Spring Threat: Jays @ Tigers


The Jays visit Rajai Davis and the Detroit Tigers today in Lakeland, and what’s this? Anthony Gose in right field, and Melky Cabrera in centre??? The fact that this is a thought that could even be entertained, let alone acted upon, speaks to the impressiveness of Melky’s recovery after having a tumour removed from his lower back. By mid-2013 it seemed a foregone conclusion that Melky’s days patrolling centre — something he did 144 times for Kansas City in 2011 — were officially through, but the Jays are smartly taking a look, knowing that it’s very possible that their Opening Day roster will have a very limited cast of characters capable of spelling Colby Rasmus.

Really it’s looking very possible that Melky, Moises Sierra (who played 17 games there for Buffalo last season), and maybe even Jose Bautista (three innings in centre in 2009!) are really going to be the only options, and the Anthony Gose has an option remaining and needs more seasoning still before we’re asked to swallow that rancid meat.


Rajai, we hardly knew ye. And, of course, it’s not just the loss of his versatility or the fact that he’s a weapon as a late game pinch runner that hurts, but the fact that he could platoon with Adam Lind, too.


Justin Verlander is on the hill for the Tigers today, making his spring debut.

Meanwhile, the Jays are also playing the Canadian under-18 squad in St. Petersburg, with Brandon Morrow on the hill, and a stacked lineup going up against the kids: Rasmus, Lawrie, Bautista, Lind, Navarro, and Sierra. And, of course, back in Lakeland, we have Ryan Goins for some reason getting used to the ninth spot in the order, rather than getting the chance to squeeze a bunch of extra at-bats by hitting up top at this stage. Dumb.

You can listen to that game on RadioStPete.com! The game against the Tigers in Lakeland is on MLB.com, which you can also do for free. (If you’re having trouble accessing the MLB.com stream, the Jays have a handy graphic explaining how to do it).

I’d add more, but a there’s a full Daily Duce and (I think) a Layin’ Down The Law still to come!

TV: None

And now the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

SS Jose Reyes (S)
3B Maicer Izturis (S)
CF Melky Cabrera (S)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
1B Dan Johnson (L)
C Josh Thole (L)
LF Steve Tolleson (R)
RF Anthony Gose (L)
2B Ryan Goins (L)

RHP Todd Redmond

Detroit Tigers

2B Ian Kinsler (R)
LF Rajai Davis (R)
1B Miguel Cabrera (R)
DH Victor Martinez (S)
LF Torii Hunter (R)
CF Austin Jackson (R)
3B Don Kelly (L)
C Bryan Holaday (R)
SS Eugenio Suarez (R)

RHP Justin Verlander

Comments (74)

  1. Any update on Santana???

  2. Goins will likely get more innings than the starters. Assuming that more ABs will make him suck less.

  3. I actually thought Rajai managed to be a shitty outfielder despite being blazing fast. Bad routes, weak throws ( minus one where he gunned down pedroia somehow from the wall) and for some reason he caught the ball at his chest

  4. There’s a newish Griff mailbag too.

  5. So if Jays sign Santana, and Happ is healthy, could they turn Happ + reliever into Nick Franklin? Mariners could use the depth.

    • That’s a big “if” with a back problem. I don’t see the Jays trading away a starter, unless something else happens, like say a FA signing. hmmmm

      • just read back part of your post. But even if they sign Santana, I don’t see them trading whatever depth Happ provides.

    • My personal rule of thumb is that if I would agree to the proposed trade faster than it took to read it, the other team wouldn’t agree. Franklin isn’t some bullshit prospect, he’s the real deal and Happ + isn’t getting it done, IMO. Happ hasn’t shown me anything other than an inability or unwillingness to pitch down in the zone. I’m thinking Hutch +, which I personally wouldn’t do. But then again, who knows? I could be completely wrong.

    • Holy hell I hope your right.

      Franklin was a top 50 prospect not long ago. In half a heartbeat I would move Happ and any prospect not named Sanchez or Stroman for him.

      IMO with so much SP depth at close to league minimum salaries Happ and his $5 million salary have almost no value to the Jays. If you can get a cheap controllable position player that immediately upgrades your team for him? No brainer.

  6. any one else getting blacked out on mlb.com audio package? i sign in but then i am asked to pay 19.99 although my cc is already loaded on the site for free access. Anyone else have a link to audio or video?

  7. Could Goins batting ninth mean they’re hoping they don’t have to use him in the big league lineup? Isn’t ninth in the batting order usually reserved for minor league invites? Hmm? Stephen Drew anyone?

    A guy can dream (is “dream” too strong a word for Stephen Drew?).

    • maybe they’re just trying to get him used to that spot,
      not batting until the second or third, and if he gets on, being on base in front of guys like reyes

  8. That’s where he’s going to bat. They’ve already said they can “carry” or “hide” his bat. He doesn’t have to do d**k all to get on the team because they aren’t going to pay Drew what he wants. Hell, they have a more desperate need for pitching and they won’t even pay below market rate for that!

    • They’ve also made a big show about the changes he’s making with Seitzer. Repetition is the key to that, so the lack of at-bats is dumb.

      • And how many at bats do you think he’s missing?
        not enough to make any difference.

        • Somebody said this the other day: put him first, then when the big leaguers leave the game after their 3rd AB or so, leave him in to take one more. Even if they can’t do it in every game he plays, you could get him an extra 20 AB if you wanted, which is like 33% more than where he’ll end up. You’re right that he’ll still suck, but not insignificant relative to how insignificant any amount of spring at-bats are. And given their story on the work he needs to do with Seitzer, what gives? Laughable Cito garbage about him having to magically feel comfortable hitting ninth??

          • they can’t base their entire spring training lineup around what might be best for one guy.

            • sure they can, thats what spring training is for.

              • i just can’t picture the logic behind scaling down at bats for guys you really need to carry this team to get at bats to the 9 hole hitter.

                • why are you looking at it that way?

                  EE, JB and co know their swings, and didn’t make any significant changes over the season, so they need less work than a player who has made changes and needs repetition for them to stick.

                  who it is, is insignificant.

                  • they’re all working on stuff, all the time, constantly. little changes and coaching adjustments have turned two nobodies into the most feared 3-4 in baseball. Goins isn’t the only guy that needs work, and he’s definitely not the only guy they’re taking a look at.

  9. White Sox have made Viciedo available. Not much of a ballplayer EXCEPT he mashes LHP.

    He would be a perfect platoon partner with Lind, can also be a crappy emergency OF and he has a handful of games at 1B.

    In a perfect world I would like to see bench of Viciedo, Izturis, Kratz/Thole and Gose (who can actually play defence and run) along with 7 man bullpen.

    Move Sierra and excess bullpen pieces for whatever you can.

    • “In a perfect world I would like to see bench of Viciedo, Izturis, Kratz/Thole and Gose (who can actually play defence and run) along with 7 man bullpen.”

      And peace on earth, right?
      Even then, that bench is hard to swallow.

    • Is Viciedo that much better than Sierra?

      • Probably better yes, against LHP he has a career OPS of .908 over 314 ABs with 16 HRs. He has also played 1B.

        I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but Sierra doesn’t strike me as the smartest guy on the team. He has made some real dumb moves in a limited number of games. Not sure he can easily pick up 1B.

        • He doesn’t need to. EE plays first, Sierra plays LF/RF, Bautista/Cabrera get’s a day off from fielding and DH’s.

  10. Why is Chris Capuano not talked about more? Sure he’s not Ervin but he could certainly be a 5th man in a rotation.

  11. Twitter done for anyone else?

  12. Getz > Goins

    • it’s funny because at this point, even if you factor in defense, the jays probably have 3 better options than Goins.

      He just happens to be the youngest, so they think he will mature out of his shittiness.

      I’d start Izturis or Kawasaki

  13. agree. Macier is gonna be ok.

  14. Apparently it’s still basically the Jays and the Os.

    • I’d be surprised if Atlanta doesn’t put a push on for Santana…when was the last time anyone had ligament damage, went to see Dr. Death, and came out with good news?

      Sadly, even if ATL is out of the mix, does anyone really think that if push comes to shove and Santana’ s price rises, it will be Baltimore that blinks first? They have already burned higher draft picks on Jimenez and Cruz, so the prospect “cost” of Santana is small…

      • The counter argument is we need him more.

        • We absolutely need him more…you know that, I know that, AA knows that…but whether it’s the bullshit “value” AA has placed on him, or not wanting to give him incentives, they seem determined to piss away a chance to upgrade by a possible 2-3 wins over the Happ/Redmond/Rogers pile of hot garbage that is the option at #5 (at least for the first couple of months, before maybe Stroman?)

  15. The Great Pumpkin

  16. So Morrow getting hit around by teenagers ?

    • I don’t think that’s necessarily the description. Not that it’s a great line, but baseball’s a funny game sometimes. Doesn’t mean much. You’d like to see him better, but he’s barely seen game action since the end of May, so I think you’ve got to give him some leeway. If it causes a new “career implosion watch” kind of thing among panicky fans, then that’s definitely not good. If it makes the club move more aggressively on Ervin Santana though…

      • Hoping your deuce has some good news in it. Been a lot of self inflicted gunshot wounds around here lately.

    • What was his line?

  17. I’ve been checking Twitter to see if anything’s happened. Apparently Santana is spending his afternoon following everyone who has been Tweeting about him.

  18. Honestly I am just going to throw this out there but I think Moises Sierra might be an upgrade over Rajai Davis. Different skillsets, sure, but I think a case can be made. Also, if a comparison is made with cost in mind, I think Moises is just flat out better at the price level.

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