After nearly blowing my fucking brains out having to listen to Damien Cox suggest that “the Moneyball people say defence doesn’t matter anyway,” and Bob McCown suggesting Colby Rasmus– whose .354 wOBA ranks him sixth among centre fielders in MLB this year, just behind Carlos Gomez and Adam Jones, with only Trout, McCutchen and Choo ahead of them– should be hitting at the bottom of the 2014 Jays lineup behind Ryan Goins (!!?!!??!), I managed to catch Alex Anthopoulos speaking on the Fan 590′s Prime Time Sports this evening (audio here).

I won’t transcribe the entire thing, but there were a couple of nuggets that definitely worthy of our attention in a conversation that mostly dealt with the tweaks that will need to be made with the club as they head into 2014. And despite their rather obvious total cluelessness when it comes to certain aspects of ca. 2001 baseball thinking, McCown and Cox correctly identified two key spots where an improvement to even just average would be a huge help to the club: second base and behind the plate.

Once again Anthopoulos, as has been frustrating for many fans, was able to openly talk about his club’s issues at second base, while dancing around the notion that he badly needs a catching upgrade.

Maybe that keeps happening because J.P. Arencibia is sensitive. Maybe it’s because Anthopoulos thinks he might still have a little trade value– as opposed to Maicer Izturis. Maybe he’s fearful of acknowledging that his pitch to ownership last winter that everything would be OK behind the plate, even if they dealt Travis d’Arnaud and John Buck, was hopelessly misguided.

Or maybe he really believes Arencibia is OK. But I don’t think so.

In the core group– I guess you’re talking about position players– I could see a few changes,” he said. “I’d love to get into who that would be, and who we have our eyes on, and so on– the tough part is that guys are still taking the field, and out of respect for them I wouldn’t say. But I think we can look at the performances, and so on, and we can go through it and say, ‘Well, you can upgrade here, you may not do better at this spot,’ and I think it would be pretty obvious. And if we do make changes in those spots, when they happen, obviously I’ll be able to elaborate on it a lot more.

Oh, it’s pretty obvious.

And while Anthopoulos did go on to defend Arencibia from the charge that his play was a major reason that the club’s pitching struggled so badly– rightly pointing out that Arencibia was fine with certain pitchers, and that the running game and passed balls weren’t necessarily killing them, meaning that the blame can’t simply be placed on him– he also acknowledged that there are flaws there.

Yes, flaws. Like the fact that, as I pointed out in today’s Griff Bag, “if the season ended today, Arencibia’s OBP would be the worst by any qualified hitter since 1995… by nine points. Since 1933, only two qualified hitters– of over ten fucking thousand– have finished a season with a lower OBP than Arencibia currently has.”

Yes, flaws.

As for second base, Anthopoulos admitted that Ryan Goins is playing his way into the conversation, but remained reluctant to act like the impressive-so-far rookie’s bat will ever be good enough for the club to feel comfortable with him as a starter going forward– though he, somewhat ambiguously, said he could be an important part of the club [read: depth].

“We almost feel like, on this turf now, you need to have three shortstops– at third, short, and second– to really take advantage of being on this turf and some of the balls that go through there,” he said, after having acknowledged that some of the club’s early defensive problems may have been due to the new infielders’ lack of familiarity with the turf– noting that some teams and players will come into the building and struggle adapting to it at first, the Giants this year being a prime example of that.

He continued:

“Goins, with his defence, from what we’ve seen, absolutely can play there, it’s… can we upgrade where we have a defender, which is clearly going to be the priority, that might give you a little more offence?”

McCown and Cox seemed to figure that this was some kind of difficult proposition. They may be right about matching the defence Goins brings, but the fact that he put up a .257/.311/.369 line, for an OPS of .679,  in Buffalo this year– and has already seen his successful early sample in the Majors slip to .314/.327/.373– suggests that it’s really, really not.

And hey, if the GM understands that Goins likely won’t hit enough to be playable, we can probably feel pretty good about his assessment of the guy with the historically low on-base, too!

Comments (113)

  1. Don’t blow your brains out, dude. We trolls enjoy your coverage.

  2. Radio is the Appalachia of the media landscape. What did you expect?

    • Fuck, that is a deep thought.
      Now snatch the pebble from my hand ,grasshopper.
      Only then, will you know it is time to leave.

    • There is truly nothing more suited to the radio, particularly the AM band, than baseball stats analysis.

  3. McCown and Cox are insufferable. That dribble was awful…

  4. The highlight for me was when Cox wondered why there were interleague games being played so late in the season……

    • *facepalm*

    • This right here is why Damien Cox should NEVER speak of baseball ever again.

      Fucking guy cant even figure out there is an odd number of teams in each league…what a buffoon.

      • Its not just baseball, he’s even worse about hockey. I don’t know why this city is stuck with old morons who are vastly outdated and not knowledgeable as well as arrogant idiots who just won’t even try to move their analysis into even the 90s. As far as writers and analysts go, I can take Hayhurst, Wilner, and Stoeten. and Bobo from TSN. Everyone else is horrendous. And thats all across the media. Simmons? Cox? McGowen? Jesus Christ. Greg Zaun? Nick fucking Kypreos? Doug Mclean? Jamie Campbell, especially that fucking douch bag Darren Dreger. Oh and Pension Plan Puppets. They. All. Fucking. Suck. In one of the biggest markets for sports on the globe you have an absolute objectively horrible lineup of sports analysts. Clearly the biggest problem is that Rogers/Bell own everything – secondly is the total entrenchment of the jobs these people have. I don’t know even how to improve it. Someone should fucking hire me. I am the best. Well, at least I am open to new information.

  5. I don’t see Trout much. I wanna see him play centre fucking field. Not sit in the fucking dugout! Fuck this

  6. Settle in. This could be a long night.

    • This is bad. I haven’t been around much. This is not inspiring.

      • Slightly more inspiring now.

      • I’m all for a comeback just for the ol’ weasel! Wish we had some fireworks here like last night’s Orioles & Yanks game.

        • I have been the rabbit’s foot for the Blue Jays a bit late this season. However, with all the other teams I support I am the black angel of death. Bah. Can’t win.

          • Better late than not at all.

            • I guess so. But I’ve gotten so used to being resigned to losing that the past couple of weeks have been rough. I feel like every Rangers + Yankees game I watch I get my heart broken.

            • fuck that, the only thing the jays could do to salvage this cluster fuck of a season is to lose and get a decent draft spot. what the fuck good is winning when you are totally fucked in the standings?!

          • supporting more than one team, especially in the same league, is really not supporting either team. Let’s just say you are a fan of baseball.

  7. Thank you Andy for listening to Cox when I had to turn it off

  8. I’ll settle for that any day.

  9. That was pretty awesome.

    Gose was so excited he almost caught Sierra around the bases.

  10. woooooooff

  11. Maybe we’ll get a Rick Ro sighting

  12. Big crowd tonite.Looks like17-18k. This was supposed to be a “preview” playoff series at the beginning of the year , now, unfortunately is a dogshit game. Into my 2nd bottle of Pinot Noit tonite so the game looks rosy shall we say.
    Intersting to see the “kids “play if only to try to see who they might keep vs who will be trade chip material. I still think they will deal Rasmus and go from there.
    Smasher: WTF I want them to go after Phil Hughes as FA as the Yanks are letting him walk. Whadda ya think?

    • His K’s per 9 are the same this year as his breakout 2010 season. His hits and homers are up but he’s always given up a lot of hits. He’s going to have plenty of interest and I would suspect he’d want to get out of the ALE. He seems like the type of guy that would thrive in an NL park.

      • Valid points. I know as a catcher you have a different slant than I might have, but I do see him as having AJ Burnett type stuff and I think he could be had a decent price( 4/48 or so). The Yanks are apparently going to let Joba Chamberlain walk and Fuk I w/b interested in him too-he still throws 95 with a great curveball

    • If you could get a relatively cheap Wandy Rodriguez to replace Happ as your number 5 guy I’d be all over that.

    • And if you’re going to try and pilfer a Yankee on a one year deal then why not make a run at Old Balls Pettite. That guy just keeps throwing and throwing well.

    • Wow, 17-18k in the crowd? Seems on the high side…

  13. This is April Buerhle

  14. Buerhle didn’t have it tonite. Now we see our former No 1 choice ,wonderful Chad fukin
    Jenkins! 2m to sign this POS-ahhh meh-rather see RR-is he just up to warm the pine? I’m goin back to drankin-out here in the fields I longed for samll Potataoes-summin like that

  15. 2014 schedule came out today. Guess who is heading to Seattle in August. Yes!

  16. Ricky warming up because…why not shoot for 20 runs against?

  17. Hopefully the Angels are using up all their runs tonight.

  18. RR up next-can’t wait to see trhe new RR

  19. Am I the only one that would be happy to see Rajai back next year?

    • He’s a decent 4th outfielder. He just makes some dumb mistakes occasionally.

      …and holy shit: JP just walked!

    • It’s strange how he always seems so out of breath.

    • I would love to see him back. For someone who has been our 4th OF, we’ve depended on him heavily the past couple of years and I think he’s been pretty solid. Yeah, he makes some dumb mistakes, but so does every other outfielder we have.

  20. Maybe if Tom W makes an appearance Gose will hit a 6 run shot.

  21. Good inning for RR. Happy to see that

  22. I’d like to see ricky get a few starts in this lost season. Better him than fucking redmond or rogers.

  23. Reyes
    Melky (healthy, fingers crossed)

    That’s a potent top 6, we really don’t need much else to have an intimidating offense next year.

    It’s just going to come down to the starting pitching.
    Go get some AA

    #Tanakin on Heavens Door

    • I’m not sold on Tanaka. He’s got a shitload of pitches on his arm already, and he’s a bit of a soft tosser – career average fastball of 90.6 MPH. Darvish would have been the better choice amongst the two – not taking into account Darvish’s experience in the MLB.

      Lot’s of good info here

      • Yep totally agree about tanaka. Also, the fact that he hasnt been able to average a k/inning in japan is a major red flag to me. Darvish missed a shitload of bats. Not that tanaka is necessarily going to be a bad mlb pitcher, just its doubtful he will be the frontline type the jays need.

        • Dumb stat to quote.
          Jordan Zimmerman with a 1.12 whip, 3.36 ERA and a league leading 17 wins (if you give merit to that stat) only averages 6.76 K’s per 9.

          The following pitrchers also aren’t averaging a K/inning:

          If he can spot the ball then hitters aren’t going to be able to drive the ball.
          Plenty of good pitchers made a career out of 91 mph.

          • That’s a reply to adfg.

            @ Enacrnacions Parrot – As for whether Darvish swould have been a better choice, I think everyone in the free world realizes that.
            Darvish ship has sailed.
            Forget about him.

            • Tanaka’s #’s are ridiculous, and he’s only 24, which is about the perfect age for a guy with 7 years of pro experience and only getting better:

              Japanese Leagues Pitching
              Glossary · SHARE · Embed · CSV · PRE · LINK · ?
              Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
              2007 18 Rakuten JPPL Fgn 11 7 .611 3.82 28 28 4 1 0 186.1 183 83 79 17 68 2 196 7 1 10 800 1.347 8.8 0.8 3.3 9.5 2.88
              2008 19 Rakuten JPPL Fgn 9 7 .563 3.49 25 24 5 2 1 172.2 171 71 67 9 54 3 159 2 0 6 726 1.303 8.9 0.5 2.8 8.3 2.94
              2009 20 Rakuten JPPL Fgn 15 6 .714 2.33 25 24 6 3 1 189.2 170 51 49 13 43 0 171 7 0 3 771 1.123 8.1 0.6 2.0 8.1 3.98
              2010 21 Rakuten JPPL Fgn 11 6 .647 2.50 20 20 0 8 1 0 155.0 159 47 43 9 32 1 119 5 0 1 643 1.232 9.2 0.5 1.9 6.9 3.72
              2011 22 Rakuten JPPL Fgn 19 5 .792 1.27 27 27 0 14 6 0 226.1 171 35 32 8 27 0 241 5 0 7 866 0.875 6.8 0.3 1.1 9.6 8.93
              2012 23 Rakuten JPPL Fgn 10 4 .714 1.87 22 22 0 8 3 0 173.0 160 45 36 4 19 0 169 2 0 4 696 1.035 8.3 0.2 1.0 8.8 8.89
              2013 24 Rakuten JPPL Fgn 20 0 1.000 1.24 23 23 0 7 2 0 181.0 142 28 25 6 27 0 155 3 0 9 700 0.934 7.1 0.3 1.3 7.7 5.74
              7 Seasons 95 35 .731 2.32 170 168 0 52 18 2 1284.0 1156 360 331 66 270 6 1210 31 1 40 5202 1.111 8.1 0.5 1.9 8.5 4.48

            • Oh, I have. Mercifully. Just stating that Tanaka really doesn’t appear to be that impressive. If the Jays land him, I’ll be excited as it shows the Jays are willing to extend their reach in an attempt to better their team. I just wouldn’t be surprised if blew up in the face of the team that does sign him.

          • Yeah, but how would those guys you mentioned fare in japan? Chances are they would strike out a lot more hitters. Bottom line, frontline pitchers need to be able to miss bats. Thata what seperates felix hernandez from mark buehrle.

            • Also, you are right about k/inning not being the best stat to use. K rate or k/9 are better stats to use. Either way, tanaka isnt that impressive in this regard.

    • Starting for the Jays at 2b in 2014?

      Jhonny Pheralta.

      Book it.

  24. If the 2nd wild card winner gets less than 90 wins this season I’m going to fucking cry

    • It wouldn’t be unusual. The 2nd wildcard (had it existed) would have averaged 90 wins in the AL over the last 15 years, with a lot of 88 and 89 wins in there.

  25. Stoeten has a hate on for all the Buffalo kids. Sierra, Gose, Pillar, and now Goins, who has looked really good. Everyone has been raving about his professionalism, his D looks fantastic, and he did hit successfully in his first 8 games….


    • And of course he went 0/4 last night and has been cold as ice lately:

      Performance: Goins is cold (.160 in last 25AB).

    • Just being realistic. I’m encouraged by the swing changes from Gose, at least. But seriously, how has any of those guys looked like someone who is going to be even average over 162 games?

      • We won the Gose/Wallace trade?

        • * they

          I hate when people say “we”. “We” are not on the fuckin team.

          • I hate when people make a big deal with fans using the term “we”.
            It’s part of being a fan,having more than a passing interest and caring about the team.
            No fan is on the field playing but without the fan’s emotional investment, the team wouldn’t exist.
            Ironically, I’ve never heard a player correct a fan or anybody else when they’ve used the expression. And if the actual players don’t give a shit,does it really matter?
            And Stoeten is correct,logically.
            Doesn’t stop me from cheering the for kids and hoping they make it.It’s part of the fun.

        • Of course the Jays “won” that trade. Have you seen what Wallace has been up to?

          • Wallace: .322 wOBA and 103 wRC+ in MLB this year
            Gose: .304 wOBA and 85 wRC+ in AAA this year

            At this point Gose has a ceiling of Rajai Davis and a floor of Corey Patterson. Wallace ain’t much to write home about either, but the Jays certainly didn’t win this trade.

            • this comment conveniently ignores the fact Wallace can’t field a fucking position and Gose plays an elite centerfield.

  26. I generally enjoy listening to Bob (especially when he’s with Brunt), even though I often disagree with him, or think his opinions are occasionally kind of insane.

    Cox on the other hand, is pure shit. Listening to him pretend he knows a fucking thing about baseball, and with that arrogant, self-assured tone he always uses, is excruciating. I just wont tune in on the weeks he’s co-hosting, unless there’s an extremely good guest on who I want to hear.

    Another thing on his that I’ve noticed, is that the guy is a relentless, condescending asshole to Elliotte Friedman, when he’s hosting or on the roundtable.

  27. One thing I don’t think AA gets enough credit for is knowing his own system. With the exception of his most recent win now moves ie. Marlins/Mets deals, he’s moved Wallace and Molina before their stock plummeted for not insignificant amounts. I think they have a pretty good assessment of what everyone in the system can do. ( Not to say he’s right on all of them, some may over/under achieve, but there aren’t any huge surprises down there)

  28. I don’t see AA as being blinded by the wonderfulness that is JPA. But he’s not gonna call out a guy he wants to trade is he? If JPA is still here in March I will be very surprised and extremely sad.

  29. PS if there is going to be a Jays brawl I expect it will be with the Red Sox. There has to be a ton of frustration going on with the Jays this season, and if Pedey opens his fat mouth it will all come roiling out. That’s on the premise that Pedey is even in the city. Boston is probably gonna field it’s AAA team in entirety by the time we get to play them.

  30. Would it be safe to say that Goins ceiling, would be comparable to a Johnny Mac?

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