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With the new playoff slot we're all dreaming big here. However, how bad is the playoff situation in Toronto with the Leafs & Raptors looking inept and the Jays being in the toughest division there is? Is this something that should be expected or is it a once in a generation thing?

Blue Jays we all know - no playoffs since 1993 with just one second place finish in that entire stretch. With the current playoff structure the Jays would've made it in 1998 but only in that year. With the NBA/NHL method (top 8 per league) the Jays would've made it in... 2011 (7th seed), 2010 (7th), 2008 (7th), 2007 (7th), 2006 (7th), 2005 (8th), 2003 (tied 6th), 2002 (8th), 2001 (8th), 2000 (7th), 1999 (6th), 1998 (5th), and 1994 (7th). The longest stretch missing the playoffs, under the NHL/NBA model, would've been 1995-1997 (3 years).

The Maple Leafs are all over the news. They, without a major charge, will miss the playoffs for the 7th straight year (every year since the loss of a full season). From 1998/99 to 2003-04 they made it every year (6 straight), missed the 2 years prior, and made it the 4 years before that reaching back to 1992-1993. Prior to the current stretch the Leafs never missed the playoffs more than 2 years in a row going back to 1927-28 which was the final year of a 3 year stretch of missing the playoffs. That 3 year stretch was the only time they missed 3 in a row outside of the current 7 year stretch.

The Raptors are on a 4 year stretch of missing the playoffs. They were knocked out in the first round the 2 years before that, had a 4 year stretch of missing before that, and a 3 year stretch of making it prior to that including their only playoff victory. They didn't make it their first 4 years of existence. Ugh. 5 playoff appearances in 17 seasons, just 4 times over 500 (5th time dead on it).

So, right now the Toronto area is desperate. You have over the past 4 years 0 playoff appearances from 3 teams. The last playoff round won was by the Leafs in 2003/2004 (4-3 over the Senators). The only times a Toronto team has made the finals since the 1960's was the Jays in 1992 and 1993 (of course they won it all both years). Semi-Finals by the Jays in 85/89/91/92/93 and Leafs in 1977/78, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1998/99, 2001/02. 5 times each for the Leafs & Jays since the Jays were formed.

Not a good record. Each year in the NHL/NBA the odds are at least 50-50 for a team to make the playoffs yet both in this century have failed to make it that often. In the past 12 years (seasons starting in 2000 to today) you have the Leafs making 4 of 12 (the first 4), the Raptors 4 of 12 (2 initial, 2 in the middle), and 0 for 12 for the Jays (but 10 for 12 under NHL/NBA rules). Purely random odds put the odds of those 3 teams not making the playoffs (if you assume 50% per year odds for each of Raptors & Leafs and 1/5 for division plus 1/11 for non-division x odds of not winning division 4/5 = 27.3% for the Jays) for 4 years in a row at 6.25% for each of the Leafs & Raptors plus 27.98% for the Jays. That works out to random odds of all 3 missing the playoffs for 4 years in a row at 0.109% or roughly 1 in 1,000 (6.25% x 6.25% x 27.98%). Remember, that is assuming random odds which isn't the case (Yankees have more to spend for example).

Is Toronto starved for a playoff team? Oh yeah. There has not been a 4 year stretch with no playoffs in Toronto for any of the NHL/NBA/MLB in the existence of teams from any of those leagues being here (1917-18 when the Leafs won the NHL title). In fact, since the 1950's there hasn't been a stretch of more than 1 year outside of 1997/1998 (Leafs & Raptors missing 96/97 and 97/98). Someone is going to break that streak. It could be the Leafs this year still (5 points out with 15 to play) but I'd bet against that (they'd have to pass 4 teams to make it). But if it is the Jays expect a massive uptick to all things Blue Jays as Toronto is in a horrible once in a millennium stretch of horrid teams.
Toronto and Playoffs | 247 comments | Create New Account
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baagcur - Thursday, March 08 2012 @ 03:07 PM EST (#252552) #
Thank goodness the MLS is in town now
Mick Doherty - Thursday, March 08 2012 @ 05:25 PM EST (#252556) #

Great piecce John. Comprehensive and realistic with just a foreshadowing dash of hopefulness. :-)

a horrible once in a millennium stretch

A bit hyperbolic -- we do have 988 years left this millenium!!!

Chuck - Thursday, March 08 2012 @ 05:44 PM EST (#252557) #

Absent a better place to post this: a knuckle-dragger gets in over his head.

From the slop masquerading as an article:

I flew out of Toronto on Thursday expecting to see a bunch of bookish fellows in sweatshirts who lived in their parents' basements gathering en mass to talk numbers

it was not until the release of the movie Moneyball that sports analytics were so widely accepted

One imagines that somebody got paid for writing this.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 08 2012 @ 06:37 PM EST (#252559) #
This year, it's possible for the Blue Jays to be the saviors of the blighted nitwits (aka sports fans) of Toronto - poor Blue Jays.   They just have to been 11% better than last year, an easy task.
grjas - Thursday, March 08 2012 @ 08:48 PM EST (#252562) #
And if you wanna be really depressed, check out Boston. Not just playoffs but championships in baseball, hockey, football, and...shudder... hockey.

A friend from Boston was telling me they'd won 10 of them in the last decade or so. Didn't check his math...too disheartening. On the other hand we were at Rogers last season to watch that sweet collapse of the Sox in the pivotal game that really started their Sept swoon. Sweet vengeance.

For one night.

BlueJayWay - Thursday, March 08 2012 @ 09:43 PM EST (#252564) #
This town is ours for the taking.
TJ Caino - Thursday, March 08 2012 @ 10:08 PM EST (#252565) #
All I could think about was: Playoffs?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7fjDS0jKiE

John Northey - Thursday, March 08 2012 @ 10:35 PM EST (#252567) #
Hmm... Boston...
MLB: 2004/07 WS wins, also 1903/12/15/16/18. Stretches of 27, 20, 7, 10 years missing the playoffs from 1919 to 1985. 4 years is the longest they've gone since.

NHL: Stanley Cup in 2010/11, 1971/72, 1969/70, 1940/41, 1938/39, 1928/1929. Longest stretch of missing the playoffs is 8 years 1959/60 to 1966/7, otherwise nothing longer than 2.

NBA: Titles in 2007/08, 1985/6, 1983/4, 1980/1, 1975/6, 1973/4, 1968/9, 1967/8, 1958-1966 (8 in a row), 1956/7. Longest non-playoff stretch was 6 years from 1995/6 to 2000/1 otherwise 2 straight is their worst.

So with just the same 3 as Toronto it is impossible for Boston to have had more than 2 straight with no one in the playoffs as the Celtics bad stretch didn't match the Bruins.

For reference...
NFL: Titles in 2001, 2003, 2004. Longest no playoff stretches are 1964-1975 and 1987-1993.

So yeah, Boston has been in much better shape than Toronto. Still, 'just' 7 titles in the 2000's so far, not 10.
TamRa - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 02:58 AM EST (#252569) #
I've spent an inordinate amount of time pouring over the fangraph positional rankings and come up with some things i find interesting (pitchers not having been ranked yet)

if you total the WAR for the starters only at each position you get:

BRS - 33.1 (42% of that Ellsbury and Pedroia)
NYY - 31.9
TBR - 27.8
TBJ - 24.8
BO - 19.2

BUT

Consider this:

Colby Rasmus was inexplicably given a 1.5 WAR

Let's compare using the numbers used in the column:

#13 Dexter Fowler - 550 PA
.264/.360/.418/.778/ -2 = 3 WAR

#14 Yoenis Cespedes - 400 PA
.270/.331/.435/.766/ xx = 3 WAR

#16 Adam Jones - 600 PA
.278/.322/.447/.769 / -5 = 3 WAR

#21 John Jay - 550 PA
.282/.335/.402/.737/ xx = 2.5 WAR

#24 Emilio Bonifacio - 600 PA
.263/.326/.347/.673/ -2 = 3 WAR

#28 Colby Rasmus - 500 PA
.250/.322/.454/.776/ xx = 1.5 WAR

Note particularly the comparison with Jones - something is most certainly amiss. it seems to me there's no obvious justification for not giving Rasmus a 3, instead of a 1.5, as well.

And that's not modifying the numbers they used.


That puts the Jays within 1.5 of the Rays.

If you look at the performance of other players on the list for CF and LF, you can imagine Rasmus, or Snider (Thames?) adding 1.5, if not both.

For instance - this is Snider (whom I still think will win the job):

200 PA
.247/.304/.407/.711 and a 4 UZR rating - that came out to a 0.5 WAR
(they gave Thames an even 1 in twice the PA)

compare to...
Drew Stubbs (on the CF list)
600 PA
.240/.317/.388/.705 and also a 4 - that came out to 2.5 WAR.

you might lose some in the value of D in LF as opposed to CF (I'm nut sure how that's calculated) but it wouldn't take a huge stretch to suppose Snider WELL exceeds .711 (he brought .764 into 2011) so that ought more than off-set it.

There's plenty of reason to assume Snider could put up at least a 2-2.5 WAR in 2012
***
As for Rasmus, they have Shane Victorino with 600 PA with the following line:

.274/.342/.450/.792 a 2 for UZR and that worked out to 5 WAR

Again Rasmus
.250/.322/.454/.776 and an even UZR

I can't account for a potential defensive improvement (though I note that all the scouting I've heard calls him an excellent defender but the numbers seem to disagree)but he had a .361 OBP in 2010, how hard can it be for him to pick up 20 points over these projections?

It's not difficult to imagine at least a 4 WAR season.
***
Here's something else fun - the top line is the ZIP projection for Matt Kemp, and the second line is Rasmus in 2010

.280/.348/.503/.851/ -4.0
.276/.361/.498/.859/ -???

According to that line for Kemp, he would project to being a 6 WAR player (in fairness, in 2010 Rasmus was rated at 4.3 - the defensive metrics must really dislike him)

Still, with some love for his defensive work and a repeat of his 2010 production....that 1.5 is going to look REALLY bad.
***
Kelly Johnson was the other one that jumped out at me. He has a career .343 OBP, and has cleared .370 twice - and ZIPS projects a measly .323? Yes, he's also sucked a couple of years but it seems more sensible to be closer to his career number since there's are two great seasons and two sucky seasons (for OBP)
Comparing him to others on the middle infield lists and giving him an OBP of .343, you ought to see something more like 3.5 for Johnson (instead of 2.5 as listed) but that's the fault of ZIPS, not the columnist.

compare for reference, Starlin Castro (top line) to Johnson
.304/.343/.422/.765/ -4.0 (3.5 WAR projected)
.242/.323/.434/.757/ 2.0 (2.5 WAR projected)
Johnson's career line:
.260/.343/.441/.784

Unless BA matters, it seems easy to suppose Johnson can achieve 3.5 (positional adjustment being beyond me)
***
Lawrie was given a 5 WAR which includes above average D and an .833 OPS...might tick up a hair but pretty balanced
***
You might also see a bit more from Lind than they projected...nor more than 1 WAR better probably unless he thinks it's 2009 again (when he reached 3.7 as a DH).
***

SO

the totals above reflect this from the Fangraphs articles:

JPA- 2
Lind - 1.3
KJ - 2.5
Esco - 4.5
Lawrie - 5
Thames - 1 (they gave him the most PA)
Rasmus - 1.5 (still think this is a calculation error)
Bautista - 6.5
EE - 1

Total 24.3

Assuming the modest expectations I've mentioned for Rasmus, Snider, and Johnson, and a modest bump for Lind (which would take the Jays from #20 to #15 and still 4th best in the division) and you get this:

JPA- 2
Lind - 1.8
KJ - 3.5
Esco - 4.5
Lawrie - 5
Snider - 2.5
Rasmus - 4.5 (still think this is a calculation error)
Bautista - 6.5
EE - 1

And now the total is 30.3

and that's not asking for any break-out career year or anything, though it is assuming no one under-preforms the projection here which is a leap of faith, to be sure.


(and yes, I know there are problems with comparing treams by totaling WAR, but it's still an intriguing mental exercise for me)
Glevin - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 05:39 AM EST (#252570) #
"(and yes, I know there are problems with comparing treams by totaling WAR, but it's still an intriguing mental exercise for me)"

I hate WAR as a state and as someone who was pushing alternative stats long before they were deemed worthy, I find worrisome how easily this deeply flawed stat has been accepted. My problems are almost all the defensive end of the stat because any statistic that attempts to use defensive stats in it, is going to be off. According to baseball-reference the most valuable defensive players according to WAR last year were Gardner, Carlos Lee, Giancarlo Stanton, Fukadome, Chris Young, Ankiel, Callaspo, Denorfia, Infante, Barmes, Sandoval, etc...This list bears almost no relation to any real defensive value.
92-93 - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 06:07 AM EST (#252571) #
I thought the megila was supposed to be read Wednesday night.
BalzacChieftain - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 09:02 AM EST (#252572) #

I hate WAR as a state and as someone who was pushing alternative stats long before they were deemed worthy, I find worrisome how easily this deeply flawed stat has been accepted.

I wouldn't say it's deeply flawed just because some people use it incorrectly. It will never be the final word on who was a better player, but it provides a jumping-off point for the astute observer to compare the value of players at different positions amongst each other. It should be driving people to look deeper into the numbers rather than being careless and accepting the number as gospel at face value.

lexomatic - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 09:36 AM EST (#252573) #
@ TamRa:
I was the first to question the Rasmus rating, there are definite inconsistencies in that exercise that make it useless. At least be consistent in the ratings based on similar numbers.

As for the Kelly Johnson line, don't most systems weight recent production more heavily? I can totally see KJ beating his projection, but I also don't think it's an unreasonable one based on his recent seasons.

@Glevin:
According to baseball-reference the most valuable defensive players according to WAR last year were Gardner, Carlos Lee, Giancarlo Stanton, Fukadome, Chris Young, Ankiel, Callaspo, Denorfia, Infante, Barmes, Sandoval, etc...This list bears almost no relation to any real defensive value. I've seen it written a number of places that Stanton, Young, Callaspo are GOOD defensive players. They may not be as good defensively as they were last season, but based on the consensus from people who've watched them play, I don't think those names are unreasonable. Besides people do have good seasons with the glove that don't reflect their true talent. I would also refer to your wording, "the most valuable, " which is not equal to best.


Parker - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 09:52 AM EST (#252575) #
I couldn't believe the Leafs hadn't gone more than two years without a playoff appearance, especially during the dark days of Harold Ballard. I had to look it up.

It's true, somehow. In 1987-88 they even made the playoffs with a .325 winning percentage.

Go Leafs.
MatO - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 10:29 AM EST (#252576) #
There were only 21 teams in the 1980's and 16 made the playoffs.  In addition, you only had to be top 4 in your division which in the Leafs' case was the rather horrible Norris (nicknamed Chuck) division.  In many years the Leafs were awful but only had to beat one team in their division to make the playoffs and then once in the playoffs they only had to beat the crappy teams in their division.  A couple of times they were one game from the conference finals (league semis) despite being nowhere near a .500 team.  Of course, if they had made the conference finals they would have met the Oilers.  The Flames had a fabulous team in that period but had to face the Oilers every year just to get out of their division playoffs.
John Northey - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 10:58 AM EST (#252577) #
I remember in the mid-80's how the division was called the 'bore us Norris' with the 'Dead Things' and 'Maple Laughs'.

Think about 1985/6 - the Leafs had a 25-48 record yet made the playoffs by 17 points over the Wings who were 17-57. Ugh.
Matthew E - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 11:01 AM EST (#252578) #
the Leafs had a 25-48 record yet made the playoffs by 17 points

In other words, they weren't losers like the Jays are now.*

Sometimes Toronto sports fandom frustrates me.

--

* in case anyone wasn't sure: sarcasm.


John Northey - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 11:14 AM EST (#252579) #
Hey, those amazing Leafs swept the Chicago Blackhawks (1st in the Norris, 3rd in the Conference) in the first round before losing 4 games to 3 games to the St Louis Blues. Isn't that a winner? :) The next year they also won the first round over the team that came in 1st in their division. The Jays won the World Series before the Leafs won another playoff round.
greenfrog - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 12:19 PM EST (#252580) #
Jays' farm system ranked #2 overall, per Marc Hulet:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/ranking-the-30-minor-league-systems/

This is definitely cause for optimism, but it is somewhat depressing that Marco Paddy is mentioned as one of the team's top scouts (Marco having brought the team Hechavarria, Cardona and Osuna, among others). Hopefully Ismael Cruz can fill the void to some extent.
John Northey - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 03:36 PM EST (#252582) #
To help the hopeful feelings...

Jays leading 11-2 today, 4-2-1 overall with one loss being a pounding by the Phillies but the 7 runs were given up by VandenHurk, Chavez, and Korecky - all depth guys, not counted on at all unless you live in Vegas.

Promising start. Still, we won't really know anything until near the end of camp when regulars are playing, well, regularly.
TamRa - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 03:48 PM EST (#252583) #
"I hate WAR as a state and as someone who was pushing alternative stats long before they were deemed worthy, I find worrisome how easily this deeply flawed stat has been accepted. My problems are almost all the defensive end of the stat because any statistic that attempts to use defensive stats in it, is going to be off. According to baseball-reference the most valuable defensive players according to WAR last year were Gardner, Carlos Lee, Giancarlo Stanton, Fukadome, Chris Young, Ankiel, Callaspo, Denorfia, Infante, Barmes, Sandoval, etc...This list bears almost no relation to any real defensive value."

I agree with every bit of that.

but when some professional site like Fangraphs uses it as a basis for rankings, I still like to look at the internal consistency of the article (i.e. comparing what they project for Kemp to what Rasmus did in 2010) within the internal "logic" of the piece, there ought to be some conclusions which can be drawn.
greenfrog - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 04:04 PM EST (#252584) #
Yeah, that rating of CF/Rasmus for the Jays was weird.

FYI: fangraphs' starting pitching WAR totals for 2012:

Rays 18
NYY 15
BoSox 13.5
Jays 11.5
Baltimore 8.5

Obviously not an exact science, but it does point up the likely gap in starting pitchers between the Jays and their chief competitors (and the reason why AA was looking for a front-end starter this off-season). I think this area is where the Jays are probably going to fall short, although a lot can happen over the course of a season (trades, callups, surprise performances).
finch - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 06:11 PM EST (#252587) #
fangraphs with their ranking calls out left handed pitchers our organizational weakness. REALLY?!?!?! Nicolino and Norris just to name a couple...
Thomas - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 07:48 PM EST (#252588) #
Mitchell Taylor has reportedly been suspended 50 games for testing positive a second time for a drug of abuse (not PEDs).
John Northey - Friday, March 09 2012 @ 11:18 PM EST (#252590) #
Interesting to see how fWAR views next season.
3.5 WAR: Romero & Morrow
2.0 WAR: Alvarez
Everyone else 1 or less.
McGowan, if he got 200 IP, would be a 2 WAR, as would Litsch.

The Phillies, on the other hand, have 2 at 5.5 (Halladay & Lee) and Hamels at 3.5 (#2 ranked). #1 is the Angels with Weaver at 5.5, Haren & Wilson at 5.0 each, and Santana at 2.5

Tampa is #3 with Shields & Price in the 4's, Moore at 3, and Hellickson at 2.5 and Niemann at 2.

So realistically there is no way the Jays climb up to the Angels & Phillies as I don't see 2 guys getting over 5 WAR. However Tampa is possible if Morrow & Romero outperform expectations (possible) while Alvarez does a bit better than expected.
TamRa - Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 01:01 AM EST (#252591) #
my reflections on that SP WAR list...

This is what they had - if you somehow haven't seen it:

TBR-
Price - 4.5
Shields - 4.0
Moore - 3.0
Hellickson - 2.5
Davis (pro-rated to 200 IP would double) - 1.0
Neimann - 2.0 (lower if he doesn't get starts, no?)
Cobb - 1.0

Total - 18
-------------
NYY-
Sabathia - 5.5
Pineda - 3.5
Nova - 2.0
Kuroda - 2.0
Garcia - 1.0
Hughes - 1.0

total - 15
-------------
BRS-
Lester - 4.5
Beckett - 2.5
Buchholtz - 2.0
Bard - 2.0
Cook - 1.0
Matsuzaka - 0.5

Total - 12.5
-------------
TBJ-
Romero - 3.5
Morrow - 3.5
Alvarez - 2.0 (150 IP)
McGowan - 1.5 (pro-rated to 150 IP)
Cecil - 1.0 (150 IP)
Drabek - (0.5)

total - 11
---------------------------------------
But if you match up the slots:

#1
Sabathia - 5.5
Price - 4.5
Lester - 4.5
Romero - 3.5

I'm not going to complain much here. Romero COULD tic upward a bit - he was at 4.1 in 2010 - but Price could blow up and hit 6 or something too so...

#2
Shields - 4.0
Morrow - 3.5
Pineda - 3.5
Beckett - 2.5

Morrow could blow up a bit, I think he will probably lead this group seven months from now, but this is reasonable.

#3 (by results)
Moore - 3.0
Alvarez - 2.0
Nova - 2.0
Buchholtz - 2.0

3.0 might be conservative for Moore if he takes the league by storm but it's realistic. I think Alvarez is altogether too low. He had a 1.0 in 10 starts and 63 IP last year. He could have 3.0 this year. but whatever he has, Moore will probably have more.

#4
Hellickson - 2.5
Kuroda - 2.0
Bard - 2.0
McGowan - 1.5

How in the heck do the figure Bard will do that well? it's a complete crap shoot as a starter. On the other hand, McGowan was at 3.9 in 2007. this is one spot the jays could make up a lot of ground.

#5
Davis - 1.0
Garcia - 1.0
Cecil - 1.0
Cook - 1.0

If they have the rates right, Davis would presumably go up because a regular starter will get more than 100 IP. i think Cecil will do better than 1.0, but I don't think the Red Sox will net much of anything in their #5

Garcia will be okay or he will be replaced so i won't quibble over the projection for NY.

#6
Neimann - 2.0
Hughes - 1.0
Matsuzaka - 0.5
Drabek - (0.5)

The assumptions on Drabek are probably all wrong, but I'm not sure where the opening is unless their's an injury or a failure which makes his contribution a wash with that of the person who exits.

Of course, that's true of everyone here - I don't really see the point in these guys except to guess which team is best equipped to fill a hole, and I'd say Drabek has the most upside here despite last year.

So, a more optimistic upside projection based on nothing but hunches and homerism?

Romero - 4.0
Morrow - 4.5
Alvarez - 2.5
McGowan - 2.5
Cecil - 2.0
Drabek (filling in) - 1.0

Total - 16.5

As always, not saying that WILL happen - just that it's reasonably possible.
92-93 - Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 02:11 AM EST (#252593) #
"fangraphs with their ranking calls out left handed pitchers our organizational weakness. REALLY?!?!?! Nicolino and Norris just to name a couple..."

I think that's pretty fair. Beyond Nicolino & Norris there isn't much - you have Evan Crawford perhaps ready to make an MLB impact as a LOOGY, an international signee in Jairo Labourt, and marginal prospects in Mitchell Taylor and Griffin Murphy. Not exactly crowded with southpaws.
TamRa - Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 02:49 AM EST (#252594) #
I'm not saying we are loaded with LHP but, umm...2B?
greenfrog - Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 12:27 PM EST (#252595) #
But (based on fangraphs' stats) those projections would necessitate (from 2011 to 2012):

- Morrow's WAR increasing from 3.4 to 4.5
- Romero's WAR increasing from 2.9 to 4.0
- Cecil's WAR increasing from 0.4 to 2.0
- McGowan posting a 2.5 WAR (equivalent to Trevor Cahill's WAR in 2011) after throwing 21 MLB innings in the last 3 years
- Ditto Alvarez

So basically, your projection has every rotation member taking a significant step (if not a giant leap) forward in 2012. It is certainly possible, but how likely is it to happen? If you're going to craft an optimistic projection, it seems to me that you also need to project an optimistic, neutral and pessimistic scenario for every team, then compare them across each of the three categories. For example, how many WAR would the Rays' staff (similar age range to the Jays' staff) accumulate in a similarly rosy scenario? 22, 23, 24?
TamRa - Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 08:55 PM EST (#252599) #
- Morrow's WAR increasing from 3.4 to 4.5
- Romero's WAR increasing from 2.9 to 4.0
- Cecil's WAR increasing from 0.4 to 2.0
- McGowan posting a 2.5 WAR (equivalent to Trevor Cahill's WAR in 2011) after throwing 21 MLB innings in the last 3 years
- Ditto Alvarez
*******

The problem is that for many of those, "2011-2012" is not the whole universe.
---------
Morrow from 3.4 to 4.5 (and it might be a good bit higher):

1. He was at 3.7 in 2010 in under 150 IP. Pro-rate that to 200 IP and you have 4.9, no improvement in any stat except IP.

2. Swings of 1 WAR or so are not remotely uncomon. James Shields went from 2.0 in 2010 to 4.9 in 2011; our own Romero went from 2.8 in 2009 to 4.1 in 2010.
--------
Speaking of Romero...

Romero's WAR increasing from 2.9 to 4.0:

It was 4.1 in 2010 - what's wrong with speculating he will at least equal that again?
---------
- Cecil's WAR increasing from 0.4 to 2.0:

He was at 2.6 in 2010
---------
- McGowan posting a 2.5 WAR (equivalent to Trevor Cahill's WAR in 2011) after throwing 21 MLB innings in the last 3 years:

Assuming health, as always. True, assuming health for McGowan is risky, but how does one assume how many innings he has before he (supposedly) blows up? it's not a project-able figure. So i assume health.

In 2007 it was 3.9 (in just under 170 IP) so expecting him to do something less than that is hardly drug-induced.
----------
- Ditto Alvarez
As a rookie, Romero had a 2.8, Pineda was 3.4, and so forth. 2.5 is not an outlandish projection.

---------------------------------
"So basically, your projection has every rotation member taking a significant step (if not a giant leap) forward in 2012."

there are no giant leaps on that list, but I do believe Morrow and/or McGowan are capable of one. Maybe Drabek too if he had a spot in the rotation.

And going up by 1 WAR, or returning to a level previously reached in the last couple of years, is not so much a step forward but a regression to talent level after an off season.

"It is certainly possible, but how likely is it to happen? "

As I have said at every opportunity, someone WILL get hurt, someone WILL inexplicably suck.

what i cannot know is WHO.

Furthermore, the same is exactly true for TB, NY, and Boston as well.

if anyone had told you a year ago that James Shields would post a 4.9 war and be one of the best pitchers in the game, you'd have been skeptical. if the same person had told you Buchholtz would have, you'd have nodded wisely.

But what actually happened?

If you look at all four rotations in the aggregate, out of those 16-20 starters there WILL be failures/injuries and there might well be giant leaps.

Care to tell me WHICH of those pitchers will accomplish which of those outcomes?

Me either.

what you CAN'T do is assume the ones who get hurt, regress, or inexplicably fall apart will ONLY be Blue jays and not on any of the rivals.


" For example, how many WAR would the Rays' staff (similar age range to the Jays' staff) accumulate in a similarly rosy scenario? 22, 23, 24?"

Actually, the projections for the Rays are pretty rosey in some respects but sure, I'm game-

Shields - 5.0 (repeating his best year)
Price - 6.5 (moving into elite territory)
Moore - 3.5 (I think they are being rosey for a rookie but i give him something like Pineda's last year)
Hellickson - 2.5 (1.1 WAR over last year, which you considered significant inn the case of Romero)
Davis - 2.0 (twice what they gave him, assumes 200 IP)

Neimann in the pen because rosy projections assume full time work for the front five, Cobb irrelevant.

total: 19.5

Now, the reason they play the games is this how do we know sitting here today who will have the rosy outcome and who will have the difficult year, either as individuals or as teams?

The purpose of my supposition to which you reply was to show what COULD happen IF we had a "rosy outcome" and everyone else played to their pre-season expectations.

not to argue we WOULD have a rosy outcome or that no one else would - just to say that our current talent level was WITHIN RANGE of the contenders if we have a reasonable amount of good fortune.

As opposed to being, say, little more than a .500 team in the best case scenario.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 10:18 PM EST (#252600) #

OH LUCY.....'splain this to me...   (if you don't understand the reference, ask your grandparents).

At the time they were doing WAR for Romero, was someone overly enjoying their intoxicant of choice, possibly a better class of intoxicant than normal, or to be impolite, one toke over the line.   To go from a 2.8 WAR in 2009 to a 4.1 WAR in 2010 to a 2.9 WAR in 2011 does not make any sense, considering Romero got better each year    I think the problem was a mistake made (why, only they know), and too big an ego to admit the mistake (it's easy to press at a 3 and hit the middle and come out a 2).

Romero should continue to improve and I hope the WAR nuts are more circumspect with their material.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 10 2012 @ 11:27 PM EST (#252601) #
Those of you on DST, turn your clocks ahead one hour at beddy-bye time.
Chuck - Sunday, March 11 2012 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#252604) #

BBRef has Romero's WARs from 2009-2011 as: 2.4, 3.2, 5.9.
Fangraphs has it as: 2.8, 4.1, 2.9

The differences are due to methodology. BBRef answers the question "what was?" whereas Fangraphs answers the question "what should have been?".

BBRef bases their WAR on runs allowed and adjusts for defensive support and leverage. Fangraphs adjusts for a number of things including BB/9, K/9, GB rate, FB rate and HR/FB rate. You will see that their WAR aligns with their FIP and xFIP.

Fangraphs' WAR "punishes" 2011 Romero for his 242 BABIP (compared to career 283), his career high FB rate, his career-tying low K/9, and his career high LOB%. BBRef "rewards" him for the net results despite the peripheral numbers suggesting that his sub-3 ERA was not terribly likely given the circumstances.

 

greenfrog - Sunday, March 11 2012 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#252606) #
"total: 19.5"

Fascinating - fangraphs projects the Jays' rotation at 11 WAR; you think a reasonably optimistic scenario has them accumulating 16.5 WAR (50% increase), whereas fangraphs projects the Rays' rotation at 18 WAR; you think a reasonably optimistic scenario has them accumulating 19.5 WAR (8.3% increase).

Who knew that fangraphs was so biased against the Jays, and that the Jays' rotation is just about as good as the Rays'? Good to get that cleared up.
Flex - Sunday, March 11 2012 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#252608) #
Lord, I'm sooo tired of the snipey sarcasm on this site.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 11 2012 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#252609) #

Thanks Chuck.   I understand the problem now.   Differing values of WAR being determined by opinions on methodology is stupid, but it makes sense.   Opinions always differ.   That's normal.

BBRef goes from 2.4 WAR in 2009 to 3.2 WAR in 2010 to 5.9 WAR in 2011.  The increase from 3.2 to 5.9 is extreme considering Romero didn't get that much better in 2011.   It seems a 3.5 to 4.0 "fits" better.

Fangraphs  goes 2.8 WAR in 2009 to 4.1 WAR in 2010 to 2.9 WAR in 2011.   The decrease from 4.1 to 2.9 is also extreme, but what "fits"?

Romero had 5 Wins turned into ND because of the Relief.   He had 4 Losses in which the offense basically didn't show up.  Incidentally, Romero had 6 Losses where he pitched bad, and 1 losses with 5 Unearned Runs.   How does that calculate into WAR, it should, I don't think it does?   Does 3.9 WAR in 2011 from Fangraphs "fit" better?

Chuck - Sunday, March 11 2012 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#252612) #

WAR does not, nor should it, "examine" a season on a game by game basis. Wins attributed to a pitcher, in the historically traditional sense, are overstated. Just as losses are. A team wins or loses a game and while the starting pitcher is often a major determinant of the game's result, he is not the sole determinant. Attributing a win or loss entirely to a pitcher is an archaic way of measuring success.

Now, whether you should go with BBRef's WAR or FanGraphs' WAR or the average of the two is entirely contingent on what question you are trying to answer. To my mind, there are three distinct questions that are too often conflated.

1. What was the value of Romero's net results in 2011?
2. What should Romero's net results have been in 2011 given normal luck?
3. What can we expect from Romero in 2012?

If one wants to retroactively measure the runs that Romero saved over the course of 2011, ignoring whether or not his luck was good or bad (as measured by the predictive value of his peripheral stats), then BBRef's WAR answers your question. Roughly speaking, Romero's sub-3 ERA for 225 innings saved the team runs at a pace that made him almost 6 wins better than a replacement level pitcher. BBRef's WAR does not attempt to measure whether Romero was lucky or unlucky nor does its WAR offer any predictive value. It just says that in 2011, Romero was a 6-win player based on his net results.

If one wants to measure the "true", underlying quality of Romero's 2011 season -- net results be damned -- then FanGraphs' WAR is what you want. They fundamentally attempt to answer the question: given how well Romero pitched, and given what normal luck would have yielded given balls in play, number of fly balls, number of strikeouts, etc., what should his WAR have been? And their answer is 3, suggesting that according to their methodology, Romero was the benefactor of a great deal of luck in 2011 (unduly low BABIP, unduly high LOB %, etc.).

So BBref answers "what was?" (a 6-win season) and FanGraphs answers "what should have been?" (a 3-win season). Those are two ways to examine the past and answer two very different questions.

But what about the third question, which seems to be of great interest in this thread: given past performance, what future WAR can we expect?

If you believe that Romero is unduly skilled at pitching better than his peripherals, you may hold out hope that he truly is a 6-win pitcher and can expect more of the same in 2012. If you believe that his luck will catch up with him (or, that he is only slightly skilled at pitching better than his peripherals -- say a skill-based high GIDP rate, a low SB rate, etc.), then you may be inclined to think of him as more of a 3-4 win pitcher.

Incidentally, Brandon Morrow is Romero's mirror image. Not surprisingly, BBRef, which measures "what was" has him at just 1.5 and 1.4 the past two seasons. FanGraphs, which measures "what should have been", sees very impressive peripherals and "rewards" him with 3.7 and 3.4. The gulf between Morrow's performance levels with men on and bases empty suggests that Morrow may just be one of those pitchers whose peripherals will continually overstate his true worth (because he pitches his poorest in the highest leverage situations). Or that gulf may start flattening out and we'll see a 4-win season where he increases his innings and finally pitches to the level of his peripherals. With his big contract extension, the Blue Jay brass would appear to be in this latter camp.

Thomas - Sunday, March 11 2012 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#252613) #
Chuck, that's a really good post.
TamRa - Sunday, March 11 2012 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#252614) #
""total: 19.5"

Fascinating - fangraphs projects the Jays' rotation at 11 WAR; you think a reasonably optimistic scenario has them accumulating 16.5 WAR (50% increase), whereas fangraphs projects the Rays' rotation at 18 WAR; you think a reasonably optimistic scenario has them accumulating 19.5 WAR (8.3% increase).

Who knew that fangraphs was so biased against the Jays, and that the Jays' rotation is just about as good as the Rays'? Good to get that cleared up."
--------------------------
It would be silly to assume there's not some dash of homeristic optimism, but as i prefaced - the Rays projection is already pretty rosy because they are more established.

I'm looking at what guys with bigger question marks might do against guys who have less room for upward mobility because they have fewer question marks.


That's not that difficult a process.

Take it to another position.

Brett Lawrie v. A-Rod

you could look at that comparison many different ways, but one thing would be sure - there's way more volitility in what you'd give Lawrie than what you'd give A-Rod because one is an almost-rookie and the other has a long long track record.

Whatever happens, the odds of the less established buy having more movement than the veteran are obvious.

Take it in pieces:

The two most veteran guys (not counting McGowan's DL time):I gave Shields just a tic more than his best year, and Romero just a tic worse than his best year.

The two "high upside" guys: I bumped Morrow 1.1 to 4.5; I bumped Price all the way to 6.5;

The two kids: I gave the higher-upside guy 1 more than I did our guy who's no slouch;

I gave Cecil exactly what he's already done before (as a rookie) and gave Hellickson more;

McGowan went up so much mostly because I assumed a lot more innings than the 50 they assumed, and you may feel free to call that rosy, but I also doubled what they gave Davis.

I maintain that there's nothing irrational there, and I'd go so far as to say that both Morrow and McGowan have the stuff to add another couple of WAR (either or both)
TamRa - Sunday, March 11 2012 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#252617) #
"Lord, I'm sooo tired of the snipey sarcasm on this site."

+1
hypobole - Sunday, March 11 2012 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#252619) #
I'm neither a sabermatician nor a pitching talent evaluator, but Romero and Morrow seem to be anomalies that fWAR doesn't seem to explain properly. fWAR is basically FIP times innings, with FIP explained thusly:

"The FIP formula is (HR*13+(BB+HBP-IBB)*3-K*2)/IP, plus a league-specific factor that scales FIP to match league average ERA for a given season and league"

Thus anything that includes teammates is excluded; it simply involves only those outcomes for which the the pitcher is solely responsible. However, Ricky's greatest strength last year was something very dependent on teammates - inducing (seemingly) weak ground balls while pitching from the stretch.

GB% Bases empty - 53.0%, Runners on - 57.1%. Scoring position - 59.7% (FWIW the MLB leader for GB% last year was Jake Westbrook at 59.3%).

So pitching from the stretch, Ricky was inducing more GB's, and also fewer FB's (31.5%, 30.6%, 26.4% in the 3 categories above). GB's are good with runners on, but usually cause a higher BABIP.

However, here are Ricky's BABIP's. Bases empty - .264, Runners on - .211, Scoring position - .191.

So Ricky last year threw pitches that caused seemingly weak ground ball contact while pitching from the stretch that he seemed to throw substantially less (or at least less effectively) from the windup.

Now maybe he just got extremely lucky with opposing batters hard hit balls consistently ending right where infield defenders were positioned, and Ricky won't come close to those numbers this year.

Or maybe he has a repeatable skill that's just not captured by fWAR.
christaylor - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#252621) #
Having lived in Boston for a year... I'll chime in. Boston is hands down a better sports town than Toronto. Not just on the field, but off, in bars, in coffee shops, in the library, or on the T. Even the much maligned "pink hats" (very sexist comment, but prevalent) look like Nate Silver compared to many Torontonians who claim to be baseball fans.

It might have something to do with winning, but I doubt it, because I've had many interesting conversations about the Sox pre-2004 days. There's something in the water around here that spawns universities and sports savvy/passion.
greenfrog - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#252624) #
Kevin Goldstein of BP has ranked the Jays the #2 organization in baseball (behind San Diego), describing the system thusly: "A ridiculous number of high-ceiling teenage arms to go with some elite up-the-middle talent."
electric carrot - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#252625) #
Having lived in Boston for a year...

I lived in Boston for almost 6 years -- including the first WS win in 2004 and I think at least one maybe 2 Superbowl championships.  Boston is definitely a baseball town.  Going to Fenway is a ton more fun than going to Rogers Center.  So while there is a lot of energy there it is also incredibly whiny, finger-pointing and self-pitying when it loses.  To me it feels like it has the energy and character of a 5 year-old boy.  Very happy and charming when it's winning -- an absolute horror show when it's losing.  Grown men on sports call in shows in Boston show the mental maturity of infants -- it's beyond what I've heard anywhere else.  The atmosphere is electric, and the fans are knowledgeable -- you just wish sometimes there was any sense of perspective about it all.
John Northey - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#252626) #
I suspect Boston baseball fans are much like Maple Leaf fans - nothing else matters thus they can talk about it for hours (and do so). If the Leafs ever won it'd get as nuts here as it did in Boston post-2004. Luckily we won't have to worry about that anytime soon.
greenfrog - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#252627) #
Marc Hulet top 100 prospects chat is about to start on fangraphs, if anyone is interested. Jays on his list include Gose (#36), d'Arnaud (37), Norris (53), Hutchison (54), Nicolino (63), Syndergaard, (64), Marisnick (66).

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/marc-hulet-top-100-prospects-chat/
Mike Green - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#252628) #
The front page of the print edition of the New York Times today has an interesting article on the origin of arm injuries in pitchers, particularly among the young, and profiles research from Glenn Fleisig and Dr. James Andrews.  It turns out that curveballs thrown correctly do not produce any more biomechanical stress on the arm than other pitches, but Dr. Andrews is still of the opinion that throwing them at a young age poses significant risk because they are often thrown incorrectly especially when the pitcher is tired.  Throwing too many pitches at a young age is definitely a risk. 

Can you imagine seeing an article like this on the front page of the Globe and Mail?

John Northey - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#252630) #
Wow, 7 Jays on his top 100? Nice. 2 outfielders, 2 RHP, 2 LHP, 1 catcher.

Atlanta & Oakland ahead (if you count Yoenis Cespedes) while the poor White Sox get no love at all (0 on the top 100).

Last years is at http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/fangraphs-top-100-prospects/ and had 5 Jays on it - Carlos Perez, Deck McGuire, JP Arencibia, Brett Lawrie, Kyle Drabek - yes, Lawrie was ranked lower than Drabek. 2 catchers, a 3B/2B, and 2 pitchers (one L/one R). Of those 2 graduated, 1 flopped, and 2 continued to grow (one doing well [McGuire] one not as well [Perez]).
TamRa - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#252631) #
technically three graduated, since Drabek exceeded the limits...he just did so poorly.
TamRa - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#252632) #
if you look at Hulet's list through the last Blue Jay - a sort of "Top 66"

Then the Jays have 7 of those players and the M's have 4 and no one else has more than 3.

You have to like that.
greenfrog - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#252633) #
Jays apparently still chasing Gavin Floyd, according to Jon Morosi:

http://mlbbuzz.yardbarker.com/blog/mlbbuzz/sources_blue_jays_still_pursuing_gavin_floyd/10291117

Floyd would be a decent pickup IMO (probably bumping McGowan or Cecil from the rotation). The question is, what would it take to land him? As always, when a trade rumour is leaked involving the Jays, take it with a grain of salt.
MatO - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#252634) #

Some news on the "ones that got away".

Tyler Beede has had a rough start to his college career giving up 22 hits in 13IP with an ERA over 7.

Jake Barret has pitched exclusively in short relief for Arizona State.  Only 8IP in the first 14 games of the season.  He's been good if unspectacular.  Barret was projected to be a 1st or 2nd rounder in the upcoming draft.

Logan Ehlers turned down 800K from the Jays at the last second to go to Nebraska which was probably a really bad idea.  Ehlers has left Nebraska after one season and moved to Howard JC in Texas and will probably be eligible for this year's draft.  He had some "minor" off-season arm surgery and some disciplinary issues.  I'm guessing that with the new CBA and his other problems he won't be seeing an $800K offer this year.

Kelekin - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#252635) #
Gavin Floyd has been solid the last 4 years.  He's not amazing, but he'd be a way better option than Cecil I think.  I've always believed Cecil is the most likely to head to the bullpen, where he was dominant his college career.  Cecil just doesn't have a high enough ceiling as a starter anymore, for whatever reason. 
Dewey - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#252636) #
 Can you imagine seeing an article like this on the front page of the Globe and Mail?


Well, provided they could make it into a hockey story, especially one having to do with Don Cherry(tm).  Or maybe with Herr Harpo, our champion of the sport. 
JohnL - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#252637) #
Or maybe with Herr Harpo, our champion of the sport.

You know, I'd like the Ottawa Harpo much better if he spoke as often as the Marxist one did. He could take hair and fashion tips too. A quick transition from piano to harp and ta-da...
John Northey - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#252638) #
Well, Floyd is under contract for 2012 with a team option for 2013 which fits AA's motto (team options = happy place). He is stable, 4 years of 30+ starts in a row. However, his ERA+ has been on a poor trend those 4 years - 119-116-105-96 - a steady decline. His BB/9 was just 2.1 last year, K/9 7.0 both very solid figures. If he is cheap enough (ie: just C level prospects) then why not? Given he is with the White Sox one can never know what they are looking for as that team has been run in a unique way for years.
Mylegacy - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#252639) #
Just went over to the Sox site to see Floyd's spring stats and he hasn't pitched yet...anyone know anything about his present health?
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#252640) #
Whether a Gavin Floyd trade occurs or not, it usually will happen within 48 hrs of the leak/article if A.A. is doing the deal.   After that time it's likely more internet driven than actual.   If a Starter is good, sometimes they get better playing in Toronto, sometimes.   http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/floydga01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker  indicates a decent # 3 starter and a GM looking at Cecil, Alvarez, McGowan and Drabek and saying "Oops - mea culpa".
krose - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#252641) #
Just over at mlb.scout. One of their editors, Chuck Hixon, is speculating that the Jays will trade Hutchison for Blanton. Seems like a bit much, no?
greenfrog - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#252642) #
I don't really see KW just giving away Floyd - he's still a reasonably valuable commodity, albeit not as valuable as, say, Garza. My guess is he'll wait until the trade deadline to move him (more bidders), unless ownership is pressuring the GM to clear salary. I would be surprised to see a deal get done without AA losing at least one good (but non-elite) prospect. Maybe a package like Wojciechowski + a decent 2nd-tier positional prospect like Sierra or Knecht or Crouse could get it done?
greenfrog - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#252643) #
"Hutchison for Blanton"

Um, no.
hypobole - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#252645) #
Gavin Floyd threw 3 innings in a B game vs Texas Thursday.
bpoz - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#252646) #
Joe Blanton had an elbow injury last year & is owed $8.5mil this year.
AA wants only #2 & #3 category pitchers in the rotation. I believe this means 2 or more years of ERA below 4.00 and 200 IP. This goal is a work in progress.
However a temporary replacement for a struggling SP makes sense.
I don't know how the experts would rank the harder throwing AJ Burnett VS Greg Maddux as "prospects". I am sure Burnett would get some votes.
Today as ML SPs IMO S Marcum is better than Burnett, but Burnett can get in a groove as can anyone.
So IMO AA will only trade a good SP prospect for something that is also elite eg Molina for Santos.

ComebyDeanChance - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#252651) #
Had the chance to see both Hutch and Deck throw today in Dunedin. Deck works quickly, has confidence in his breaking stuff, and stays on the strike zone. He doesn't throw with that much velocity - 89 was the top I saw today, but he mixes speeds well and looks like he believes in his stuff.

Hutch, on the other hand, throws harder than Deck but today he didn't have the command. Today was the second time I"ve seen him pitch, and it was the first time I've seen Deck throw. Hutch is a bit like Jason Frasor without the really good heat. Unlike Deck, he takes a long time between pitches. Also like Frasor, he's small for a right-handed pitcher.
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 12 2012 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#252652) #

Blanton http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/blantjo01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker isn't very good - not better than a poor #4 Starter.

Floyd http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/floydga01.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker&utm_campaign=Linker is better - but only a average #3 Starter at best.

I like Floyd, but won't be disappointed if it's just webby chatter.

TamRa - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#252653) #
". If he is cheap enough (ie: just C level prospects) then why not? "

Because he blocks guys that you need answers about.

Even if the Jays decide Cecil has no future with them (exceedingly doubtful at this point) they still need to see if Drabek is back on track.

if he's (Floyd) cheap enough AND the Jays lose two SP for a significant part of the season, then sure, he might be a decent option.

Otherwise, want and trade for a pitcher if and when the opening arises.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 03:03 AM EDT (#252655) #
At some point you have to stop waiting for potentially wrong answers and start searching for correct solutions.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#252657) #
I agree with you 92-93, that is if I understand you correctly.
My version is that first one has to define/explain the problem then look at the various solutions.

With such a large scouting department, in theory AA would have a good report on just about every player of each organization at all levels.

When will AA decide to "go for it"? Right now we are coming off an 81 win season. On another site someone posted that NYY, Boston, TB & the Jays play each other 54 times. Therefore if they are relatively equal nobody will win 95 games.
Also we don't know if the schedule will practically guarantee LAA/Texas one of the WCs.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#252658) #
I think it depends on what Jay scouts would see in Floyd and in the kids here. If it is felt those kids need a full year in AAA/AA and that Cecil is best used in the pen then a #3 starter can make sense. If Floyd is seen by Jay scouts as being better than advertised (looks like a league average starter or slightly better but his K/9 and BB/9 suggest more is possible - his FIP is sub-4 the past 3 years and all forecasting tools listed at FG have him with a FIP sub-4 again).

That is the interesting thing. The Jays have shown they view stuff over ERA with Morrow, would they be willing to double down and get more pitchers with the same issue (high ERA, low FIP)?

What about tradability mid-season? A league average starter can be worth a lot to a contender mid-season especially with a team option. If the White Sox are in full cost-cutting mode then maybe they can't hold him till then so a bargain opportunity could be had too, which would allow kids to come up mid-season post-trade allowing more 'farm time' and a delay in arbitration / free agency.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#252659) #
If Floyd is currently available on the cheap, it would make sense to acquire him now, as it's very likely he would be a better option than Cecil. Per fangraphs:

- Floyd's last three years: xFIP 3.64, 3.69, 3.73 / WAR 4.5, 4.3, 3.6 / IP: 193, 187.1, 193.2

- Cecil's last three years: xFIP 4.62, 4.15, 4.47 / WAR 0.4, 2.6, 0.4 / IP: 93.1, 172.2, 123.2 (with some additional innings in the minors)

The numbers are pretty clear-cut. It's true that Cecil is a few years younger (and a lot cheaper), but Floyd is only 29, so it's not as though he carries a lot of age-related risk.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#252660) #
IMO something weird is going on with the CWS. Why wait till now to shop Floyd? Many teams budgets may be set.

If he is not traded now, I will assume that this rumor is 90% fiction.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#252662) #

It's always hard to determine the validitity of possible trade report coming off a weekend.   MLB is usually sluggish on regular Mondays, which is why Blue Jay rumours are given until Wednesday to resolve.   Tuesday to Thursday rumours usually are given 24 hours, while Friday to Monday rumours are given 48 hours.

Henderson Alvarez looks good (early days) and has used three pitches so far.   Brett Cecil hasn't thrown a pitch in the 90's yet, so questions still exist.   Dustin McGowan and Kyle Drabek haven't thrown enough to give clear indication of their abilities.

Maybe A.A. sees more than we do, he's still talking with other GMs.   As to watching someone pitch, then leaving when they are no longer pitching, means nothing when it's a few minutes away (walking distance - a few miles).

John Northey - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#252663) #
All winter the Jays were talking about adding one more pitcher but generally were talking 'ace' not '#3 guy'. Still, if AA feels that he only has 4 real starters ready for April 1st then a trade makes sense. Personally I'd like to see how the kids do or see a major trade for a real ace.

One more name out of Chicago that is interesting is John Danks. Lifetime 111 ERA+ with a peak of 138 in 2008. Just 27 this year and coming off a mediocre season (97 ERA+) despite his lowest BB/9 total. His contract is a bit heavy ($14.25 mil a year from 2013-2016 plus $8 mil this year) but if he is on he can be a solid #2. Funny thing is his BB/9, K/9, HR/9 is in eyeshot of Floyd - in fact, Floyd might be the better pitcher right now. Still, with that contract the Sox would want to dump him if possible one would think even though it was just signed in December (very odd).

Hrm... might be a fly in that ointment though as Danks has a full no-trade clause this year and a partial after this year (something AA sees as toxic).

Gotta say, I don't see the logic behind Danks contract and rumours of Floyd going away as Danks doesn't look _that_ much better if you base it on the things FIP sees (BB/9, K/9, HR/9). Just makes me think AA wants Floyd more.
BalzacChieftain - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#252666) #

December 2011: ďWeíre in between right now. I donít particularly care to be in between.Ē - Ken Williams

This is post-signing of Danks and trade of Santos, I believe. Makes you think that he either wants to blow it up and rebuild or take another shot. I don't think the White Sox have much of a choice right now other than to at least try to compete as they're stuck with a lot of aging veteran talent. Their farm system is awful though, and there may be some in the front office who believe in making some deals for low-level high-ceiling talent.

hypobole - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#252669) #
Buster Olney on AA and trade rumours:
"Remember this any time you see the Blue Jays connected with any possible deal: Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos adheres to an exhaustive process of evaluation as he considers options. So if he asks about a pitcher, it's not necessarily because he's interested in that pitcher; it's because he asks about all pitchers. Every GM has a particular style and manner of operation, and if this were college, Anthopoulos would be the student living in the library, except when he scheduled extra help with his professors."
John Northey - Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#252670) #
Heh. I'd bet AA is always checking for bargains. He probably has a good idea of what every team's GM wants to get and what they value their current players at (ie: which are valued like gold and which they see only tin with).

I wouldn't be shocked if he is always working (at least in his mind) on 3 way deals where parts that are virtually useless for the Jays could be very valuable for another team. I keep hoping for more 3 way deals to happen as those are always fun to dig into afterwards. Kenny Williams is also a fun GM as you never know what he'll do next so the two of them getting together on deals is probably the best combo right now as anything could happen.
TamRa - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 02:23 AM EDT (#252675) #
"At some point you have to stop waiting for potentially wrong answers and start searching for potentially correct solutions."

that scans better.

and it depends on one's judgement of what's a right and wrong answer.

IMO, a guy who everyone said up until one year ago was a potential #2 starter is more likely to be a "right answer" than a "steady" guy who's been slowly slipping over the last three seasons and is a whole lot closer to 30.

Again, as has been said before, if your objective is to do what the Brewers did last year and what the Reds seem to be doing - push your chips in and go for it NOW and the future be damned, then yeah - go get Floyd.

I don't think that's AA's objective and I'm glad.
TamRa - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 02:51 AM EDT (#252676) #
If Floyd is currently available on the cheap, it would make sense to acquire him now, as it's very likely he would be a better option than Cecil. Per fangraphs:

- Floyd's last three years: xFIP 3.64, 3.69, 3.73 / WAR 4.5, 4.3, 3.6 / IP: 193, 187.1, 193.2

- Cecil's last three years: xFIP 4.62, 4.15, 4.47 / WAR 0.4, 2.6, 0.4 / IP: 93.1, 172.2, 123.2 (with some additional innings in the minors)

The numbers are pretty clear-cut. It's true that Cecil is a few years younger (and a lot cheaper), but Floyd is only 29, so it's not as though he carries a lot of age-related risk.

-------------------------------------
That's a pretty unfair comparison, IMO, in terms of looking forward.

You are comparing an established guy's prime years (which most consider to be 26-30) to a young guy's effort to establish himself.

You have Cecil's first 390 IP (almost) as a major leaguer there. How did Floyd do at the same age?

Cecil was 2 months shy of his 23rd birthday when he was called up, so most of his stats are age 23-25 (he had about 35 IP before age 23)

Floyd's 23rd birthday was before the start ofthe '06 season and he'd already thrown 53 major league innings so they are pretty comparable on age - so how did Floyd do before age 26?

2004 - 3.49 ERA - 4.04 FIP - 4.83 xFIP - 28.1 IP (age 21)
2005 - 10.04 - 6.40 - 5.71 - 26 (22)
2006 - 7.29 - 7.18 - 5.67 - 54.1 (23)
2007 - 5.27 - 6.07 - 4.63 - 70.0 (24)
2008 - 3.84 - 4.77 - 4.50 - 206.1 (25)

compared to Cecil:

2009 - 5.30 - 5.37 - 4.62 - 93.1 (22/23)
2010 - 4.22 - 4.03 - 4.15 - 172.2 (23/24)
2011 - 4.73 - 5.10 - 4.47 - 123.2 (24/25)

So Floyd took four seasons to produce, even in a limited sample, the xFIP Cecil produced as a rookie; Cecil's ERA, FIP, and xFIP over the first three seasons are notably better than Floyd's over his first four seasons, and this means the smart play is to trade a guy who still has his prime years to come for a guy who's at the end of his (I don't mean literally trade Cecil for Floyd but trade out his place on the team)?

that's exactly the kind of ill-considered thing that kept the Jays flailing for the last decade and a half (or more)

No thanks.

Now, if AA & Co. look at Cecil and see some fatal flaw they think they can't fix, the sort of thing that says he will never get better, then fine. I trust their judgement on that.

But your statistical comparison is about the last thing i'd use to make that decision.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 06:48 AM EDT (#252677) #
"IMO, a guy who everyone said up until one year ago was a potential #2 starter"

You have to evaluate a player in real time, not on the basis of where he was (real or imagined) a year and a half ago. Even in his one promising year (2010), Cecil's numbers simply do not suggest the emergence of a #2 starter (6.1 K/9 IP, 2.81 BB/9 IP, 4.15 xFIP). He has lost nearly 2 MPH off his FB over the last two years (90.8 to 89.1). And the various projection systems (Steamer, Bill James, Marcel, Rotochamp, ZIPS, etc) have him posting an ERA in 2012 of between 4.19 and 5.00, and a FIP of between 4.26 and 4.85. Only one of those systems has him pitching 180+ innings. Does that sound like a #2?

Meanwhile, the above systems like Floyd a lot more, projecting between 175 and 201 IP in 2012, an ERA between 3.92 and 4.10 and a FIP of between 3.59 and 3.99.

...

"a 'steady' guy who's been slowly slipping over the last three seasons and is a whole lot closer to 30"

Look, I don't love Floyd, but his 'steady' performances in each the last three years have included better K/9 IP, BB/9 IP, FIP, xFIP and WAR than anything Cecil has *ever* posted in any of his MLB seasons. And Cecil's 2011 stats (rising walks, HR rate nearly doubling, rising FIP/xFIP) do not bode well in this regard.

As for 'slowly slipping,' Floyd's FIP and xFIP actually fall within a tight range over the last three years (FIP increasing by 0.04, xFIP increasing by 0.09), while his BB/9 IP declined substantially in 2012 (from 2.75 and 2.79 in 2010/11 to 2.09 in 2012). His K rate was above his career average. Meanwhile, his total IP actually increased slightly. In other words, the advanced metrics don't raise any real red flags.

As for being 29 years old, that's really nothing for a durable SP, especially one whom you're looking at as an upgrade at #3-4 for a year or two before he becomes a FA.

...

"if your objective is to do what the Brewers did last year and what the Reds seem to be doing - push your chips in and go for it NOW and the future be damned"

This is pure hyberbole IMO. We all know the Jays have tons of young pitching coming. The Jays certainly aren't going to give up one of their top arms or significantly deplete the farm system for Floyd. No one is proposing trading someone of Lawrie's calibre, or a package like Grandal/Alonso/Volquez/Boxberger. I proposed acquiring Floyd "if [he] is currently available on the cheap"; please don't misrepresent what I actually said. They likely wouldn't even be losing Cecil, who could easily move to the 'pen. It's just a short-term (1-2 years) upgrade in the middle of the rotation that would in no way block all the very good SP prospects coming up through the farm.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#252683) #
Whether Floyd is likely to be better than Cecil is not the key question.  The Jays' rotation is thin. Expecting Morrow, Cecil, Alvarez and McGowan to each pitch 200 innings is not reasonable, and if one is of the view that Floyd is reasonably likely to give 150+ innings of league average pitching or better, he has considerable value to the club. 

Floyd has thrown 200 innings a year for quite a few years.  He pitched well at the end of last year after an early August shellacking at the hands of the Yankees.  He has pitched well in spring training.  The only yellow injury flag, in my book, is that he started throwing the cutter last year.  I'd say that he has a 70% chance of maintaining arm health and throwing 180-210 innings.  The consensus of the forecasters on fangraphs is 195 innings, and I think that is quite optimistic (i.e. fails to discount anything at all significant for the risk of arm injury). 

As for the use of FIP or xFIP to project what Floyd is likely to do in 2012, I would be cautious.  Floyd seems to have trouble with bunts and holding runners.  Base thieves are 113-18 over his career against him (23-2 last year).  As you would expect, he does noticeably worse with runners on base.  If you use 3 year ERAs to project, you would end up with a figure of about 4.2 . The consensus of the forecasters is 4.1, and I think that is a bit optimistic.

Edwin Jackson was signed for $10 million, and Floyd's salary for 2012 is $7 million.  It would be painful to have give up a significant prospect for Floyd, but I wouldn't be heartbroken if someone decent was sent to the Sox. I imagine that the player would not be of the calibre of Molina, as Floyd is not under team control for as long. 

greenfrog - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#252685) #
According to fangraphs, average SPs are worth around +2 WAR. The site provides the following rough-and-ready rule of thumb:

Scrub 0-1 WAR
Role Player 1-2 WAR
Solid Starter 2-3 WAR
Good Player 3-4 WAR
All-Star 4-5 WAR
Superstar 5-6 WAR
MVP 6+ WAR

Whatever you think about his health prospects or ability to hold runners, Floyd has averaged about 4.1 WAR over the last three years. That's definitely more than league-average.

http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/misc/war/
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#252686) #
In all likelihood, though, I don't see the Jays trading for Floyd. MLBTR reports execs saying that KW has been asking for a lot in return, and I don't see AA (who is all about value propositions) getting into a bidding war. Unless KW has a man-crush on some lesser Jays prospects (always possible).

Also: I think it could take at least as much as Molina to land Floyd. Quality SPs are highly valued these days (more so than quality relievers), notwithstanding Santos's extra years of control. For example, compare what the A's received for Gio (Peacock, Cole, Milone, Norris) this off-season versus what they got for Bailey and Sweeney (Reddick, Head, Alcantara).
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#252687) #
Yeah, I know.  Fangraphs WAR uses FIP.  To use 3 year FIP to project what a pitcher will do, when the FIP has been noticeably below the ERA for 3 years, is not a good idea.  The situation is different for 1 year data.  Incidentally, an ERA of 4.2 from a starting pitcher in the Cell (throwing 160 innings say) would be better than league average.  You do however want to be realistic about the "product" you are intending to purchase.

FWIW, the fangraphs' projection consensus would have Cecil at 160 innings and an ERA of about 4.5.  I actually think Cecil has somewhat less chance of injury than Floyd, and I have him marked down for 170 innings and an ERA of about 4.4. 

bpoz - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#252690) #
Mike Green & others, I suppose/sounds like there is a formula for these pitching projections.
I don't know what it is. Thanks for the info. Are these projections reasonably accurate when compared to the numbers recorded when the season is complete. The formula's acid test.
160IP 4.5 ERA sounds great for the #5 slot IMO and is definitely better than the #5 for 2010/11.

I will be happy if McGowan & Alvarez do that because I see that as a meaningful achievement due to their newness. I love Cecil but if he does that then I would lean toward trading him, maybe in a package. How much opportunity does he get? The goal IMO is for the established SPs to be capable of 200IP & under 4.00 ERA.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#252691) #
The DPL is in Florida for another 10 days. In the article, $2.9mil was mentioned as the Intl signing budget.

We all love trades & also know the rules for trading before & after the July 31st deadline.
Being usually fascinated by my own thinking...suppose we are in contention until Sept 9th (don't know how close contending is). IF F Cordero is lights out, which helped us stay this long in contention, my thoughts are that we should trade him. He has value for 1-3 weeks IMO. I would consider getting someone like him for a week or 2 if we were in that position.
I know that he is ineligible for the playoffs. What are the rules for 1 game Play INs? Expanded rosters or no?
uglyone - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#252692) #
Not a huge fan of Floyd. Looks to me like the Jon Rauch of SP. Could get crushed in this division.

I like the Jays apparent strategy of "Add a Top of the Rotation pitcher or just go with the kids", even if I know that Floyd will most likely be an upgrade for us at some slot in the rotation.

Though, if it were something like Cecil + secondary prospect for Garcia, then I might be interested.
TamRa - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#252694) #
"IMO, a guy who everyone said up until one year ago was a potential #2 starter"

You have to evaluate a player in real time, not on the basis of where he was (real or imagined) a year and a half ago. Even in his one promising year (2010), Cecil's numbers...

---
that bit was actually about Drabek
---
"He has lost nearly 2 MPH off his FB over the last two years (90.8 to 89.1). And the various projection systems (Steamer, Bill James, Marcel, Rotochamp, ZIPS, etc) have him posting an ERA in 2012 of between 4.19 and 5.00, and a FIP of between 4.26 and 4.85"

---
the problem with those systems, IMO, in relation to relatively young (pre-prime) pitchers (and hitters to a degree) is that it doesn't account for changing circumstances.

In Cecil's case, there's no practical way for a projection system to account for the dramatic weight loss. It remains to be seen if that loss will repair his velocity, but if it did, how do you figure for that?

Same with Drabek - the ZIPS based calculations at Fangraphs projects him to a negative 0.5 WAR - that's well and good, based on a limited sample, but what happens there if he gets his control issues settled? That goes completely out the window.

It seems to me that if Drabek was one of the to 20 or 30 prospects in the game a year ago, and you get a small sample of struggles, that ought not suggest your are suddenly going to be 2.5 wins worse than another, less heralded, near-rookie on your team (Alvarez) but what can you do? The projection has to be based on SOMETHING.
---
"As for being 29 years old, that's really nothing for a durable SP, especially one whom you're looking at as an upgrade at #3-4 for a year or two before he becomes a FA."

---
Indeed - and if that is indeed what we are looking for, then go get him. It's a matter of security vs. upside. The equivilant of taking the "safer" college player in the draft vs. the high-upside but much riskier (supposedly) high schooler.

If the conclusion is that Cecil has a relatively high risk of failure, I think - just in my opinion - that the future of the team over the next decade is better served by having Drabek and Alvarez out there this year, rather than patching in a competent, reliable back-end guy who will end up getting in their way.
---

"This is pure hyberbole IMO. We all know the Jays have tons of young pitching coming. The Jays certainly aren't going to give up one of their top arms or significantly deplete the farm system for Floyd."

---
Not what I was saying.

let me walk through it slowly so i don't say something unclear.

We have five spots. 3 of which are unquestionably filled (Romero, Morrow, Alvarez)

Of the other two, McGowan will absolutely get one of them if healthy.

That leaves one spot that's nominally Cecil.

the problem with this is that, IMO, Drabek NEEDS to be anywhere but Las Vegas - and sending a guy with his experience back to AA is a very imperfect and of necessity short term fix.

in other words, assuming the team remains confident he's worked out the new mechanics and solved the control problem (which you probably want to see worked out for 5 or 6 starts somewhere in the minors) then you have a guy who needs to be in the majors and isn't.

If McGowan gets hurt - there's a chance.
If Cecil fails - there's a chance.

It's only if BOTH of those happen that you are short handed. (or some other combination of two or more spots that need filling)

Even in that case you can plug in Villaineuva (or flip Perez and Cecil) as a short term fix until (a) McGuire/Hutch/Jenkins is ready; or (b) make a trade

Now, lets say that instead you trade for Floyd.

We must assume your rotation then is
Romero
Morrow
Floyd
Alvarez
McGowan

first, Cecil goes to the pen (which forces you to lose an out-of-options guy) or more likely to Vegas (which likely won't end well)

second, that puts Drabek or Cecil second in line for a recall which is dangerously close to giving up on them. it cramps development, and lessens value. i'd be more in favor of selling short on Cecil before the season started than i would be pushing him back to the minors.

third, if the trio in AA earn a promotion, there's not one available.

and all that to upgrade something like 1.5-2 WAR at best. (and that assumes that neither Drabek or Cecil can exceed 2 WAR which IMO assumes to pessimistically)


I for one just don't like the bargain. IMO, finding out what you have in Drabek (even more so than Cecil) is much more valuable to the team over the next decade than adding 2 WAR to the 2012 team.
---

"please don't misrepresent what I actually said."

---
As it turned out, you misunderstood me. none of what I have said has alluded in any way to the cost in prospects to acquire Floyd. I trust AA implicitly in that regard.

The cost I refer to is the opportunity cost involved in how we utilize those major league starts.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#252696) #
I still don't see how acquiring Floyd on the cheap (assuming this is possible) is somehow tantamount to "pushing your chips in and going for it NOW and the future be damned."

"Pushing your chips in," going for it NOW (black and white reasoning), the future "damned"...all because Cecil gets pushed to the 'pen for a year or two (by a better starter who might prove to be a valuable trade/draft chip down the road)? That's just crazy talk.
TamRa - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#252697) #
"Whether Floyd is likely to be better than Cecil is not the key question. The Jays' rotation is thin. Expecting Morrow, Cecil, Alvarez and McGowan to each pitch 200 innings is not reasonable"
---
The teams which might be reasonably considered AL contenders averaged just a bit under 1000 IP from their starters in 2011. Using that as a benchmark, here's what ZIPS projected for the jays current squad:

Romero - 210
Morrow - 170
Alvarez - 150
Cecil - 150
Drabek - 100
Villianueva - 75
McGowan - 50
Litsch - 50

Total - 955

(for comparison, they projected 950 for the Yankees, 1000 for the Rays, and 910 for the Red Sox)

If we assume that Litsch comes off this list, and give those innings to McGowan, then there's still nothing unreasonable there.

further looking at those projections:

Exactly two teams (LAA, and Phil.)project to have 3 200 IP pitchers, 2 others project to have even 2 (TB and SF)

so listing off 4 guys (and implicitly we are assuming Romero which makes five) who won't pitch 200 innings as the standard of measurement is not realistic for ANY team.

Laying aside the Phillies and Angels, the average IP for the top five pitchers for the other teams in the top 10 on that list is 170 apiece or 850 in all.

The ZIPS projection for the Jays top five guys is 780, which leaves basically 70 IP to account for.

so the question becomes whether or not the five or six top guys can add 70 IP over those projections?

Romero - 210 - crazy to add here
Morrow - 170 - add 30?
Alvarez - 150 - add 30?
Cecil - 150 - add 20?
McGowan (+Litsch) - 100 - add ???

Drabek they give 100...arbitrarily assuming McGowan goes down halfway through and Drabek steps in - that's 200 IP between the two in the #5 spot??

Say Cecil or Alvarez or Morrow goes on the DL for a month and loses those extra IP I added above, plug in Villianueva and get them back, or call up Jenkins of McGuire

So just spitballing

Romero - 210
Morrow - 190
Alvarez - 150 / Villenavua - 25
Cecil - 170
McGowan/Drabek - 200

that adds up to 945 which is far more than the average projections by ZIPS

so to me the question still boils down to "I'm going to get 190 IP from Floyd and replace the weakest 190 IP above"

is that Cecil?

Anyway, i have digressed mightily (again) but what I originally replied to say on this point ws - there's no reason to set the bar at " Expecting Morrow, Cecil, Alvarez and McGowan to each pitch 200 innings is not reasonable"

No one does and no one needs to, the best staffs in the game don't get that.

the question isn't how many IP the front five give you, so much as what are the quality of the IP you get from whoever picks up their slack.
------------------------------------

If Floyd can be had for, say, Jenkins ans Sierra or something less, then the price is fine buy me. My objection is NOT to the quality of Floyd as an option, or to the potential price - my objection is to the opportunity cost.

greenfrog - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#252698) #
"none of what I have said has alluded in any way to the cost in prospects to acquire Floyd"

"if your objective is to do what the Brewers did last year and what the Reds seem to be doing - push your chips in and go for it NOW and the future be damned, then yeah - go get Floyd"

I find these two statements hard to reconcile.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#252699) #
AA was on the Jeff Blair show this morning. S Brunt co-host.

AA spoke of B Cecil. He said Cecil was not a power pitcher. Said his H, BB & Ks were fairly similar in 2010 & 2011. He did not say much about velocity but using Richard SS's link it is clear that the velocity has dropped. I guess some time in April we will know how hard he is throwing & if he can keep the ball down.

According to AA & his explanation, you don't lose your job in ST, ST is SSS and you are hitting against guys that are just getting in their work, but he does not like to just hand over a job to a kid. Thames in LF most likely.

ADDING my 2 cents!!!

But no options left, could get you a job... if you have options then...

Based on the players in camp & healthy this year, so far, nobody on the opening day roster should get a spot at the expense of a better player based on a technicality.

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#252700) #
As for Drabek, there is a development issue.  Some people believe that the best place for a talented starter struggling with control and command is in a major league rotation.  Others (myself included) believe that it is in a minor league rotation or in a major league bullpen. 

Alvarez had a nice early spring outing today with Encarnacion playing in left-field.  Three innings, no walks, three strike outs, five balls in the air (four hits) and three ground balls (four outs) against a first-string Yankee lineup.  Encarnacion has hit 2 homers.

TamRa - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#252701) #
I still don't see how acquiring Floyd on the cheap (assuming this is possible) is somehow tantamount to "pushing your chips in and going for it NOW and the future be damned."

---

Because of the opportunity cost spent in NOT having innings for Drabek, primarily, and the progression of younger pitchers.

To me the development of Drabek is worth more to the team over the long term than the marginal upgrade achieved by adding Floyd.

This is true to a lesser extent of Cecil as well, albeit Cecil has had longer to establish himself, is better known, and theoretically has a lower ceiling. If Drabek wasn't sitting there waiting, and the cost was ONLY Cecil's opportunity...I might not make the deal but i'd see it as a reasonable cost.

Paying that price for TWO major league pitchers seems quite exorbitant to me when one of them has the upside that Drabek has.


(and all that laying aside whether or not I think Floyd will be a better pitcher than Cecil over the next two years to any significant degree)

TamRa - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#252702) #
"As for Drabek, there is a development issue. Some people believe that the best place for a talented starter struggling with control and command is in a major league rotation. Others (myself included) believe that it is in a minor league rotation or in a major league bullpen. "

If AAA were not in Vegas, I'd agree.

My thinking is that IF they are worried about Cecil and IF they think Drabek is moving in the right direction, then you break with Cecil and Drabek is either at AAA (and told to completely ignore the scoreboard and work on the mechanics) or AA with the expectation that Cecil has 5 or 6 starts to show something (and Drabek that many to prove he has the mechanics right) and "Plan B" would be Drabek taking Cecil's spot.

Which, of course, leaves the question of what happens if McGowan goes down.

But just on the question of Drabek, I think there's a nice synergy between his need to establish he has learned the proper lessons and Cecil's need to prove he can pitch well and succeed with (presumably) lowered velocity.

Now, if one doesn't believe in Drabek at all, I can see where you'd be worried.


Then on the entirely separate issue of McGowan's spot, if he goes six weeks or so and goes down - look at the kids, if none of them are demanding a chance yet, plug in Villianueva or (grudgingly) Laffey for a month or so and look again - albeit a LOT has been said about McGuire, Hutch, and lately Jenkins being awfully close to a promotion.

TamRa - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#252703) #
listening to the interview with AA, he's referencing exactly the opportunity cost issue i've been talking about (without using the exact words)

greenfrog - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#252704) #
"none of what I have said has alluded in any way to the cost in prospects to acquire Floyd"

"if your objective is to do what the Brewers did last year and what the Reds seem to be doing - push your chips in and go for it NOW and the future be damned, then yeah - go get Floyd"

Tamra, the reason I find these two statements hard to reconcile is that the second statement is a clear reference to the Brewers and Reds going "all in" by cashing in their chips (i.e., top prospects) to acquire SPs like Marcum, Greinke and Latos in order to win in the here and now at the expense of the long term (i.e., moves that dealt a big blow to their farm systems).

It stretches credulity to argue that sending Woj + Sierra or Jenkins + Sierra for Floyd, and possibly holding Cecil or Drabek or Hutch back for a while is at all equivalent to the two examples you cite. For one thing, the Jays could make that trade and still have one of the best farm systems in baseball. In any case, teams need to think seven- or eight-strong in terms of SP depth; it's not as though acquiring Floyd would mean that the young arms would be languishing on the farm forever. Injuries, trades, fluctuations in performance levels - high-performing prospects will always get a shot eventually. You can never have enough pitching - do we still need to learn that lesson?

All of this sounds like I'm a huge apologist for Floyd. I'm not - Darvish was the guy I wanted (I like Latos too, to a lesser extent). But I think there is room for creative tactical moves that are nonetheless consistent with the larger organizational strategy (of youth, value, upside, building from within, etc). I think AA agrees, which is why (for example) he went hard after Beltran in the off-season.
Ryan C - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#252705) #
IMHO it's very simple. If you are trying to make the playoffs, or at least be in contention, then you want Floyd. If you are content with Cecil, Drabek, McGowan, the rest of the kids, and see how it goes... then you aren't really trying to make the playoffs this year. You have other priorities. Which isn't necessarily wrong, but if it were me I would prefer to have a known quantity in that #3 spot and start the year with two "development spots" in the rotation rather than with three.

It's easy to think that if Cecil goes down we have Drabek, and if he goes down we can insert McGowan, etc. But what about if Romero goes down? At that point you just pack it in. Having another proven commodity in your starting rotation would still give you a fighting chance if the unthinkable happens.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#252706) #
Jenkins and Sierra for Floyd? I would go for that, but somehow I doubt that Kenny would. 
bpoz - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#252707) #
Well said Ryan C.

For the AL, the following seems to be obvious to me.

ALC: Only Detroit seems to be highly aggressive.
ALW: Texas & LAA.
ALE: NYY, Boston, TB.

But predictions in baseball tend to be very often wrong. So the above is maybe around 40% accurate.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#252708) #
MLBTR's chat from today is on topic:

Comment From mahoney

Looks like Toronto continues to look for more rotation options even though they have a ton of bodies to fill in the last spot (last two spots) in the rotation. Do you think it would be prudent for them to offer up some serious batting potential to land a guy like Floyd?

3:00 Ben Nicholson-Smith:

Yes. I think that would be prudent, since Floyd is a very solid starter and the Blue Jays don't have enough of those. If it meant parting with a promising player like Thames, I guess the Blue Jays would consider it, especially given Snider's hot spring.

. . .

Comment From Guest

How is it prudent for the Jays to sign Floyd? His presence in the rotation will impede the development of Drabek/McGowan, and he's really not very good.

3:12 Ben Nicholson-Smith:

Drabek needs to develop in the minors now. He walked a batter per inning last year. Counting on McGowan for a full season is not reasonable in my opinion. Also, Floyd is very good.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#252709) #
At this point I doubt a Floyd trade will happen given AA's MO (if you hear about it, it has to be happening then or it won't happen at all). Trading Thames to get a Floyd type isn't a horrible idea but I'd still be chasing the Mariners down and try to force them into full rebuild mode :)
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#252710) #
Yeah, Jenkins + Sierra (or even Woj + Sierra) is pretty light. My guess is that KW would want at least one top 10 prospect. Maybe Woj + Thames (or McGuire + Thames)? That's starting to edge into painful territory. It's hard to be objective about these things. No doubt Sox fans are thinking, we'll take Syndergaard + Marisnick...
Chuck - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#252712) #

Same with Drabek - the ZIPS based calculations at Fangraphs projects him to a negative 0.5 WAR - that's well and good, based on a limited sample, but what happens there if he gets his control issues settled? That goes completely out the window.

Any forecasting model attempts to suggest what the likeliest outcome will be, with the caveat that any such model is wildly imperfect. The model soberly, and without bias, crunches numbers and spits out a forecast.

The model is saying that Drabek is not likely to be very good in 2012. It is not saying that it is a 100% certainty that he won't be good, only that it is likely. If he gets his control issues settled, he will almost certainly outperform the model (and this applies to an untold number of similarly afflicted pitchers). Should the model simply assume that he will get his control issues settled and forecast a more favourable result?

What will likely be, at least according to a model, and what could be are two different things. I think you want forecasts to be optimistic, to align with your generally optimistic outlook, at least as far as the Jays are concerned. You can call that forecasting if you want, but you mix enough wishcasting into the brew to preclude it from being purely objective.

 

hypobole - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#252713) #
If AA could have acquired Gavin Floyd for what he would have considered a reasonable offer, Floyd would be a Jay now. KW knows what decent starting pitchers are worth and can wait for a more desperate overpay from some GM. He has Floyd for another 2 years.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#252714) #
Thanks for the explanation Chuck.
Is it correct to say that the model simply takes recent (few years) results & calculates an average or something.

So then Morrow wants to change his approach to go deeper into games and will try to achieve this by reducing his Ks. The Model next year will take this data if changed and do its calculations accordingly.
TamRa - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#252715) #
"Tamra, the reason I find these two statements hard to reconcile is that the second statement is a clear reference to the Brewers and Reds going "all in" by cashing in their chips (i.e., top prospects) to acquire SPs like Marcum, Greinke and Latos in order to win in the here and now at the expense of the long term (i.e., moves that dealt a big blow to their farm systems).

It stretches credulity to argue that sending Woj + Sierra or Jenkins + Sierra for Floyd, and possibly holding Cecil or Drabek or Hutch back for a while is at all equivalent to the two examples you cite. "

MUST we be pedantic about this when I have exhaustively clarified my intent repeatedly?

If we MUST cover this again - my thinking when I cited the Brewers and Reds was not the cost in prospects they paid, but the looming "clock" they felt they were on. in the case of Milwaukee, "win while Prince is here" - in the case of the Reds, Phillips is at the end of his deal, Rolen is fading, and Votto will be hard to retain - their "window" ends in about 2 years so they have the motivation to sacrifice the long-term consideration for the chance to seize the moment.

the Blue Jays are under no such compulsion and have been crystal clear that such actions are the exact opposite of their plan.

Obviously we disagree about the relative value of the opportunity costs which would be invested in acquiring a marginal upgrade in the middle or back of the rotation. Possibly we disagree on what alex thinks of the idea.

but I don't see how I can be any more through in clarifying my original intent and if you can't let it go without an admission of guilt - I admit that I was apparently not clear enough in describing my reasoning.

Can we move on now?
TamRa - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#252716) #
"IMHO it's very simple. If you are trying to make the playoffs, or at least be in contention, then you want Floyd. If you are content with Cecil, Drabek, McGowan, the rest of the kids, and see how it goes... then you aren't really trying to make the playoffs this year. You have other priorities."

It is possible to want two things to happen but prioritize one over the other.

it is possible for a team to be intent on contending in a given year without over-paying to augment that effort.

To say "you are not really trying" about the potential to add the marginal 1-2 wins of Floyd over (presumably) Cecil is, IMO, overly critical.

Now, if they had a chance to add, say, Cole Hamels and passed, then that would be something else again.

"But what about if Romero goes down?"

Then you are almost certainly done anyway. A guy like Floyd isn't going to fix that. Or if he is, we can stop talking about getting him cheap.

Chuck - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#252717) #

Is it correct to say that the model simply takes recent (few years) results & calculates an average or something.

I think the Marcel system uses a weighted three-year average. I believe that ZiPS and PECOTA were developed using neural networks. I know for sure that PECOTA's predecessor, Gary Huckaby's proprietary Vladimir projection system, used a neural network (I recall exchanging correspondence with him back in the day about all this). I'm not sure how the Bill James' and the FanGraphs' forecasting systems work.

Others can correct me, but I think Marcels were a reaction to the very complex, non-transparent, proprietary forecasting systems as an almost taunting "look how a ridiculously simple system like ours is almost as good as yours with virtually no effort required". Or something like that.

 

TamRa - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#252718) #
"The model is saying that Drabek is not likely to be very good in 2012. It is not saying that it is a 100% certainty that he won't be good, only that it is likely. If he gets his control issues settled, he will almost certainly outperform the model (and this applies to an untold number of similarly afflicted pitchers)."

Absolutely! And this is right in line with my point.
-------------------------

"Should the model simply assume that he will get his control issues settled and forecast a more favourable result?"

Nonono. Not my point at all. My point is that thinking HUMAN observers should not be bound to say "ZIPS says we suck therefore we suck"

We can and should look at EVERY team and say "I disagree with this assumption" - not to suggest the formula should somehow have figured it out, but to say "I spy a weakness in the formula"

For the jays, I would argue McGowan got too few IP, Drabek is wildly underrated, and either ZIPS or the writer bungled Rasmus.

But I would also argue similar descrpencies for our rivals - Ellsbury and Pedroia were too optimistic, Buchholtz likely too pessimistic

Moore has a good chance to be better and David price could jump into elite territory any given year, I think Jennings probably got short changed.

OF COURSE it's just my opinion and human judgement is very subjective, no doubt about that. BUT stat modeling systems are a victim of the reality that humans are not chemical processes or whatever that can be accurately predicted.

So my tendency is to take the projections, learn from them (often finding out something I did not know) and then see to what extent I disagree on some fine point. Where I find no reason to object, I take the stat prediction as "as good a guess as I could make" and where I quibble, I note the difference.

Then, having done that I look and say "how far is this from where they need to be and what needs to happen to get over that hump?"

in the case of 2012, I answer that question with:
1. Morrow needs to step up to the 5+ war neighborhood
2. Lind needs to do about twice as good as predicted at least
3. Rasmus and Snider need to rebound at least to the levels they have previously occupied.
4. McGowan needs to stay healthy all year OR Drabek be able to match his results when he goes down.

If I take the ZIP predictions, define the (few) places where I think it's weak, and assume those things happen, I'm confident in a 90 win season.

(and I could do something similar with all our rival contenders)
---------------------
"I think you want forecasts to be optimistic, to align with your generally optimistic outlook"

To be precise, I want the numbers to be whatever they are, no optimism or pessimism or anything else.

what I would prefer is that when commenters observe those numbers, they have the willingness to say "I think THIS one is too low (or too high as may be)" rather than be a slave to the numbers.

I myself tend to take the optimistic view, as is well known, but that's not really the issue for me. it so happens that all the Jays projections come off as really conservative (with the possible exception of Lawrie and Bautista) and so I don't see so much room to say "this one worries me" but I'd certainly be open to that more than I would the assumption that we dare not assume anything the numbers don't tell us.
------------------------
"t you mix enough wishcasting into the brew to preclude it from being purely objective."

I don't profess objectivity, and I make it very clear i'm saying "I assume health" and "I speak of what is (reasonably) POSSIBLE not what I predict" so I don't think I'm attempting to sell anything as coldly analytical.

The thing is, though, that the one thing you will never find on these threads is cold objectivity. it does not exist here or on any such site.

Go get a mathematician who's never seen a baseball game and never cares to - HE can give you objectivity, but he's bound by the numbers - he can't know what happens when Cecil loses weight or Drabek refines control or whatever.

But other than that, there ain't no objectivity to be had. I'm maybe more realistic about that than others?
92-93 - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#252719) #
I'd definitely trade Woj + Thames for Floyd.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#252720) #
Tamra, I'm curious whether you ever get to see a game, whether on tv or perhaps online. You contribute so much to the discussion here that I hope to do at least sometimes. Today, even though only spring training was a great game for the Jays. Against the real Yankees, 2 EE bombs and a JP bomb, and another great game for Lawrie, who doubled his first time up and sped to second, then stole third even though there were two out for good measure, then later tripled off Banuelos and sped to third. Great game to watch.
Ryan C - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#252721) #
It is possible to want two things to happen but prioritize one over the other.

Yes, I believe that is what I said.  You have different priorities.  Making the playoffs is not as important to you as giving major league innings to guys like Drabek and Cecil.  My priorities would be different.

it is possible for a team to be intent on contending in a given year without over-paying to augment that effort.

Intent on contending, wanting to contend is all well and good.  But if you're not willing to make any sacrifices then you don't really want it.  You're happy to have it if it falls in your lap, but it's not the top thing on your list right now.  You can't expect to not have to make any tough decisions and still contend.  Also just to make it clear, I'm not saying blow it all up so we can contend, but I think having an extra proven arm in the rotation is far, far more than the "marginal" upgrade that you believe it to be.

Also, you can't really claim it's over-paying when we have absolutely no clue what might have been talked about as said payment.

Chuck - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#252722) #

My point is that thinking HUMAN observers should not be bound to say "ZIPS says we suck therefore we suck"

Yeah, but who is actually saying that?

We can and should look at EVERY team and say "I disagree with this assumption" - not to suggest the formula should somehow have figured it out, but to say "I spy a weakness in the formula"

But what is the weakness you are spying with respect to Drabek? That the model doesn't know that he's going to try to walk fewer people? Don't all pitchers who walk a lot of guys try to walk fewer people? I'm not sure what magical thing Drabek will be doing this year whose likelihood of working is enough to warrant a model recognizing it and building it into its forecast.

For the jays, I would argue McGowan got too few IP

Dan Szymborski repeatedly states that ZiPS doesn't forecast playing time.

OF COURSE it's just my opinion and human judgement is very subjective, no doubt about that. BUT stat modeling systems are a victim of the reality that humans are not chemical processes or whatever that can be accurately predicted.

what I would prefer is that when commenters observe those numbers, they have the willingness to say "I think THIS one is too low (or too high as may be)" rather than be a slave to the numbers.


Of course there are a million reasons why forecasts can be wrong. Everyone understands that. I'm not sure who it is you are arguing against that you believe doesn't understand that. Who are the slaves of which you speak?

I don't profess objectivity, and I make it very clear i'm saying "I assume health" and "I speak of what is (reasonably) POSSIBLE not what I predict" so I don't think I'm attempting to sell anything as coldly analytical.

And yet you say that you are confident of a 90 win season. Is this a cold objective assessment of what you think likely will be? Or a rosey optimistic assessment of what you think could well be? You have to concede that these are two very different vantage points.

The thing is, though, that the one thing you will never find on these threads is cold objectivity.

But isn't that just exactly what a mathematical forecasting model is? You can critique the model's schematics, if you are privy to them, and you can critique its results, after the fact. But you can't suggest it is not objective. It has no skin in the game, no emotional attachment to any player.

greenfrog - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#252723) #
"Can we move on now?"

Honestly, the sarcasm wouldn't bother me if you hadn't been so righteous about it before doing a 180 and dishing it out when the going got tough in the debating department. When I suggested Floyd as a possible upgrade (which lots of commentators have mused about lately), you called it "ill-considered" and said "your statistical comparison is about the last thing i'd use to make that decision" - pretty harsh. Now you're adding name-calling for basically calling you out on your argument (which you later backtracked on) that acquiring Floyd would necessitate the Jays going "all in" the way the Brewers and Reds have.

Yeah, let's move on.
grjas - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#252724) #
I like the Jays apparent strategy of "Add a Top of the Rotation pitcher or just go with the kids"

I think this comment sums it up best. The Jays have a ton of great pitching talent just a year or two down the road. Whether it's Drabek (who frankly has a lot to prove still) or  others, I'd hate to see the Jays block any of the plethora of talent that is getting ready to bloom with a potentially mediocre innings eater. AA wants a team that is competitive for a long time, and I am willing to eat another year out of the playoffs as long as the team continues to move forward.  Especially since I am not convinced they are quite over the hump yet, even if a new addition should prove to be a solid #3 starter.

I only hope AA sticks to the plan, rather than feeling he owes it to the fans to make a move.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#252725) #
AA's plan of sustained competitiveness is a mantra that we probably all believe to be correct. It's how he should executes "the plan" that causes wildly divergent viewpoints. (and some interesting discussions, since most of feel our personal viewpoint MUST be the correct viewpoint). Though I would hazard a guess that not one of our viewpoints matches exactly AA's viewpoint.

I 'm positive AA has inquired about Floyd. I don't know whether it would be to acquire Floyd for Farrell's rotation or to use as part of another deal or simply to find out how much KW values Floyd as well as finding out which of the Jays prospects KW would be interested in and how those prospects are seen to be valued.
So Gavin Floyd (or another pitcher of his ilk), acquired at a price AA is willing to pay, may well be part of the plan. I won't disagree if he trades for him and I won't disagree if he doesn't.
He's driving the Jays vehicle and we're the passengers. Even though some of us want to grab the wheel, I'd rather put my faith in his abilities and enjoy the ride.
uglyone - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#252727) #
for the love of sweet mother mary, TamRa PLEASE start self-editing your posts. it's getting ridiculous.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 02:36 AM EDT (#252728) #
Projections
Projections are basically what you SEE is what you get. Any entity that does projections, does so with one main underlining desire. While they may not always be correct, THEY ARE NEVER WRONG. Traditionally projections DO NOT exceed previous year's numbers, no matter how favorable matters are, and is usually close to normal numbers. Any results that are not close to the projection are usually shown via esoteric values to not be sustainable.

Kyle Drabek may very well greatly exceed projections. He went to the minors to learn a new way of doing things. If he's learned what he was sent down to learn, he'll just need more innings pitched to develop consistency. So any projection is likely to be light.
TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 02:53 AM EDT (#252729) #
"for the love of sweet mother mary, TamRa PLEASE start self-editing your posts. it's getting ridiculous."

self-editing?

TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 02:59 AM EDT (#252730) #
"Honestly, the sarcasm wouldn't bother me if you hadn't been so righteous about it before doing a 180 and dishing it out when the going got tough in the debating department. When I suggested Floyd as a possible upgrade (which lots of commentators have mused about lately), you called it "ill-considered" and said "your statistical comparison is about the last thing i'd use to make that decision" - pretty harsh. Now you're adding name-calling for basically calling you out on your argument (which you later backtracked on) that acquiring Floyd would necessitate the Jays going "all in" the way the Brewers and Reds have. "


what in the world are you on about?!
*

"the sarcasm wouldn't bother me "

WHAT sarcasm?

*
"you called it "ill-considered" and said "your statistical comparison is about the last thing I'd use to make that decision" - pretty harsh."

You consider that "harsh"? I call it "differences of opinion"

*

"Now you're adding name-calling ..."

Where?

*

"for basically calling you out on your argument (which you later backtracked on)"

so it's not possible you misunderstood, clearly the ONLY possible explanation is that I "backtracked"?

Uuuuh...okay?


TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:29 AM EDT (#252731) #
"Yeah, but who is actually saying that?"

if you want me to search down specific quotes, I can't do that (time, effort, interest) but I sense a theme of deference to the projection models over the years.


"I'm not sure what magical thing Drabek will be doing this year whose likelihood of working is enough to warrant a model recognizing it and building it into its forecast."

Was I unclear here as well? I do NOT suggest that the statistical model should be different in this or any other regard.

"Dan Szymborski repeatedly states that ZiPS doesn't forecast playing time."

then what is that column in the lists Fangraphs made which have IP/AB projections? is that the writer's pronjection and not ZIPS? I saw no explanation of that on the page but i might have overlooked it. That would mitigate one concern if it was simply an assumption made by the writer.

"Who are the slaves of which you speak?"

ARGH! My frustration is not with you specifically but with the nature of that question, which I have been asked many times over the years. I cannot remember who said what in what thread specifically...it's more a "vibe" for lack of a better word.
I sense a theme among some fans (across all sites at which I've been a regular for years now) of someone who tends to the pessimistic simply defaulting to the authority of the projections if a dispute arises - "Look, Zips says X is the worst hitting 2B in the AL, it's no reason the Jays can't win with bums like that" or whatever. A sort of argument from authority (the objectivity of the numbers being the authority) to back up their dim view of the future.

But no, obviously I cannot cite you "On February 20, in the thread about X, poster Y said Z"

I hope I'm not the only one so lacking in powers of recall.


"And yet you say that you are confident of a 90 win season. Is this a cold objective assessment of what you think likely will be?"

I have already made what I consider to be a well considered prediction which is as objective as I am capable of being (89 wins, +/-3) - I do not think I am capable of a "cold" projection of the sort I would make for, say, the Dodgers.

And to clarify, I said IF those things happened Id be confident in 90 wins - I don't really assume all those things will happen, hopefully more will than won't. but THAT bit is where the "wishcasting" comes in.

"Or a rosey optimistic assessment of what you think could well be? You have to concede that these are two very different vantage points."

My rosy projection if everything that I've described as reasonably possible does happen all at once is the mid-90's and a division title.

That's Rasmus all the way back, Sbnider blossoming into a4-5 WAR guy, Lawrie becoming the best 3B in the AL, Lind recovering to some level of respectability at least, Mcgowan proving why everyone thought he would be an ace and both he and Morrow moving into 6+ WAR territory, and no one regressing.

I do not THINK or even realistically HOPE that ALL of that will happen - but that's what rosy looks like.

It's like the right end of the bell curve, so to speak. since I cant draw here, i'll use words.


96-98 - perfect storm, season of dreams
93-95 - almost everything goes right, very fortunate
90-92 - most things go right, reversals are compensated for
89 - reasonable expectation
86-88 - more goes wrong that rights, some weaknesses exposed
83-85 - a lot went wrong, more than just bad luck
80-82 - across the board failure, given talent level, or ravenged by injuries

the best odds are in the middle, and you get more unlikely as you go towards either the low or high extreme. of course, it's that way with any team, whether the one projecting realizes what they are thinking or not. i'm not inventing the wheel here.

My point is that I don't think expecting enough things to go right for the team to get into contention is an unrealistically rosy or homer-istic projection.

Objective? No. But no one here is objective, one is either influenced positively by their hopes, or influenced negatively by their effort to compensate for their self-perceived homerist tendencies.

there is no objectivity, IMO.


" But you can't suggest it is not objective. It has no skin in the game, no emotional attachment to any player."

Of course not. I never intended to imply otherwise. I'm simply saying that that objective metric is the beginning place for analysis, not the end of it.

Perhaps, as you suggest, I'm arguing against a position no one holds. (or admits to holding) but ever how useless it might be, that was my argument.
TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 04:04 AM EDT (#252732) #
"Yes, I believe that is what I said. You have different priorities. Making the playoffs is not as important to you as giving major league innings to guys like Drabek and Cecil. My priorities would be different."

I don't think they are mutually incompatible, and I think that's a subtle mis-statement of my position.

to be clear, my position is the MARGINAL UPGRADE (assuming one exists at all) from Cecil to Floyd is not a sufficient return on the opportunity costs spent in not giving the innings to Drabek/Cecil

Show me a move with a high probability of dramatically increasing the playoff potential and THEN the opportunity cost is worth it.

Let's say Milwaukee decided to reverse course and we could trade a large but do-able package for Grienke. and in so doing Drabek and Cecil would have to spend the whole year in the minors then I'm perfectly fine with that because the potential upgrade justifies the cost.

I just don't happen to believe that's the case for Floyd.

that's NOT the same thing as "Making the playoffs is not as important to you as giving major league innings to guys like Drabek and Cecil."

----
"But if you're not willing to make any sacrifices then you don't really want it. "

any reasonable and prudent sacrifice. We can disagree respectfully about whether or not that includes Floyd, but you shouldn't assume that i don't want to make ANY sacrifice simply because i don't want to make THAT sacrifice.

---
"but I think having an extra proven arm in the rotation is far, far more than the "marginal" upgrade that you believe it to be."

so we disagree, nothing wrong with that.

---
"Also, you can't really claim it's over-paying when we have absolutely no clue what might have been talked about as said payment."

This again? I have no opinion - as I have repeatedly stated - on the cost in traded players to get him. I am completely unconcerned as i consider the chance of AA overpaying to be very remote indeed.

My concern about cost as always and only been the opportuintiy cost in not developing Drabek (primarily) and Cecil (to a lesser extent) in the majors.

Obviously we can't really know whether Drabek will have a dramatically better career if he gets 100 IP in the majors in 2012 as opposed to the one he'd have if he didn't.

But we can't know if Floyd's elbow will blow up in may either so why go down that road?

TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 04:19 AM EDT (#252733) #
"Tamra, I'm curious whether you ever get to see a game, whether on tv or perhaps online. You contribute so much to the discussion here that I hope to do at least sometimes. Today, even though only spring training was a great game for the Jays. Against the real Yankees, 2 EE bombs and a JP bomb, and another great game for Lawrie, who doubled his first time up and sped to second, then stole third even though there were two out for good measure, then later tripled off Banuelos and sped to third. Great game to watch."

A couple of years ago I bit the bullet and bought the MLB.com package and watched a lot of games.

otherwise, I get to see them play 2 or 3 times a year vs the White Sox on WGN, and maybe 2-3 other times a year.

This year they are playing the Braves so i anticipate 2-3 games there so this might be a good year if ESPN deigns to carry a few of their games against Boston or NY.


it's really really going to depress me to read every day about the magical monster that is Brett lawrie and only be able to see him in post-game highlights.

But there's not a bloody thing i can do about it.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#252735) #
"for the love of sweet mother mary, TamRa PLEASE start self-editing your posts. it's getting ridiculous"

+1!
Ryan C - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#252736) #
so we disagree, nothing wrong with that.

Nothing wrong with disagreeing on how much of an upgrade we believe one player would be over another.

This again? I have no opinion - as I have repeatedly stated - on the cost in traded players to get him. I am completely unconcerned as i consider the chance of AA overpaying to be very remote indeed.

*You* were the one who used the term "over-paying" in your response to me. I was responding to your comment that the Jays can still be intent on contending without over-paying to get Floyd. If you are not actually concerned about it, then don't bring it up.
John Northey - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#252739) #
An interesting item on the radio today. Jeff Blair mentioning that he still hasn't seen what the fuss is about when it comes to Rasmus - ie: that he isn't showing anything beyond what he showed last year (which was very poor).

If Rasmus is that odd talent that totally collapses at age 24 then how long do the Jays leave him in CF? His 37 OPS+ in Toronto was as horrid as it gets. In his 3 seasons in the majors his OPS+ was 89-132-89 - if he is an 89 again he isn't worth much.

So, do you leave Rasmus in if he is doing an 89 again? What about a 79? When would/should Gose get the call (if he is hitting well in AAA)? Gose is saying the right things this spring, talking about cutting his K's in half as a goal by working on his 2 strike approach.

I'm guessing if Rasmus is still stinking up the joint in mid-summer AA might just cut bait and see what he can get in a trade. Or he might shift Rasmus to a backup role (1/2 playing time if possible) while bringing up Gose should Gose show he can slaughter AAA pitching. But if Gose is hitting for just an 800 OPS or worse in Vegas though, and Rasmus is stinking then what? Keep Rasmus out there all year then?
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#252740) #
It makes no sense to say that the cost of acquiring Floyd is irrelevant. Clearly he has some value as a durable, established, above-average SP. If you can acquire him at very low cost, perhaps because the White Sox are dumping salary, you can always flip him if your young starters force your hand (at last year's deadline, AA acquired and flipped a comparable pitcher in E-Jax - who, unlike Floyd, didn't have an option year - and a couple of relievers for Rasmus).
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#252741) #
Interesting - I was shocked at how poorly Rasmus played in Toronto last year. But I think it's way too early to write him off. It may take some time for him to make adjustments under Murphy + co. He seems like the kind of player who could really take off if he develops a sound approach.
bpoz - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#252742) #
I give Rasmus a clean slate in 2012 and hope he is healthy all year.
His ability to take a walk seems pretty good.
AA should have a book on his tools & potential. IMO AA must have liked him because this was a difficult trade to pull off. As the story goes the St Louis GM always refused AA's request for Rasmus but relented and gave AA a list of what it would take.

Is anyone going to remember what any of the experts say. IMO they may not even remember themselves.
Lylemcr - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#252743) #

AA knew that Rasmus was a gamble when he acquired him.  He could have another Escobar or he could just have another flame-out.  Are we going to miss the players we give up for him (Really, just Stewart and Rzep)?  I say it was worth the gamble. 

I want to point out St. Louis has to be happy, they have the world series.

ogator - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#252744) #
While I agree that it is much too early to have any sense of what Rasmus is likely to do, the Jays do have options. Snider in centre and Thames in left may be weak defensively but it is better than what Rasmus hit last year. And it is not as if Snider in centre would be a long-term solution. At some point one expects that Gose's defence and speed on the bases would push Snider to one of the corners.
John Northey - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#252745) #
Y'know bpoz makes a point that explains the (potential) interest in Floyd. St Louis needed a starter and relievers to trade Rasmus. AA knew what Williams wanted from the Jays in order to get a starter. So Rzep & Dotel covered the pen needs, while Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart (and eating Teahen's salary) covered the starting pitcher (Jackson) they wanted. You can't do trades like that unless you already have a good idea of what other GM's want.

Btw, Stewart had a 68 ERA+ in Chicago. One great start (9 1 hit innings) and 2 more solid ones (1 & 2 runs allowed in 6 1/3 IP each time) but he allowed 5+ runs in 4 starts. Should be interesting to see how he does long term.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#252746) #
hypobole - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#252747) #
BJW - link didn't work. Maybe this one will
http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/with_talent_and_money_blue_jays_796LuKqhKbUBs1IzOyGrHK
Mike Green - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#252748) #
It is too early to be thinking about the medium-term centerfield situation.  Rasmus hit well in April and May of 2011, and completely collapsed after that.  Gose is not ready yet.  Marisnick will start the season in Dunedin.  There is nothing for Anthopoulos to do but to wait and see.  The pleasant thing is that he has 3 decent or better possibilities at a key position.  It has been a long time since the club could say that about the possibilities in centerfield. 
92-93 - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#252749) #
Gose has the type of skills to make an impact immediately at the MLB level. Bourjos hit .204/.237/.381 over 200 PA in 2010 and still put up a 1.8 fWAR because of the value of his defense/speed. Gose may not be fully cooked and would probably strike out 175 times, but I suspect he could more than hold his own as the Jays CF right now.
uglyone - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#252751) #
"self-editing?"

yes, tamra, self-editing.

look at the replies on this thread from top to bottom. notice that your word total is approximately 4 or 5 times as much as the rest of the posters COMBINED. don't you think that's a bit crazy?

notice that most of your posts are you trying to explain to yourself concepts which the educated posters here are already more than familiar with. notice that most of your posts are also you defending impressively biased viewpoints with any (and EVERY) reason you that comes to your mind.

notice that other posters are able to make more effective points in one sentence as you are able to in 10 paragraphs.

nobody wants you to stop posting, but for the love of little baby jesus, start editing yourself.

You are talking to people who know what they are talking about. They don't need explanations of basic logic, reasoning, or statistics. In fact, you could learn plenty if you bothered trying to LISTEN to what other people are posting, instead of just responding to them with your own opinion without considering theirs.

Please. I'm asking as much for your benefit as for ours.
John Northey - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#252752) #
Good point Mike.

The more I look at it the more I see AA using 2012 as 'final audition' season.

1) Snider vs Thames in LF - winner gets to be there or at DH for future championship years, other gets to be part of a trade.

2) Rasmus in CF - if he does what he did in 2010 he gets an extension and is told to expect a move to LF or RF in the near future, if he doesn't he is told to expect to be looking for a job

3) Johnson at 2B - contract year, no matter what is likely gone post-2012 as Escobar or Hech moves to 2B, possibly as early as August.

4) Lawrie at 3B - lets hope he can stay healthy

5) JPA at CA - has another kid almost ready so better hit and play well this year and even if he does he could be traded

6) Rotation - lots of balls in the air, just need 1 (other than Romero) to show ace like talent to be satisfied, 2 to be there for 'woohoo' status.

7) Lind - can he recover? He clearly needed better conditioning and has done that but will it be enough?

8) Minors - so much talent, but who will step forward and who will fall back? Those who do well know the Jays will make room or trade them to a team that needs them. Those who don't know that many others are charging up behind.

So, lots of questions and lots of potential answers even if AA doesn't do a single trade. 2012 will be fun, but also frustrating as odds are this team will finish 4th again :P
Mike Green - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#252753) #
92-93, Bourjos' 2010 line is an anomaly.  Fangraphs has him as saving 16.6 runs with the glove over 51 games.  There is no centerfielder in history by any reasonable measure who has saved 50 runs defensively in a season.  You can argue whether it is 20 or 25 or even 30 runs (at the very outside), but beyond that, it is purely theoretical.  In 2011, fangraphs has Bourjos saving 7.5 runs defensively in a full season.  You have to take one-year defensive stats with a grain of salt, but the stats for one-third of season have an error bar that is humungous.  In the case of Bourjos, if you average his 2010-11 numbers over 1.33 seasons, you get him saving about 18 runs per season.  That is probably close to right.

In other words, if Gose hits like Bourjos did in 2010, you have the equivalent of a faster John McDonald.  You don't want to insert him into the lineup unless you are pretty confident that he will be better than Rasmus, and that isn't the case now. 

92-93 - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#252754) #
If JMac had a near .200 ISO I would have had no problem with him being the everyday SS back when he was a spectacular defensive SS. Gose was 2 years younger than Bourjos at AA and put up a similar season. There's every reason to believe Bourjos' 2010 would be the floor from an offensive standpoint for Gose, not the expectation. Dock all the runs saved you want; Gose would still be a 2-3 WAR player.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#252755) #
Nice article by Sherman in the NYP today

I read the article, which while positive of the team's potential was lacking in accuracy. The suggestion that Ricciardi left the org with young talent is one that conflicts with the reality of what he left, which was a notably poor farm system. The other point was on Rogers, which he says is one of the 'richest owners'.

Rogers is not like Ted Leonsis or George Steinbrenner. Rogers is a publicly traded company that owes a fiduciary responsibility to its stakeholders - share and bondholders. Its fiduciary duty is to maximize its wealth and the corporation and its directors are legally accountable in that regard. Rogers cannot throw half a billion of its stakeholders' dollars at a couple of baseball players without a held expectation that the investment will be recouped by a greater amount. It cannot, just for the sake of an individual's ego for example (which rightly or wrongly was the Steinbrenner perception) spend money which belongs to stakeholders without the primary intention of expanding the wealth of the corporation.

Rogers pales in size compared to other pools of capital in Canada. Aside from the banks, the largest single pools of capital are held in public sector employee pension plans. Teachers for example, has 6 times the assets of Rogers, OMERS 3 times the assets. Pension plans must also make investment on the same fiduciary responsibility basis. Though it must be fun to think that Teachers can spend whatever it chooses on a sports franchise, the minute some retiree finds out that they won't be able to winter in Largo because Teachers spent its money appeasing some voices in the media or a group on the internet without a sound plan for asset growth, the legal consequence for the Plan and its trustees are real.

Rogers is not in the same legal position as Ted Leonsis or the Steinbrenners. The directors of Rogers are not spending their personal money, and empty claims on the internet that 'you have to spend money to make it' look as pale as they are in civil actions.

The other thing that I think interesting that's not mentioned in a discussion of the Blue Jay future, is the end of revenue sharing by 2016 for Toronto. My own guess is that the organization is very much in an apprehensive wait and see mode to see whether or how it can significantly increase its own revenue base by that time and won't be making any over-the-top long term investments that go beyond 2016 until it has some surety in that regard.

Lastly, there were a couple of articles that I've noted online that I haven't seen mentioned here. My apologies if they have. The first concerns Halladay and isn't really surprising to those who watched his last couple of years in Toronto, and the second is one I find surprising as someone who has scoffed at the idea of the Jays voluntarily moving out of NH or putting full-season baseball in Ottawa.

http://mlbbuzz.yardbarker.com/blog/mlbbuzz/halladay_velocity_down_amaro_not_concerned/10313512

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2012/03/10/double-a-ottawa-stadium-plans-call-for-artificial-turf/
Dewey - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#252756) #
yes, tamra, self-editing.

look at the replies on this thread from top to bottom. notice that your word total is approximately 4 or 5 times as much as the rest of the posters COMBINED. don't you think that's a bit crazy?


Spot on.  Others have tried to get through to TamRa about this lack of discipline and consideration for others.  But nothing seems to register.  This site is deteriorating noticeably.  Several one-time posters whose views were always worth hearing have just stopped posting.   Coincidence?  I donít think so.  Itís not TamRaís blog, dammit.  The people running the site should make that clear to her.  If she commandeers all the other sites she posts on like she does this one, sheís getting away with murder.

Yes, our censors wonít like this; but if they delete it (as they have others) then, alas, theyíre part of the problem; and before long itís bye-bye Battersbox.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#252757) #
It appears that the only team other than the Jays currently owned by a media company is the Braves.  Their payrolls were 84, 87 and 96 million during the last 3 years and is projected to be 101 million in 2012 by BBRef.  Atlanta is a considerably smaller media market than Canada.  It is good that Anthopoulos has acknowledged this in his conversation with Sherman, and has suggested the reasonable implication from this.

The link suggesting that artificial turf will be put into the stadium in Ottawa in an effort to secure a double A franchise is very interesting.



electric carrot - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#252758) #
yes, tamra, self-editing.

I don't disagree -- on the other hand there's a four letter word that starts with "sk" and ends with "m" and rhymes with "tolerance"

Oh wait did I say "tolerance?"  A ridiculous outdated notion.

I meant rhymes with "swim."


greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#252759) #
At the risk of piling on (I second the comment about tolerance), I think proper paragraphing would help solve the issue, as a long column of single sentences (or sentence fragments) is often difficult to read. As a venerable American writer (and teacher of writing), once wrote:

"A succession of tiny paragraphs is as annoying as a paragraph that's too long. I'm thinking of all those midget paragraphs--verbless wonders--written by modern journalists to make their articles quick 'n' easy. Actually they make the reader's job harder by chopping up a natural train of thought...."

"Paragraphing is a subtle but important element in writing....Study good nonfiction writers to see how they do it. You'll find that almost all of them think in paragraph units, not in sentence units."
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#252760) #
Mike, I think there are some similarities and dissimilarities between Atlanta and Toronto.

in terms of similarities, the South and Canada are both very different sports markets from the rest of the US. In the South College Football reigns supreme as a favourite sport. In the northeast and west coast, where numerous professional sports league, that is regarded as a regional anomaly.

In Canada, hockey reigns supreme. That too is a regional anomaly in North America, as there is nowhere else it would come close.

But if you ask people in the South who their favourite sports team is, people will say the Braves. On the other hand, how many provinces or regions of Canada would list any team other than a hockey team as their favourite team? I'd comfortably venture none. The hegemony of hockey in Canada is unparalleled in any of the US markets by any single sport, even in the unusual markets where College Football or, to a lesser extent, College Basketball are tops.


Here is an table of favourite sports teams and sports by State. As you will see, in NC, SC, Ga., Miss and Alabama, the favourite sports team is the Atlanta Braves. That area on its own has a population greater than all of Canada. Can you imagine a single area of Canada that would identify the Jays, or a non-hockey team, as their favourite sports team, let alone the whole country? In addition, the Braves would be in the mix in smaller ARK, as well as La, and north FL.

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/5814906/6561726
It's not at all surprising that the Braves have had a higher payroll than the Jays.

Much of this of course owes to what happened decades ago, when Ted Turner built a national cable system and provided the Braves as a viewing choice. But providing the Blue Jays, now or ever, as a national viewing choice in Canada would never come anywhere close to supplanting NHL teams as the favoured sport team like the Atlanta Braves are in the South.


The difference in payroll in the years you mentioned between the Braves and Jays isn't surprising when you consider the teams' respective revenue, even after Toronto gained by revenue sharing, and when you consider the marginal impact of additional spending. For example, Toronto's player expenses in the first year you mention, 2009 were $95 million, Atlanta's $111 million. Atlanta was in the playoff race that year and Toronto was never expected to be and wasn't. Atlanta's revenue was $188 million and Toronto's $25 million less ($163), after receiving revenue sharing which likely made up about a quarter of gross revenue. If the argument is Toronto could have just spent another $16 million and come close to making up the difference of about $65 million in revenue (estimating $40 in revenue sharing plus $25 revenue differential) or spent that $16 and competed for the playoffs, I'd have to disagree.

Enjoying the discussion. Much more than the piling on.


Jonny German - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#252761) #
Some posters swim, but unfortunately some swip.
Bid - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#252762) #

Sometimes self-editing is self-defeating: 

 

fro[It's 2:32am, and Mike decides to call Nikki, a girl he met just a few hours ago]
[Nikki's machine picks up: Hi, this is Nikki. Leave a message]
Mike: Hi, uh, Nikki, this is Mike. I met you at the, um, at the Dresden tonight. I just called to say that I had a great time... and you should call me tomorrow, or in two days, whatever. Anyway, my number is 213-555-4679 -
[the machine beeps]
Mike: [Mike calls back, the machine picks up]
Mike: Hi, Nikki, this is Mike again. I just called cuz it sounded like your machine might've cut me off when I, before I finished leaving my number. Anyway, uh, and, y'know, and also, sorry to call so late, but you were still at the Dresden when I left so I knew I'd get your machine. Anyhow, uh, my number's 21 -
[the machine beeps]
Mike: [Mike calls back; the machine picks up again]
Mike: 213-555-4679. That's it. I just wanna leave my number. I didn't want you to think I was weird or desperate, or... we should just hang out and see where it goes cuz it's nice and, y'know, no expectations. Ok? Thanks a lot. Bye bye.
[hangs up]
Mike: [Mike walks away from the phone... then walks back and calls again; once again, the machine picks up]
Mike: I just got out of a 6-year relationship, Ok? That should help explain why I'm acting so weird. I just wanted you to know that. It's not you, it's me. I'm sorry... This is Mike.
[hangs up]
Mike: [Mike calls back, the machine picks up again]
Mike: Hi, Nikki, this is Mike. Could you just call me when you get in? I'm gonna be up for awhile and I'd just rather speak to you in person instead of trying to fit it all into -
[the machine beeps]
Mike: Fuck!
[Mike calls back, gets the machine again]
Mike: Uh, Nikki? Mike. It's uh, uh, it's just, uh, this just isn't working out. I think you're great, but maybe we should just take some time off from each other. It's not you, it's me. It's what I'm going through, alright? It's uh... it's only been 6 months ...
Nikki: [picks up] Mike?
Mike: [very cheerful] Nikki? Great! Did you just walk in or were you listening all along?
Nikki: Don't ever call me again.
[hangs up]
Mike: Wow. I guess you're home.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#252763) #
CBDC, I am not making any particular argument about 2008-11 here.  I do believe that Toronto's payroll from 2012-15 should be higher than Atlanta's. 

Beeston has not exactly been a paragon of transparency and fortrightness when it comes to payroll expectation and consequent player acquisition in the recent past.    We will see if Anthopoulos' comments mean anything when the rubber hits the road. 
Mike Green - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#252764) #
Bid, couldn't you have chosen an innocuous name like, say, Rick?
Spifficus - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#252766) #

Sometimes self-editing is self-defeating

Bah! Now I need to watch Swingers again!

TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#252767) #
"look at the replies on this thread from top to bottom. notice that your word total is approximately 4 or 5 times as much as the rest of the posters COMBINED. don't you think that's a bit crazy? "

I wouldn't argue against that claim. I've never heard being too verbose described as "self editing" though - I was asking what you meant by the phrase.

"notice that other posters are able to make more effective points in one sentence as you are able to in 10 paragraphs."

I would suspect that's a subjective conclusion based on who's opinion you agree with in the first place.

However, I do tend to over-explain things that are likely plenty clear in the first place. On the other hand, no matter how much I explain there's always someone assuming I said something i didn't intend to say. What I find remarkable is that I write a wide variety of things in a wide variety of places and this is the ONLY place I've ever had the way I write criticized* so...either I'm doing something different here or there's another explanation for that.

(*not counting the occasional spelling and grammar comment)

"nobody wants you to stop posting, but for the love of little baby jesus, start editing yourself."

Oh! START self-editing!

I apparently mis-read, I thought you were saying STOP "self-editing" and I know you couldn't be asking for MORE so I was confused.

THAT I understand. (and actually agree with - as i said I over-explain specifically BECAUSE i get tired of people claiming i said something i didn't intend to say)

" instead of just responding to them with your own opinion without considering theirs."

I think you assume too much here. Why should a difference of opinion mean I'm not considering the other view. for instance, 92-93 and I take a considerably different view on some points, but I'm reasonably sure you do not accuse him of not considering my opinion (nor would you have grounds to)


Are you saying I'm too long winded? Yes. I agree.

Are you saying I over-explain stuff that most people here "get"? okay, reasonable (though I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't feel the specific person I'm addressing is missing the point - for instance, the continued insistence that I didn't know what I meant buy my reference to the Brewers and Reds and any clarification is simply backpedaling - how many words could have been saved in this thread by his simply having said "you didn't make that point clearly" or something and dropping it instead of insisting he knew my intent better than I did?)

Are you saying that I do not respect the on-point opinions of other posters? That's nonsense.

I have just as many occasions, if not more, when folks condescend to me about something I said as the reverse.

Still, on the point of length - I'll see what I can do.
:)
TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#252768) #
"*You* were the one who used the term "over-paying" in your response to me. I was responding to your comment that the Jays can still be intent on contending without over-paying to get Floyd. If you are not actually concerned about it, then don't bring it up."

for the 95th time in this very thread:

over-paying = using up the opportunity cost lost by not developing Drabek and Cecil (and potentially others)

I GET that the initial use of the phrase, possibly poorly explained, might be misunderstood, and that my fault.

I do NOT get how people continue to challenge that comment when I have EXHAUSTIVELY (to both my annoyance and that of others)why folks cannot simply accept the clarification and stop arguing with what they thought I was saying.

See, uglyone, THIS is what leads to gigantic posts.
Thomas - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#252769) #
Gose has the type of skills to make an impact immediately at the MLB level. Bourjos hit .204/.237/.381 over 200 PA in 2010 and still put up a 1.8 fWAR because of the value of his defense/speed. Gose may not be fully cooked and would probably strike out 175 times, but I suspect he could more than hold his own as the Jays CF right now.

Along with Mike's point about Bourjos's defensive value being unsustainably high, the other problem is that Toronto doesn't just want Gose holding his own. We want him developing into the best possible player. If Gose is up with the big league club and is hampered in developing a good approach with two strikes and learning how to read pitchers and so forth, then this will potentially hurt the club in the long club.

That isn't to say that the major league coaches won't help Gose or any other young player in developing and refining their talents, but the pressures of playing in the majors, with heightened expectations and against more talented opposition, can lead a player to trying to survive and thrive as they are, as opposed to trying to working on weaknesses and potentially struggling.

As Mike said, there should be no immediate pressure on Rasmus. He should have all of the season to sink or swim, barring a scenario like the most extreme of struggles combined with sustainable playoff contention.

TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#252770) #
"I'm guessing if Rasmus is still stinking up the joint in mid-summer AA might just cut bait and see what he can get in a trade."

you might be able to get something out of the nats.

" If you can acquire him at very low cost, perhaps because the White Sox are dumping salary, you can always flip him if your young starters force your hand (at last year's deadline, AA acquired and flipped a comparable pitcher in E-Jax..."

An entierly different discussion. And a statement of the obvious. No one on earth would object to that unless they had a pet interest in the prospect being dealt or simply didn't want to ever deal a prospect for anyone (I guess there was maybe one or two who had rather have kept nestor Molina)

But yes, to be on record, if the question is "buy cheap on Floyd in order to flip him for a need" then yes, obviously that's a good play.

I'd go so far as to say that he wouldn't necessarily have to be cheap for that to work - so long as we are trading from excess.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#252771) #
Beeston has not exactly been a paragon of transparency and fortrightness when it comes to payroll expectation and consequent player acquisition in the recent past.

Meh. I don't think it's the President's job to be a paragon of anything in particular but to build the organization, or in his current case to rebuild it. And I think he's doing a better than average job of that with the front office changes and the development of direction. I don't agree with the Beeston vilification, some of which comes from disgruntled Ricciardi fans in need of a new scapegoat, Cito Gaston being gone and all (not at all suggesting that includes you) and some of which I suspect comes from a feeling of 'betrayal' based on misunderstanding earlier payroll comments to mean they'd pay $120 to finish a distant 4th again. After Rogers jacked the payroll to $100, with no benefit in the standings, nor in advanced ticket sales for the following year, nor seasons' tickets, I don't think they're going to spend a lot of money without some assurance that it will produce a playoff competitive team. Beeston's $120 figure, at least as I understood it, was where they could go if they thought the difference was going to show up in the playoff picture, and that was pretty transparent, to my mind at least. Also, he's been transparent in telling people that Toronto is a place where free agents don't presently want to come, a hard thing to tell the locals many of whom see Toronto very differently from the way Americans do, the primary element of the latter being that it's not in the US, and that if they can change the team's winning prospects that they hope that would change. I don't know that you'll find other club presidents being any more straightforward. Canadians and Americans are so different. Here, people point the finger first, rightly or wrongly, at the government not corporations, while I think in Canada the fingers reflexively go the other way.
92-93 - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#252772) #
I was merely responding to the suggestion that Gose isn't ready yet. He may not be ready to ultimately reach his upper ceiling, but IMO he's MLB-ready today. There would be, of course, no reason to rush him up, although I would strongly consider it if Bautista hits the DL and the Jays are hanging in the thick of things.
TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#252773) #
"Spot on. Others have tried to get through to TamRa about this lack of discipline and consideration for others. But nothing seems to register. This site is deteriorating noticeably. Several one-time posters whose views were always worth hearing have just stopped posting. Coincidence? I donít think so. Itís not TamRaís blog, dammit. The people running the site should make that clear to her. If she commandeers all the other sites she posts on like she does this one, sheís getting away with murder. "

Oh my lord.

Now I'm killing the site?

LOL.

one piece of evidence to the contrary - no one hates it more than you, yet here you are.

I'll say the same thing I've said to you before - your mouse has a scroll button, use it.

I get, and appreciate, uglyone's comment. I actually have the same reaction to myself on occasion.

You and I, on the other hand, cannot possibly profit ourselves or anyone else from another round of dead-horse-beating. So I'll refrain from any further replies to your obsession.

but here's a thought, in general terms to whoever shares the opinion:

One of the BEST ways to get me to not belabor a point is to take my word for it that i actually know what i meant to say.

If I say X and you say "you can you say Y" and I say "You should not think I was saying Y, I was trying to say X"

Then accept that clarification and let it go, don't insist I'm somehow shifting my argument.

Things like that. when that happens, i feel compelled to clarify and when that happens you get 35 posts in a thread from me, usually long ones.

Now on the other hand, when I take 500 words to say something I could have said in 50, THAT is on me and I agree with the view that I should cut down on that.

Though I still say that when I fail to control myself, it's not that difficult to scroll on by. Why does anyone feel compelled to read every word that's posted? i don't.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#252774) #
Also: Gose is still really young (he'll be 22 in August), and the hit tool might be the hardest one to acquire. Plus, it sounds as though he's had to make some significant adjustments over the last year or so. Personally, I want him here when he's ready, even if it takes another year or two.
hypobole - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#252775) #
Floyd won't be cheap - if KW just needs some lowball offer, about a dozen teams could (and one of them would) have him in their rotation right now.
The Blue Jays will have Gose for up to six years guaranteed, before he hits free agency. I don't understand what sense it makes to have him "learn on the job" and waste one or even 2 of those precious years of control?
92-93 - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#252776) #
The hit tool doesn't always develop. If it doesn't, you want Gose's 6 years of service to come at as young an age as possible, so that his speed/defense package is as valuable as can be. If only it were so easy as to just leave Gose in the minors until he's a stud ready to dominate.
Beyonder - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#252777) #

Klaw brought a radar gun to today's game and clocked McGowan's last 2 pitches at  95 and 96.  He also said "Drabek looks very good, both delivery and location." 

For what it is worth, if you don't like Tamra's posts, scroll down.  Seems a small price to pay in exchange for permitting someone to express themselves. 

I find it hard to imagine how her posts are ruining the site. 

TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#252778) #
"At the risk of piling on (I second the comment about tolerance), I think proper paragraphing would help solve the issue, as a long column of single sentences (or sentence fragments) is often difficult to read. As a venerable American writer (and teacher of writing), once wrote:

"A succession of tiny paragraphs is as annoying as a paragraph that's too long. I'm thinking of all those midget paragraphs--verbless wonders--written by modern journalists to make their articles quick 'n' easy. Actually they make the reader's job harder by chopping up a natural train of thought...."

"Paragraphing is a subtle but important element in writing....Study good nonfiction writers to see how they do it. You'll find that almost all of them think in paragraph units, not in sentence units.""

Valid point.

One of the things I do in forum posts that I generally don't do elsewhere (see the blog for an example) is to try to use cues within the text as "conversational" indicators. when the train of thought shifts or some such. Another potential problem is "fisking" which kind of by nature forces the use of a sort of quote-a-line/reply-to-a-line format which isn't friendly to paragraphs.

That and the process of my overly-obsessive tendency to, say, go through the entire lineup spot by spot and comment on it for whatever reason leads to the succession of multiple small bites just for clarity, because each new min-paragraph refers to a different subject.

that's not to dispute your point - in most other settings I would do it that way without thinking about it. Here, I'm probably just going to have to force myself to not exhaustively detailing every observation - that in itself would help on the point you raise.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#252779) #
If Gose is going to hit 204/237/381 in the majors, the Jays are going to need another CF (Marisnick, maybe?). However, I'm hopeful that with some more seasoning, Gose will eventually be able to provide somewhat similar production to what Devo (career: 263/319/419) brought to the table. But it's true that none of us knows what his developmental arc is going to look like.
TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#252780) #
"Also: Gose is still really young (he'll be 22 in August), and the hit tool might be the hardest one to acquire. Plus, it sounds as though he's had to make some significant adjustments over the last year or so. Personally, I want him here when he's ready, even if it takes another year or two."

I, for one (assuming Rasmus is at least competent) would prefer that both Gose and d'Arnaud get more than one more year in the minors.

I'd have d'Arnaud do not only 2012 but the first couple of months of 2013 in the minors, so as to maximize both his peak years in Toronto and to get the most value out of JP

As for Gose, if it were me i'd have him play as much as half of 2012 in AA where I could get a better read on how his bat is developing without having to adjust for the PCL effect.

THEN spend a year in AAA with an eye towards promotion in the second half of 2013

---------------
"Klaw brought a radar gun to today's game and clocked McGowan's last 2 pitches at 95 and 96."

two things -

1. WOOHOO!!!

2. KLaw is in Florida? I thought he stuck to Arizona?
TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#252781) #
I'll be darned if i didn't just do it AGAIN!!! D'oh! I have a harder job breaking the habit than i thought.
Thomas - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#252782) #
The hit tool doesn't always develop. If it doesn't, you want Gose's 6 years of service to come at as young an age as possible, so that his speed/defense package is as valuable as can be. If only it were so easy as to just leave Gose in the minors until he's a stud ready to dominate.

I'm aware it's not that easy. My point was that there's no need to bring Gose up in a few months if Rasmus isn't hitting when there's no sign he's ready to hit major league pitching. This isn't a prospect waiting to develop his last little bit of power. This is someone will some clear weaknesses at the plate, with a lot of potential, who should be afforded reasonable opportunity to develop those skills in the minors.

If AA and the staff decide in July that Gose has figured out his two strike approach and there's nothing left to learn, I'd be fine to promote him. However, his strikeout rate is very high and his pitch recognition skills aren't fully developed. Working on those in the minors is hardly waiting for him to turn into a stud.

92-93 - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#252783) #
Bourjos' line was an example of how a CF can be valuable even if he's atrocious at the plate. Gose is a significantly better offensive prospect than Bourjos ever was, and had the same season at AA as Bourjos in an inferior run-scoring environment when he was 2 years younger.

In no way am I suggesting the Blue Jays should open the season with Gose in CF. However, ZIPS projects Gose at .230/.300/.374. These systems are not typically optimistic, and it's quite possible Gose could hit pretty close to Devo's career line right now.
92-93 - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#252784) #
If your only concern is maximizing the asset that is Anthony Gose, there would indeed be no need to bring Gose up in the event of a Rasmus injury/failure. If, however, you care about fielding as strong an MLB product as possible because you're in the midst of a pennant race, there sure would be a need. ZIPS already thinks Gose is a better hitter than Rajai Davis, and ideally you'd platoon them.
Jonny German - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#252785) #
Though I still say that when I fail to control myself, it's not that difficult to scroll on by.

Would you enjoy a site where you do more scrolling than reading?

You have a personal blog. Why the need to flood Batter's Box?
bball12 - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#252786) #

Lots of sound and fury - signifying nothing.

And nary a meaningful game played yet to boot.

Regular season can't get here soon enough

 

 

 

John Northey - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#252787) #
I see Gose as Devo the second. Super defense, meh offense. Hopefully he does learn to walk more and strike out less though and take full advantage of that speed. Then we'd have someone midway between Devo and Rickey Henderson (and in no way do I see him reaching Rickey levels other than perhaps in a career season) and THAT would be great.
Beyonder - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#252788) #

Tamra.  Apparently Klaw's in Florida for the week.  Presumably to do a bunch of writeups on Grapefruit league action.  I expect we'll see something from him about today's games.  The amount of content that guy churns out is amazing.

Marisnick also hit his first homer of the pre-season today.  Very nice to hear Drabek pitched well (3 ip, 1h, 1r, 1 k, 0 bb) after a shaky start last time around.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#252789) #
Youneverknow.  At age 21, Kenny Lofton was playing in Auburn in the NYPL and hitting .214/.286/.273 with 51 strikeouts in 48 games.   He started to gain control of the strike zone late the following year in the Sally League and it was pretty much an upward trajectory from there.  Lofton has a pretty good Hall of Fame case, if you want to dream big. 

Lofton started out in the Astro organization, and Gose went 2-4 without striking out this afternoon against those same Astros...
John Northey - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#252790) #
That would be nice. Lofton broke in at 24 with 20 games (38 OPS+) then had a 106 his first full season the next year. That was the worst OPS+ for him until he was 31. Of course, Gose is far ahead of Lofton at this point, just entering his age 21 season and will probably be in AAA (Lofton wasn't up to AA even until his age 24 season).
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#252791) #
Lofton: nice. Great player. And his first full ML season didn't come until he was 25.

On a different note: MLBTR reports that "the Cubs will take the time to get to know Matt Garza before determining whether to sign him long-term or trade him." Good idea. They should go on a few dates together, get to know each other's families, maybe go on a road trip or two...no need to rush into things.
hypobole - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#252792) #
Is Gose's defence on par with Bourgos? From what I've heard recently, Gose still has to work on his reads and route taking. I haven't seen Bourgos play often, but when I have neither of those were an issue.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#252793) #
As far as I'm concerned TamRa, you can do anythinmg you want here.
Chuck - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#252794) #

it's quite possible Gose could hit pretty close to Devo's career line right now

Devon White's career OPS+ was 98. It's not a given that Travis Snider will put up a 98 this year, let alone Gose.

What concerns me about him is that he struck out 30% of the time in 2011 and batted just .253. That said, he was very young for his league and his mandated batting approach wasn't focused on altering his approach with 2 strikes. I think everyone's right to be bullish on his future, but he has a lot to work on in 2012.

High minor league K rates and low minor league batting averages tend not to bode well for long term success. However, he is very young and apparently has all the raw tools in the world, so it will be interesting to see what he can turn into this summer. I'd be happy to see him give up some power for a more disciplined hitting approach. The power can come later, once the discipline is more firmly entrenched.

I'd be very reluctant to jump to the conclusion that he's close to major league ready at this moment in time. This time next year, however, the story could be very different.

Chuck - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#252795) #

Gose is far ahead of Lofton at this point, just entering his age 21 season and will probably be in AAA (Lofton wasn't up to AA even until his age 24 season).

It is absolutely true that Gose is ahead of Lofton at this age. But two things are worth noting.

1. They profile differently as hitters. Lofton hit for a high average and controlled the strike zone. I don't think that Lofton is a particularly good comp for Gose, unlike Devon White.

2. Lofton's progression was not one that could reasonably have been projected. He could just as easily have gone along the userful player path, rather than the star path. The temptation to compare Gose, or anyone, to someone whose career progression was near HoF caliber is asking for disappointment. Gose could well exceed Lofton's accomplishments, but I'd be reluctant to jump to an A implies B conclusion.

TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#252796) #
"Would you enjoy a site where you do more scrolling than reading?"

Actually, I do it ALL the time. Ignoring another poster who annoys me for whatever reason is an old friend to me and it's no trouble at all.



"You have a personal blog. Why the need to flood Batter's Box?"

Mainly, I get very little feedback there (I know, maybe that should tell me something, right?) - there's limited value in voicing views that seldom get remarked on. A conversation is better with two (or more) sides.

As I've pointed out before, you guys (most of you) can talk Blue Jays at work, at the bar, at the cookout, at the game, in your own home, etc)

I'm 700 miles away - I "talk Jays" for the most part HERE.

If I got a lot of comments on the blog, I'd spend most of my time there - but I can't fix that.

and, notwithstanding the posts I haven't read yet which might tempt me, i hope we've exhausted the topic of my bad habits for another day because I'm really getting sick of defending myself (whether criticism is worthy or not, I don't want to come here and talk about ME)
TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#252797) #
"Tamra. Apparently Klaw's in Florida for the week. Presumably to do a bunch of writeups on Grapefruit league action. I expect we'll see something from him about today's games. The amount of content that guy churns out is amazing."

That's cool. I went and looked it up after I saw that and he apparently intends to see some college games on the weekend too. I'm really glad he chose to watch a game in which he got to see McGowan, Drabek, d'Arnaud, Gose and Marisnick (at least) all in one place. Hopefully there will be some good commentary come out of that.
TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#252798) #
"If your only concern is maximizing the asset that is Anthony Gose, there would indeed be no need to bring Gose up in the event of a Rasmus injury/failure. If, however, you care about fielding as strong an MLB product as possible because you're in the midst of a pennant race, there sure would be a need. ZIPS already thinks Gose is a better hitter than Rajai Davis, and ideally you'd platoon them."

In a vacuum, yes. But that should be qualified by noting what Rasmus is doing. If Rasmus rebounds to his career highs, then there's no measurement in which putting Gose in his place (unless your left field plans have all failed) makes you a better team. I'm not remotely prepared to give up on Rasmus yet, and I doubt the thought has even crossed the Blue Jays' mind. The longer they take to come to that conclusion, if they ever do, the more time to improve Gose has.

when I describe maximizing assets, I'm discussing a situation in which the major league guy (Rasmus, JP, Esco) is doing plenty well enough that the goal of playoff contention is being advanced, and the team has the ability to afford the next wave more time. I'm NOT saying "put up with a failure in the major leagues in order to save a few bucks down the road"
Thomas - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#252799) #
If your only concern is maximizing the asset that is Anthony Gose, there would indeed be no need to bring Gose up in the event of a Rasmus injury/failure. If, however, you care about fielding as strong an MLB product as possible because you're in the midst of a pennant race, there sure would be a need.

I agree, which is my first comment on the issue clearly allowed for the exception of Rasmus's poor performance and the Jays being in a playoff race. However, while certainly not improbable, I don't view the Jays as likely being strong playoff contenders this year, which is why I think the club should do what it believes is best to maximize Gose's talent in preparation for contention in the middle part of this decade. I don't want to prematurely cap Gose's likely upside. I think that maximization will likely be best served by him spending the full season in the minors.

dan gordon - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#252800) #

Encouraging to see McGowan and Drabek both go 3 innings today and combine to give up zero earned runs.  I think the starting rotation is the biggest question mark/weakness on this team.  Yes, I know it's early, but I'll take all of that kind of stuff from those 2 and Cecil, Alvarez I can get.  Would still like to see them add a guy like Oswalt, but the closer we get to the season with guys like McGowan and Drabek performing like that, the more optimistic I'll feel. 

HR by Marisnick today.  

ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#252801) #
I remember reading the Abstract that came out after the Devon/Jr. Felix trade. Bill James' comment at the time was that his friend had called him in the morning to tell him of the trade and that Bill thought Gillick was smarter than that.

When you look at the return for Halladay with the Gose part included, it's straight up the middle of the diamond - catcher, mound, center. Gillick 100.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#252802) #
On ESPN Insider, Klaw gives his take on several Jays players from today's game. In summary: Drabek impressed with his delivery and pitches, McGowan eventually hit 95-96 in the third inning but is "a shadow of what he used to be" in 2006-07, and bunting could be a real weapon for Gose. He also had a few notes on d'Arnaud, Snider and Marisnick, no revelations. Snider's mechanics allowed him to double on a ball "he wouldn't have gotten to last year" but he also Ked twice "on big, sloppy curveballs."

To the moderators: hopefully this post is copyright-friendly. If not, feel free to delete it...
uglyone - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#252803) #
If Drabek can get his location back, he would be a welcome surprise this year.

Especially if Cecil can't get his velo back.

It sure would be interesting having a 5-deep rotation of mid-90s heat with great offspeed stuff with Romero, Morrow, Alvarez, Drabek, and McGowan.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#252804) #
From Law's writeup, I would be surprised if McGowan is a significant factor in the rotation this year (maybe this is why AA is out scouting players like Blanton, who wouldn't normally be of great interest to the Jays).

Still lots of question marks around the 2012 rotation.
92-93 - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#252805) #
I wouldn't get caught up in Gose's statistics - he had a clear mandate to work on certain areas and wasn't doing things like bunting or shortening his swing with 2 strikes to try and make some contact.

IMO, Thames is such a butcher in the outfield (and not much better on the bases) that the argument can be made the Jays are a better team today with Bautista/Gose/Rasmus rather than Thames/Rasmus/Bautista. (Of course this ignores the better LF option in Snider. Just sayin.)
Chuck - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#252806) #

Bill James' comment at the time was that his friend had called him in the morning to tell him of the trade and that Bill thought Gillick was smarter than that.

Wasn't that because Felix was thought to be just 23 (on the heels of OPS+ of 105 and 109 at 21 and 22), not the 30 or whatever that he really turned out to be? Could be that Gillick, and nobody else including Bill James, had an idea of Felix's real age.

92-93 - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#252807) #
Well, at least Law is positive on the kid we have under control for 6 more years. His comments on McGowan remind me not to believe a word of optimism that emanates from the Jays camp. It's all good until they have a reason to announce it isn't.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#252808) #
Yes, if Drabek can rebound strongly, it will be a huge boost for the organization.
Hodgie - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#252809) #
It is not exactly earth shattering news that McGowan is not the same pitcher that he was pre-injury(s). Very few healthy pitchers have the arsenal that McGowan did back then. I would think it would be a positive that he was getting stronger rather than the opposite. Either way, I wasn't rushing to judgement on him before this outing and 3 innings against the Junior Varsity Astros won't change that.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#252810) #

I've heard A.A. say he'd left Arencibia in AAA so he'd have the opportunity to win an MVP honor.   He was planning on giving Gose and d'Arnaud both the opportunity to do so for themselves first.

This is Colby's first arby year http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/?page_id=142 , so he's under contract through 2014.   He's making $2.7 MM this season and must play well to expect any increase and not being waived.

People, don't sweat the small stuff.   I am impressed Keith Law made a trip to see McGowan. I would like to read his article from this visit.

 

John Northey - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#252811) #
Actually, with Felix I suspect Gillick learned of it after the fact and with that knowledge felt safer trading him. What is odd is how Felix' last ML season he hit 306/372/525 128 OPS+ in an everyday role for Detroit (1994) then collapsed to a 225/303/363 line in AAA for Montreal the next season. Must have been hurt or something as he missed '96-99 before a 2 year comeback attempt in the Mexican League (over 900 in OPS but in that league it is normal to do that).

When looking up Felix I found this article about Epy Guerrero. A sad article to read. It seems Gord Ash insisted Guerrero follow US standards for reporting/etc. (ie: do tons of paperwork for each signing) rather than just going with the flow that brought so much talent here. Instead of signing a young pitcher Epy was high on he sent Queen down to investigate, felt the kid was too small so said 'no'. The kid was Pedro Martinez. Sigh. That one signing would've paid for dozens of bad signings and stuff. Typical of the lost Ash years. Btw, that was pre-Gillick leaving as Ash was being given more responsibility back then. A shame Epy didn't go to Gillick and insist.
uglyone - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#252812) #
I find Law's take on McG a little weird, to be honest.

He admits that he pumped it up to 96 in this just his 2nd outing of the spring. He admits that his arm action is loose and easy. The numbers McG has put up so far have been very impressive (5.0ip, 3h, 0er, 0hr, 0bb, 1k, 8go, 3ao, 0.80whip, 0.00era).

Law's only criticism seems to be that McG doesn't have electric breaking stuff at the moment, but it's only his 2nd start of the spring and none of the pitchers are going heavy with the offspeed stuff at this point. From his report it sounds like McG wasn't even using his curveball this outing, which isn't surprising at this point in the spring.

Sounds to me like Law jumping to conclusions, to be honest. 96mph with good arm action and fairly dominant numbers is as good a start to the spring for McG as I could have hoped for.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#252813) #
I agree that it's early days and that the fact that McGowan is throwing hard and taking a regular turn in the rotation is very positive. But it should be noted that Law also said that while McGowan's FB was mainly around 92-93, the pitch had little life; his main off-speed pitch was a soft slider that was easy to pick up; and that his action was "relatively easy for a guy who's had work done on his shoulder" - which isn't quite the same thing as saying a guy is throwing free and easy.
TamRa - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#252814) #
Hentgen was on with Blair this morning and he joined the chorus of voices saying McGowan looks just like he did back in the pre-injury days when scouting praise was off the charts. Everyone associated with the team seems to be verging on giddy.

I appreciate KLaw's objectivity, but for now I remain irrationally exuberant.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#252815) #
From the comments section on ESPN (take it for what it's worth):

bradmclean13
Problem with McGowan report is that all other reports from Jays actual coaching staff and players in previous outings and side session, this spring, was how electric all of his stuff was, especially the supposed soft slider. Seems like a little early to write of his entire future. Health concerns are an obvious but stuff wise, every pitcher is up and down, especially in spring.

K_Law
Yeah, because Jays coaches and players are absolutely objective sources on one of their own guys.

UA_Fumbler
And what motivation would they have to lie about how he has looked and performed up until now? No offense, but i'm going to believe what the actual people in the know are telling me...

K_Law
Because they're not going to trash or denigrate the guy publicly. No execs, coaches, or players will ever do that. If you want to swallow their propaganda wholesale, be my guest. I'm here for everyone else.
Original Ryan - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#252816) #
I'm in no position to evaluate McGowan's stuff, but I do want to make a couple of comments. First, Law saw McGowan for three innings in one game. It's entirely possible that McGowan didn't have his best stuff today. We might be dealing with a sample size issue.

Secondly, two scouts can see the same player and come to different conclusions. Law was just giving his opinion on McGowan. Another scout watching today's game might have a different take.

For the moment, I'm not going to read too much into Law's comments. If more people unconnected with the Blue Jays start to question McGowan's ability to get major league hitters out, then I'll start to get concerned.
hypobole - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#252817) #
To paraphrase The Killer "Whole lotta confirmation bias goin' on"
We're talking about a pitcher who's been able to throw all of 21 MLB innings in almost 4 years due to multiple shoulder surgeries. I'd rather hear frank competent analysis than candy floss comments from Hentgen or Farrell.
John Northey - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:37 PM EDT (#252818) #
I think all comments, from Jays brass to Law, are useful here. The Jays braintrust has been watching McGowan for a long time, from potential star to almost out of baseball and back again. They could easily be biasing their thoughts by comparing McGowan more to who he was (injured) than to other pitchers. Law, on the other hand, was here when McGowan was a super-prospect and could be comparing what he sees today to his memories of McGowan.

Thus both could be right. McGowan is light years from where he was a year ago, but he is also far shy of where he was at his peak. I'd like to see reviews by other writers who never were part of the Jays.
hypobole - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#252819) #
To be fair, it was only the second start of the spring for Dustin and KLaw's report still makes him sound better than Jo-Jo Reyes.
Thomas - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:50 PM EDT (#252820) #
All three of the above posts make reasonable points. I agree that Hentgen's comments aren't worth a whole lot if that's all we are using to base our opinions on. Not only does Hengten want to build up McGowan's confidence, and also not want to create a story by saying that his stuff doesn't live up to a previously-stated standard, but, as John says, it's also easier for Hentgen to compare McGowan to the guy he saw in spring training a year ago, when it was debatable if he'd ever pitch in the majors again. Also, there is a logical reason for the organization to want to publicly proclaim confidence in McGowan even if they are having internal doubts, as the Blue Jays do not want to come off as publicly being desperate for a starter, even if they are looking at other possible options for the rotation. From what I've heard, the Red Sox are expressing all sorts of confidence in Alfredo Aceves as their fifth starter, but I'd be surprised if he lasts in that role for a sustained period of time (except perhaps later in the season as an injury replacement).

Keith Law isn't necessarily right, but there are many reasons the Jays would want to or be more likely to speak more highly of him to the press than they may evaluate him internally.
Ryan C - Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#252821) #
over-paying = using up the opportunity cost lost by not developing Drabek and Cecil (and potentially others)
I GET that the initial use of the phrase, possibly poorly explained, might be misunderstood, and that my fault.
I do NOT get how people continue to challenge that comment


Because no one in the world has ever used it to mean that.  When you used it in your response to me it was the first time I saw you say it.  Your explanation I quoted here is the first time I had seen you explain what you meant by it.  Which is perhaps why you maybe thought I was harping on it?  If you explained it somewhere else in the thread then I didn't see it.  That being said, I still completely disagree with your assessment.  There are five spots in a rotation, the Jays don't need to dedicate three or more of them to development purposes.
85bluejay - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 01:12 AM EDT (#252822) #
I Hope McGowan makes a successful comeback but I'm treating him as a lottery ticket - He is best served by starting in the minors but with no options left, that's likely off the table.  
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 01:15 AM EDT (#252823) #
Keith Law isn't necessarily right, but there are many reasons the Jays would want to or be more likely to speak more highly of him to the press than they may evaluate him internally.
That's true and may be the accurate explanation at the end of the day. On the other hand, Keith Law is not a scout or an independent talent assessor of any standing. He writes pay per view for ESPN and he sells info he gets from people who have insight into talent or who have inside information or rumours. It may well also be that Law is relying on someone else who has seen less of McGowan, or even his own opinion which I'd take with a grain of salt.
hypobole - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#252824) #
Law does a lot of his own scouting - he is a talent evaluator. Obviously he can't see everyone so he does have scouting contacts as well.
TamRa - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 03:51 AM EDT (#252825) #
I think it's a little too cavaier to suggest that the only options available to AA and JF are lauditory praise, and slagging a player.

take as a case study, Adeniy Hechavarria: They have said "he's way better than last year" which is encouraging, and yet AA has also said "he needs to work on his hitting" - i.e. he's not ready yet.

Go down the list - Snider, Rasmus, Cecil, Lind - pretty much anyone we have questions about except Morrow and McGowan - and their comments are measured. "We liked this, we thought this was good, he needs to work on that" - What we do NOT see on those guys is universal praise no matter what the question is. No one has said "Thames' has fixed his defensive issues" no one has said "Hech can hit in the majors right now" no one has said "Cecil is going to have a big year" no one has said "We expect Lind to be an MVP candidate like he was early last year" no one has said "Rasmus is among the best CF in the AL" - or anything similar.

Yet they HAVE said McGowan's stuff is electric, that he looks as good as he did in 2007, that he's among the best pitchers JP has ever seen (as a hitter) and so forth. They don't HAVE to say these things. they are not saying such things about others (not even Morrow - on him they always say "he needs to pitch up to his talent" not "he is amazing everybody"), they did not say these things last year.

So the thesis that "the staff will always paint a rosy picture" doesn't hold water, IMO. now they WON'T say, in most cases "dude really has no shot, his stuff is weak and he can't throw his cap and hit the ground" or other such outright negative stuff. but it's not necessary to do that in order to temper expectations.
uglyone - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#252826) #
Keith law may "do his own scouting", but he is not a scout.
Original Ryan - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#252827) #
Mike Wilner had interviews with McGowan and Farrell yesterday. McGowan acknowledged that he felt "sluggish" and Farrell said that he wasn't as sharp as he had been in his first start. Maybe it was just a bad day for McGowan.
uglyone - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#252828) #
weird, Farrell wasn't blindly pumping up McGowan?
92-93 - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#252829) #
If Keith Law isn't a scout than neither are any of the people who have said McGowan has looked good thus far.
uglyone - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#252830) #
You think John Farrell, bruce Walton, Pat Hentgen, etc. would have any trouble getting a job as a scout?
Mike Green - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#252831) #
It may be time for a new thread.

"Sluggish" might mean that McGowan tired in the 3rd inning. This could very well be innocuous, as it was only his second outing.   Personally, I find it hard to get excited about varying reports concerning McGowan's current stuff.  My major doubt is whether he will be able to throw 6 decent innings every 5 days for more than a month. 

bpoz - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#252833) #
Many/all interesting comments about Gose.

In 2011 we had a few high ranking prospects play for the Jays. JPA, Drabek & Lawrie, maybe others. In general or in theory ...how badly would it hurt Gose if he was rushed in 2012 for whatever reason? Injury to someone, we are contending or whatever. He has to be on the 40 man at the end of the season anyway. I think he burns an option in 2013 most likely anyway.

It seems obvious to me that every year we will be promoting good looking prospects. Thames & JPA were not super young compared to Lawrie & Alvarez.

I think there will be some debatable promotions.

ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#252834) #
Personally, I find it hard to get excited about varying reports concerning McGowan's current stuff.† My major doubt is whether he will be able to throw 6 decent innings every 5 days for more than a month.

D'accord. Ive contemplated the pleasant possibility of Drabek doing well and a 6 man rotation with Ricky and Brandon going every 5th.
hypobole - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#252838) #
Law scouted for the Jays when he worked for them. He also interviewed for the Scouting Directer job in Houston.
hypobole - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#252839) #
Mike - From McGowan's interview. and from Laws observations, his sluggishness was early on, sitting in the low 90's. The last few of pitches in the 3rd were his best at 95-96.

Personally, I'm a lot more excited about the positive reports on Drabek. McGowan is a great feel good story, but he's really not a big part of the future of this franchise. Drabek has the potential to be.
TamRa - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#252845) #
to me, the Jays have six starters, and one of the six is "found money" (as Wilner puts it) who may or may not hold up all year, and if he doesn't then the guy who didn't break camp in the rotation is a major league starter who simply happened not to have a spot.

Even if you take it as a given that Mcgowan doesn't last, you still have (IMO) a major league rotation that doesn't REALLY have a "substitute" - It's not until you lose the second guy that you are into "Plan B"

Plan B might be a short-term injection of Villianueva or Carreno for 15-20 days, or it might be a longer-term use of Deck or Hutch for a couple of months. But even Plan B isn't really a disaster in the making, because those guys - none of them - are Jo-Jo Reyes or Dana Eveland or whatever.
dawgatc - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#252847) #
I'm starting to think that jenkins is not that far away - he is really keeping the ball down and seems to have found some velocity low in the strike zone -hechavaria looking good, especially in the field -people talk about gose's speed and his glove but his arm is outstanding - one of the best i've ever seen - romero ready to go already -enough of spring training come on opening day
greenfrog - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#252850) #
"Even if you take it as a given that Mcgowan doesn't last"

I take it this doesn't include you, since you have argued that a reasonably optimistic projection for McGowan is 2.5 WAR, as opposed to the 0.5 that Fangraphs has projected...?

"But even Plan B isn't really a disaster in the making, because those guys - none of them - are Jo-Jo Reyes or Dana Eveland or whatever"

I would argue that we simply don't know how the Plan B guys (McGuire and Hutchison) will perform in the majors, particularly in their first go-around. Last year is a good example of this uncertainty: Drabek was actually worse than Reyes in 2011. Pat Hentgen just pointed this out in his recent interview - i.e. that there is no way of knowing how rookie SPs will perform at the ML level. Some thrive, some flounder.

"to me, the Jays have six starters, and one of the six is "found money""

To me, the Jays have two established SPs (Romero and Morrow), one promising young SP off to a very good start (Alvarez), one semi-experienced 25-year-old with a mixed track record coming off a mediocre year (Cecil), one young starter who struggled mightily in his first go-around but remains very promising (Drabek), and one starter with a significant injury history who has barely pitched in three years and is something of a lottery ticket (McGowan).

Nuance matters.
Richard S.S. - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#252853) #

People should listen to the TSN Radio interview with ESPN's Keith Law (enough credits?).   Go to TSN, click on TSN Radio, drop down and click on podcasts.   It will come up and start playing what currently on.   Small boxes at right indicates the list to go through, try page 4 or 5 or later.   Or go to http://www2.tsn.ca/window/podcastcentre/#TSN_Radio_Podcast&id=13 and start from there.

McGowan will be carefully used as a Starter to keep him healthy.   Contrary to popular (or so they think they are) opinion, McGowan, baring injury, will be an effective Starter for this team with more than 0.5 WAR as long as he`s pitching.

Drabek had, in his great 2010 year, the same pitching problems then, that were shown in the Majors in 2011.    So far he`s shown he`s corrected those problems, all is needed is consistency.    And as for critism for Plan B, good GMs have Plan Bs, better ones have Plan Cs, A.A. might have Ds, Es and Fs or more.   But the Kids in AA need a chance to see what they can do at this level; it only needs one to click, to be successful.

Nuance matter, my butt.   Jays have 6 Starters, all of whom would be making at least 10 other Clubs, some at least 20, and possibly 1 or 2 on 30.

 
TamRa - Friday, March 16 2012 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#252855) #
"I take it this doesn't include you, since you have argued that a reasonably optimistic projection for McGowan is 2.5 WAR, as opposed to the 0.5 that Fangraphs has projected...?"

What I argued was that IF HEALTHY McGowan should be worth that and it was REASONABLY POSSIBLE that he would remain healthy. As a general philosophy, I do not assume anything other than health for a currently healthy player when I make such projections, but it is reasonable to have a caveat to that in the case of McGowan. So while it is true that I do not ASSUME McGowan won't last (other than JF's assertions concerning IP limits) but I recognize it is a reasonable concern (over and above the standard risk that any pitcher might get injured)

" i.e. that there is no way of knowing how rookie SPs will perform at the ML level. Some thrive, some flounder."

Quite true. But there's only one way to find out. The point is that, AA's odd belief that they might figure out Reyes aside, you KNOW on April 1 that Eveland et al are going to suck. Even if they have an odd hot streak you know he's a bum. On the other hand, while you don't know that McGuire (for instance) will have immediate success, you know that he has enough talent that he COULD - which seems to me is reason for more optimism than you might feel if "Plan B" were a flunky like Eveland or his ilk.

greenfrog - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#252856) #
I guess the problem I have with this approach is that when you build these projections (e.g., Morrow going from good to great, Cecil being very solid, McGowan having a Cahill-like year) into a larger model, you come up with a single number for the rotation as a whole: 16.5 WAR. Some of your underlying assumptions are pretty upbeat (especially when someone like Law is calling McGowan "a shadow of his former self"), but collectively they all get grouped under the heading of "reasonably optimistic."

There are other issues with simply stating that the Jays now have "six starters" and a solid Plan B. One is innings: how many can we realistically expect from Alvarez, McGowan and Drabek (or even Cecil) this year? Another is minor-league seasoning. I agree that it would be silly to assume that Hutch and McGuire will pitch like Reyes or Eveland when they're promoted (although it's always possible). But are they in fact ready for promotion? Hutch is only 21 and has logged 15 innings at AA, while McGuire (who didn't make most commentators' top 100 prospects lists, and in many instances wasn't close) has pitched only 20.2 AA innings. It seems a big assumption to say, hey, give these guys a couple of more months and they'll be ready to step into the ML rotation and contribute.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#252857) #
All that being said, I think a game-changer this year could be Drabek. If he can pitch reasonably well over 150-175 ML innings, with his control issues no longer a major concern, it would be a huge boost to the team. He's kind of the X factor IMO.
hypobole - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#252858) #
For those who didn't listen to the KLaw podcast Richard linked in the Friday Chatter thread. Even though Law was unimpressed with the McGowan start the other day, he also stated he didn't see the need to acquire an innings-eater like Floyd because of the depth in the system, naming not only Drabek, but Jenkins and McGuire as well.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#252859) #
Thanks, hypobole. That's a reasonable argument to make.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#252861) #
Just listened to the podcast - Law did say about Floyd that if the Jays were able to get him for 50 cents on the dollar, they should do it, because it's good value - which has basically been my argument all along.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#252865) #
"Nuance matter, my butt."

Um...right.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#252869) #

Yes, but Floyd's cost was $1.50 on the Dollar.

"Nuance matter, my butt."
"Nuance matters here, but then considering all the talk, so does my butt."

 

greenfrog - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#252870) #
"Yes, but Floyd's cost was $1.50 on the Dollar."

It may well have been (although none of us have any idea what KW might have wanted from AA). In any case, I was never arguing that the Jays should pursue Floyd at all costs, only that he would be a good addition if AA could obtain him on the cheap.
TamRa - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#252871) #
"Just listened to the podcast - Law did say about Floyd that if the Jays were able to get him for 50 cents on the dollar, they should do it, because it's good value - which has basically been my argument all along."

But that's true of anyone in any situation. it's not a remark on the teams need for him, which law implied didn't exist. I was never arguing they shouldn't get him if there's was a chance to basically steal him, merely that the team didnt really need him.
TamRa - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#252873) #
"There are other issues with simply stating that the Jays now have "six starters" and a solid Plan B. One is innings: how many can we realistically expect from Alvarez, McGowan and Drabek (or even Cecil) this year?"

Well, the implication is that the pitcher in question doesn't pitch himself out of the rotation, and isn't injured (at least apart from McGowan) or the whole premise of "reasonable and optimistic" falls apart.

In that context, and remembering the apparent Jays policy of +20% in terms of inning escalation-

Alvarez threw 160 last year so in theory wouldn't be running out of gas until 190
Cecil threw 200 last year so he's good.
Drabek threw 162 in 2010 for his career high and over 150 last year.
McGowan is obviously completely unpredictable but even if he doesn't make it out of spring, there's no reason to assume the other five will run out of innings.


"Another is minor-league seasoning. I agree that it would be silly to assume that Hutch and McGuire will pitch like Reyes or Eveland when they're promoted (although it's always possible). But are they in fact ready for promotion? Hutch is only 21 and has logged 15 innings at AA, while McGuire (who didn't make most commentators' top 100 prospects lists, and in many instances wasn't close) has pitched only 20.2 AA innings. It seems a big assumption to say, hey, give these guys a couple of more months and they'll be ready to step into the ML rotation and contribute."

I tend to agree with this caution, but Anthopolous is the one who's been saying since last fall that all of the three AA guys were on track to be able to contribute in 2012.

I think it's easy enough to assume that if there's an early season need, Villianueva or Carreno or even Laffey will be a short term fix, but as much as they were raving about Jenkins he may have set himself up to get the first shot if the need comes before mid-season.


Still, for the most part, if any of the four ALE contenders lose two of the starters they are counting on, things will get dicey for them. To say "if the Jays lose two starters they will be in some trouble" as far as contending, is to state the obvious. The Red sox, for instance, are already giving consideration to scraps like Aaron Cook - what kind of shape will they be in if, for instance, Buchholz (injury history) goes down long term as well?

The Rays had a pretty good sixth option but who's 7th? who's 8th? no one that's any more of a sure thing then the guys who are 7 or 8 for the Jays. It's basically a wash. That's where the unpredictable events of the season (like injuries) come into play.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#252877) #
I'm not sure the math is that simple when you're talking about a rookie transition to the majors. Alvarez went from 112.1 innings to 160 innings last year - a big leap, and almost 100 of those 160 innings were in the minors. I really like Alvarez, but I'm not sure it's going to be so easy for him to rack up 190 IP in the majors this year. Ditto Drabek. And McGowan is a big wild card - I would be very surprised if he pitches 140 innings.

It could all work out nicely, but I think there is a good chance the Jays will need to incorporate innings from pitchers outside the "big six."

As for SP depth, I think the Yankees and Rays are in very good shape (probably with more innings certainty than the Jays' crew), which is probably why they're the presumptive divisional and wild card favourites.

Yanks: CC/Pineda/Kuroda/Nova/Hughes/Garcia/Pettitte, with Banuelos in tow - that's a pretty impressive front 8.

Rays: Price/Shields/Hellickson/Moore/Davis/Niemann/Cobb/Torres - ditto.
Thomas - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#252879) #
The Rays had a pretty good sixth option but who's 7th? who's 8th? no one that's any more of a sure thing then the guys who are 7 or 8 for the Jays.

Tampa's likely 7th option posted a 1.87 ERA in 12 Triple-A starts last year and a 2.71 ERA in 22 Double-A starts the year before. Their likely 8th option posted a 3.47 ERA in Double-A in 2010 and a 3.08 ERA in Triple-A last year with 27 starts each time.

If I had to bet whether they or Chad Jenkins and Deck McGuire would pitch in the majors in 2012, I know where I'd be laying my money....

Thomas - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#252880) #
It should read .....would pitch better in the majors in 2012....
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#252883) #

Chad Jenkins (6'4" 235; 12/22/87) pitched 167.2 innings (27 Starts) last year, of which 100.1 innings (16 starts, 1 CG) were at AA.   Anything under 200.0 IP this year should not be a problem for him.   This is one of A.A.'s options for Starters.  

Drew Hutchison with 15.0 (3 Starts) in AA has only pitched 149.1 innings.   Deck McGuire with 20.2 (4 Games, 3 Starts) in A.A. has only pitched 125.1 innings.   It's unlikely they are one of A.A.'s options for Starters this year.

Kyle Drabek (6'1" 220; 12/08/87) pitched 153.2 innings (29 Starts) in AAA (75.0) and MLB (78.2).   Around 185.0 IP should be his limit this season.   He's apparently solved his delivery problems, so should be better this year.   This is one of A.A.'s option for Starters.

Aaron Laffey (LHP, 6'0" 200; 04/15/85) has been used as a Starter and Reliever in his career.   At age 26-7, innings limits stop mattering.   Scott Richmond (6'5" 220; 08/30/79) has no innings limits.   This might be options for AA for Starter.

These are what A.A. has to work with, not on the 25-ish-man Roster.   Romero, Morrow, Cecil, Alvarez and McGowan will start.    Carlos Villanueva, Luis Perez and Jesse Litsch could start.   So let's not worry until something worrisome occurs.   There's enough to be concerned about without creating more. 

TamRa - Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#252888) #
"Tampa's likely 7th option posted a 1.87 ERA in 12 Triple-A starts last year and a 2.71 ERA in 22 Double-A starts the year before. Their likely 8th option posted a 3.47 ERA in Double-A in 2010 and a 3.08 ERA in Triple-A last year with 27 starts each time.

If I had to bet whether they or Chad Jenkins and Deck McGuire would pitch better in the majors in 2012, I know where I'd be laying my money."


don't make me go look them up!
bpoz - Sunday, March 18 2012 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#252890) #
Everyones logic seems quite good regarding who the best replacements should be if needed for the rotation.

I am quite comfortable with the choice of David Purcey filling in when the need arose. I had him as the best option or at least one of the best options on the farm at that time.

I don't know what other options were available when D Stieb or J Guzman were promoted due to lack of information. They worked out well, but should they have been called up earlier? What were the circumstances.

2010 was interesting. I believe there was give & take between AA & Cito. My opinion is that both AA & Cito are good at what they do as GM & Manager. Eveland, M Valdez & Accardo were AA's picks for the 25 man team in 2010 for the purpose of asset development IMO. The 2010 Opening day rotation was Romero for sure. Marcum was coming off TJ so he was a ?, but why not. I believe Purcey was a lock as he had done enough for Cito at the ML level to keep his job. Actually I cannot remember if he was part of the Opening day rotation, S Richmond & B Tallet are unaccounted for in my memory. Eveland was AA's pick and also probably Morrow. Morrow's potential was better than his track record so it seems to me that he was given his spot. Additional competitors were Zep & R Ray who both got eliminated due to injury and Cecil & B Mills beaten out in the competition. Cecil was called up very quickly to replace Purcey, I guess. Both Cecil & Mills had 2 starts in LV, while Cecil's were good, Mills were outstanding as I recall. So to me the wrong choice was made.

For 2012, I see Drabek, Hutch, McGuire, Jenkins & Laffey as the choices when ever a need arises. Also probably Carlos V, L Perez etc... If in mid June the choice is between the above 5 pitchers that are in the minor leagues then you cannot go wrong IF they all turn out successful. Of course the opposites is also true.

We can trade for someone. I remember J Hamilton for Woody Williams+. We also tried FA E Hanson. There is also the option of adding at the deadline. I remember E___ L________.

bpoz - Sunday, March 18 2012 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#252891) #
Sorry for the negativity.

Some of those additions were always valued as marginal improvements as compared to D Cone for example. Those trades can be costly, Cone, Oswalt & the guy for Randy Johnston.

What to do?
John Northey - Sunday, March 18 2012 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#252892) #
The best thing for a rotation is home grown talent, followed by signing guys in the offseason for just a draft pick at most. Trades for starting pitching, especially mid-season, can be super-costly.

Jays playoff teams had lots of home grown talent.
1985: 3 home (Stieb/Key/Leal), 1 expansion draft (Clancy) and 1 off waivers (Alexander). Next in line were a minor league free agent (Filer) and another home grown (Steve Davis).
1989: 4 home (Stieb/Key/Cerutti/Stottlemyre), 1 previous mid-season trade (Flanagan), followed by 7 guys with 1-4 starts each.
1991: 4 home (Key/Stottlemyre/Wells/Guzman-was a trade but while a minor leaguer), mid-season trade (Candiotti), followed by 2 home (Stieb/Boucher) and a few others.
1992: 5 home (Key/Guzman/Stottlemyre/Stieb/Wells) 1 free agent (Morris), 1 mid-season trade (Cone), plus 2 more home grown (Linton/Hentgen).
1993: 3 home (Guzman/Stottlemyre/Hentgen), 2 free agents (Morris/Stewart), old trade (Leiter), followed by 2 home grown (Linton/Brow)

Clearly all the Jays playoff teams counted largely on home grown talent with 3+ home grown (counting Guzman). Minor league free agents, trades when guys where in the minors also helped as did a couple of key free agents. The only mid-season trade that really helped big time was Cone while Candiotti was useful but fell apart in the playoffs.

As to Stieb, he was drafted in 1978 as an outfielder and was a starting pitcher in the majors mid-season 1979. I don't see how much quicker you could've gone.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 18 2012 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#252894) #
From Nick Cafardo in the Boston Globe (updates on nine players):

"9. Brett Cecil, LHP, Blue Jays - As the Jays try to create more room for their top young pitchers, thereís no question Cecil could be available in a deal. He is one of those former top prospects who hasnít lived up to expectations, and he hasnít had an especially good spring."

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2012/03/18/red_sox_ceo_lucchino_sees_long_term_role_with_team/?page=full

hypobole - Sunday, March 18 2012 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#252896) #

"Tampa's likely 7th option posted a 1.87 ERA in 12 Triple-A starts last year and a 2.71 ERA in 22 Double-A starts the year before. Their likely 8th option posted a 3.47 ERA in Double-A in 2010 and a 3.08 ERA in Triple-A last year with 27 starts each time.

If I had to bet whether they or Chad Jenkins and Deck McGuire would pitch better in the majors in 2012, I know where I'd be laying my money."

With a betting strategy like that, one would probably end up with a severe lack of disposable finances after the season. One can hope, one can believe it's reasonably possible; one would be strongly advised not to make any monetary wagers on it actually happening.

uglyone - Sunday, March 18 2012 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#252904) #
"Tampa's likely 7th option posted a 1.87 ERA in 12 Triple-A starts last year and a 2.71 ERA in 22 Double-A starts the year before. Their likely 8th option posted a 3.47 ERA in Double-A in 2010 and a 3.08 ERA in Triple-A last year with 27 starts each time."


Not arguing anything one way or the other, but I thought it would be interesting to actually lay out the Jays' v. Rays SP depth charts side by side.

Career Starting Numbers:

#1

LH R.Romero (27, #6 '05): 93gs, 6.2ip/gs, 7.3k/9, 3.5bb/9, 54.6gb%, 3.60era, 4.04fip, 3.82xfip
LH D.Price (26, #1 '07): 89gs, 6.1ip/gs, 8.1k/9, 3.2bb/9, 43.7gb%, 3.40era, 3.65fip, 3.78xfip

#2

RH B.Morrow (27, #5 '06): 71gs, 5.2ip/gs, 10.0k/9, 4.1bb/9, 37.4gb%, 4.58era, 3.76fip, 3.76xfip
RH J.Shields (30, #466 '00): 184gs, 6.2ip/gs, 7.5k/9, 2.1bb/9, 43.8gb%, 3.96era, 3.91fip, 3.66xfip

#3

LH B.Cecil (25, #37 '07): 65gs, 6.0ip/gs, 6.3k/9, 3.1bb/9, 42.0gb%, 4.64era, 4.69fip, 4.36xfip
RH J.Hellickson (25, #116 '05): 33gs, 6.2ip/gs, 5.9k/9, 3.2bb/9, 45.3gb%, 2.84era, 4.23fip, 4.53xfip

#4

RH H.Alvarez (22, IFA '06): 10gs, 6.1ip/gs, 5.2ip/gs, 1.1bb/9, 53.5gb%, 3.53era, 3.97fip, 3.38xfip (AA: 88.0ip, 6.8k/9, 1.7bb/9, 2.86era, 3.45fip)
LH M.Moore (23, #245 '07): 1gs, 5.0ipgs, 14.5k/9, 2.9bb/9, 42.9gb%, 2.89era, 2.17fip, 1.85xfip (AA: 102.1ip, 11.5k/9, 2.5bb/9, 2.20era, 2.62fip)

#5

RH D.McGowan (30, #33 '00): 60gs, 5.2ip/gs, 7.2k/9, 3.5bb/9, 47.5gb%, 4.75era, 4.11fip, 4.20xfip
RH J.Niemann (29, #4 '04): 84gs, 6.0ip/gs, 6.7k/9, 2.9bb/9, 43.4gb%, 4.16era, 4.32fip, 4.18xfip

#6

LH A.Laffey (27, #468 '03): 49gs, 5.2ip/gs, 4.4k/9, 3.6bb/9, 51.6gb%, 4.35era, 4.57fip, 4.85xfip
Rh W.Davis (26, #75 '04): 64gs, 6.1ip/gs, 5.9k/9, 3.2bb/9, 37.8gb%, 4.22era, 4.55fip, 4.61xfip

#7

RH K.Drabek (24, #18 '06): 17gs, 5.1ip/gs, 6.0k/9, 5.7bb/9, 47.9gb%, 5.52era, 5.23fip, 4.84xfip (AAA: 75.0ip, 5.4k/9, 4.9bb/9, 7.44era, 5.80fip)
RH A.Cobb (24, #109 '06): 9gs, 5.2ip/gs, 6.3k/9, 3.6bb/9, 54.0gb%, 3.42era, 3.61fip, 3.90xfip (AAA: 67.1ip, 9.4k/9, 2.1bb/9, 1.87era, 2.70fip)

#8

RH J.Carreno (25, IFA '05): 0gs, 0.0ip/s, 8.0k/9, 2.3bb/9, 53.7gb%, 1.15era, 2.83fip, 3.13xfip (AA '11: 134.2ip, 10.2k/9, 4.5bb/9, 3.41era, 3.88xfip)
LH A.Torres (24, IFA '05): 0gs, 0.0ip/gs, 10.1k/9, 7.9bb/8, 59.1gb%, 3.38era, 3.78fip, 4.40fip (AAA '11: 146.1ip, 9.6k/9, 5.1bb/9, 3.08era, 3.51fip)
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