.

      • I appreciate that FIP is CALLED Fielding Independent Pitching, but it doesn’t really take out the impact of defense so much as it removes all variables that are considered to be constant over large samples. Admittedly, that means that a single that falls because the defense lacks range isn’t counted against the pitcher, but that’s not really the problem with the Jays’ defense is it? What happened last night, where bad defense extends an inning & leads to a HR, still counts fully in FIP.

  15. My problem with the line of thinking at the end of the post is that it’s entirely possibly we don’t see a “return to form.” One can’t just expect the starters to be better this year, because they are historically better than they are showing now.
    1) Dickey is a knuckleball pitcher, relying on a pitch exclusively that is by nature, unpredictable. His outstanding year last year was almost certainly an aberration. It’s also quite possible that he’s not quite as good as his two years prior indicated, which would equate to a number 3 pitcher on a great team anyway. I’m not trying to shit on the guy; I like him and he can be good, but he is simply not a staff ace and expecting that is foolhardy.
    2) Morrow is historically inconsistent. Good year, bad year, good year, bad year. Add in the fact the he can’t stay healthy, and I truly cannot see why we should just count on him improving over the second half of the season.
    3) Buehrle is who he is. I like that guy. He’s a number 4 pitcher these days, and he’s performing about as expected. If we are pinning things on him, we are fucked.
    4) Johnson has been an immense disappointment. In a contract year, he is the one guy I can see has a better than 50/50 shot of turning it around, especially given last night’s outing. However, one pitcher pitching well will not be nearly enough.
    5) A number five starter. Period, end of story.

    On paper, it’s true our staff looked super strong to start the year. But sometimes, that is deceiving. The Jays starting pitchers haven’t been good, and to me, that points to them just not being all that good. Give this whole team another shot next year, and if we still can’t play .500 ball, I mean, what does that say?

    • Let’s use ERA, because you probably can understand it.

      2010 – 2.84
      2011 – 3.28
      2012 – 2.73
      2013 – 5.18
      Yes, last year was an aberration you god damned mouth breather.

      • Let’s look at the years before that too, shall we? Or if those can’t count because he hadn’t mastered his knuckleball, then isn’t that too small a sample size?

        Oh ya, pitching in the National League I’m sure had nothing to do with it. Keep drinking the kool-aid bro!

        • Small sample size? I’m glad you have learned a statistical buzz word. Unforunately, you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. 3 years after data after a known mechanical change is certainly sufficient to show that a not insignifcant change in result occured.
          And, yes, there a definitely predictable changes from pitching to a DH instead of a pitcher and from pitching in hitter friendly parks. However, doubling his ERA isn’t what would would be predicted. Nor would him throwing every fucking pitch outside of the strike zone.

          If you take a second to get your head out of ass and use some basic reasoning, you can forget the Coxesque narratives and produce some rational thoughts.

          • So what’s your prediction then George? Are which Dickey do we see from here on out?

            I bet you don’t have a fucking clue do you? And that’s what I believe Morgan was driving at.

        • 3 season is too small of a sample size??? wtf?

          • Okay, I was just saying 3 seasons compared to his career as a pitcher before that (10 seasons?). It’s entirely possible, and looking likely, that those 3 seasons he just had a great spell with an unpredictable ball. Now, he is simply regressing to the mean of, oh, I don’t know… every single fucking knuckleball pitcher of all time. It’s not a reliable pitch. A knuckleballer cannot be a staff ace. Dickey has been bad. Sorry to hurt your feelings brah!

            • So I guess we can’t look at the last three years of Bautista because something something something…

    • Morrow has had a good season? That’s news to me.

      More like he pitched 120 good innings one year and then got injured which in essence adds replacement level value to the rest of the year for him.

  16. 2013 is the paper, 2014 shall be the tiger. It shall be so.

    • Shouldn’t be if 2013 is paper then 2014 should be scissors …cause scissors beats paper :)

    • I think the team from Detroit prefers it to be spelled Tiger. This team won’t be any better next year, outside of a variation due to luck. The core of players who we expected to be AS-level good this year (Bautista, EE, Dickey, Reyes) are all on the wrong side of 30, and the players who we optimistically hoped would either maintain or take a step forward (Rasmus, Lawrie, Morrow) have a longer track record of failure than success.

  17. Man, has this season a fucking disappointment.

  18. This season has just been so fucking depressing because of how damn good it looked on paper. At least in past years, we all knew deep down there wasn’t a hope in hell. Plus we could channel our rage towards Rogers’ cheap-ass-ness.

  19. The Baseball Gods are cruel motherfuckers when it comes to the Cubs, that is for sure.

  20. 100% the problem this year has been the starting pitching… Which is so fucked when you look at the 2012 numbers of Dickey, Morrow, Johnson and Buerhle. To a man they’ve all been massively disappointing so far.

    I really think this offence is absolutely good enough to contend, and the pen has been great.

    Here’s fuckin hoping they get it together. It’s probably too late, but Id at least like to see them take a run.

  21. end result of employing the worst gm in mlb.

    2010 85-77
    2011 81-81
    2012 73-89
    2013 24-34

    fourh season season on the job and it’s all been downhill.

    • brought the farm team from 2nd last to 3rd.

      isn’t that more telling of a GM’s duties as opposed to fielding an average team.

      and now we have assets on the major league roster.

      if at the end of next year the team isn’t in it, the GM can easily turn pro’s back in to high end prospects.

      this isn’t AA’s fault, even with age/league switch regression, you can’t blame him for 4 top end starters shitting the bed in the same year.

      • What do the Jays have on this roster that can be turned into high end prospect outside of Bautista? And he was here before AA got the GM job.

        The same can be said about E5 but I don’t think you’re going to get high end prospects for him.

  22. Alright I’ll come clean. The reason the Leafs and Jays have been doing so poorly is because I’ve bought tickets to games. For the Leafs I’ve bought the last three years excluding this past season. Surprise! They’re in the playoffs this year. For the Jays I bought last year and this year. So don’t expect any miracles this year.

    I apologize. I won’t buy Jays tickets next season.

  23. Okay, here’s the reason for optimism. The Jays have to be a good team, if only by the transitive property. So, last year’s team was at .500 before we pissed off that Gipsy in June, right? And this team is objectively better than last year’s in almost every way.

    Outfield 2012 – Jose, Cleatus, Thames
    Outfield 2013 – Jose, Cleatus, Cabrera – Obviously better even if Cabrera sucks because Thames is miserably aweful

    Infield 2012 – Lawrie, Eddy, Lind, Johnson and Escobar
    Infield 2013 – Lawrie, Eddy, Line, Bonerface and Reyes – again, clearly better given that Yunel was replacement level on offense last year. Remember that Kelly’s defense was apocalyptically shitty as well.

    Bullpen 2012 – Some people including Coco
    Bullpen 2013 – Some people not including Coco – ’nuff said. Win for 2013


    Drabek/Jenkins, I guess?

    Laffey/Not Aaron Fucking Laffey

    2012 – Avowed Rat Fucker John Farrell
    2013 – Baseball’s Chuck Norris John Gibbons

    So unless you think Dickey-Johnson is worse than Alvarez-Hutchinson, which you obviously don’t because you’re not retarded, then it’s pretty clear that the 2013 Jays are better than the 2012 Jays in literally every facet of the game of baseball.

    It gets better everyone. Especially now that Yunel is gone…

  24. The off-season isn’t a total loss although this season probably will be. We’ve had changes at: manager, 3rd base coach, 1st base coach, bench coach, pitching coach, bullpen coach I think, starting pitchers 1 through 5, short stop, second base, left field and a bunch of others I’ve forgotten. Teams that go through that much change won’t thrive right out of the starting gate I don’t think. Even the Yankees had a perennial core 4 on the field. Who have we got that’s been here more than a year or so? Bautista. EE sort-of. Lind sort-of.

    The bullpen seems to be working and the nice surprise of the season so far is Casey Janssen as closer. So one third of the equation is basically fine. The other 2/3 not so much. But I continue to have confidence that the team will work into something special.

  25. One other point that people will murder me for. You know who would be a pretty awesome manager for this team? You all know what I’m about to say. YES, Cito Gaston! Think about it, this is a veteran group that just needs to stay out of it’s own way. One thing Cito’s always been good at is managing veterans, and yes, he’d probably completely screw the pooch with Lawrie, but it’s not like anything good is happening there anyway. The bullpen is idiot proof. The team was somehow above .500 both seasons he was in charge. Maybe there’s something to it?

    Or maybe I should stop drinking Tequila at work…

    • Jesus fuck, will people not let the corpse of Cito Gaston rest in peace.

    • thing is, i think gibby manages in much the same way, just letting the players do their thing. he’s not domineering or a micromanager, plus he’s way better at the in-game stuff than cito and seemingly better with younger guys too.

      no, i think the buck really stops with the players on this one, as well as just good old-fashioned baseball luck. its very frustrating that there are no easy answers, but there’s not much they can do but play out the string, wait for things to hopefully get better, and then re-evaluate guys at the end of the year and weigh the chances of contention in 2014.

  26. No Game Threat, but why are we messing with E5 with a lefty on the mound?

  27. Not that they’re both available, but sell “the farm”, and get King Felix and Cliff Lee in here.

    If we’re going to compete with the Yankees and the Sox, we can’t just expect to make moves for one year, during what was supposed to be a down time for both teams, and hope to win a championship.

    This team needs consistent pitching in order to compete in our division.

    Easier said than done, I know….but there’s going to be a lot of angry fans, if they just give up after one year of trying to compete……i.e. trade EE or Joey Bats.

  28. It’s disappointing to see how many people are saying “Fire Gibbons”, anyone with any idea about baseball knows that a manager does nothing more that decide when to bunt, steal, and he also manages the bullpen. It’s not up to the manager to bring the intensity, the players have to want to win. And the hitting has not been good, despite what some people might think. If the jays had average pitching (4.32 runs per game) and they continued to hit the way they’ve been hitting, they would win 73 games… so yeah, fuck.

  29. This is all true. The only problem is that it’s been true since Halladay left and the organization has shown no ability to fix it. So why should we see this as some kind of weird silver lining? Since doc left, the jays have failed to produce a successful pitching prospect, have passed on or failed to acquire Latos, Gio, Sanchez, Grenike, and Darvish and instead have spent their money and prospects bringing pitchers that have made the situation worse. I’ve been watching the Jays for 25 years, i can honestly say the pitching has never been this bad. Heads should roll.

  30. Another Boner-facio is a big reason why the jays starters ERA simply suck

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