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.

At Sportsnet, Shi Davidi declares that the off-season is a better time for the big changes the Jays will need to make in order to make a run in 2014, and he’s probably right. Sigh.

Meanwhile, Davidi’s colleague Ben Nicholson-Smith gives a nice primer on how August trades work.

Chris Toman of Gamereax similarly suggests that the dearth of activity from the Jays at the deadline wasn’t such a bad thing. The piece comes on the heels of another, in which Toman suggests that the Jays are still in good shape for 2014.

At Getting Blanked, Drew looks into how tonight’s combatants in Anaheim– the Jays and the Angels– came to be (supposed) sellers at this year’s trade deadline, after being big (supposed) winners over the winter.

Jeff Blair rounds up the lack of deadline activity for the Globe and Mail, who says Alex Anthopoulos, in his post-deadline conference call, “sounded very much like somebody well aware he has heavy lifting ahead of him, so better to hang on to what he has in hope that value is maximized in the winter.”

Earlier in the week at the Globe, Blair noted the dark clouds gathering over this year’s version of the Jays, winding up asking, essentially, if the club maybe didn’t choose the wrong core of players to build around (hint, hint, pageview-whoring bullshit about Jose Bautista), while his colleage Tom Maloney looked at where it all went wrong, and what can be done to amend it.

Jon Hale of the Mockingbird gets deliciously all “statistical crank” on a recent Shi Davidi piece about whether pitchers or hitters have been getting more calls. Read it.

Belated, heartwarming stuff from Hall Of Fame weekend, as Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun tells tails of “Saint” Shirley Cheek– Tom’s wife, of course– while the Sun reprints the text of her speech at Cooperstown. An incredibly deserved and long overdue honour for the voice of baseball in Canada.

This week’s Bullpen post from Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star also reminisces about Cheek.

Elsewhere, Griffin suggests that Josh Johnson’s troubles are more than just mechanical.

As referred to in Monday’s podcast, the Tao Of Stieb gets a little pissy about things. The Tao Of Tekulve, on the other hand, continues riding high…

Mop Up Duty wonders whether the Jays should go all-in or change course for 2014, which… I’m pretty sure they’ve already been all-in for like eight months now.

John Lott of the National Post looks at how R.A. Dickey has been haunted by home runs in the Rogers Centre this season. Yepppp.

Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star notices what Chris Creamer of Sportslogos.net mentioned a while back: the Jays kinda suck when they’re wearing their road grey uniforms. Burn them, say the superstitious weirdos!

Mike Rutsey of the Sun looks at the impressive improvement this year that we’ve seen from Colby Rasmus– one of the few Jays non-relievers (maybe the only one, actually) to really take a step forward this year.

Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com notes that J.A. Happ is getting closer to returning.

An MLBTR post suggests that the Jays were scouting the Chicago Cubs this week, but wonders if it was more about future deals than anything that was imminent at the deadline. I still think they might be eyeing Starlin Castro.

Edwin Encarnacion is not your typical slugger, says FanGraphs. The best, though. The best.

Drew’s latest My Approach post is another gem. This time he speaks with the Twins’ Joe Mauer. Meanwhile, elsewhere at Getting Blanked, Craig Robinson’s fortnightly infographic looks at all the guys who spent 15 years on the Hall Of Fame ballot. Cool stuff, as always.

Lastly, today was our first day in our new, sweet-sounding podcast digs. Can you say sound quality improvement? Seriously, give it a listen if you haven’t for a while– also because we’re actually, finally getting quite a bit better at this, I think. No, really. (Also, no DJF podcast today, so this is all you’ve got!)

Comments (57)

  1. Edwin is such a fucking beast that it’s not even funny.

    • Sidenote: Could he be considered elite now, or is he still on the cusp? I think he’s honestly my favourite Blue Jay to watch play, and yes – that includes Jose Reyes.

  2. How any one in their right mind can blame any part of this disaster fuck season on anything besides starting pitching is beyond me.

    They are 6th in runs scored (without reyes for most of the year) 4th in slugging and 2nd in homeruns, why is the ‘core’ and bautista being mentioned at all?

    not to mention the fact that its not easy being patient and sticking to an approach when you are constantly down crooked numbers in the early parts of the game.

    I just seriously don’t fucking get how people can point fingers everywhere with such an obvious, glaring deficiency present

    • Pretty fucking spot on.

    • Yep. There are many games when the team’s bat fall silent however against some “genius” #5 starter rookie, and for that, maybe the scouting isn’t there. It takes a while for teams to figure out pitchers and to figure them out.

      But yeah, starting pitching. The best starter on the team right now is Todd Redmond. We expected sub 3 ERA from Dickey and Johnson, sub 4 from Morrow and Buerhle, and sub 4.5 from the #5 (Happ) for a starter ERA of around 3.6, not 5.04. At 6IP per start, that about 1 run per game that the starters have given up.

      But don’t kid yourself. You gotta look at defense too.

      • You expected way too much if that is what you expected. Buehrle is pretty much spot on any realistic expectations (low 4 ERA but lots of innings). Dickey, Johnson, and Morrow all as sub-4 ERA is a much more realistic outlook, and if it had happened, the Jays would probably not be in such a mess.

    • Out of curiousity, how bad is their fielding percentage? The eyeball test says that they are error machines too. Not that that changes their already shitty ERA.

    • @dc

      +1. Very true. Hope is on the way with Happ.!

  3. On another note, is it a lock that its rogers that happ bumps out of the rotation. If johnson blows up tonight they have to do something with him no?

    • I think Rogers is clearly running out of gas, but still…with the way he’s pitched compared to JJ, can you really take the ball away from him?

    • If he has a few good starts, a team may take a flyer and claim him on waivers.

      At least a few $ could be recouped.

      Aside from that, meh not know.

    • Only Esmil and the Jays know how good his arm is, but I’ve always felt that because he didn’t get stretched and conditioned in the off-season for starting duties, he’d be subject to the 30% rule (he pitched 78 innings last year and 83 the year before that), so maybe 100-110 innings at most this year. He’s at 89 now, so two-three more starts. The schedule is such that the Thursday off day next week allows for Esmil to skip the August 8 start. I think Happ definitely takes Rogers start with Redmond fitting the bill for the rest of August or until someone else in Buffalo is ready.

  4. I like the Mockingbird’s column the best. I knew something was wrong with Shi’s analysis and couldn’t put my finger on it. Excellent explanation.

  5. Question about waiver trades.

    From the sportsnet article “The team can attempt to work out a trade with the claiming team. They have 48.5 hours to do so.”

    So couldn’t a team theoretically put Joe Blow on waivers, knowing no one will claim him. But call up the team they want to claim him, and once they do negotiate the trade the wanted to anyway, with Joe Blow just being a meaningless throw in?

    Or do all involved players must be put on waivers or be minor leaguers? Or does the league just look at a trade and veto it, if they think it was done in bad faith?

  6. Yes, it’s definitely been the starters. Let’s face it too – if the Jays are always playing catch-up because of a shittily-pitched game, it’s going to lend more scrutiny to the ability of the hitters to execute in every situation possible.

    As far as the rotation goes though – and I don’t care about this “we have too many NL pitchers bullshit!” – you can still argue that sometimes, some pitchers – some very good pitchers over the years – have had trouble adjusting in their first year in a tougher division and a more hitter-friendly ballpark. I don’t know all the career stats for guys like Buerhle, Johnson and Dickey in regards to flyballs etc, but we could see these guys pitch totally differently next season after having a full year to adjust to a new park (plus, all three came from more pitcher-friendly parks the year before, didn’t they?) So, AA could stand pat and things could be completely different next year. Who knows. Optimism-five!

    • It could also just be natural variation in performance that would lead to them being better next year, or the fact that they’re just not that good that would lead to them not. The key thing is, though, where they came from has nothing to do with whether or not they’ve been successful or not– that’s entirely about them and what they do. Sure, maybe someone’s skills don’t translate as well to different environments, and that’s certainly something that needs to be factored into any assessment when you’re bringing on a new pitcher, but– and I know you’re not saying this– the notion that a guy came from the NL so he can’t pitch in the AL, and in particular the AL East, is such a ridiculous joke. It’s sure cheap and easy for a media guy to put forth such a theory, and because naturally numbers go down when you switch leagues, because pitchers’ wOBA a group is like .155, it makes it even easier. But there’s nothing inherent about pitching in the NL that makes someone not have success in the AL, and all you need to do is look at it on a case-by-case basis– as you should be doing anyway, if you’re a team looking to acquire a pitcher, or a media member or a fan about to shoot his or her mouth off– to see how ridiculous the idea is. It’s the same kind of superstitious bullshit that has guys thinking they can only hit well in one spot in the lineup.

  7. Keep up the good work on both podcasts. Great listening!

  8. Your 1 URL max before we have to “moderate” your post thingy is annoying.
    I’m trying to be thorough goddammit!!

    • Yes. That is the worst thing I have to complain about right now.
      Yes. I realize that’s pretty darned good.

      … I guess I’m also a bit gassy today….

  9. No grof on djf?

  10. Damn, Hale goes full monty on Shi. I never would have thought to delve into the data that deeply.

    Anyway, no one’s arguing the starting pitching has been good, just that focusing on pitching papers over the other holes on the roster. Because since there’s always going to be some random regression/variance/injuries, a C + 2B who both only have replacement-level upside can quickly become exposed.

  11. I think AA pretty much puts the entire team on waivers over the month. It’s revocable so you don’t lose anyone you don’t want and then you are free to trade anyone who clears.
    That’s how I understand it.

  12. Stoets can you make sure to post on google + so people with flipboard can read?

    Also other than backloaded contract where are people getting the #2 era, babip, expectancy from. He has been super solid the last 10 starts and I bet 20$ he ends the season between 3.9-4.15 era.

  13. Holy mother of Christ, all this doom and gloom. It’s baseball. I must confess, I’m still a naive believer in the team. Just as likely that they’ll go on a run and come close to the wild card as it is that they won’t. Stranger things have happened in this game.. Am I on my own on this view. Anyone else out there? Hello? Hello? Helllloooo? …

    • I’m on the boat, but it may just me you, me, and the unicorns at this point. We dropped the lifeboats after the Dodgers series.

      • I’m still watching religiously. And yes, me, you, the unicorns and even polkaroo are here and fully on board!

    • It’s baseball. Anything can happen. I really hate all the negativity, especially the hate directed at AA. I don’t get it.

  14. Some of my best friends are unicorns.

  15. Anyone catch Zaunie’s latest offerings on Sportsnet today?

    • Yeah. Said Jays are leaders in post-homerun celebrations and nothing else. Furthermore, they should not celebrate anyway since they are a losing team. And he cannot believe a trade could not be made for Oliver and that is terrible. And get offa my lawn you $%^& kids!!!

  16. Romero thru 4 tonite. 4 hits 1 run ONLY 1 walk. leading 5-1. Gose 0-3 batting .229-fuk

  17. Musing about 2014…
    What are thoughts on trading/not-resigning Lind, and putting Melky at more-or-less full-time DH? His bat is still OK but he is painful to watch in LF. BRef says he hasn’t played 1B but presumably he could learn in order to spell EE? Keep Davis for LF unless better options available. Lind had one good run but, for the money, may be blocking better options for DH, esp since he still has trouble with lefties.

    • Christ, I don’t know about Melky as DH. I mean, three home runs?? Jesus, Boni and Itzy have more homers than Melky. But he’s useless out in field, too.
      The Jays are fucked, in that even if the Jays WANTED to move guys like Melky or Johnson or Lind, they have so totally sucked that their trade value is absolutely zero, IMO….or they’re gonna have to eat a ton of salary.
      Zaun had a point….why is Johnson going to get offered 14M after his last two seasons? He had ONE good year back in 2009. I know it’s a case of use him or lose him…and who else you gonna get? But 14M for an ERA of over 6?

      • What? Johnson has certainly had more than one good year by any measure that isn’t completely useless. So is using home runs as a measure of what’s good in a DH– not that Cabrera is good, but his lack of home runs certainly isn’t the reason he’d be a bad DH candidate.

        Also: Johnson can be a free agent, and Lind has an option with a $2-million buyout, so it’s not like the Jays are tied to those guys.

        So… huh?

        • Johnson is a dominant pitcher as long as he gets to face the mets cubbies and astros. It’s not his fault he has to pitch against the yankees and red sox.

        • Ok..in 2010, he won 2 fewer games in 28 starts – albeit with a better ERA than in 2009. But only played 9 games in 2011, and had an ERA of almost 4 in 2012.
          So, while he’s not a horrible shitbag of a pitcher – if those are the numbers of a guy that you HAVE to give 14M dollars per season to….then holy crap.

          PS…at the time of this writing, it’s FOUR FUCKING NOTHING ALREADY in the first inning. So, respectfully – I’m not going to agree with your position that he’s not entirely useless.

    • I don’t know why people like Melky at DH. He is terrible this year, and has a history of mediocrity at best, outside of one or two (enhanced?) years.

  18. Henry Blanco, grand slam hittin’ machine

  19. Shocking that melky lost his power after not using roids. How could anyone have known this would happen? Certainly not alex’s fault. No evidence that ped’s increase power.

  20. Nice defensive play by Reyes to end the second and then a big HR to start the third by Lawrie. That’s more like it!

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