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 bother to post it). While you’re at it, go ahead and like DJF on Facebook, too.

Here’s something I gave credit to Benny Fresh for on the podcast, but was actually Gregor Chisholm over at North Of The Border: the suggestion of making Dustin McGowan the odd man out when Jose Reyes is ready, rather than Munenori Kawasaki. I totally understand the instinct– and I think if the Jays thought McGowan’s contract would be enough to get him through waivers, they’d probably do it. But I’m not sure that’s great asset management, seeing as Kawasaki does about as good for you in the minors as he does on the bench.

In the post I was mistakenly thinking of, over at Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith writes about how the Kawasaki decision gets more difficult daily for the club.

Elsewhere at North Of The Border, Gregor has a fantastic, lengthy Q&A with not only Jamie Evans, the Jays’ latest hire and the man behind the weighted ball exercises, but also with Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil and Casey Janssen, all of whom have been using the program that the Jays are surely hoping turns out to be– no, really– perhaps kinda revolutionary.

Awesome stuff from Red Sox blog Over The Monster, where Ben Buchanan tells us that “John Farrell does not learn from his mistakes. Instead he embraces them and throws himself headfirst into repeating them.” Which, of course, we already kinda new. Hilarious, though.

In his latest Bullpen post at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin gets Jays relievers to create Kevin Costner’s Bull Durham speech, in honour of the movie’s 25th anniversary. He also interviews Adam Lind, talks about the Munenori Kawasaki decision, and more!

Elsewhere in the Star, Rosie DiManno is apparently on the Blue Jays beat of late, as she writes, purple as always, about Chien-Ming Wang’s reinvention, and the club reveling in their latest roll.

Elsewhere still in the Star, Mark Zwolinski writes about how Jays players would rather not lose their well-liked teammate, Kawasaki.

The same sentiment is echoed in a piece from Steve Buffery in the Toronto Sun.

Elsewhere in the Sun, Mike Rutsey looks at the reinvention of Chien-Ming Wang, and also at the role that simply being relaxed has played  in the Jays’ turnaround.

Paul Beeston is taking the Jays’ winning streak in stride, according to an interesting piece from Arden Zwelling over at Sportsnet.

At BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm looks at how Jose Bautista is closing in on a starting spot in next month’s All-Star game.

Elsewhere, in a notebook post, Gregor talks about the tough roster decisions upcoming, R.A. Dickey’s search for consistency, and the emergence of Brett Cecil’s crazy fucking awesomeness.

Another one from BlueJays.com, by Teddy Cahill, looks at the returning health of top prospect Aaron Sanchez, who pitched and looked good on Friday.

Meanwhile, Evan Peaslee notes for the official site that the Jays have signed five more of their picks from this year’s draft– none of the top couple yet, though.

Jays Journal notes that Kyle Drabek has begun his rehab assignment, over a year after the second Tommy John surgery of his career.

The Tao Of Stieb offers some reflections on a winning streak, while at Grantland, Jonah Keri doesn’t write much about the Jays, but moves them up to eleventh in his power rankings– they were 19th just a week ago.

Great stuff from Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs, who looks at the Jays and a history of streakers. (No, not that kind of streaker).

Speaking of, Drew talked streak in this morning’s Monday Morning Memo over at Getting Blanked.

Lastly, more great stuff from Charlie Caskey of Your Van C’s, who speaks to Vancouver Canadians catcher Matt Hitt, who was roommates in extended spring with Anthony Alford, and offered all kinds of insight (at the end of the piece) into the high-end two-sport prospect signed over-slot by the Blue Jays last June. Caskey says Hitt calls Alford one of the nicest kids he’s ever met, and explains, “According to Hitt, Alford’s plan is to play football collegiately for three years. If he sees not future professionally then he will switch to baseball full time. That would make him twenty in 2014 when he decides that he’s going to play baseball for a career. He’ll be behind the development curve somewhat, but not so much to make it impossible.”

Comments (80)

  1. Anybody catch the retweet Stoeten just did a few min ago?

    Reyes says hes ppaying in Buff tonight and then going to NH and then “we’ll see” on Wed.

    Dont care about the NH stuff, dont care if he does rehab in a high school league if it were possible…..but I dont like the way the discussion is going……couple days ago, seemed like Mon was it. Then Sunday we here theyre keeping him down, but Thurs for sure. Now its “we’ll see” for Thurs.

    Not saying its anyones fault, but reading between the lines, he doesnt sound totally healed yet

    • Seriously, dude. Stop trying to start this nonsense.

    • I saw him play on Saturday and -other than some rustiness in a throw to first and not pushing a single into a potential double- he looked very good. On the play that he could have pushed to second, he ended up stealing second even with a pretty good throw from the other team’s catcher.

  2. Masshole nation already beginning to turn on Farrell and the team still sits in first place… so beautiful, brings a tear to my eye.

  3. Kawasaki is gone after Lawrie returns anyways, so just send him down now. With Reyes back, and Maicer taking over at 2B full-time (when Reyes returns), there is no need for him.

    • Maicer will play third some times.

      • That is right. I was thinking when both Lawrie and Reyes return. Maicer will play the majority of 3B probably until Lawrie returns.

    • There is far more need for the 4th best OBP on the team than a 8th bullpen member or a guy who can’t hit or field like Bonifacio.

      • Boni has positional versatility, which is valuable when you gotta take Melky out late in every game since he can’t field.

        I prefer to keep McGowan for at least a little longer (until Lawrie returns), than exposing him to waivers. Plus going with 4-lefties and 3-righties in the pen seems strange. And I don’t want to lose Perez either.

        • so you’d rather keep a guy that can’t hit worth a lick and has dicey outfield defence because he has “positional versatility”?

        • Juan Perez is 34 and has never been able to throw strikes in the minors or majors for any consistent amount of time (4.21 BB/9 in MILB, 5.92 BB/9 in MLB). Losing him should be of no concern to anybody.

          McGowan has little value to this team throwing an inning or two in blowouts a week, but sure, they’ve invested some money on him, so I guess you can argue they should keep him around to find out what he has before risking waivers on him (or before he gets hurt again and they can just DL him).

          Bonifacio’s “position versatility” means nothing if he can’t play those positions well. He’s not the guy you should want to bring in as a defensive replacement for anybody.

      • In a vacuum where organizational depth isn’t a thing to be considered, sure.

  4. Manny Acta at ESPN has the Jays at NUMBER FOUR OVERALL in his MLB Power Rankings:


  5. I don’t get why nobody talks about cutting Bonifacio and keeping Kawasaki. People have recently talked about how Bonifacio has earned his keep lately … by doing what exactly – hitting .180/.196/.240 in June??? Kawasaki fairly consistently puts together decent at-bats and plays better defence

    • Because teams know enough to not use unfinished-month splits to make decisions on?

      Bonifacio has a track record of (some) success prior to 2013, he can play the outfield, he can play second base against left-handers, he can pinch run. None of these things can be said about Kawasaki. You also lose Bonifacio for nothing when you send him down, whereas Kawasaki is simply optioned to Buffalo and can be recalled as needed.

      Like I said, Kawasaki does about as good for you in the minors as he does on the bench, and he stays in the organization if you drop him, whereas the other guys do not. They’re better off with all three, from a depth perspective. Kawasaki doesn’t do enough better than the other two to warrant keeping him given those circumstances.

      • Bonifacio had one good year in 2011. The rest of his career has been a pile of shit. It all amounts to a career 78 wRC+ and bad defense at just about every position he’s placed at.

        If the team cares about winning this year, they need to be putting their best options on the field. A Kawasaki and Izturis/DeRosa platoon at 2B would probably make the best of a bad situation there right now. Not holding on to the slim, misguided hope that Bonifacio isn’t the terrible baseball player that his body of work suggests he is.

        • Well, since you already have Bonifacio’s career figured out, what’s the need to talk about this?

          • He’s a 28 year old with a career 78 wRC+ and brutal advanced fielding stats at his many positions. What’s to figure out? Is there some sort of hidden potential here that has made some people so attached to this guy?

      • by the way, would you rather go based on bone-face’s finished month stats from April/May?

        • Hold on a minute, mapleleaf31, the grown ups are talking.

          • hold on, the guy that runs the boob/dick/fart joke DJF site is pulling out the grown-ups line on me?!? (not hating on the humour, i’m just saying)

            • I have yet to read a boob or fart joke on this website.

              How can anyone NOT make dick jokes with names like Wang, Dickey and Johnson on their staff?

            • Mapleleaf31, if you can’t understand sample sizes, yeah, please take a step back with the nonsense, thanks.

      • With Rajai back Bonifacio has become redundant. His main draw was his speed.

    • Can play more positions, and a good pinch-runner.

      Important to have his positional versatility and pinch-running ability while Melky can’t play the field. So you put Davis in the game late, it is still nice to have Boni available off the bench.

      Plus Boni has no options.

      • i just don’t think bonifacio’s worth keeping – we could probably sign a better utilityman than him. he doesn’t have much of a track record, just one good season in the NL on a bad team. and i don’t buy the platoon versus lefties argument much because the last year and a half he has been notably worse against lefties than righties.

        if we didn’t have rajai maybe i’d be okay with the pinch runner argument, but we don’t need two pinch runners.

        • If you signed a better utility man, who would he replace?

          That’s right, Kawasaki.

          • well, i’d replace bonifacio and THEN kawasaki in that order. but unlike bonifacio i don’t think kawasaki has the value of a bag of dicks and is as easily replaceable with an in-season free agent.

    • No problem with such a move, even though I think an 8th bullpen spot is an even greater waste of a roster spot. All Bonifacio is giving this team is awful offense (a result of his terrible approach) and the ability to play shitty defense at about 7 positions.

      Really, even if Kawasaki isn’t the player he’s shown so far and regresses, the Jays would be better off removing a guy like this (career 78 wRC+ with no defensive ability) from the roster.

      • There is good and bad to both options here, yes.

        • I just don’t see the value Bonifacio provides. Even with the one skill that he has (baserunning), the Jays already have a player on the bench who matches or surpasses him in that area. This is not a player that you want starting games for you at any point in the next three months and certainly not a player you want to bring in as a defensive replacement.

          Kawasaki’s OBP against RHP (.357) alone should be enough to keep his roster spot, especially with his ability to play the 2 middle infield positions adequately.

          • Why isn’t anyone throwing Derosa’s name in the hat as a guy who could be cut? I’m not for it, as Kawasaki is the obvious choice, for the sole reason that he still has options. I’m still confused why Derosa’s name doesn’t come up though.

            In theory, the only reason to keep Kawasaki is to have a back-up shortstop, and possibly take a few reps at second. This doesn’t make sense if you are also keeping Isturis/boni/derosa.

            The idea of dumping Boni (unless you can extract something needed in a trade, not sure what that would be tho) is just dumb. The reality of fielding the best team is that players get hurt, and having depth is a good thing. Putting Boni on waivers, he would be claimed. Then you are left with 3(!) infield bench players (Izturis/derosa/kawasaki) as none of them are good enough to be full time starters. Izturis is the best 2B option we have, so you get derosa and kawasaki on the bench. The impact either of these guys can have from there is very minimal. If you have Boni on the bench, he can play IF and OF and can steal some bases late in a game. You don’t get this flexibility with kawasaki.

            Also, as has been stated by many, Kawasaki is just going to Buffalo, he can come back up if he is needed.

          • Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this all about who can play 2B? Kawasaki can’t.

  6. From the OVM piece:

    “John Farrell called on Andrew Bailey to pitch the seventh with a 4-3 lead.

    Let’s just pause for a minute to consider how unbelievably awful this decision was. Andrew Bailey had been pulled from the closer’s role for an inability to record outs not 72 hours ago. This means that he could not be trusted with important innings. So John Farrell naturally decides to put him into a one-run game against the top of Detroit’s lineup.”

    Where the fuck was Francisco Cordero when John needed him?

  7. If we continue to play .500 to above .500 ball until the trade deadline, what is a legitimate offer for Chase Utley. With the Phillies treading water there’s a very good possibility he’ll be moved, as well as Michael Young so it’s not a question of him not being made available. Being a FA next season, what’s Utley worth at the deadline? Could an arm like Wagner and a mid-level prospect do it or be in the conversation? Or could Bonifacio headline something in return for him? It would sure be nice to add some playoff experience, AVG, and power from the left side to the bottom of our order.

  8. Stoeten, are you almost ready to accept that there are things outside of the box score that can contribute to a team’s success? or are you still not ready to come around on that one?

    • Of course there are a multitude of factors that can have marginal impact on the game. If you’re talking about chemistry and Kawasaki and shit, it’s laughable.

      • it’s a start!

      • I’m not sure I’d say it’s laughable. But “chemistry and shit” is inherently unknowable for DJF commenters, so it simply can’t come up in reasoned discussion.

        • It also, y’know, makes no sense for it to mean anything.

          • Says the guy who has obviously never had a moment of involvement as an athlete in anything close to resembling meaningful sport

        • It’s not that chemistry is laughable, more that it’s impossible to prove one way or the other. Stoeten and co. stick to stats because that’s measurable. Ascribing something to good/bad chemistry tends to be more results based, and us creating narratives. The team is good, therefore, they have good chemistry (and vice versa).

  9. Good stuff at ESPN (insider), Jays have easiest sched after the all-star break amongst all AL east teams. With more home games and something like 23 games against shitty opponents (haven’t played LAA, MIN, LAD, HOU, etc). orioles, on the other hand, have only 7 such games (worst in the division)

  10. So if Kawasaki is the glue, can we cut De Rosa? I mean … we need two personality guys around? Really?

    • DeRosa hits LHP, which the entire team has had major problems doing this year.

      • Fair point – didn’t realize he was OPSing .850 vs LHP, but I think it is pretty optimistic to assume this continues in a larger sample. The last time he had a strong split in over 30 ABs was in 2009, and he hasn’t been a consistently good hitter since.

        But I guess the question remains who is most expendable if Kawasaki is being kept around for who knows what exactly — and it’s not a slight on Kawasaki. He’s been quite valuable, but clearly someone needs to go and part of the argument for Kawasaki is his “energy”. I’d still drop him, personally.

  11. Am I the only one who thinks Kawasaki is the best option to back up Reyes at SS? Granted, Reyes SHOULD play most days, but man, he’s looked way better there than Izturis has,

    Also, if you’re going to sneak McGowan through waivers, wouldn’t a smart PR move be to do it when you’re replacing him with fan favorite Kawasaki?

    • no, a lot of people realize this. just not stoeten.

    • If someone picks up McGowan, who cares? Good luck to them. He’s stale, injury prone prospect porn.

    • He’s not only the best backup option at SS. He’s the team’s best option at 2B vs. RHP right now too.

      • A backup SS is utterly useless. He’d play once a month at best unless Reyes suffered an injury at which point they could just bring him up from Buffalo. Izturis is a far better player than people seem to be giving him credit for. He’s a better option than Kawasaki vs RHP and miles better vs LHP. As long as Davis is Melky’s caddy in LF, I can see the value in having a second PR threat in Bonifacio on the bench. Juan Perez looks utterly redundant to me and not somebody worth worrying about losing on waivers. Perez down for Reyes, Kawasaki down for Lawrie makes the most sense to me.

        • Izturis is posting a .215/261/354 line vs. RHP this season. Just awful stuff, but still better than Bonifacio. The track record there suggests he’ll do better going forward, but how much better, especially at his age?

          I’ll take Kawasaki’s .350+ OBP against them at 2B, at least until he proves he can’t do it any longer.

          • Izturis’ LD%, GB% and FB% vs RHP this season are basically identical to his career marks. He looks like the same player minus 70 points of BABIP. I see no reason why he can’t hit similar to his career mark with a BABIP closer to his career mark of .295 the rest of the way.

  12. Kawasaki has done more for this club in 2 months than Dustin McGowan has done in the past 5 years.

    • He had a 2.2 WAR season 5 years ago, so that’s something. There is literally no room for Kawasaki on this team. Demote Kawasaki and then lose a reliever when Lawrie gets back. I’m sure these pros will have a really tough time in the clubhouse without their mascot.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I would totally understand optioning Kawasaki when Lawrie gets back. Just think the value of Kawasaki > McGowan, especially now.

        • I would think that having Kawasaki and his OBP and whatever icing on the cake he provides in helping keep his teammates loose is better than that 8th bullpen guy. When Lawrie comes back, maybe it makes sense to send Kawasaki down, but isn’t this supposed to be the year where winning trumps asset management?

          Also, with Reyes coming back from injury and playing on shitty turf, and Lawrie doing the same, it would be nice to be able to have a guy who can actually play SS as opposed to Izturis and Boni as the fall-back options. I like Kawasaki at short and Reyes as DH when facing a RHP.

          I’m not understanding the recent defense of the 8-man bullpen, purely for the sake of asset management, when it’s been such a subject of derision on the blog the rest of the time. One of these guys will have to go soon – why not hold onto Kawasaki through the ASB until Lawrie or a starter returns?

  13. Sort of weird how Derosa is off the table on this one. He’s not completely as useless a mascot as we thought, but when Lawrie gets back, Kawasakis ability to play shortstop outstrips derosa’s and boni’s ability to play several positions in shitty fashion.

    Its sort of weird, but I think what you do now is send kawasaki down until lawrie gets back.

    once lawrie is back, you bring kawasaki back and you dump derosa or boni.

    this of course pre supposes the jays want to keep all these dudes in the pen.

    does wagner have options? the writer at sportsnet said he did.

    • He does have options but that leaves you with 4 lefties and 3 righties. Odd.

    • I think a lot of our initial negativity towards DeRosa is leftover ill will from Vizquel. He’s been fine off the bench.

      • The team has had a number of guys in DeRosa, Rajai and Boni (and others in years past) that you don’t want to see pressed into full-time duty but can yet be useful. The key is to stay lucky with regard to long-term injuries, i.e. not getting them.

        It’s amazing how much this team has done without Reyes or a functional Lawrie, to say nothing of the injuries to starters, Santos, Cabrera, and JoBau.

  14. Whoever thinks getting read of Boni instead of Kawasaki just isn’t thinking straight.
    If you did that, there would be four outfielders on the 25 man, one of which can hardly run right now, that’s just not being smart. I love kawasexy and i’ll miss him but Macier isn’t going to the minors, that leaves kawasaki and derosa or a bullpen arm as the option. I don’t see them DFAing derosa, so if they go with the bullpen route and keep kawasaki, it becomes a moot point as soon as lawrie returns.

    • Right, but why not let it be a moot point then? It’s a moot point that you have to send one of the bullpen guys through waivers eventually, too, no?

  15. Minor thing: It took TSN 16 minutes to get to the Blue Jays on SportsCentre. The Cup and Nadal both went ahead of Jays talk, which didn’t exactly last long. Sportsnet, of course, led-off with the Jays.

  16. Feel like a bullpen guy goes now because of the rotation’s recent success, and they punt the Kawasaki decision until Lawrie comes back. Probably Wagner because he has options, or McGowan because he’ll clear.

    We probably don’t need four lefties, but who do you send? Loup’s the only one with options, and he’s been good.

  17. Options porn is apparently the new prospects porn. DFA Juan Perez’s 34 year old career minor leaguer ass and move on.

    • A fair point, but it’s not typically a good thing to give up on assets. Perez is probably playing over his head, but I expect he doesn’t make it through waivers.

    • And lets not forget the my john perez is better anyway :)

  18. Stoets late with the game threat again?

  19. Please.

    It’s a 7 man bullpen with Wagner going down for now. Reyes likely will get a few days off when he first gets back. Kawasaki will stay up and spell him and play some 2b until Lawrie is back

    By that time everyone will fall in love with Reyes again and the Kawasaki demotion won’t be an issue.

    Don’t really see the debate here. This makes way too much sense.

    Look for bullpen trades in the meantime to get Wagner, Luis Perez and maybe Drabek back to the bigs.

    Darren Oliver wants to be closer to Texas doesn’t he?

  20. Can we stop talking about this already? I was as into it as anybody at first but deciding which 25th man to send down is not a week-long decision.

    If it was me? I probably send down Wagner for the time being and try to work a trade in July so he can come back up. But if they wind up up dumping Perez – and I’m all aboard the Perez train here – it doesn’t REALLY matter. I just think he’s a nifty arm that could come in handy later and/or bite them in the ass down the stretch, so I’d try to hang onto him. (Similar thoughts with regards to McGowan, though he may be hurting the team a little more with his contract situation.) Kawasaki’s as solid a 2B option as Bonifacio, but at the end of the day, someone’s gotta go, and whichever move is made should not have an enormous effect on this team’s spot in the standings at the end of the year because there will surely be another roster move before the end of July.

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