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A couple of former Blue Jays decided to call it quits over the weekend.  Sportsnet.ca says catcher Gregg Zaun, who tried to catch on with the San Diego Padres this spring, will officially announce his retirement today.  Also, outfielder Frank Catalanotto said over the weekend that he is hanging up the cleats.  He played briefly for the New York Mets last season.



The nephew of former Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey, Gregg Zaun was Baltimore's 17th round pick in the 1989 amateur draft.  He also played for the Florida Marlins, where he earned a World Series ring in 1997, as well as Texas, Kansas City, Houston and Colorado before arriving in Toronto in 2004.  He wound up at Toronto's doorstep only after the Montreal Expos released him in spring training.  Zaun wound up with Baltimore again in 2009 but was traded to Tampa Bay later that season.  He spent 2010 with Milwaukee but his season was cut short by a shoulder injury.  The Glendale, California native hit .265/.350/.397 with seven doubles, two homers and 14 runs batted in over 28 contests last season. 

A career .252/.344/.388 hitter, Zaun's best years were in Toronto where he became a starting catcher for the first time in his career.  He hit 45 of his 88 career homers and 219 of his 446 RBI with the Jays.   Zaun reached double digits in home runs for three straight years beginning in 2005.  The switch-hitting catcher had to share time behind the plate with Bengie Molina in 2006 and almost left to sign a deal with the New York Yankees in the off-season when the Jays pursued free agent Rod Barajas.  Eventually, Zaun did agree to a two-year deal to stay in Toronto.   Still, he wound up losing his job to Barajas in 2008.

Zaun's reputation also took a hit when he was mentioned in the Mitchell Report regarding performance enhancing drugs.  Still, Zaun wound up showing his grit with his ability to block the plate and his hustle on the basepaths.  That was no more evident during May 8, 2005 at the Dome against the White Sox when he was taken out on a stretcher after trying to break up a double play.  His swan song  with the Jays came September 6, 2008  when he belted a walk-off grand slam homer against Troy Percival to help the Jays rally for a 7-4 win over Tampa Bay at the Dome.

We may see more of the 39 year-old Zaun in the near future.  He has served as an analyst for Sportsnet's playoff coverage in 2006 and it would not be a surprise to see him back in front of the TV cameras sooner rather than later.


Frank Catalanotto was a 10th round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 1992.  He made his big league debut five years later in Motown where he began his career as an infielder.  The Smithtown, New York native almost did not make his major league debut as a Tiger as he was selected by Oakland in the Rule 5 draft in 1996 but the A's returned him to Detroit.  Before the 2000 season, Catalanotto was part of the Juan Gonzalez trade as he was sent to the Texas Rangers in an eight player deal that also his future Jays teammate Gregg Zaun go to Detroit.  Zaun was eventually flipped to Kansas City and never did put on a Tiger uniform. 

As for Catalanotto, he established a Rangers record in 2000 by reaching base in 13 consecutive plate appearances.   His breakout year came in 2001 when he finished fifth in the American League in batting average with a .330 mark, slugged a career best .491 and stole 15 bases.  Catalanotto began to see more time in the outfield as his career wore with the Rangers.  However, he struggled to a .269 mark in 68 games in 2002 after suffering back and groin problems.

The left-handed hitting Catalanotto signed with the Blue Jays as a free agent and spent four seasons in Toronto.  In 2003, he set career highs with 13 homers and 59 RBI while hitting .299/.351/.472.  The injury bug bit the Cat again in 2004 when he spent three separate stints on the Disabled List thanks to more groin problems.  He hit .293 but hit just one homer and slugged .390 in 75 games.  Catalanotto remained healthy in 2005 and 2006 as he hit .301 and .300 respectively and established a career high in doubles in 2006 with 36.

Catalanotto would leave the Jays after 2006 to sign a three year deal with the Rangers but he never hit .300 again.  With Texas, he hit .260 with 11 homers in 2007 and upped his average to .274 in 2008 but hit just two long balls.  He was let go by Texas before the start of the 2009 campaign but signed a minor league deal with Milwaukee.  With the Brew Crew, Catalanotto hit .278 with one homer in 77 games.  He got to return to his home state in 2010 as he signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets but only hit .160 in 26 plate appearances before being designated for assignment in early May.  He ends his career as a .291 hitter with 29 of his career 84 homers and 200 of his 457 RBI coming in Blue Jay blue.

The 36 year-old Catalanotto may join Zaun in the transition from ballplayer to broadcaster as the 14 year veteran has expressed an interest in joining the media.  Thanks for the memories, Cat and Zaunie!  All the best in your future endeavours!


It was a good weekend for the Jays on the field with a come from behind 7-4 win over the Tigers in Dunedin Saturday and a 5-0 victory over the Pirates in Bradenton yesterday.  Ricky Romero fired four shutout innings and Jose Bautista had a three hit afternoon yesterday.  Zach Stewart also shined with 5 K's in two innings of relief.  However, the big story was Brett Lawrie as his three-run homer sparked the Jays victory over Detroit Saturday.  Kyle Drabek also made his Spring Training Debut and gave up a run on three hits but did strike out three batters and got three groundball outs over two frames.

Stories of note...

  • The hitting star of the weekend,  third base hopeful Brett Lawrie, is featured in The National Post.  He still does not lack for confidence...
I still feel like Im ready for the big leagues. As I move forward as a person and a baseball player, I know theres always some things to learn. But as far as the big leagues go, I think Im ready.

Also regarding Lawrie, it was interesting to note that Bautista mentioned in an interview with Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler during yesterday's broadcast on Sportsnet that he keeps an open dialogue with Lawrie and mentions that even though he may have more experience, he can still learn things from the young Canadian playing third.

  • The Toronto Star has a story on the hobbled Aaron Hill.  Among the interesting nuggets was Hill declining to take part in the team's Winter Caravan....

Hill had asked not to go, while another veteran, the since-departed Vernon Wells, had apparently requested an opportunity to attend mini-camp and talk to young Jays newcomers. The second baseman, who has a home near the Jays' training headquarters, was re-asked this week whether he would have been more likely to step into a leadership role if Wells hadn't been there. "They may have been more insistent - 'maybe you should go' type thing," Hill said, hinting he still might have been inclined to stay home. "They knew Vernon was going. I asked and they said it wasn't a big issue if I came. They were watching me down here so they didn't feel the need for me to go up. But ... this off-season might be a different story."

  • The Star also has a feature on the types of pitches thrown by Jason Frasor, Brad Mills, Rommie Lewis and Zach Stewart.  Frasor likes to throw a fosh...

Its fingers on the side mostly, Frasor said about holding the pitch. Im okay with a fastball and slider. The three fingers (index, ring and pinky) are mostly out of the way, but I have some of them on the ball when I throw the pitch. I call it a changeup really, because I dont see myself as a forkball guy.  When I see a forkball, I see a 6-foot-5 guy throwing 100 m.p.h., then coming in with a fork. The key for me is the middle finger. When I throw it, I want to feel it coming off that middle finger. But its all grip; when I throw it, the grip takes over.

The Jays are off today.  They begin a home and home set with Tampa Bay beginning in Port Charlotte Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. and wrapping up in Dunedin Wednesday at 1:05 p.m.  Brandon Morrow gets the start on Tuesday.

Zaun & Cat Call It Quits | 98 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
CeeBee - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 12:30 PM EST (#231059) #
Lawrie's bat certainly looks ready, small sample size acknowledged. I suspect it will take till near the end of spring training for some of the jobs to shake down.
bpoz - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 12:39 PM EST (#231060) #
I believe we got some comp draft picks for The Cat. If so does anyone know how that turned out. Thanks.
Kelekin - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 12:53 PM EST (#231061) #
We got Kevin Ahrens and Justin Jackson from Cat's comp.

It certainly looks like Jackson is done, and this will be quite a telling year for Ahrens.

Chuck - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 12:57 PM EST (#231063) #

Lawrie's bat certainly looks ready

My guess is that the organization would prefer that he learn a new position in the minors. For what it's worth, PECOTA has him pegged at 256/305/380 at the MLB level for 2011.

uglyone - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 01:07 PM EST (#231064) #
agree about Lawrie.

while the rest of the kids look like fairly raw prospects, Lawrie and Thames look like players right now.
ayjackson - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 01:24 PM EST (#231065) #

I think it speaks a lot about ignorance towards Blue Jay prospects when the lead writer at BA thinks Lawrie is still a 2Bman (according to a tweet this morning it is evident he is oblivious to the position change).

C'mon, man.  A top prospect gets traded and immediately changes positions to third and you're oblivious?

Mick Doherty - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 01:27 PM EST (#231066) #
So, given Frasor's quote, can we expect a banner to unfurl in the stands when he trots in from the pen, proclaiming, "Give them the middle finger, Jason!"
eudaimon - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 01:37 PM EST (#231067) #
Zaun was always one of my favorites. He seems like a cool guy, and he was full of grit... or should that be gritty? More likely I think I liked his batting style, having decent plate discipline, a decent batting average, and enough pop to get you kind of excited to see him come to bat in a high-leverage situation. He should have a good career as an announcer, maybe with the Blue Jays at some point?

The Cat had some good years too. Always had a good average, albeit without many walks or much power. But he was a favorite of mine while he was in Toronto. Good luck to him in trying to get into announcing.

Magpie - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 01:55 PM EST (#231068) #
My guess is that the organization would prefer that he learn a new position in the minors.

No doubt, and soon that's going to be the only rationale for keeping him in the minors. I'm really not wild about rushing guys, but Lawrie may not give the organization a lot of choice. He's going to Las Vegas and he could do anything there. If Travis Snider hit .262 at AA at age 20 and kicked that up to .337 in Las Vegas the next season... well, there's no reason to be surprised if Lawrie is hitting .360 in AAA by the end of May. It will be very, very hard to keep him there if that happens.

At any rate, I suspect Jose Bautista won't be spending much more than two or three months at third base before he ends up in right field. Which was probably the plan all along, and is also why there's no reason to waste any time trying Snider in right field.
dan gordon - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 02:06 PM EST (#231070) #
Lawrie's got a powerful looking swing.  Realistically, though, he looks pretty raw to me.  He missed that infield pop up, and fell down trying to field a ball hit a little to his right.  He just turned 21 years old,  He's learning a new position, and he was in  AA ball last year.  He had a good year there, but hitting .285 with 8 home runs doesn't exactly scream out that he was dominating the pitchers there and that he was ready to jump straight to the big leagues.  AA has indicated that he doesn't like rushing prospects and I agree.  I think it would be a significant mistake to jump him from AA to the major leagues.  If he dominates AAA pitching and fields his new position well, sure, move him up mid season.  I think they rushed Snider to the big leagues and I don't want to see them do the same thing to Lawrie.
Magpie - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 03:00 PM EST (#231071) #
I quite agree - but if he's hitting .360 at the end of May (and if Snider could hit .337 at Las Vegas, Lawrie can hit .360) whatcha gonna do?

Lean really, really hard on "his defense needs more work," I guess.
92-93 - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 03:13 PM EST (#231072) #

At any rate, I suspect Jose Bautista won't be spending much more than two or three months at third base before he ends up in right field. Which was probably the plan all along, and is also why there's no reason to waste any time trying Snider in right field.

If Snider has the ability to play RF (and there's been nothing to indicate he doesn't) it's madness to not start him in RF even if Bautista is destined to kick him out. A lot can happen on the way, like Lawrie showing an inability to handle an infield position and Bautista needing to move to 3B full time. If you think there's no reason to waste time trying Snider in RF, there's even less of a reason to be playing Juan Rivera out there. With Snider you can at least gain the knowledge that he has the versatility to cover both OF corners in a pinch (or find out that he can't).

earlweaverfan - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 03:24 PM EST (#231073) #
Can someone explain to me just what the date is by which the team could bring a Lawrie (or Drabek or Stewart...) up to the majors and postpone one year of higher cost?  Unless Lawrie goes from very strong to brilliant in the rest of Spring Training, I am not sure why the team would move him up before that time.
Lee John - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 03:50 PM EST (#231074) #
ayjackson,

I think it speaks a lot about ignorance towards Blue Jay prospects when the lead writer at BA thinks Lawrie is still a 2Bman

I noticed that as well, but frankly, I don't find BA good for much anyhow. When I read, for example, KLaw's prospect rankings next to BA's, it really sort of jumps off the page how much more thought someone like Keith puts into his evaluations than BA does. I put no stock in anything BA puts out anymore.

Gerry - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 04:09 PM EST (#231075) #

There are two sets of dates that teams look at with rookies.

The first is free agent qualification.  The labour agreement between MLB and the players has a formula for calculating when players are eligible for free agency but it roughly works out to the end of the season where the player accumulates six years service time.  If a player is called up mid-way through the year then a team can control him for six and a half years, three months or so more than if the player started the year in the majors and was never sent down.

The other number teams look at is arbitration qualification.  Most players have to have three years service to qualify for arbitration but there is a subset, the super two's, who qualify after two years.  These players will earn more in arbitration than they would when the club has the power to set their pay.  The date for super two qualification varies but it often works out to early to mid-June. 

christaylor - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 04:21 PM EST (#231076) #
Delaying free agency is one thing, but the Jays/Rogers have consistently shown that if a young player shows enough then they will be signed through their arbitration years. AA has said in interview that the arb issue is not a factor in player development and I'm inclined to believe him.
uglyone - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 04:25 PM EST (#231077) #
I understand that being raw at the plate is a good reason to keep someone in the minors....but does being raw in the field really work the same way?

Seems to me fielding is pretty much the same no matter what level the kid is at, and that it's more than ok to let a kid learn to field his position at the MLB level, unless you think it's seriously hurting your team more than having him up is helping.
Chuck - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 05:22 PM EST (#231078) #

I understand that being raw at the plate is a good reason to keep someone in the minors....but does being raw in the field really work the same way?

I think the argument would be that having Lawrie adjust to major league pitching while simultaneously learning a brand new position might be a little too much for someone who just turned 21. In AAA, he'd be able to disproportionately focus on his defense because of the less demanding offensive challenges.

TamRa - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 08:13 PM EST (#231080) #
while the rest of the kids look like fairly raw prospects, Lawrie and Thames look like players right now.

Wilner has said that the Jays had a managment meeting before any games were played and laid out a firm agenda for the spring which - he said - was designed to forestall any emotional rash decisions.

He implied that even if everyone's heart said "let's take Lawrie north" that the odds were still against him because their minds were already made up. Essentially he'd have to be an absolute monster to break camp with the jays.

Thames would be in the same boat but he has less of an opening than Lawrie, which bugs me a bit.

At any rate, I suspect Jose Bautista won't be spending much more than two or three months at third base before he ends up in right field. Which was probably the plan all along, and is also why there's no reason to waste any time trying Snider in right field.

My hunch is that the Jays will be watching him closely and by June Alex wil be pulling out all the stops to deal Rivera and call him up. Probably would call him by the break even if they can't make a deal.

It's the only way it makes sense that they have told Snider - so he said - that he wouldn't play any RF this year.

If they had any doubt about Lawrie being close, the only logical move would be to put Snider in RF just in case Thames was the guy who got ready first.

Irrationally, it kind of gripes me that Thames is likely to be blocked out of a role in the bigs this year. Short of them dealing EE in July and letting the kid DH, there's simply not going to be a job for him. Maybe not even next year.

If Snider has the ability to play RF (and there's been nothing to indicate he doesn't) it's madness to not start him in RF even if Bautista is destined to kick him out. A lot can happen on the way, like Lawrie showing an inability to handle an infield position and Bautista needing to move to 3B full time. If you think there's no reason to waste time trying Snider in RF, there's even less of a reason to be playing Juan Rivera out there. With Snider you can at least gain the knowledge that he has the versatility to cover both OF corners in a pinch (or find out that he can't).

My instinct is to agree. I'd add the reasoning that if Lawrie got hurt (for instance) while Thames was raking, then ET becomes the obvious call up once they give up on Rivera (if they do). If it were me I'd have Snider in RF full time until/unless Lawrie forced something different.

But Snider said they told him specifically he was in left for good so I might as well stop speculating on it.

Seems to me fielding is pretty much the same no matter what level the kid is at, and that it's more than ok to let a kid learn to field his position at the MLB level, unless you think it's seriously hurting your team more than having him up is helping.

Someone made a good point about that on Twitter. If the raw part is his defense, there's an argument working with Butter in the majors will accelerate the process more than working in Vegas.

I think he COULD break camp with the Jays and be fine, but I think the ideal timetable would have him up in June.
greenfrog - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 09:13 PM EST (#231082) #
BP's Kevin Goldstein gave a nod to Lawrie's spring in his Future Shock column today (subscriber only), noting his hot start at the plate but also commenting that "he's surprised many with his glove as well." Nice to see him doing well so far, the critics notwithstanding.
uglyone - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 09:52 PM EST (#231084) #
AA giving a rather huge nod to lawrie as well, along with Fidlin:



http://www.torontosun.com/spor...7/17527791.html


DUNEDIN For the first time in more than three weeks, the Blue Jay clubhouse went silent Monday, the first scheduled off day of the spring.

I think everybody needs a day off at this point, said manager John Farrell.

Since this quiet day lands just about mid-point between the Feb. 12 reporting date for pitchers and catchers and the last game of the spring on March 30, its probably time to take a step back and make some assessments.

At The Half

Three stars

1. Brett Lawrie

Everybody knew that Lawrie intended to win a job at this camp. The shock is that hes actually doing it. From the first minute he arrived, Lawrie has been a beast, impressing with his focus, his passion, his athleticism and his talent. Convert to third base? No problem. Hit major-league pitching? No problem. Act and play like a 10-year veteran? No problem.

Forget the performance, the hits, the defensive plays, said GM Alex Anthopoulos. For me, its how he has carried himself. Im proud to have him as part of this organization. Hes been embraced in our clubhouse.

His drive, his desire to win, being a gamer is what we want this organization to be about. Hes been a total pro.

If and this is a big if he keeps this up, its hard to imagine him anywhere but in Toronto in April, regardless of his arbitration clock.
Magpie - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 09:57 PM EST (#231085) #
once they give up on Rivera (if they do).

Oh, I think you can depend on it. For now, I assume his role is to put a body in RF until Lawrie is ready and Bautista can take over for the next four years or so.

I think Edwin Encarnacion would be well advised to look over his shoulder as well. This team could use more LH hitting, and Thames and Cooper will probably look pretty impressive in Las Vegas.
jgadfly - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 10:37 PM EST (#231086) #
"This team could use more LH hitting, and Thames and Cooper will probably look pretty impressive in Las Vegas" ... I think that Adam Loewen will be another LH bat that will be in the mix come Aug 1st.
Magpie - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 11:20 PM EST (#231087) #
The Jays Twittering Kids (that would mainly be Romero, Snider, Cecil and Arencibia) have prevailed on Lawrie to come aboard. Romero has also alerted everyone to Kevin Millar's (huh?) Twitter feed ("the funniest teammate I've ever had"). And having spent the last couple of months being regaled and astonished by Travis Snider's prodigious appetite for food, something which will someday be the stuff of legend - well, it's simply astonishing how much he's slimmed down this year. If I ate like him for a week, it would surely be my last week on earth. My heart would simply explode...
Flex - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 11:43 PM EST (#231088) #
Seems clear that Snider was on some version of the Atkins diet heavy on the meat, low on the carbs. Apparently you drop the pounds but your breath suffers. Maybe he's hiding breath freshener in his moustache.
chocolatethunder - Monday, March 07 2011 @ 11:46 PM EST (#231089) #

Hey AYJ

you mentioned Justin Jackson (re the cat) and said he is done....did I miss something is he not in minor league camp...I know he was injured last season and struggled but is his injury career threatening??

As far as BA...it seems they just throw out every name as possible...so when you google it there website comes up...they are trolling for subscribers

And I hope over hope that all the prospects spend some time in the minors.....Lawrie, and Thames need to go to Las Vegas and rake

 

some great excitement in  bluejay land with all the prospects....

85bluejay - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 12:38 AM EST (#231093) #

As a supporter of the Marcum trade, I'm very happy with the progress that Lawrie has shown - but I hope he doesn't see Toronto until Sept. at the earliest - I'm always amused that fans are always so impatient for the next hyped prospect to reach the show - I hope the Jays don't do to Lawrie what they did to Snider, who was promoted a year early IMO - Also, as someone who has been impressed by the patience shown by Tampa Bay recently in not rushing their quality prospects, I hope the Jays follow suit - promote the prospect when he is ready to be a plus contributor especially for a team not expected to be a contender - do not waste those cheap years with a learning on the job approach.

While Adrian Beltre is recovering from his injury, the Rangers have been showcasing Chris Davis at 3rd and I hope the Jays are paying attention,because if he can be  adequate defensively then I think Davis would be a good buy low candidate - he's unlikely to get many at bats in Texas and he offers the jays some opportunities - a 3rd LH hitter in the lineup is a good thing,his power game should play well in Rogers Centre & moving Bautista to RF.If Davis rediscovers his offensive game he gives the Jays great flexibility - can be patient with Lawrie, Davis can move to 1st if needed, lawrie can play 2nd, good assets to trade etc. - I was thinking that if the Rangers move Feliz into the rotation, then perhaps they would need BP depth and experience (I know they recently traded Francisco to us) and the Jays have a surplus - or with Brown injured and struggling in Phila. how about Rivera and BP guy to Phillie,Blanton to Texas and Davis to Jays.

Also, While I'm like everyone else excited about Lawrie, the guys at project prospect offer an interesting contrary view, which I always appreciate to counter some of the over the top hype some prospects receive.

OBG - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 09:10 AM EST (#231096) #
With apologies to Fountains of Wayne, Stacy's Mom ... and just about everyone else.

Gregory Zaun has got it going on
He's all I want and I've waited for so long
Gregory can't you see
That had to be strike three
I know it might be wrong but I'm in love with Gregory Zaun.



Jdog - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 09:23 AM EST (#231097) #
From MLB Trade Rumors:

The Blue Jays signed 17-year-old outfielder Francisco Tejada for $150K.

Good to see the scouting department is continuing to bring in international talent.
MatO - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 09:29 AM EST (#231098) #

...I know he was injured last season and struggled but is his injury career threatening??

Jackson was injured 2 years ago.  Last year he was healthy but not very good.  I think AYJ was implying that he's a non-prospect which would be hard to disagree with.

BlueJayWay - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 09:56 AM EST (#231099) #
While Lawrie has looked good this spring, you have to remember, it's only ST.  He may be closer to ML ready than most people (including potentially a lot of the Blue Jays brass) thought, but I doubt he comes north.  This guy hasn't played third professionally yet, so I'm sure they'd like him to tackle that in the minors, at least for awhile. 

Best case scenario for Lawrie: he kills it all spring, then goes to Vegas and kills it there for two or three months, looking good both offensively and defensively.  At that point it'd be hard to keep him down.

Kelekin - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 11:31 AM EST (#231100) #
Chocolatethunder, it was I who said that he was done.  I think you took that a little too literally though, as I was only referencing the fact that I believed he was not going to live up to any potential.
Hodgie - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 11:38 AM EST (#231101) #
While I always enjoy a contrasting view on prospect evaluations (or really anything for that matter) I find it hard to take Project Prospect's opinion on Lawrie too seriously looking at their Top 100. I understand that they weight floor heavily in their rankings, but I find myself incredulous that Pastornicky and Emaus are more highly ranked. Both appear within their top 100 prospects while Lawrie received consideration for their top 125. The risks they state are real but I am curious as to the reasoning that those risks are greater than many of the players that are on their list. Yonder Alonso at 15 is an incredible stretch for a player whose ceiling might be Lyle Overbay and Hechavarria at 52 is just wide eyed optimism unless he is considered the second coming of Ozzie Smith.
ayjackson - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 11:49 AM EST (#231102) #

For the record, my next comment on Justin Jackson will be my first on this thread.  It was Kelekin commenting on him earlier, I believe.

Justin Jackson is still a toolsy, rangy SS who would be in his senior year in college, had he not signed out of high school.  He has had numerous injury troubles over the past two years, appearing in just 149 games (about 60%) of the games during that time.

I would not write him off at all.  I don't have any expectations, but he was rushed to Dunedin and has battled injuries since he's been there.  The one encouraging thing about him is that in 2008 and early 2009, he did have extended periods where he raked at the plate (OPS over .900 for over a month at a time).

ayjackson - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 11:50 AM EST (#231103) #
That sounded a bit optimistic, reading it back.  Let me reiterate, I have no expectations of JJ.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 11:53 AM EST (#231104) #
Just want to point out that any "hype" for Lawrie this spring is definitely NOT coming from "the fans".

The "hype" is coming from the GM, the manager, the coaches, and every writer and baseball observer.

The "fans" seem to be the MOST skeptical of the bunch, to tell the truth.
sam - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 02:36 PM EST (#231108) #
According to the DPL website, it looks like this year will be a strong year for toolsy outfielders and SS. I hope the Jays again make a run at some of these guys. The outfielders particularly look extremely talented.
chocolatethunder - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 03:24 PM EST (#231109) #
Hey sorry for mixing the comments...just wanted clarification and wasn't sure if someone had info I had missed....thanks for the update
Kelekin - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 05:18 PM EST (#231110) #
MLB Bonus Baby did their 2nd mock draft, and have the Jays selecting Brian Goodwin, who played for UNC last year but due to violating policy, he was suspended for 2011 and is playing at Miami Dade CC.  Personally I don't see this happening, as I anticipate he'd go back to UNC the year after to increase his stock.

Too early to talk 2011 draft? :P

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 08:13 PM EST (#231113) #
I saw Zaun in Arizona on Sunday, in his last game.  Time had certainly taken its toll, as he moved very slowly behind the plate and his bat wasn't as quick as it was a couple of years ago.  Guillermo Quiroz looked good, and might win the back-up catching job for the Padres. He hit a long game-tying homer off Trystan Magnuson and moved well behind the plate; if he's healthy, he might yet have some kind of career.  There were more ex-Jays and ex-Jay farmhands in that spring training game than in any other I have seen.
earlweaverfan - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 10:18 PM EST (#231118) #
Can anyone explain the story at MLBTR that the Jays had three scouts watching Kevin Slowey at the Twins B game this morning?  On the plus side he is a pretty decent pitcher (with an excellent K/BB ratio), and the Twins have five starters ahead of him in their rotation.  Oh, and he is controllable for three years, while still being relatively young.

On the other hand, is he likely to be any better than Litsch or Rzep?

Racking my brains, I wondered if this might be part of a much bigger trade between the Jays and the Twins.  The Twins might value having a fourth OF like Rivera (more than the Jays value him); maybe they could be sent two or three relievers - that seems to be their weakest area; in return, maybe the Jays would take Slowey back to put him in the pen. 

Or maybe AA has plans for an even more ambitious 3-way trade, of mind-boggling complexity, but stunning brilliance that is beyond this bear of very little brain.

Or maybe it is just a classic AA deke, a feint, a ruse, where he gets us to watch the yellow duckie, while he pursues in a deal with another team altogether.

Any ideas?

christaylor - Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 10:46 PM EST (#231119) #
JJ could easily go on to have a fine career as anything from a utility guy to a major league regular who puts it together for a bit.

The prospect fetishists (not so much those who write about them for a living) just seem to me to be dedicated followers of fashion. One doesn't need to look far for a Jays' prospect who was totally out of fashion and who could surprise and win rookie of the year this year -- JPA.

I was going to write "youneverknow" but in this case, I'm not sure that's totally true, with prospects one generally does not know what will happen, even those assumed to be the elite. Forgetting this and making strong statements and rankings, one will often look foolish.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 12:10 AM EST (#231120) #
"Can anyone explain the story at MLBTR that the Jays had three scouts watching Kevin Slowey at the Twins B game this morning?"

I'll give it a shot....

...maybe they were watching someone else?
stevieboy22 - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 12:25 AM EST (#231121) #
"Can anyone explain the story at MLBTR that the Jays had three scouts watching Kevin Slowey at the Twins B game this morning?"

Maybe they just had some advanced scouts prepping for the opening series against the Twins?

sam - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 12:32 AM EST (#231122) #
Never to early to be talking draft. It should be an interesting draft indeed. Most accounts consider this a deep draft which should bode well for the Jays considering their wealth of compensation picks. It'll be interesting how they approach their picks this draft. Last year the Jays abided by the slot recommendation for some of their early picks and then did well in the middle rounds, routinely going over slot. The Jays targeted pitching and did quite well to reel in several of the top prep and college pitchers in the draft.

In the build-up to last years draft, experts and pundits alike predicted that the Jays would make a big splash and draft a player with high bonus demand/strong commitment. A player like Austin Wilson was heavily rumored at our pick. Instead the Jays drafted "safe" and selected Deck Macguire.

I see a lot of similarities with last years draft and this years. It looks like players like Bubba Starling (HS/OF) are already starting to be linked with the Jays. Starling reminds me a lot of Wilson in the sense that both are high upside High School outfielders that command big bonus numbers. Like last year, I think the investment would be worth it.

It will be interesting to see how the Jays approach this draft. I'd imagine if they draft a player like Starling they won't draft as aggressively in the later rounds like last year. If they don't, I presume there will be resources available for later round picks. They have the 21st pick of the draft. Of the teams drafting ahead of them, there are a lot of teams that will be looking to draft "safe." For example, I don't see the Diamondbacks breaking the bank on both their picks and neither will the Padres or Brewers. The Cubs, Astros, Mets, Indians, and Marlins very rarely go over slot. The Angels, Athletics, and Rockies are probably wild-cards in the sense that they don't have a consistent track record of drafting but they don't have many picks so you could see them investing with their first pick. The Red Sox tend to draft safe with that first pick and then draft signability players later in the draft.

I think the Jays are drafting at a good time in the first round. It's clear that there will be talent available, that whichever course they decide to take they'll be drafting a good player and that they'll have plenty of opportunities to do so.

So yes, it will be interesting to see A. who the Jays draft. B. How they draft. I, for one would like them to draft like Bubba Starling. If not, I think that I am fond of almost every college pitcher in this draft.
MatO - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 09:56 AM EST (#231125) #

The prospect fetishists (not so much those who write about them for a living) just seem to me to be dedicated followers of fashion. One doesn't need to look far for a Jays' prospect who was totally out of fashion and who could surprise and win rookie of the year this year -- JPA.

I'm not much into fashion.  I much prefer numbers.  JPA at least had a good season under his belt.  Now if Jackson would be kind enough to provide us with his first good season I would gladly remove him from the non-prospect ranks.

Mick Doherty - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 10:08 AM EST (#231128) #

85bluejay, I think you got a bunch of stuff wrong about the Rangers in your post abpve -- just for example, Feliz is going to close, it looks like --  but that three-way deal you have there, I think the Rangers would leap at doing that.

Davis has looked brilliant defensively at thirds so far and is raking pretty well, with not nearly the usual K rate. Is he "back"? Ask again in June, but it looks like maybe yes ...

Kelekin - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 10:52 AM EST (#231130) #
Sam: The 2nd mock draft thinks Starling would be picked at #12 by the Brewers.  I fail to see that to be the case, but I'm imagining you're thinking due to bonus demands he would fall to us?

I wish I could get on the JPA bandwagon.  Before Vegas, his OBP was sitting right around .300.  How often does a low OBP profile translate to the major leagues for college players? If anyone can cite me some examples, that'd be great.  But let's not expect him to be anything more than Miguel Olivo at this point.

Chuck - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 10:55 AM EST (#231131) #

Davis has looked brilliant defensively at thirds so far ... Ask again in June, but it looks like maybe yes ...

Ah, springtime. Hope springs eternal. Optimism is unbridled. This must be an evolutionary imperative for our species. You know, I'm in the best shape of my life and I have no doubts that I'll be slaying that woolly mammoth any time now. I've been practising on those stick-and-mud mammoth models and the results have been inspiring.

Not a shot at you Mick, just a shot at us all.

Maldoff - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 11:44 AM EST (#231132) #

Couple of Blue Jay-related points on John Sickels minorleagueball.com yesterday (http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/3/8/2038670/tuesday-notes):

- James Paxton (former unsigned pick) signed with the Mariners yesterday for only $68,500 more than the jay offered.

- Also Sickels talks about both Brett Lawire and Eric Thames. To me, the most interesting comment is regarding Thames: "I've heard knocks on his defense and complaints about his handling of inside pitches, but my observations and instincts are that these issues are overblown. I don't think he's a future star but I do think he will be a good player."

China fan - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 02:52 PM EST (#231134) #
Yunel Escobar has quietly boosted his spring average to .500 with another couple hits today.  This is obviously very premature, but if he was able to regain his 2009 performance level, it would make a huge difference to the Jays' chances of becoming contenders over the next couple years.
China fan - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 02:53 PM EST (#231135) #
(And yes, that might be an example of the "unbridled optimism" that afflicts us all....)
TamRa - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 03:01 PM EST (#231136) #
I wish I could get on the JPA bandwagon.  Before Vegas, his OBP was sitting right around .300.  How often does a low OBP profile translate to the major leagues for college players? If anyone can cite me some examples, that'd be great.  But let's not expect him to be anything more than Miguel Olivo at this point.

Try this, also true, re-wording of your first sentence:

I wish I could get on the JPA bandwagon.  Before Lasik eye surgery, his OBP was sitting right around .300.

Does that make you feel better? It's a real, verifiable, logical, unemotional reason for believing the improvement is sustainable.


earlweaverfan - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 03:24 PM EST (#231137) #
Yunel Escobar has quietly boosted his spring average to .500 with another couple hits today.  This is obviously very premature, but if he was able to regain his 2009 performance level, it would make a huge difference to the Jays' chances of becoming contenders over the next couple years.

Yes, China Fan, that might be unbridled optimism, but I read somewhere that he got some sustained coaching over the winter from Tony Fernandez - someone who might know a thing or two about hitting.  Until Escobar falls off back to his numbers from last year, I am going to believe that Tony F may have put YE on the right track.

And if that's so, then maybe they can get Tony to coach Anthony Gose, not to mention Hechavarria, so that they can get on base enough to do their magic from there.

Ah...to sleep, perchance to dream...
Rich - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 03:31 PM EST (#231138) #
Best case scenario for Lawrie: he kills it all spring, then goes to Vegas and kills it there for two or three months, looking good both offensively and defensively.  At that point it'd be hard to keep him down.

I would go a step further - best case scenario for his future is that he goes to AAA and goes through some struggles.  I think Lawrie's career is best served if he learns to work through a slump, make adjustments, and deal with failure before he arrives in Toronto for good.  He's only 20 with 2 years of pro experience; there is no need whatsoever to rush him.
dan gordon - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 03:54 PM EST (#231139) #

Slowey is an interesting player.  Outstanding control.  His 2009 numbers suffered due to a wrist injury which eventually required surgery.  Looking at some of the comments coming out of Jays camp, it seems to me that they want to keep Reyes if they can.  If they ship a couple of their excess relievers to Minnesota in a trade for Slowey, they could slide Reyes into the pen and see how he does - less of a gamble than putting him in the rotation to start the season, and they could use a lefty reliever.  Slowey would fill the number 5 starter spot while Drabek spends some time in AAA.  If everybody stays healthy, one of Litsch or Slowey could then be traded to make room for Drabek if he performs well with Vegas.

Regarding Arencibia - that .301 batting average in Vegas has to be taken in context.  Some other averages there last year include Matthews at .330, Hoffpauir at .295, McCoy at .310, Figueroa at .326, Merchan at .315, and even former ML'er Jason Lane hit .323.  Wallace hit .301 as well and he went on to hit .222 with Houston in 144 AB's.  Hitting .300 or a bit better in Vegas doesn't mean much, and it will be interesting to see how well Arencibia hits in the big leagues this year.  I'd be surprised if his BA is over .245, but would love to be wrong.  Of course if he hits .240 with 20 HR's and plays OK defense, that's not bad for a catcher, even without many walks.

China fan - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 04:17 PM EST (#231140) #
And a further addition to the "unbridled optimism" category:  Gose has 3 more stolen bases today, from just 2 plate appearances.....  That's now 6 stolen bases from limited playing time in a handful of spring games....
Ryan Day - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 04:49 PM EST (#231141) #
If you want some unbridled optimism for Arencibia, how about Alphonso Soriano as a comparison? Few walks, lots of strikeouts, but enough power to be valuable as long as he hit above .275. (Soriano ran more, of course, but Arencibia plays a tougher position)

More realistically, if Arencibia could be John Buck 2010, he'd be a pretty valuable player, particularly while he's young and cheap. While his plate discipline will likely always be a weakness, he still has enough strengths - serious power, and the ability to play a demanding position - to be a good player.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 06:12 PM EST (#231142) #
I've always seen Arencibia as being like Barajas with a bit more homerun power.  Not much average or OBP, but if he could clonk 20-25 hr a year and play good D, that can definitely play at C.  It seems the Jays see d'Arnaud as being the future #1 catcher here on the next contending Jays team, making Arencibia the backup or, more likely, trade bait.
Kelekin - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 06:13 PM EST (#231143) #
I wish I could get on the JPA bandwagon.  Before Lasik eye surgery, his OBP was sitting right around .300.


Look, I'm not going to debate the scientific evidence as to whether or not he even needed Lasik, but unless I see a prescription, I'm not going to think about that making any more of a difference than Russ Adams claiming he comes into spring training with 10 more pounds of muscle each year.  Optical is a field I worked in for many years, and almost every single person had astigmatism.  Almost every single person who doesn't wear glasses has astigmatism.  The majority of MLB players very likely have astigmatism.  It may make him see some things better, but if you're going to look at his walk and strikeout totals and tell me he's a much different player from years past, I'd say there's no evidence of that.

I'm not even doubting JPA's season or his ability to hit for power - all I'm trying to say is that he isn't some sort of wunderkind.  He's likely going to be an MLB average catcher, not a superstar.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 09:05 PM EST (#231144) #
I don't think it's unbridled optimism in the least to think that Escobar will likely revert back to the .365-.385obp guy he's been every year other than last year.
Magpie - Wednesday, March 09 2011 @ 10:40 PM EST (#231145) #
Does that make you feel better?

If it does, maybe I can help! Remember this about Arencibia's 2010 season - he was repeating the level.
TamRa - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 02:05 AM EST (#231146) #
There were 12 catchers in the AL last year with at least 300 PA

Jason Kendall was #7 in OBP. He had 37 walks and 434 AB, a BA of .256 and an OBP of .318

JPA had 38 walks and 459 AB in Vegas. Yes Vegas is easier than the majors but being as good as Jason Kendall is setting the bar pretty low - ad he'll have obviously way more power.

A OBP around .300-315, and a slubbing around .450 or so would have dropped him somewhere between #5 Jaso and #6 Napoli last year, and Jaso got a lot of praise.
(Interestingly, half of those 12 catchers didn't post an OPS of even .700)

.760 would have been #6 in 2009, #3 in 2008,  #5 in 2007...you get the picture.

I'm certainly open to the idea that JPA will langish as Weiters has (and we're all fairly confident he will get better, right?) but being a solid average offensive catcher is not a really high bar to overcome.

And certainly not impossible, if not this year than reasonably soon.

Even if he never gets more than 30 walks in a year.




Kelekin - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 02:29 AM EST (#231147) #
I have a lot more faith in Wieters becoming a star than JPA.  Which was my entire argument, that I think JPA is being over-rated.  I would agree that Arencibia could have an OPS among catchers that would, generally, rank in the top half of the AL.  I am only saying that, I don't believe he is top flight talent and, that he likely has the career profile of a serviceable catcher.  Power is a good thing to have, but even Chris Davis, who was twice the prospect JPA is offensively, still can't figure out the majors.

It's more of a "don't count your chickens before they hatch" situation. 

85bluejay - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 08:15 AM EST (#231149) #
Despite what the FO says, their actions speak louder to me - the efforts to get Bajaras/Martin says that they are not as gong ho on JPA as they say and neither am I - JPA will probably survive but I don't expect him to become an above average  catcher - I expect Travis D'Arnaud (Catcher of the future) to make the show sometime in 2012 and likely taking over in 2013 - at least that's the hope(& we know how the best laid plans usually go)
85bluejay - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 08:18 AM EST (#231150) #
Also, I'm bummed to learn that Chris Davis has an option left, so the Rangers don't need to move him.
christaylor - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 08:38 AM EST (#231151) #
"if Arencibia could be John Buck 2010, he'd be a pretty valuable player, particularly while he's young and cheap."

I'd be very happy if this was JPA season in 2011. It also wouldn't be hard to be better than Buck defensively.

For all the FUD about the FO looking for a catcher, if they were so keen on getting another C -- why not just keep Napoli? As for the FA who may have signed here, really, would you pick a place where your job is wide open or where the AAA MVP is breathing down your neck?

There's no question that AA was looking for C depth -- Molina probably would have been sent out if he got it. Makes more sense to me than wild speculation about JPA role. Molina isn't even an average defensive C anymore pretty much a requirement for the backup role.

To think that the FO doesn't want to give a young, cheap, C who very well could be an above average C with average-ish defense a try in the bigs is just silly. Sure some of his minor league numbers were bad... but y'know... remember how Romero was viewed a while back?
MatO - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 10:07 AM EST (#231152) #
I don't recall anyone around hear saying that JPA is going to be a star.  I'm as big a fan of his as anyone but I'll admit that he could quite possibly bomb out in the majors.  It's also possible he could be a star.  The intriguing thing about him is that we don't know so let's find out.
Ryan Day - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 11:19 AM EST (#231154) #
"It seems the Jays see d'Arnaud as being the future #1 catcher here..."

Funny enough, D'arnaud - who everyone seems to love - has a career OBP of .323, just .004 higher than Arencibia, with a SLG almost a hundred points lower.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 11:33 AM EST (#231155) #
"Funny enough, D'arnaud - who everyone seems to love - has a career OBP of .323, just .004 higher than Arencibia, with a SLG almost a hundred points lower."

Yes, well, I believe they see d'Arnaud as being MUCH better defensively than Arencibia, for one thing.  Even though they don't see him as hitting for as much power, they project him as having better command of the strike zone and consequently a higher BA and OBP. 

Plus, I think d'Arnaud has been quite a bit younger than J.P. at the same levels, which also factors in.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 11:42 AM EST (#231156) #
"I don't think it's unbridled optimism in the least to think that Escobar will likely revert back to the .365-.385obp guy he's been every year other than last year."

I've noticed around the Jays blogosphere people seem to be underrating Yunel.  Some seem to express a guarded hope that he might rebound, but I would expect him to.  This is a guy with a career .364 obp even including his bad 2010.  Before last year he was a career .301/.375/.426 hitter, and he's just entering his age 28 season. 
Ryan Day - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 11:45 AM EST (#231157) #
"I think d'Arnaud has been quite a bit younger than J.P. at the same levels, which also factors in."

Only a little. D'arnaud was 21 in Dunedin this year. Arencibia was 22 when he played there.
Kelekin - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 11:57 AM EST (#231158) #
D'Arnaud appears to be all about projection.  Scouts seem to love him, BaseballAmerica rated him way higher than his tools grade would indicate, and I just don't see it yet.  I'd love for him to be the guy BaseballAmerica thinks he'll be.

If only we had a combination of Arencibia's power, with Jeroloman's batting eyes, and Jimenez' arm.

China fan - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 11:59 AM EST (#231159) #

....To think that the FO doesn't want to give a young, cheap, C who very well could be an above average C with average-ish defense a try in the bigs is just silly.....

I don't think anybody has ever suggested that JPA shouldn't be given a try.  Of course he needs to get a try.  But let's face it: there's always a non-trivial chance (let's say 10 to 50 per cent) that any rookie catcher won't be able to adjust immediately to big-league pitching, both offensively and defensively, in his first season in the majors, no matter how MVP awards or eye surgeries he has received in the minors.  Anthopolous simply thought that it would be prudent to invest $2-million or $3-million in an insurance policy, by the name of Rod Barajas or Russell Martin, just in case JPA has trouble with the adjustment and needs to spend a couple months in the minors this year, or in case of injury or anything else.  If JPA has a good rookie season, Barajas or Martin could still be the back-up catcher, or could get ABs as the DH (or, in Martin's case, maybe even occasionally as 3B or 1B).  The net cost would be fairly minimal -- perhaps the cost of having Molina in the minors on a $1-million salary, at the most. So it makes a lot of sense that Anthopolous was willing to spend a couple or three million on another catcher.  When those deals fell through, Anthopolous decided to take a chance on JPA's ability to be the main catcher for the full year, knowing that this is a rebuilding year anyway, and knowing that he still has Molina, Budde, Jeroloman etc, in case of emergencies.

sam - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 12:47 PM EST (#231161) #
In watching the game on sunday it's pretty obvious why some people are a lot higher on d'arnaud then arencibia. D'arnaud is a lot smoother and natural behind the plate. He catches the ball much better than arencibia who has a certain mechanicalness that makes purists cringe. D'arnaud makes everything look easy while arencibia looks very much like he's been taught the position as opposed to being "natural" behind the plate.
ayjackson - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 01:09 PM EST (#231162) #

If it does, maybe I can help! Remember this about Arencibia's 2010 season - he was repeating the level.

I'll give him a year then.  : P

If JPA can average a .270/.310/.525 line through his age 26-29 seasons, I'd think that would be excellent.  It's a reasonble upside projection.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 01:30 PM EST (#231163) #
"Can anyone explain the story at MLBTR that the Jays had three scouts watching Kevin Slowey at the Twins B game this morning?"

I can see going after Slowey, if A.A. thinks of going after Colby Ramaus (St.L.) http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/rasmuco01.shtml .   It will take Cecil and Davis, at a minimum, to get it done.
Kelekin - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 01:56 PM EST (#231164) #
Cecil and Davis at a minimum, that's for sure.  We're talking Cecil, Davis, and a top prospect.
Shaker - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 02:49 PM EST (#231166) #
...or Snider and rZep...

Which leaves you with a 2012 OF of Bautista, Rasmus and Thames/Davis.

Not too shabby.

Kelekin - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 04:13 PM EST (#231167) #
Snider/Cecil would be a lot closer, I'd think they would want someone more proven than Rzep.  I wouldn't be against this either.  I love Snider as much as anyone else and he's definitely going to be a power hitter, but he is as durable as Nick Johnson.
mathesond - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 04:49 PM EST (#231168) #
I think it would take one of Drabek/Stewart, along with Gose, to get the Cardinal's attention
MatO - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 04:50 PM EST (#231169) #
but he is as durable as Nick Johnson.
2006, 2007 and 2008 Snider was healthy.  2009 he missed maybe a month and 2010 maybe 6 weeks.    If you put him on the DL today and reinstated him in 2014 you'd be in Nick Johnson territory.
MatO - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 05:00 PM EST (#231170) #

Gose came in as a defensive replacement in today's game. He doubled in the ninth, stole 3rd and scored on an errant throw.

ayjackson - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 05:19 PM EST (#231171) #
Snider/Cecil would be huge overpay.  Snider and Rasmus aren`t that far apart.  Rasmus has extra defensive value and Snider has always had more upside in the bat.  Rzep is closer to the difference.  And people continue to undersell Cecil.  Yet all you hear around the league is the premium on young pitching.  Especially after the Giants WS win.  A horrible team with excellent young pitching wins the WS.
China fan - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 05:26 PM EST (#231172) #
That's now 7 stolen bases for Anthony Gose in just 13 spring ABs.   Projected over a full season of 600 at-bats, that would be, let's see ....  323 stolen bases! 
Kelekin - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 05:27 PM EST (#231173) #
I definitely wouldn't undersell Cecil, I just wouldn't oversell Snider.  And, if you think Snider was injury free for 2006-2008, I assume you didn't watch a lot of the minor league box scores! :) All I am saying is he has a terrible injury history (especially in high school).

Keep in mind Rasmus does all of this from center field. 

ayjackson - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 05:38 PM EST (#231174) #
Injuries definitely concern me when it comes to Snider.  That`s hindered his development more than any alleged misuse by the manager.
Mike Forbes - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 06:06 PM EST (#231175) #
Brett Lawrie went 2 for 3 today with an opposite field home run. To quote a brash, confident (These are also traits for Lawrie's) annoymous celebrity, "Hello?! Winning!"
Mylegacy - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 06:07 PM EST (#231176) #
To.Everyone...Listen. Up.

ONE) Travis Snider is 23 years old...repeat...23 years old!

TWO) Thames, Drabek, Stewart, APA, Jenkins and Cooper - to name a few - are ALL OLDER than Travis. The kid should be in AA or AAA now. He is a phenom - he will hit 40+ dingers AT LEAST several times in his career. The kid is going NOWHERE!

Three) Repeat one and two above...


dan gordon - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 06:11 PM EST (#231177) #

Agree that Snider and Cecil for Rasmus would be nuts.  Cecil is an underrated pitcher, like a lot of guys who don't throw really hard.  The injury thing with Snider is certainly an issue, though.  He had that throwing elbow problem in 2008, the wrist problem last year, the rib problem now, and I remember a couple of other pulls here and there.  Plus he seems to take a lot longer to heal than what is initially thought.  The wrist thing was thought to be a day-to-day problem at first, but he missed something like 50 games.

Nice performances by some of the hitters today - Davis had 3 hits incl a HR, Lawrie had 2 hits with a HR, and Mastroianni and Thames had 2 hits each.  Litsch had his first stumble, giving up 3 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs in 3 2/3 IP.  Gose had a hit along with his SB.

Kelekin - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 06:36 PM EST (#231178) #
...I'm not really sure what Snider's age has to do with anything...I don't think anyone is debating his age...

I was simply stating what it would take to get a top-tier, MVP-potential center fielder.  I'm not undervaluing our players, I'm simply taking a non-partisan approach so to speak to how a trade goes.  Moz would definitely be asking for that type of package, and rightly so.  This is about what it would take to get Rasmus.

ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 07:33 PM EST (#231180) #
Cecil is an underrated pitcher, like a lot of guys who don't throw really hard.

The fact that a pitcher with an ERA+ of 92 over his career, and 98 in his best year, is being discussed as a key part of a deal for Colby Rasmus, who had an OPS+ last year of 132 as a 23 year old, shows how completely untrue the above statement is. Cecil won 15 games last year and everyone who normally thinks wins are irrelevant got the hots for him. Rasmus is a centerfielder who produces big time at the plate. If St. Louis would ever trade him, and I see no reason they would, it's not going to be for Brett Cecil and Travis Snider, neither of whom has shown anything to make them part of a conversation about Rasmus.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 09:02 PM EST (#231181) #
Rasmus and Cecil are almost exactly the same age - 23 at the start of last season, and turned 24 during the season.  In other words, both are still developing as players.  Rasmus had a WAR of 2.9 last year and Cecil was 2.2.   Looking at the develpment Cecil has shown so far in his very young career, I think he looks like a very promising pitcher.   His ERA+ in 2009 was 84, last year it was 98.  I think it will probably move significantly higher again this year.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 11:12 PM EST (#231182) #
I like Cecil a lot.  His career 22-11 W/L record could be written off as resulting primarily from better than average run support, but he has pitched very well in high and medium leverage situations and poorly in low leverage situations.

Rasmus is a good player, but last year's numbers benefited from a little luck bounce.  He struck out 148 times in 144 games, but hit .276 courtesy of a .354 BABIP.  If you looked at what he was likely to do in 2011, Marcel probably has him about right at a .341 wOBA.  He is an average defensive centerfielder.  Maybe he will break out but I am not itching to see him in a Blue Jay uniform. 
uglyone - Thursday, March 10 2011 @ 11:25 PM EST (#231183) #
The other question with Rasmus is whether or not he can actually stick in CF. There is some debate over this.

If he's a corner OF going forward, suddenly his value dips.
MatO - Friday, March 11 2011 @ 09:41 AM EST (#231184) #

And, if you think Snider was injury free for 2006-2008, I assume you didn't watch a lot of the minor league box scores! :)

Only every day.  A typical minor league season is about 130 games.  He played 118 in 2007 and 133 in 2008.  With days off did he miss 10 games in 2 years at most?  I recall he had to take time off bcause a grandparent died as well so it may be even less.

All I am saying is he has a terrible injury history (especially in high school).

That's funny because nobody said he was injury prone at the time he was drafted.  There was a lot of discussion on this site and nothing was ever mentioned.  I do recall he broke his foot playing football so he stopped playing football because he had the potential to be a high baseball draft pick.


earlweaverfan - Friday, March 11 2011 @ 09:47 AM EST (#231185) #
The other question with Rasmus is whether or not he can actually stick in CF. There is some debate over this.

The yet-one-more question is Rasmus's personality.  At one point, he wasn't interested in the coaching he could get from the Cardinals, so he went to get his father to give  him advice.  After all Rasmus's complaining about how he was being treated, a certain Mr. Pujols told him to shut his mouth and go back to playing.  Not an exemplar of the wonderful team-oriented personality that AA is so interested in signing up.  Of course, maybe he is just misunderstood or a bad fit with his manager, or...

Still, we certainly wouldn't want to give Mr. Pujols a reason not to join the Jays, would we??


Magpie - Friday, March 11 2011 @ 02:15 PM EST (#231196) #
as durable as Nick Johnson

Despite that handicap, Snider has somehow managed to play well more than twice as many games as Johnson (507 to 197) in the four years since his first full pro season.
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