Well here’s something that probably should turn into a regular feature, and maybe is finally starting to: a collection of thoughts on what went on over the weekend — and this time they’re actually almost showing up on time! Almost…

This Effing Roster

According to a tweet from Gregor Chisholm on Monday afternoon, Neil Wagner has been placed on the DL by the Buffalo Bisons, which might go a good distance of the way toward explaining why in the holy fuck it was Chad Jenkins, and not Wagner, who returned to the Jays when Brandon Morrow hit the big league DL over the weekend.

Though it doesn’t say so in their post on the matter, a tweet from the Buffalo Bisons says that it’s a right forearm strain for Wagner, and it makes absolute sense to think it was likely a known issue at the time of the call-up.

And I guess I can understand the club not admitting that Jenkins was their second choice, or letting it get out there that Wagner was hurt. But also… seriously?? Based some of the confounding roster choices they’ve made so far, maybe we should have concluded long ago that the front office isn’t terribly worried about optics or fans openly wondering if anybody over there has the foggiest clue what in the fuck they’re doing, but it still seems odd.

Wagner’s stint is retroactive to Friday night, May 3rd, which was the last time he pitched.

Speaking of how long it’s been since someone has pitched: Esmil Rogers, everyone!

He didn’t pitch in the Pittsburgh series, made just one out in the Kansas City series, and pitched a garbage-time ninth inning in a 7-1 win over Boston at the end of the last homestand back on April 27th. That makes for a grand total of 1.1 innings over the last ten days.

So, John Gibbons has absolutely no faith in him right now, and yet the club is so terrified to lose him on waivers that they’re going with a tiny bench and Steve Tolleson — and his 120 games in the outfield since being drafted back in 2005 — as the only thing resembling a spare outfielder. Yeah, I (somewhat tepidly) defended Esmil last week, and I think that the injuries to Morrow and Wagner in quick succession underscore why Alex Anthopoulos has maybe clung to his pitching depth a little more desperately than fans less concerned about the big picture than he is tend to see — I mean, we know what forearm strains sometimes mean (and Scott MacArthur tweets that there is concern among the club about his elbow). However, at some point you’re going to lose more with the pathetic bench than you are by giving up on clinging to, what, your eighth? ninth? tenth? eleventh-best starter?* Or a right-handed reliever who was only barely getting innings before Stroman showed up, despite Janssen being out, McGowan being in the rotation, and Wagner being in Buffalo.

This Effing Roster – Part Two

Meanwhile, Gregor also tweeted this afternoon that, after a rehab start in Dunedin last night, Adam Lind is on schedule to return to the Jays when the club returns to Toronto following their two games in Philadelphia. What does this mean for Juan Francisco? Apart from the cut in playing time, possibly nothing. “Can’t take a chance, I wouldn’t think, of letting Francisco go,” John Gibbons tells him. “Somebody’s gotta grab him, he’s too valuable.”

It’s… OK, sure. I guess a team carrying an absurd number of pitchers can definitely make room for a nice bat off the bench who can play third or first in a pinch, it’s just… man, the love for Francisco of late is bordering on the love for Ryan Goins when he came up and hit .400/.419/.467 in his first eight games.

Yeah, the towering blasts are fun and all, but Francisco had thirteen stops at various levels before 2013, and he posted a walk rate above 5.4% in exactly two of them — a 14 game September call-up with the Reds in 2009 (12.0%), and a 6.8% rate over 36 games/56 PA with the Reds the next year.

Now, it’s possible he’s legitimately improving in this regard — last year he walked 8.3% of the time over 385 big league plate appearances with the Braves and Brewers, for example, and this year he posted a 12.0% rate over 12 games in Buffalo, and a 12.7% rate in 13 with the Jays — and if he somehow keeps that up, he’d be a hell of a diamond in the rough. But we’re still talking about a guy who walked just 105 times in 2,604 minor league plate appearances (4.0%).

There’s still value in the power and the ability to hit right-handed pitching, but let’s maybe not go nuts here.

* (Let’s see: 1) Dickey, 2) Buehrle, 3) Hutchison, 4) McGowan, 5) Stroman, 6) Happ, 7) Redmond, 8) Nolin, and then I guess Esmil is ahead of the next group, with Liam Hendricks, Kyle Drabek, and whatever other various dreck theoretically comes before they go crazy and rush Sanchez. And that’s without Morrow on the list!

Silver Linings

Hey, but what’s to whine about, really? It’s free money night! I mean, you never would cheer against your own team, but… well… if J.A. Happ gets roughed up, how do the Jays argue that he should get another turn in the rotation and that Marcus Stroman shouldn’t immediately move in and give the club their best possible post-Morrow rotation?

They could argue it pretty easily, actually. He’s pitching on eleven days rest, having not appeared in a game since April 23rd, meaning that if he’s not sharp, it’s sort of to be expected — and not just because he’s J.A. Happ — but… y’know… c’mon!! Let’s see some Stroman! Or… how about a nice run of J.A. Happ, reminding us of that long ago time ago — last April — when he was the only Jays pitcher a lot of people thought was any good? Back then he had just pitched to a 1.90 ERA over 23.2 (admittedly meaningless) spring innings and then in 28 innings in April posted a 3.86 ERA (4.01 FIP), holding opponents to .222/.300/.355.

It could happen. Really.

Another thing that could happen, that people aren’t quite ready to think about maybe: as much as certain people want to be gloomy about absolutely everything, the bullpen blowups of the last few weeks could wind up being the low ebb of the season. Imagine that. (I know, it’s hard, given that you have to imagine Happ getting through this start unscathed, but for real!).

And how about Dustin McGowan last night. Enh? Ennnhh?? How ’bout him? Anh? How about the job he did??? Ennh?? Eeeehnnnh?

Seriously though, I’m hardly one to shit on park factors, and McGowan certainly did pitch in some favorable environments in Kansas City and Pittsburgh, but the Jays sure didn’t seem to have much trouble getting balls to leave those yards, did they? Whatever it was, it was hard not to like and to think of the possibilities, now that he’s wearing an insulin pump and seems to be better able to go deeper into games. Fingers crossed, at least.

Oh yeah, and this is your Game Threat…

TV: Sportsnet

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 7:05 PM ET, @ Philadelphia

For those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app.

And now, the lineups… 

Toronto Blue Jays

SS Jose Reyes (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
3B Juan Francisco (L)
2B Brett Lawrie (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
C Josh Thole (L)
LHP J.A. Happ (L)

Philadelphia Phillies

CF Ben Revere (L)
SS Freddy Galvis (S)
2B Chase Utley (L)
RF Marlon Byrd (R)
1B Ryan Howard (L)
C Carlos Ruiz (R)
LF John Mayberry Jr. (R)
3B Jayson Nix (R)
RHP Kyle Kendrick (R)

Comments (205)

  1. Happ out of jam? Nice.

  2. Why does this team fall in love with mediocre to shit talents like goins, francisco, rogers, and jeffress?? We’ll never know but its prbly AAs and the front office doing.

  3. Let’s see some Jays do some damage against *their* former team for once or twice.

  4. Happ’s velocity looks pretty good tonight. Didn’t know he threw this hard.

  5. Jesus. Are we really talking about Pedroia?
    Thank god for the MLB.TV “change broadcast” button.

  6. A game vs Philly and Buck & Pat still cant refrain from slobbin over Jeter and Mole-Face’s knobs….good grief

  7. It would be great to see Happ get out of the 5th, seems his pitch count is always 100+ at that point.

  8. Cletus!

  9. Damn Cletus.

  10. Looks like Lawrie just hurt his legs.

  11. Happ so far painting the corners rather nicely. Get it done for three more innings!

  12. Colbus Cletus!

  13. love Cletus. Hate the thought of maybe not extending him.

  14. Aaaaassssss.

  15. Say it ain’t so, Canadian Jesus.


  17. fuck.

  18. gotta be gibby’s fault somehow, amiright?

  19. What’re they saying?

  20. Buck needs to shut up for a minute.

  21. You guys really have a hate on for buck and pat. Go listen to the hawk for the whitesox. He’ll make you puke. I find Vin Scully boring as hell.

  22. Tight hammy. He must have slowed as soon as he felt it.

    Day to day.

  23. Tightness? Thank goodness. Here’s hoping that Lawrie isn’t out for too long.

  24. All right, no Tabler for a couple of days.

  25. Happ has allowed a few more baserunners than I’d like–more than his opposing pitcher Kendrick, for example–but he’s still looked quite well tonight. Happ deserves another start provided he keeps this up.

  26. A hammy is not something they will mess around with. He could very well go on the DL. Well, knowing this team AA will come put tomorrow and say hes fine only to go on the dl the next day

  27. Getz is really slow with the throws.

  28. Can’t believe the production we’ve got from the catchers. Thole will at some point come back to earth but if he can go 260-270 then that’s huge.

  29. Happ did ok. Ump has a huge strike zone and still 4 walks. 4 more innings for bullpen.

  30. What Bullpen will show up this time?

  31. Wait Happ is only at 80 pitches, surely they’re not going to pull him now?

  32. Cletey <3

  33. Cletus storm!

  34. Dickey is our next pinch-hitter.

  35. bless you tabby

  36. Time for the Ishmael show

  37. I missed all the scoring, but since I’ve been watching nothing bad has happened. So I guess the gypsy’s curse has been lifted.

  38. Colby is sure warming up with the weather.

  39. Let us pray.

  40. Surely that’s not the human white flag showing up to pitch?

  41. Esmil once through the lineup, may that last at most two innings.

  42. it begins

  43. Let us pray harder.

  44. bye bye shutout.

  45. Why didn’t Gibbons double-switch, with Kratz coming on for Happ and Rogers coming on for Thole? If you’re going to substitute a pitcher with a pinch hitter, why then slot the pitcher into the very first spot coming up to bat next inning?

    • Hmm. Good point. Wonder if he realized that. You’d think you would have Rogers go more than one inning

      • Or I suppose he wants to save the bat? Stroman is out there too if you want multiple innings (purposely ignores Redmond)

  46. Here we go

  47. joey!!!!

  48. Jose the best!

  49. Aaaahahahha bless that man

  50. Hose, Jose

  51. Jose and the rocket!

  52. I stand corrected, Mr. Bautista.

  53. Rogers in a high leverage situation because we haven’t had a bullpen blowup in one game now.

  54. HOLY CRAPOLA THAT was something else

  55. wow. hose much?

  56. The “review” also known as the 2 minute cocktail reload.

  57. I can’t believe Byrd ran on Bautista….when will they learn! lol

  58. Jose whistling at hecklers

    HA HA

  59. What a hose. Bautista’s arm is one of the best things

  60. Esmil Rogers and hard contact are married to each other.

    also: Bautista

  61. i need one of those today….

  62. I can’t say I like the fact that Esmil Rogers gets to wear Roy’s #32.

  63. Cyborg in RF apparently…

    Fun fact Marlon Byrd was an all-star once. For putting up a .774 OPS while playing the OF. Because Cubs thats why.

  64. Melky gonna Melk

  65. Let’s get a rally going here boys. Esmil coming out for the eighth. No lead is big enough!

  66. Sandberg and gibbons have different takes on leaving pitchers in.

  67. how is kendrick still in this game

  68. Great read by Edwin

  69. Ugly. Alright, get set for Ishmael Show 2.0

  70. When are we going to get some warm weather?

  71. Tired of wearing a coat to work.

  72. Man you bad Esmil

  73. Strikes please Esmil.

  74. We pissed away an AB to face one hitter?

    Gibbons you magnificent bastard.

  75. At least the ump is consistent with wide strike zone

  76. Nice job Loupus.

  77. My alcohol intake has improved dramatically from the 6th inning on as of late.

  78. The ball girl had a good read on the ball right away, just couldn’t get the glove on it.

  79. Louped!

  80. The bumper music tonight is fucking awful + unrecognizable.

  81. Had a good feeling about this game, took a shit this morning and it resembled a w.

  82. when you’re chris getz every day is a bad hair day

  83. SWEET!

  84. 9 times out of ten the bang bang play is an out, just cause the ball travels so much faster than the runner.

  85. They should have figured out a way to give Gibby the silent treatment, like they do when a guy hits his first dinger.

  86. Won a challenge. Fuck ya

  87. Philadelphia Phillies 2014 payroll $184,096,256.

  88. I don’t know about you but I got a hankerin’ to see some Sergio in the ninth

  89. filthy split from Delabar. haven’t seen that nearly enough this year, but that’s more to do with poor fastball command than anything.

  90. Alright hold onto your caps and lets end this, Cece

  91. Can’t look…

  92. Evankaaaaa

  93. Weird hop, still should have put his tits in front of it to knock it down.

  94. Alright let’s put this 0.057 hitting guy away

  95. Quite nice, Goggles.

  96. WOO!

  97. Ahahahah Jose youre a fuckin gem.

    • Earlier it was whistling while giving them “talk to the glove”.

      Right after he nailed Byrd at the plate.

  98. Bautista continues to be awesome

  99. Bautista mimed “nighty night” and blew the goons in the RF bleachers a kiss.

    He’s been fucking with them all night.

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