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The Jays take on the Philles today in Grapefruit League action, with Esmil Rogers and Dustin McGowan both taking the hill, the latter being an intriguing possible late entrant into the race to grab the Jays’ fourth starter spot, seeing as the job is there for the taking, on account of how everybody sucks. So… that could be interesting?

This is your Game Threat. Deal with it.

Comments (152)

  1. I heard Gregor on the radio before. I liked his point that the favourite for the last starters job is always the guy who pitched the longest ago.

  2. Don’t have the game on, but anyone have any details on why Kawasaki is at 3B? They just seeing what he can do there?

    • Hey played a couple of innings there yesterday I think. I dunno, maybe seeing if he could be the utility infielder? Seems unlikely though with Maicer and all…

  3. Dustin would be great, except Gibbons said this morning that he is not a consideration. SMH

    • ….out of camp. He is down the line.

      • Long relief. Then spot start once someone gets hurt (it’ll happen always does). It’s one way to keep his innings down thru the season and gives him time to get stretched out.

  4. I really wish they would give McGowan a shot at the starters job. What do they have to lose at this point?

    • Last I heard was when Dustin asked if he could start this year that they said yes, if he practiced away from the rest of the team at ST. Stoets said yesterday a few times that he still has to build up (innings, I’m guessing) and I’m thinking that Gibbons statement was alluding to that. ie if McGowan makes the rotation, it will be after he’s built up, probably sometime in ApriI.

  5. Sierra’s got some pop

  6. The state of this team is about as demoralizing as it can get.

  7. Wow

  8. Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS 18h

    travis d’arnaud (.133) hasn;t looked great “catching or hitting” this spring said one scout. #mets

    Just sayin’

  9. Anybody have a link to the game. The one I was using isn’t working right now (vipbox)

  10. Rogers’ stuff looks good but command’s a bit iffy

  11. What is the general consensus on ceiling for Sierra?
    Stoeten? Others?

    • Nelson cruz

      • Not that Nelson Cruz is great, but you’d have to take that kind of ceiling if Sierra can reach it, no?

        • i’m sure someone will freak out at this,
          but is he that dissimilar from rios?

          • Rios has better defense and a more consistent bat. Not too much of a stretch to be Sierra’s absolute ceiling i guess

            • It’s a bit early to tell seeing as Sierra’s never had a season in the bigs. From what I see Sierra’s much improved over last year. He seems OTOH to lack Rios’ power.

          • Yes.

            Sierra isn’t a SB threat and defensively isnt even close the the level of Rios. He does have a hell of an arm though. I remember when he was signed some Barfield comps were thrown around,

            I’m thinking a slightly faster Cruz is more likely the ceiling. And yes I’ll take that.

    • Raul Mondesi

  12. The Jays brass have officially shot down McGowan in the rotation

    sportsnet says so

  13. Well that is just stupid. Pete Walker was on the FAN this morning saying how much the Jays need Happ. He went as far as calling Happ a “horse”. More like horseshit.

  14. E. Santana throws 2 innings for the Braves today:

    7 Pitches: 7 Strikes, 0 Balls

    2 H
    1 R
    1 ER
    0 BB
    0 SO

    4.50 ERA

    • So Santana faced 7 batters and all of them put the ball in play on the first pitch?

    • If you’re looking at game day of some kind, they don’t register real pitch counts. Besides, it is virtually impossible to only throw seven pitches in two innings and give up a run.

    • Then, it is the first time in history that it has ever happened FFS. 6 outs + 2hits =8 batters and he did it all on 7 pitches-Quite the feat

      • It is possible as there was a double play.

        • Check your math again

        • I agree there are all kinds of far out theoretical black box explanations . I used to picth (Years ago mind you, but the rules are still the same) and I did a quick check in my baseball enclyclopedia here at home and it has never happened before so the point is, and admitted to subsequently, is to question what appears to be non sensical data.
          Sort of like when the gov tells you inflation is <1%, you have to really critique the numbers for all the BS that is out there

      • You could also have pick-offs or being thrown out trying to take an extra bag on a hit. Others?

  15. Can someone out there tell me why everyone on twitter is calling Rogers “Uncle Esmil”

    Don’t get me wrong i’m into greasy nicknames, but this one’s pretty creepy.

    • Just a guess, but Ted Rogers was often referred to as “Uncle Ted”. Both named Rogers? I dunno.

  16. They’ve been calling him that for over a year….dunno why. Maybe Kawasaki hung it on him.

  17. its pretty fuckin stupid that american league teams have their pitchers hitting in spring training games, they should change the rules and make it he managers choice whether or not he wants to use a dh.

    • That would make sense actually. Apparently the rule is something like the home team decides whether to use the DH or not (for the game)?

      I really like the idea of each team deciding for themaelves. I can’t think of a downside…

  18. Jacob Turner on block, thoughts?

    • 9th pick overall. He’s big and he’s young. Not great numbers so far but early in his career. Why not, depending on what we have to give up. And, he’s a Marlin! Let’s get ‘em all!

    • Marlins are looking for 2B and 1B for the future. Cupboard is bare on those fronts in Toronto.

    • That they’re trying to get rid of him at age 22 should be a red flag.

      That his three-season major league career has so far been 3-8, 4.27 ERA, 1.44 WHIP–those aren’t good numbers. You might say his 3.74 ERA last season was a sign of potential, but his FIP was 4.43. He walks way too many guys.

      I realize he’s still young and still has a chance, but you’d hope that he would show something by now. The worst part is he’s putting those numbers up in the putrid NL East.

      Avoid Jacob Turner. Especially with the prospect haul the Marlins reportedly want back.

  19. Fuck I’ve heard everything now. I’m listening to the Wilner MLB.com audio and they’re advertising


    someone please shoot me

    • cc Meatloaf.

      • cc Sabathia

        • You don’t suppose that’s his bra size, do you?

          • Dudez,

            Fan 590 has had that add in rotation for at least the past year, and quite possibly longer. I’m pretty sure it was running in 2012 when I returned to GTA and started listening to that station again.

            • IMO, that commercial sums up who listens to the fan 590. That and the shitty “Negotiating skills workshop one.” Seriously, its all middle-aged losers with decent incomes, who vote Tory and don’t know whit about baseball stats beyond the boxscore. The worst part is, it doesnt’ have to be this way. It ltierally appeals to the “Traditioanl jock.”

              Many, I wish MLB was laxer with its coverage rules or allowed for multiple broadcasts, then we could have a real network that appealed to smart people. Not losers who commute to the GTA

    • Fuck…that used to be called a diet. Wilner’s probably angling for a procedure like that.

    • gynecomastia if you want to know the technical term

  20. Nicely done Dusty

  21. Dustin McGowan, come on down!

  22. From where I sit, McGowan is the ONLY logical choice for the remaining starter slot. He wants it, apparently upper management wants it. Only Gibby isn’t in favour. All we hear about is how he has some of the best “stuff” on the Blue Jays, well let him show it! He’s finally healthy and the Blue Jays are stacked in the bullpen, so why squeeze someone else in there who won’t have a chance to pitch? I have no faith in Happ or Redmond over more than an emergency start or two.

  23. Gotta to say McGowan looks real good here.

  24. Okay McGowan seems great, and wants to start…the Jays brain trust says no…McGowan’s option next year is said to be $4 or $5 million, (can’t remember). Why not get him ready to starter in case of injury or shitty stats? If he gets injured, the Jays know he can’t start and decide whether to pick up his option based on him not being a starter.

  25. Jose Kratz

  26. Kratz just hit his second HR. So nice not to have to watch JPA isn’t it?

    • It is nice to not have to watch JPA, but home runs were the one thing JPA did well, so I’m not sure it means anything that Kratz just hit a home run.

  27. Kratz making a good case for the backup C job

    • He’s pretty much got it locked up. AA strongly hinted early on in spring training that he was the choice.

      • I think you’re correct, Kratz has been getting much more playing time than Thole. I think it’s for the best, I’ve not been overly impressed with Thole.

    • Can’t see how he doesn’t get it. His upside is way higher than Thole.

    • Kratz was a friggin’ steal in that trade. I wonder if he’s the kind of catcher that you can potentially turn into a starter?

      • Its unlikely he is going to set the world on fire hitting but he sure seems like a very solid catch and throw guy who isn’t going to completely suck hitting. They have annointed Goins the starting 2B so Kratz could easily be a starting C by that standard especially since defence is so important at catcher.

        • Maybe he could be a starting 2B?

          After giving up Gomes and D’Arnaud, AA woudlnt’ know a good catcher if it showed up to his AA meeting. Let’s hope. He’s an updrade on Thole, most people are.

          Maybe he can DH?

          Why not put Dan Johnson on bench?

          Sierra is washed out

          • Let’s see how Gomes and D’Arnaud actually perform over the long haul as catchers in the majors before we call them good.

  28. Has management said no to McGowan?

    All that I’ve heard is that he won’t be ready to start the season as a starter (he had only thrown 4 innings before today). He has a grand total of 7 after today.

    5 SOs in 3 innings with 1 hit and no walks is so far better than anything we’ve seen though – so I understand why people are itchy to see him as #5.

  29. The Rickey stuff seamed a little pie in the sky-ish, but this feels real….

  30. Mcgowan pitching like a bad ass mother fucker. Give him high 85

  31. [salivating for McGowan intensifies]

  32. A well-pitched game for once. Nice.

  33. When you already have delabar and jansen its a complete waste to have dusty as a 7 in guy

  34. If they’re going north with so many relievers, and at least one swing guy (like say, Rogers), couldn’t you plan to put McGowan on a lesser pitch limit for a couple games and bring in long reliever?

    • The same would be done with Esmil as a starter, wouldn’t it? Esmil gets 3-4ish innings, McGowan comes on to pitch 3-4 in relief?

      Actually, I would be ok with that plan. I would rather see McGowan start, but the idea that they both pitch while not being relied on to go deep into games might make both of them more effective. Then once they’re both stretched out, one of them moves into the starter role and the other stays in the pen as the swing man.

      I don’t know. It doesn’t seem like there are a whole lot of great options for that fourth spot right now.

      • Why the hell not?! It sounds a hell of a lot better than 4 1/3 innings, 115 pitches from JA Happ!

    • Will Cincy be looking for some late inning bullpen help?

      If so, they got any extra SP or 2B laying around?

      • Excellent point. They’re a (90 win, WC) contending team and may want not to dig too deep a hole out of the gate. Chapman’s rumoured to be gone 6-8 weeks I heard.

      • Cincy was looking for a starter before Chapman got hurt; now they’re looking for anything. Whomever the Jays send down better have options, because Cincy will snap up any out-of-options pitchers they can get. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Redmond go back there. I wonder if the Jays-Reds can work out something mutually beneficial…?

        • I sure like Skip Schumaker, but I’m guessing it’s way too much to hope for.

          • I’m a Schumaker fan as well, but I’m afraid he might be Maicer 2.0. He’s 34, under contract until 2016 for $2.5MM per, and BR pegged him at -1.4 WAR last season. He was 0.7 oWAR in a pitcher-friendly environment but, surprisingly, -2.2 dWAR. I don’t think I could stomach another season like 2013 at 2B…

    • Start the year planning to piggyback McGowan with 1 of Happ/Rogers/Redmond. If McGowan builds up innings well and performs he becomes a full time starter. If not and nobody else performs great make them full time starter. Otherwise piggyback all year. Redmond especially has horrible regression in stats the more times through the order.

      I think it is a great idea to piggy back all year in the 5th rotation spot and have the 7 guys for the pen for any team without 5 solid clear cut starters but that would be fairly progressive plan that seems unlikely. I actually think it is a good idea to have 2 rotation spots doing piggybacking and having 3 guys who are top tier be full time starters but that is way to progressive to think anyone would do that.

      Jays are ideal candidate this year for this idea

      Hutch / Happ
      McGowan / Redmond


  35. #freedustyfromthepen

    • Without going into the whole ” why not” thing, It seems to me they may be thinking, that Dusty’s had so much shit happen to him that another year in the pen would be a lot safer approach. I’d hate like hell to get the guy up to 100 innings and then have him go down with another ucl or labrum. Whereas if they take it easy maybe it will pay dividends in the long run.

      • The long run I think passed up a few years ago. Honestly, if the Jays could get a half season out of him with decent SP and then he never pitches again, you’re probably still getting more WAR than three or four years of him out of the pen!

        Plus, god damn, he looks good

  36. *heavy breathing*

  37. Would it be so bad to have McGowan pitch 4-5 innings in his first start, plan for the swingman in the bullpen to pitch another 3-4 innings, and just stretch him out in the majors?

    • Think this is exactly what would work best. Maybe this is what Jays are hoping on but with McGowan being hte swing man while he stretches out rather than the starter.

    • I like it. Makes the 8-man bullpen seem more palatable.

  38. I was on the record two years ago all in favour of the McGowan extension. You simply cannot let talent like that slip away for maeasly few million. Let me say again, fuck off Parkes.

    I really think the battle for the 5th spot is between Redmond and Rogers. Sure Happ threw 71 pitches, but in 2+ innings? I think the Jays need to DL his ass and keep him in extended spring training. Start the season with Redmond and Rogers. Whoever loses the battle for the rotation becomes the long man.

    McGowan looked good today. That is a very positive sign. But he would be a few weeks shy of being properly stretched out to be considered for the rotation. Do the Jays hold him back in extended spring training on some bogus DL rehab thing? Let him make a few starts against complex minor leaguers then promote him to AA then AAA ?

    I would be all for that. I am sure with Dusty’s medical history, the Jays can find something to hang their hat medically. And would Dusty play along? Fuck yeah. He’s been banished for long enough. Another few weeks won’t hurt.

    If the baseball Gods are kind to him, for once, Dusty will ride into Toronto in late April and make 20ish starts for the Jays throwing nothing but fucking smoke and bee bees.

    That would salvage an otherwise uninspiring and fucked up year for the Jays.

    Go Jays. Go Dusty!

  39. Are we really going with goins at 2b?? I mean, how does AA not lose his job over this shit?? Have they not learned anything from having an automatic out in the lineup last year (jpa). You cant bascially have a pitcher hitting in an AL East lineup.

    • You’re right in general that Goins is a poor decision, but everything you’re saying is nonsense.

      • Its not nonsense at all. A GMs job is to put the best team he can on the field. Has AA done that? Not at all. It might not be all his fault (Rogers) but their are 2b upgrades available through trade that would not cost that much. Also, in my opinion, goins is like jpa without the power which is a scary thought. We all know how bad jpa was WITH the power.

        • Yes, it’s nonsense.

          Defence is a thing that exists and matters.

        • It’s nonsense because a) you don’t know how much those 2b upgrades actually cost; b) because one poor decision does not make a GM worthy of firing, unless that decision is trading Rivera and Napoli for Vernon Wells.

          Now obviously Stephen Drew is still out there for the taking. It would lead one to believe Rogers cut off the money supply, unless the Jays really hate Boras or something.

        • Goins is not Jpa without the power because he provides defensive value, he’s not worse than Jpa he’s probably the same in terms of value.

          To be fair to the gm, having goins as a starting 2b is not his biggest offseason blunder. Many teams have been successful with a replacement level bat in their lineup.

          The simple reality is that this is an issue because the team did not bring in talent in other areas, namely the starting rotation.

  40. Minor league stats don’t mean anything. What do you think of this infielders minor stats:

    career .257/.307/.314 1200 PA OPS .622

    last year in AAA .202/.262/.319 OPS .581 age 23

    6 HR in minors

    Do you want this guy yes/no? take a guess who it is…

    • Doesn’t matter who it is, because struggling in the minor leagues typically says something.

      That’s like putting up stats from Bautistas early days and saying don’t give up on that 28 year old because he can turn in to a 50 Homerun hitter with 100+ walks

      They are the exception not the rule. And pedigree and minor league stats absolutely mean a lot

      • Except you’re writing a guy off before he even plays and goins is not 28 and not a 50 hr hitter

        • He’s 26 and never been able to hit

          I’m not writing him off, by all accounts he can have a long and successful career as a utility infielder

    • Who is it?

  41. did anyone read what Jason Parks had written (behind the paywall) about Aaron Sanchez today? would love to know his most recent thoughts on seeing him.

  42. Is Tuisoapo or whatever his name is supposed to be the Right half of the KittenFace platoon or is AA going to try to stow him in AAA for depth? Thoughts

    • well he doesn’t hit lefties well, so i would say the latter

    • From MLBTR:

      As a right-handed swinger, the natural assumption would be that Tuiasosopo could platoon with Adam Lind, but that’s not necessarily the case; Tuiasosopo has actually been less effective against opposite-handed pitching than same-handed pitching throughout his career, and that was the case in 2013 as well. He batted just .216/.336/.371 against lefties — clearly demonstrating a keen eye at least — and a robust .313/.389/.521 against right-handers. The latter of those splits came in a sample of just 54 plate appearances and was bolstered by a .481 batting average on balls in play, which is sure to regress going forward.

    • Weird move. Interesting to see what they do with him.

    • I’d like to see what Sierra can do in a platoon with Kittenz.

  43. Anyone notice how unbelievably great Goins looks when he smiles after making an awesome play and throw to first? He’s really hot.
    At least that’s what my wife tells me.
    Which means, because she’s more right than I’m wrong,
    that he’s on 2d for a long time.
    Sorry AS but there are forces more powerful than logic.
    Gives chemistry a new twist, no?

  44. I like what some people are thinking about piggybacking McGowan and Rogers/Redmond/Happ. That way McGowan is on a regular schedule but doesn’t have to push himself north of 100 pitches if they’re worried about injury.

    Let Rogers or whomever go 3-4 (based on pitch count), let McGowan take it for 3-4 and then finish it out like usual. Each guy gets to focus his stuff into a shorter outing and most importantly only goes through the lineup once or twice.

    If they’re going with the idiocy that is an 8-man pen, they might as well ensure that they make use of that last guy. Plus with everyone looking rather iffy for the 5th starter job, maybe trying something unconventional makes sense.

  45. Maybe AA/Rogers picked up Tuiasosopo to use his family connections to help in hoaxing Jays fans into believing something that isn’t true this season…or, on a micro level, if Lawrie starts to struggle, think that it’s his best bro Derosa on the other end of the phone to lift his spirits.

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