Oh and things were so positive-ish just a day ago. But all it takes, I guess, is one mess of a pitching performance from the club to bring the panic back in some people. I get it, but I don’t get it.

Last night was the first time in the four starts since he started wearing an insulin pump on the mound, and stopped complaining about tiring around the 60-pitch mark, that Dustin McGowan allowed more than two earned runs, and failed to record an out in the fifth inning.

Has he been great? Hardly. The lack of strikeouts is a problem and 3.68 ERA over the four starts belies the underlying problems in a way that the underlying numbers, and a simple eye test, don’t. The slash line against of .259/.337/.435 and WHIP of 1.45 aren’t so hot, obviously. It’s fifth starter stuff, for sure. But if you’re making a case against him by incorporating his first four starts, might I suggest that you’re hardly being fair.

Oh, but panic, panic.

And now this: though Colby Rasmus was on the field yesterday, preparing for a full session of batting practice, and that John Gibbons suggested he might have been able to play in tonight’s game, and “if not, the next day,” it seems the tune has changed somewhat:

Hey, so that’s awesome. I mean, in terms of sarcastic awesome it’s maybe not as fucking awesome as the Jays bizarrely giving Sportsnet some insight into just how dumbly far behind the progressive field their analytics department is (more on this later), but it’s still pretty awesome. Still not a sure thing, I suppose, but perhaps Anthony Gose, then?

Makes inventing reasons to stop giving Dustin McGowan rope he surely deserves seem a little trivial, eh? You could have spent this time working on ass-brained riffs about how every Jays player who we’re told is “day-to-day” ends up being broken!


Update: It’s official. Gose up.

Comments (115)

  1. Bummer. Maybe this is the year Gose figures out how to hit…Uff da.

  2. I can see that the front office still has their awesome Ministry of Misinformation fully intact. Some things never change. At least the Jays are consistent of not knowing what’s going on at any moment. Very nice.

    • Amazing. Even after I preemptively called this stuff dumb — which it so absofuckinglutely is — in the post you still went there. Bravo.

    • As if the Jays should know how long it should take for an injury to heal. Maybe they need to hire a few psychics.

  3. Can I be the first to chime in with “It’s not a lie if we know the truth”?

    Seriously though mcG was bad last night, but then again so was every pitcher except Tolleson. Let’s hope Happy doesn’t get lit up tonight.

  4. Fucking auto correct. It should have said Happ. Not Happy. That dude never looks happy.

  5. No need to freak out about it, but I think it is fair to say that Jays brass are pretty bad at managing expectations. Why can’t they just say “Player X needs a day or two off, then we will reevaluate”, instead of consistently making comments downplaying injuries? It’s just odd.

    • Who’s freaking out?

      Also: that’s pretty close to what they do say, no?

      Also also: THIS is freaking out — and still entirely bang on, if I do say so myself:

      • Sorry, didnt mean to imply you were freaking out. Just meant from a fan perspective this injury stuff isnt something that calls for tinfoil hats or anything, but it is puzzling.

        It’s kinnnnnda what they say, but for example when Morrow oulled from the Braves game last year, they kept saying they didnt expect him to miss a start. Turns out he missed allll of the starts. What’s the harm in saying “we pulled him as a precaution, and we are going to revaluate before we determine his status?”

        Just dont get it is all.

      • Weird — you wig out on the guy who mentions the “Ministry of Misinformation” above, but then cite your own words about injury lies. I may be missing something here, but you’re playing expert witness, no?

        • I retract — read the article, and now note your sarcasm in the headline.
          But I do maintain (and I actually am a doctor) that suggesting that JoJo the Psychic is required to be able to bracket an injury recovery at least into days vs weeks vs months vs years a reasonable amount of the time is nutty.

    • >Why can’t they just say “Player X needs a day or two off, then we will reevaluate”

      Well that’s getting rather semantic about it all. If the guy isn’t playing, because something is wrong, but he is good enough to be on the field doing whatever they do… and then they change it up and say “he may go on the DL”… that tends to indicate that they thought he would be ok and it turned out wrong.

      The flip side is they say “he’ll probably go to the DL” but then it turns out he’s fine so they play him and he strike out so everyone piles on them for playing when he’s “obviously injured.”

      Who cares. It just sucks because we need him.

  6. Look on the bright side from last night. Tolleson now gives us a nine man bullpen.

  7. I hope Boomhauer isn’t out for too long, but the Optomistic Jays Fan ™ in me hopes that Gose steps in and kills it.

    • Put another way…it would be terrific if it’s a difficult decision next season whether to re-sign Colby and/or Melky, or hand the reigns to Gose.

    • I’d be okay with Gose taking over if they could fill their hole at 2B.

      Gose provides enough value with his legs to justify his spot, anything with the bat is bonus.

      but you need to find an upgrade offensively elsewhere, 2B being the most obvioius

  8. Blue Jays + Lousy Ownership + Poorly run organization.= Last Place

  9. How many more options does Gose have left? I’d prefer they let him get full time play in the minors rather than another quick cup up and then sent back down when Colby returns – and just Tolleson and Pillar get the rest of the OF spots for the time being. Pillar’s decent defense and Tolleson has been useful in limited play with his bat.

    Worst case scenario, bring up Mastrioanni.

    If they end up pursuing Keppinger they would have another decent bat/weak defense to compliment in the OF as an emergency back up, with his main role being platooning at 2b with whoever or hell maybe even full time at that rate


      He’s got this year and next year so they could conceivably leave him there til the end of 2015 and then have to make a decision on him.

      • He hasn’t given us a whole lot of reason to be optimistic,
        but he’s only 23. Would hate to give up on a guy with
        his tools before his age 24 or 25 season. And they don’t have to.

        Your comment below about teaching him to bunt is spot on.
        With his speed, it would be an extra 60 base hits a year.

    • Options are yearly, so the Jays can bounce Gose up and down from Buffalo all year without burning more options (he’s already used an option this year). That said, it’s not the best for his development but given that it’s far from certain he’ll ever be an adequate hitter, it might just be best to use him in the bigs for what he’s already good at – defensive replacement, pinch-runner, etc.

      • I can’t believe a guy with his speed hasn’t been taught how to bunt properly yet. By now with the bunt tool, he could the 4th outfielder and also be learning how to hit at an acceptable level from an MLB coach.

        • Would love to see Mastroaini up but he has no options left so he’s pretty much a worst case scenario.

        • Bunting 90 MPH pitches that move isn’t exactly easy, if he hasn’t learned to do it effectively yet I doubt it is due to a lack of someone trying to teach him.

  10. they obviously can’t pull the plug on McGowan yet, mostly because there’s no one else who looks capable of giving 5-6 mediocre innings on a consistent basis, and ditto for Happ.

    Stroman just hasn’t looked very good, and of course it’s a pitifully small sample and his defence and batted ball luck have been garbage, but from what I’ve seen of his command and execution, i can’t see him making it through a lineup more than once. Like McGowan his stuff is good, but not so good that he can just throw the ball all over the damn place Garret Richards style and as long as he hits the strikezone every once in a while to keep the batters swinging he’ll get away with it. Both of those guys have to keep the ball down and on the edges.

    • And McGowan’s splits show he can be successful:
      16 earned runs in 15 2/3 IP at home (ugly)
      6 earned runs in 23 1/3 IP and 2.31 ERA away (stellar)
      At home he gets into trouble early. Maybe he’s thinking too much, walks a couple, and gets hit.

      • i dont think that really explains it though.

        his K/BB numbers are awful on the road (12.4 K%, 11.3 BB%), and his lower ERA seems to be easily explained by a .225 BABIP, 80.4 LOB%, and a 2.9 HR/FB%, none of which are sustainable. Seems more like he’s gotten lucky on the road than anything.

  11. AA should have cybernetic eye implants that see in MRI spectrum. CHEAP ROGERS FUCKS

  12. Stoeten, totally agree on the injury stuff. Really hard to evaluate these things.

    But your comment about McGowan is, I think, disingenuous. (WHIP, really?) Even leaving out his first 4 starts, his numbers are still pretty bad: 4.91 K/9, 4.09 BB/9, 5.45 xFIP, 37.5 GB%. Not to mention the thing with averaging 5 innings per start. I’m just not seeing much promise there. He’s been walking a tightrope all season which has somehow kept his numbers from looking pretty catastrophic.

    Todd Redmond and even Esmil Rogers (and yes, JA Happ) put up better “fifth starter stuff” than this last year.

    • Yeah Bob he looks pretty mediocre out there. I understand having a 5th slot that gets filled by guys like Happ/Rogers/McG. You figure one of them will rise up and do alright. But to have 2 spots to fill like that, and then have Morrow get hurt… it’s a disaster really. Luckily the team is hanging in there and playing well. But with Rasmus out now…. yike. We’re going to need a lot of stuff to break right for us on the field.

  13. No Rasmus combined with McGowan and Happ taking up two spots in the rotation? Next week playings the Red Sox and A’s could end the season pretty quickly if something doesn’t change.

    • your comments make my head hurt.


      every time something bad happens, everyone comes here to spew garbage so that in case things do go wrong, they can say ‘they called it’

      what a stupid way to live

      • In fairness, I love the Jays and even like most of the players and want them and AA and Gibby to succeed… but we are facing a bit of a hump here. Really Dickey and Buehrle are the only proven and reliable big league starters we have and now our CF is out (though he wasn’t doing that great anyway I guess).

      • Ugh, no man. My comments are based on reality. They often struggle against the Red Sox, and the A’s are an awesome team this season. Get off your fucking high horse and maybe think about what you’re saying sometimes. It’s not an “I told you so” situation at all. Like I said, unless something changes, or they get really lucky, those back to back series will most likely be their undoing.

        • “Often struggle” is so meaningless, though. Different groups on both teams from anything even over the past couple years. You’re suggesting they struggle against the clothes? It’s silly.

          And no, your original statement was not unassailable. It’s May.

          • Remember in April when they scored 15 runs the first 2 games? That was against Buehrle and Morrow. Highly unlikely McGowan and Happ have better results. Yes it’s possible, but unlikely. Hey man, I’m just being realistic about what I’d like to see the team do. Give Stroman the ball with the opportunity to prepare as a starter, move McGowan to the bullpen and stick with Happ as the #5 until “the ninja” can get another arm. I apologize for having an opinion that’s not drenched in blue kool-aid.

  14. Turn down the hate.

  15. so are the Jays basically admitting they mainly use scouting reports rather than advanced stats to make decisions? that is just ugh.

  16. Do the jays suck? No
    Am I sorta embarassed by them this year? Yes

  17. A big part of McGowan’s problem has been his fastball so far this year. It is 2 mph slower, has less movement (2.4″ less horizontal movement) and is very slightly more wild (2.4% higher BB%). His FA GB% is down 12% and FB% is up by almost the same %. That is kinda scary.The result is that the average opponent is hitting his fastball like they are Jose Bautista (opponents have a 990 OPS against his fastball so far this year).

    His slider is also not missing many bats anymore (his K% on sliders is about half of his career norms – 15.7% this year vs 31.4% career). .780 OPS vs career .524. BABIP .297 so not as unlucky. Ugh. And his GB% is down 12% and FB% up 16.5%.

    He does seem to be having some very bad luck (.347 BABIP vs .283 career) but on the other hand a little good luck as well (8.3% HR/FB compared with 12.2% career).

    • oops….this part is for this fastball: He does seem to be having some very bad luck (.347 BABIP vs .283 career) but on the other hand a little good luck as well (8.3% HR/FB compared with 12.2% career).

    • nearly every pitcher loses velocity moving from the pen to the rotation, and no one would have expected a 32 year old McGowan to show the same velocity as he did when he was a youngster.

      to compensate he’s started throwing a sinker, which looks like a decent pitch that in my opinion he should be throwing more than 23% of the time.

      your info on the slider is pretty enlightening, and it pretty much matches what i think we’ve all seen. just based on hitter reaction, i think he has a tendency to tip it as well.

      the only pitch other than the sinker that’s gotten decent results is his changeup, but you can’t survive as primarily a sinker/changeup pitcher cause both pitches have similar movement.

      • Additionally, McGowan has only pitched 46 innings since ’08: Most of them from the BP. In three years he didnt pitch at all.

  18. The effect of Rasmus missing like 1/16th of the season is so minimal. Get him healthy. Gose is fine to bat 9th for a couple weeks.

  19. man the haters need to chill out. just get behind the team and be a fan for fuck sakes.

  20. I think McGowan has shown he could be a reasonable 5th starter if he stays healthy, with some nice upside because of his stuff.

    Just don’t like Happ in there as well.

  21. When the Indians score 15 fucking runs I think its safe to say you can just tip your hat to there hitters last night

  22. I love how people assume they have any idea about how much analytical data the Jays use, especially after AA says they make a point to not talk about it.

  23. That Sportsnet article is more than a little alarming. I mean, where to start?

    They had an analytics “department” of ONE guy before this offseason? They only launched a database in January of fucking 2013(!), and for some reason never replaced the guy who designed it?

    And of course there’s this gem:
    ‘In the past, former third base coach Brian Butterfield “would be sitting there watching every single hard-hit ball for players versus a righty, versus a lefty, men on base, men in scoring position, two strikes – it’s time consuming,” according to Anthopoulos. “Now we automate things.”’

    Oh dear. Can’t wait for Stoeten’s take on this.

    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. I was secretly hoping they were just trying to play down what analytics they were doing, since AA mentioned he didn’t want the Analytics guys talking to media. But it’s really kind of worrisome considering the types of stats AA is seen throwing around :/

    • You think that’s the way the 37 Yankees did it? All stats and no bats. Good teams play good period.

  24. “We’re going to look at some point to add a programmer if we can. Easier said than done because the really good programmers are hired by companies and make a lot of money, and you have to get someone who’s a baseball fan.”

    That’s a troubling quote. He says that like the Jays are some mom and pop baseball team who can’t compete with big bad walmart.

    It’s a shame they don’t have the resources to hire an analyst to show them that a few six figure salaries could potentially save them tens of millions of dollars in player salary.

    • I biffed that analogy but you get the point.

    • Yeah I’m a programmer in finance and would bail for the Jays in a second. Even at way less coinage.

      • Would you move to Rogers, though? I sure wouldn’t.

        If you would, I mean, they have a “job opportunities” link, and it’s a total clusterfuck, but maybe if you crawled the whole thing and did some fancypants search you’d find the right posting.

  25. they’ve had one guy doing all of the analytics for the team until they just hired the new guy so yeah, it isn’t much of a stretch to say they aren’t big into analytics…

  26. Gose was pretty good in his first call-up this season. Maybe Gose can break out after all. Would be mildly awkward to have both Gose and Pillar in the line-up, though.

    I’m okay with giving McGowan another start.

    I am just a wee bit concerned, however, that the Jays are about to finish one of their easiest stretches of the season, and they didn’t manage to go above .500; with last night’s loss to the Indians, the Jays can finish no higher than .500 after this easy five-series stretch.

    Now we have upcoming @Rangers, @Red Sox, home to the A’s, and home to the Rays. The Jays are only 1 1/2 games back of first, so obviously there’s still hope, but it would have been nice if the Jays had done better against weaker opponents.

  27. Hamstrings have their own damn timetable.
    The Rasmus situation seems very similar to that of Adam Eaton of the White Sox.
    He was day-to-day for a few days and then they just put him on the DL.
    He’s eligible to return on Sunday and they expect him back then.

    Hopefully, Colby will miss his 15 days, it will heal up, and he’ll be good to go.
    Better two, even three weeks now than two or three MONTHS later.

  28. The analytics article was just fucked. How alarming is that? The Butterfield thing? He kept track how? Holy shit, I couldn’t fucking believe my eyes. Jesus fuck, how pathetic.

    • and then to complain about lack of manpower when the cost of an analyst is what? like $40-60,000 a year? for the organization with a $130mill payroll???

      to admit that the Cleveland fucking Indians are way ahead of you in analytics… i mean, imagine where the Red Sox and Rays are on this

      just hired their second analyst 4 years into their tenure as a front office?

      holy… really paints them in a different light dunnit?

      • Good lord. Relax.

        Cleveland is a leader in this area, and the Butterfield thing was well known. No need to make up stuff to be extra negative about — you’re right, it’s not a good light being cast on them.

        • I think we all knew that Butterfield was constantly analyzing match-ups and results, just never imagined that that they didn’t have anything else.

      • Hiring people who have brains is kinda hard.

  29. What a clusterfuck of an organization when it comes to managing injuries. Thats been a staple of the AA regime. Did he ever hire that director of sports science that he said he would do to help manage injuries? It
    Really is a joke and i cant imagine other teams are this bad

    • Could additional preventative measures be further explored? Sure.

      But don’t be fucking dumb, please.

    • Our entire organization has avoided this brutal TJ epidemic, don’t kid yourself that other teams never get hurt.

      Like seriously the Rangers just lost 20% of their rotation til like late 2015/start of 2016, and another 20% probably forever.

      • Avoided the TJ epidemic? did you just start following the team this year?

      • You mean like Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek (twice) and Louis Perez and Josh Johnson? JJ might’ve waited ’till he was no longer a Jay to go under the knife, but realistically, he prolly needed that surgery last year.

    • Yep, and the much vaunted Rays organization continues to show how ahead of the pack they are in all aspects of baseball, including injury prevention. Year after year they go out there with a fully healthy team and show everyone how progressive they are on the injury front.

      Wait, what? 60% of their starting rotation is currently on the DL? Huh.

      I guess the Red Sox are a better example. Other than Lackey’s recent TJ surgery and Buchholz being their version of Morrow and Ellsbury constantly struggling to stay on the field his entire tenure there and Victorino opening the season on the DL and Ortiz missing 97 games the last two years, I guess their injury prevention has been solid.

      Maybe the Cardinals. I mean, it’s been three whole years since they lost their ace for an entire season, so they must have figured it out by now. And Jaime Garcia and Jason Motte have barely been out for a full season with their injuries, so you can’t really count them. And Joe Kelly’s only been out a month so far, so that’s nothing to worry about.

      Man, the Jays are REALLY lagging behind those teams in injury prevention so far.

  30. What is the over/under for innings pitched for Happ tonight?

  31. Rasmus “definitely” to DL, Gose called up.

    Looks like Getz never reported to Buffalo.

  32. They’re looking to hire a programmer who is also a baseball fan? I’m first in line.

    • By the sound of the analytics department they should be looking to hire a lot more than one guy. I will never understand how they can look at all the money they have invested in this team/product and have very minimal in analytics and sports medicine. Kinda makes you think they think that minor investment will not show results in the revenue. Either that or they haven’t thought about it all, I don’t know which is worse.

  33. Boy, Rasmus is the most left-handed right-handed hitter I’ve seen in a long time…

  34. Quickly approaching that much regarded magic number of 100 PA for Fat Juan (80 PA’s)!

    3 slash of .291/380/.595 or a WRC+ of 166 and wOBA of .418 if one prefers.

  35. you know what is very weird?

    the vast majority of Todd Redmonds fastballs are classified as sinkers by Pitchfx with on average 7 inches of vertical movement and 7.4 inches of arm-side run.

    this pitch has generated a 23.1 GB% in his career

    some sinker huh?

  36. Cleveland as a team is dead last in the AL vs. LHP.

    I expect a good to very good start from Happ.

  37. Sorry if a touch late/missed it above, but McGowan is back into the bullpen;

    • “I think it makes us stronger” John Gibbons. What world is this guy on? What makes you better is your starting pitching going out there and wanting to pitch the distance. None of this 3 innings BS and looking to the dugout to be pulled. When is this going to happen?

  38. Hmm, McGowan to the pen, replaced by whom, I wonder? Stroman? Sanchez? Redmond? Rogers? Samardjiza? Tolleson?? #thickened plot

  39. So we now have a 4 man rotation. I seem to remember Hutch making a late spring training start in 2012 and then being called up in early June. Sanchez anyone?

  40. The return of the Buffalo soldier…

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