dailyduce2

It’s been a week since the last Duce, so this’ll be a big one. We’re real… uh… bunged up with content.

“Observers expect the Jays to seek ownership’s approval on a payroll increase of $20-million to $25-million – up from about $127.8-million (U.S.) this year,” writes Tom Maloney of the Globe and Mail in an interesting piece exploring the Jays’ relationship with Rogers shareholders.

Marc Hulet of FanGraphs gives us a minor review of the Jays’ system in 2013, and… uh… it’s about as confidence inspiring as the big league club has been. He doesn’t buy Dan Norris’s apparent turnaround, slays the club for not signing their top draft pick (even though they get it back in a deeper draft next year), and points to Todd Redmond as the system’s key graduate. Franklin Barreto, though!

Scott MacArthur has a Q&A with Pete Walker up at TSN.ca, and among a number of interest things he has to say, he suggests that R.A. Dickey had “some things that he was tipping early on.” Batting practice game against Boston ring a bell, anyone?

Great stuff from Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, who tells us about two seemingly unlikely best friends on the Jays: competing centre fielders Colby Rasmus and Anthony Gose.

Elsewhere in the Sun, Elliott tells us of the departure from the organization of Tom Burns, a respected long-time scout who recently left the Jays for the Padres, reportedly upset at how scouts have been treated since Brian Parker took over as scouting director last year, and also with the fact that he’d been moved from the amateur side to the pro side. He’s the twelfth scout to leave under Parker’s watch– two others left on their own, while nine were fired.

Bruce Arthur of the National Post talks to Alex Anthopoulos, who acknowledges feelings of guilt over how poorly the team has played this season, and interestingly tells us that while “it feels like there are so many things to fix,” “Anthopoulos keeps coming back to two things: the pitchers, and the doctors.” Hmmm. Could changes be afoot? Shouldn’t they maybe be? Shi Davidi also tried to look into why the Jays find themselves so often injured in a piece over at Sportsnet.

Elsewhere in the Post, John Lott looks at how the Jays are dealing with the problem of reliever workload.

Back to the Globe, where Tom Maloney looks at the tough task Alex Anthopoulos has ahead of him this winter, while a CP piece tells us that when the Jays head to Montreal in March, the 20th anniversary of the ’94 Expos will be celebrated, as “former manager Felipe Alou has confirmed to The Canadian Press that he and other members of that dominant squad will be at an exhibition game next March at Olympic Stadium.” Cool. Hey, and I still bet Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard will be there too!

Elsewhere still in the Globe, Maloney looks at the turning points of the Jays season. Hey, I think I was at that last one on the list but was too drunk to remember what happened!

In his latest Bullpen post at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin harps on the Jays’ lack of preparation during Spring Training, which… yeah, can’t wait to keep hearing people regurgitate that.

Elsewhere in the Star, Brendan Kennedy catches up with Johnny Mac, who is living the dream and post-season bound with the Red Sox. If they do anything this October, at least there will be McDonald and Brian Butterfield to feel good for.

Elsewhere still in the Star, Kevin McGran talks to John Gibbons, who tries to find some positives in a season of disappointment and discouragement.

And one more from the Star, as Brendan Kennedy looks at why Ricky Romero and Kyle Drabek aren’t starting.

Rob Neyer takes a not-terribly-deep look at the sidearm knuckleball R.A. Dickey has been breaking out of late over at Baseball Nation.

Acta Sports looks at the Baseball Info Solutions data on the slowest players in the league, in terms average time from home to first on potential double play balls, and you’d never guess who finished tied for fourth-last with Yorvit Torrealba: Edwin Encarnacion! The fuck?

A completely not shocking tweet from Mark Simon of ESPN shows that the Jays rank second last in baseball when it comes to turning ground balls and bunts into outs. A second tweet shows them as fifth worst in turning balls up the middle into outs– better than the playoff-bound and almost-bound A’s and Royals.

Alex Speier of WEEI looks at the success of the Boston Red Sox, who are having a great year despite being in a “bridge” year, with the homegrown core of the next great Red Sox run getting closer to being regular big league contributors.

An interesting and worthwhile post from Dirk Hayhurst on dreams, fitting in, and understanding oneself.

The Jays’ Tournament 12 for the best Canadian amateur players wraps up today, and Gregor Chisholm tells us what it was all about over at BlueJays.com.

I couldn’t let this one from last week slip by: even though it’s about soccer, Richard Whittall’s analytics primer from over at Counter Attack is well worth a read. So do it.

More stuff from theScore, as our news team’s Steph Rogers passed along a tweet from John Lott last week that shows that Edwin Encarnacion’s wrist wasn’t entirely feeling that bad.

Lastly, more from our neck of the woods, as Craig Robinson checks in with his latest infographic for Getting Blanked, taking a look at how often WAR correlates award wins.

Comments (33)

  1. Same Hulet who thinks gibbons is the problem

    • He was very dismissive of Norris’s turnaround this season in that article. Norris was terrible last year and for all of April but since then has steadily improved any way you look at the stats. I know stats aren’t vitally important in the Minors, but his K rate and Walk rates have been showing huge progressions so I don’t know how he can’t buy the improved control.

  2. That thing about Dickey tipping “something” is interesting, but it’s not as if what was coming was a surprise. Knuckleball… knuckleball… knuckleball… wait… no, it’s a knuckleball.

    • I think he was tipping that it was going to be a REALLY BAD knuckleball, which he threw with unfortunate regularity in April.

    • Yeah that’s what I was thinking. Unless he really throws them at different speeds or was tipping the fastball.

      • Tipping the fastball would definitely make sense. I’m pretty sure one of the HRs from Middlebrooks in that April game vs. Boston was on a fastball— I seem to recall he went to his secondary stuff a bit because the knuckler just wasn’t working, but I’d have to actually go look it all up before I’d say for sure that was true.

        • ya, Middlebrooks crushed a fastball for a HR to left. It was a low 80s fastball grooved over the center of the plate. You wouldn’t need to tip that to a ML hitter for them to crush it.

  3. I think you read that slowest runners table upside down. Edwin is tied for 4th slowest with Torrealba at 4.67 seconds to first (not tied for slowest). The slowest was Welington Castillo listed at the top at 4.84 (taking less seconds to get to first is faster, of course).

  4. In that article on Colby and Gose, there is a line where Colby talks about helping Gose on his mechanics, or watching video, or how to prepare. He says that nobody was helping Gose, so when he was there on a rehab assignment, he helped Gose.

    Why was nobody helping Gose?

    • I don’t think it quite says that. It says Rasmus says he didn’t have anyone helping him in St. Louis.

    • I remember reading earlier that Gose had a bad attitude and wasn’t very coachable… maybe the coaches just said fuck it, do it your way.

    • I didn’t realize they had such a relationship and makes it even more interesting (completely coincidental, of course) that it was Gose who threw that ball that hit Cletus in the face the other day.

      I’d hate to see one of these two go, but it does make sense for one of them to be traded for a much-needed starting pitcher. I’d rather see them keep Cletus, but would he bring a greater return than Gose?

  5. Not that it’s a big deal – but in the article about slow players – Wellington Castillo was actually the slowest and Edwin tied for 4th slowest….still that’s slow….

    • there’s a difference between being a slow runner (which EE is not), and being slow out of the box, which he is. big guy, big swing, upright stance…and he keeps both hands on the barrel through the follow-through. takes an extra smidge of time to uncoil and reset balance before even getting out of the box. once he’s moving, he’s pretty quick (certainly for a big guy).

  6. You can tip a knuckle ball such as its location and sometimes knuckle ball pitchers will raise their glove differently or raise the left knee on delivery more pronounced or more quickly/slowly, which can indicate the ball will sink and/or stay up. Also, if you hold a knuckle ball off the seams and throw three quarters, it will cut into a righthanded batter very late depending how hard you throw it. It’s great for getting hitters to pop it up from the right side and lefties to ground out to the leftside of the infield. As for RA, he did not have a great knuckle ball early in the season. His secondary stuff was good but not consistently good and you get killed if it’s not consistently good combined with poor location, like down the middle as another poster mentioned. It’s nice to hear the Jays will spend more in ’14 and thanks Stoeten for pulling this all together. I know that’s your gig but it’s done well.

  7. I mostly like Hayhurst. It’s nice to hear his views and to have intellectual guys in baseball like him.

    But I wish he would stop fighting this imaginary war with the world.

    • It’s certainly not imaginary to him, but as he notes, “hiding makes you look funny to people who don’t need to hide.”

      • Here’s what I’m getting at: the other day I read an article in a newspaper about how Drake should be worried. Because his 3rd (soon to be septuple-triple platinum) album is not as good as his first 2 albums. His 3rd album that already has a mega-hit and a couple other songs charting well. This article was written by an old white guy that probably has never rapped. And who probably makes less per year than Drake spends on underwear.

        So if achieving Drake’s level of success doesn’t stop uninformed idiots from attacking you, why should Hayhurst sweat JPA and some of his fake twitter accounts?

        Hayhurst has been very successful in baseball (overall, including as a baseball writer). The personal attacks only increase as you get better. Not the other way around. He should know that I think.

        • “In the world of baseball, so much of how people look at you is based on how good at your job you are, or how strong you are—one is interwoven with the other.”
          His problems with anxiety and depression, which eat away at his strength, colour and dismiss his accomplishments. He mentions having to daily summon the strength to defend himself.

          Somedays I can’t get out of bed without beating back the question, “why is life so painfully long?” ……Accomplishments just become more things to stare at and ask, “why aren’t you helping?”

          If you can’t understand this sons, then count yourself one of the lucky ones, and cut Hayhurst some slack. After all, his dream is for “the day on which I feel normal.”

          • Oh I do empathize with him. I’m on his side. But when I disagree with some of his opinions, I don’t like to be cast into the pile of ad-hominem attackers.

  8. The link to the National Post article seems to link to Sportsnet by mistake.

  9. What’s funny is I have seen comments here about how Rasmus must hate Gose. And the commenters are sure of it because “Rasmus made a face” or some other significant factoid.

    Nope. BFF’s.

  10. That Maloney article was really interesting. I liked how it brought Pelley into the fold because as the president of the Media division of Rogers (the one that directly owns the team) he’s intimately involved in any payroll decisions. See plenty of stuff from AA and Beeston on the topic, I’d imagine Pelley has a lot more actual control over the purse strings than those two really do. Nice to see him saying a lot of the right things.

    In the interests of adding to the conversation (and shamelessly whoring for page views of course), here’s the thing I wrote pivoting off that article. Even with everyone saying the right things and $20-$25 million extra to work with, it won’t be easy for AA to upgrade with the expected payroll, at least through free agency.

    http://bluejaysblackboard.blogspot.ca/2013/09/anthopolous-has-his-work-cut-out-for.html

  11. So if the Jays have a 150 mil payroll, how much does that leave them to work with after raises to Buerhle, Reyes, Rasmus etc?

    • Some

      • Not much, if you read the thing I posted ;)

        • Blackboard: Trading will be a significant tool in the redo this offseason. They will also go the FA route to supplement what they feel they still need to compete in ’14… The BJs are evaluating a lot of things now and for the past two months. They want to see changes and some of that is on field changes and some have more to do with the clubhouse.

          • Absolutely has to be. Payroll space isn’t just about free agents though. Anyone they could trade for will have to get paid too, and their 2014 payroll will push $140 million as is. If the $150 million being tossed around is accurate, that means they can take on only $10 million or so of salary in a trade. They’ll likely have to shed salary either way, whether they’re going after free agents or trading for upgrades.

  12. All in all, that was a depressing deuce.

  13. Blackboard: Agreed. I know AA is quite creative. I think a player we currently think will not be traded will indeed be traded. The talk is changes…they’ve finally gotten Rogers to pony up the cash and it’s for more than the three year window. With that reality, things change, expectations have changed. Rogers are willing to build a winner and there are very few untouchables on this team.

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