Archive for the ‘Toronto Blue Jays’ Category

Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants

The Toronto Blue Jays claimed pitcher Guillermo Moscoso off waivers from the Kansas City Royals. He will fill the open spot on the 40-man roster that opened up after the release of David Cooper.

Oakland Athletics v Toronto Blue Jays

2012 was a very bad, ungood year for Ricky Romero. It started well enough but, by the end of the season, Ricky Romero was one of the worst starters in baseball. Romero struggled with his control and struggled to get anybody out.

Romero’s best weapon has long been his change up, his swing-and-miss pitch that batters somewhat gave up on in 2012. Romero’s great love of the change up gives him very odd reverse splits – lefties hit the left-handed starter much harder than righties. Much of this owes to Romero’s reluctance to throw his change up to arm-sided batters. As a result, teams like the Rays love loading their lineup with lefties to gain an edge (not to mention get under Romero’s skin a little bit) by taking away his best weapon.

Lefties hit Romero harder than usual in 2012 but righties did as well. Romero posted the worst numbers of his career across the board last season, posting the worst ERA and third-worst FIP among starters in baseball. This came after Romero looked very much like a number two starter in 2011, where he danced between the raindrops to post a 2.92 ERA versus a 4.20 FIP.

The Blue Jays need Romero to be more like the 2011 version of himself. Asking him to outperform his component stats as he did that season is a tall order but if he can deliver 200 innings and a 4-ish FIP, the Jays will likely be laughing all the way to the playoffs.

For that to happen, Romero must be healthy and he must improve over 2012. While these two things are not unrelated, perhaps tweaking Romero’s approach is key to getting the most from the former Opening Day starter and staff ace. Perhaps, given Romero’s love of the change up and rededication to his sinker, a move on the pitching rubber is in order.

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Why didn’t he just tag him?

The Toronto Blue Jays have released David Cooper. Cooper hit .300/.324/.464 in 145 plate appearances with Toronto last season, but will probably be best remembered for attempting to race Omar Infante to first base, never bothering to tag him out, but running with the ball in his throwing hand.

In semi-related news, the Detroit Tigers have released Brennan Boesch. Yes, it’s a bad day for left handed batters that can’t hit.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays

2012 Record: 73-89, 4th AL East
2012 Pythagorean Record: 74-88
Impact Player: RF Jose Bautista
Impact Pitcher: RHP Brandon Morrow
Top Prospect: RHP Aaron Sanchez

Significant Acquisitions: SS Jose Reyes, RHP Josh Johnson, RHP R.A. Dickey, LF Melky Cabrera, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Esmil Rogers, UT Emilio Bonifacio, C Josh Thole, C Henry Blanco, IF Maicer Izturis, UT Mark DeRosa, RHP Michael Schwimer, RHP Jeremy Jeffress, RHP Mickey Storey, RHP Justin Germano

Significant Departures: SS Yunel Escobar, 2B Kelly Johnson, RHP Henderson Alvarez, LHP Aaron Laffey, RHP Carlos Villanueva, RHP Jason Frasor, RHP Brandon Lyon, C Jeff Mathis, IF Omar Vizquel, SS Adeiny Hechavarria

Watching the 2012 Blue Jays was a bit like watching the third season of HBO’s Six Feet Under. For those unfamiliar with the show’s ebb and flow, the third season starts off oddly happy. For the first few episodes, you get the impression that things might turn out alright for this down-on-their-luck funeral-home-owning family. Something is still amiss—some of the characters are merely pretending to be happy, but for the most part, things are humming along about as well as could be expected.

Then…disaster. Every character seems to enter a sort of crisis and suddenly within a few episodes all the happiness — unsustainable though it might have been — evaporates and the viewer is left with a complicated tapestry of death and misery.

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Baltimore Orioles v Minnesota Twins

It is hard to let go of the past. With baseball players specifically, the past does not always inform the future as much as we’d like. It becomes harder and harder for a once-great player to recover the form which made him great in the first place as he ages. Add injuries to the mix and a former MVP turns into a role player in just a few years.

If you needed to choose between the careers of Justin Morneau or Adam Lind, you would pick Justin Morneau every single time. Morneau is more decorated, played longer, made more money and simply has a better career to date.

Career is one thing, the future is another. While Adam Lind is less than an ideal fit for the left-handed side of the Jays DH/1B rotation this year. Realistically speaking, he isn’t that much worse an option than the big Canadian currently playing out the final year of his contract for the Twins, despite Morneau’s recent overtures.

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the hands of he who remains the best

These are heady times for the Toronto Blue Jays. Less than one week ago, the Jays sold out their home opener in under an hour. Realistically speaking, tickets were sold long in advance of the February 15th single-game sales opportunity to season ticket and package holders, but the facts are the facts: the first game of the year, featuring the newest Blue Jays R.A. Dickey, was a hot commodity.

Selling out Opening Day is one thing, running into angry mobs of fans who desperately want to give you their money is another, altogether new thing, for the Toronto Blue Jays. Such was the state of affairs when the Blue Jays offered their “Ballpark Passes” for 2013. The ballpark pass entitles the pass holder to a ticket in the 500 level (aka the bleeders) for 80 home games (all but Opening Day, naturally) for a very, very low price.

Demand for the season pass was tremendous, resulting in some brief heartache for fans. The deluge of bargain seekers overwhelmed the online infrastructure, causing delays and a few disappointed fans. Most fans I corresponded with noted the headaches were minimal and, after a few struggles and a significant exception, got their passes after a little diligence and a lot of patience.

Increased demand for a baseball team is good for business. The Blue Jays report (unofficially) that ticket sales are up across all segments: season tickets, multi-game packages big and small, ballpark passes, the full assortment. A far cry from where the team stood just five months ago.

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Showcasing his best remaining MLB skill

Mark DeRosa was, once, a very good baseball player. Mark DeRosa contributed greatly to a 97 win team during his final season with the Chicago Cubs, in 2008. Then he was traded to the Cleveland Indians where he was decidedly less good and decidedly more hurt. Then has traded again, this time to the St. Louis Cardinals. They, too, were a good team, even though DeRosa was not especially good during his time in St. Louis.

Mark DeRosa then joined the 2010 San Francsico Giants where he barely played. But the team was good! The Giants won the World Series thanks in no way to Mark DeRosa, who got to do a bunch of hanging around but very little actual playing after early May. But he was there and then they won. One more injury-shortened year in San Fran before he joined the Washington Nationals on a cheap, one-year deal.

Once again, DeRosa barely played but the Nats were great, reaching the playoffs for the first time in “franchise” history.

The team release announcing the Blue Jays signing of Mark DeRosa to a one-year, $750000 MAJOR LEAGUE contract now makes so much sense. Mark DeRosa has a role in baseball at this point of his career – Mark DeRosa is the mascot to the stars.

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