Mention those proofs again and just see what happens, Valerie.
“It would take something extreme for the [Clevelands] to re-sign free agent Ubaldo Jimenez at this point of the year,” writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in what is not a repeat of every other story on this subject of late. “There has been no communication between the Indians and Jimenez’s agent, Diego Bentz, since the end of January. What’s more, the Indians value the draft pick they’ll receive for Jimenez if another team signs him.”
Marc Hulet of FanGraphs released his top 100 prospects list on Tuesday, and while the usual suspects line up about where you’d expect, there was an intriguing addition at the very end: Mitch Nay, checking in at number 100. He explains, “Nay is probably the biggest surprise in the entire Top 100 (you probably won’t find him on anyone else’s list) but I’m going out on a limb with him much like I did with Michael Wacha last year and that worked out pretty well. Nay has a chance to be something very special with the bat and should hold his own defensively.”
A pair of big season previews from Gregor Chisholm at BlueJays.com. In one of them he speaks with Alex Anthopoulos, who suggests last year’s internal improvements by the Red Sox as the hope for his own club in 2014, and then Gregor then guides us through three key questions for the season, and what the roster will look like — who’s in, who’s out, who’s on the mend, which prospects we should keep an eye on, and who might surprise us by making the club. In the second piece, Gregor goes position-by-position through the lineup with key concerns for the upcoming year.
Because of course Rogers wouldn’t have him join the Jays crew, despite the vacancies, according to Philadelphia Business Journal, Matt Stairs has joined the Phillies’ broadcast team. Jamie Moyer, who also has Jays ties (remember 2012? Moyer threw his last pitch as a pro to Yan Gomes in a 7-3 Las Vegas loss at Reno) will join them as well. (Link via the always outstanding Baseball Primer Newsblog at Baseball Think Factory).
According to Twopcharts yesterday was the fifth anniversary of @drunkjaysfans joining Twitter. We were so green to the medium that Parkes and I shared it at first, often tweeting contradictory opinions from the same account– confusing, to say the least. By the end of the 2012 season we’d reached 8,600 followers, and now, less than 16 months later, we’re well over 21,000! Thanks for the support, and if you don’t follow already, do it! (Give me a follow at @AndrewStoeten while you’re at it).
Last night free agent Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon tweeted a picture of himself in an Orioles hat, causing most to figure that Baltimore had signed Keith Law’s 37th ranked free agent (just ahead of Kelly Johnson!) — a potential four or five starter, according to Law, though more likely a reliever, because he “wasn’t the same after the 2013 World Baseball Classic, returning to KBO late in the spring and eventually landing in the bullpen when he couldn’t regain his stuff as a starter.” Ken Rosenthal later tweeted to clarify that the picture may have been a joke.
Speaking of Keith Law, yesterday he released his top 20 impact prospects for 2014 at ESPN.com (Insider only), which includes Marcus Stroman at number 17. If that seems low, it’s because it seems like he doesn’t figure on Stroman making the club out of Spring Training, despite the fact that he might be one of their best five starters right now. Seems about right, even if a free agent is coming. Also of note: Esmil Rogers is referred among the club’s “pitchers who have proven they’re not major league starters” (which isn’t unfair), and he suggests that the bullpen, behind Casey Janssen, is anybody’s guess. I like the arms back there, but it’s hard to argue that there’s a whole lot of track record in terms of performance or health.
At Gamereax, Chris Toman goes in-depth on Ervin Santana, speaking to his repertoire, and how he would give the Jays depth and innings. Oh, and have you heard? Santana remains on the market.
Revisiting The Trade: BP’s Jason Parks tweets that it’s “hard to find many scout sources that believe in Nicolino’s ceiling. Command has to be really special to find success w/ avg stuff.” So… there’s that. (Syndergaard, tho…)
More prospect stuff, as Minor League Ball looks at the best hitting performances from players drafted in 2013, and includes — perhaps not surprisingly, given that he was a strong-hitting college senior in the Northwest League — Jays prospect L.B. Dantzler. “He has a very advanced approach at the plate, with a nice short stroke that’s quick to the ball,” explains Nick Melotte, who figures on Dantlzer possibly getting as high as double-A this seasons. “He uses a pull approach until he gets two strikes, then uses the whole field.”
Michael Hobson of the Vancouver Sun pretty fairly nails it when it comes to the Jays’ current predicament, despite maybe veering a few times into presenting things like facts that are just his reading of what’s going on. In essence: people are starting to believe the Jays may be OK with the pitching depth they currently have, but that message is just a cover in case they miss, and to imbue the back-end guys they’ve got with some confidence. He thinks it’s possible the Jays miss on Santana or Jimenez, but it would be a “tremendous upset.” Hard to argue.
At Fox Sports, Ken Rosenthal asked seven baseball execs, in the wake of the public coming out of NFL prospect Michael Sam, if they’d sign an openly gay player, and — shock! — all seven said that they would. That’s great and all, but I don’t think it means a whole lot, seeing as, what else were they going to say?
Great stuff from Jays Journal, where they go in-depth on what fans can expect from Dioner Navarro this season, and find that it’s not even necessarily all that horrific.
Nick Ashbourne of Bluebird Banter takes a look at where the Jays’ base running would have been over the last few years had Rajai Davis — who, you’ll remember, is now a Detroit Tiger — had not been here, and… uh… it ain’t good.
The Blue Jay Hunter takes an interesting look at the status of the Rogers Centre roof when home runs were hit in 2013.
Batter’s Box gives an excellent report from the farm.
Today only — as in Wednesday — the Buffalo Bisons are having a 50% off sale. Hit it up at ShopBisons.com.
Lastly, at Getting Blanked, Jack Moore reacts to Masahiro Tanaka’s introductory press conference in New York, and demonstrates that the Yankees’ latest Japanese hurler has nothing in common with their last, Kei Igawa. While we’re on the subject, a friendly reminder not to go back even deeper and darker into Yankee history and compare him with Hideki Irabu, as no one should wish that fate on anyone (Irabu committed suicide in 2011).