This is Liam Hendriks, though I’m not entirely sure he isn’t Kyle Drabek in disguise.

Had a great time, as usual, yesterday at Opera Bob’s, so a big thanks to them for having us, and to the folks behind Sports Bar Heroes for helping us get the word out. We’ll do one again soon, especially if the Jays keep giving us reason to want to get together and watch. And now, I’d better write something…

Hendriks Up…

As unsurprising as it was to hear last night that Liam Hendriks was getting the call to join the Jays’ rotation, at least for now, it was entirely surprising to hear this morning that Esmil Rogers had been D’d FA in order to make it happen.

Hendriks is a “strike thrower,” as Alex Anthopoulos put it last week. He’s young. He’s earned a shot with a fantastic time so far in Buffalo. He’s got big league experience, having been just a shade under replacement level in 28 starts for the Twins between 2011 and ’13. He’s got a good mix of pitches — or at least showed one with the Twins — with a fastball that sits at about 90, and a slider, curve, and change that he’ll use. As an Australian he’s late to the game enough, or at least late enough to facing elite-level competition, that maybe his expected development curve should be elongated compared to his counterparts from this continent.

Sure, he’s not really a ground ball guy, and doesn’t strike out enough batters, is a bit homer-prone, and has posted some strangely low strand rates, which might perhaps suggest troubles out of the stretch, though looking at his splits with men on and the bases empty, they seems to have been just troubles in general. But back on the positive side of the ledger, the most important thing about him for now is that he’s not as likely to tax the Jays’ bullpen as Todd Redmond is, as he won’t be working on a pitch count.

In nearly two weeks since he pitched an excellent 4.2 innings of relief against the Angels on May 10th, Redmond has seen live game action for only just a third of an inning, making it even harder than it would be in the first place to envision him going deep into tonight’s game. Hendriks, though he may get beaten around anyway — ready yourself for this already, please — at least should be able to give them 100 pitches, provided things don’t go as poorly as… y’know… they have for every pitcher facing the A’s of late.

And if things don’t go well? Well… Marcus Stroman goes Sunday for Buffalo. He and Hendriks were close to being lined up, but the Jays’ decision to split up bullpen-savers R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle by inserting Hendriks into today’s spot and pushing Dickey back a day, makes things a little more complicated, should they want to replace Hendriks with the most natural next-in-line starter. But I guess they could just pull Stroman from that start if they find out real quick that they need to get Hendriks the hell out of here, so… we’ll see. Whatever Hendriks does, then, at least it doesn’t really matter. It’s just one game.

… And Rogers DFA

The final, merciful dumping of Rogers was the surprising part of this transaction, though entirely because of the behavioral pattern established by the front office, and not at all because of his performance. Though the peripherals shine up the stat line, and the performance last year and in his 2012 half-season in Cleveland suggests that there is a whole lot more to like about Esmil than the dreadful outings we’ve seen this year, he’d simply been getting hit hard, and often. John Gibbons showed all the confidence he could muster in Rogers this week, bringing him into the eighth inning, with a five run lead, on Wednesday night at Fenway Park, which he promptly allowed to be cut to two. Obviously one performance shouldn’t make or break a guy ever, but Rogers only had a tenuous hold on his roster spot at this stage anyway, and the fact that he’d added to the pile of reasons for his manager to give pause to even bringing him for some garbage time seemed like it might actually, finally, after 17 runs (16 earned) in 20.2 innings of work, bring his time on this roster to a close. Thankfully, the Jays didn’t worry about the political stuff and the optics stuff, making the move they needed to make.

Maybe he’ll clear waivers and work his way back eventually. I wouldn’t complain. There was genuine excitement about him and his sinker last year, don’t forget. Sure, the club fucked up pretty severely by not realizing the potential enough in Yan Gomes to give him regular catching opportunities instead of J.P. Arencibia and Travis d’Arnaud (which isn’t quite the travesty some would like to paint it as, I don’t think, just because of how obvious it was at the time who their preferred catchers should have been), and by thinking Mike Aviles was expendable because of the presence of Maicer Izturis (and the coming addition of Emilio Bonifacio), and probably by hanging onto him in hope through so much of this season, but… they’ve moved on. Let’s us also. And let’s remember this moment when he pops up elsewhere and regains his form, eh?

Klaw: Jays Should Go All In

Keith Law was on Buster Olney’s Baseball Tonight Podcast this week, and he spoke about the Jays, who he thinks ought to be going all-in on getting rotation help right now.

“I think they’ve got a legit shot,” he said, sounding more hopeful than emphatic, “at least for a playoff spot. This is probably an 85 to 90 win team. They need rotation help, that’s the biggest thing. The Dustin McGowan experiment has to be over — I know he’s a great story, but he’s showing no indication he’s going to be able to help them in the rotation — and… I love Marcus Stroman, but I don’t know that he’s going to be able to give them what they need, as a playoff contender. Could he come up and help them a little bit as a starter and continue his development? Yes. They probably need more impact right now, if they’re going to continue this run, because it looks like a pretty good, if slightly sort of unbalanced offensive club, but they’re going to need some rotation help.

“Blue Jays fans are probably listening to this and saying, ‘No, no, no, they need bullpen help, they need bullpen help.’ I’m a firm believer that if you upgrade the rotation, you implicitly upgrade the bullpen. You’re putting less work on them, you’re able to use guys more efficiently out of the bullpen. If they could get another consistent, seven inning starter — I’m not sure who that is right now, but if they could do that — it would take a lot of pressure off of some of those bullpen guys, and you could keep them fresh, and you would get better performances out of them.”

He says that they should go in — that if the Cubs say they want Aaron Sanchez for Jeff Samardzija, then yes, the Jays should do it (though he doesn’t address the Sanchez/Stroman suggestions, though with Stroman being ostensibly part of the big league club now, I don’t think that’s particularly likely anyway). The flip side of that is, he says, is whether the Jays would even have enough to beat other offers that might come in for the Shark. He’s not wrong — it’s not like the Jays are the only club that covets pitching, and while they probably have enough pieces to make up the rest of the package (Norris? Nay?), teams would probably prefer prospects closer to actually reaching the majors. Shit, three of the four players the Cubs received last summer for Matt Garza have already seen time in the big leagues, for example.

It’s not crazy talk, which is amazing, but let’s maybe we see how we feel at the end of the upcoming Oakland series. Or after the following ones with Tampa, Kansas City, in Detroit, and a return home to face the Cardinals. Though, sure, reinforcements for this little run would probably be a nice thing, too. Stroman, though.

FWIW, Prospect Insider really likes what they’ve seen from Samardzija, as he’s managed to get himself into favourable counts more than ever so far this season.


Speaking of audible chatter, I was on the air at 10:30 this morning on TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto, talking Jays with Macko and Cauz. You can have a listen to the segment here.

Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star tells us that the testing has been done, and says that the Rogers Centre roof looks likely to be open for the first time this season over the weekend. It won’t be tonight, though, according to a tweet from the building’s official account, making tomorrow the likely first outdoor game of 2014. Don’t tell Dickey though, or he’ll freak!

Sticking with the Star, a new Griff Bag should give us something to do Monday morning… or whenever I post my next hijacking.

Lastly, @Carmichael31 sends me a pic of him in his just-arrived Edwin/Parrot shirt — and since it’s a pretty sweet looking shirt, and Edwin is pretty much the fucking best, I might as well mention that they’re selling them again, apparently, over at Teespring.

Comments (42)

  1. Heh, wore my freshly arrived parrot shirt to work today

    Everyone should get one, they’re awesome.

  2. Will be wearing my new parrot shirt to the game on Sunday. Great shirt.

  3. “Blue Jays fans are probably listening to this and saying, ‘No, no, no, they need bullpen help, they need bullpen help.’

    Who the hell would say this? Not even a Jaystalk caller – even they know starting pitching is the need. (though they think we can trade Colby Rasmus to get it)

    • Keith Law comes across sometimes as a know it all Ivy League dick. Problem is. He is a know it all Ivy League dick who happens to really like baking pies. And he also knows a thing or two about baseball.

      The Shark is gonna be a major topic of conversation for the Cubs FO over the course of the next few weeks.

      As much as prospect gurus love Stroman and Sanchez, one wonders if Norris isn’t the real gem.

      If the Jays get through the next 3 weeks in good shape, and need to add that 7+ inning horse (they seriously do), then I have no issue seeing one of our top pitching prospects be the centrepiece of a prospect package. Add someone like Jiminez, Nay, Crouse, Pompey and another high ceiling arm like Osuna or Tirado? Sure, why the fuck not?

      Pitching prospects have a high bust rate. Adding a horse like the Shark would have an immediate impact. Slotting Dickey, the Shark and Buerhle as your top 3 is a pretty decent opening trio. Bullpen should stay fresh with 3 guys who can provide you with 200+ innings.

      So on that account, Law is right.

      AA just DFA’d Esmil ( who if he clears waivers after 7 days, ie, the Jays can’t trade him). he could still report to Buffalo (likely that a team will pick him up?).

      Risky move there. But a strong message that maybe the Jays are gonna be playing some high stakes poker to cash in against a weaker than expected AL East.

      Do it AA.

      • A more affordable rotation piece (in terms of prospect and rogers currency) who also comes with enviable experience in the AL East is Cubs Sharkmate, Hamels.

        He is off to a pretty good year so far as well, already shut down the yankees (I know, who hasnt) and likely wouldnt cost Sanchez, Stroman or say it aint so Norris!

        • Hamels and Hammel are not the same person.

          • And yet you arrived at my meaning despite the massive intellectual leap you were forced into with absence of my second m!

            Your wind beneath my wings!

            My point was Hammels would be a much cheaper and only somewhat less effective addition.

          • And before you miss my point only to bemoan the absence of an adjective, here it is: “the”.

  4. The recent FG article on Shark was quite illuminating too:

    • I agree with klaw that they should strike while the irons hot.

      The only thing I think of is, okay you offer up Sanchez, Norris for shark.. That’s pretty much what the front of an offer for price is. Less than a package for lee would take .

  5. Stat of the Day

    MLB vs. LHP

    CF K.Pillar: 48pa, .289avg, .333obp, 422slg, .756ops, 108wrc+
    (CF C.Rasmus: 736pa, .215avg, .284obp, .360slg, .643ops, 76wrc+)
    CF A.Gose: 89pa, .250avg, .277obp, .338slg, .615ops, 66wrc+

    MiLB vs. LHP (since 2011)

    CF K.Pillar: 433pa, .361avg, .398obp, .527slg, .925ops
    CF A.Gose: 419pa, .232avg, .317obp, .300slg, .617ops

    So all of you guys stroking yourselves to Gose’s buntiliciousness have to smarten the hell up and realize that when Colby is healthy, Pillar has to be the one that stays up.

    Not only because it makes us a better team by filling a clear hole near perfectly, but also because it would be criminal to make Young Tony Gose a pinch runner and late inning defensive replacement when he so clearly could use a full season of AAA at bats to work on his hitting.

    and don’t think I don’t know that you are the same fanboys I’ve had to defend Gose from the last 3yrs as you called him a bust while lamenting the loss of Brett Wallace.

    So stop being dumb and pillorying pillar already.

    • There’s just enough sense in some of this that I can’t quite call you a moron, but you’re mostly a moron. Lot of that’s based on track record, though.

      • by “just enough” you mean every single bit of evidence we have says Pillar can hit lefty pitching, while Gose and Rasmus cannot.

        stop being a moron, Andy.

        • Bye.

          • did you just ban me for calling you a moron after you called me a moron?


            • No, it’s more for your years of being a moron. The failure to understand sample size, for example. The lecturing fake nonsense about Brett Wallace. Would be more tolerant of such things if you weren’t an absolute shitheel about it all. But you are. Adios!


      You are comparing SSS to full-time and MINOR LEAGUE STATS???

      Wow, way to pick and choose your stats pal.

      • Fully agree if not considering the defence and pinch running impact gose could have for the remainder of the year and the need for jays to be in win now mode outweighing development gains with him in minors. Nobody should be arguing for Rasmussen or gose bring good hitters bs lefties but at the end of the day gose has what the roster needs and pillar is just a potential additional decent hitter for a quarter of the games. Think gose helps the team more this year

  6. where Roy Halladay when you need him?

  7. Holy crap, I was sure that was Drabek, and was anticipating some commentary about him actually having a good start down in Buffalo…

    I really hope some other options besides Shark come available in the next 2 months…not that I think he couldn’t succeed in the AL (although you have to expect him not to be as successful over here), but that I think the haul the Cubs are looking to get is astronomical, for a guy who could bolt at the end of next season…the Jays really do have to get another arm rather than praying that Stroman can make a big impact immediately, but oh man it may cost a king’s ransom…

    and no matter how good Rogers might be in the future, thank fucking god he’s gone

  8. If the Jays play .500 ball through the 3 series against the A’s, Tigers and Cardinals and over .500 ball through the 2 series with the Rays and KC that would be, IMO, a pretty clear indication that they have a good chance at playing well enough the rest of the way to take the division.

    I’m am not at all saying “This is MUST win…” horseshit or anything, or that this will make or break their season only that this is a tough stretch and therefore a good test of how good this team is. All that said, they could, of course, still kick-ass (lose horribly) and suck (kill it) the rest of the year.

    So, yeah. Exciting times!

  9. Can’t sell the farm for the shark, as sexy as that MF looks right now.

    S/O rate down a bit for Sanchez in SSS Stoeten? Rough 6IP in the show for Stroman? Come on man. You are better than that. IF the Shark was to sign long-term, sure, but for half a season to give away Sanchez and Stroman is craziness.

  10. knowing absolutely nothing about Hendricks, I’d still bet that he sticks with the team, and it’s Happ that loses his spot to Stroman in the next month or so…Happ is a ticking time bomb, and every game he starts that the Jays manage to win feels like 2 wins…I’ll take the wins, but I wish we could just fast forward past the inevitable horrible starts we’ll have to suffer through before Happ is out of the rotation…

    • 3/4 of his last starts were good enough for the W, I do not have much confidence in him, but I think he will stick around longer than a month… He’s too expensive to move, the bullpen is full, where would he go exactly?

  11. zaunie….just…did…that

  12. Samardzija is coming, it’s pretty obvious to me. If they are going all in, he’s the guy but if Sanchez is involved (which he will be), then I hope an extension will be part of the deal. I would love to see him in the Jays rotation asap.

    To me he seems like the guy they want and the guy they will make a move for. Maybe they could also use a reliable utility player as well to come into the picture. Someone to be a good clubhouse presence, play lots of positions and hit reasonably well.

    • I miss DeRosa.

      • Funny I was just thinking that as I was writing that. I dunno if a player like him exists in baseball right now but I sure would love to see the jays go after a player of that ilk for a bench role.

    • Cubs sharkmate Hamels would bolster the rotation without draining the minor league cupboard dry!

      Good numbers so far this year and he has AL beast experience too!

      • Hamels is not the same person as Hammel

        • And yet you arrived at my meaning despite the massive intellectual leap you were forced into with absence of my second m!

          Can you see the forest through the trees? Apparently not.

          My point was Hammels would be a much cheaper and only somewhat less effective addition.

          • Once again… Hammel, not Hammels.

            And it’s already been discussed on another thread – Hammel is a very similar type of pitcher as Happ in terms of production, so we’re not getting an upgrade, if any, on Hammel over Happ. Let’s focus on guys who are a clear upgrade.

  13. It’s clear that Gibbs had no more confidence in Rogers. He’ll probably land somewhere.

    Really too bad that we didn’t land Santana now.

    Agree with poster above… Keep Pillar and send. Bose back down for regular reps.

    Go Jays!

  14. Would love to see a sp pickup now. Why the hell wait the window is now and every game counts
    Don’t understand why everyone is so high on stroman stepping in and being solid in rotation right now. That is a big time gamble to rely on him likely more so than happ even.

    A solid sp trade could set this team off right now and leave last spot open for whoever is doing the best out of remaking guys.

    Put morrow in pen if he comes back and there is a pretty good team there

    Get a 2b at deadline and try to win the ws this year and next

    Exciting time for jays fans this is a legitimate playoff contending team and with a few additions we were all pining for pre season a legitimate ws contender

    • Why wait? Because you need a team willing to trade you what you want for a reasonable price, and they need more teams willing to make offers in order to drive up the bidding.

      Talking about Stroman as riskier than Happ is insane, by the way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *