dailyduce1

Oh, piss on the swear jar!

Barry Davis tweets that the Jays, who begin today with a three game lead in the AL East (thanks, in part, to pitcher Yovani Gallardo’s pinch hit walk-off double for the Brewers over the Orioles last night), have not led the division by four or more since 1993. Do it!

Hey, so you know all that talk about the Jays having interest in Jeff Samardzija? Yeah, well, those Orioles could entirely blow them out of the water on an offer, if they really wanted to. And according to chief Chicagoland rumour monger Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago, they might be willing to. He says that the O’s “appear to be the leading team of interest” in the pursuit of Samardzija, and that Baltimore’s pitching-rich farm system (at least on the top end) is why. Some combination of Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, and Hunter Harvey scoffs at your offer of Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman.

As here, not all of Baltimore is necessarily behind this possibility. High ranking official among the O’s Twitterati, Jon Bernhardt, tweets a sarcastic plea: “Please, Orioles, continue to gut the farm for another Cubs pitcher off to a hot start who you have no intention of paying long term.”

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tries to unpack this whole Samardzija-Orioles business, and in doing so pretty much provides you with all you need to know about it.

Another prospect to throw into trade discussions, of course, is Dan Norris. He continues to look like he’s too good for the Florida State League — or at least his stat line does — and today Baseball Prospectus noted him for having one of the best outings in the minors last night. “The stuff has never been the question for Norris, but control issues threatened to keep him from reaching his ceiling. Unlike fellow Blue Jays prospect Aaron Sanchez, however, Norris has made great strides this year in that regard, lowering his walk rate to a very acceptable 2.6 BB/9,” they explain.

On the other hand, Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago notes that Keith Law and Buster Olney spoke on a recent podcast about what a good fit Samardzija would be for the San Francisco Giants. This, my friends, is why the Cubs aren’t about to budge on dealing him just because the Jays want him. There’s going to be a serious market for his services.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tells us that the Jays aren’t interested in giving up Drew Hutchison for the Shark. Gee, thanks Nick. Non-sarcastic thanks for this one, though: regarding the Jays’ belief in their ability to take the AL East, and their pursuit of starting pitching, “whether it be Samardzija or someone else, the Jays have all hands on deck, including special adviser Fred McGriff.” Hmmm. I wonder if the Crime Dog has a desk somewhere near the analytics plant.

Did you hear that the Jays are playing well? So did a lot of people, it turns out. To wit:

- Dave Cameron of Fox Sports looks at “positive regression.” He says that staying the course seems to have worked well for the club, but zeroes in on second base as an area requiring improvement — the top priority, he thinks, rather than on the mound. Interesting. Also interesting: the 2013 Jays gave 31% of their plate appearances to players who were below replacement level. Yeah… that’s not going to end well. Which, of course, it didn’t.

- Jonah Keri of ESPN.com doesn’t quite put the Jays among the elite clubs in his power rankings just yet (they’re 8th he says), but they’re moving up, and he details why: power. Notable for an Edwin’s Parrot GIF appearance and a plug for some mighty fine work by GROF.

- Elsewhere at ESPN.com, Tommy Rancel says that the Jays are showing they have staying power, while Christina Kahrl excellently shows how the Jays have had to adapt to overcome various roster challenges so far this season, and how well they’ve done so.

- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com looks at the Jays’ success, and suggests that they’re going to have to find themselves more pitching to sustain it.

On that note, we move to Blue Jays Plus, where Gideon Turk wonders about how the trade market for starting pitching will shape up, and comes up with two lower cost names that would still prove to be upgrades for the Jays’ rotation: Jason Hammel and Colby Lewis.

Elsewhere at BJP, Greg Wisniewski excellently breaks down an at-bat that saw Brett Cecil face off with Derek Norris over the weekend, and we’re re-treated to the scene last night from the Jays’ dugout, as Jose Bautista fanned an ultra-hot Edwin Encarnacion after yet another home run.

Speaking of Edwin, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet writes about how Encarnacion is outsmarting pitchers this year, as he wonders why the hell anybody is actually giving him anything to throw — unlike the approach Jose Bautista saw in April, when his hot bat was somewhat neutralized by 30 walks.

More from Shi: we’re told that Dioner Navarro is fine, despite getting hit on the index finger by the backswing of Jose Molina last night. Davidi also looks at how crucial the manager has been in the Jays’ success of late, noting that “lost amid the spate of wins, suddenly solid pitching and ongoing awesomeness of Edwin Encarnacion, the Toronto Blue Jays have quietly cobbled together a strong and very productive bottom of the lineup by exploiting a series of platoon split advantages.” Last week, he took a similar look at the Jays’ newly meritocratic roster, and how that’s been crucial to the success of the club as well.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Arden Zwelling tells us of the long road to the majors for tonight’s Jays starter, Australian right-hander Liam Hendriks.

Not everyone is buying the Jays quite as much as some national US writers and Jays fans are, it turns out. Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star wisely points out that this whole thing could still go either way, though two of his four reasons why it might go sideways — some sort of issue with Brett Lawrie playing at second (which is kinda working out great for now), and some thing about a lack of experience — don’t exactly pass the smell test over here. The stuff about the pitching, though, is entirely a legitimate concern.

Updating an item from yesterday: FanGraphs has added the velocity data for Drew Hutchison’s last outing to his game log page, and while it definitely dipped compared to previous starts, it didn’t show the stuff that the numbers at Brooks did. According to the FanGraphs numbers it was his second-lowest outing of the season in terms of velocity, as he averaged 90.7. The idea that he might have taken something off in order to pitch to a small strike zone continues to seem reasonable.

Sticking with FanGraphs, they rolled out some fancy new heatmaps today. Check out Edwin Encarnacion’s, then try to pick the outside corner on him low, or else you’re doomed.

Elsewhere still at FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan examines the changes in approach that seem to be helping Jeff Samardzija (and, as a consequence, the Cubs’ ability to get a boatload for him), while David Laurila posts a very Jays-heavy Sunday Notes column, chatting with R.A. Dickey, Buck Martinez, John Gibbons, and Steve Delabar.

Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail wades into the whole Jays honouring America’s Memorial Day debate that raged earlier in the week, and comes to a pretty damn rational conclusion, if you ask me (which you totally didn’t), explaining that he prefers “we treat the solemnity of that idea with the respect it deserves, which is to say, leave it outside the playground.” Uh-huh.

Elsewhere in the Globe, Kelly looks at John Gibbons’ “gutsy chemistry experiment,” while Robert MacLeod looks at the Buehrle-Navarro battery — a partnership that has been working extremely well so far.

Similarly, John Lott of the National Post looks at how J.A. Happ also seems to have a personal catcher, Erik Kratz, who has helped him get back on track — at least in his last couple of starts. (Speaking of Happ, Nick Ashbourne of Bluebird Banter looks at the left-hander’s new fastball velocity, which… actually isn’t really doing much to help him this year. At least not yet.)

Elsewhere in the Post, Lott looks at how the Jays’ call-ups have factored in to their run of success, and gives us an update (albeit a couple days old now) about where the injured Colby Rasmus and Sergio Santos are at — neither of whom looks like he’ll force a roster move until at least next week. If it ain’t broke…

Charlie Caskey has a big look at some potential Canadians (of the Vancouver variety), as well as a bunch of other notes from extended spring training (including word of a setback for Tom Robson, who is dealing with arm trouble) over at Your Van C’s.

Jays Journal has a new interview with Daniel Norris, apparently, but they put it in a fucking slideshow, so no.

“The premier of British Brolumbia wastes the goddamn time of a superhero,” tweets GROF, linking to a picture from John Lott’s Flickr in which Brett Lawrie mimes taking a batting practice selfie with Edwin Encarnacion, because… um… because Brett Lawrie.

Lastly, according to Twitterer @Angelo_riot, Jose Bautista was on Grandes en los Deportes radio today (the audio will come out later today or tomorrow, I’m told), and had some very good things to say about Kevin Seitzer (in Spanish, though Angelo has translated). “Seitzer’s philosophy has helped us a lot,” Bautista reportedly said. “Each plate appearance deserves a different approach; depends inning, runners, score.” He added, “Mottola was good but Seitzer is great. We’re a unit.”

Comments (110)

  1. Man. If the Orioles want to trade Bundy for the Shark, be my guest.

    • THEY’RE TOTALLY GOING TO JUMP THE SHARK, AREN’T THEY???!?!?!?! I’ll show myself out…

      • IIRC there were rumours they were going to sign both Santana and Ubaldo earlier. It sounds like they’re thinking this is their year to go all-in. I like that they may ante up like that for Shark. It weakens them for the long term and I think Shark will get somewhere near 5/125 when he goes FA after next year

  2. To me, the most significant part of the Law/Buster interview was what is happening in Arizona with Kevin Towers and Tony Larussa.

    The price for premier pitching is going to be absurd, so might as well beef up the offence with Cody Ross.

    • Truly awful idea.

        • Where the fuck does Cody Ross fit on this team? Who does he replace?

        • It would be a thoughtful idea if it wasn’t stupid and Cody Ross wasn’t garbage.

        • Did you even bother to look at that contract? $8.5-million this year and next (plus a $1-million buyout in 2015) for a guy who right now is offering you about as much as any warm body off the scrap heap, and even at the best of times is a weak fielding lesser-used side of a corner outfield platoon.

          I’ll take Kevin Pillar and the $17-million difference, thanks.

          • Pillar and Drabek for Ross could have the D-back pick up around 2 mil. So the pro rated salary for this year and the cash would bring the cost around 3 mil for ’14.

            If it doesn’t work, or the team becomes terrible again the Jay are off the hook for 1 mil.

            The way I see it, pitching is going to be WAY too expensive, just like we saw in the past two games, if our current cast of arms struggle, just keep mashing the ball and win 9-6 or 10-5.

          • I don’t want him to play outfield, he’s a DH and PH first in this situation, and occasionally the 4th OF.

            If some one gets hurt, bring up Gose.

            • That fact that no one agrees with you on this should tell you something. For whatever reason you ignored salary, defense and the value of everyone involved. No reason to stick to your guns and say your deal makes sense. Just admit you were wrong and spend 5 minutes analyzing your thought before posting instead of the 10 seconds you took this time.

              • If the Jays had even the slightest interest in an idea like this, they should have just resigned Rajai. He combines so many of the tools that the bench offers right now. Imagine a bench of Rajai/Gose/Thole/Tolleson right now? Too bad he didn’t sign with a rebuilding team that would trade him :)

              • I didn’t ignore salary. In fact, Stoeten misrepresented the numbers when he thought it would 17 mil…. 2014 prorate to 2/3 of the season is about 5.5 mil, they buyout is 1 mil. S we are talking 6.5 mil not 17 mil.

                Second, Arizona is a last place team on a verge of management shuffle. Due to this, they have plenty of incentive to unload Ross for two reasons A) dump salary in a lost season B) acquire some younger assists. This could easily create a situation where the Dbacks eat a few million….. so the cost now is down to 3.5 mil.

                Third, because of Ross’ cost and defensive liability his price and/or demand will be low, which means that he could be had for a C+ (Pillar) and a former/struggling B (Drabek). Drabek’s value has plummeted in recent years, but he’s still a young arm that teams are always willing to take a flyer on.

                If you want to quibble about what second tear prospects it would take, fine, but your missing the big picture here, we just need Ross to DH vs. LHP. H can be had for cheap/non priemium assets and the Dback’s are in position where they would kick in a few million to help swap their decks.

                As for not heeding the wisdom of all the people who disagree here, well, that’s just funny.

                • If the Jays wanted to trade with Arizona, wouldn’t Aaron Hill make more sense? Not that they would or should go after him.

                  You’re going to all this effort to suggest bringing in a guy who fills a need the Jays don’t have. It’s never ever ever going to happen, but go ahead and keep talking I guess.

                • If we’re talking to Arizona, can we have Aaron hill back instead?

  3. Moving this to a live thread. Regarding the fangraphs update on hutch’s velocity:
    It brings up an interesting question regarding the veracity of the data collection that we trust for calculating stats. I’ve never given it much thought until yesterday’s post, but you can see how different the outlook can be on a start depending on how a data collector classifies a given pitch. Call a few sinkers fastballs and all of a sudden velocity is down for a given outing. This, to me, is a really interesting angle I hadn’t considered for pitching data, and is certainly something I’ll keep in my mind going forward. Using numbers to look at baseball relies on having accurate numbers.

  4. I’d be more than ok with the O’s blowing their load for a pitcher.
    over the course of half a season, we’re maybe talking about what from him? 15 starts?
    I know he can be controlled for another year or two, but if the focus is this year, and winning, I just dont think you could make an argument that he’d for sure provide you with more wins.
    maybe 1 – 3 ish,
    is that worth 2 guys that have 50/50 shots of becoming rotation cornerstones?

  5. I think we are way closer to playing at our true talent level now. I definitely expected to be competitive if we were healthy enough.

    Having said that, we have lost (or had setbacks to) 3 of our total potential starters for this year: Morrow, McGowan and Stroman. Plus Sanchez is looking a lot less close to being ready.

    This good run could stop on a dime if the starting pitching gets knocked off the nice run they are on or loses another member. I mean we aren’t even really sure who the fifth starter is at the moment.

    I’m not saying trade the farm for Samardjizizja. But it would be nice to grab some kind of warm body that can throw strikes. I have a feeling we’ll need it before the season is through.

  6. So I go to Underground on King St after the game and Anthony Gose shows up alone. He sits down kind of on the perimeter of some girls that have been there a while. After about 15 mins of no one noticing him or talking to him I approach him and ask to take a selfie with him. He just bluntly says, “No.”

    I had heard rumours he was kind of a jerk and now I can vouch for that. He’s definitely kind of a jerk.

    • How is he being a jerk? He’s not at work, leave the guy alone.

      • Right???

      • I 100% agree that he’s on his own time and personally, I don’t approach “celebrities” for photos, autographs or whatever.

        That said, it wouldn’t be the worst thing for the guy to suck it up, flash a smile, let a fan take a quick pic, and make somebody’s night. He’s under zero obligation to do so as far as I’m concerned, but a little grace and class towards another human being–let alone one who is indirectly acknowledging that you’re renowned for doing something pretty special–wouldn’t hurt either.

        I’d never judge somebody I don’t know negatively based on a random anecdote, but if I had to guess, I’d bet a guy like Jose Reyes would say yes in this instance. Why not, right?

    • Did you actually use the word “selfie”? Cus I would have said no to you too.

    • What’s the obsession with getting a photo? How about talking to the guy like a normal human being first?

    • Stop trying to document your life.

    • I am going to join the chorus of people saying that he is not a jerk for this. I also get annoyed by the constant “selfie” garbage.

      Now if you had gone up and said “Hey Anthony, I love watching you play” and he said “Fuck off and die”, then you might have a point.

    • I sure as fuck hope you never used the word selfie. Be a man and quickly tell the guy you’re a fan and wish him luck. My wife and I saw the whole Jays team at a table in a quiet restaurant/bar in Cleveland when we were there in 2012. We stuck around and had a beer and as we were leaving I stopped by, told JP (I know I know) I was a fan and told them I hoped the season continued to go well. He might have shook my hand I can’t remember That was it though. They are baseball players, not fucking life saving doctors or universe altering scientists. Treat them like the normal people they should be treated like.

      • Agreed. Also, he’s in a bar, the internet exists, even beyond just using “selfie,” I think it’s pretty obvious why he might not be receptive to such a request. At least this person asked, though.

    • I have met the man. He was not a jerk

    • This is hilarious.

      I 100% said selfie.

      I obviously talked to the guy first before I asked him. He was literally sitting alone by himself. I didn’t interrupt him in the middle of a dinner or a conversation or something.

      The comments about him not working are pretty unfair. Pro sports is about the fans more than it is any other thing. All I’m asking is to stand beside him for 2 seconds while a picture is taken.To not oblige is to be a jerk in my opinion.

      I don’t think he was drinking at all by the way.

    • Don’t ask any question unless you’re prepared to hear No. Every parent teaches their kids this rule.

  7. With regards to trading for Shark, I believe some of the value lies in the fact that after 2015 you can offer him a QO and obtain an extra pick. This makes up for the boat load of prospects Theo wants!

    • It helps a little, but we’re talking about a theoretical guy who is most likely 16 right now. Not helping you for a long while, if ever, and a whole lot of projection and obstacles between now and then. They could draft a college guy, I guess, but you know what I mean.

  8. “Robert MacLeod looks at the Buehrle-Navarro battery — a partnership that has been working extremely well so far.”

    The 500 pound battery

  9. Griffen calling the 2B position a “mess” is a bit odd. Tolleson has been quite serviceable when called into action (even when he is giving Joey Bats the stinkeye, like he did last night), and Lawrie’s bat is much more acceptable at 2nd. I would loooooove a fulltime, above replacement-level second basemen, but for now I am fine rolling with this rotation.

    • It’s been working very well, yeah. Not sure what the complaint is there.

      • I didn’t really get what Griff’s concern about Lawrie at 2B was in the chat today was, either. But, of course, Griff is an idiot, so I rarely understand what the hell he is prattling on about. I find it’s stunning that this man has made a living from being associated with baseball in some way for the past 40 years

    • Bautista deserved that stinkeye yesterday. If you’re going to call him off, do so well in advance. When the guy is parked under the flyball yelling I got it, and the outfielder runs into him last minute, it is the outfielders fault. Bautista very lucky he makes the basket catch on that as well.

      • Agreed, seen many a nast collision because the OF doesn’t call loudly or too late.

    • Good ol’ Tolleson is OPS’ing over 1.000 this season, how nuts is that! 51PA ofc.

  10. I’m with Guideon Turk, and have been saying it myself for awhile.
    Get Hammel for much less. Samardjia is going to cost you 2 prospects, a testicle and thousands of dollars to sew his name on all those jersies.

  11. The idea that Sanchez, the consensus #1 jays prospect and a consensus top-30 prospect in baseball just 2 months ago, is now suddenly no longer a top prospect because of a high walk rate while posting a 3.54era in his first 50ip in AA, and has been surpassed by a number of other jays prospects due to two months of performance, is kinda….. dumb, really.

    • Is that an idea?

      ERA is pretty irrelevant to the discussion though. The backwards-trending peripherals DO matter. But you’re right that the idea that he’s fallen off the map or something is wrong.

      • Well if we’re throwing out prospect ratings and “stuff” and era and just looking at recent peripherals…

        Stroman (23, AAA): 35.7ip, 11.4k/9, 2.3bb/9, 2.11fip
        Gausman (23, AAA): 37.3ip, 8.3k/9, 3.6bb/9, 3.38fip

        Norris (21, A+): 50.3ip, 10.7k/9, 2.5bb/9, 1.64fip
        Bundy* (19, A+): 57.0ip, 10.8k/9, 2.8bb/9, 3.21fip

        Osuna* (17, A): 42.3ip, 10,8k/9, 2.3bb/9, 3.69fip
        Harvey (19, A): 47.2ip, 10.8k/9, 3.4bb/9, 3.48fip

        * – both have been out with TJ. These numbers from last level they pitched a decent number of innings at. Osuna is now 18, bundy is now 21.

        If these are what matter, it sure seems we can match anything the orioles can offer….even without sanchez.

      • Agree his k-rate is getting to the point where it’s not all that impressive, but Sanchez induces groundballs at a Tim Hudson clip, so there’s still that peripheral.

        Also, I can’t help but think that some of his bb-rate is attributable to not inducing swing and miss at borderline pitches out of the zone or potentially in the little checkered box on brooks zone. I’ve watched several of his outings on milb tv and his command/control is certainly poor (he misses A LOT down in the dirt and way up high), but to my amateur eyes, it looks like Jimenez and the coaching staff have him pretending he’s in the majors and don’t let him throw his fastball over the heart of the plate when he’s behind in the count. From a stats perspective, his BAA would go up, but i think his bb-rate is slightly inflated because of this.

    • I’m not sure ERA means all that much when you’re walking nearly as many guys as you strike out.

      Not that he isn’t still awesome, but I’d argue Stroman had already surpassed him as “#1 prospect” a while ago, and Norris isn’t far behind.

    • at some point he is going to have to refine his stuff… and consistently throw strikes. the longer he goes without doing so the more people will jump off the bandwagon. arguing about the right or wrong time to jump off is kinda…. dumb, really. (because no one knows what the fuck he really is at this point)

    • I guess you’re not really aware of how quickly prospects climb and fall in rankings.

  12. Id rather trade for shields than the shark as his cost will be less

    • Will it be that much less?

      • Only one of stroman/Sanchez/Norris+ compared to two for the shark

        • Only in a dream world where Dayton Moore is willing to downgrade from Myers to Norris for a year of James Shields. He’d might as well pack his bags right now in that case.

          • It was a genius move to sell high on myers.

            Myers big year last year was based on an unsustainable .362babip.

            He had an .855ops in AA, .876ops in non-PCL AAA, and now has a .761ops so far in mlb, though his .333babip is still probably too high to sustain. The projection systems have him as a .740ish ops bat going forward. And he has no defensive value.

            And for this overrated prospect, they got one of the game’s true studhorse aces in Shields. That guy is awesome.

        • Yeah, but why trade any of those guys? By the time Sanchez and Norris are ready to be in the Jays rotation, Dickey and Buerhle might well be gone, or at least won’t be 200-inning horses anymore. You’re looking at Sanchez, Norris and Stroman, along with Hutchison, to anchor your rotation in 2016, 2017, etc. Trading 1 or more of them for someone that may not sign here is pretty damn risky. If the goal is to improve this season, you can do so with a rental pitcher like Hammel for less than one of your top prospects.

  13. I wonder what Brandon McCarthy would cost in prospects. He’d be an excellent get for the back end of the rotation.

    Arizona firesale is imminent one would think.

    • Theoretically, what if Arizona bundles McCarthy and Hill? Not even sure we need Hill or that he’d agree to come back here, but I could see a trade like that working for both sides.

      • Works from a baseball perspective perhaps, if the Jays only give up marginal prospects, but it involves the Jays adding >$12m per year to payroll for this year, 2015 and 2016… Rogers seems not into that… and McCarthy is gone after this year…

  14. I am holding out hope for Shields, as he could make the difference not only getting to the playoffs but doing something while there. This might take awhile though as it would probably be Dayton Moore’s last act as GM or the first act of the GM that replaces Moore.
    Norris or Sanchez for Shields

    • Agree, I’d love Shields but considering that he gave up wuderkid Wil Myers to get him I’m sure he’d want a lot back. What he gave up shouldn’t have anything to do with it but he was blasted in the media when he made the trade and GM’s have egos like everyone else.

  15. I really look forward to the team proving this clownshoes wrong:

    http://mlb.si.com/2014/05/28/toronto-blue-jays-first-place-al-east-contenders/

    Yes, we are certainly catching the breaks lately, and some guys are a bit over the heir head, but he neglects some things like since Jannsen has been back, the BP has been significantly better. The main ERA culprits are gone (Wagner, Santos, Rogers, etc.), be it DFA’d or on the DL.

    .540 ball the rest of the way should get us this division, and considering what we have done to quality pitching and quality teams lately, saying we’re not a serious contender it a doltish move.

    • He makes some good points here and there, but his argument basically boils down to “The Jays have been amazing over the last month and they can’t continue to be this good so they aren’t for real.”

      I mean… “Francisco’s career high is 18 home runs and Lawrie’s career high is 11, so they won’t keep hitting for this much power” is such a ridiculously simplistic answer to a very complicated question that it’s kind of hard to take the article seriously.

      • It’s those dumb arguments that make me wonder why these people are gainfully employed.

        Francisco’s career-high HR tally is 18 – yeah, what were Bautista’s and Edwin’s when they came here at a similar age?

        Lawrie’s career-high HR count is 11 – yes, and Brett Lawrie is 24 years old. Before this season, up to the age of 23 and in the equivalent of 1.7 full seasons, he had hit 31 HR’s, or averaged 18 HR’s a season. So, ya know, shit fucking argument.

    • Some quick numbers:

      If the Jays play .403 ball the rest of the way, they’ll win more games than they did last year. Nothing to shoot for, obviously, but still.

      If the Jays continue their current winning percentage for the rest of the season, which is .585, they’ll finish 95-67.

      To get to 90 wins, which could very well earn them a playoff spot, they’ll have to go 59-51 the rest of the way, or .541. Seems pretty doable.

      Plus, there are a few teams in the AL having “2013 Blue Jays” seasons this year, where everything that can go wrong is going wrong. Texas and Tampa Bay for example, and Boston as well (though they still have all of their best players in the lineup, they’re just playing like ass). If New York would just cooperate and play like their lineup suggests they should be playing, we’d be sitting even prettier.

  16. Do you think Aaron Hill is a trade option?

    he would be a cheap pick up one would think.

    the SP we have right now has been working, but we are deeper then most teams right now.

    What would a Hill/Miley deal cost us?

  17. That article by Cathal doesn’t really sit right with me. I’m far from a proponent of war and I hate all the military stuff, but when it’s all said and done the Jays are a small piece of the MLB corporation. Every MLB team is doing it, so the Jays follow suit. It’s as simple as that. It’s nothing to do with, “we live in Canada so we shouldn’t have to”. Do you think John Axford enjoys it because he plays on an American team? I doubt it. I think Cathal needs to find better topics to cover. The Jays organization paid tribute to an American holiday because they are a piece of an American league that was celebrating it. It’s going to happen, get over it.

    • Not really all that different than us having to listen to the Star Spangled Banner every night.

    • I can only imagine the difficulties involved with producing the MLB schedule every year, but I have always wondered why some things that seem like blazingly obvious ideas get ignored. Memorial Day weekend – why wouldn’t the Jays be somewhere in the US? Why do they not always play in town on the Victoria Day long weekend? Same goes for July 1 and July 4. It’s not like there are a huge number of accommodations that have to be made there, they are the ONLY non-US team…

  18. time to hedge life and start betting against the jays

  19. I am a little surprised ol’ Griff hasn’t been eviscerated on here for his “leadership” article. Of course, I don’t really recall its contents, not have I examined DJF too closely since I have had a few wines, but, meh, I don’t know where I am going with this.

  20. The Tolleson/Francisco platoon has been absurdly effective. Even if it doesn’t keep up at this pace, I think we can stop acting as if 2B is the enormous sinkhole it was on Opening Day. At this point I’m a little more worried about the pen.

    • Francisco’s career against righties: 122 wRC+ in 690 PA
      Tolleson’s career against lefties: 134 wRC+ in 119 PA (and backed up by his minor league splits)

      I love the way Gibbons has worked the platoons this year, especially when it comes to making changes relatively early in the game when the situation calls for it.

      • Not sure that tolleson’s minor league splits back that up actually. Minor league central has his splits dead even (.761/.758) since 2011.

        Though francisco’s .963ops in milb v. Rhp since 2011 does back up his .819 in mlb.

        • That’s based on an outlier year in 2011, which is the only recent year in which Tolleson had a reverse split. From 2012-2014, he has an .825 OPS against lefties and a .721 against righties.

    • The platoon’s been nice. I think the idea of sustainability may even extend beyond this season though; if Francisco is the real deal, he could very well take Lind’s job next year, which would save the Jays $8 million in payroll (and give AA a damn decent trade chip in the process). Then, in that case, you’ll still need a second-baseman.

      • It’s obviously too early to really consider options like that (the sample size on Francisco, while it’s getting closer to meaningful and he continues to look awesome, is still only 114 PA), but it’s pretty impressive that they’ve found so much production in a minor league free agent with three years of control. He’s the kind of player that can really make a difference for a team at or near it’s budget limitation.

  21. Sports Illustrated thinks the Jays are due for a big regression, and aren’t really for real:

    http://mlb.si.com/2014/05/28/toronto-blue-jays-first-place-al-east-contenders/

    Realistically, they’re not going to have 8 game winning streaks all season. But they don’t have to be incredible – just better than the other clubs in the East.

    • Meh, there’s nothing in there we don’t already know. Pen’s been shaky, rotation may not hold up, and even if they win the East they may be cannon fodder in the playoffs. Can’t really argue with any of those points.

    • I disagree regarding the offense playing over its head. Notice here at this article from the start of the month: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/expected-run-differentials/

      In short, the Jays offense has somehow managed to be unlucky despite playing so well. Meanwhile our pitching staff has been twice as lucky as the offense was unlucky, so it cancelled out as a positive for us.

  22. Maybe I’m reading to much into this, but I come away from that Cathal Kelly piece and thinking that he presented Bautista as a problem in the clubhouse at the end of last season and someone who might be now except that he’s been pushed back by the ‘clubhouse leaders’ who have emerged like Buehrle and EE. At least that’s how I’m reading it. Feel free to point out how wrong I am, Stoeten. But that’s how the piece reads to me. Note, this is not my opinion of the clubhouse situation. But it does sound like it’s Cathal Kelly’s.

    • I agree, but it’s strange because it doesn’t sound like something Kelly would say.

    • I thought so too on first read. But the only mention of Bautista is that moving him would be a ‘major shakeup’. Perhaps one could infer from the omission of his name of “preferred leaders” that Kelly feels Bautista is a NON preferred leader on the team? Is that a stretch?

      • I don’t have the article in front of me but I think he talked about the preferred leaders pushing aside more thin-skinned nervous types or words to that effect. And the only suggested trade was Bautista. And it was just that his name came right between the bad clubhouse at the end of the season and the better clubhouse now with the word ‘trade’ attached…

  23. I can’t stop laughing at the Bro Lawrie pretend selfie

  24. Even broken bats are going our way.

  25. Good Archer out of the game

  26. I think he misquoted Buck in that piece on Fangraphs. I went back to the tape and came up with:

    “When I got to Milwaukee in 1978, George Beefeater’s was the bartender,” said Martinez. “The first thing he said to the serving staff was, ‘Girls, we’re going to increase the drinks by double. Buck can have 80 drinks in a night.’ He wanted our servers to limit the time of empties drinker’s saw. That helped turn me on to Old Milwaukee.”

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