Let’s go back in time a little bit for a moment here. Back to the magical post trade-deadline world of last Friday, where everything was possible and the world cared as much about BioGenesis as… well, probably about as little as it does right now. Because there were a bunch of Jays-related tidbits in Keith Law’s chat with readers over at ESPN.com back then, and like Arthur Crandall, I’m thinking that if I slap them together here, then go on and start editing this week’s Griff Bag, that outta hold the little S.O.B.’s.
So, without further ado…
Jim (Hartford, CT)
What’s up with Aaron Sanchez (not 100%, command issues)?
Minor non-arm issues this year, most recently a blister he tried to pitch through. He’ll be fine.
Ahhh. Well that sure makes up for the dispiriting tweet from Jim Callis that I noted in my Assorted Weekend Thoughts post this morning. (To wit: “Toronto may rue the R.A. Dickey trade … more than the Giants regret the Carlos Beltran deal.”)
What seems to be the difference for Teheran this year? Last year he seemed to regress, but has been among the best rookie pitchers this year.
He started throwing this short 80-83 mph slider in mid-May – Bloomberg’s data shows no sliders before 5/14 – and it’s been very effective, a little bigger than a cutter, but short enough that he’s been able to throw it for strikes. All he ever really needed was a third pitch – that and a catcher who’d call his freaking changeup now and then – and now he’s justifying all those high rankings I gave him.
He’s a good example of how Noah Syndergaard could fulfill his potential, although in his case the curve is well ahead of the slider.
Oh FFS. SHOULDN’T SYNDERGAARD BE A RELIEVER BY NOW!!
Has Colby Rasmus turned it around? His k rate is higher than ever, but he is 2nd among all AL outfielders in WAR
I believe I read in one of the Toronto papers earlier this year that Rasmus had decided to stop worrying about striking out so much. It’s weird, but it’s working.
“It’s weird but it’s working” is probably a good way to sum up all things Colby– at least when he’s going great guns.
Keith, from your front office experience, what kind of stuff could be going on internally, that we never know about, that could explain some of the behavior of certain front offices (Phillies not selling, for example) that looks objectively not rationale to those of us on the outside?
If ownership of any team says “don’t sell, we want to try to win as many games as we can,” then you don’t sell. I might resign in that situation if I thought it was the wrong thing for the team, but how often have you ever seen a GM step down for philosophical reasons?
I include this one just because I’m sure somebody’s going to remember that Keith himself left the Jays rather abruptly– though not ever having been GM, obviously– and might see a connection to this comment. Thing is, that happened at the end of May, 2006– so, not around the time that clubs are looking towards the deadline, and also while the Jays were at 29-23 and 2.5 games out in the division race. I’ll grant that it may seem somewhat plausible to those of us who followed the team during the Ricciardi years to think that Rogers could have handed down such an ultimatum, but let’s not go thinking he’s referring to anything like that, OK?
Stroman is still kicking butt in the minors. I know most feel he’s still destined for the bullpen, but there’s no harm in giving him a few Major league starts this season and gathering some extra data before 2014 spring training decisions need to be made, right?
Definitely concur. If in September he genuinely looks like he can turn big league lineups over and avoid the longball, that’s slightly huge. And if he doesn’t, at least you know that, too.
James (Manchester, NH)
I believe you saw Deck McGuire pitch this past weekend, any idea what’s going on with him, or is this a case of what you see is what you get?
Probably an NP at this point. Maybe an emergency 5th starter.
Cue clueless hand-wringing about the guy taken two picks ahead of Chris Sale, and the decrying of the money blown on the “safe” college pick that turned out to not be safe at all. But keep in mind, pissfaces, making a safe pick on McGuire at 11 that year freed the Jays up to take on a bit of risk later, drafting a pair of prep arms in the supplemental round named Sanchez and Syndergaard.
Josh Johnson (Hell)
What is wrong with me? The Jays are gonna make me a QO, right? Right?!?
Has to be hurt.
Fingers crossed? Or… we don’t even care at this point? Or… I don’t know. The Jays have already disclosed that he’s had discomfort in his knee– which is something of a plausible explanation for his pitching mechanics being off, but… yeah, no idea what the fuck is with Johnson. Sure, he may well be hurt worse than he’s been leading on. I’ll buy it– though I’m sure a shit-tonne of Jays fans will go ahead and insist that he’s just shit and eats babies. It was only four disastrous starts ago that Johnson’s ERA sat at 4.62, having come down by over half a run over his previous two starts, though. And then… this bullshit. It’s still too soon to write him off, and an injury-riddled start to the second half of the season might turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Jays, if they can get him right enough to think extending a qualifying offer to him this winter makes sense. And anyone who says emphatically now that they shouldn’t really needs to get themselves a calendar.
Harry Pavlidis has an interesting piece in the Washington Post about the bouncing-back Dan Haren that might make you at least a little hopeful that Johnson can turn the corner here.
Tyler Beede to the Blue Jays next year..lol? Can it happen.
Won’t happen. Probably goes below where they’ll pick anyway.
Confusion is mine, but “Beede will go below where the Jays will pick”…. as in he’s rated higher or lower than the Jays ‘projected’ draft spot?
Jays will pick high, and he wouldn’t be ranked that high on my board right now.
Won’t happen? As in, Beede wouldn’t consent to being selected again by the Jays? Actually, I’m not sure that’s terribly surprising, given that it’s believed the two sides disagreed on the Young Beedah’s medicals (see: here).
Speaking of the Beede clan, somebody asked me about the Jays tanking so that they can draft Beede next year, and I echoed KLaw’s recent words by responding that “there are better prospects.” This, apparently, didn’t impress ol’ Walter Beede, as you can see from the tweet of his (directed at me) that I’m responding to below (which he has since deleted):
— Andrew Stoeten (@AndrewStoeten) August 2, 2013
Hilarious. Of course, what he probably means is that Tyler isn’t going to sign with whoever drafts him this year, because he’s only a junior, and we all know how highly he values a Vanderbilt education.
Mike (Long Island)
Picking up on Jason’s point, how much should anyone care about defense anyway? I know there’s no agreement about the validity of current defensive metrics, but after years of being taught as a player and a fan that “defense matters,” I’m beginning to wonder if that’s just a crock.
The Rays, A’s, and Pirates have made a pretty good case that defense matters.
The Blue Jays have made an excellent case this year that defense matters, too.
Sorry, I dropped the computer on the floor when I tried to answer that. /bluejay’d
Oh, so I guess other people noticed, too. Ugh.