pentecost

The draft continues on, and I’ve done a pretty poor job of following it since last night’s write-up about Jeff Hoffman. So… let’s rectify some of that, shall we? Starting with this awesome image awesomely from Crashburn Alley, which came from a post back in October, pivoting off Keith Law and Chris Crawford’s top 2014 draft prospect rankings for ESPN.com. The awesomely-named Jays’ eleventh overall pick was actually ranked eleventh at the time, and those of you with insider will also note where number nine pick Jeff Hoffman was: ranked second. The Crashburn stuff, though… so good.

Like Hoffman, Pentecost is a college player — though as I’m sure you know by now, he’s a catcher. A real catcher, that is. Unlike some of the other high picks who played the position last year, Pentecost is expected to be able to stick at the position. In his live draft analysis at ESPN.com, Crawford explains that “Pentecost was rumored to go as high as pick No. 4 to the Cubs, but at the end of the day he went where his value suggested he should. None of his tools are plus, but as a catcher who has average to above-average tools across the board, he could move through the Blue Jays system expeditiously, and Toronto fans are well aware that they are in need of a catcher for the future.”

Pentecost is called a “rare catcher who could have average or better tools across the board, has a chance to hit for solid average and power” by MLB.com, who also make the requisite pointing out of the fact that he is “coming off a summer in which he was MVP of the Cape Cod League and led the premier college summer circuit with a .962 OPS.”

In their pre-draft rankings, ESPN had Pentecost at 22nd, which may have made some think the pick is a bit of a reach. As above, the reports are good, though: “The draft’s best pure catcher, Pentecost can catch, throw, run and hit for average,” we’re told. “The biggest question facing him is how his unorthodox swing will handle wood bats and pro pitching.” Baseball America was a little higher on the possibility of him doing so, as they ranked him 10th overall, while MLB.com had him 19th.

Giving out grades on the first day of the draft is a little bit absurd, but there’s some analysis to be done with respect to the strategy on display, and the Jays ended up big winners according to Law and Crawford. Law lists Toronto among his day one winners, for the obvious reason on Hoffman, and especially how he relates to the club’s second round pick. The Jays, he explains, “could also save some money by signing Hoffman for under slot, as he has zero leverage, and put it toward signing later picks, including prep righty Sean Reid-Foley, their second-round selection. Reid-Foley has a rough delivery but repeats it well and now shows three average or better pitches.”

Crawford elaborates in his roundup of day two winners, which also includes the Jays. Broken down by division, he calls Reid-Foley the highest upside of any AL East second-rounder, and explains that this “was an arm I thought would go in the first 20 to 25 picks, but for whatever reason, his stock fell over the past few days. The Toronto Blue Jays should feel fortunate to pick up a right-hander with this kind of talent this late, though, as he has two plus pitches in his 90-94 mph fastball and quality slider. His change should be an average offering as well. ”

Jeff Hoffman actually spoke with the local media after he was selected, and Gregor Chisholm has the transcript up over at North of the Border. Meanwhile, at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi tries to answer several key draft-related questions, including whether the Jays will actually sign the players they picked (gotta say yes here), and just what the hell happened with Tyler Beede and Phil Bickford. Thing is, the unsigned pick business has actually worked out pretty well for the Jays: Noah Syndergaard was the comp pick for not signing James Paxton, Beede begat Marcus Stroman (and also allowed the Jays to find funds to add late-round signability guy Dan Norris), and now Bickford has become Hoffman. Not saying it’s something the Jays should want to do, but all the whining about it is a little overblown, no?

Anywho, moving on from the draft…

I’ll mention it again in the Game Threat, but this is certainly noteworthy: Edwin Encarnacion is back in the Jays’ lineup tonight, after missing yesterday’s game with a sore back. He’ll DH, but that’s still a pretty damn good sign.

Minor move alert! The Jays added a small piece of bullpen depth, signing veteran right-handed reliever, Luis Ayala. MLBTR has the details, explaining, “The 36-year-old Ayala has been a solid bullpen piece for the past three seasons after it looked like his career was beginning to fade. He’s pitched for the Yankees, Orioles and Braves from 2011-13, posting a strong 2.58 ERA with 6.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate north of 50 percent.”

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi talks to Bob Stanley about the late Don Zimmer. Stanley, the Jays’ bullpen coach, joined the Boston Red Sox in 1977 — the second of Zimmer’s five years as manager there.

And one more from the team owner: our old friend the Tao of Stieb says that it’s time to temper our expectations for Brett Lawrie, but there’s a twist! “It’s time we stopped waiting for Lawrie to become something greater,” he says, “and start to recognize the value in the player he already is.” I can live with that.

Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun engages in some magical thinking as he explains that the Jays should deal Colby Rasmus, while pretending that they’re actually going to be able to get something pretty good in exchange for him. Better than the pick they’ll get when he walks, plus the value he’ll provide over the rest of the season (which, FYI, will be more than Anthony Gose does or can do)? I don’t think so.

Chris Mosch of Baseball Prospectus looks at the high-flying Jays, while at Sports On Earth, Dirk Hayhurst looks at Old Faithful: aka Mark Buehrle, a successful season from whom, he suggests, “may not answer all of baseball’s arm health questions, but could help baseball ask some desperately needed new ones.”

It’s not attendance shaming from Bob Levin of the Globe and Mail, but something quite the opposite. He recounts the summer when he was 12, as his hometown team, the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, collapsed and scarred him as a baseball fan for life. And in doing so, he offers this advice: “So take your time, Toronto fans; you’re entitled to your skepticism, your caution, never mind an aversion to the soulless dome or break-the-bank beer and nachos. Go when you’re ready. But go eventually – because, on balance, as Lord Tennyson almost said, ’tis better to have loved a team that lost than never to have loved at all.’ ”

In his game story for the National Post, John Lott looks at Thursday afternoon’s win with an emphasis on the impact of the Jays’ new hitting coach, Kevin Seitzer.

The Blue Jay Hunter tells us the tale of the unfortunately-named Domer, the original SkyDome mascot, who’ll be making a return appearance tonight in celebration of the building’s 25th anniversary.

Lastly, the Toronto Star looks at the fact that the Jays are 5.5 games up in the AL East, examining just how rare an occurrence that has been.

Comments (521)

  1. Not just kids. It was some asshole with his girlfriend fucking up Edwin’s attempt to catch a foul earlier in the week.

  2. For me this is the biggest reason I love instant replay, that kid doesn’t have to be a goat because the replay will give the Jays the out since Joey Bats was about to catch that so he doesn’t have to get booed, you shitty fans at the ‘Dome.

  3. That kid still deserves a smacking

  4. ban that little shit for life

  5. Kid was born after the Bartman incident, kid has noooooo idea of the implications………LOL the kid found out he was not going to die tonight LOL

  6. I was sympathetic to the kid… now not so much.

  7. Jesus! It’s a fucking kid! Relax!

  8. Do it CJ, doooooooooo it

  9. Long camera pan to a beard and a smoking blonde….

  10. Rofl bucks drunk again

  11. That kid is a walking poster for retroactive abortion.

  12. Nice call Buck

  13. I don’t think that kid will forget the shame of that,ever. Nor will he forget the Stinkeye from Jose.

  14. “Everything good is ruined by children. Travel, restaurants, parks, ice cream trucks.”
    -Mark Corrigan from Peep Show

  15. Playoffs!!!!

  16. Ball game

  17. Guys, lay off the kid. You sound like assholes.

    • Agreed. They sound like his classmates at elementary school.

      • I’m glad.Bautista was mad but didn’t take it out on the kid. Pro move. I hope he’ll go up and give the kid a ball, and remind him about what to do in those close foul ball plays.

  18. WIN!

  19. Fucking Right Budddddddddd

  20. Great game. Loving me some Stroman. Didn’t have his best stuff and was still filthy.

  21. All I can say is that I hope the Jays management start to learn a lesson from these foul ball plays; I will say what I have said for four years – at the beginning of the game, everyone in the front row needs to be told that when the Jays are batting, lean back on a foul ball, and when opposition hitters are up – hold the vertical line of the wall. – Simple, reinforced every game and ingrained in all those around who can start to grab fuckers whose eyes light up at getting a ball. It is going to have bad implications if it happens in an important game.

  22. You see for the Bartman incident, the ball was clearly falling into the stands, thus it was the right call that time. As of tonight we have the Replay and challenge, and the ball was not going into the stands, so it’s all fair.

  23. Time to crack open a sixer of Stroh’s.

  24. 3-3 in the 10th….. not sure who to cheer for BAL or OAK?

  25. Good game. A’s just threw on Oriole out at home in extras.

  26. game after game the other team plays good enough to win and the Jays win anyway … that’s a winning team and feels great, eh?

    • Good to see that your people haven’t taken you to ‘the retirement farm’ yet.
      However, be alert.
      And enjoy the present fully.

  27. I used to get beats for bringing home 99% test results.
    And my dad never took me to any Blue Jays games so I have a right to think that a kid in the first row who brought his glove to the game should be booed.
    Tarring and feathering would be going too far, I’ll admit.

    • You need more hugs, dude. And beer. The kid is alright.

    • You’re name is thewaronhugs, you are clearly damaged goods. Scarred for life. Totally fucked emotionally. You should know this and look to us, the well adjusted adults, for cues on how to respond to slights and children making mistakes.

      • I love kids! But that kid was nine and old enough to know not to try to grab a ball from a ball player.
        But maybe you’re right in that my anger is misplaced and I should redirect it elsewhere – like Blue Jays management.
        Plus I was at the gym for high intensity work out for the 7th and 8th innings and coupled with my first Red Bull ever an hour ago, so I’m fucking pumped and angry and I will be alone the rset of my life and only my money loves me.

  28. Jamie Campbell is lit too.

  29. He is just a kid, but Zaun’s right, he shares a striking similarity to Bartman. The hat, the glasses…

    • Spoiled and brought his glove. If he is lucky enough to have those seats, he should have an idea of how the game is played

      • Are you serious? Get over yourself.

      • Yeah because everybody knows that if your parents are wealthy you automatically have to know more than everyone else except maybe money doesn’t make you a better person. Maybe it’s just luck. Maybe a child is a child and deserves a pass for behaving LIKE A CHILD.

        They got the out, for chrissake

    • I’ve got a friend in Chicago that knew Bartman. He’s just a nerdy probably aspergers type that loved the Cubs. He just let excitement get the best of him.

      Meanwhile it wasn’t even the play that cost them. That was shitacular former Jay Alex Gonzalez.

      Bartman was made a whipping boy by the Chicago media and it was a really shitty thing.

  30. Campbell reminding me of the DFA photoshop …. http://blogimages.thescore.com/djf/files/2013/04/DFA-JOSES.jpg

  31. Gawd I despise Zaun. Such a douchebag. Think he’s drunk. Huge gin blossom.

  32. I didn’t see what happened but reading all of your responses is probably more entertaining anyways.

    • Kid tried to get foul ball, was five, was in Jose’s way. Ruled out anyway after review. JAYS WIN.

      Jerks pick on kid free of context like this is some kind of junior Fox News commenter training ground.

      that’s about it, Bean

      • Well put. Except I also got to feel good about myself for commenting BEFORE THE GAME about one of the reasons why I love replay is that Bartman wouldn’t have even been a thing because it would have been reviewed and called an out AND then the Cubs would have still fucked it up and lost because they’re the goddamn Cubs.

      • Yeah, he’s just a kid having fun. I think Jose’s look to him was stern and fatherly. As in, it’s okay but don’t ever do that again.

        By far the best reaction from a player I’ve ever seen on fan interference was from Carlos Delgado. Grown assed man snatches a ball that Carlos would have caught. He stared right into the guy’s eyes as he knocked the ball out of his hand and threw it back to the pitcher. It was Epic Ownage.

    • Dad should probably have pulled the kid back but Jose didn’t need to throw a wobbly about it. Either way it’s all good. We won and the Sox lost and with luck so will the OriLOLes.

      • Meh. I think he needed to be demonstrative – to the umps.

      • The thing is, at least JBauts made the demonstration subtle and not a big deal. What really fucked the Cubs and the ENTIRE clubhouse psyche was Alou acted like a total whiner-bag in front of everyone and deflated his team by blaming the fans that interrupted him.

        • Yeah, Alou made it an excuse to lose. It’s a very Cubs thing, gotta have a scapegoat when it inevitably goes sour. The Leafs are like that too.

  33. A’s take the lead 4-3 on the Orioles.

  34. Still 2 men on ne out. Come on Oakland!

  35. Little bit of Magic happening at the RC.

  36. A’s win 4-3.

  37. Kind of wild that our boys.have played four more games than the Os

  38. O’s lose, Jays lengthen A.L. East lead.

  39. another day, another W

  40. 6.0 game lead yeah!

  41. This game was nuts.

  42. Royals heading into the bottom of ninth down 4-2 to the Yankees.

  43. Max Pentecost needs to be up top every fucking day.

  44. to imagine how special the jays current run is, is summed up in the griff article linked above.

    “Toronto has led by five or more for 105 days in team history — 13 days in 1993, four days in 1992, 36 days in 1991 and 52 days in 1985.”

  45. Jays: 38-24
    Rays: 24-38

    • Wow

      I feel really bad for the Rays right now. All their luck is bad this year.

      Price is certainly going to get dealt.

  46. Yankees win 4-2.

  47. Jays with largest lead in AL, 6.5 games vs Oakland’s 6 game lead over LAAoA

  48. The kid was 11 at least lol at those saying he’s 5 obviously you guys don’t have a house full of the little bastards like I do

  49. What the fuck is up with zahn a day his boner for price! No way in he’ll stroman or hutch can be used for a trade for Price. AA will not use a current starter in a trade for an upgrade and definitely not in the same division. Now, could they send Sanchez and their number 1 pick after they sign him for Price? I’d still rather have Shields.

  50. What an incredible season this has been so far. Is this what watching the jays in 92/93 felt like?

    • No. By 92 jays fans had been use to 7 years of competitive baseball. This is better. Beer is good. Having one after not having one for a while is fuckloads better.

      • Yes, thelong drought after success makes this year much sweeter.

        But the confidence, balance and focus reminds me a lot of the 92 team.

      • Yeah, in 92/93 it felt like the Jays were the best team in baseball and everybody knew it so you expected to win. It was fun, but it felt like probably how being a Yankees fan has felt like for a lot of the last few decades.

        Granted I was 14 so my memory could be faded, but this is more fun and exciting because no one is entirely convinced it will last.

        • Also I’d like to add that interleague play didn’t exist back then (which I prefer immeasurably). It was SO fun to get to the world series because it felt like the Braves and Phillies were so foreign and in OUR city, and then when we’d go to Atlanta or Philly it felt like we were truly on enemy ground. You’d just never seen the team before except in brief grainy TSN sportscentre highlights.

          Thanks for letting me re-live the years when I TOTALLY would’ve reached into the field of play for a foul ball given the chance, without realizing the implications. That kid was probably crying watching Jose re-enacting the play on the field while the umps had their headphones on and both teams stood watching anxiously.

    • Yes, it’s like that.

      Watching Robbie and Devo play D those years was a rare treat. The team had so much confidence.

      For all the bitching about Cito, he was a great manager in the sense that he gave his players a work environment that they thrived in. Francona does the same thing and so does Gibbons. I’m sold on Gibby now. I had some doubts when he was hired.

      I think DeMarlo Hale and Seitzer have made a huge difference too.

  51. For all you smug people out ther who thought we gave up too much for Dickey, the can’t miss D’Arnaud is hitting .181. That’s Aaron cibia eske

  52. So I am not advocating Gose over Rasmus, but decided to look at the advance stats for Gose and Rasmus this season. For the Season for Gose is sporting a WPA to Rasmus is .17.

    Next I decided to Look at WAR Currently for the season fangraphs has Gose rated a .9 WAR in 24 games75 PA. Now before Stoets plays the Gose is sheltered, well Pillar has played in 21 games for 33 PA. Rasmus for the season has a -.01 WAR. which ties him for the same war as Goins in 37 games and 143 PA.

    • My pc decided to post that before I was done….

      Now why is Gose rated .9 war? fangraphs is high on Gose defense, assigning a 5.7. Rasmus sitting at -6.8 for the season

      Now in the 6 seasons Rasmus has been in the bigs, he has a 50/50 split on when his defense breaks in the positive direction. in 2009 he had an a 11.5 def value, 2012 2.1, and 2013 12.9. In 2010 -4.1, 2011 -6.7, 2014 -6.8.

      Next lets look at wrc+. Rasmus 3 times has an above 100 wrc+, 2014 104, 130 in 2013, and 130 in 2010. However he also put up 89 in 2009, 90 in 2011, and 83 in 2012.

      Now Gose having his best year by wrc+ is currently spotting a 97. Now that is currently hyper inflated as his avg is flat lining. However, it is also interesting to note that Gose is the same age as Rasmus 2010 year and still through three years lacks enough PA for a season worth of PA in the bigs.

      Now Rasmus is still only 28, but after missing significant time in 2013 and 2014, we need to ask ourselves does he have the stamina to play 140+ games, or will he need a platoon or mid season call up to play when he goes down?

      In 6 seasons of sample via WAR, the biggest question mark with Rasmus is whether 2013 is the real Rasmus, or the every 2nd or 3rd year outlier. With 2011, and 2012′s he had a .5 and 1.1 WAR and 2014′s current -.1 you have to ask yourself is Rasmus worth 15 million?Now if he puts up another 4+ war season like 2010 and 2014 then he most certainly will be.

      By best estimates Rasmus is looking at a BJ Upton type contract 5/ 75, or the QO 1/14.1 likely hitting about 1/15 in 2015. As much value as Rasmus provided in 2013, if 2013 is not the median average, but the statistical outlier it draws into question whether he is worth 15 mill a season. The magic question though is if the jays offer Rasmus a QO would he take it? As valuable as Rasmus was last year, I am not sure AA or Rogers would be willing to pull the 5/75 type contract and might be in on the QO. Is Rasmus worth 1 year at 15 million? Or is he more valuable signing somewhere else and the jays earmarking the cash for a pitcher, thus having a pick in hand and 2-3 million slot value, and paying gose and pillar 500k each to platoon CF?

      I personally think Rasmus is more valuable offered a QO and either accepting and turning it down over trading him for a mid season rental. I agree that Gose does not have the avg or or obp to be a top of the grade CF. But, a 1 million Gose/Pillar platoon would be more valuable than a 15 million Rasmus. If the jays played in a vacuum and could afford to keep Rasmus, Melky, Janseen and sign a pitcher do it, but since they were capped this year, I think earmarking that money else where instead of rasmus makes sense.

  53. I think manny machado looked like a little bitch yesterday.

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