Spring Threat: Jays @ Rays

sanchezST14

The Jays take on the Rays in Port Charlotte this afternoon and… SEE. SEE, WE CAN DEVELOP PLAYERS!

By which I mean Aaron Sanchez takes the hill for the Jays, soaking in the big league experience like every 21-year-old prospect deemed the future of the organization and not shuttled to the grim backfields of Dunedin. One set of rules for the somebodys, another for the nobodys — seems about right, eh?

And there remains chatter about the possibility of Sanchez — who, one feels the need to remind, surrendered more than four walks per nine innings against high-A hitters last season, and over five the year before at Lansing — actually breaking camp as a member of the club’s rotation. To the team’s credit, they’re certainly not the ones saying it, but the lack of thrilling rotation options, and Sanchez’s huge arm and fantastic spring, has naturally got folks talking… about this utter insanity.

Ben Nicholson-Smith takes an even-handed look at the situation in a piece at Sportsnet.

Also: baseball-ish!

Comments (344)

  1. things can change quickly, Sanchez wont break camp with the team but if Redmond or whoever gets that four spot, has three bad starts, and stroman is destroying AAA or Mcgowan is electric as a swing man, they’ll re-asses their roster.

  2. Fuck I wish this was televised. Sanchez throwing 97/98 heat

  3. From KLaw chat:

    Callum (Ontario)

    If it were up to you, would you stretch Dustin McGowan out and put him in the Blue Jays’ starting rotation?
    Klaw
    (1:21 PM)

    No. He can barely throw a side session without requiring surgery. I think the best bet for him is a relief role where he never pitches on consecutive days – which would likely imply relief outings of more than 2-3 batters, maybe not quite long relief but longer-than-normal relief.

    • I’m slowly losing respect for KLaw. McGowan’s been on the weighted ball programme for a year or so and last year threw 25 innings. Not great but if he hadn’t had the flu (for 10 days) this spring he’d probably be pushing for a spot in the rotation.

  4. Sanchez sounds terrific.

  5. Sanchez isn’t “ready” .. but shit son, he’s not giving a lot of indication that he’s going to take a long time to get to MLB. He hasn’t pitched above A+ really but christ I’m so glad they didn’t deal him.

    • He’s gone -what?- 13 innings without a run so far? I’d like to send him to Buffalo to work on his walks but if anyone gets injured, super 2 be damned, bring the kid up.

      • Skip AA?

        • Hmmmm. Well he’s doing ok with the mixture of major leaguers and wanna be’s (today the Rays had their A lineup), but you make a point insofar as if he has any trouble at AAA it could pose a problem. Still I think that given his stints in the AFL and ST he should be ok.

  6. Destroy those cocksuckerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs!

  7. Me old man and the brother in law are at the game. So I’ll paraphrase a review of my dad’s perpetually curmudgeonous and sick and negatively twisted perspective.

    Or check out the bullshit that I routinely have to endure on Twitter @MyDadsJaysRants

    Warning it’s not pretty.

  8. Rays throwing it around

  9. Oof this has been a bleak offseason. I need some real Jays baseball so I can remember that I just love watching them play, whether they’re “true contenders” or not.

    I mean regardless of the fact that they might be eliminated by Canada Day, doesn’t anyone else just miss Jose pulling a rocket to left or Eddy’s parrot trot, or Dickey’s endless excuses for his shitty performances?

    Crap, I almost made it through that without any negativity. Go Jays!

    • Endless or one legitimate excuse?

    • Fuck off about excuses. The guy throws a bad game and they ask what happened and he says what happened. Doesn’t make it an excuse. “My back was tight” is not an excuse. It’s an explanation of what he went through. “The chick with big tits in row 3 distracted me” – that’s an excuse.

    • To Dickey’s credit he never made any excuses, never mentioned his back until it leaked to the media and they asked him about it and at the time said flat out it was no excuse for his performance.

  10. too bad Bedard likely won’t be w/ the Rays this year.

  11. Bedard is a poor man’s Buehrle at this point

  12. ANYONE HAVE A LINK TO WATCH THE GAME

  13. Jays out Rays-ing the Rays

  14. remember how we felt last year at this time? playoffs were 6 months away….. sigh…..

  15. Sanchez looking filthy. Too “on the nose” to call him dirty?

  16. Sanchez, Stroman, and maybe even McGowen all provide some depth if the starters shit the bed. It’s hard not to think these guys would be better options than Happ, Redmond or Rogers. With such a tough schedule, I hope the Jays have the smarts to keep the questionable starters on a short leash.

  17. Great defense in his game so far

  18. Canadian Jesus

  19. Here is a reincarnation of a baseball game classic! Smasher, are you seeing this!? I crushed your vagina many time with playing you in this game. Haha!

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ax1b9gd1o5ldek5/Screenshot_2014-03-21-12-03-35.png

  20. Sanchez’s spring thus far: 12 IP/ 0 ER/ 8 K/ 6 BB

    By God is this a prospect that may actually pan out for us!?

    WHAT IS THIS FEELING I AM FEELING!?!

    • It’s spring

    • BB

    • So that’s 4.5 BB per IP. That’s gotta improve first.

      • 4.5 BB per 9 rather!

      • 4.5 BB/IP? What is he, Romero?

        I don’t know how accurate FB/GB rates are during spring training, but if they’re somewhat accurate then he’s had 20 GB and 2 FB outs this spring. That seems pretty crazy. I would be interested to know how well he’s done at keeping the ball on the ground in the minors.

      • It doesnt matter so much if he doesnt give up any runs. You could give up more walks than that and still be better than Happ/Redmond

        • Not very concerned at the walks seeing as none of them have come around to score. Shows that he doesn’t let poor command for one batter translate for the next hitter. I would rather see how he does under pressure than him always cruising because like it or not, every pitcher struggles.

          Command is key and is a lot tougher to master as evident by arms that i will not mention from the Blue Jays…

    • AA will probably trade hi. For Santana

    • This kid reminds me of Roy. I bet he has that monster first year, then grnades it year two, just to the come back as a multiple cy young. winner. He just needs a massive out pitch lile Roy’s cutter and spliy-change.

  21. If Sanchez is better than the other options he should make the rotation, I dont know if that is the case. For him it isn’t that he needs to develop another pitch he needs to hone his control which hopefully will come with experience. It isnt ideal having lots of walks but Redmond giving up 2 bombs a game pitching less than 5 innings is worse.

    It isnt ideal to bring him up before he is polished but for the Jays this year every start counts and if he is better than Redmond they should throw him out there and not worry about losing fringe pitchers like Redmond on waivers.

    • Insert Happ for Redmond as well.

    • He hasn’t pitched above A ball.

      • And that is an argument against him being in the rotation if he is currently better than the other options?

        • rushing him, he may struggle, lose some confidence, get sent back down.

          The difference from Sanchez to Happ or Redmond is not going to be the reason we make the playoffs or not.

          no point in rushing him and complicating his rise to the bigs.

          • I dont know how good he is right now but the results are impressive. It could easily be the difference between making the playoffs or not if he is able to perform well and Redmond and Happ are as terrible as it seems they may be.

            • That’s a tough sell.

              to argue that you have to assume Happ, Redmond or Rogers would provide negative or replacement level WAR and Sanchez would provide 4-6 WAR.

              Very few pitchers come up and have that kind of success so quickly, especially ones who don’t have experience against hitters that wont be overpowered. His BB/9 just isn’t in control enough yet to anoint him ready.

              • Point is that Happ/Redmond/Rogers have been so uninspiring that Sanchez looks like a legitimate option even with control issues.

                A 2 WAR differential may be all that is needed to justify him being in the rotation rather than the incumbants given where the team is at and at this point that seems very plausible that there could be a 2+WAR differential.

                If the Jays werent close to contention or Sanchez needed to develop a third pitch I would think differently.

            • Nick, I like the enthusiasm, but he’s still walking over 4 guys per 9 innings in A ball. He’s not ready.

              Aaron is gonna be a stud, just not this year.

              • I’m not a fan of the playoffs anyway. You can have a stellar season and be gone in one 3 hour game.

                It’s not going to hurt the team for Sanchez to pitch some starts in AAA. The way he’s pitching now, he should be up at the very latest by the super 2 cutoff. Even if he’s not back up til september, it’s an investment.

  22. Question: If the Jays decided they wanted to stretch McGowan with the aim of making him a starter again, how would they do that once the regular season starts if they can’t send him to Buffalo (because he’s out of options) to work the three or four starts to get his pitch count up?

  23. hahaha saw the picture of the Duke coaches after their lost today and it reminded me of Denver

    http://i.imgur.com/EzJUoba.jpg

    • their loss or they lost. pick one

    • Nice.

      Shame is so much more fun to witness someone else experience. Then say…. staring back at you in the mirror the next morning, with your hair combed with your pillow, and you smell like someone smashed a bottle of rum over your head, and you find an ATM receipt in your pocket for 400 bucks, and you feel like a big bag of Aids because you’re pretty sure you didn’t wear a rubber.
      Hypothetically speaking of course.

    • That sweetheart in the 2nd row looks like she’s not getting her billion dollars.

  24. Wilner tweeted 5.1 innings, 3H, 3BB, 2K, 73 pitches/41 stikes for Sanchez against the Rays MLB lineup…not bad.

    • Thats pretty much par for the course for him, maybe a few more strikeouts .

      he doesn’t give up a lot of solid contact, but needs to get the BB’s under control.

      If he can get it to a 3BB/9 rate, while maintaining his strikeouts, he should be good.

      • It doesn’t matter if he gives up a walk every two innings if he isnt giving up good contact / runs. Getting the BB under control will certainly help but isnt necessarily needed to be a much better option than Happ/Redmond/Rogers

        • There’s no question his ceiling his higher that any of the dregs we’re lugging around around for the final starter spot. But dude, he’s pitched barely any innings higher than a single A level.

          He gave up WAY too many walks in single A and his entire minor league career, and got away with using his plus fastball to get out of jams, that isnt going to cut it at the higher levels, let alone the Major league level. And yeah, a high strike-out rate will somewhat cancel out a high walk rate. But look no further to Ubaldo Jiminez in his crappy years to see what can happen to a starter when he gives up too many walks with a plus fastball.

          Let him prove he can consistently strike out batters and cut down on the walks at least on the AA level. And it’s freaking spring training, countless of pitchers and hitters who do well in spring training do terribly in the regular season. Not to mention you start his major league clock on a player who is not ready yet, wasting an option and paying more money in salary in teh long run.

        • ridiculous.

          His walk rates are high against minor leaguers, imagine him facing very patient tampa, yankee and red sox teams.

          No way you expose him to that until he’s ready.

          • Happ and Redmond have looked god awful and Stroman and Drabek have not looked much better. Rogers so so.

            Past history, experience and walk rates in the minors does not necessarily mean that Sanchez is not the best option to start the fourth game of the 2014 season and the best bet for continued success through the season. If he is pitching the best right now he is pitching the best and is the best option plain and simple.

            • thats the opposite of plain and simple.

              you are using spring training stats as gospel. Given the big picture of Sanchez overall, his age, experience and control issues, you’re simply wrong.

              • I am not using spring training stats as gospel.

                If the team evaluates him as the best current option for the rotation they should put him in there is what I am saying. I also said I don’t know if it is the case that he is pitching the best. I speculate that they may evaluate him (rightfully) as the best option given the uninspiring performances of the other rotation hopefuls.

            • There is absolutely now way , especially in the AL East, you let that kid pitch without some more experience in the minors. A guy like Maddon will get his videos and crunch his stats and (just like they did to Marcum and Romero) have every damn last one of his batters lay off certain pitches and now you’ve got a basket case on your hands. Give him time.

          • He just looked good today against the Rays. Happ has been horrible.

            • He was good today but was still bailed out by some big defensive plays. Chances are he won’t be turning three double plays every game.

              Walking that many guys is never good. Fucks up your pitch count and you’re constantly having to dance your way out of trouble. Not a great recipe for continued success.

              • No it is not. The recipes from Happ/Rogers/Redmond have not looked good either. It is all relative.

                • Happ, Rogers and Redmond all have some history of being at least serviceable in the major leagues. Redmond in particular gets a bit of an unfair rep, I think. He’s been mostly excellent in the minors and did fairly well in his first extended stint in the majors.

                  I’m as high on Sanchez as anyone, but this is just nuts.

                • Think about it this was too. Rogers/Happ or Redmond all project to be slightly higher than replacement level. Sanchez projects to post 2012 Romero level production if he pitches this year.

                  He’s not ready.

    • I really do wish he’d walk less, but he’s definitely looking promising.

  25. honest question here.. do the jays have anything / enough to offer Cleveland to land Masterson?

    • What do you give up for 6 months of Masterson? Nolin+Pilar? (I’d do it), Stroman? (too much). The price goes down as the trade deadline approaches.

      • ^ Well said

        • I was going to make a comment about giving up nothing and picking him up as a FA, but couldn’t type the words without laughing….Long live AA’s valuations…

          Seriously, though, Masterson would be better than most at the RC…

      • no way Cleveland accepts nolin+pillar.

        and no way no team offers more than that. even if its for just a year.

        • Maybe not now, but some team who’s still in the hunt at the deadline may. Or a team who lost 2 pitchers in ST. As AA found out, the market shifts continually.

    • Sure they do. The question is would they give it up to get him. Drew had a great piece on him at Getting Blanked. I love Masterson as a pitcher but if the conversation is Stroman or Sanchez I say we just keep those two guys and move forward.

      • if he was willing to talk extension, I’d absolutely include Stroman.

        • For an extension at 4/70M or less, I would too. I don’t think AA will get the Francona discount, though. I think he’ll end up with 5/100M, 6/120M or something similar.

        • Keith Law wouldn’t agree – but it would change the conversation.

          Still.. I like the idea of having Sanchez and Stroman in the rotation cheap (cause i think they’ll both eventually get there) and spending that extension elsewhere to improve the team.. Though that probably doesn’t help this season.

          • I like Stroman and his build is exceptional, but pitchers of his height typically don’t last long in the starting rotation.

            Obviously I’d love to keep them both, but when talking about adding a really good middle of the rotation pitcher to the team for the next 4-5 years, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

            you have to give something good to get something good, If indians valued stroman that high AND he was willing to talk extension beforehand, you sort of have to don’t you? You add another high impact player to our core who can contribute NOW

  26. With Rondon headed for TJS and the Tigers looking at Joba Chamberlain
    or Al Al as their best setup men, MAYBE there’s a chance for AA to
    deal a competent back of the bullpen piece (Santos?) for something useful.

    Probably not, ’cause we can never have too many out of options relievers,
    but hey, we can hope.

  27. Dickey, Samardzija, Buerhle, Hutch, Morrow would look nice

    • not at the rumoured price.

      • I would puke if I found out we dealt both of our best prospects for him.

        • out of curiosity, and i’m not saying this would be the most likely outcome, but if we dealt both and went on to win the world series… would you still puke?

          • It’s all academic anyway. Samardzija has already said he will not sign an extension with any team that gets him in a trade. End of discussion.

          • I seen on MLB that Drew says he’s open to a 1 year offer.

    • Except, from what I hear the Cubs want for Samardzija, then your lineup probably looks like Reyes-Gose-Sierra-McDade-Goins-Navarro-Izturis-Pillar.

  28. I’m generally against rushing prospects, but the Jays should try their luck with Sanchez in April. Jose Fernandez made the jump from A+ to the majors last year and Sanchez’s stuff is comparable. I know Sanchez’s command is a ways off, but I’d rather try my luck with Sanchez than conceding the season in April by pitching Happ every fifth day.

    Our lineup is good, the other four guys in our rotation are good, and our bullpen is great. If it doesn’t seem to be working out (i.e. Sanchez is mediocre/bad or it becomes obvious early that we won’t be contending), just demote Sanchez for minimum two months and he won’t become one of those Super 2 guys.

    • you then burn an option on him and risk damaging his mental state and confidence.

      all for what, 4 starts?

      • Come on.

      • You lost me at “and.” Burning an option is bad. “Risking damaging his confidence” is basically hocus-pocus.

        • right, because players are robots.

          managing and grooming prospects is a thing.

          • No, not because Aaron Sanchez is a robot. Because you don’t have a clue about Aaron Sanchez’s “mental state and confidence” or how it will be affected, so you can’t possible draw any conclusions worth anything from it.

            • And I didn’t. I made zero claims to his mental state or confidence.

              He could very well be the most confident mentally stable person in the world, doesn’t mean that you rush a kid who’s never pitched above A ball to the big leagues.

              There is simply no justifying having him up with the team right now, he’s not ready.

              • Right. But the reason is because burning an option on someone who isn’t ready is dumb, not because of some pseudoscience.

    • Fernandez in A+: 9.65 K/9, 2.78 BB/9
      Sanchez in A+: 7.82 K/9, 4.17 BB/9

      Huge difference.

      • Uuuuuuuuge.

        • Wasting an option year is irrelevant. In MLB they get three years’ worth of option years. In your three option years you can be recalled and demoted as many times as your team wants. It’s not the NHL where you only get to be called up and sent down so many times. If Sanchez can’t stick in the bigs three years from now he’s a bust.

          I can’t argue much with the Sanchez command point other than saying that if Sanchez can keep his walk rate down to 4.5 BB per 9 IP he’ll be okay in the bigs because his stuff is so good. Barring a fluke offseason light bulb turning on that completely fixes his command there’s no way he’d be as good this year as Fernandez was last year, but I’m not asking for Top 10 MLB pitcher quality, I just want a guy that will give us a chance every fifth day. And again, if it’s not working, just demote him … which I guess they already have done.

          Hopefully they can get McGowan to give us 5 innings every fifth day at this point.

  29. Toronto Sun says Jays are not looking at McGowan for the last rotation spot! FINALLY some sense! Let him live the dream one more time. He deserves it. If he gets hurt well he knew going in it could happen and if not what a friggin story! Thoughts?

  30. Sanchez making the big-league team out of camp? He pitched 110 innings last year, and the Jays baby their pitchers in that regard. He’s still walking far too many batters. One can’t be mesmerized by the 0 ER in meaningless games, and in a ridiculously small sample size. One bad outing and that ERA balloons to something that reflects his underlying statistics.

  31. If Stephen Drew is willing to take a 1 year deal how the fuck are the Jays not all over this? Anyone see those projected 2b WAR at fangraphs the other day? Christ.

    • Here’s a fantasy idea.

      Jays trade Rasmus plus a bullpen arm plus minor league depth other than Sanchez/Stroman for a starter.

      Gose takes over CF. Jays sign Drew to play 2B. Gose might not be ready to hit, but with Drew replacing Goins, at least you’d be back to only having one black hole in the lineup.

      • Rasmus makes $7,000,000 this year. Goins and Gose haven’t hit arbitration yet.

        Drew still wants to make $14,000,000 this year. Whatever starter we get probably makes more than pre-arb players.

        Of course, “money isn’t the issue.”

        I do wonder, though, whether last season’s mess has made AA less willing to pull the trigger on major trades.

      • Then you trade Bautista to the Marlins for Hechavarria and Nicolino to replenish the farm, have a backup SS, and offset the cost of Drew and sign Jose Canseco to patrol RF, right?

        • Good plan, but I don’t think that Canseco is available…he’s running for Mayor of Toronto…

          • Is he still? His campaign site looked pretty outdated last I saw it. (Shame, really; I don’t think he’d make things any worse.)

    • Well when you think about it Drew would have more value next year after playing SS for the Tigers. Since Toronto would have him playing second I doubt they would get the same offer.

    • Drew’s really not that much of an upgrade over Goins. He’s projected for 1.7 WAR. That comes from negative value with the stick and declining value with the glove.

      • You’re serious?

        • Yes. Drew’s Steamer projection is based on him playing at short. That 1.7 WAR projection only goes down when you move him to 2B—probably to around 1.3 WAR. A hypothetical 1.4 WAR upgrade over Goins or an 0.9 WAR upgrade over Izturis isn’t worth $15M. It’s probably not even worth $5M given that it wastes a roster spot.

          • I don’t really care what a computer is projecting their WAR to be. Ryan Goins can’t hit. Period. Exclamation.

            I understand that Drew isn’t exactly ideal but he’s a clear and definitive upgrade to Ryan Goins.

            • “I don’t care about what’s probably going to happen because I *feel* like Rogers should blow 15 million dollars on what nobody can expect is more than a very minor upgrade.” Your logic is infallible.

              Unless you’re actually better at projecting the future performance of baseball players than Steamer is, you should probably just stop with this.

              • So as of now the jays are projected to finish with 82 wins

                Are you saying that adding drew for 14 million on a 1 year deal and having a better chance of finishing with 84 wins is not worth while?

                And if you think it’s too expensive you need to get a grip on reality, 2 win swings at a single position is valuable. An organization that actually cared about winning might take it very seriously

                • It’s an 0.9 WAR swing. 0.9 is not 2. You need to get a grip on reality. It costs a roster spot, too, which is not nothing.

                  The metric you shoot for is not “expected number of wins” here. It’s somewhere between “probability of making the playoffs” and “probability of winning the WS.” This is why teams do rebuilds. I don’t think adding Drew moves those needles enough for an 82-win team to waste $15M and one roster spot.

          • If you look at value like that, you’ll never build a winner

            As a team gets better, improvements end up being marginal.

            If the jays have he opportunity to improve there team, on a 1 year deal, you do it

    • Maybe the Jays aren’t “all over” one year of Drew at $14 million, because they’re not going to give up $14 million and a second round pick for a guy that fan graphs predicted at 7-10 million, because they’re not fucking morons like you. There’s that possible explanation for why they’re not “all over” it.

  32. If the Jays can somehow acquire either Masterson or Smardiza without giving up Stroman or Sanchez, then do do do it.

    I love the idea of giving McGowan a try in the rotation. Why the hell not at this point?

    • Who trades Gose, Nolin and Delabar for Masterson tomorrow?

      • Done! I will send the contract papers over by noon!

      • Probably everyone with an interest in the Jays. The question is, who DOESN’T make that trade?

        Answer: Everyone with an interest in the Indians. That trade is horrible. Quantity does not eequal quality in trades. I.e. 3 below average players can’t be traded for one really good one.

      • I wouldn’t.

        16 years of control over MLB ready guys for 1 year of Masterson? Fuck me.

        Gose is too young to be written off yet and Nolin could be Buehrle next year for literally $19 million less.

    • well, yeah.

      And if we can get Mike Trout for Gose then I’m all for that as well. But why talk about unrealistic hypotheticals?

      The only two valuable trade piece Toronto has are Stroman and Sanchez. You need to give quality to get quality and you can’t just lump in a bunch of mediocre prospects to make an interesting package.

  33. Play ball! The line up is what it is at this point. It’s time to play some games that mean something and see how it all shakes out by the AS break.

  34. John Stilson had a great 2013, 2.09 era, 9 k’s per p, 1.08 whip.
    Has had a great spring, 8 innings 7 K’s, 0.72 whip.
    Lot’s of bullpen options this year.

  35. Hutch starts today…supposed to go 6. My Sportsnet (west) sched shows it starting @ 12 (central).

  36. Lott: “Gibbons says it will be tough choice between Kratz and Thole as backup catcher. Key is who’s better catching Dickey’s knuckleball.”

    Seems to me Kratz has way more offensive upside and probably has the edge in defense too.

    • The one time Dickey and Kratz started it seemed to me Kratz was ok. I think he missed maybe 1 or 2 pitches. I dont know but he was using a 1B glove that day. Seems to me the consensus is the oversized catchers mitt if for no other reason than it covers more area and can knock down the ones you don’t catch cleanly.

  37. Looks like AA is telling Gibby that the team wants to let Dusty do his thing and try for a rotation spot. Blue Jays Central confirms McGowan will squeeze in a couple of starts before the end of spring training.

    As for Gibby’s comments about Thole vs Kratz,, I am finding that a little concerning. Has Kratz looked terrible catching Dickey?

    • IMO no. He’s looked ok but he’s charged with 3 PBs in 8 (5 started) games and Thole’s been in 12 (3 started) with no PBs. I’d rather go with Kratz but that’s just me.

  38. Nice start.

  39. So, this is what we were supposed to see last year?

  40. Can we start the season now?

  41. EE looking good.

  42. Even Thole’s hitting the ball hard lol

  43. This Lobster guy is throwing beach balls. Maybe they shouldn’t have pulled the trigger so fast on Fister.

  44. I might be in the minority here, but what exactly is it about Redmond that’s so awful? Good peripherals and a 4.16 xFIP in more or less his first season in the majors. Apart from a couple of terrible starts against the Astros and Rays(?), he seemed like a capable 5th starter to me last year.

    • At this point, he is slightly ahead of Rogers and miles ahead of JA Happ. Happ has an option remaining but can refuse an assignment due to the 5 year rule.

      I would DL Happ to start the year and stretch him properly and hope he can throw strikes.

      Rogers is the ideal long guy with McGowan, should the Jays keep both in the pen. Leaving Jeffress the odd man out.

      Lots of interesting decisions remaining.

      • Yeah, I’m much higher on Redmond than Happ. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, knows how to use his middling stuff effectively. I’d be disappointed if they let him go.

        Happ’s got some real problems with efficiency. Has he EVER made it to the 7th inning on 100 pitches?

    • I’ve been wondering the same thing.

  45. Nice to see (hear?) someone trying to try to pitch their way onto the team.

    You paying attention Happ? Rogers?

  46. 12 up, 12 down with 5 Ks

  47. Sanchez sent down, let the madness end.

    • You just know the same people wanting him on the team over Redmond and Rogers, based on 8 scoreless innings with iffy peripherals, would’ve been the first ones to turn on him when he walks the entire Red Sox lineup.

  48. Holy shit Melky looks incredible

    • So dialed in. His 3rd hit he went outside, no way he connects last year. Long winter training with JB. Both look really good.

  49. There goes the perfecto

  50. Bummer but Todd looks great today.

  51. Might be running out of steam here

  52. JB is looking in mid season form..

  53. Nice Cletus

  54. Cletus!!

  55. I wonder if Gibby left Redmond out there a bit too long might be a shrewd strategy – eliminating a AAAA type pitcher from the #5 starter talk. Do you think Gibbons thought Redmond would have such a dominating 5 innings against the mighty Tigers starters when he woke up this morning? If you were managing the Jays would you want Redmond in the rotation, over Hutchinson or McGowan or Romero or Happ or even Sanchez (sending him down saves a option year, right??). Fuck no. SO he lets Redmond eat shit for 4 runs. Clearly he was out of juice. Why not have some guys warming up in the pen, this IS spring training right? Aren’t they looking to get some other arm some work?

    Nice move Gibby. You are one hard motherfucker.

  56. When do they trade Rasmus?

  57. Yeah. No sense keeping a good center fielder when you could trade him away for value.

    • He is not a good center fielder. He is a GREAT center fielder. And he will be for many many years. Either you see that OR lemme know how the Mudcats’ are doin’

  58. Wow, nice throw.

  59. Anyone hear how JPA is doing in Texas?

  60. Anyone know the logistics of burning an option year for Sanchez? When can he be brought up without penalty?

    • Sanchez isn’t ready.

      If he pitches well in AA, the Jays can call him up but won’t before the super 2 cut off date in May. Otherwise, the team loses one year of control.

      Wouldn’t be out of the question to see Sanchez but only for a cup of coffee and most likely only in September. He needs to build up his innings in the minors and develop a change.

    • He was drafted and played in the minors in 2010 so he pretty much (IIRC) has to go on the 40 man before the end of this year. Otherwise he gets claimed in the rule 5 draft. When that happens they can burn an option year and bring him up. They will probably want to do that at the point when there’s less than 86 dyas left in the season to avoid the super two cutoff.

    • Let Sanchez work in the mid-to-high minor leagues this season….and unless the MLB rotation completely shits the bed in biblical proportions – let him get a full season or so under his belt. There’s a ginormous jump between AA and AAA ball, and the level at which he’s been playing at for the last year or so.

  61. Nice game today. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen this lineup have a 1st inning like that. Help by the Florida wind for sure but good solid at bats 1-9. Not perfect and ST but still nice to see.
    Surely there is a deal out there for AA. So many solid options in the bullpen. Kratz has won the job so far but Thole getting a long look. Must be RA preference otherwise it’s kind of a no brainer.

  62. Reyes – 200 hits
    Mellky – 180 hits
    Lawrie – 180 hits – breakout year. .290/25hr/.360obp makes first A.S. game.

    EE and Bats are going to drive in a shit-ton.

  63. So who had March 22 in the “Josh Johnson Gets Hurt” pool?

    A stunning turn of events, a shocker … NOT.

    JJ’s now on the DL with a strained flexor muscle. I’m surprised he didn’t get hurt signing his name on the contract that made him a Padre.

    • Out for at least a month they were saying. Baseball can be a bitch.

    • The phrase injury-prone get thrown around a lot, but yeah… this guy sure gets hurt a lot.

      Just give me a competent starter who can play 3/4 of the season. The offense will take care of the rest.

    • Too bad , he and great stuff about 18 months before he became a Jay. Glad we moved on.

  64. On a side note, having the MLB season open up in Oz while ST is still going on is just plain stupid.

  65. Where are all the genius’ who said to offer JJ the QO now??????

  66. Gibby getting all ‘I didn’t say that!’ About McGowan and Goins.

    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/03/22/toronto-blue-jays-john-gibbons-chides-media-for-jumping-to-conclusions-about-dustin-mcgowan-ryan-goins/

    I wonder if they have something cooking for 2nd base.

    • Sense finally prevails.

    • Ahmaz’n!

      Love Gibby holding these main stream media guys to account. They are so hell bent on getting first to a story that they end stressing their made up “scoops” way out of proportion.

      Gibby is part of a management team, he is one voice amongst several in making these decisions. He’s also one of the front line managers that deals with the assets, so yeah, sure he’s going to have a tempered tone thatdon’t rock the boat publicly, but nooooooo, the MSM need a story, gotta keep themselves relevant.

      I’ll give Lott credit for often being level on his reports and for taking the time to write a piece like this, but to me this is just another reason to go do something else when a guy like Blair is pontificating.

      • I read that a lot more as Gibbons worming his way out of previous statements.

        When asked about Goins starting, he replies ““I saw what he did in September. He made a huge difference on our team. So I don’t have any doubts.” The implied end to that statement is “that he’ll start.”

        As for McGowan, based on comments from the pitcher himself, as well as Gibby, it would seem pretty plausible to say he was likely headed for the bullpen. And as Lott mentioned himself, they probably wouldn’t be considering him for a spot in the rotation if Happ et all hadn’t struggled.

        I have no problem with Gibbons doing what he did. But I also don’t think of it as bad reporting. At the times all signs were pointing one way. The fact things changed isn’t the fault of the reporters.

        • I agree. It sounded more like he was worming out. I really get the feeling Gibby gets fucked around a lot in the decision making this time of year. ie: He only makes suggestions.

        • True, but the Goins situation hasn’t changed yet. As of right now he has to be the starting 2nd baseman. There’s no one else. Unless…

          • Considering that Goins has been starting most of the games to keep building chemistry with Reyes, I would agree that right now, he is the starting 2nd baseman.

            The unless you are suggesting is what though? Getz? Trade? Kawasaki?

        • I don’t think he’s worming at all. In both the the McGowan and Goins quotes he was giving his opinion.

          Goins would be Gibby’s starter, McGowan would be a reliever if he had his druthers, but it’s not his call, AA’s after he’s consulted all relative parties.

          From what I gathered Happ would fit this boat too. He’s a Happ guy, doesn’t mean he’ll be in the rotation when it’s all said and done.

          The Jays have been running like this for a while too, since the JPR era. Except for a brief time when Cito was around ( and it makes sense that they had a guy who could call the shots until all was settled in the GM chair at that time).

          For example, do you think John Farrell wanted to run Coco Codero as many times as he did? Or was it the type-b free agent happy GM who made that call? Think for a minute and you’ll come up with many examples.

          The reason why Gibby is annoyed is that he is giving these writers something to fill their columns with by at least sharing his opinion on the matter, yet they’re running with the quotes as the gospel truth, but anyone who has paid any attention to how this team operates should know better.

        • You guys are reading too much into this shit. He was just talking then, he’s just talking now.. It’s all just talk.

    • I think Gibby has had to deal with a variety of curveballs from the onset of ST. No Santana nd JA Happ has pitched like crap with a wonky back.

      The resurgence of McGowan is intriguing but he too had some issues, missing 10 days or so with the flu. Fact is that he hasn’t had the chance to build up enough innings facing MLB quality hitters, at least so far.

      I think Redmond has the inside track to fill out the rotation. He is commanding his pitches and is throwing strikes. There is some concern about facing the lineup a second and third time. But at this point, he’s probably the best option.

      In a perfect scenario, both Happ and McGowan should start the season on a rehab assignment so that they can build themselves up with Redmond making 3 or 4 starts in April. Rogers and Jeffress can then occupy the back end of the bullpen allowing the Jays to carry a 4 man bench.

      The reality though is that the Jays may run into some problems trying to “stash” a couple of veteran guys on the DL? I would love to know more about how teams can assign players who have no minor league options to the DL.

      As for 2nd base, while I love Goins’ glove work, I wouldn’t mind seeing Getz getting the job. AA is still scouting the Shark (along with a bunch of other clubs). Dunno if that is going to happen. If AA can do a trade for the Shark, then he could perhaps offer some surplus pitching and a prospect to the Mariners for Franklin. But it would cost a ton in terms of prospect and MLB talent.

      I think that there is more depth this year in regards to the rotation. If McGowan can somehow manage to stay healthy and strong to be a starter, it could be a big boost. We just don’t know. But the jays would be foolish if they didn’t try.

      • Getz projects to be more or less equal offensively to Goins and worse defensively, so.. nah.

        If Kawasaki can sustain an 80-ish wRC+ and play decent defense (not unrealistic) I’d take him over Goins, but it’s pretty close.

      • Spot on about Redmond, though. I like him. He had a 3.65 SIERA last year.

      • I think this. I think that, Who’s on first? What’s on second?

    • With regards to 2B, if they determine Goins can’t do the job there aren’t any other viable options within the organization.

      Retread Getz whose currently winning the “best spring” award, but has never hit particularly well at any point during his 6-year big league career and the couple times he’s been given more than 400 AB’s he has never eclipsed 0.7 WAR. His best tool is his wheels, but he’s north of 30 now and his days of putting up elite baserunning numbers are probably done.

      the only other guy who has a slim chance of holding his own is Kawasaki, who isn’t particularly good but has some status as a spirit animal on the team. He can play decent defense and inexplicably managed to put up a respectable OBP last year, however i’m pretty skeptical that he can continue to walk at a well above average rate when pitchers damn well know that he can’t hurt them at the plate.

      overall the upside on all these guys including Goins is probably 0.5-1 WAR. If Goins isn’t the guy, that means they’re thinking outside the organization, which is comforting but you wonder what the cost would be. Knowing AA they’d probably like a young, controllable option (Franklin, Ackley, Gregorius, Owings, Tejada, etc.) but then we’re talking trade and that’s a little scarier in terms of the cost.

  67. Reyes left early yesterday with “hamstring issues.”
    He’s not in the lineup today
    Gibby is “not concerned.”
    But any time I hear “Reyes” and “hamstring”
    in the same sentence, I am concerned.

    • Reyes will be out for a few days. Hopefully, he stays in Florida and will get off days in Montreal. Big run of games on the artificial turf to start the year.

      Fuck the Jays need to address the turf issue.

    • Ditto.

  68. The Arizona Diamondbacks are 2 games back and it’s still ST. A future baseball trivia question for sure.

  69. Goins kills the rally

  70. Just call me the rally killer.

  71. Holy crap, they used a shift.

  72. I know it’s only ST numbers, and these guys are mostly veterans getting ready their own way and stuff, but it’s really exciting to see how poorly the Yankees’ starters are hitting as a group.

  73. I love how Buerhle pitches like he’s double-parked

  74. Decent bunt there

  75. Ah fuck’s sake

  76. Stay hot Melkman

  77. Calling it now: melky will be this years Cletus.

  78. Who was that talking to Gibby?

  79. It’s nice to see Buehrle destroying most of the Yankees’ regular season lineup.

  80. Lawrie made the sign of the cross as he was leaving the field after that inning – must be thanking God for not letting the ball come to him!

  81. Like starting Iszturis instead?

    Not sure why he’s overlooked as a starter by basically everyone. His numbers were bad last year, but was a bit unlucky too.

    He’s certainly a better option than the others at this point. Isn’t he?

    If for some reason they’re totally set on Maicer as the utility guy, then I like Kawasaki st 2b. Atleast he can take walks and run up pitch counts.

    • I think Maicer is more valuable as a utility guy since he can play anywhere on the infield, and they don’t really have anyone else to do that. His defense is probably declining too.

      • Sorry but if he’s better than any of the potential 2b starters… He should be starting,

        Rather have my best players in the lineup than on the bench in a utility role.

        • thing is, Izturis could be done as a productive big leaguer. he provided absolutely nothing last season and was an anchor to the team.

          At least Goins does one thing well, and perhaps is young enough to make some improvement with the bat. He has a much higher floor than Izturis, and probably a higher ceiling too.

          • Goins could be done as a productive big leaguer too……. As in he isn’t one. Probably a stretch to call him a productive minor leaguer and a bit fanciful to hope for his breakout at 26 years of age as a starter in the bigs.

            Look. I loved all glove no bat Johnny Mac and was happy to have him on the bench. But that’s where he stayed. On the bench. Goins has done nothing to this point in his career to show he deserves more.

            • you are mostly correct about, but Izturis may not even be worthy of a bench spot given his performance last year. he has a lot to prove this year on both sides of the ball.

              Of course the best course of action, depending on the price, is to bring someone else in to solidify the position, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen. Goins and his defense are likely replacement level at worst. Izturis? well i think he showed us all how low his floor is.

    • Maicer’s base running needs some work.

  82. Well Buehrle looks good to go, as does most of the offense. Colby could use more PAs though.

  83. When people talk about Buehrle being an overpay, but they want to trade Sanchez and Stroman for The Shark, think of days like today.
    Buehrle is awesome and dependable. Probably the only truly dependable guy in our 5.

  84. At the rate that other teams’ pitchers are getting hurt, maybe the Jays can trade Happ for more than a bat rack.

    • Or maybe we should just be pleased we have him in our arsenal of arms, regardless of what number down the hierarchy you consider him. Surely you can’t have forgotten the last two years and the number of DL placements?
      If you mean bundle him with others to bring back something significant, then sure, but I don’t consider him as utterly useless as most seem to.

      • I haven’t forgotten the number of injuries. I haven’t forgotten just how terrible Happ is either, even as a fifth starter. It’s a shame that he’s out of options.

        • He wasn’t too bad last year before he took the line drive off the noggin.

        • He and his wonky back can start the season on the DL to buy some time.
          If shit doesn’t happen, then good.
          Cross that bridge in 15 days (or even 60, if need be.)

        • He’s really not that terrible. Honestly, is this some kind of weird groupthink effect? People make it sound like he had an ERA of 7 or something.

          His FIP is 4.01 and 4.31 over the past two seasons.

        • Or that he costs $5.1 mill this season to provide (likely) comparable value to Rogers, Redmond and Nolin.

          If the Jays took the savings from trading him and re-invested it back in to the team by…… HA HA HA HA!

          Sorry. I couldn’t get through that last part. We might as well keep him.

        • I’d rather have had Happ pitching in place of Laffey, Wang and Ramon fucking Ortiz last year.

          He was the best Jays starter in April, took a line drive to the head in May, returned in August and struggled, adjusted his arm slot, then finished with a strong September (2.97 ERA in 33 IP).

          • I want to see the guy with a good back and the new arm slot. Hopefully he’s got it right this time.
            One more thing: Wouldn’t it be perfect if the new arm slot is what’s causing the back problem?

  85. How soon before Goins gets sent down? I will say early May.

  86. Two walks in 119 AB last year.
    My suspicion that he sucks is quite justifiable.

    • Not a pretty walk rate at all, but on the bright side he has 4 BB in 56 PA’s this spring.

      If he can get the OBP to .300 with the D, I can live with that for a while.

  87. I found this funny.
    Thought I’d pass it along.

    Baseball Lifestyle ‏@ABallPlayerLife ·11 hrs
    3 Things no one will ever know:
    1. Who stole your seeds
    2. What the perfect walkup song is
    3. Why people think baseball is easy

  88. http://deadspin.com/max-scherzer-rejects-substantial-tigers-offer-tigers-1549794030

    •Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says his offer for Scherzer was the most he has ever offered a player that has been turned down.

    Interesting, Tigers seem sick of Boras. He’d be exactly what we need but I have no idea what one year of Scherzer is worth. Fuck it would be great to get that goofy eyed son of a bitch.

    ….dreaming of an ace……..

    • Judging how we didnt offer Santana anything more than a qualifying offer’s worth or passed on Jiminez’s price and years, I highly doubt we sign this pitching monster,

      • I think Smasher was talking about 1 year, as in a trade so the Tigers can get something for him before he goes FA next year. Just checked Cot’s; he’s getting $15.5 MM for 2014. Now -at least in my opinion- that’s the kind of pitcher AA thinks is worth $15.5 MM. Wonder if the Yankees will get him next year?

        • As for what it would take in a trade, well, that Fister deal was so weird that no one could predict what Dumbrowski would want. But (IMO) the minimum for a year’s worth of Scherzer would be at least Sanchez and Stroman…..

  89. Nick Swisher & Mike Polk vid
    on what its like to be Nick Swisher’s roomate.
    Nothing to do with Jays, but pretty funny.
    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/03/24/what-its-like-to-be-nick-swishers-roommate/

  90. Reyes to have MRI today.
    Eyes and Fingers crossed
    sw

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