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No, it's not Brett Lawrie.  To make room for Darren Oliver the Blue Jays have designated Mark Teahen for assignment.  The Blue Jays will trade or release Teahen after the prescribed waiting period, which is ten days I think.

Teahen's status change is not a surprise, there is no spot for him on the 2012 squad.  I assume AA has been trying to deal him with no success.  The Jays might still deal him to the team that will absorb the most of his salary but don't expect anything back unless the Jays eat all of his contract.  Teahen has value to some teams but not as his current salary of $5.5 million.

Consider this your new Blue Jay thread for this week or until there is more news.
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Matthew E - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 11:03 AM EST (#250295) #
Without Teahen, the Jays only have Kelly Johnson, Edwin Encarnacion, Rajai Davis, and Ben Francisco to cover left field. That's pretty thin. There's a danger that they may have to play Travis Snider or Eric Thames in left for a few innings here and there.
Jonny German - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 11:06 AM EST (#250296) #
Hooray for sensible economics!

Next, having both Ben Francisco and Rajai Davis on this team does not make sense.
Mike Green - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 11:20 AM EST (#250298) #
I don't agree with that.  It is really a roster construction issue.  Do you want to have a 7 man pen?  If so, you don't want to have all of  Davis and Francisco and Encarnacion on your club.  For myself, I would be happier with a 5 or 6 man pen, with Davis being a 4th outifelder and pinch-runner, Francisco as a right-handed complement to Thames/Snider and Encarnacion platooning with Lind at DH and backing up the corners.  If the club opened the season and the roster was as it is today, I would be happiest if Thames and Snider both had jobs at the corners and Bautista was the everyday first baseman, but we shall see how things go in the spring.  I admit that it is unlikely that the club will go with a pen of less than 7. 
jerkstore - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 11:23 AM EST (#250299) #
I am guessing the bench is now mathis, valbuenna or mccoy, davis and fransisco. It would be nice to find some ABs for cooper. There is no point in keeping him in AAA. He might build up some value as MLB bench bat.
sweat - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 11:45 AM EST (#250300) #
Probably Cooper would get the first call if one of Lawrie, Lind, EE or Thames/Snider are hurt.  Wouldn't be too bad to have him, McCoy/Valbuenna  and the loser of Thames/Snider as options for first call if someone is hurt.
bpoz - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 12:19 PM EST (#250301) #
Concerning long term contracts. The Bautista contract was for 5 years & a lot of money. AA did not want to do it so soon but Bautista forced his hand by stating that he would not negotiate during the year.

However AA loves the 1 year deal with the 1 year club option. The Romero, Lind & Escobar deals were longer but options kicked in quite soon. I consider this smart & safe because it allows the team to escape from the contract soon.

Lets analyse the favorite of AA, IMO 1 year with an option. No draft picks any more but they can be traded. If Oliver is doing well in 2012, he is a valuable LH reliever in trade to someone who thinks they are a contender and he has more value by being under control for 2013 at the choice of his team. Same thing with Janssen & Carlos V, but they are not in the $4mil range. If both have an ERA under 2.50 then there will definitely be interest in them. The asking price is higher depending on the years of control.

If there is no claim on Teahen, does he have to be released or can the Jays send him to LV. He could be LV's top 3B.

Hypobole, you were asking if R Davis may be traded. IMO we have too many OFs 2 4th OFs in Fransisco & Davis and LF Snider & Thames and later in the season Seirra.

AA has also managed to get a few players, especially pitchers off the 40 man roster and kept control of them. Being able to play everyday gives them a chance to improve hopefully into ML players.
China fan - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 12:33 PM EST (#250302) #
This is a positive move. Instead of trying to eek out some value from Teahen (as they did with Juan Rivera last year), the Jays are accepting the cost and essentially spending $5.5-milion to clear a roster space for a superior bench bat. It shows that the Jays are willing to spend money. If they can spend $5.5-million to clear a roster space, why not a few million more for an above-average starting pitcher, either on the free-agent market or the trade market? It could yet happen.
As for the outfield: there are probably more roster moves to come, but if there aren't any further moves, I wouldn't complain if Davis and Francisco are both on the team. Davis is the pinch-runnner and back-up CF, while Francisco is a superior bat to any other bench candidates on the team (assuming that the loser of the Snider-Thames battle is sent to Las Vegas, which seems likely at this point). Francisco could also be the back-up DH, allowing Encarnacion to be benched or to play 1B. He also allows some OF options if Snider or Davis slides over to CF occasionally. So Francisco would allow roster flexibility at 5 positions (the outfield and DH and 1B). His bat isn't good enough for a starting position on a contending team, but it's good enough for a bench player.
John Northey - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 12:34 PM EST (#250303) #
Teahen would have the right to refuse an assignment to AAA iirc without fear of his contract being voided due to his service time in the majors. Given how poorly he played last year he might consider it but odds are he'll be released and the Jays will offer him a spring training invite on a minor league deal if no one else offers a ML job.

Who is the projected Jays 3B in AAA this year anyways? Mark Sobolewski was the AA guy at 3B, entering his age 25 season he hit 273/324/383 in AA. Not a prospect at this stage, but would probably be a reasonable place holder in AAA. I'm expecting the Jays are going to/have signed some vet 3B AAAA guy to be the backup for whenever Lawrie is hurt.
bpoz - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 12:55 PM EST (#250304) #
There is still a long time until ST. I heard Farrell on with Bob MacGowan. I was happy to hear him be more non committal. I am OK with him saying that the Jays are committed to a winter caravan and Romero being in the rotation, as long as it is understood that nothing is written in stone.

Farrell is interesting, which is good, but he actually has to make decisions on who to play etc... So IMO he should not tell.
Let A Ashby, Martinez, Wilner give opinions, they can agree or disagree with what Farrell is doing and what they say does not have repercussions. These media people can say whatever they want about a player but Farrell cannot and should not. IMO he is forced to say nice things about a player especially after a horrible, horrible outing. So he may soften it by saying that today or recently that player has been struggling.... but he expects him to make his next start. Unfortunately that is being on the spot because Snider, Drabek, Cecil did that and then got sent down. I am starting to understand these things more now.
Gerry - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 01:22 PM EST (#250305) #
Kevin Howard re-signed with the Jays.  Howard spent most of last season in AAA before heading down to AA to help NH win the title.  He could return to Las Vegas to handle 3B.
China fan - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 02:23 PM EST (#250306) #
In his conference call today, Anthopoulos said the Jays are "in dialogue" about possibly adding another bullpen arm, presumably from the free-agent market. Although it's not strictly necessary, I think this could be a good move. Last year showed how AA could spin his surplus bullpen arms into a frontline young hitter. He could do that again this year. It would also mean that the bullpen has plenty of depth in case of injuries, and it allows more flexibility if the Jays want to use Litsch or Villanueva as a starter. There's always a significant risk that one of the top 12 pitchers (starters and relievers) can be injured in spring training. Or the Jays could simply want to hide McGowan on the injury-rehab list for a few weeks in April and May. In that scenario, if another reliever has been acquired, they could use Litsch or Villanueva as a starter for a few weeks, and they'd still have enough bullpen arms to ensure that Carreno can continue working as a starter in the minors.
The only drawback in all of those scenarios is that Perez could become the odd man out, and I think he's out of options. It might be hard to keep him on the roster if another reliever is acquired. But given the likelihood of injuries or trades, the Jays can probably find a way to keep Perez on the roster.
Chuck - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 02:39 PM EST (#250309) #
Hal McCoy either has inside information, had this story ready and waiting just in case and it was released too early, or has travelled to us from the future.

The official announcement isn't due for another half an hour.
Mick Doherty - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 03:08 PM EST (#250310) #
Hmmm. Well, McCoy is a Reds guy -- dating back to the Machine days -- so he probably started drafting this in 1990 ...
Mick Doherty - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 03:12 PM EST (#250311) #

On Facebook just now:
Barry Larkin Elected to the Hall of Fame | Baseball Hall of Fame

I will leave it to someone else to start the thread ...

TamRa - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 03:14 PM EST (#250313) #
"I am guessing the bench is now mathis, valbuenna or mccoy, davis and fransisco."

I still think they will add a legitimate SS who can hit a bit better than McCoy. it's my understanding Valbuena is considered kind of thin at SS, no?

As for possibly adding a reliever - my first guess would it it would be on a minor league deal or split contract (if we are right about Perez being out of options) because there's hardly any flexibility there.
Mike Green - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 03:18 PM EST (#250314) #
On Primer, someone who listened to the broadcast reported that Larkin ended up with 86%, Morris 66%, Bagwell 56%, Lee Smith 50% and Raines 48%, with Trammell, Martinez and Walker lurking behind.  Three out of five aint...great.
Chuck - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 03:24 PM EST (#250315) #
Per Calcaterra at Hardball Talk:

Larkin was named on 86% of the ballots. Following him were: Jack Morris, with 66.7% of the vote, Jeff Bagwell, who got 56 percent of the vote, which is a nice increase from last year’s 41.7% and Lee Smith with 50.6%.  Then come Tim Raines (48.7%), Alan Trammell (36.8%) and Edgar Martinez (36.5%). Bernie Williams — with 9.6% — was the only newcomer to survive to be voted upon next year.

China fan - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 03:34 PM EST (#250317) #
Here's a bit more of AA's current thinking about the Jays bench, from his conference call with journalists today. This summary is from Bluebird Banter:

"He's figuring the bench is Davis, Mathis, Francisco and one of McCoy or Valbuena. Mathis and Davis are sure to get a spot. They will watch Valbuena at short and third during spring training to see if they feel he can handle the spots. McCoy has options left. Francisco, he feels, is a good addition because of being a RHB with the team having Rasmus and Snider or Thames in the outfield."
Mike Green - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 03:50 PM EST (#250319) #
...which means Lind as a full-time first baseman and Encarnacion as a full-time DH.  Hopefully, there will be an improvement to the rotation if there are no changes in the 1B/DH situation. 
92-93 - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 03:51 PM EST (#250320) #
China Fan, as far as I can tell Perez still has an option.

Bpoz, Janssen & Villanueva are impending FAs.
uglyone - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 03:59 PM EST (#250321) #
1) about time on Teahen. it's a shame this team wasted the chance to get more at bats for Cooper last year by not waiving this guy as soon as they go thim. Not a huge deal, but still a waste.

2) This is what I'd do with the hitters this year...full time platoons at LF, 1B, DH:

Left Field

T.Snider (24): .767ops v RHP
R.Davis (31): .762ops v LHP

Designated Hitter

E.Thames (25): .809ops v RHP
B.Francisco (30): .768ops v LHP

First Base

A.Lind (28): .842ops v RHP
E.En'cion (29): .847ops v LHP

With both Snider and Thames poised to take over those roles full time if they can adjust better to lefties.
Original Ryan - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 04:16 PM EST (#250322) #
China Fan, as far as I can tell Perez still has an option.

I don't see how. He was added to the 40-man roster after the 2008 season, was optioned in 2009 and 2010, and was down in the minors for over 20 days on at least one occasion in 2011, so an option was used this year. He doesn't appear to qualify for a fourth option, either.

bpoz - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 04:20 PM EST (#250323) #
Thanks China fan. I read what AA had to say on the conference call as reported by Bulebird Banter.
I especially liked the comments. On Hutchison, Pump & Dump...and trade him before the season starts. Then the one about if the off season moves are over then nothing above 3rd place for us.

My opinion now on AA is that he has become tricky. I mean that as a compliment, just so everyone knows. I loved how Mike Wilner was persistent in asking how much he bid or if he bid on Yu Darvish. I thought Wilner was polite, respectful & sincere but asked him what was the harm in revealing the info, IMO well done by M Wilner. AA gave a great answer, he gave a reason why he would not confirm if he bid or how much. AA did not want agents thinking that if he makes a big offer for anything that he now has spare budget room.

AA may be using the media now. If Boras can have a mystery team... then AA can say he has irons in the fire or nothing is happening ie everything is cold. This could get other GMs to blink. AA's Arb deadline got results.
MatO - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 04:22 PM EST (#250324) #
2) This is what I'd do with the hitters this year...full time platoons at LF, 1B, DH:
Plus back-up catcher and IF leaves you with 11 pitchers.  I don't have a problem with having 11 pitchers but MLB seems to.
92-93 - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 04:29 PM EST (#250325) #
Weird. TSN doesn't have him as being optioned in 2010, but you appear to be right.
bpoz - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 04:40 PM EST (#250326) #
L Perez has no options left by my count. 2009 & 10 on the 40 man to use up 2 options. In 2011 8 starts in LV, but he was there April 25 to May 15, over 20 days in a single season burns an option. I hope my reasoning is sound.

In ST if there is talk of players making the team because they have no option left Reyes & Purcey in 2011 and Litsch & Janssen not making it because they do have an option left then to me that is a clear message that we are still building & asset hoarding at the expense of competing.
Landomar - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 04:42 PM EST (#250327) #
I wonder if AA's promise to give Encarnacion at least 500 plate appearances applies to this season as well as last season.
Parker - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 04:58 PM EST (#250328) #
Encarnacion is a notorious slow starter, with a career OPS of .731 in April and .694 in May. He heats up big-time in June with a career mark of .828, and follows up with .846, .824, and .787 to round out the season. In the likely event he doesn't come flying out of the gate this spring, I'd really like to see Cooper get some at-bats in the DH slot. For that matter, if Lind starts off hitting like he did in the second half of last season, I'd hope the team is willing to suspend judgment of Cooper's poor defensive reputation at first base and give him a longer look there. I'm no scout, and I'm as prone to retroactive devaluation of Ricciardi draft picks as anyone (though the Cooper pick wasn't exactly universally lauded - he projected as a gap hitter with below average home run power who couldn't play defence) but I thought Cooper showed promise last year - the results just didn't match his approach. If he could put up a Lyle Overbay-esque slash line, you'd think he'd have significant value due to the lineup's slugging-heavy construction. This point would be moot though if Kelly Johnson hits like he did in 2010.

Then again, if they can get Fielder for less than six years I won't care what the team does with Cooper, Lind, or Encarnacion. I think there's a reasonable chance Arencibia becomes a better hitter than any of them and having a full time DH who can spell D'Arnaud behind the plate would be very efficient roster construction.
Mike Green - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 05:22 PM EST (#250330) #
It is true that Arencibia might develop quite a bit as a hitter if he wasn't constantly battling the minor injuries which are endemic to catching.  It does not seem likely that the club would have d'Arnaud, Arencibia, Mathis, Encarnacion and Lind around, assuming that the club was going with a 12 man staff. 
TamRa - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 07:16 PM EST (#250331) #
"Morris 66%"

Those bozos are actually going to screw around and actually elect him at some point. I would say unbelievable but i'm not sure there's anything I wouldn't believe from that crowd.

Ryan Day - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 09:27 PM EST (#250334) #
"AA did not want agents thinking that if he makes a big offer for anything that he now has spare budget room."

I'm not sure how meaningful that really is.

If the Jays were interested in Darvish, you have to assume they weren't stupid enough to think a bid of $10 million would get them anything. Even conservatively, you'd think they'd budget $20-30 million for the posting fee, then another $40-60 for actually signing Darvish.

Any agent would have a decent idea of how much the Jays had available for Darvish - and you also might figure that some of them might have enough sources to know exactly who bid what.

It's also of limited use to 99% of agents. Maybe it's relevant if the Jays claim they can't afford Prince Fielder's price tag, but AA's almost ruled out any free agents of that ilk. It's not like Darren Oliver raised his price by $15 million because he knew the Jays had money to spare.
jgadfly - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 09:28 PM EST (#250335) #

So it looks like the Jays will eat most of Teahen's salary ... let's say $4M ... which leaves them shopping a fairly reasonable (contract wise) backup 1st/3rd baseman with corner outfield experience who could possibly be an average NL pinch hitter with a savy veteran's panache who could be paired with a spare bullpen arm with a little upside (read Perez, Litsch, Jannsen, Frasor, Carpenter whoever) to allow for a somewhat half decent return of someone with a youngish career of underperformance but 'superarmed bullpen potential' and a deal could be sold to several teams ready to contend in the NL by AA (but definitely not by me) ... after all Eric Hinske is still playing for the Braves, isn't he ? ...

     Never the less and before we start piling on over the missing $5M of Rogers' money,  Teahen's value to the Jays will always be as the pivotal player that allowed them to acquire Colby Rasmus for a young pitcher with 'plusish' potential (Rzep), a Jays top 10 prospect  (Stewart), a Low A reliever (Webb) and an Appy rookie League young pitcher (Jaye) with long range potential  (a system horn of plenty) plus a LH reliever (Dotel) who had problems with LH batters and a defensive specialist (Patterson) who had trouble with defense ... not a bad trade, even with the added $5M costs, even by applying normal present day comparative standards ... but an unbelievably great deal by any measure that could have been applied or imagined one year ago today where it involved at the time an 'untouchable' 'franchise' 'elite prospect/player' ...

vw_fan17 - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 09:48 PM EST (#250337) #
after all Eric Hinske is still playing for the Braves, isn't he ? ...

Hinske has a lifetime OPS+ of 101. Last 6 years: 109, 104, 99, 109, 114, 96. Except for 6 years ago when he made quite a bit with Boston, his salary has ranged between $0.8M and $1.5M. He's played LF, RF, 3B, 1B and DH and has a career OPS of 828 off the bench... I would HOPE that players with results like these who will sign for cheap will keep getting opportunities to play.. I doubt we have anyone on our bench with a career OPS anywhere near 800 as a pinch hitter..
Jonny German - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 10:36 PM EST (#250338) #
Eric Hinske's evil twin already plays for the Jays. He's streakier, so people get more excited about what could happen if he ever avoided the month-long ice-cold stretches, but he really is the right-handed Eric Hinske.
Richard S.S. - Monday, January 09 2012 @ 11:46 PM EST (#250339) #

Luis Valbuena's (26, 2B/SS/3B) career MLB stats: .226  .286  .344  in 735 ABs.   Mike McCoy's (30. OF,SS,2B) career MLB stats: .194  .280  .257  in 284 ABs.   I know who I want  as Backup Infielder  on this Team and he's not 30.

Was every time that Luis Perez  played in Spring Training an Official Invite, or was he brought up from the Minor Camp for an Extended Look?   It's very unlike A.A. to miss a LHP being out of options, unless he's being traded in an A.A. Special (trade).   Luis Perez and a Prospect for a top LHRP would be a good deal.

I saw Jack Morris pitch a lot, and for a long time (Cable - Detroit was on TV a lot back then).  He's a much, much better pitcher than his numbers; he was THE pitcher no one wanted to face when playing his team.   Bagwell and Raines should have been and will be elected (both game changers).   Smith, Trammel and Martinez should not be elected (just not good enough).   I hope McGriff and Walker eventually do (both favorites).



TamRa - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 04:55 AM EST (#250340) #
options are measured by years on the 40 man roster, not where you play in ST
TamRa - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 04:57 AM EST (#250341) #
"Except for 6 years ago when he made quite a bit with Boston"

With the Blue Jays paying most of that.
Chuck - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 07:12 AM EST (#250342) #

Never the less and before we start piling on over the missing $5M of Rogers' money,

Who is piling on? Paying for Teahen was the cost to get Rasmus. Everyone knew it at the time and understood that. Right from the start, Teahen was a candidate to be DFA'd. Many are curious what took so long.

Chuck - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 07:20 AM EST (#250343) #

He's a much, much better pitcher than his numbers; he was THE pitcher no one wanted to face when playing his team.  

I'm not sure which is the more baffling of these two remarks. The latter is conjecture, and irrelevant even if true. The first suggests a paradox. What exactly about a 3.90 ERA can safely be dismissed as uninformative?


Mike Green - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 09:10 AM EST (#250344) #
I have never understood the argument about Morris' greatness.  Arguing that he was a better pitcher than Tommy John, say, requires a straining that I just cannot achieve.  Obviously, when you look at the raw statistical comparison, John is a lot better.  To give the fairest possible comparison for Morris, if you look at them through age 37 (Morris was terrible after that),  Morris had thrown 3500 innings with a 108 ERA+ and a 237-168 record while John had thrown 3350 innings with a 118 ERA+ and a 214-151.  John had some good seasons after age 37.

Neither pitcher ever had a season when he was clearly the best pitcher in the league.  When Morris was 24, he had his best seasonal ERA+ at 133, but threw a relatively modest 197 innings.  When John was 25, he had his best seasonal ERA+ at 161, but threw a relatively modest 177 innings.  In their best seasons, each threw many innings (250-290) with very good clubs, won 20 games and posted relatively homely ERAs and ERA+ in the 120-125 range. 

What did Morris do differently than John?  He walked more, he struck out more and he gave up more home runs.  And he was not as durable.  It is pretty clear to me which pitcher I would rather have on my club.

bpoz - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 09:45 AM EST (#250345) #
Morris pitched when it was a 4 man rotation. Looks like he stayed healthy, pitched a lot of innings & complete games.
I am not sure but I think he was often throwing 150 pitches in a game.
He gave the pen a break quite often. IMO that is very important.
But I don't know how he stacks up against Ace type pitchers.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 10:48 AM EST (#250347) #
Morris led the league in complete games once in his career, in 1990 when he went 15-18 with a 4.51 ERA.   That year, the Tigers were pretty terrible, so it didn't much matter whether Morris "saved" the bullpen or not. 

You also cannot look at this IP totals through the lens of 2012.  When he threw 266 innings in 1982, say,  that was 3rd in the league but the #1 pitcher (Stieb) threw 288 and the #10 pitcher (Barker) threw 246 (for comparison, in 2011, the #1 pitcher Verlander threw 251 and the #10  Wilson threw 223 innings).  Curiously, the #3 AL pitcher in IP, Dan Haren would be a pretty similar pitcher to Morris (actually, he's been noticeably better than Morris through age 30). 

The arguments for Morris are fairly similar to those for Rice (teams didn't want to face him), except Morris didn't have a period like Rice did in the late 70s where he was great.  Morris was very good for a few years, good for about 10 and that's it.   
John Northey - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 11:27 AM EST (#250348) #
I was a big fan in the same era. Morris was rarely a pitcher I feared the Jays facing. Stieb was by far the better pitcher (at least as I perceived it) when they both played but Stieb's career ended early while still at a peak.

There are 2 reasons Morris is near the HOF while an extremely similar pitcher, El Presidente, was on the ballot for just one year.
1) Game 7
2) Most wins in the 80's

If Lonnie Smith hadn't become confused on the bases game 7 would've been forgotten about or could've even been a negative (Morris would've lost 1-0). The 80's wins was more a function of dumb luck due to Clemens, Gooden, and other solid or great pitchers starting mid-decade while Stieb was stuck with a horrid offense at first and horrid luck at other times (14 wins despite leading the league in ERA in 1985 for example). Switch the teams and Stieb would probably be in the HOF (with 2 or 3 Cy Youngs in the 82-85 stretch) while Morris would be viewed in the Dennis Martinez category of solid but not good enough for the HOF.
Parker - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 12:07 PM EST (#250350) #
In their best seasons, each threw many innings (250-290) with very good clubs, won 20 games and posted relatively homely ERAs and ERA+ in the 120-125 range.

This is downright poetic. Nicely done!
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 03:38 PM EST (#250353) #

I had the privilege of watching Jack Morris pitch a lot of games and it was like watching two different pitchers in action.   In close games, Jack pitched them tight, precise control, baffling and bewildering everyone one he faced, giving 110% for as long as it was a close game.   The moment he had a 3 or more Run lead, he pitched exclusively to contact the rest of the game, giving 85-90%, unconcerned with giving up runs, just getting the game over.  He didn't always have players like Whitaker and Trammel behind him, but if he also had an anemic offense that day, he would lose some games.   A lot of people who grew up with him, Including myself, believe he's a Hall of Famer.   I believe if Otis Nixon doesn't bunt to the right side of the plate, we'd have needed a Game 7 in 1991, then who wins?   3 World Series rings, including his Classic Game 7 in 1990, 5 All Star Games and a very solid career, should be enough.


Chuck - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 03:52 PM EST (#250354) #
A study on "pitching to the score" by the late Greg Spira.
Paul D - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 04:21 PM EST (#250355) #

Richard, I'm sorry, but what you said is simply not true.  Moreover, all these stories came along after the fact.  You have to look pretty hard for people saying this thing at the time.
Paul D - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 04:24 PM EST (#250356) #

Richard, let me modify my last comment.  Every single pitcher in the history of baseball has done what you've described.  Defences play differently depending on game situations, different pitches are called, etc.  There is 0 evidence that Morris did this anymore or less than anyone else in history.

MatO - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 04:28 PM EST (#250357) #

I believe if Otis Nixon doesn't bunt to the right side of the plate, we'd have needed a Game 7 in 1991, then who wins?

That was 1992.  Actually, if Morris doesn't give up a 3 run HR with the lead in game 1 then maybe the Jays sweep.  Maybe, if Morris doesn't get bombed in game 5 then the Jays win in 5.  We should thank him for getting blown out of game 4 against Oakland in the ALCS which then allowed Alomar to hit his legendary (at least to Jays' fans) game-tying shot off Eckersley.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 04:29 PM EST (#250358) #

...I don't have a problem with having 11 pitchers but MLB seems to.

Where is your source for  MLB seems to.   As far as I'm aware, 4 Starters and 4 relievers and 17 Batters are fine with MLB. 

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 04:39 PM EST (#250359) #
In 1980, Morris went 16-15 with an ERA+ of 99, despite having 4.52 runs per game of support (league average was 4.51).  He did not win a game all year when his team gave him 1 or 2 runs of support and when his team gave him 3 runs, he went 1-6, and with 4 runs, he went 2-3.  He had 8 games of 7+ runs support

In 1981, he went 14-7 with an ERA+ of 124; he had 5.38 runs of support.  He went 0-3 when his team gave him 1 run.  He went 1-2 when his team gave him 2 runs.   He went 1-1 when his team gave him 3 runs, and 3-0 with 4 runs.  He had 6 games of 7+ runs support in the strike-shortened year. 

In 1982, he went 17-16 with an ERA+ of 100; he had 4.17 runs of support. He went 0-4 when his team gave him 1 run.  He went 1-2 when his team gave him 2 runs.  He went 3-3 when his team gave him 3 runs, and 2-3 with 4 runs.  He only had 4 games of 7+ runs support.

In 1983 (perhaps his best season), he went 20-13 with an ERA+ of 117 over a league-leading 293 innings; he had 4.75 runs support.  He did not win any games when his team gave him 1 or 2 runs of support (losing 8 games).  He went 1-1 when his team gave him 3 runs, and 5-1 with 4 runs.  He had 7 games of 7+ runs support.

In 1984, the Tigers ran away with things and Morris went 19-11 with an ERA+ of 109, despite having 5.09 runs per game support.  He was given 1 run twice and went 0-2.  He was given 2 runs three times and went 1-2.  He was given 3 runs twice and went 0-2.  In fairness, when the Tigers gave him 4 runs, he did go 5-1 (three times going 6 innings and twice going the distance).

In 1985, he went 16-11 with a 122 ERA+.  He had 4.58 runs support.  He went 2-4 with 1 run of support (that is very good).  He went  0-3 with 2 runs of support.  He  went 2-3 with 3 runs of support.

In 1986, he went 21-8 with a 127 ERA+.  He had  5.46 runs support (league average was 4.61).  He went 1-5 with 1 run of support.  He went 2-2 with 2 runs of support.  He went 0-1 with 3 runs of support.  He went 2-1 with 4 runs of support. (He had 13 games with 7+ run support). 

In 1987, he went 18-11 with a 126 ERA+ in 266 innings.  He had 5.27 runs of support.  He lost the only game when he was given 1 run.  He went 1-5 when given 2 runs.  He went 2-3 when given 3 runs.   He went 4-2 when given 4 runs of support. He had 10 games of 7+ run support. 

1988-90 were down years for him.

In 1991, he went 18-12 for the Twinkies with an ERA+ of 125.  He had 5 runs per game support.  He did not win a game all season with 1 or 2 runs of support (4 games of each).  He went 5-4 with 3 runs of support.  He went 1-1 with 4 runs of support.  He had 11 games with 7+ run support. 

In 1992, he went 21-6 for your World Champion Blue Jays with an ERA+ of 106.  He had 5.56 runs per game support.  He went 0-3 with 1 run of support.  He went 1-1 with 2 runs of support, 2-0 with 3 runs of support and 7-2 with 4 runs of support.  He had 12 games with 7+ run support.

Over the best years of his career, his record with 1, 2 and 3 runs of support was good but not great.  His record with 4 runs of support was very good.  Mostly though, he had a lot of games when his team scored 7 or more runs.  Naturally, he lost very few of them. 

Parker - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 05:48 PM EST (#250360) #
Where is your source for MLB seems to. As far as I'm aware, 4 Starters and 4 relievers and 17 Batters are fine with MLB.

This seemed like obvious hyperbole to me, and probably did to Da Box at large. Instead of taking it literally, consider it a commentary on the almost univeral preference for a seven-man bullpen.

Snarky comments are usually easier to swallow if one occasionally contributes something of value as well.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 07:25 PM EST (#250362) #

Richard, I'm sorry, but what you said is simply not true.  Moreover, all these stories came along after the fact.  You have to look pretty hard for people saying this thing at the time.

I was born August 1st, in 1953.   What I did since then is not open to discussion.   I will say, I saw a lot of baseball in the 70s and 80s and early 90s.   When I was speaking about Jack Morris it's IMO and what I felt then as now.   This article: and the Prime Time Sports, today, 1st hour with Jeff Blair agrees with me.  Thank you very much.

greenfrog - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 07:59 PM EST (#250364) #
BA's Orioles' top 10 prospects is up. Here's one snippet I found amusing (in the writeup on Dylan Bundy):

"He earns high praise for his makeup, and the attribute that might set Bundy apart the most is his work ethic. His workouts are the stuff of Oklahoma legend, going beyond the basics of running, lifting weights and long-tossing to push himself to do such things as digging holes, doing lunges around the warning track and chopping down trees and carrying them around."

Digging holes, cutting down trees and carrying them around...sounds kind of like an infrastructure project. Were those drills funded by the US stimulus package?
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 08:02 PM EST (#250365) #
You might say that his ceiling is Paul Bunyan.
pubster - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 08:13 PM EST (#250366) #
Being a big workout nut myself, I can tell you that doing work such as digging holes, carrying logs, flipping tires etc are believed by many to be more effective than normal 'body-building' workouts.

The idea is that your body works as a unit, and it might be more effective to do excercises where your entire body is involved, rather than isolating muscles.

Mick Doherty - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 09:40 PM EST (#250367) #

Classic Game 7 in 1990

1990 was Reds over A's in five, sez the Ohio boy. Jack Morris watched that game on television.

Don't get me wrong, I was a huge Morris fan,, lived less than an hour from Michigan & Trumbull for my first 25 years, my gut says he should be in the Hall. Right after Alan Trammell!

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 09:49 PM EST (#250368) #

...Snarky comments are usually easier to swallow if one occasionally contributes something of value as well...

So it's a discussion of the merits of a 6-man Bench or a 7-man Bench you want.   That can take forever.   In the first Cito Gaston years, there was really no 7th-man.   Cito had his favorite four, and his 5 and 6 often didn't get much trust or play.

Prospects, whether Top Stars or just Org. players, progress at their own rate - some can be pushed and some should not be pushed.   The mishandling of Prospects by Organizations has run rampant through the minors, especially pitchers.   Brandon Morrow is a prime example, because with proper development, he would be where he is now, at age 24, not 27.   Just look at an average fringe Pitcher (no one special just a generic version), top 5 round pick out of College.   Signs (21) and plays some Rookie and a few games in A-, doing very well.   Next year (22) in A and a some in A+, still doing very well.   Year three (23) in A+ a bit, doing very well, then AA (where he sucked - ERA jumped fron 2.20 to 5.50, amongst other stats) to finish in AAA for 2.0 hitless IP.   Year four (24) in AAA (sucked) then MLB (stunk).   This goes back and forth for 2-4 years and then he's gone.   Meanwhile, a lot of innings were pitched by a Bullpen.  Object of this lesson: Repeat AA for a 1/2 to a full year (24), possibly AAA (24-25) then MLB (25-27) and a servicable or better  Pitcher.

We have a very good Bullpen with just 6 men, as Litsch and Villanueva can pitch 3-4 innings at need.   Alex worked hard to get it this good.   Romero, Morrow, Cecil should pitch 7.0 or better for a start, because they have progressed to that level (or should have).

Most GMs make bad decisions, usually costing budget space (does Pittsburgh come to mind).   Some of those bad decisions are about the development of pitchers.   Especially rushing them to the majors before they're ready, puts a strain on Bullpens.   Why did a 7-man Bullpen come about.   Bad Owners, bad Gms, bad Managers, bad decisions and pitchers not being good enough are just a few reasons why.

Paul D - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 11:03 PM EST (#250369) #

Richard, the article you linked provides no support to the idea that he was talked of as 'pitching to the score' while he was active.

hypobole - Tuesday, January 10 2012 @ 11:47 PM EST (#250370) #
I thought the 7 man pen came into vogue when managers such as Tony LaRussa realized the highest leverage situations of ballgames often come before the ninth inning and had the extra reliever to create more favorable left/right matchups in these crucial situations.
Spifficus - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:58 AM EST (#250371) #

1990 was Reds over A's in five, sez the Ohio boy.

Methinks the Ohio boy wanted to bask in the glow for a game more than was necessary for Rijo, Davis, Larkin, et al; the Nasty Boys & Co only needed 4.

whiterasta80 - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 09:34 AM EST (#250372) #

I'm a "Big Hall" guy myself, and I have for a long time been a proponent of Jack Morris getting in. But the comment about "everybody pitches to the score" is absolutely true, and to say that Morris did it any better than other players is ridiculous.

To me, Morris' case is similar to Andy Pettite, great pitcher, never the best in the league, but still the best pitcher on several great teams and I'm not sure you can tell the story of baseball in his era without him.  That's why I put him in! Of course I'd also put Dave Stieb in, and Tim Raines in, and Trammel and Whitaker.  I just don't see the point in limiting who is in to Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.  It doesn't make Ruth or Aaron any less amazing, in fact it makes him more amazing because it allows for context.


Mike Green - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 09:39 AM EST (#250373) #
A couple of other things about Morris.  He did pitch better throughout his career in September, although it wasn't always the case that he took a step forward when the club needed him.  He did have that World Series game in 1991, but his overall record in the post-season was, unlike Lou Brock, John Smoltz or Mariano Rivera, entirely unremarkable (13 starts, 92 innings, 3.80 ERA). 

I confess that the idea that Lou Whitaker would get less than 5% of the vote and would get kicked off the ballot and that Jack Morris would be elected in my view reflects very badly on the voters.  You can make the case that Morris was the best pitcher in the major leagues during the 1980-85 period (although the argument that he was better than Stieb is strained), but the pool was exceptionally shallow.  Far superior pitchers like Carlton, Seaver, Palmer,  and Blyleven were not at their best.  Far superior pitchers like Clemens, Gooden , Cone and Saberhagen were yet to come.  What we saw in 1980-85 in the major leagues was a concentration of great talent at third base (Schmidt and Brett) and at shortstop (Ripken, Trammell, Yount, and even Franco and Fernandez) and a relative absence of it

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 09:40 AM EST (#250374) #
...among starting pitchers.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 09:41 AM EST (#250375) #
Incidentally, Ryan Madson has apparently signed with Cincinatti: 1 year 8.5 ml (per MLBTR).  If so I think we have officially entered bargain territory for the offseason.  I hope we stay in touch with the likes of Jackson, Oswalt, Prince, Kuroda and others just "in case".
Jonny German - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 09:53 AM EST (#250377) #
Is there an argument to be made for Morris along the lines of "There are several worse pitchers already in the hall"? I've never seen a comp that puts him in a favourable light. Including the likes of Stieb and Pettite, who were clearly better than Morris regardless if they are hall-worthy.
mathesond - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 10:06 AM EST (#250378) #
"Is there an argument to be made for Morris along the lines of "There are several worse pitchers already in the hall"?" There's a discussion at BBTF around a Jim Kaat interview that touches on this...
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 10:26 AM EST (#250381) #
If you use the Catfish Hunter/Jesse Haines/Herb Pennock standard for Hall admission for pitchers,  you end up with 150 starting pitchers in the Hall of Fame and about 40 relievers.  The Hall would have to more than double in size.  To put it in current terms, Mark Buerhle already has a better career than Jack Morris.  If Mark Buehrle blew out his arm in the spring and never pitched again, would you want him in the Hall?  If so, it is a very, very different Hall of Fame that we are talking about.

The comparable decision among position players would be the admission of George Kell.  Kell may have been the best third baseman in the American League for a period before Al Rosen and a period after him.  The list of third baseman who were way better than him, and not in the Hall of Fame, is very, very long- Nettles, Buddy Bell, Sal Bando, Ken Boyer, Darrell Evans, Ventura, Stan Hack, Bob Elliott (a contemporary of Kell's), Ron Cey.  If you use the "least qualified current admittee test", you not only have to admit all of that group, you then have to consider seriously players of about the same quality as Kell, such as Carney Lansford and Doug Decinces.

Of course, the voters don't actually use the "least qualified admittee" standard.  If you ask a current voter who is Herb Pennock and why is he in the Hall of Fame, you will get one of two answers.  "I don't have a clue who Herb Pennock is", or "it was a mistake".. 

Ryan Day - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 10:36 AM EST (#250382) #
Aren't we told regularly by writers, coaches, managers, and players, that you always have to give 100%? That you should run hard on even the most routine ground balls and pop flies?

So isn't pitching to the score just a way of saying Jack Morris was a slacker? That he pitched well when he was motivated, and not so well when he decided the results weren't important?
MatO - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 10:40 AM EST (#250383) #

Where is your source for MLB seems to. As far as I'm aware, 4 Starters and 4 relievers and 17 Batters are fine with MLB.

Or 1 pitcher and 24 position players.

Of course, MLB referred to the 30 teams and not Bud Selig.  I'm sure you knew that.  Right?

bpoz - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 11:12 AM EST (#250385) #
Jim Kaat's comments are interesting.

IMO our pen will be between 5-8 pitchers, most likely 7 or 8. Off days help. I remember a few games where the starter threw 30 pitches or more in an early inning, he was taken out to protect his arm from injury. So IMO that was a reason for the 8 man pen. The result is a short bench, which hurts offensively. Richard SS, I find this topic of pen & bench construction quite thought provoking. Thanks.

I liked the move last year of bringing up Mills & Richmond for 1 game. Richmond pitched .1 innings. IMO this move had value but I am uncertain of how to explain it properly. I guess it was insurance or some kind, the next game could go 15 innings. There are rules involved in this kind of move as well. One rule I know of is that the demoted player has to stay down for 10 days, unless an injury occurs.
Out if option players cannot be sent down, so depending on how valuable Louis P&V are, they cannot be used in this strategy. Rule 5s as well if we had any.
I don't know if we would lose a game because our strategic options were limited.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 11:48 AM EST (#250386) #
Well, many others (including about 33% of the HOF voters) agree with me that Morris was a 'hall of the very good' level pitcher.

For the era he played Morris was solid but hardly amazing. The best comparison is Dave Stieb.
Win%: Stieb: 562 (140 W) Morris: 577 (162 W)
ERA+: Stieb: 127 Morris: 109
All-Star Games: Stieb: 6 (117 ERA+ worst in those 6 years) Morris: 4 (109 ERA+ his worst in those 4 years)

Basically, Stieb had run support issues, Morris had run allowing issues. I never once during that time frame (and I was around then) wanted to do a Stieb for Morris trade. Well, maybe during '86 it would've been tempting (Stieb's bad season vs Morris' best) but otherwise not.

Another good comparison is Dennis Martinez - not quite as good a W-L record, but also pitched on worse teams (245 wins vs 254), 106 ERA+ vs 105 for Morris lifetime. 4 AS games vs 5 for Morris. 3.32 ERA in playoffs vs Morris' 3.80.
smcs - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 11:55 AM EST (#250387) #
Of course, the voters don't actually use the "least qualified admittee" standard.

If Jack Morris is elected, his 3.90 ERA would replace Red Ruffing's 3.80 ERA as the worst amongst all pitchers.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 11:58 AM EST (#250388) #
A reason for the pen's growth is also the fact that extra pitchers in the pen can lead to better results from the rest of your pitching staff but extra hitters doesn't really help your regulars.

If you have a 5 man pen then your big 2 (closer/setup) will be needed more often than if you have a 7 or 8 man pen. If you have a game where you had to use 3 or 4 guys one night then your starter the next day will be needed for 7+ the next night as only 1 or 2 are left in a 5 man pen but with a 7 man pen you have 3-4 guys ready to go thus no need to push the starter past his effective stage.

Closers ERA+'s in the 70's and 80's was rarely near the ERA+'s we have come to expect today, even factoring out Rivera. Someday I'll have to sit down and do a study on it but it seems clear that pens are more effective when you have more guys in it. LOOGy's have value, ROOGy's do too but in a 5 guy pen they won't.
Beyonder - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 12:00 PM EST (#250389) #

"So isn't pitching to the score just a way of saying Jack Morris was a slacker? That he pitched well when he was motivated, and not so well when he decided the results weren't important?"

I think the theory is that a pitcher pitches differently in a close game than they do in a blowout the same way a poker player plays more tightly or loosely depending on the size of their stack. So it's not a question of effort, but strategy. On the theory, Morris was a great strategist, pitching fast and loose with a lead, but being very stingy when the game was on the line.  How this manifests itself on the mound I have no idea.

Regardless of how it is supposed to work in theory, I think other poster have shown it wasn't true in Morris's case.

Chuck - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 12:21 PM EST (#250390) #

I believe the "pitching to the score" theory is this: with a big lead, a pitcher will nibble less, throw strikes more and throw less strenuous pitches. The downside is more hittable pitches and thus more runs allowed. The upside is fewer and/or less strenuous pitches, thereby allowing the starter to stay in the game longer.

I think that's the theory. If so, I'm quite sure I don't buy it. Giving up baserunners seems to be antithetical to keeping one's pitch count down.

sam - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 12:30 PM EST (#250391) #
I don't know if this is a fair comparison and I fully expect to be skewered for this, but in terms of dollars and value:

(In millions $)
Fraser $3.75
Oliver $4.5
= $8.25
Madson $8.5
Sherrill $1.1 or Arthur Rhodes (who I imagine will get at least a one year deal for $2.0)

I'd prefer the ladder. Madson offers better trade value at the deadline and backend dominance the Jays have not possessed in a long time.

With that being said, Sherrill signed early when it appeared as though Madson was going to get more years and dollars then he ultimately signed for. Rhodes, although similar in age to Oliver appears to be statistically trending down. It's also unclear whether Madson would come to Toronto where there's less of a chance of returning to the playoffs and where he was not guaranteed to close.
TamRa - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 12:48 PM EST (#250392) #
"where he was not guaranteed to close. "

And there ya go.

You can't do a one year "value-building" compromise unless you are accumulating a bunch of saves.
mathesond - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 12:53 PM EST (#250393) #
sam, in youre hypothetical situation, do they Jays then not trade for Santos?
92-93 - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 12:57 PM EST (#250394) #
If that was the issue, you could just let him close. It's not like they signed Santos as a FA and promised him a certain role.
Parker - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 12:59 PM EST (#250395) #
A reason for the pen's growth is also the fact that extra pitchers in the pen can lead to better results from the rest of your pitching staff but extra hitters doesn't really help your regulars.

I'd say this depends on your definition of help. A longer bench means more pinch hitters or platoon opportunities, so while Adam Lind doesn't neccessarily get "helped" by sitting him against a lefty starter, the position he plays becomes more productive. To me, this seems analogous to getting improved production off the pitching mound because a manager has more bullpen options.
Parker - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:05 PM EST (#250396) #
Someday I'll have to sit down and do a study on it but it seems clear that pens are more effective when you have more guys in it.

This is clear, but the real question isn't whether a bigger bullpen is more effective - it's whether a bigger bullpen is more effective than a bigger bench. Basically, how much value can that 25th roster spot create if it's a reliever versus a bench bat?

This would be a very interesting study, if one can control for the difference in value between a roster's worst bench bat and its worst bullpen arm.

Apologies for the double post.
sam - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:05 PM EST (#250397) #
On Scott Boras clients. I'm almost positive that since Bill Caudill's record setting contract, the Jays have not signed a Scott Boras client. I'm curious as to why this is. Were the Jays so scarred of Caudill's contract they made an oath to never again deal with Boras? The Jays have changed ownership since then and gone through several GM's and Presidents so what gives?

Boras Corporation represents a heck of a lot of baseball players. I quick scan of MLBTR's Agency Tracker will tell you he represents close to 175 current MLB and MILB baseball players. By and large a lot of them are quite good. Originally I thought; well, Boras has a penchant of getting his clients incredibly expensive and often market ceiling contracts that the Jays have never really expressed an interest in doing or positioned themselves to explore in the last two decades. But then, Boras doesn't just represent superstars but a lot of average players who bounce around. How come the Jays havent' signed one of these players. I mean over the course of the last twenty years or so, the Jays surely have had opportunities to sign one of his clients. Even if you look at the draft, Boras usually represents at least a half dozen to a dozen top prospects each year. I believe the Jays have only drafted one Boras client (James Paxton) and that ended with the two arguing over what was reported to be less than $50,000.

So it would seem like a combination of reasons why the Jays and Boras have not matched up. One, the Jays very rarely have the money to match Boras' ambition for his clients. Two, the stubborn approach it would seem of Jays management does not match up well with an agent of Boras' ilk. And three, something that may be least supported by the evidence, but in my opinion nonetheless true, Boras may be adverse to dealing with Toronto because of Paul Beeston and his work in the Commissioner's office and their known displeasure of the contracts Boras attains. Or maybe it's the other way around?

I'm curious what Batter's Box commentators think.

Also, I'm sure I've missed some Boras clients who have signed with the Jays over the years, however, I'm sure the number is small and does not take away from the thrust of my observation that Boras and the Jays very rarely link up.
Beyonder - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:07 PM EST (#250398) #
Chuck.  Of course, nibbling leads to walks, which is also antithetical to keeping your pitch count down.  I think the real problem with nibbling is that it can lead to the "big Inning", which is the one thing you want to avoid if you have a big lead.    
Parker - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:11 PM EST (#250399) #
I think that's the theory. If so, I'm quite sure I don't buy it. Giving up baserunners seems to be antithetical to keeping one's pitch count down.

Agreed. If there's a pitcher with enough command to actually choose to let a batter hit a first-pitch single off him and then force the next hitter to hit a double play-inducing first-pitch ground ball rather than spend about a dozen pitches striking both guys out, then Jack Morris is certainly not that pitcher.

Doc might be, though...
sam - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:14 PM EST (#250400) #
The course of events were this if I'm correct:

1. Santos Trade
2. Sherrill Signs
3. Oliver Signs
4. Madson Signs
5. Rhodes still a free agent.

So yes, in my hypothetical situation the Santos trade occurs and then the Jays are left with the option of Madson+Sherrill/Rhodes or Frasor+ Oliver. Keep in my mind also that I understand and have made clear that Madson was expected to receive significant years and dollars at the time of the Sherrill and Santos trade.

Sorry if this sounds confusing and vague, in my hypothetical, around the Frasor trade and Oliver signing, the market for Madson falls out (I think this is true from reports in the media) and given the recent signings, maybe the Jays have the option of Arthur Rhodes and Ryan Madson or Frasor and Oliver?
92-93 - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:20 PM EST (#250401) #
"A reason for the pen's growth"

I misread that. Thankfully we're talking about bullpens.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:31 PM EST (#250402) #

MG, I actually don't have a problem with a HOF which has 190 pitchers in it. I think a Big hall is a good thing.

But I don't like the concept of the "least qualified admittee" test. It ignores so much in the way of context. 

I don't care, for instance, if the 10th best player at his position over a generation (for arguments sake lets use Todd Helton) matches up well with a Hall of Famer (Duke Snider shows up as a comparable).  Unlike Duke Snider, Helton was never in the discussion for best player in a generation (2000 aside). Just because they match up statistically doesn't mean they had the same impact on baseball. In my mind you don't put players in because of comparables, there is nothing wrong with keeping a player out of the HOF despite better numbers. For instance, Alan Trammel and Miguel Tejada should not get in to the HOF just because they matche up with Ryne Sandberg. One was the best second baseman in a generation, the other two were the third or fourth best SS in the AL most years. Now Tejada and Trammel MIGHT get into my HOF on the basis of their own merit, but that's a seperate debate.

sam - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:32 PM EST (#250403) #
We aren't privy to any of the discussions between agents and GMs, so I say this tentatively. But I think AA might have dropped the ball here a bit.

A Bullpen with Ryan Madson closing at the dollars and length he received from the Reds with Sergio Santos and say an Arthur Rhodes setting him up versus what our bullpen will likely be coming opening day with Santos closing and Frasor and Oliver setting him up with very similar dollars and years committed is inferior to the Madson version. Madson closes for year, is either traded at the deadline for prospects or signed in the offseason by another team with draft pick compensation is an enticing proposition. Oliver similarly nets you prospects in return and a draft pick but certainly of less value.
Paul D - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:37 PM EST (#250404) #
I'm almost positive that since Bill Caudill's record setting contract, the Jays have not signed a Scott Boras client.

I don't think this is true.  JP signed... what was his name...he was a generic reliever, and his wife died a couple of years ago.  It's not Scott Sizemore, but I feel like it's someone with a double-S name.
James W - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:42 PM EST (#250405) #
Scott Schoeneweis
Ryan Day - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:53 PM EST (#250406) #
Madson's deal looks pretty good for the Reds. But he may not have been willing to sign for that earlier in the off-season - if he had, I think he'd have signed months ago. You've got to think he was looking for something like Papelbon's mega-deal - probably not quite that much, but a multi-year worth a lot of money.

AA could have waited for the price to come down, but by then the other options might have dried up.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 01:59 PM EST (#250407) #
According to John Heyman, Madson/Boras had been asking for 4 years, $44 million earlier in the offseason.
hypobole - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 02:13 PM EST (#250408) #

 but the real question isn't whether a bigger bullpen is more effective - it's whether a bigger bullpen is more effective than a bigger bench. Basically, how much value can that 25th roster spot create if it's a reliever versus a bench bat?

Considering the fact probably every team has a Paul DePodesta/Bill James/Tom Tango type working for them, and 7 man pens are the norm, my guess is that question has already been asked and answered.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 02:18 PM EST (#250409) #
The big issue with bench vs bullpen is how effective individual players can be in limited roles vs full time ones.

Generally speaking hitters do better if they play everyday (with the odd John McDonald exception). Pitchers, on the other hand, need rest between outings (with the knuckleball exception). A deeper bench = less playing time for hitters = less effective hitters unless clear roles are set ala Bobby Cox's platooning. A deeper pen = more rest for pitchers = more effective pitchers unless misused.

Now, I personally prefer a deeper bench as I love pinch running/pinch hitting/defensive specialists/etc. and hate multiple pitching changes. However, if I ran a team I'd certainly be after loogy's/roogy's/etc. to ensure maximum effectiveness for minimal cost.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 02:23 PM EST (#250410) #
That is a rash assumption.  Almost all clubs continue to adhere to the "slave to the save" view of ace reliever usage, and no one on what might be called the statistics side of things would suggest that this is optimal.  There is a relationship between how the ace reliever is used and how many men you need in the pen. 
John Northey - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 05:01 PM EST (#250419) #
Well, slave to the save isn't optimal for the team perhaps, but it certainly has led to lower ERA's for closers and keeping guys to 1 inning or less seems to minimize ERA's for relievers.
Gerry - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 05:07 PM EST (#250420) #

This link will take you to and a picture from the Jays winter tour.  I have two comments:

1. Eric Thames looks like he has been working out, check those arms, and

2. Brett Cecil does look like he has lost weight.  That is a positive sign for the spring.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 05:18 PM EST (#250422) #
It doesn't even bring down the ERA of the bullpen.  What happens is that reliever #7 who isn't very good ends up taking innings from other relievers up the chain.  He does pitch a little better in 1-3 innings stints than reliever #6 (in a 6 man pen) would in 2-4 inning stints, but that doesn't offset the fact that your best reliever is pitching many fewer innings. 

But, the point is to win games, and the way you do that is by using your best reliever in high leverage situations as much as possible and in low leverage situations as little as possible.  If you want a "market inefficiency", current bullpen usage would be the easiest one to capitalize on. 

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 05:20 PM EST (#250423) #
Whoa.  Does Eric Thames have a nickname yet?  If not, Popeye is surely coming. 
sam - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 05:39 PM EST (#250425) #
I hope someone tells Eric Thames about Ruben Sierra.
cybercavalier - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 07:20 PM EST (#250431) #
Mike, maybe a body size sign of Eric "Popeye" Thames can advertise Popeye Chicken at Skydome ? I think Pizza Pizza store is there, but not Popeye Chicken.

With respect to Teahen's DFA, can he be traded to Houston for Brandon Lyon ? Just a thought.

Lyon was a former Jays, so he shall presumably have no major fitting into the organization as a player.
Lyon can be a bullpen arm of relievers that AA can package into a trade, just like how Rasmus came from St. Louis. At least, Lyon brings experience of closing to Toronto.
Teahen can bring major league experience of hitting to a team of which Carlos Lee is the only player with prolonged tenure in the ML.
The Jays converts a surplus of hitter values into reliever values with closing experience.

The price tags and years remaining in Teahen and Lyon are essentially the same; so not much a financial relief to the Jays and the Astros.

cybercavalier - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 07:21 PM EST (#250432) #
Obvioulsy I meant "no major problem fitting".
bpoz - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 07:28 PM EST (#250433) #
All the theories have merit in this discussion of bench & Pen.

How about peoples opinions in the the use & value of the last 2 bench players & the last 2 relievers in the 2010 & 2011 seasons.

I really liked Matt Stairs on our bench when ever that was.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 08:28 PM EST (#250434) #

Bullpens sometime prior to today had a Closer (1), generally someone who's effective verses RH and LH batters); someone who's usually the first Pitcher into the Game (2), aka: Fireman - not a name always used, generally someone who's effective verses RH and LH batters); and, one or two guys who can pitch late innings (3,4), who's effective verses RH and LH batters).   Added to that, there is always a need for Pitchers who can pitch 3 or 4 innings, usually 2 guys called Long Men (5,6), generally someone who's effective verses RH and LH batters).   Where was the need for a 7th man?

...effective verses RH and LH batters...

Sometime, somewhere, somehow, a GM who couldn't be bothered getting 6 guys that effective (lazy, incompetent, too inexperienced, or deliberate) to be on his team, and thus the 7-man Bullpen was born. 

Sergio Santos (Career RHB/LHB): 3.00/2.35 SO/BB; .216/.223 BA; .313/.318 OBP; .335/.316 SLG; .315/.310 BAbip (1).  

Casey Janssen (Career RHB/LHB): 3.59/1.70 SO/BB; .268/.273 BA; .313/.338 OBP; .411/.403 SLG; .303/.305 BAbip (2).  

Darren Oliver (Career RHB/LHB): 1.53/2.18 SO/BB; .280/.272 BA; .349/.343 OBP; .439/.429 SLG; .032/.317 BAbip (3 - last 4 years).  

Jason Frasor (Career RHB/LHB): 2.46/1.93 SO/BB; .228/.248 BA; .302/.340 OBP; .354/.375 SLG; .274/.310 BAbip (4?).  

Jesse Litsch (Career RHB/LHB): 2.78/1.67 SO/BB; .247/.282 BA; .292/.347 OBP; .416/.449 SLG; .252/.306 BAbip (5?).   

Carlos Villanueva (Career RHB/LHB): 2.25/2.66 SO/BB; .254/.244 BA; .318/.313 OBP; .420/.417 SLG; .281/.289 BAbip (6).

Five out of six is very good; and you want to add:

Luis Perez (Career RHB/LHB): 1.14/5.80 SO/BB; .305/.260 BA; .388/.322 OBP; .519/.375 SLG; .323/.338 BAbip.?  

Can't you find someone better?   There should now be no way a player without options, should make this team, unless they earn it.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 11 2012 @ 08:43 PM EST (#250435) #
Right.  The nice thing about Litsch and Villanueva is that there should be no trouble getting 4 innings out of either of them if the need arises. 
China fan - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 03:51 AM EST (#250438) #
Perez's numbers are distorted by his poor performance as a starter. Check out his splits: he did much better as a reliever than a starter, and much better against LHB. And it was his rookie season.

If the Jays keep him on the team this year, it won't be a Jo-Jo Reyes situation where he's on the roster purely because he's out of options. It will be because he has some usefulness (perhaps as a LOOGY) and because the Jays assess that he has potential to improve.

Having said that, Anthopoulos has made it clear that the Jays are still interested in acquiring another reliever, if the opportunity arises. If it's an upgrade on Perez, it could be a good move.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 10:24 AM EST (#250439) #
Darren Oliver, Casey Janssen, Jesse Litsch and Carlos Villanueva have their CAREER stats considered as it was with Perez. Just consider their RELIEF stats only, as you would like us to do with Luis Perez, and you will find much BETTER numbers for them as well (try it). They still pitch very effectively against BOTH RHB and LHB, while Perez DOES NOT. Perez is of limited value, possibly taking up a roster spot from someone who might do both, or the need for another infielder.
Paul D - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 10:27 AM EST (#250440) #

I have to admit, I find the support for AA's bullpen moves surprising.  The bullpen is the last thing you need to build up, particularly if your'e awash in young pitchers.  I really hope that AA doens't get another bullpen arm - that only makes sense if he adds Fielder and a top starter.  Since the odds againt that are long, why add to your bullpen when you can use it to audition Carreno, Perez, Beck, Drabek, etc? 

MatO - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 10:43 AM EST (#250441) #

I have to admit, I find the support for AA's bullpen moves surprising.


Original Ryan - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 10:46 AM EST (#250442) #
My preference probably would've been to give some of the internal options a shot, especially given the fact that top relievers are sometimes discovered accidentally. That said, there's a good chance that at least one of the current relievers is going to start the year on the DL, much like Dotel and Francisco did last year. Routine injuries over the course of the season are going to give some of the young guys innings in the bigs.
China fan - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:02 AM EST (#250443) #
Richard, your anti-Perez obsession is a little odd. First, you suggest that Perez could be dumped to make room for "another infielder." That's never going to happen. The Jays went with 8 relievers for much of last year. They'll go down to 7 relievers this year, but going with 6 relievers is just not going to happen. Virtually no team ever does it these days, so why would the Jays, especially when they needed 8 bullpen guys for most of last season? Second, you're comparing Perez to veterans, but Perez was a rookie last season, which you're ignoring. Third, nobody is arguing that Perez is better than Oliver or Janssen or Villanueva, so you don't need to set up a false argument. I'm only arguing that Perez might be the best option for the 7th man in the bullpen. He doesn't have to be better than Oliver or Janssen, he just needs to be good enough for the 7th man. And if he improves a little over his rookie season, he might be.

Who would you replace Perez with? Drabek or Cecil or Carreno? They'll likely remain as starters. Would you replace him with Chad Beck or Farquhar or Magnussen? None of them has ever cracked a major-league roster or shown any likelihood of being better than Perez. Sure, maybe there's a free agent or trade candidate who would be better than Perez -- in which case I hope AA acquires him. But if nobody else is acquired, Perez might be the best bet. To write off a young pitcher after his rookie season, when he showed a fair amount of promise, is a tad premature.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:03 AM EST (#250444) #
I have no opinion on whether the use of money for Frasor and Oliver was a good idea, as that depends on the budget given to Anthopoulos.  If the club is intending to compete in 2012 and Anthopoulos has been given enough money that he can sign one of the remaining decent starters (or, say, Fielder), then I get it.  If the club is waiting for 2013 or 14 or whenever, then I don't understand why you wouldn't promote Villanueva to a higher leverage role (which will apparently be given to Frasor and Janssen instead),  and use the low leverage role(s) for the in-house options.

I know that the organization is speaking about payroll parameters and then being quiet about them.  In the circumstances, I am withholding judgment on all these moves, because it is entirely unclear how they fit into the whole picture. 

China fan - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:15 AM EST (#250445) #
On the question of whether to strengthen the bullpen or not: I support Anthopoulos on this. It's a relatively cheap way to strengthen the team's overall performance, and it doesn't prevent the Jays from acquiring another starter or a "big bat" if they can afford it. Even if the Jays can't afford another starter or Prince Fielder, there's no need to write off the entire season. If the Jays get strong seasons from key players like Lind, Lawrie, Snider and/or Cecil or Drabek, suddenly the Jays are improving significantly, and a strong bullpen can really help.

Moreover, the acquisition of Santos, Oliver and Frasor does absolutely nothing to prevent the development of Drabek, Carreno, Beck or Perez. There's room for one of those four (probably Perez or Beck) in the bullpen anyway. Drabek and Carreno need to get experience as starters for another season or two. It's too early to write them off as starters. If you make Drabek or Carreno the 7th man in the bullpen, they're not going to get as much experience as they would as a full-time starter in the minors. It doesn't "tell us what we've got." It hampers their development, unless you've decided that they have no future as starters.
Sister - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:19 AM EST (#250446) #
While we have improved the bullpen, the collection of moves made by AA this offseason has left me puzzled about the team's direction.

Perhaps AAs notion of competing involves the roster as it currently stands. Who knows.

I could see the team shift Bautista to 1B, allowing both Snider and Thames to play in the OF, and letting Lind and EE platoon at DH based on historical splits. I would certainly like to see more of this as a way to maximize the roster (and its limitations). However, a season with Lind at 1B full time, to me, screams failure.

MatO - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:23 AM EST (#250447) #
The Oliver move is fine.  It just cost money.  The Frasor move I don't understand considering there were plenty of in-house options and they gave up a couple of, at least interesting, prospects.  Myles Jaye they were raving about just a year ago.
China fan - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:27 AM EST (#250448) #
One further point: I don't get this notion that 2012 must be either a contending season or a rebuilding "try all the young guys" season. Does it have to be one or the other? Does someone have a crystal ball that determines in advance the fate of the season? Nobody knows whether the Jays will get rebound seasons from Lind, Rasmus, Cecil, Drabek, Johnson, Snider, etc. If everything breaks right, the Jays could contend. So why not build up a strong bullpen, since the price is right? Prince Fielder would be great to have, but he's not the sole determinant of whether the Jays will contend or not. Nor is Yu Darvish. There's lots of great young talent on the team, and I don't think it makes sense to assume that the only point of 2012 is to try out (again) a bunch of young prospects. Sure, it would be great to acquire Fielder and a top starting pitcher, but I'm not going to write off the entire season if they don't acquire those guys. For the development of the entire team, I'd rather have the strongest possible bullpen, and that's what Anthopoulos is building.
hypobole - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:28 AM EST (#250449) #
The Oliver signing made a lot of sense; the pen needed an experienced lefty. The Frasor trade, not so much, unless the plan is to trade one or more relievers at the deadline.

As far as Perez is concerned, I'm not a fan , and if someone wants to criticize his stuff, command, control or secondary pitches etc., it would be a fair argument. But when you make judgments on career numbers for a guy who threw all of 65 MLB innings in his rookie season, it makes as much sense as criticizing the Cubs for trading prospects for a career .141/.281/.242 1st baseman.
Chuck - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:34 AM EST (#250451) #

However, a season with Lind at 1B full time, to me, screams failure.

Lind does seem to be the elephant in the room, doesn't he? While the roster has some young players whose upsides are worth exploring -- Arencibia, Rasmus, Snider, Thames -- I personally don't count Lind among them. Spending time pursuing a potentially superior option for 7th reliever seems to be a frivolous activity in light of the glaring roster hole that is first base. Anguishing over which fringe major leaguer gets those coveted 60 innings would seem to pale in significance to the 500 AB that could stand an upgrade, or at least a replacement by someone who could spend 2012 developing.


China fan - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:37 AM EST (#250452) #
And, Chuck, there's no evidence that Anthopoulos isn't doing exactly that. He's been pretty good at identifying the weaknesses in the lineup that need upgrading. Just because he hasn't managed to solve the 1B issue (so far) doesn't mean that he isn't trying.
Chuck - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:47 AM EST (#250453) #
CF, I don't pretend to know for sure that AA isn't looking at upgrading at 1B. I hope he is. He's a smart guy and knows that a sub-300 OBP won't play at the position. And he's smart enough to not publicly advertise his intentions. I'm just saying that I reserve the right to be disappointed should Lind resume his role as full-time first baseman, even if he hits .500 in spring training.
92-93 - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:53 AM EST (#250454) #
"It's a relatively cheap way to strengthen the team's overall performance....So why not build up a strong bullpen, since the price is right?"

I don't consider 8m for 2 setup men with a 75m payroll as being "relatively cheap". In fact I think it's the direct opposite - relatively expensive.
China fan - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 12:06 PM EST (#250455) #
Obviously it's relatively cheap in comparison to a Fielder or a Darvish. My point being: if the Jays are a little leery of sinking $130 million into a Fielder or a Darvish, it's a helluva lot cheaper to spend $8 million to upgrade the bullpen.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 12:09 PM EST (#250456) #
Keep up team morale (particularly that of the young SPs) by protecting leads, strengthen the team overall (perhaps giving them an outside shot at contention), provide extra trade components for July (as in the Rasmus package). I'm guessing that was the rationale for the bullpen moves. Oliver and Frasor really aren't that expensive, as the rest of the 'pen and a number of other roster spots are very low-cost.
bpoz - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 01:02 PM EST (#250458) #
I loved the Escobar & Rasmus trades. With Escobar AA did not weaken the 2010 ML team but to get Rasmus AA worked hard in finding the asking price in parts and greatly weakened the 2011 pen. But neither team was making a strong playoff statement of contention.
I don't know if AA would do that if we were in contention. Right now EE & Fraser would have to be resigned for 2013 as FAs or just extended. To get Escobar & Rasmus, IMO AA was opportunistic as well as lucky. Both Atlanta & St Louis had a need. That happens every July for a handful of teams. I think AA is setting himself up to trade and also to not weaken/destroy our playoff chances if they somehow exist in July.
IMO we had no playoff chances for Tallet & Miller to hurt. Also AA does not want to give up his prospects or young players. Stewart was a prospect & Zep was a young player, maybe it hurt to give them up, but that deadline comes up fast. Tim Collins & T Pastornicky also prospects but not as highly regarded as Stewart.
AA also has to consider the spirit of young SPs when he weakens the pen.
AA has a lot of trading chips now that should tempt contenders in July, maybe someone gives up a top prospect to go for it this year.
DJRob - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 01:18 PM EST (#250459) #
The new bullpen will also make Farrell smarter.
John Northey - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 01:23 PM EST (#250460) #
It is odd spending that much on the pen. However, at this point, there really isn't anywhere else to spend the cash other than Fielder or via a trade given the new CBA and how it limits signing amateur players.

I am surprised AA isn't more active on Japan (free agents) as those players are old enough to not fall under the new rules (forget what the age limit is). However, if he feels Oliver and crew are cheaper/more effective than those options then I can see why he isn't doing it.

Lots of variables. Relievers seem to be popular trading chips in mid-season, easy to release as they are one + option deals at most (with one obvious exception), and can help keep kids in the minors to develop. I can see why AA is signing them at this point of the offseason. Not a big fan of it, but understand it and can see how it could work out nicely in the end.
92-93 - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 01:41 PM EST (#250461) #
I think there's still quite a few one year deals to be had that would improve the team, John. Oswalt, Kuroda, Pena, and Kotchman immediately come to mind.
John Northey - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 02:15 PM EST (#250462) #
Oh I'm sure there are a few more deals out there. The big question is what AA has heard talking with the various agents and teams - stuff we probably will never know. It is certainly possible that Oswalt, Kuroda, Pena, and Kotchman have said they won't come to Toronto or only for a massive premium that AA won't pay (due to 'different country' or being stuck in the nuclear division). Or that the money does exist to sign one or two of them and that AA is still working on it.

It is frustrating being a fan sometimes as we just don't know so many variables. Some free agents might be waiting until Texas is done with Darvish right now, figuring if they fail to sign him then the chequebook will be out full force. Others might want to just play on the west coast (not unusual) or for a contender (Jays wouldn't be viewed as an easy way to the post season).

As to the guys you listed (I know you mention there are others out there), there are issues in each case.
Oswalt: K/9 rate dropped big time last year, from 8.2 to 6.0 plus he only appeared in 23 games last year.
Kuroda: thought I read he would only play on the coast
Pena: Entering age 34 season, can play just 1B/DH, unlikely to hit over 130 OPS+, more likely 110-120 range I'd expect, hits LH just like Lind/Snider/Thames
Kotchman: last year was his first over 95 for OPS+ since 2007, hits LH, limited to 1B/DH

I don't see the Jays having any interest in Pena or Kotchman. Kuroda would be nice but strongly suspect he is refusing to move this far east. Oswalt is very interesting but health concerns would be high and odds are after the experience in Philly he'd want to be with a strong contender only.
TamRa - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 03:00 PM EST (#250463) #
I've not gotten the impression that AA thinks as little of Lind as you guys do.

On June 18, Lind was right their with A-Gon as the best non-Bautista hitter in the AL with an OPS of 1.019

On the rest of the season, one plagued by back pain I expect (though only the DL visit was publicly discussed) his OPS was only .576

now say what you want about his low OBP, it's a valid concern, but I would assume we can safely dismiss the possibility that hitting like John McDonald is Lind's true talent level.

The first sample above looks quite a bit like his 2009 season, the latter sample looks MUCH worst that his lost 2010 season. There is valuable information there, IMO. And i expect that Alex has a much more optimistic view of Lind's potential than anyone here.

It is true, and a valid concern, that the differential between his BA and his OBP has dropped over the last three years from .065 to .050 to .044 (and that is consistent in 2011 whether he was hot or cold)but as far as overall value, i find it MUCH more liekly that Lind's "true talent level" over the next 3 years would be much more likely to be in the .850-.900 range than it is likely to be in the sub.750 range.

On the other hand, Vernon was notoriously unpredictable too so who the heck really knows?

I don't think we have ANY evidence that AA is deeply concerned about 1B though.
Ryan Day - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 03:05 PM EST (#250464) #
"It is certainly possible that Oswalt, Kuroda, Pena, and Kotchman have said they won't come to Toronto or only for a massive premium that AA won't pay "

With perhaps a few exceptions, I don't see why a player/agent would make that public, even if it was true. It's in their best interest to have as many teams as possible involved in the bidding, so they can try to keep a bidding war going.

Not to mention that anyone who's still a free agent at this point can't afford to be too choosy. Madson settled for a one-year deal, and I suspect we'll see a couple more short deals for players who hope to make more money next off-season.
smcs - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 03:30 PM EST (#250465) #
i find it MUCH more liekly that Lind's "true talent level" over the next 3 years would be much more likely to be in the .850-.900 range than it is likely to be in the sub.750 range.

He only hits in the .850-.900 range if he gets platooned and pulled every time the opposition pulls out a lefty.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 03:38 PM EST (#250466) #
Adam Lind has had a full season of PAs against LHP over his career.  He is .223/.266/.349 against them.  Every time you send him out there to start a game against a left-handed pitcher, it is the equivalent of sending out a poor-fielding and slow first baseman who hits like John McDonald. 

He has a very large platoon split, and has actually been an average or slightly better player over his career when facing RHP. 

sam - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 03:43 PM EST (#250467) #
I agree JN, it has been frustrating being a fan this offseason with all the rumours and cloak of silence. I think this team is pretty much set going into spring training maybe with the exception of one or two minor league free agents.

There are obvious holes on this team going forward that I'm sure management would like to see being filled by internal options or through trade. I'm skeptical that the Jays will be able to improve their options at SP and 1B without significantly increasing payroll. I don't see this team advancing very far without doing so.

The Rays have made due without significant contribution from 1B due in large part to increased production from other positions and a superior pitching staff. Pitching has always been their saving grace. I don't see the talent in the system to match what the Rays march out on the mound daily.

I guess the Jays' scouts saw something in Rizzo they didn't like, because it would seem like he'd be an ideal acquisition going forward. I don't know if I see a similar situation or a 1B prospect that close to the Majors being made available unless the Yankees decide to part with Jesus Montero. There's probably not enough OBP. ability in Mark Trumbo's game to entice the Jays.

Cost control starting pitching as proven by this offseason will be particularly difficult to attain. It will take time for guys like Alvarez, Drabek, MacGuire, Hutchison to become established starting pitchers, let alone allstars. I don't know if I see the Mariners parting with Pineda or the Rays trading in-division. It's bleak in my opinion.

It would seem as though the Jays are in a holding pattern of sorts, huge turnover in the bullpen year in year out, while hoping that prospects develop in groups that allows the team to compete. All the while inquiring on disgruntled, controllable players with talent on other teams.

It's a good philosophy I guess in that there's both enough of a fan-base that will tolerate the prolonged period of time in which such a philosophy might yield a contender, and just enough to provide guaranteed stream of revenue in gate receipts.

For fans, we at least know there's direction and potential light at the end of the tunnel.
ayjackson - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 03:47 PM EST (#250468) #

I think Tamra's point is that AA is that Lind's career has not been homogeneous but more of a dichotomy, so one should not look at career numbers.  Or that at least AA seems to be acting this way.  In 2009 and the beginning of last year, Lind's performance against lefties was exceptable for an everyday player who mashes righties.

There is an argument for not looking at career norms when Lind has never performed at that level.  AA may want to give it a few more months at least to see if Lind shows which of the dichotomy is his true colour.

greenfrog - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 04:00 PM EST (#250469) #
Lind did hit 275/318/461 against LHP during his amazing 2009 season, so there's that.

I'm not sure AA is so optimistic about Lind; rather, I think he's being prudent in taking a wait-and-see approach. Lind is still in his prime (age 28) and might rebound in 2012. If he does, it gives the team a low-cost, productive 1B option (probably involving some platooning) and a potential trade chip. Otherwise, If AA trades him now, he likely doesn't get much in return and he has to expend additional resources to find a replacement. Spending the dollars to sign someone like Pena (who might not even outperform Lind) probably isn't the best use of the Jays' scarce resources at this point.

I expect AA will be patient, patient, patient, then go out and nab a good young controllable 1B when we're least expecting it. It took him a while to find a SS and a CF, but he got the job done eventually (and stealthily). Expect the same with respect to 1B, assuming Lind isn't the long-term solution.
Shane - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 04:27 PM EST (#250470) #

I don't consider 8m for 2 setup men with a 75m payroll as being "relatively cheap". In fact I think it's the direct opposite - relatively expensive.

2010 Bullpen was made up of:

Downs $4 MM
Frasor 2.65
Gregg 2 
Tallet 2
Camp 1.1

Francisco $4 MM
Ruach  3.5
Frasor 3.5
dotel 3
camp 2.25
Villenanueva 1.4
Janssen 1.1

Oliver $4 MM
Frasor 3.7
Villenanueva 1.4
Janssen 1.1
Santos 1

There's no real precedence being set here though. Parkes and someone else in recent weeks has made this comment in regards to it looking as though Anthopoulos may have designs on "contending". He's assembling pens like he always has.

ayjackson - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 04:31 PM EST (#250471) #
Has there been any suggestion that Carreno would get starters innings in ST?  Since he doesn't appear to have a bullpen role, shouldn't he head to Vegas as a starter?
Mike Green - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 04:32 PM EST (#250472) #
I understand Tamra's point.  Lind is streaky.  In the end, though, he has had 5 seasons with more 300 PAs and one of them has been good and the other 4, including the last two, have been unacceptable. 

The most positive take I could give on him is that the last 2 years, his BABIP has been way down for reasons that are not obvious.  In 2011, it was his BABIP on fly balls which was an atrocious .071.  Normally a hitter who is hitting lots of balls over fences (as Lind was) and hitting a lot of line drives (as Lind was-over 20% of BIP) will do better than the league average (.137) in this department.  Historically, Lind has usually been in the .150-.160 range, as you would expect. So, was it a spate of bad luck when all his bloopers and tweeners were caught?  Maybe.  On the other hand, he is making less contact than he used to and consequently striking out more. 

Normally, if one is projecting a player you would place greater weight on the previous 2 seasons than the one 3 years prior.  It is charitable to Lind to look at his career numbers to project how he might do in 2011, and beyond that, one is into the realm of hope.  We hope that Adam Lind will hit like he did in 2009.  We hope that Brett Lawrie will be the 8 WAR player that his performance in 2011 suggested that he might be.  We hope that Brandon Morrow finally pitches the way his FIP suggests he might.  Any of those things might happen, but you ought to be very happy if one of them does.  The thing is that Lawrie and Morrow help you win while used in an everyday capacity even if they don't perform as one hopes they could.  Lind does not. 

subculture - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 04:43 PM EST (#250473) #
I like Adam Lind as a blue jay, for these reasons:
- Shown long stretches of being very productive (I believe he was clearly the teams best hitter for a full season)
- Very affordable salary
- Seems to be a good team player, never complains, does what team asks
- Hits RHP very well, at least a strong platoon player
- Shown ability to be passable defensively at 1b and LF in emergency
I don't like these traits about Adam Lind:
- Looks terrible against many lefties
- Doesn't get borderline calls, mostly due imo to perceived lack of strike zone judgement, and 'nice-guy' perception
I think Adam Lind should:
- shave his head
- get a mean tat
- grow a goatee
- react like Bautista to borderline pitches
I think the Jays should:
- bat Lind 6-8 in the order (less pressure on him there to drive in runs, and his power is still valuable)
- sit Lind against tougher lefties
- only consider moving him for an impact bat, not just a .70 ops upgrade.  If Lind still can't deliver, try Thames there.
Predicted results in this scenario:  30-35 hrs, 85rbi, .300/.350/.480 
hypobole - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 04:45 PM EST (#250474) #
I'm no expert, but I don't see how back pain causes a hitter to swing at balls a foot outside or pitches that graze his shoe tops. It may sap his power, but it shouldn't affect strike zone recognition.

In '09 Lind swung at 24.7% of pitches outside the strike zone. It climbed to 34.6% in '10 and 37.1% last year. So pitchers are throwing him fewer strikes. 47.7% in '09, 44% in '10 and only 41.6% last year.
Paul D - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 04:47 PM EST (#250475) #
Carlos Pena is also terrible versus LHP.
China fan - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 04:50 PM EST (#250477) #
I posted this on the other thread, but should probably have posted it here:

Does anyone know anything about the mini-camp that's now happening in Dunedin? I notice that d'Arnaud and Magnuson are among the prospects who are there, working out at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Does anyone know who else is there? And does it offer any hint of the Jays assessment of the potential of their top prospects?

On a similar subject, Mike McDade's twitter feed seems to suggest that he is currently in Toronto for a mini-camp or rookie development program of some kind. Toronto? Seems a little weird. Is it indoors somewhere? Or is it a instructional session on off-the-field matters such as media relations and financial management? Just guessing, but grateful if anyone can enlighten me on the mini-camps.
Original Ryan - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 04:57 PM EST (#250478) #
They still pitch very effectively against BOTH RHB and LHB, while Perez DOES NOT.

Here are some platoon splits for a rookie left-handed reliever:

vs. R: .275/.412/.383
vs. L: .119/.278/.169

Who is this pitcher, you ask? Darren Oliver in 1994. Needless to say, his splits evened out considerably in the years that followed, to the point where his numbers against righties and lefties are nearly identical over his career.

The point is that a single year of lefty/righty splits is meaningless, so 2011 isn't necessarily a reflection of how Perez will perform against righties in future years. For what it's worth, he did better against righties than lefties in his 45 innings down in AAA this past season. It's rather bizarre to write-off Perez at this stage.

China fan - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 05:11 PM EST (#250479) #
Okay, got some further info on the Toronto mini-camp (courtesy of Wilner's twitter feed). Among those attending the Toronto mini-camp are: Gose, Jenkins, Hutchison, McDade, Crawford, Diaz, Sierra. Others, as mentioned, seem to be at the Dunedin mini-camp: d'Arnaud, Magnuson, etc.

I guess basically all the key prospects are invited to these camps. Not sure why some are in Dunedin and others are in Toronto.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 08:44 PM EST (#250483) #
The Prospects at the Toronto Mini-camp are the more "visible" of the Prospects, not necessarily the most "valuable" of them.   Alternative explanation is who's coming to the Big League Club in Spring Training and who's coming to the Minor Club then.    2nd alternative explanation is sparking interest in Spring Traniing Tickets as well as Other Minor Teams.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 09:43 PM EST (#250484) #

Our Starting Outfield (3) should be: Jose Bautista RF; Colby Rasmus CF; Eric Thames LF.   Thames starts, unless they need better defense, then Francisco starts.  Interesting discussion topic here, who's the better defender at LF and who's the better offensive player and who should start.

Our Starting Infield (5) should be: Adam Lind 1B; Kelly Johnson 2B; Yunel Escobar SS; Brett Lawrie 3B; J.P. Arencibia #1 C.   Another interesting discussion topic is how much per year and how long a contract does Johnson get?

Our Bench (5) should be: Edwin Encarnacion (1B/3B) DH; Jeff Mathis 2nd C; Luis Valbuena (2B/SS/3B) INF; Rajai Davis (LF/CF/RF) 4th OF; Ben Francisco (LF/RF/CF) 5th OF.   Careful consideration will be given Valbuena as he plays SS and 3B in Spring Training.   Other wise we take no-hit Mike McCoy instead.   This is not a depth position (INF) for this Team.   This looks like a 'fun' discussion.

Our Starters (5) should be: Ricky Romero (LHP); Brandon Morrow (RHP); Brett Cecil (LHP); Henderson Alvarez (RHP); Dustin McGowan (RHP).   Alvarez and McGowan get first chance as our Starters.   Is Brandon Morrow getting a long term deal this offseason, early in the season, late in the season, next offseason?  If so, how much. how long?

Our Bullpen (7) should be: Closer: Sergio Santos (R); Late Innings: Darren Oliver (L); Casey Janssen (R); Jason Frasor (R); Longmen: Carlos Villanueva (R); Jesse Litsch (R); LOOGY: Luis Perez (L).   Casey Janssen and Carlos Villanueva are Free Agents after this season.   Does A.A. keep them?   This can be a very interesting topic of discussion.

Still a lot of stuff for A.A. to do.

Gerry - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 10:01 PM EST (#250485) #

This is the second year they have held the Rogers Centre mini-camp. The idea is to invite players who could get a Toronto call-up sometime this year. It is basically an acclimatization camp, the players get used to Toronto, the RC hotel, the dressing room, finding their way around the RC, the weight room, the bullpen, batting cages, etc. The idea is to (i) motivate the players by showing them they are very close to the majors, and (ii) reduce the initial stress of a call-up.

Last year the player who turned heads was Travis d'Arnaud who was popping balls off Windows restaurant. I will check in next week wth the Jays to see who impressed this year.

Now that January is here many minor leaguers start heading to Florida and start working out together at the minor league complex. In many cases the weather is better than their home states and it is always better to work out with buddies. Plus, if you need to work on many baseball skills you need a partner to throw to or with, or throw to you.

mathesond - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 10:26 PM EST (#250486) #
No Snider, Richard?
92-93 - Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:01 PM EST (#250487) #
Diaz being invited to the prospect camp is interesting. He could leap ahead of both McCoy & Valbuena if his defense is that good; the new JMac.
TamRa - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 02:41 AM EST (#250490) #
"I'm no expert, but I don't see how back pain causes a hitter to swing at balls a foot outside or pitches that graze his shoe tops. It may sap his power, but it shouldn't affect strike zone recognition. "

I'm no expert either, but the word "pressing" leaps immediately to mind.
DJRob - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 07:03 AM EST (#250491) #

Enjoyed the Lind comments in this thread. 

Lind was quoted last spring training saying that he had reviewed his problems with an old coach and they'd decided he'd gotten too large across the chest in the previous off-season and it had affected his swing in 2010.  He spent the 2010 off-season trying to slim down and get the swing back into shape.   The Jays may feel that Lind will be properly prepared this year and can avoid the injuries and find consistency. If Lind can indeed play at his 2009 level I will enjoy that a lot more than watching Fielder do the same thing for 25 million a year.

Mike Green - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 09:13 AM EST (#250492) #
I am not an expert either, but back pain could indirectly lead to poorer pitcher recognition.  Back pain can lead to both loss of sleep and increased analgesic use which can lead to diminished focus and concentration and hence poorer pitch recognition.  I don't know if it is relevant, but Lind did have his first child in September.  I remember seeing Andres Gallarraga just after a baby of his was born, and he was a train wreck at the plate.  I figured that loss of sleep probably played a role in that.

Spifficus - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 09:24 AM EST (#250493) #
Well, then there's back pain leading to diminished bat speed. This could cause a player to cheat a bit and not let the pitch get as deep in the zone, giving him less time to track and react to a pitch.
MatO - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 09:59 AM EST (#250494) #

AA was on McCown last night.  Highlights of what I can remember:

- not interested in signing anyone to $100M or big money contracts at this point

- figures Darvish will cost Texas at least $100M and intimated that the Jays were nowhere close to $50 bid though he would not acknowledge that they actually bid

- said that either you had to bid at the Matsuzaka level or well below - did not make sense to bid $47M say because you might as well bid $51 - not sure I followed the logic

- intends to build team into contender first which then leads to better attendance and TV ratings before asking Rogers for more money - is working within payroll parameters (his words) - will only ask for more money if it guarantees winning - AA repeated this a number of times so guarantee was the word he wanted to use - used ARod in Texas and Halladay here as examples of big money players not guaranteeing winning (I assume winning means a playoff appearance)

- said the payroll would be in the upper 80's this coming year - I don't know where that number comes from - off the top of my head I don't get anywhere near that and I think others here have come to a number in the 60's - no?  maybe he is signing Fielder?  That's a joke son.

- big year for Snider as he has one last option left - considers him and Thames to have similar upside with the bat but Snider is a superior fielder

- expects the line-up as it is today to start the season

- figures that if trade is to happen it will be in the next couple of weeks because GM's seem to lose interest after Feb 1 as they get prepared to start spring training


Mike Green - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 10:17 AM EST (#250495) #
"Guarantee"?  There are no guarantees in baseball. 

I wonder if they'll sign one of the pitchers on a one-year contract.  They seem to be suggesting that they have already spent enough with that "upper 80s" payroll. 
greenfrog - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 11:14 AM EST (#250496) #
Does upper-80s include only the ML payroll (25- or 40-man roster), or does it also include draft and IFA spending? Maybe AA means that the ML roster will be in the mid-to-high-70s, then add another $10-12M in the draft and IFA market.

In any case, I wouldn't expect a lot of straight talk about the payroll. The bottom line is that the Jays' payroll is well below the AL and AL East averages. We have somewhat more to spend than the rock-bottom spenders like TB and Oakland, but we're akin to them in that we're trying to compete mainly on brains, a strong farm system, trades, bargain FAs and cost-controlled talent. Teams that were once comparable in terms of payroll (like Texas and Anaheim) are now effectively in a different league.

What I don't get is all the focus on increasing revenue through attendance. Many Jays fans (yours truly included) are sending great gobs of money Rogers' way through cable, internet and cell phone subscriptions, contributing to the company's impressive growth and profitability over the last decade. Personally, I find it offensive that the organization is now in effect blaming the fans, saying that "we just need a bit *more* money from you...come out to more games, and we'll consider increasing payroll. Happy New Year!"
Flex - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 11:26 AM EST (#250499) #
Well, then there's back pain leading to diminished bat speed. This could cause a player to cheat a bit and not let the pitch get as deep in the zone, giving him less time to track and react to a pitch.

Hammer meets nail, I think. This seems to me the likeliest of all explanations for Lind's struggles. I have hope, because when he's on, there's no one besides Bautista who seems more locked in.
joeblow - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 12:02 PM EST (#250500) #
Assuming better conditioning, I think Lind and Cecil are the 2 most likely to return to form or at least consistency in 2012. Not to say they will get there.

Thames looks massive but it's hard to compare with where he was. If he is bigger, does it affect his bat speed.

Johnson looks like a prime candidate to be moved, now or in season. Is there a trade partner evident who is a contender with a 2B hole?

Gerry - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 12:14 PM EST (#250501) #

Bob Elliott talked with Drew Hutchison yesterday.  Here is something you didn't know:

The right-hander earned roughly $1,600 per month from April to September and then the week before Thanksgiving went back to his usual part-time job working at S.W. Christmas Trees on South Florida Ave.

“We deliver and install as well,” said the salesman.

The location is open until Dec. 12 and “hopefully by then we’re sold out of trees,” said Hutchison. 

Mike Green - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 12:17 PM EST (#250502) #
I wouldn't exactly call it diminished bat speed, as you would think that this would result in less speed off bat and fewer homers.  This doesn't appear to have happened in Lind's case from the hittracker reports.  You might call it diminished back muscular twitch resulting in an earlier start to the swing (which Bautista has done anyway) and a lesser ability to stop the swing once started.  I actually think that the second part might be more important than the first. 
BalzacChieftain - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 02:39 PM EST (#250508) #
I'm not sure it's appropriate to blame Lind's poor numbers strictly on back pain. He hit even worse in 2010 than he did in 2011. Did he have back problems then as well?
John Northey - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 02:50 PM EST (#250510) #
Seems Lind is learning a lot and I hope the Jays are too. Namely learning about conditioning and how vital it is.

Lind had back pain - often caused by not doing the proper conditioning. Then he did amazingly well for almost 1/2 the season before going into the tank starting at the end of June which he blamed on exhaustion due to overworking himself on defense at 1B (he was doing extra workouts left-right-and centre it seems).

The Jays need to ensure they have a strong training staff and perhaps individual personal trainers for each player (maybe even dietitians for each) to ensure they are at 100% as much as possible. The cost of, lets say, $250k for both per player (or $6.25 million for 25 players) would be well worth it if you can avoid a slump like Lind had last year or even just reduce it for just one player.
bpoz - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 02:58 PM EST (#250511) #
Gerry, I look forward to your report on who impressed in the mini camp.

Hutchison has me intrigued. His personality seems more lively as a christmas tree salesman than as a pitcher. It seems control is the key to his success.
China fan - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 03:23 PM EST (#250512) #
Gerry, thanks for the answer on the Toronto mini-camp. Interestingly, the mini-camp also included a training session on media relations -- how to talk to reporters etc -- and then they brought in a bunch of reporters to interview all of the prospects in the dressing room (letting them practice what they were taught). Smart move by the Jays. You don't want a bunch of young players who say the wrong thing in an interview and create unnecessary pressure for themselves.

I'm also fascinated by the explicit statement by Tony LaCava that these 7 prospects are the most likely to play for the Jays at some point in the next 12 months. (You also have to include Hechavarria, who was invited but had visa issues, and d'Arnaud, who was invited last year and didn't need another session this year, so it's 9 prospects in total.) Lots of interesting implications here. Good news, for example, for guys like Diaz, McDade and Sierra who aren't as highly touted as other prospects but actually seem to have a shot at the majors. On the other hand, does this mean that McGuire, for example, is further down the depth chart and less likely to taste the majors in the next 12 months? Lots of food for thought.
bpoz - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 03:36 PM EST (#250513) #
The CBA is an old topic, but do Miguel Castro RPH from DR DOB 12/24/94 signed Nov 2011 and Greylor Conde RPH from Venezuela DOB 6/25/94 signed Dec 2011 count toward any amateur signing budgets.
sam - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 05:21 PM EST (#250520) #
bpoz, my answer to that would be no. I believe the financial restrictions will come into effect at the beginning of the next signing window which is July 2, 2012. Don't quote me on that. Jim Callis or Ben Badler over at BA would be the authorities on such a question.
Gerry - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 05:27 PM EST (#250522) #
International players (excluding Cubans) who sign this late usually don't get much money.  BA reported their signing but made no comment about money.  Unless they got big dollars, their signing before or after the deadline doesn't mean too much.  If we assume they got $5,000 each, then the Jays possibly could have $10,000 less to spend next summer.
bpoz - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 05:48 PM EST (#250525) #
Thanks Sam. J Labourt who impressed me, signed in June 2011. IMO it seems obvious that these late signings involved players that were not competed for by other teams. I suppose I should not say obvious. July 2nd is a start date then some kind of closing date maybe 2 months later. These signings are later still which leads me to think that scouts are not as impressed.
I don't know, but if seems wrong that anyone not drafted in June or a low regarded Latin kid goes unsigned because of budget levels. By this time next year we will know more especially if the $ levels cause more unsigned kids than normal.
bpoz - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 06:12 PM EST (#250526) #
The Jays transaction page shows July 4/11 as signing Dawel Lugo SS DOB 12/13/94 & Osman Gutierrez RHP DOB 12/15/94. I somehow thought that they belonged to the pre july 2,2011 deadline and were just recorded late by whomever does that. But maybe they were just real fast signings. All of them turned 17 in 2011.

Thankfully there are many Bauxites who know how these details apply. I am trying to pick up some of the forgotten ones and hope for a gem. Also Dec babies are the youngest and so would be less advanced than their Jan & Feb 1994 class.
Glevin - Friday, January 13 2012 @ 06:50 PM EST (#250527) #
"I'm not sure it's appropriate to blame Lind's poor numbers strictly on back pain. He hit even worse in 2010 than he did in 2011. Did he have back problems then as well?"

I think this is a lot of wishful thinking. Lind has had five years with more than 300 PAs. He's had OPS of .678, .755, .932, .712, and .734. There is a number that doesn't belong in there but it's not the last one. By far the most likely explanation for Liind's struggles is that he's just not that good. He's a low average, power hitter who doesn't have good plate discipline. It's not an unusual skill set by any means and I think that these of players tend to be just naturally streaky.
TamRa - Saturday, January 14 2012 @ 04:27 AM EST (#250574) #
"I think this is a lot of wishful thinking. Lind has had five years with more than 300 PAs. He's had OPS of .678, .755, .932, .712, and .734. There is a number that doesn't belong in there but it's not the last one."

that's an unfair analysis though because you are counting equal weight to rookie numbers and veteran numbers. Supposing you can learn as much from the .678 as from the .734 is false and deceptive.

One could as easily read the first three years as a steady upward progression natural in a young hitter and then leave oneself to ask what has happened since?

the number that doesn't belong might as easily be the .712 as the .932 - simply because he was repeating the .932 as June 30 of 2011

whereas his numbers after that point don't look remotely like anything else in that string (.580)

THAT is the number that "doesn't belong"

"By far the most likely explanation for Lind's struggles is that he's just not that good."

Players who are "not that good" generally never have a year in which they OPS over .900

Now, he's beginning to build a case in which he's not THAT good - but he's not as bad as he's shown the last couple of years wither - if he was AA and Farrell would know it and they would have taken advantage of any number of opportunities to do something about it. This is not a case of scraping buy with Corey Patterson on the bench and him ending up playing far too often, this is the guy who's going out there almost every day and hitting 4th.

I cannot accept the supposition that AA is content to let a guy he KNOWS is a .730 hitter do that.
hypobole - Saturday, January 14 2012 @ 10:45 AM EST (#250580) #
You're right Tamra, if AA KNEW Lind was a .730 OPS, he'd have an upgrade in place.
However NO ONE truly knows. It's actually a question of likelihood. Even the most pessimistic of us don't believe it's impossible for him to repeat 2009, it's just we have very little faith it will actually happen.
smcs - Saturday, January 14 2012 @ 01:48 PM EST (#250584) #
Okay, I think we can all agree that Adam Lind can't hit lefties. Just flat-out cannot. Even in his 2009 season, his K:BB against lefties was 4:1, but his troubles were covered by a .339 BABIP. In 2010, he grabbed an .829 OPS against righties and a 10:1 K:BB and a sterling .341 OPS against lefties. So long as he bats behind Bautista, other teams will exploit this massive gap in his abilities. His stats just scream "PLATOON ME" but he plays a position where the type of player who hits lefties well, probably also hits righties well. If the roster doesn't change from today til opening day, the best case scenario is that a platoon develops between Adam Lind and Rajai Davis or Ben Francisco, with Encarnacion playing 1B, and Rasmus, Snider/Thames, Bautista, Davis and Francisco cover the outfield and DH.
TamRa - Saturday, January 14 2012 @ 03:30 PM EST (#250596) #
THAT I think is sensible, with an allowance for an experimental period (4-6 weeks?) before you give up on him in that regard
greenfrog - Sunday, January 15 2012 @ 05:55 PM EST (#250629) #
Agreed - but is Farrell savvy and gutsy enough to implement a strict platoon with Lind, eschewing the "I like my regulars to play every day so that they stay sharp" philosophy?
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