griffbag

Another week (albeit a week like no other in recent memory), another Griff Bag — aka Richard Griffin’s mail bag from over at the Toronto Star — which, of course, means its time for another caustic hijacking of whatever insanity has been running through Griff’s readers’ brains. So let’s get to it!

If there’s a question you’d like me to answer, submit it to Griffin here, and maybe he’ll select it for a future mail bag. Fingers crossed!

Q-Hi Richard Stoeten:

What do you think is of more value to this Jays team right now: Gose’s speed in CF and on the base paths or Rasmus’ bat? To me that’s what the choice boils down to and after the Texas series I’m leaning towards Gose’s speed. Also, while Navarro is a heads-and-tails improvement over JPA, I’ve been underwhelmed by him so far. We seem to be in competent hands when Thole and Kratz share catching duties. I know Navarro was AA’s big off-season acquisition, but would you trade Navarro and/or Rasmus in exchange for upgrades at SP and 2B?

Matthew McKean, Ottawa

Without question the more valuable of the two is Rasmus. It maybe doesn’t feel like that sometimes. That’s because there are elements of the game that give us visceral responses as fans that can be indelibly imprinted on our minds — a stolen base and a great catch on the good side, for example, a strikeout on the bad — where Gose excels and Rasmus doesn’t. Gose is a weapon, to be sure. The game-changing tools are still as loud as when the Jays salivated over him as a Phillies prospect. And when he’s hitting as well as he is right now, in a microscopic sample size, it’s easy to get carried away dreaming on all the good that he brings. But over the long run, you’re going to be much, much better off with Rasmus. He may not steal the bases and there are some catches he may not make, but the differences between the two bats, over time, ought to be enormous enough to offset all the value Gose provides elsewhere and then some.

That’s maybe tough to swallow when looking at Rasmus being hurt, and just barely above a league-average hitter through his first 143 plate appearances of the season – .222/.266/.489 (104 wRC+) — but Gose only just barely posted a greater wRC+ in his year playing in the extreme hitting environment of Las Vegas (106 wRC+), and hasn’t come close to it above double-A ball. It’s been a nice couple weeks for him so far, but we can’t let our perceptions change based on such tiny samples.

Think of it this way: Juan Francisco is only just over 100 plate appearances now — 60 more than Gose — and there is no reason to think what we’re seeing from him is for real.

Same thing goes for the catchers. Yes, Navarro has been disappointing, especially in terms of his lack of power (though the fact that he’s been hurting may have an impact on that), but we’re talking about 50-odd terrific PA from Thole that we can’t possibly expect to keep up, and a very Arencibia-like all-power, no-OBP thing from Kratz. There could probably be a little more opportunity for the other catchers, but in no way should the Jays be thinking about moving their best pieces at that position or in centre.

That doesn’t mean it can’t change, though. But let’s remember the one thing few fans — and some media folks! — seem to be unable to grasp these days: the only teams who might have interest in free-agent-to-be Rasmus are ones that need him for the stretch run, and are stupidly unlikely to be willing to part with the kind of pitching the Jays covet. It’s just not going to happen — and no, the team acquiring him does not receive a compensation pick when he leaves next winter.

Could the Jays find a three-way deal that sends Colby to a club that had some prospects they might be able to add to ones of their own in order to get a pitcher? Because that might not be the craziest idea… it just isn’t nearly the clearest option yet, either.

 

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Q-Isn’t it now time to make the move for Samardzija? The Jays are one top pitcher away from the post season for the first time in 20 years. I think an offer of Stroman and any 2 additional prospects from the Jays system (other than Sanchez) that the Cubs want would get a deal done.

The Jays would have Samardzija for at least this season and next and would get at least a 1st round pick if he cannot be resigned after 2015. In addition to this season’s chance to win, our rotation next season could be formidable 1 through 5 with Samardzija, Buehrle, Hutchison, Sanchez and Dickey. Potentially a 65 to 70 win rotation…

Rob Landau, Toronto

The Jays are one top pitcher away from the post season??? You wouldn’t maybe say that the Jays are one top pitcher, one hundred and eleven games, continued health, continued production, and the continued faltering of their division-mates away from a playoff berth?

I absolutely get the desire here, but let’s not go nuts. Yes, the Jays could use another pitcher, and a Samardzija in particular would look great here, but why the hell do you possibly think that your proposed deal — impossibly vague as it is with its inclusion of “prospects” — would get it done? Chicago doesn’t have a need to sell off the player for any price but the one that works best for them right now. There aren’t a lot of suitors to bid up the cost right now — a fact that Jays fans, I think, recognize, but see it as a reason to make something happen quickly, rather than a reason why they absolutely can’t.

Sure, the Cubs won’t always have all the leverage — another club might put a star pitcher on the block and undercut the market for Samardzija, for example, or the deadline itself may approach and begin to force their hand — and they are risking injury to this most valuable commodity of theirs every time that Samardzija goes out and pitches, but right now they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do, nor should they.

But yes, the Jays should be considering this and figuring out the best possible way to make the acquisition of a front line pitcher happen. I mean, I’m not sure why you’re talking in pitcher wins or penciling Sanchez into next year’s rotation already, but yes.

 

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Q-Hi Richard Stoeten

Just an observation:

It’s nice to see the players talking, joking, smiling and generally having fun amongst themselves.

Looks like gelling.

Nothing like winning, eh?

Bill Cooper, Kingston

You mean the kind of stuff they were doing last year that made people lose their fucking minds because they were unprofessional no-win losers just happy to be in the big leagues and lacking entirely in a desire to win? Yeah, that stuff is fine. Nothing like winning, though. You’re right. Funny how it’s really just our perception that changes, eh? The jelling stuff is always utter bullshit.

 

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Q-Hi Richard Stoeten,

I am wondering if you can walk us through the day by day of a starting pitcher on the days between starts – beginning with the day after.

Thanks,

Simon Elliott, Toronto

I cannot.

 

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Q-Kevin Pillar hit well reasonably well at Buffalo for the first five weeks of the International League season: .305/.344/.461 in 141 at bats. (Admittedly not a lot of power, especially if he plays left, but that’s not my question.) With the Jays, Pillar has been completely over matched against major league pitchers: .143/.143/.214 as I type this. How can we best explain such massive differences between AAA and MLB performances, both for Mr. Pillar and in general terms?

I remember that in the days of his Baseball Abstract that Bill James had a formula for projecting how a minor league hitter would perform in the majors. (Darned if I can find the formula, however.) Has it become more difficult to project major league hitting performance than it was twenty-five years ago?

Thanks for your attention.

John Thompson, New Westminster, BC

I don’t think it was ever easy to project major league performance, to be honest. And the thing about Pillar is, not only have his overall numbers changed quite a bit since you wrote this, he’s actually killing left-handed pitching. The sample size is too tiny to mean anything, but he’s got a wRC+ of 202 in the split over 15 PA (.467/.467/.600). He should stay up as the club’s fourth outfielder when Rasmus comes back. He should also never see a right-handed pitcher — though… even saying that may be a little much. He wasn’t awful against them in the minors.

Regardless, it’s almost as like talking about a massive difference between his big league and minor league performance after seeing such a tiny sample of what he can do is, y’know, kinda dumb.

 

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Q-Hello Richard Stoeten.

I’m a Canadian living in Panama now and for years have been reading your articles on the Blue Jays. I’ve always enjoyed them. Regarding the article, “Alex Anthopoulos’ trade history says be careful what you wish for”, one trade you forgot to mention was the one made on December 6, 2011 with the Chicago White Sox – Sergio Santos for Nestor Molina.

The ironic part was that Sergio was previously part of the Blue Jay organization back in 2006 when he came along with Troy Glaus (trade with Arizona) for Miguel Batista and Orlando Hudson. Back then, he played shortstop. The funny thing is that he came back to the Jay organization as a relief pitcher. While he has yet to meet his full potential and remain injury free, I can’t help but wonder why Jays management did not see his pitching abilities back when he was first with the organization. Do you think he has what it takes to be an effective reliever? Do you think the trade for Molina will come back and haunt the Jays? Thanks!

Derek

Uh, I’m sure the Jays organization saw the potential to bring serious heat in his arm, but he was a shortstop. The choice to go to the mound was made after he left the organization, as a last resort — a way to remain in the game after it became clear he wasn’t going to make it as an infielder. And as much as saves are a terrible stat, his 30 save season with the White Sox in 2011 suggests that he certainly can be a hell of a lot more than merely effective. He throws hard and his slider is nasty as shit. When he’s on and healthy it’s a thing of beauty, he just happens to not be on and healthy much.

Since Nestor Molina has just 4.0 innings above double-A, and is now into a fourth season at that level, and sucks (7.08 ERA, 5.58 FIP), I’m going to go ahead and say that no, no it will not come back to haunt them.

 

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Q-Hi Richard Stoeten.

I am a fan of Colby Rasmus and Anthony Gose. I am assuming their defensive skills are close. Looking into the future I am wondering at what point does Colby’s HR’s, RBI’s, strikeouts and cost to the team get surpassed by (hopefully) Anthony’s OBP, stolen base ability, speed, and cost to the team. If the present roster continues to hit, Anthony is almost like a second leadoff hitter provided the OB percentage is around 350. Colby won’t come cheap. Neither will newcomers to the starting rotation. Richard from Edmonton.

I mostly answered this at the top but, um… holy shit, a .350 on-base for Gose? In the major leagues? Very unlikely to ever see that happen. And I’m not sure how so many people seem to have forgotten — except, I guess, that they’re unable to see beyond the tiny, insignificant sample of games most recent in their minds — that Gose has major problems with strikeouts, too. Not that, y’know, it doesn’t take a pretty deep trip up ones own asshole to get so hung up on the Rasmus strikeout thing, as though that type of out is really all that much worse than any other.

That all said, I do tend to agree with you that once you factor in cost, and what else can potentially be done with the money it would take to re-sign Rasmus, you almost have to go with Anthony Gose next year — or a platoon consisting of him an Kevin Pillar. But I really only feel safe in saying that now, as Juan Francisco appears to be a real thing. If Juanfran turns into a pumpkin at some point, though, the lineup starts looking awful thin without Colby in it. That might change the equation again. That is, assuming the money is even there for the “keep Rasmus long-term” side of this conversation to be taken seriously.

 

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Comments (115)

  1. Loved the response to the first question, BUT… didn’t the Jays get Gose from the Astros, not the Phillies? It was Wallace for Gose, right?

    • you are correct

    • Phillies traded Gose to the Astros before he made his way to the Toronto Org.

    • Gose started out as a Phillies prospect, the Jays salivated over him while Gose was with the Phillies, but the Phillies refused to include Gose in the Halladay deal, so the Jays got Wallace instead.

      The Phillies later traded Gose to the Astros for Roy Oswalt, and the very same day, the Astros, knowing the Jays were still salivating over Gose, traded Gose to the Jays for Wallace. At the time the deal was considered questionable, with Wallace in AAA and Gose still in the low minors, but given Wallace’s struggles thus far, it would seem the Jays probably won that trade.

  2. Melky signed mid season is more likely than Colby right?

  3. “He may not steal the bases and there are some catches he may not make, but the differences between the two bats, over time, ought to be enormous enough to offset all the value Gose provides elsewhere and then some.”

    But to offset the future ~12M (or more) a season difference in cost?

  4. Stoets, make up your mind, sounds like a bit of a contradiction in these two responses:

    “think of it this way: Juan Francisco is only just over 100 plate appearances now — 60 more than Gose — and there is no reason to think what we’re seeing from him is for real.”

    “But I really only feel safe in saying that now, as Juan Francisco appears to be a real thing”.

  5. You are a jack ass.

  6. If Rogers actually is not going to increase the payroll then the decision between Gose/Rasmus in the offseason may lean towards Gose and spending on pitching. If money is not an issue then without a doubt Rasmus is the better option going in to next year

    • Money is always an issue…even for the Yankees

      • Yankees are still willing to spend it when the right situation comes along though. The right situation for the Jays is to resign Melky and Rasmus and keep Gose as the 4th, in my opinion, and still make a move for another starter.

        Think about it – the Jays will save $9 million by not exercising Morrow’s option next year, and you’re still removing $8 million for Melky and another $7 or so million on Colby’s contract. Happ’s $5 million is also off the books, as is Janssen’s $4 million and $8 million for Lind (not sure what his buy-out is). That’s $36 million. Can you re-up Melky and Colby and maybe even Janssen for that (or less than $40 million)? I think so. Stroman replaces Happ and you still have to fill one more spot in the rotation, same as this year. If Francisco turns out to be the real deal, you replace Lind with him, and you’re set without having gone ridiculously higher than they did this year. Rogers and Beeston have talked about spending up to or a little over $150 million; they’ll be at around $140 next year with the above iteration.

        • Why the fuck would you get rid of Adam Lind?

          • Agree. But to be fair, Juan Fran should get the rest of this season to prove us wrong. I tend to think Lind is a better 1B and am not convinced with Juan Fran’s 3B.
            Lind’s contract goes for 2015 (7.5mm), and 2016 (8 mm) as is way under market value.

  7. I will take issue with one of Andrew’s comments-strike outs (and popups) are worse than other outs. Fly and ground balls can result in defensive errors and occur at higher rates than pass balls or wild pitches that result in reaching 1st base safely on a 3rd strike. Also, as we’ve seen recently with the Jays renewed speed on the paths with Reyes and Gose, ground outs and flyballs can move runners and also score them when strikeouts won’t. The counterbalance is the doubleplay ground ball of course….

    • Yes but people tend to cling to strikeouts as being WAY worse. Ultimately it is an out.

      And strikeouts can be dropped and they generally require at least a few more pitches by the pitcher. And sometimes those ground ball outs become double play balls.

    • I thought the same thing. Not sure I’ve seen a SO score a runner from 3rd.

      • Strikeouts also rarely turn into double plays.

        Outs are bad. Strikeouts suck. But all outs are bad.

        • sure, but are DPs as prevalent as moving a runner up with a “productive” out?

          • I think it’s generally accepted among advanced stats people that strikeouts are very slightly worse than other kind of outs, but that the difference isn’t anywhere near as pronounced as many people want to believe.

          • I’m sure someone has crunched the numbers on this. In fact, I believe it has been done many times.

            I’m too lazy to go looking for articles right now but I am pretty sure the conclusion was that SO’s are not nearly as bad as you’d expect.

            • Or I could simply refresh the page and see that Philbert said basically the same thing.

            • you can find the data you’re looking for at http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902event.html for 1999-2002. I’m too drunk to find more recent data, but a) it correlates closely with the 100+ years of historical boxscores we have, and b) indicates that a strikeout is approximately 1.6 runs per season worse than any other out. If every single one of Colby Rasmus’ strikeouts, for example, was instead a ball in play for fielders to flub or whatnot, it would result in one or two extra runs for the team over the course of the season. Add to that the probability that one of the teams is going to be leading by a substantial margin when those one or two extra runs happen, and the probability that the difference between a strikeout and any other kind of out makes a difference to the standings is negligable.

  8. I remember there was a story back when the Jays did the Molina for Santos trade about how while Santos was with the Jays they had tried to convince him to pitch instead and he refused and that it wasn’t until he was with Chicago that he finally gave in and switched to pitching.

  9. “would you trade Navarro and/or Rasmus in exchange for upgrades at SP and 2B.”
    Because I’m an idiot, I’ve stupidly been listening to Blue Jays Talk lately. Every other caller says something like this. Trade Rasmus for starting pitching – it’s that easy. WTF. Poor Wilner.

  10. Mail bags are my fav posts

    • Me too. It was a mailbag post that first turned me onto DJF, and now Im on here everyday reading. I always enjoy a good break from work to read a mailbag post like this.

  11. funny thing about Thole vs. Navarro is that you can make a large sample case that Thole deserves at least more starts, if not the full RHP half of a platoon.

    Career vs. RHP

    Tholee (27): 1008pa, .266/.339/.338/.676, .302woba, 88wrc+
    Dinner (30): 1906pa, .247/.305/.346/.651, .288woba, 74wrc+

    Career vs. LHP

    Tholee (27): 208pa, .202/.268/.266/.534, .242woba, 49wrc+
    Dinner (30): 712pa, .263/.332/.427/.760, .332woba, 104wrc+

    • calling dioner dinner is classic. well played.

      • “Dinner Navarrro” is kind of perfect. Let’s roll with it.

        • All that matters right now is that Dinner is a breath of fresh air when compared to JPA. Doesn’t strike out a whole lot, which is awesome to see, and isn’t awful at the plate, really.

          • Well, really, he’s been kina poopy this year. Not hitting, not great defensively, and can’t throw a runner out to save his life.

            But he has been “clutch”, and he looks like Al Bundy’s kid from Modern Family, so i guess it’s all good.

  12. Whatever you do, don’t read Griff’s actual answer to the “It’s nice to see the players talking, joking, smiling and generally having fun amongst themselves” question.
    Because his answer is basically “NO, IT ISN’T.”

    • It’s funny – if you enjoy your job, would you be criticized for smiling while at your desk? Probably not. If I were being paid $15 million a year to play baseball, I’d having a fucking grin glued to my face all day, all year.

  13. Unrelated item of possible interest to Jays fans:
    Syndergaard on the AAA DL with an elbow issue.
    Elbow issue often = Dr. Andrews.

    • It bolsters the argument that prospects are never sure things. Of course TJ isn’t career ending, but does setback their timetable to help the big club. Having said that, if the Jays stay in this thing for another couple of months, AA’s true mettle is really going to be tested. He’s never been in that enviable position before.

  14. And in the end it might be Dalton Pompey, not Gose, who allows us to use rasmus as trade bait. That kid is just killing it this year in A+, even more than he did last year, and by all reports has plusplus speed and defense in CF, too. He’ll likely finish this year in AA, which will likely put him on track to make an mlb debut in the 2nd half of next year, and legit push for a regular spot in 2016.

    Going with a gose/pillar platoon the next couple of years with Pompey waiting in the wings might make sense.

    Though Rasmus is still much better than any of those kids, and we really don’t have any payroll committed beyond next year, so keepingbhim might still be the best option.

    • Often it’s kids like Pompey that are used AS the trade bait though; a couple years ago, Jake Marisnick was said to be the better long-term prospect than Gose, and he was used as part of the Marlins trade.

      • I see that Marisnick is back into AAA after an unsuccessful stint in the big leagues and is only hitting .237 in about 150 PA. Gotta love the prospect porn. People lose their shit over these trades but so few actually make it. Syndergaard going to the DL with elbow issues. D’Arnaud hitting .196 this year. To be fair it’s very early for the latter two but it’s such a crap shoot on any of these “can’t miss” prospects.

        • Early for noah (who will be an awesome stud imo), but not early for travis. D’arnaud is already 25, and his milb line was heavily inflated by vegas. No idea how a 25yr old with awful mlb stats stayed on so many top prospect lists this offseason.

          I hated to see noah go, and will be bitter over that for a long time….but i was never sad to see travis go. He might turn into a decent catcher in the end but nothing worth missing.

      • Personally i never got the marisnick love. Gose was the same age and two or three levels up the while time. Marisnick had the odd big year when he was too old for the level, and never had great peripherals.

        But let me run a comp to make sure that pompey is doing better than jake, because now you have me in a panic, because i always thought jake was overrated, especially when people ranked him ahead of gose….

        Low Rookie

        Marisnick (19-19): 142pa, 9.2bb%, 12.7k%, .832ops, 147wrc+
        Pompey (17-18): 235pa, 11.5bb%, 19.1k%, .724ops, 113wrc+

        High Rookie

        Marisnick —
        Pompey (18-19): 100pa, 14.0bb%, 25.0k%, .675ops, 96wrc+

        A-

        Marisnick —
        Pompey (19-19): 44pa, 20.5bb%, 15.9k%, .883ops, 159wrc+

        A

        Pompey (19-20): 535pa, 12.0bb%, 20.8k%, .749opws, 113wrc+
        Marisnick (19-20): 666pa, 7.8bb%, 19.2k%, .837ops, 137wrc

        A+

        Pompey (a+): 201pa, 10.4bb%, 17.9k%, .902ops, 163wrc+
        Marisnick (a+): 306pa, 8.5bb%, 18.0k%, .800ops, 127wrc+

        Damn, its closer than i wanted it to be. Marisnick started off stronger, though he was older and more polished off the bat. Though what pompey is doing so far this year is better than anything jake did, and his BB% is much more promising at every level.

        Let me try one more breakdown:

        Pompey

        Age 19 (rk+/a-/a): 129wrc+
        Age 20 (a): 115wrc+
        Age 21 (a+): 163wrc+

        Marisnick

        Age 19 (rk-/a): 113wrc+
        Age 20 (a): 153wrc+
        Age 21 (a+): 127wrc+

        Still closer than i wanted it, but hopefully pompey can keep up the recent surge and stay ahead.

        • Keep in mind that one of the things holding Pompey back recently has been injuries, which I believe have caused him to miss time every season until 2013. For a young player, repetition can be one of the best things for development, and in his age 17-18-19 season he had a combined 403 PA’s before getting 500+ last year.

          That’s not to say I think he’s going to turn into a superstar based on this season, but even last year the only thing he didn’t do was hit for much power, and that’s been one of his biggest changes this year. There’s a reason he’s starting to get some attention.

    • Thanks for the update on a prospect in the low minors.

  15. This is probably verging on lunacy even to contemplate, but here we go.

    Some of the chatter around the Jays’ stinginess this offseason seems to imply a sort of “win and we’ll give you more money– not before” type attitude from the Rogers brass. If that’s the case, and the Jays keep winning, does the outfield situation play out like this:

    Re-sign Melky, Re-sign Rasmus and convince him to move to right (his increased range offsetting the loss of Jose’s arm there). Put Gose in centre, decline Lind’s option and teach Jose how to play first, meaning that he and Edwin can be alternated at DH to keep them both fresh.

    Then, instead of having two starters (Lind and Rasmus) who can’t hit lefties, only one of whom was worth anything on defence, we have two starters who can’t hit lefties, but there’s a huge gain in defence in the outfield.

    So basically, if money’s no object and the object is keeping this team together, do you trade Lind’s bat for Gose’s glove and wheels?

    • Or you could move Bautista to 3rd, Lawrie to 2nd, and then not have any holes in the lineup, other than catcher.

    • If money is no object there’s no good reason to decline Lind’s option. He’s still a helluva weapon against RHP (199 wRC+ this year), and who do you replace him with?

      • Good points. I guess I just don’t want to see any of our outfielders go. I like them all, for what they can do. And AA’s comments about Lind’s ongoing conditioning issues make me wary. Plus, the opportunity to have the DH spot actually, truly open for rotation. That’s not worth 199 wRC+, or even his career rate at 127, but Jose, Edwin, Melky, Dioner, and even Reyes could make use of that open spot.

        Tough one. Maybe pick up Lind’s option and try to package him for some pitching? I don’t know who’d bite, though.

        • I get where you’re coming from, but there should be ample DH opportunities for Melky and co. when Lind sits against LHP. I mean, shit, they were DH-ing Kevin Pillar against Lester the other day!

          • No argument from me that that would, and does work. I don’t like the Yankees at all, but their age has forced them to abandon a “primary” DH, which allows for keeping all the important bats in the lineup most of the time, vs the Massholes who just ink Ortiz in there, year after year, forcing them either to sit Ortiz or sit a guy who’d otherwise need just a DH day.

            In our case, I’d be cool if our nominal DH could actually play outfield or something, but all Lind can do is play first base, and not as well as Edwin. That stops Lind’s spot from being a true bench spot, which is a dangerous thing with this team’s on-again, off-again relationship with the 8 man BP.

          • Pillar career vs. LHP:

            MLB: 52pa, .795ops
            MiLB: 444pa, .925ops

            Could do worse, no?

            And iirc pillar went 3/4 as DH that day, no?

    • Bautista is a much better OF than cabrera i think. Melky is the one that should be moving to 1b/dh imo.

      • Assuming Bautista holds up every day as well as he has so far (!), Rasmus, Gose, Bautista is a pretty tasty defensive OF. Negates Rasmus’s arm by putting him in left.

    • Why the fuck would you get rid of Adam Lind for nothing!?

  16. So what’s with the Jays wearing special Memorial Day uniforms tonight, in a game that will be in Canada?

    • In a word? Respect. American opponent, American players.

      • We’re playing a team from a Canadian retirement community, in Canada, using primarily Dominican players surrounding our Canadian 2B/3B. Oh, and a Canadian is pitching for them.

  17. The Jays really do need pitching help… Happ isn’t good. His FIP is 5.14 and xFIP is 4.57. It’ll catch up with him soon enough.

    • xFIP over past 4 starts: 3.13, 4.01, 3.67, 4.56

      I’ll take that.

    • Fuck. Can we lay off Happ for one day already? He pitched pretty well yesterday, no?

    • Oh look, it’s this “hurr durr Happ sux” shit again. He’s been perfectly acceptable as a starter so far.

      It’s almost like you _want_ him to fail so you can gloat about it.

      • Happ’s been a fine #4 starter for us so far. I think we should lay off him for a while. We need to upgrade 1 pitcher but not 2 right now.

        • Exactly. the jays don’t need a better #5 pitcher, they need a better #2 pitcher. I’d argue that they need a better second baseman more than another pitcher, but.

  18. I like Samardzija, but we have to keep in mind what he actually is.

    Here’s what our guys have done as blue jay starters:

    Buehrle: 43gs, 6.3ip/gs, 3.66era, 3.86fip, 4.08xfip
    Dickey: 45gs, 6.5ip/gs, 4.15era, 4.43fip, 4.27xfip
    Hutch: 21gs, 5.7ip/gs, 4.02era, 3.79fip, 3.79xfip
    Happ: 29gs, 5.2ip/gs, 4.34era, 4.02fip, 4.46xfip
    (Morrow: 93gs, 4.7ip/gs, 4.40era, 3.71fip, 3.76xfip)

    With Stroman waiting in the wings, who has been as good as any pitcher in milb this year.

    And they’ve done that in the meatgrinder AL East. And those ip/gs probably underrate Hutch since they come in hisbrookie year and doming back from tj year.

    Samardzija as SP: 6.3ip, 3.91era, 3.74fip, 3.55xfip

    And he likeky would have some kind of bump in those moving over to the AL

    I like Shark, but he’s probably not the clear cut ace, or even clear cut #1, that you might think he is.

    And given what the cubs got for matt fricken garza last year, shark’ll cost a fortune.

    At the very least, i hope we get a chance to see what stroman can do in mlb before gambling on this kind of trade.

    • I’m growing increasingly terrified of any Shark trade after seeing the batshit-insane prices the Cubs were demanding.

    • I still see player better than any of our starters at the moment.

      I would be willing to give up sanchez, but no no to stroman.

  19. I love Rasmus, but if you could get a similar performance from a pillar/gose split in center, have speed off the bench, and for 1/20th the cost, you kind of have to do that.

    • This breaks my heart… but…… probably yes.

    • It almost certainly won’t be a similar offensive performance, but i agree that if money is tight, then the jays could likely use it in a better way than taking a chance on Colby.

      • I would suggest the difference between pillar/happ and rasmus
        would be less than the difference between this team now and a 15 million dollar second baseman or pitcher

  20. Tough not to choose the Gose/Pillar platoon for $1M combined next year over Rasmus for $20M… The payroll doesn’t look good for next year, gonna have to cut costs where possible, especially with little on the way to help in terms of cheap young talent (Stroman the only guy who could make an impact next season).

    Also tough not to keep Colby and the first rounder and see how this season plays out. If you’re still lookin to add a starter, Brandon McCarthy looks like a GREAT buy low candidate, and Kevin Towers is the type of fucktard that would give him to you for cheap.

    • TLR’s presence there makes me wonder if Towers will have any licence to make trades on his own anymore. TLR seems dangerously close to just enveloping and annexing the GM role. Not that that’s a bad thing for Arizona.

      • First team I thought of fleecing was Dbacks, but I agree LaRusa is there to police the situation. Next up could be Seattle, but with money issues you have to think it would be contract for contract situation. Maybe Santos to Seattle for Franklin+mid-tier prospect? Maybe bigger package in July to include Iwakuma (wishful, but possible)?

    • I don’t think it’s totally out of the question that Sanchez and/or Nolin not only make in onto the team next season, but also play well enough to stick.

      It might not be ideal to rush them, but prospect development is a funny thing, and sometimes players end up ahead of schedule, and other times players end up behind schedule, and sometimes both of those happen to the same player in the same season.

    • TLR probably hates the the twitter – maybe he gives up McCarthy for free…

      • I’m not a huge McCarthy fan. If he’s relatively cheap ok.

        • McCarthy has xFIP’d in the 3.65 range since leaving Texas, is a career 3 WAR per 200 innings guy. If he can find a way to stay healthy, he’s a legit 2-3 type. Reminds me of AJ Burnett in that regard.

          • That’s a big part..the “healthy” thing. He’s had injuries every year since ’06. He’ll be 31 in 2 months.

  21. I love the mail bag. Half way through each question I get so excited for Stoeten’s response. “Oooooooh he’ll hate this idiot for sure!”

  22. I’m in the camp, if it exists, that the Jays should stand pat and play it out with what they’ve got.

    • I’m kind of in that camp. I wouldn’t give up everything asked for a pitcher. But I’m hopeful that AA can manage to finagle one over here. Right now Scrabble is the only game in town but that will change closer to the deadline.

    • +1

      • Shark will probably only be around for 1.5 years. One answer would be to stay with Sanchez Stroman and Hutch and go all in for either Melky or Colby or both. They may not go all the way this year, but there’s a good chance these guys will keep you in contention for a few years to come.

        • That’s pretty much my thinking, Karl.

        • Reyes is the only player currently under contract in 2016 when Shark and Price become free agents, so the Jays would have every opportunity to extend them. ‘Would they actually do it’ is an entirely different question.

  23. Any word/update on Morrow? What do you guys think the likelihood is of exercising his option next year? (I think it’s pretty darn high).

  24. I am wondering if Alex is thinking that he might get his own internal upgrade with Morrow coming back in July.

    If the dude returns to full health (and that’s the biggest of “Ifs,” I could see them looking at him as the 5th starter and keeping the pressure off.

    It sounds sad that that’s what it comes to after previously looking to him to be a #1, but if he can contribute #5 innings with the occasional flashy start, it could work out. If it doesn’t and he just continues to suck, you at least still have the Stroman / Hendriks / Nolin options without having given away prospects.

    In our perfect world they acquire a reliable SP and this isn’t an issue, but I have a feeling they are not going to steal anyone. It will cost them to find an upgrade.

  25. Jays have Rasmus and Gose on the bench makes this team deeper and provides needed insurance in OF. I like Gose’s production, along with Pillar and Tolleson to date, but as mentioned how can you assume that production is going to remain? Keep Rasmus and Janssen, try to extend Melky, and lets see how good Jays can be before mid-July. AA will have a couple weeks to determine if a trade for Samardzija or for all we know some other unmentioned starter (i.e. Masterson, Porcello) is necessary.

  26. “I am wondering if you can walk us through the day by day of a starting pitcher on the days between starts – beginning with the day after.”

    - Sure! Let’s say he pitches on a Sunday. The next day will be a Monday. The one after that, Tuesday. Then comes Wednesday. Thursday’s next. And …. then Friday! Now it gets complicated. Maybe the team has a five man rotation. Maybe it had a day off playing. But it’s a pretty good chance that the pitcher will pitch Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Hope that helps!

  27. I would miss Colby if he goes. I’m already missing his mullet.

  28. For those of you who get off on what ESPN thinks the new Power Rankings are up.

    The official list has the Jays 8th, but Barry Larkin (see video) has Toronto 1st.

    P.S. I think that love from ESPN gives the same people who get a “Small Ball Boner” an “ESPN Erection” as well

  29. Two pitchers that could be had quite reasonably are Colon and Burnett I think. Not sure if AJ would want to return, can’t see why Colon would object. Any thoughts ?

  30. How about trading Esmil Rogers for Wandy Rodriguez? Both are struggling. Change of scenery and chance to join up with all his countrymen might rebound Wandy’s season. Houston is still on the hook for 5.5 mill of his salary and AA could get the Pirates to take on some too so we don’t absorb too much either. Could work out for us if he became a serviceable starter again this year

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