Spring Threat: Jays @ Pirates

gibbersst

It reaaaaaly shouldn’t be coming down to this, but it would seem as though today is a big day for the shaping of the Blue Jays’ starting rotation — or at least the version of it that will break camp with the club. J.A. Happ gets the start in Bradenton, with a squad of minor leaguers behind him and what people are calling the Pirates’ A-lineup in front of him. Esmil Rogers follows suit, his most recent outing having been a very solid start against the Phillies — six strikeouts, five hits, one walk, over 4.2 innings — which was thoroughly overshadowed by a sparkling performance from Dustin McGowan… who also takes the hill today in a minor league game.

And… um… remember after that game against the Phillies when ol’ Dr. Gibbers made it plain that the Jays would not begin the year with Dustin McGowan in the starting rotation?

Yeah, um… about that… um… what a piece from the day after by John Lott of the National Post, and this one from Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun, presupposes is, maybe he will?

Evidently, according to Rutsey, pitching coach Pete Walker and Alex Anthopoulos don’t quite see eye-to-eye with Gibbers and his ultra-conservative ways when it comes to McGowan’s health. After Gibbons had put a damper on the idea of McGowan being in the mix, his boss and his pitching coach told reporters that there was still a chance. McGowan still had to respond well to his next side session, and to the 65 pitches he’ll throw today, but in the Sun piece Walker suggested that the Jays have him on the exact path I laid out last week (because it was obvious, FYI, not because I possess any kind of super secret special knowledge), which would put him in line to start the home opener, following the start today and a minor league start on Sunday,  if this scheme actually ends up working. And, damn it, it just might be crazy enough to!

Anyway, following all this, Gibbons, according to Lott’s piece, chided the media for running with the idea that he had ruled McGowan out of the rotation mix, even though… he pretty much did. He also chided them for allegedly twisting his words about Ryan Goins who had then not yet been “officially” named the club’s starting second baseman, even though he now has. (He has also been “dumbly” been named the club’s second baseman, FYI.)

Kind of weird optics going on there with the backpedaling and Gibbons looking like he had been overruled, but… who knows? And it’s not like he’s wrong and there aren’t big problems with this whole McGowan fantasy. I mean, it takes a hell of an effort to get through the part in that Sun piece where we’re told McGowan’s health problems are behind him — because… seriously? — but… I don’t know, man. Weighted balls? Maybe?

Yeah, I don’t know. And frankly, unsexy as it probably sounds, J.A. Happ can go a long way towards wresting the competition back in his favour by just looking like a damn big leaguer today. We shall see! (Er… hear, at least.)

Scuttlebutt

Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet looks at the many unanswered questions remaining with the rotation.

John Lott tweets that Jose Reyes says that his hamstring is feeling “way better” this morning, while Barry Davis adds that the shortstop tells him that this injury is nowhere near as bad as previous ones.

Scott MacArthur tweets that ol’ Gibbers says that if Reyes can play in the next couple of days, it will be as DH, and if he’s healthy enough he’ll make the trip to Montreal for the series this weekend. Sigh of relief?

Mike Wilner seems to have been the first to tweet the suggestion from Gibbons that whoever catches R.A. Dickey tomorrow will be the club’s backup catcher to start the year. Both Erik Kratz and Josh Thole are with the club in Bradenton today, but the fact that Kratz is in the game and batting cleanup probably gives you some indication of how highly the Jays think of his bat.

The results weren’t the greatest yesterday for Brandon Morrow, though he wasn’t exactly being hit all over the yard either, and according to John Lott of the National Post, John Gibbons says that the right-hander’s health is really all that matters. From all indications, Morrow felt good and took another step toward being ready for the season. He’ll start on Saturday in Montreal, from all indications.

Schadenfraude update: Geovany Soto is hurt for Texas, but that’s not exactly thrust J.P. Arencibia into the role of Rangers starting catcher, as a report from the Dallas Morning News says Ron Washington is very non-committal about who’ll get the role, and MLBTR passes along various details about how the club is hoping to fill various roster holes created by injury from outside the organization, including behind the plate. So… I don’t know. If I were them I’d probably actually just go with J.P., if only because he’s so likely to nail it just to spite us.

MacGruber? MacGruber.

TV: None

And now the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

RF Matt Tuiasosopo (R)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
C Erik Kratz (R)
1B Dan Johnson (L)
CF Brett Carroll (R)
2B Maicer Izturis (S)
SS Ryan Goins (L)
3B Jonathan Diaz (R)

LHP J.A. Happ

Pittsburgh Pirates

LF Starling Marte (R)
C Russell Martin (R)
CF Andrew McCutchen (L)
3B Pedro Alvarez (L)
1B Gaby Sanchez (R)
RF Jose Tabata (R)
2B Neil Walker (S)
SS Jordy Mercer (R)

RHP Wandy Rodriguez

Comments (215)

  1. Remember how Stoeten was insulting everyone and dismissing concerns about AA’s inactivity in the off-season? “They’ll handle it. Wait,” he spouted, followed by arrogant vulgarities.

    Boy, you sure showed us, Stoeten.

    • Yep, they fucked that up royally. Remember when I wrote all about that?

      Thing is, you’re a fucking moron. You want a pat on the back for pretending like they HAD to be doing something when they absolutely didn’t? Sorry, doesn’t work that way. I was absolutely wrong that they would handle it (which I did believe they would), but absolutely right that anyone getting all hysterical way too early in the process was being a whiny tool. You deserved to be dismissed. Plus, let’s be clear, I wasn’t as certain as you chose to hear. The message was always “if they don’t do something by the end, then there’s a problem.” And then when they didn’t, it was. Sorry that things turning out as they did doesn’t validate your earlier stupidity and misreading of what I was trying to tell you, though, I guess.

      • I think he said they should do something, and they should have, and i believe they tried to, just didn’t work out.

      • Stoeten, I’m pretty sure January and February are pretty late in the offseason and any inactivity on AAs part is worthy of critisicm. Even if he was waiting out the pitching market, the fact that he didn’t find a proper platoon partner for Lind or an upgrade at second base and the bench is inexcusable that late in the offseason. What has he done to make the team better?

        • You’re asking different questions. “What has he done to make the team better?” is valid right now, it’s not valid to froth at the mouth about all that at the time, when there are multiple options still available. There was no reason to scream and shout about it until there was reason to scream and shout about it, and anything done before that was solely so some poor baby could vent his little hurt feelings, unless it came with the caveat “if they don’t find an alternative to this upgrade they’re missing out on.”

    • Don’t worry. They’ll sign Drew after their first game. He’ll be willing to take a 1 year deal then without the fear of being stuck with a QO for 2015.

      • The other side of that coin is that teams would be willing to pay much less on a one-year deal to Drew after the start of the season because the signing team would still forfeit a draft pick for the upcoming draft, and would not have the opportunity to recover a compensation pick in the following year’s draft should Drew leave after this year via free agency.

        • No GM is thinking about offering Drew a QO again. No chance he would turn it down.

          I think this has little impact on his market.

          • If I signed Drew to a one year deal and he had a good season you’re damn right I’d offer him another QO if I could. You wouldn’t take a 3 win in-his-prime player back on a 1 year, 14-15M deal?

  2. how terrible will Goins have to be for Izturis to be handed the 2B job? Even if Goins is okay, I can see Izturis pinch hitting a lot and Goins replacing Izturis when we have the lead in late innings. Might mitigate some of the damage.

  3. Wandy with a big fly, that can’t help Happ make this team can it?

  4. Holy fuck Happ. You just got taken yard by a god damn pitcher.

  5. um yeah…Happ just got rocked by the pitcher for a 2 run HR! and he is getting smoked continually so far.

    Bye bye Happ…send him to Buffalo

    • yaya – I know, Spring stats don’t count…BUT COME ON!!! ERA = 21.94?!? WTF

    • Will he go? Would he have to pass thru waivers?

    • Wind is blowing out pretty good. It looks bad, but worse is… well… everything else. Shouldn’t have got to 3-2 on a damn pitcher. Can’t throw strikes. Hit hard when he does, it seems.

      • Unfortunately, Gameday is showcasing the wrong game. Would rather be following McGowan’s start.

        Happ is so dead for me now. If the Jays don’t or can’t DL the lanky lefty, what the fuck do they do with him? He has an option but Happ can refuse a minor league assignment as he qualifies for the 5 year rule or whatever.

    • yes – sounded like a wind aided HR – just like Matt T’s…but still. everything sounds likes its hard hit. even BJ apologist Wilner can’t make it sound good
      10 hits thru 3 innings – but hey..no walks…and he didn’t hurt himself!! (please note the sarcasm)

  6. Said this to you on twitter but how about Kevin Frandsen to platoon with Goins at 2nd. He can play 3rd also. Right handed bat thats hit lefties extremely well in his career and just refused a minor league assignment and became a free agent today.

    • Yep.

    • Ditto on Frandsen. He could manage LF also. Dunno, but MLBTR reports that the Phillies still have room for him on the 40 man roster. Could be that the team and the player still have time to work out a deal. If not ? He’s be a nice addition to the bench.

    • He’d certainly be worth a look.
      Don’t think I’ve ever seen him play
      but he’s got some pop with
      a career OPS north of .700 vs lefties.

      Could be a platoon for Goins or a
      pinch hitter off the bench when they
      bring in the LOOGY.

  7. Oh Happ Happ Happster. sigh

  8. You are dead to me JA Happ.

  9. Happ is out of options, so he has to make this team. But it is early

  10. At least Happ is making it absolutely clear to all that he shouldn’t be starting for the Jays. Let’s hope that the Jays brain trust sees it that way too.

  11. Ervin Santana pitching for braves today. Two runs four hits in two innings so far.

  12. Bring in Rogers already.

  13. Some good news according to John Lott’s twitter, Dusty through 3 innings has 3 K’s, 5 groundouts (1 double-play), 1 single, 1 double. No mention of walks. Was hitting 94-96 in the first inning.

    This is against Detroit’s AAA team.

  14. RIB CAGE!!!

  15. starting 5

    Dickey
    Hutch
    Mark
    Todd
    Dustin

    DL – Morrow

    Happ optioned

  16. Wilner mentioned that the Jays may not like sending Happ down regardless of how bad he pitches because the Jays brass won’t like another big salary in AAA, (with Romero). I hope to God he’s wrong, because if the Jays want to win, Happ isn’t going to do it!

    • Again, he won’t be sent down. He’ll either make the team or be released. He wont accept the assignment to the minors. He’ll get paid regardless.

    • Someone tell Beeston its not 1993, $5M isn’t a big salary in 2014. Send the bum down.

  17. That’s a pretty sick looking lineup for Pittsburgh.

    If I ever cheer National Anorexic League, I root for these guys.

  18. Great move AA giving Happ that extension for no reason.

    • Yeah, that 3% of the payroll is really killing them.

      • It is killing them because he takes up a roster spot because of his guaranteed salary when he would have been released otherwise. Jays won’t release a player making that much coin.

        • And they’ve proven in the past that they aren’t willing to do it. I mean, just look at the way they refused to release Frank Thomas and his $9 million salary a few years ago or Mark Teahen and his $5.5 million in 2012.

        • Dumb question: Why wouldn’t the Jays just option Happ if they feel he isn’t good enough for the majors at this point? Either he accepts the minor-league assignment or he doesn’t. If he doesn’t, you’ve freed up a few million, and if he does, you’ve freed up a 25-man spot (and possibly a 40-man spot).

          • Because you haven’t freed up those dollars, you’re on the hook for them… it seems.

            • I’m not getting that from the CBA. XIX(A)2c and XX(D)1 only talk about termination pay and how the player electing free agency isn’t entitled to any. (Meaning it says nothing about whether the club is still on the hook, and I can’t see why given that all the CBA seems to talk about regarding released players is the termination pay.)

      • Dumb.

      • Well, if they had the $5m to burn on Happ, and they were willing to go to $14.1 on Santana, and Happ completely sucks, doesn’t it make sense to say they could have spent that $5m on top of the $14.1 to nab Santana for a year?

        Of course, they could have/should have done something like that anyways. Another $2.5m goes a long way to getting a guy to sign right away.

  19. Nice to see some shutdown innings for Esmil here…

  20. I think Wilner hates Happ.

  21. Thank God Happ pitches in the AL so he won’t have to face any of these awesome power-hitting NL pitchers!

  22. Via Lott

    McGowan in 4th: double, K, F9, 4-3. Done after 62 pitches, 41strikes. 3H, 0R, 0BB, 4K. Sat 92-96 throughout.

    • throw strikes – imagine that! AAA batters or not…

    • If Happ gets the 5th spot over mcgowan I am going to personally hunt AA down like a wild pig.

    • Dusty wants to start. He’s clearly better than the other contenders. Seems like the only reason to not do this is the injury risk.

      Baseball wise this makes sense. Unless there is some study that shows he is exponentially more likely to hurt himself as a starter than as a reliever…. But i doubt one exists. From a purely analytical business standpoint I see little downside as well.

      If he is great in the rotation the Jays have a $4 mill option on a great starter. Great value on that contract. If he blows out his arm then Jays can cut bait. McGowan is unlikely to provide in excess of $4 mill in value out of the pen next year.

      Sounds harsh but it makes perfect sense. And Dusty wants to give it a go…. So have at her.

      • I would hope they didnt hold onto him this long to put him in the bullpen to be the 4th RHP option rather than starting when he is the best rotation option just to avoid the injury risk. Time for the patience to pay off and take the risk that he can really help the team rather than be safe and have him have a marginal impact in the bullpen.

      • Yeah, I keep hearing people saying that they would rather put Dusty in the bullpen because of the lower injury risk but has anyone actually studied this or is this a case of people saying it enough and suddenly it becomes true through repetition?

        If it’s simply a case of a starting pitcher having more injury risk because he throws more pitches (and this makes sense to me, each pitch carries a risk of injury), then it doesn’t matter if you start him or put in the pen from an injury standpoint. So start him. Get as many innings out of him as you can.

        • I think that’s it. More pitches = more risk…. Which makes total sense. So likely more risk as a starter…. But how much more really?

          No back to back days as a starter. Usually not a max effort delivery like a reliever. Maybe less arm destroying sliders as they include a third or fourth pitch. Do starters throw more bullpen and side sessions on theircdays off then relievers which further increases their risk?

          Who knows how to quantify the increased risk for something like this. It seems silly to work on presumptions with such a clear need in the rotation. Like the Nats benching Strasburg for the playoffs last year to protect his arm. As if another 20ip would have certainly caused his UCL to pop.

  23. Man it’s been challenging to watch this Happ situation unfold.

    But then I remembered… it’s still early!

  24. Holy crap, what is wrong with these two?! The 4th and 5th spot were there for the taking, just pitch to your career average and AA and Gibby will put you in the rotation.

    Instead it’s just a bunch of dog poo.

    Can Rogers be sent down?

    • He’s not going anywhere.

      Rogers = Farrell + Aviles + Gomes.

      • Rogers is the long man. Plus, he is out of minor league options. With the state of the rotation, it’s likely that the team will be calling his name a few times before April runs it’s course.

      • The problem with this is that you’re attributing positive value to John Farrell.

        • I know, my fingers fought every letter I typed.

          But then I looked at it from the perspective of AA’s pride and it was much easier.

      • actually it would be either Rogers = Farrell + Gomes or Rogers = Aviles and Gomes. You can’t double count Farrell and Aviles.

    • Wow – all I can say is wow….Rogers is making Happ look good….both of these guys are getting hit HARD

  25. MERCY RULE!

  26. So what happens if you option down Happ and he refuses? Does he still get his salary, or does he have to go to AAA to keep his salary?

    • Gets the full salary no matter what he/the Jays decide to do.

    • Happ’s getting paid the same salary whether he’s in Toronto or Buffalo or in another organization.

      • I’m not sure this is correct. I think if Happ refuses an assignment to Buffalo, he voids his contract and becomes a free agent. I could be wrong though.

        • that is right i believe

          free agent, free to sign with whome ever, bluejays pay % based on when it happens.

          if Happ goes to AAA, with RR there and likely thole

          our payroll in AAA might be more then Houstons MLB roster…..awesome lol

        • It sounds like they have to pay him regardless because he has 5+ years of service. However, if they release him and he signs with another team, they only have to pay the difference in salaries. So if he were to latch on somewhere else for, say, $1 million, that’s how much the Jays would save.

          I still think they’re better off leaving him in the pen and letting him try to figure things out for a bit first.

          • Per Article XX-D of the CBA, a player on an MLB 40-man roster who has been outrighted previously in his career and/or who has accrued at least three years of MLB Service Time can elect to be a free-agent if he is sent outright to the minors. The outrighted Article XX-D player can elect to be a free-agent immediately upon being outrighted, or he can accept the Outright Assignment and defer his option to elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season. However, a player eligible to be a free-agent if outrighted who accepts an Outright Assignment and defers his option to elect free-agency until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season forfeits his right to elect free-agency if he is added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season.

            If a player eligible to be a free-agent if outrighted elects to be a free-agent immediately, his contract is terminated and he receives no termination pay. But if the Article XX-D player accepts the Outright Assignment and defers his right to be a free-agent until the conclusion of the MLB regular season, the player continues to get paid, receiving the balance of his salary through to the end of the season. And then if the outrighted Article XX-D player is not subsequently added back to an MLB 40-man roster prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, the player can elect free-agency anytime beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season through October 15th.

            A player who has not previously been outrighted to the minors or who has not yet accrued three years of MLB Service Time but who qualified for salary arbitration as a “Super Two” player after the conclusion of the previous MLB regular season can elect free-agency if he is outrighted to the minors, but an outrighted “Super Two” player cannot defer free-agency until the conclusion of the MLB regular season. To become a free-agent, the outrighted “Super Two” player must elect free-agency immediately.

            • I think the key line here is:

              “If a player eligible to be a free-agent if outrighted elects to be a free-agent immediately, his contract is terminated and he receives no termination pay. “

              • If I understand that correctly you would think he is no going to refuse the assignment and forfeit that money. Seems very unlikely that as a free agent he is going to get anything close to 5.1M

                • I agree, he would likely accept an assignment to the minors so that he doesn’t lose his money.

                  • Though Wilner just said they can’t send him to the minors if he rejects an assignment. Their only option then would be to keep him or release him.

                    • Yeah, all that stuff is murky. Everyone seems to be saying that it’s different than Romero (still just 4 years of service time), which is what I’m tending to believe, even though that does seem to suggest Happ would be terminating his contract and not leaving the Jays on the hook for the rest of it.

                    • Peter, they can’t send him to the minors if he rejects the assignment because he will become a free agent. Stoeten- I dont believe Romero was even on the 40 man was he? Still I doubt either of these guys would be dumb enough to elect for free agency

                    • Jeff, that is how I interpret the rule as well, however Wilner said on the radio that if Happ refuses assignment the Jays options are to keep him (and we the public would never know there was even an attempt to assign him to the minors), or to release him, in which case the Jays would have to pay the rest of his salary.

                      I would hope that Wilner would have looked into this a little more than myself.

  27. I can only speak for myself, but I’d be handing the keys to Dusty right now.

    • Gotta see how he feels after 60 plus pitches.

      Then see how he performs in Montreal, then how he feels after 75 – 80 pitches.

      I’m guessing that we won’t find out until the 11th hour on the Sunday off day before the season opener in Tampa.

  28. Short of guys on the starting staff getting injured, this spring couldn’t have gone any worse for AA when it came to his assertions that everything would be ok. Happ has been a disaster, Morrow is way behind and looked average at best, and Stroman failed to impress. Goins has done little to show that he can hit and his defense has been meh. Throw in an minor injury (only that i hope) for Reyes exposing just how poor their depth is and your back looking at the checklist of things to do that was put together at the end of last season and see that only one thing was crossed off.

    At least the offense and bullpen has looked as good as I hoped they would be. I still think the starters will be better overall, but I mean, how could they not? Here’s hoping Hutchison and McGowan are even better than advertised this year!

    Hope Happ mans up and realizes he needs to go to Buffalo and sort his shit out. As bad as he’s been, i would hate for the Jays to lose him as a potential future asset for nothing. Unfortunately, “I am stater” Happ is likely to take his walking papers. Ugh.

    • I mostly agree that it’s been a bit of a disaster, but they really needed two starters to emerge from that group to take over the two spots behind Dickey, Buehrle and Morrow. Hutchison has clearly done that, and McGowan and Redmond are pitching like reasonable options for the last spot. Obviously you would like to see more of their options pitching well, but it’s not like they needed EVERYONE to stand out in a positive way.

  29. I know ST does not count, but it is the Jays themselves that have left these rotation spots open this late. To go with either of these two given the performance would be a blatant lie to the best team north line. Without the surprise of McGowan I thought Redmond should get the fifth spot just because he seems to give you a consistent average starts as opposed to Esmil who could throw a seven inning three hitter one game and be out be the second inning the next time out.

    Maybe Esmil might be easier to get through waivers now?

    • who honestly cares if Rogers makes it through waivers or not, he’s like the 7th best reliever on this team if that, and I would have 0 confidence handing him the ball to start a game, so why are we holding onto a guy like that? Meanwhile he’s making almost 2 million dollars.

      • for real the guy has pitched almost 400 innings in the majors and is over 2 wins below replacement for his career. Does this team want to stockpile every piece of shit that falls into their lap because they have promising tool and they’re hoping for a miracle, or are they actually trying to build a winning team?

  30. It’ll be nice to see Dusty start the home opener, but make no mistake, he will be on the DL again before the end of the year. This is a dude that has pitched <90 innings total, majors and minors combined, over the past five years. Complete fucking ineptitude on the part of AA for the rotation to be in this situation, and Christ, the season hasn't even started yet. Get ready for some hot Shawn Hill action this year, motherfuckers.

  31. Could someone please explain to me the difference in ability between Jonathan Diaz and Ryan Goins?

  32. What about a SP platoon with McGowan and Redmond? It gonna be an 8 man pen, so it’s doable.

    Keeps Dusty in a pitch count zone of or around 60 to 70 = good for long term stability and health.

    After a quick look at Redmond’s splits last year it’s apparent that he loses effectiveness after 3 innings, or the second time thru the heart of the order. That said, he was pretty much nails thru the first 3 innings last year.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=redmoto01&year=2013&t=p#innng

    • A team shouldn’t have to go through these kinds of gymnastics just to put together a rotation of guys that can pitch 5 innings.

      • If what I suggested can turn what is usually the weakest link in a rotation (the “5th starter”) into a strength, why wouldn’t it be considered.

        Why couldn’t this be part of a evolution in how pitchers are used?

        • I don’t think it’s a strength though to take away from the bench. If we’re doing this, we have a 3 man bench and it’s not pretty.

          Then what happens if another one of our pitchers has a crappy day the next day and has to be pulled in the 3rd?

          • If one of the other starters has a bad day, there is still a 7 man pen. That is the normal set up in baseball, and odds are, many of them will get a day off when the McGowan/Redmond platoon pitch so they get an extra day off a week. Problem solved.

            Do you really think that a bench spot (the 25th one at that) is more valuable than the best pitching arrangement possible for 200 plus innings? C’mon.

      • Pretty much every “fifth starter” in the league sucks. That’s why they’re the fifth starter.

        Case in point, Roberto fucking Hernandez pitched 151 innings for the Rays in 2013.

        This Redmond/McGowan combo has the potential to be pretty solid.

        • At least he did it as 1 person

          • and hello if that’s your 5th starter(s), who the hell is your 4th starter? Have you forgotten today’s box score already?

            • Seems to be Hutchison at this point.

            • Last I checked, Drew Hutchison was still alive.

              • oh crap i totally forgot about hutchison!

                • Sorry for my dick-ish tone. Still not a huge fan of “piggybacking” starters. I would put McGowan in there and have Redmond as the long man. I wouldn’t lose any sleep if Rogers is gone.

                  • The piggybacking stuff is silly.

                  • As a rule, I’m not a fan of piggy backing either.

                    However, considering the special circumstances of McGowan (really good, but should have a controlled work load) and Redmond (really good for just 3 innings), in this circumstance it’s a fit.

                    If I didn’t discover Redomond’s splits from last year I would not be recommending this.

                    • I still disagree. What happens when another time comes around when you need your long reliever? You can’t have your long reliever scheduled to pitch every 5 games, he’s supposed to be there for times when you unexpectedly need someone to pitch a bunch of middle innings.

                      Unless you want to go with an 8 man bullpen which I also don’t like.

                    • Yes I looked at his splits, you’ve mentioned it 30 times now, that’s why I’d put him in as the 7th reliever/long reliever, not someone scheduled to pitch every 5th game.

                    • Seems like a fine idea for a start or maybe two until McGowan is built up.

                    • ya 2 or 3 starts is okay, I could live with that if it means they’re going to seriously go through with trying McGowan in the rotation.

                    • @pastlives

                      For some reason I can’t respond to your comment, so I’ll put it here.

                      1. The split look request was directed to wards Stoeten.

                      2. This team is going to have an 8 man pen guaranteed. They did it last year, they want o hold on to as many arms as possible that are out of options, so you have to accept that it’s going to happen.

                      3. In what I’m proposing Redmond is the 8th man, not the 7th. The 7th would be either Rogers or Happ. So you have a long reliever.

                    • If they go with 13 man staff the piggy backing idea for fifth spot is great. Look at the splits in times through the order of back end rotation guys, they are terrible. Combine two of them to make one productive starter is a great idea. The ways things are done now is messed – have 5 guys start every game and go as long as they can then bring in many guys for at most 1 inning resulting in many guys getting 200IP and other less than half. This is foolish unless the starters are dominant / clearly better than the relievers and that is not the case usually for fifth starters

                    • It is not a good idea.

    • This is best idea I can think of.

    • haha should have read before posting. yeah i’d be down with a Redmond/McGowan platoon too, although I think Rogers is better.

    • He’s gave up almost half of all his runs in the 4th innings. That is kinda crazy.

  33. how about piggybacking Rogers and McGowan?

    Seems to be the best of all worlds – McGowan gets his arm shielded from long outings and gets to pitch on regular rest. Rogers only has to get through the lineup maybe twice and can focus his stuff into a shorter outing.

    • Rogers is behind Redmond on the depth chart right now, going by this spring’s performances as well as last year.

    • Everything will depend on Morrow. If he is ready to start then they can piggyback Redmond and McGowan to start the year, with one eventually becoming your long man. If Morrow isn’t ready, and from what i have seen it doesn’t look like one more start will be enough for him, then it’s Redmond, and some combination of McGowan and Rogers. Of course, i bet they end up taking Morrow regardless of whether he is ready or not and watch him fumble around for a start or two just because they were counting on him so damn much.

  34. I for one would like to see Stoeten’s preferred 5 starting pitchers, plus bullpen and bench.

    Stick your neck out a bit Stoeten!

    • I’m pretty sure his preferred 5 are Dickey, Buehrle, Morrow, McGowan, Redmond

      • never mind, i totally forgot about Hutchison.

        • I would like Stoeten to give us his rotation as well. Every rotation that we give is considered stupid

          • Every rotation is stupid if it includes Morrow on the DL or some nonsense.

            Dickey
            Hutchison
            Buherle
            Morrow
            McGowan

            Janssen
            Santos
            Delabar
            Loup
            Cecil
            Rogers
            Redmond
            Happ

  35. I’m starting to wonder if the door is opening a bit for Jeffress. Ugh.

    • He has really disappointed this spring after good Septemeber last year. At some point you have to concede a guy isnt going to learn how to throw strikes consistently and his 100MPH fastball is irrelevant – like you need to concede someone isnt going to learn how to hit and his defence is irrelevant

      • You mean in the handful of innings this spring?

        • He has had almost no control from my understanding which is what his problem is. SSS or not the guy hasnt shown he can throw strikes.

          • Sure. In that respect, September was a SSS too.

            • But in that SSS he showed an ability to consistently throw strikes / hit the glove which he hadn’t done before and seemed to have found something. I don’t attribute too much statistical variation with SSS to something like that as it seems far fetched to say that someone is now hitting the glove consistently versus was not before and that is a statistical anomaly due to SSS. Gives up hits, even walks, runs etc fine that is SSS and hard to evaluate well. Romero was an example where it was SSS making it seem he had maybe regained control – in reality watching him he was not hitting the glove consistently he was just trying to pitch it down the middle and hope it stayed for a strike.

  36. Piggy-backing starters is stupid. If a guy can’t pitch 6-7 innings, he shouldn’t be in your rotation. It’s soon going to turn into throwing McGowan, Redmond, Rogers and Happ against the wall and hope one of them sticks.

    If none of them do, which is likely, Stroman or Sanchez will get called up.

    That is all.

    • AA seems insistent on an 8-man bullpen to preserve out-of-options arms. Might as well make the most of it.

      • Every team has a Todd Redmond, and probably an Esmil Rogers too. Not sure exactly what asset we think we are trying to convince ourselves we are protecting.

        I agree with the above posts suggesting Happ needs to ‘man up’ and figure shit out in AAA, but he seems too mecurial for that. So, we stick him in the bullpen until McGowan goes on the DL.

    • Bingo.

      The first part, at least.

      • Please elaborate. I see the upside outweighing the potential downside, personally.

        They have quite a few off days in April, so the remaining bullpen guys wouldn’t be worked too hard.

    • But McGowan wouldn’t really be a “starter” in this scenario, more of a long man type. And it dovetails nicely with Redmond’s inning splits.

      • Which is exactly why it’s a bad idea. Get him stretched out, make him a starter. Have a long man ready to go in starts where McGowan has a pitch limit less than the usual 100-odd, but after that use the bullpen like normal. He blows up, you use the long man or a minor league arm if one is ready. Simple stuff.

        • It does seem simple so let’s hope that’s what happens. I still think we’re going to see McGowan in the bullpen and spin about how we just didn’t have enough time. He’s already laying the groundwork for that excuse with his comments today.

        • I think that makes the most sense & gives the jays best chance of winning ball games that 5th day.

        • Have to agree with Stoeten on this.

    • Can easily be argued that it is stupid to rely on 5 guys to pitch the majority of your innings going several times through the order each time out (when it is proven over and over performance goes down each time through) while having 7 guys pitching maximum of 1 inning a game. Only way that makes sense is if you have 5 dominant starters which is rarely the case.

      • It’s an interesting idea, but a lot harder to put into practice than it seems. And then if you have one or two dominant starters what do you do? Waste to have them not throw as many innings as possible if they’re still better the third time through the order than others are the first or second.

        • I would suggest having 3 (who are hopefully the dominanat type) try for the 200+ innings and piggyback in the last two spots. Leaves 5 or 6 guys for the short stints in the high leverage late inning situations and lefty righty matchups.

  37. holy mother of fuck

  38. starlin marte’s good

  39. There’s the financial side, too. Morrow makes too much to not have him out there and it would be good to see if you want to pay McGowan $4 million in 2015…so put him out there until he breaks don’t pick up the option; he’s got the highest ceiling out of the group.

  40. Just checked the score.
    Two touchdowns and a field goal.
    Good Grief.

  41. Heading to the Apr 2 game in Tampa.

    Am I stuck watching the Jays least interesting starter? Buehrle is solid as hell but probably the least fun to watch.

  42. RT @SNBarryDavis Happ says he was told at the start of camp he was in rotation and no one has told him otherwise since. Assumes he’s still in. #bluejays

    RT @SNBarryDavis Asked if he finds it disturbing that no one has told him he may not make #bluejays rotation, Happ answered with “I’m not going to comment”

    I mean, his performance should have said everything, but someone probably should have said…. something to him by now, right?

    • I don’t know, what are they gonna tell him? Ya fucked up, so you might be out. Depends on what you do your next start and what the other guys do.
      Can’t imagine they’d say much until they make a decision for sure. He might as well keep going out thinking he’s got a shot. He’s gotta know his performance hasn’t been great.

  43. Should I even bother going to Yanks and Jays on April 4th? This season seems over and we’re not even out of ST!

  44. I know Gibby doesn’t fancy himself an book-type, but he must know the Art Howe story, I thought that was evident when he was rehired last year that he knew his “place”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdCNcN-NFXA

  45. Is JA Happ going to be the Blue Jays Oliver Perez scenario; they may want to ask the Mets how that goes when they meet this weekend. Happ holds the passive aggressive hammer here in terms of getting released so he can get paid and pursue an environment he wants to be in; “I will just go out there and shit the bed every time you send me if you like”.

    I know it is very likely a complete misread of the situation but a crazily possible situation.

  46. Anyone have suggestions for a place near the Dome where I can drink good beer and watch opening day?

    • Loose Moose, Barhop. The Moose will be rammed, undoubtedly.

      • I was going to suggest those two. When attending games at the ‘Dome we usually go to Bar Hop first for food and drinks. Screw you Aramark!!

        In addition Wvrst and C’est What are a little further west and east respectively.

  47. Jays get two back in the 9th. Hah! We sure showed those Pirates!

  48. I am really excited to see how the Jays do when the games count. Call me crazy, but I think they have a good team and a decent chance. I will make that conditional on the front office making the right decisions (though I suppose by them winning/losing that somewhat defines “right”). I am a big AA supporter, but it seems to me roster management is just not his strength. Am I biased though by not paying attention to the other 29 teams very much? Has roster management changed a lot in the last few years? 8-man bullpens, relievers/utility guys/young starters up and down after a day/one bad performance, too many bullpen options and holes everywhere else?

  49. Well that’s baseball for you. They go into spring training thinking Dickey, Buerhle, Morrow, Happ, with a plethora of options for the 5th spot (surely someone would step up, right????). I didn’t think you could pitch yourself out of a job in spring training, but I think Happ has managed it. Hutchison has acquitted himself well, but literally everyone else has fallen flat on their face. Didn’t add a quality arm in the offseason, so here we are evaluating guys based on less than a month of meaningless games and weighing the merits of putting a walking infirmiry in the rotation mostly because what once seemed like rotation depth, now seems like a steaming pile of shit. It’s unfair and untrue, but the rest of McGowan’s competition have pretty much pitched themselves out a job and maybe out of the org. And that really sucks – to lose assets based on spring competition.

  50. I’m sticking with my post-Santana debacle hope that the offence will help offset our rotation question marks.

    Love how melky’s been tearing it up, Bautista, EE, Navarro all look good. Offence should be fun to watch and the bullpen looks great.

    • During the YES broadcast last weekend even Girardi said “Toronto is going to score a lot of runs.”

      Gotta focus on the positives at this point!

      • Positives: Great hitters, Good bullpen, pretty good defense, pretty solid speed
        Negative: We will be lucky to get an OBP over .300 from 2B, our starting rotation will implode with on major injury

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