jeterdome

OK, OK, we’ll do a proper game threat. Yes, it’s been a lazy couple of days ’round here on DJF mountain. Don’t expect that to continue next week, but it seemed as good a time as any to check out for a little bit — even though I actually was at Rogers Centre for the past two games, the latter of which was one of the most enjoyable of the season (at least among those I’ve been to, I think) — and to give the ol’ mind brain a reset. Which I’m totally going to keep doing over the long weekend, I suspect, unless anything too crazy happens.

This, of course, will mean there will be no weepy paeans to Deh-reck Jeet-ah from these parts, as “the captain” makes his last appearance in Toronto, save for an unlikeliest-of-unlikely trip back here during the post-season. He’s had a pretty terrific career, though, obviously, and it’ll actually kinda be nice this weekend that Jays fans won’t reflexively boo him just because he’s the only name on the other team that half of them recognize. Y’know?

Scuttlebutt

Meh. Oh, except for this!…

Lately Facebook changed its algorithm with respect to sharing, it’s really become a much more powerful social media tool, and so it’s probably in your best interest to just go right ahead and like DJF on Facebook. That way you can get everything that’s posted here injected straight into your feed-veins.

And while we’re at it, you might as well follow me on Twitter, follow @DrunkJaysFans, and follow the dusty ol’ DJF Instagram too!

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 1:07 PM ET vs. New York (AL); Sunday, 1:07 PM ET vs. New York (AL)

For those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app.

And now, the lineups… 

Toronto Blue Jays

SS Jose Reyes (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
C Dioner Navarro (R)
3B Danny Valencia (R)
2B Steve Tolleson (R)
DH Colby Rasmus (L)
CF Kevin Pillar (R)

LHP Mark Buehrle

Poo Yuck Stankees

CF Jacoby Ellsbury (L)
SS Derek Jeter (R)
3B Martin Prado (R)
1B Mark Teixeira (S)
C Brian McCann (L)
DH Carlos Beltran (S)
LF Brett Gardner (L)
RF Ichiro Suzuki (L)
2B Stephen Drew (L)

LHP Chris Capuano

It’s my friend Kevin’s birthday, so I’m already at the bar, and about to head to the game, and so all I’ve got for you tonight is this half-assed Game Threat… which, honestly, is pretty much all this damn season deserves at this point anyway, eh? I’ll come back around, it’s just right now it’s a little tough to get amped about the grind. I know you know this too!

gobbons

That. Is. Amazing.

Huge crotch grab in the direction of @bigmf99 for the screen grab from BlueJays.com, and I hope it’s intentional, but no, this is not a post in which I’m going to join the army of dopes who think they can divine a manager’s ability to imbue his team with “want.” Because that would be stupid. (I am, in the coming weeks, hopefully going to do a series of posts making the case to keep Anthopoulos, to fire him, to rebuild, and to keep going ahead with the current core — all of which are pretty defensible positions — but Gibbons? Nah, he’s good).

Also stupid, probably, is combining the little gag above with a post about Sergio Santo’s latest DFA, but the picture came across my screen as I was searching for something to write about all that, and… um… about that… uh… thing is…

Santos’s miserable season continued last night, as he managed to get just one out, followed by a monstrous Mike Napoli home run, a double, and then yet another dinger, turning the 6-4 deficit Casey Janssen (and some terrible defending) had left him with in the top of the 11th into an 11-4 disaster. And it was indignity piled on indignity this morning, as the club made it official that Santos has been designated for assignment, with Chad Jenkins being recalled.

Santos has a $6-million club option for next season, and even though declining it means costing the club $750K, plus another $1.5-million to buy out his 2016 and 2017 options as well, certainly they’re not going to pick that option up. And putting him through waivers at least gives the club a chance, unlikely as it is, that some team will claim him and they can be off the hook for those buyouts.

It’s pretty much the same story as the last time he was designated, only with Chad Jenkins, not Rob Rasmussen, being the player recalled in his place, and without the possibility that Sergio will go back down to the minors and find himself. He may yet clear waivers and find himself back on the 40-man and back on the roster before all is said and done, but I’d figure that in all likelihood Santos’s time with the Jays is over.

Welp. It was a good try…

chart

Uggggggggghhhh…

pillarlooks

HELLO KEVIN PIL– … wait… huh? He’s not even in the lineup?

Fuck, I don’t know.

Nolan Reimold DFA?

reimoldeatsit

I love this picture so fucking much. But, sadly, this post isn’t about that. It’s about a strange bit of news for a Tuesday morning. You see, last night Jenn Smith (aka @GTAChick78) tweeted that Nolan Reimold had been designated for assignment by the Jays, with Kevin Pillar coming up to take his place on the big league roster.

Jenn has been right on these sorts of roster moves before — including getting Danny Valencia’s name first after rumours started circulating that the Jays had made some sort of a deal with Kansas City back in late July — and this morning MASN’s Orioles beat reporter, Roch Kubatko, strengthened her case, tweeting that Reimold had indeed been designated for assignment last night.

So that’s… weird. If it’s true.

The Jays haven’t made any sort of official announcement for the move yet. Perhaps they’re trying to dream up some kind of a justification for it, because while Reimold has certainly not been good, at the very least he’s an outfield option under team control for next year. That’s slightly important for this club, given the potentialdepartures of both Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera via free agency, which would leave the club with only Pillar, Jose Bautista, and Anthony Gose as somewhat-viable everyday outfielders. (Or… well… Bautista’s obviously beyond viable, but Gose has some pretty severe platoon issues, and Pillar has yet to show anything at the big league level and is allergic to walks).

Obviously a Blue Jays team looking to be successful in 2015 isn’t going to have a tonne of use for a guy like Reimold, but he’s still some sort of an asset, and with the way the team has shown a borderline obsession with not simply giving players away — hellooooooooooo Juan Francisco — this would seem to be a really odd move. And especially oddly-timed.

Is it disciplinary? Related to the dropped ball that cost the team on Sunday? Is it a sign that they think they can keep Melky in the fold and won’t need Reimold going forward? Do they want Pillar eligible for their (very hypothetical) playoff roster? Do they want a 40-man spot for Dalton Pompey? Did they promise Reimold a chance to catch on with a playoff team when they… claimed him on waivers?

That last one’s not likely. Maybe none of those are. Maybe this isn’t even a real thing that has happened and I’m just wasting everybody’s time here. Maybe it’s simple desperation and entirely performance based — after all, in 46 plate appearances since he returned from the DL on July 30th he’s hit an abysmal .175/.239/.350 — but with five games to go before rosters expand?

Uh… if they were going to get desperate enough to shed some of their bottom-of-the-roster fodder, wasn’t the time for that maybe something like sixteen or twenty days ago? At least?

Update

Shi Davidi confirms it at Sportsnet, suggesting that Reimold was a DFA candidate because of his recent struggles, and that the club is going to need spots on the 40-man roster to add Daniel Norris and Brandon Morrow (who is getting closer to returning after throwing some live BP in Dunedin over the weekend). Not sure how getting rid of either Colt Hynes or Matt Hague (who both, apparently, exist) wouldn’t have been a better options to clear a 40-man spot. Or Juan Francisco. But… what the hell do I know, I guess. Still think it’s a little weird.

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Daily?

Here we go again. Scott MacArthur of TSN.ca writes that the Jays should be willing to trade Jose Bautista in the off-season. The club’s positional portion of the roster “is built to win now. You could argue the positional roster is beyond its ability to win, past its prime. Centrefielder Dalton Pompey is the only positional prospect of consequence playing higher than Single-A. He’s currently at Triple-A Buffalo,” he explains. “It’s time for the Jays to supplement the young pitchers with a more youthful positional corps. The way to do that is to take the best asset, Bautista, and use his prodigious productivity and cheap contract to secure a haul.” I might agree if Bautista’s contract wasn’t so good. I might agree if whatever young position players they could get their hands on wouldn’t come with huge question marks that Bautista doesn’t. I might agree if I thought this team was irrevocably broken and not just a few savvy tinkers away from being able to make noise in the AL East again. I might agree that the age gap is such a concern if there hadn’t been 16 playoff games started by pitchers age 23 and under in the last two seasons, and 47 made by pitchers age 24 and under in the last four. I might agree… but I don’t.*

McArthur focused on roster construction as the reason Bautista could be in play this winter, but it’s certainly not like there hasn’t been a bunch of peripheral noise being made around the Jays’ superstar this week — much of his own doing. But even as things may have been getting worse (though not in my eyes) with his shouldn’t-be-shocking reluctance to sing the praises of Rogers, they may have been getting better, too. One example is Bob Elliott’s counterpoint to Scott’s trade talk, writing in the Toronto Sun — in a piece with a big, bold headline — that Bautista isn’t going anywhere. At least not in the player’s view. “I’m not going anywhere until the end of my contract,” he says.

Of course, he doesn’t really have any say in that. Not yet, at least — but it’s damn close. I thought I was super sharp for thinking of this, but it was actually brought up first by a caller on last night’s JaysTalk, as I later discovered: Bautista will end this season having spent six full years on the Jays’ active roster (plus part of 2008, after he was acquired from Pittsburgh), and will have nine years and 165 days of big league service time — just seven days short of ten years of big league service. Seven days short of earning his ten and five rights, and the right to veto any trade. If they don’t trade him this off-season, it will become very difficult to do so. Edwin Encarnacion, by the way, will also hit the milestone by the end of next season.

It’s worth repeating and adding to this, even though I proved a link in last night’s piece: Shi Davidi vindicates Bautista’s contention that he didn’t deserve his ejection on Sunday afternoon. “hey were both down. They were both down. It’s a one-run game,” is what Davidi quotes Bautista as saying in a piece last night at Sportsnet. “You gotta go,” umpire Bill Welke responds. “I’m not cursing you,” Bautista responds, and is then ejected. It wasn’t the first time, Shi reminds us, that Bautista was run by Welke: “On Aug. 26, 2011 in Toronto, Welke was behind the plate for another game between the Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays, and called a second strike in Bautista’s third at-bat that he didn’t like. A few pitches later Bautista struck out for the third time against James Shields, and when he returned to the dugout began smashing the wall with his bat and cursed out, earning an ejection from Welke. Once tossed, Bautista proceeded to throw his bat, helmet, elbow pads and other accoutrements onto the field.” Hmmm.

Ben Lindbergh of Grantland take an excellent, deep look at players who have lost their prospect eligibility this season, and how they have trended in the eyes of scouts, scouting directors, analysts, and other executives, and I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the huge main image at the top of the post is of Marcus Stroman. He leads off the “trending up” portion of the piece, and why the hell shouldn’t he? One person he spoke to says that Stroman has already proven himself a capable mid-rotation starter, but another seems to go farther. ”I was worried about the lack of an out pitch vs. LHHs, although I did think he’d be able to stick as a starter. The development of his cutter and fastball command have essentially molded him into a pitcher with three plus offerings.” Nails much?

Aaron Sanchez, by the way, gets an honourable mention in the “trending up” section after he received multiple up votes himself. However, Sanchez is also mentioned later, as at least one of those surveyed felt he’d trended down.

Here’s something fun: though he is at least reasonable enough to point out that there’s no way to know if it was a grave error for the Jays to have not found more reinforcements at the trade deadline (have you seen this? have you heard about this?) or something else, and to note that both the Tigers and A’s — huge deadline winners, we were told — have suffered as well, but Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs looks at the changes in playoff probabilities across the majors since July 31, and HOLY FUCKING SHIT. The Jays have lost 56 percentage points off their odds as of that date — by far the most in baseball. Detroit’s 30 points and Atlanta’s 20 percentage points lost are second and third highest, so… yeah.

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