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The Blue Jays will try to shake off a disappointing series at Fenway, but to do so they'll have to beat the red-hot Angels. Los Angeles/Anaheim is 24-8 since May 22nd, and they've won 6 of their last 7. Toronto, meanwhile, continues to shuffle around at .500, which just means they're falling further and further behind in the AL East. Although they are only 3.5 out of the Wild Card, three teams currently stand between them and the playoffs. To make up ground they'll have to knock the tar out of the ball, because their pitching, what little there is of it, doesn't seem capable of keeping the team in games. What's gonna happen? Damned if I know. Advance Scout!


Thursday: Dan Haren v. Brett Cecil

Dan Haren's ERA sits at 4.24, but is mostly a product of the highest BABIP mark of his career. His strikeout and walk ratios are well in line with his career marks, as are his home run and strand rates. His control is merely very good, as opposed to exceptional as he has been in past years, but make no mistake, Haren is a very good pitcher. His heater is down a couple of ticks this year; he throws both a two and four seamer than on average punch in at 88-89 this year, down about a MPH on the year. Still, Haren doesn't rely overly on his heater, throwing it around 40% of the time. Haren uses a cutter (84-85) and splitter (83-84) heavily, all of which he'll throw at any point in the count, which means hitters are forced to guess between four different fastball variants at slightly different speeds. For fun Haren will toss in a spike curve (mid-70s) every now and then. He'll use the cutter more against righties, and the two-seamer against lefties. Haren's been bombed his last three starts, giving up 4, 5 and 5 runs while on pitching 16.2 innings. Lifetime JPA is 1/12, Jose Bautista 5/17 with 2 home runs, E5 7/20 with 2 home runs, Yunel 5/18, Kelly Johnson 5/11 with 4 doubles, Colby Rasmu 4/22, and Omar Vizquel 4/28.

Friday: Ervin Santana v. Carlos Villanueva

Magic Santana has actually been the Angels 6th best starting pitcher this year, surprisingly - I never would have termed him very good, but he's been extremely solid for the last couple of years. Things are a bit off the rails though, as his strikeouts have dropped and his walks risen. Bad combo. As a result his K/BB has fallen below 2/1 (just barely) for the first time in his career. He's also allowing more home runs than every before. That his ERA isn't worse than a hair under 5 is a result of a .245 BABIP. Santana may be turning things around; he threw a 1-hit shut out and 8 innings of 2-run ball in his last two starts. However they were against NL teams, so take that with a rock of salt - he got hammered by Colorado and Seattle in his previous two starts. Santana is a fastball/slider/change guy, coming in around 92, 83 an 85, respectively. His fastball is a set up pitch, and the change doesn't have a ton going for it; when Santana's on he relies on his wicked slider, one of the best in baseball. Even in a down year it's where he's been experiencing success (guys are really, really going to town on his fastball). Lifetime: Bautista 6/20 (2 2B, 2 HR), Rajai Davis 1/14, EE 1/11, Yunel Escobar 5/14, KJ 1/10, Adam Lind 6/27 (2 HR).

Saturday: Garrett Richards v. Henderson Alvarez

This will be Garrett Richards' 8th big league start; so far this year he's been filling in for the injured Jared Weaver, and now the injured Jerome Williams. Richards is big and throws hard, regularly working his 4-seam/2-seam combo in the mid-90s; he's being held back at this point by sub par control, allowing almost 12% of batters faced to reach via the BB (more than double Haren's rate, for context). Richards strikes out a fair number - 1 in 5 batters, roughly - but he'll need to improve on his 1.69/1 K/BB if he's going to succeed long term. Still, he's only 24, and he's allowed 5 runs in 4 starts, so he's doing something right, or at least getting lucky. Richards basically relies on his fastball and slider, which comes in at around 85-86; he'll throw a couple of change ups, also at 85, and maybe a curve once in a blue moon.

Sunday: C.J. Wilson v. Aaron Laffey

The Angels' big free agent signing, Wilson has not disappointed: he'll cross the 100 inning threshold in the first of Sunday's game, and unless he gets hammered he'll do so with an ERA in the low-2s. Wilson's numbers aren't appreciably different than Haren's - he's thrown 6 more innings, and actually walks more and strikes out fewer. However he gets more than half his outs on the ground, and as such gives up fewer hits and home runs (well below average BABIPs and HR/FB% help in this regard also). Wilson doesn't work especially deep into games, but of late it hasn't really mattered, as he's simply been on fire. In his last 7 starts CJ hasn't pitched fewer than 6 innings (nor more than 8), and he's allowed 0, 1, 0, 1, 1, 3 and 1 earned runs. Wilson utilizes a wide array of pitches, throwing a 4-seamer and 2-seamer, both around 90-93, a slider (83-85), cutter (high 80s), curve (high 70s) and change (mid-80s). All his secondary offerings are pretty decent, with no real weak links, but in the main Wilson lives off his very good fastball. He doesn't really throw the change or cutter to lefties. Wilson abstains from drugs and alcohol, and races cars. Duality!

Lineup

Mike Trout CF
Torii Hunter RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Mark Trumbo LF
Kendry Morales DH
Howie Kendrick 2B
Alberto Callaspo/Maicer Izturis 3B
Erick Aybar SS
Bobby Wilson/John Hester C

Bear with me here, cause the Angels do a bunch of funky things. General takeaways: Mark Trumbo, Albert Pujols and Kendrys Morales all play first base, but more often than not all three are in the lineup together, which usually means that Trumbo goes to a corner outfield spot. When Trumbo or Morales sit, Peter Bourjos plays CF, with Mike Trout taking the corner. Alberto Callaspo and Maicer Izturis seemingly alternate at third, though Callaspo gets the bulk of the time at third, with much of Izturis' time coming backing up at short and second. Bobby Wilson is the starting catcher, as Chris Iannetta is injured; John Hester is the backup. The outfield log jam has mostly been resolved by the release of Bobby Abreu and the injury to Vernon Wells (he's out until at least August). Bourjos often comes in as a defensive replacement.

What is there left to say about Mike Trout at this point? It's not even July and both ROTY races have already been decided. Trout was in the minors for the first 20 games of the season or so but still ranks 6th in the majors in fWAR. He leads the majors in steals (he's 21/24) and is in the top 5 in BA and top 10 in OBP, and he's a phenomenal defensive outfielder to boot. You know, like this catch yesterday, which was almost as good as Dewayne Wise's catch the other day.† A lot of this is BABIP drive (he's over .400) but Trout has a pretty decent K rate, walks enough and is of course blindingly fast, with respectable power...Albert Pujols is posting the worst BABIP of his career (.255), and his power and walks are both well below his career marks, so his .773 OPS isn't totally undeserved. However he's rapidly pulling himself out of the early tailspin he was in; over his last 39 games he's hitting a robust .322/.402/.616, with 11 home runs and a 21/16 BB/K...I'm pretty sure the only difference between Mark Trumbo last year and this year is that his BABIP and HR/FB % are 70 points and 7% higher, respectively. He's walking slightly more, but striking out more, and let's just say I'm still not sold long term. His slash numbers are pretty great as a result, though... Trout and Trumbo, and now Pujols, are really carrying the offense; Torii Hunter's been pretty good, but not enough to move the needle.

Infirmary: Chris Iannetta (C) is out until July with a wrist injury. Michael Kohn (P) is out for the year with TJ surgery, while Jeremy Moore (P) is out indefinitely recovering from a hip injury. Old friend Vernon Wells (OF) has a torn UCL in his right knee and has a month rest before he can start rehab. Jerome Williams (P) has a respiratory issue, and is working his way back into game shape.

Song to Advance Scout By: I'm supporting Italy personally, but in honor of Germany beating Spain in the finals on Sunday, our song today is a novelty single supporting the German football team, from the 2006 World Cup.

Chart: Use your imaginations!
Advance Scout: Angels, June 28-July 1 | 119 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Paul D - Thursday, June 28 2012 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#259522) #
It's not even July and both ROTY races have already been decided

And Trout's doing his best to finish the MVP debate too.

Anders - Thursday, June 28 2012 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#259523) #
I'm supporting Italy personally, but in honor of Germany beating Spain in the finals on Sunday

Reverse Jynxed!

Chuck - Thursday, June 28 2012 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#259524) #

Torii Hunter's been pretty good, but not enough to move the needle.

No love for a 123 OPS+?

It would have been interesting to see how the OF/DH situation would have played out had Wells not become hurt. HIs injury meant that everything could fall nicely into place with respect to roles and playing time. Absent the injury, I don't think he'd have gotten pushed into the 4th outfielder role that he deserves (presumably platooning with Morales the way that Bourjos is now).

New closer Ernesto Frieri (sounds like a cardinal from The Borgias)  has allowed just 4 hits in 22 innings. Madre mia. He has struck out 38. I wonder if he knows that not being a Proven Closer should preclude him from success in the role. It appears not.

Scott Downs' poster should be up on every lefthanded pitcher's rec room wall. Hit your spots. That's all it takes. Hit your spots. Let the show-offs light it up at 96.

Mike Green - Thursday, June 28 2012 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#259525) #
Wilson abstains from drugs and alcohol, and races cars. Duality!

I guess it's a better combination for a pitcher than playing golf and blowing out your arm, as B.J. did. Anyways, money may not be able to buy you love but it does sometimes work wonders for a pitching staff!
sam - Thursday, June 28 2012 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#259526) #
Brett Cecil is back!
Mike Green - Thursday, June 28 2012 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#259527) #
It's true.  I know 8 runs is 8 runs, but when it comes by the walk, it drives me crazy.  This is another story. Dan Haren has given up 6, and there have been a couple of semi-cheapie homers, one on each side. 
Mike Green - Thursday, June 28 2012 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#259528) #
Dear John,

Frieri on to face the RH pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth with two outs.  Did you notice?  It didn't hurt a bit.

Mike

scottt - Thursday, June 28 2012 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#259529) #
Wilson vs Laffey has the making of a miserable Canada Day game.

Lots of right handed batters in that lineup.
Thomas - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#259530) #
I'm a bit surprised there hasn't been more discussion of Farrell's decision to send Cecil out there for the 6th. It seemed like a risky move to me and it turned the game.
Chuck - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#259531) #
I think that the plethora of pitching injuries has Farrell discombobulated. There's a seeming randomness to his decision-making these days. Who will relieve? When will they come in? How long will they pitch? We armchair managers are left baffled with no ability at all to anticipate his moves.
Mike Green - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#259533) #
With Aybar, Bourjos and Bobby Wilson coming up and Cecil having thrown relatively few pitches, it was defensible to bring Cecil out to begin the 6th inning.  After that didn't work out (with the leadoff bunt being important), I don't understand why he was left in to face Trout with Hunter, Pujols and Trumbo following. As Chuck suggests, Farrell is struggling along with the pitching staff.  The lion's share of the responsibility for this state of affairs is with ownership/management in failing to ensure that there was adequate depth. 
whiterasta80 - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#259536) #

Just out of curiosity, would the Philadelphia Phillies be considered to have adequate depth if Hamels and say Kendrick went down in addition to Halladay? How about the Angels if CJ Wilson and Dan Haren and Ervin Santana? The Gians if Cain and Baumgarner were gone? Rotation "depth" is

I've said this before and I'll say it again, I don't think we can argue that it is the failure of management to ensure adequate depth. If you want to argue that the # 3-5 guys weren't good enough for the rotation, that is a fair argument. You certainly could have expected this rotation to struggle based on the relative youth and a veteran arm would have came in handy there. It would have been nice to add Edwin Jackson and bump Drabek out of the rotation, for example. But it could just as easily be Edwin Jackson on the shelf instead of Drabek.  So to say that management should have forseen the catastrophic loss of their closer, and #2 ,3, 4, and 5 guys in the rotation is a bit ridiculous in my mind.

bpoz - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#259538) #
Agreed. Also Romero may be considered as struggling. Except he has 8 wins.

For NYY, why would F Garcia resign with them? IMO the $ & a WS chance.
Chuck - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#259540) #

I don't think the issue was that there was not enough depth behind Drabek and Hutchison, who were at best deemed to be starters #6 and #7 in the spring, but rather that there was not enough depth ahead of them. The team's depth starters got promoted and became crucial cogs, thereby exposing a crucial deficiency when they became unavailable.

I concede that no team can adequately prepare for the carnage that has befallen the Jays' rotation. But getting through this season with this particular batch of starting pitchers was going to be a high wire act to begin with.

Chuck - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#259541) #

Also Romero may be considered as struggling. Except he has 8 wins.

Romero has been the benefactor of a ridiculous amount of run support. Those 8 wins belong to the team. He's merely been in the right place at the right time.

Mike Green - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#259542) #
The average team goes to #8 in the depth chart in a season.  What should have been obvious at the start of the season was that the club did not reasonably go to #8, and that the starters they did have were not likely to be particularly durable (with the exception of Romero).  If the club had signed Edwin Jackson (say) during the off-season, and gone with a rotation of Romero, Morrow, Jackson, Alvarez and Cecil, with Drabek, Hutchison and Villanueva as options 6, 7 and 8 and McGowan and Litsch as possibilities 9 and 10, that would have constituted adequate depth in my view.  The season would have had a very different shape to it. 

This view was widely held here and in the mainstream media before the season started.  No one is saying that the club ought to have emerged unscathed from the injuries, but the lack of depth significantly exacerbated it. 

Chuck - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#259543) #
How about the Angels if CJ Wilson and Dan Haren and Ervin Santana? ... So to say that management should have forseen the catastrophic loss of their closer, and #2 ,3, 4, and 5 guys in the rotation is a bit ridiculous in my mind.

In your hypothetical involving the Phillies and the Angels, you are talking about normally reliable pitchers becoming injured, where injury alone would be the reason to replace them.

For the Jays, Drabek and Alvarez could well have merited replacement solely based on their performance, entirely ignoring their injuries. And given Hutchison's inexperience, a performance-based replacement would not be unexpected in his case either. So the Jays were not seemingly only counting on no injuries, they were counting on young, inexperienced pitchers pitching well enough to not merit being demoted.

If all 5 members of the rotation were now healthy, would Drabek not ideally be in AAA right now? And Alvarez?
Mike Green - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#259544) #
You certainly can make the case that Alvarez ideally would have spent part of 2012 in the major league bullpen.  His youth and slight build suggests that a gradual build-up of innings might have been a good idea, and his struggles early on would have made this an even more attractive possibility. 
PeteMoss - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#259545) #
So it does seem like this will be an interesting trade deadline for the Jays. Morrow should be back in 2-3 weeks (oblique injuries average about 34 days according to some ESPN podcast I was listening to).

If you are going to attempt to stick in the race, you have to think they need to add an arm. You've got Romero, Morrow and then 3 of Laffey/Chavez/Cecil/Villaneuva/Moyer/anyone else they can uncover. Even if you were to add a Garza or Dempster... can they compete with the 4/5 guys looking like timebombs. (Personally I'd say no, but I can see trying to avoid fan frustration by not selling)

If you don't.. you've got guys like Davis, Johnson, Oliver, Frasor, Cordero who might interest contenders. Then the big EE question. He'd be the best bat on the market if they make him available but he might be a rare impact (or at least above average) free agent bat that they will be able to sign with their 5 year contract limit.

Standing pat doesn't make much sense to me.
MatO - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#259546) #
It's interesting to look at 2007.  The season started with Halladay, Burnett, Ohka, Chacin and Towers as the rotation.  Ohka, Chacin and Towers were ineffective and replaced by Marcum, McGown and Litsch.  When Burnett was injured, Towers went back into the rotation and pitched decently.  By the end of the season the rotation was: Halladay, Burnett, Marcum, McGowan and Litsch.
John Northey - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#259547) #
Heading into 2012 we thought the rotation would be...
Romero, Morrow, Alvarez, Cecil, McGowan with (roughly in order) Drabek, Litsch, Carreno, Hutchison next (Hutch or whoever in AA did well).  A kiddie core that should produce a mixture of frustration and success.  Instead we had McGowan and Litsch injured pre-season (not major shocks), Cecil stinking up the joint so bad he was demoted, Drabek pitching better than we dreamed and continuing that for his first 5 starts with just one of those being a 'uh oh' with 6 walks but just 2 runs.

Funny. Checking game logs I see Drabek had 13 starts, but just 3 with 4+ runs allowed, one with over 5 - looking decent. But his walks...oh those walks, 3+ in all but 3 starts averaging 5.9 walks per 9 IP.

Clearly the killer was the depth of kids and injured players - a situation which led us into thinking all is good figuring 'whats the odds of 5+ going down or sucking'.  Sadly, that now has hit 100% odds (Morrow, McGowan, Drabek, Litsch, Hutchison with Cecil being out due to ineffectiveness for a long time and maybe going back) with the rest of the AA kid core off to a less than stellar start.

As to the one guy the Jays could've had with just cash (ie: no worries about him saying he needed to be with a contender or something) Yu is now 15 games in with 4.7 BB/9 and 10 K/9.  Wild but effective (124 ERA+) - worth about $10-15 mil a year I'd guess vs the $20 it cost the Rangers (roughly).  Yeah, that would've helped.  The rest of the guys might have had reasons for going to NY or wherever but Yu was always 100% about cash.
Magpie - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#259548) #
The [2007] season started with Halladay, Burnett, Ohka, Chacin and Towers as the rotation. Ohka, Chacin and Towers were ineffective and replaced by Marcum, McGown and Litsch.

You've skipped right over The Zambrano Era. Can't say I blame you.

The team ended getting very lucky in 2007 - the Replacements were better than the guys who started the year in the rotation. That's not something you can count on. But before that fairly happy ending, we saw a very lively two weeks at the beginning of May, featuring a 9 game losing streak and other rotten things...

1) Towers bumped from rotation after 4 starts. He was replaced by Victor Zambrano, for reasons that still surpasseth all human understanding.
2) Chacin went to the DL, and Dustin McGowan was summoned to replace him.
3) Zambrano was banished from our sight, and Jesse Litsch made his MLB debut.
4) Roy Halladay had an appendectomy, and Marcum moved from the bullpen to the rotation.

After all this, things settled down somewhat.

5) Halladay returns, Litsch farmed out.
6) Ohka released, Towers back to the rotation.
7) Burnett went to the DL, Litsch recalled.
8) Burnett returns, Towers to the bullpen.
Magpie - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#259549) #
Heading into 2012 we thought the rotation would be...

We did know it would have exactly ONE guy who had ever made it from Opening Day to the Final Day in a major league rotation, without injury or demotion.
92-93 - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#259550) #
I don't see how Edwin Jackson, Mark Buehrle, Hiroki Kuroda, and Erik Bedard were about anything other than money.
whiterasta80 - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#259551) #
They weren't necessarily... My hope is that Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, and Zach Grienke just looked more appealing and AA didn't think the team was ready anyhow (he was wrong about that by the way).
katman - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#259552) #
I don't know if Jamie Moyer can still pitch in the big leagues. Or Shawn Hill.

But I know that Cecil cannot.

He simply cannot stop leaving balls way up in the zone, and he can't break 90 while doing it. The stint in AAA may have sharpened his breaking pitches a bit, but it has nothing to change the core problem. He was unreasonably lucky his 1st starts back. The Angels game is what major-league reality looks like, especially in the AL East.

i know people here say "make him a reliever." I say "why?" I'm not optimistic that he gets more fastball speed, or more critically starts getting pitches down, from the bullpen.

So call Moyer up when his 2 starts are done. Send Cecil down when that happens. And let's see if there's an answer somewhere else.
92-93 - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#259553) #
Right, because there's any chance AA is going to compete for Hamels & Greinke's services on the open market.
Mike Green - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#259554) #
I have no idea what the future holds for Brett Cecil.  He will be 26 on Sunday and has a career ERA+ of 91, with decent W and K marks and passable stuff, and with a particular problem facing RH hitters.  A similar pitcher might be someone like Neal Heaton. You can use pitchers like this. 

Cecil has been somewhat better than Heaton so far. 
John Northey - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#259555) #
The big challenge is finding guys with arms that can get through 5+ innings at this point.

In truth it is amazing the Jays are at 500 right now with this starting staff.  A month ago they looked great - everyone doing well and 5+ innings a game.  Now?
Guys with 2+ starts and an ERA+ over 100: Brandon Morrow (13 starts).  That is it.
Guys with 2+ starts and an ERA+ in the 90's: Alvarez, Drabek, Hutchison
Guys with 2+ starts and an ERA+ in the 80's: Romero
The rest: Cecil 70 (3 starts), Carreno 65 (2 starts), Chavez 56 (2 starts)

Laffey is at 238 with 1 start and 4 relief games but I somehow expect that to crash very, very quickly.

Ouch.  This is as bad as last year - one guy doing well (Morrow now, Romero last year) followed by 4 guys not doing so hot (Morrow & Cecil in the 90's, Reyes in the 80's, Drabek in the 70's).  At least we had Alvarez come up and do gangbusters - I thought Hutch was about to really take over before getting hurt. 

Sigh.  Such a promising start and such a quick hard fall for the rotation.  It should've been expected, given how their BABIP was crazy low but we dreamed for awhile.  Then the balls started to fall, then the injuries really hit hard and now we have AAAA guys starting games.  Sigh.

hypobole - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#259557) #
92-93 is right. Anyone dreaming of Grienke or Hamels in a Jays uniform might as well wake up and smell the coffee. I'll be surprised if he even makes a competitive offer for Edwin Jackson.

As far as Cecil, he has massive left/right splits. He should be a situational lefty, but with the scrap-heap starting staff, the team can't afford to carry a reliever who only faces one or two batters.
sam - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#259562) #
I wonder what the Jays intend on doing with Encarnacion. He's having an unbelievable year and I imagine there's a lot of people around baseball who believe he'll be able to replicate his performance this season again. Encarnacion is a free agent this summer and I suspect that should he hit the open market Toronto will likely be outbid or should I say "out-assessed" of his services. My understanding would be we would receive draft pick compensation.

So what to do? Again I'm operating under the assumption that if he hits free agency he is gone. If the Jays aren't exploring a contract extension, I think you need to trade him. He would easily be the biggest bat on the market and given the new playoff situation there will certainly be a few more GMs out there thinking "this could be our year." For the Jays getting another "piece" or someone further along developmentally would be preferable to the two high schoolers the Jays are sure to draft with the compensation.

Look at these teams who are reported to be looking offensive help, than look at their top prospects and young, controllable players:
Dodgers: Zach Lee, Ethan Martin
Marlins: Christian Yelich, Matt Dominguez, Jose Fernandez
Giants: Brandon Belt, Gary Brown

There are good names out there.
hypobole - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#259564) #
You only get one supplemental round pick for comp now, from my understanding. The signing team forfeits a draft pick, but there is nothing in the CBA that says the former team gets that forfeited pick.
sam - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#259565) #
Hypobole, thanks for this. I've looked far and wide and the language seems to suggest a forfeiture, yet doesn't specify to whom. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest the forfeited first round pick goes to the former team and does not simply disappear. Remember next year also has the six additional supplementary picks for low-income teams.
dan gordon - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#259566) #
For those who are interested, Aaron Hill has quite an accomplishment - he just hit for the cycle for the 2nd time in 11 days.
Beyonder - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#259567) #
I think the signing team loses their highest pick, so long as it is not a top ten pick. Not necessarily a first rounder. If your highest pick was a fourth rounder, you would forfeit that. The losing team does not get the forfeited pick. They get a sandwich picknatter the first round in reverse order of win loss record.
John Northey - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#259568) #
Noticed just 24k tonight which sounded low. Last year the closest Friday to June 29th was July 1st with 45k vs the Phillies (Halladay was on Saturday) which I don't think really is a valid comparison as that was a holiday and there was a chance for Halladay to appear (for those who pre-bought tickets). June 10th was the previous Friday in Toronto with 28k vs Boston - again a big draw team. The next Friday was July 15th vs NYY (sheesh - nice weekend draws) with 33k. July 29th is comparable with the Rangers coming to town and just shy of 20k came to the game.

In 2012 the worst crowd was 15,289 (so far). In 2011 it was 11,077 for an April game. The Jays had 11 games sub-15k by this point last year. No question no matter how you cut it the fans are coming out despite the team being in last place with a pitching staff that belongs in Vegas, not Toronto.
Thomas - Friday, June 29 2012 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#259569) #
Hill is only the second player since 1900 to hit two cycles in one season. That's a nice little entry in the history books.
sam - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#259570) #
John Northey, I agree. The Jays have averaged almost 7,000 fans more a game so far this season. That has got to be worth something this offseason. I will personally be leading the egging of Rogers Centre if Beeston says something to the effect that the Jays couldn't be players in free agency or trades because fans didn't come to the ballpark enough.
92-93 - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 03:23 AM EDT (#259574) #
I loved seeing Farrell bring Richmond back out after he cruised through the 6th and with numerous RHB on the horizon. It didn't work.
uglyone - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#259575) #
1) morrow 6.0ip/gs, 3.01era
2) alvarez 6.3ip/gs, 4.36era
3) romero 6.1ip/gs, 4.94era
4) hutchison 5.3ip/gs, 4.60era
5) drabek 5.5ip/gs, 4.67era

6) laffey 6.0ip/gs, 0.00era
7) villanueva 5.0ip/gs, 5.40era
8) cecil 5.4ip/gs, 6.06era
9) mcgowan ---
10) litsch ---

11) carreno 4.5ip/gs, 9.00era
12) chavez 4.3ip/gs, 10.38era
uglyone - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#259576) #
Boston

1) Becket: 6.5ip/gs, 4.14era
3) Lester: 6.3ip/gs, 4.53era
3) Buchholz: 6.2ip/gs, 5.53era
4) Doubront: 5.7ip/gs, 4.54era
5) Bard: 5.4ip/gs, 5.30era

6) Morales: 6.0ip/gs, 2.00era
7) Cook: 5.5ip/gs, 4.32era
8) Matsuzaka: 5.5ip/gs, 4.91era
9) Lackey: ----
10) ----

11) ----
12) ----
uglyone - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#259577) #
Tampa

1) Price: 6.5ip/gs, 2.92era
2) Hellickson: 6.0ip/gs, 3.45era
3) Shields: 6.5ip/gs, 4.04era
4) Moore: 5.9ip/gs, 4.19era
5) Niemann: 5.0ip/gs, 3.38era

6) Archer: 5.7ip/gs, 3.09era
7) Cobb: 6.5ip/gs, 4.73era
8) Ramos: 2.2ip/gs, 0.00era
9) -------
10) ------

11) ------
12) ------
uglyone - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#259578) #
New York

1) Sabathia 7.1ip/gs, 3.45era
2) Kuroda 6.3ip/gs, 3.40era
3) Nova: 6.6ip/gs, 4.03era
4) Hughes: 5.8ip/gs, 4.48era
5) Pettitte: 6.5ip/gs, 3.22era

6) Phelps 4.3ip/gs, 2.08era
7) Garcia 3.3ip/gs, 12.51era
8) Warren 2.1ip/gs, 23.14era
9) Pineda ----
10) ---

11) ---
12) ---
uglyone - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#259579) #
Baltimore

1) Hammel 6.2ip/gs, 3.29era
2) Chen 6.1ip/gs, 3.73era
3) Matusz 5.4ip/gs, 5.24era
4) Hunter 6.0ip/gs, 5.70era
5) Arrieta 5.8ip/gs, 5.81era

6) Eveland 6.0ip/gs, 4.40era
7) ---
8) ---
9) ---
10) ---

11) ---
12) ---
uglyone - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#259580) #
11-1 blowout.

nice performance from Henderson Alvarez to go 7 strong on 80 pitches, but understandable given his soreness last game pull him now and give him some rest.

bring out some of our cannon fodder like I dunno....Richmond, Pauley, chavez....perfect time for one of them to eat a couple of meaningless innings.

oh wait.....no....farrell decides this is the perfect time to bring in Luis Perez, one of his better relievers, instead.

what the heck is going on inside Farell's head? I don't get it.
sam - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#259581) #
uglyone, I'm not going to disagree with you, but David Pauley did get an inning, Perez was on two full days rest and Richmond pitched last night. With Aaron Laffey pitching tomorrow, I imagine Chavez will be the long guy in the likely scenario that Laffey does not pitch into the fifth inning. I could be wrong and I try to avoid the arm chair managing because I don't think this team is ready for a micro-manager, but your curiosity with Farrell's moves today is a bit curious in itself.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#259582) #
I was thinking the same thing uglyone... Couldnt Pauley just have thrown 2. Actually, with how he pitched the 9th maybe not.
uglyone - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#259583) #
yeah, I'm starting to go over board on the armchair managing but I'm literally still fuming over what he did in game 2 of the boston series.

and heck, he could have used perez yesterday, in a game that wasn't a complete blowout, but used Richmond instead.

I'll try to stop nitpicking but the guy is driving me nuts.
smcs - Saturday, June 30 2012 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#259584) #
oh wait.....no....farrell decides this is the perfect time to bring in Luis Perez, one of his better relievers, instead.

Meh. Farrell sees Perez as his 5th best reliever. He's probably his 3rd best, behind Janssen and Oliver, but ahead of Frasor and Cordero. LAA doesn't have any lefties, so the only way Perez is/was going to pitch tomorrow would be if the starter (I honestly can't remember who it is...Laffey?) can't get thru the 5th or if it is a blowout. If that happens, well, Richmond and Chavez are around, and Perez and Pauley can still pitch a few.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#259597) #
That dropped fly ball by Rajai...ugh. I *hate* those kinds of errors. Especially in a critical game against a tough SP. The Jays have some good defenders but man does the team ever make some bad plays from time to time.
Anders - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#259612) #
I wonder how upset people are going to be at Cordero now.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#259613) #
Hey, I'm not upset at Cordero.  He can't help it.  He's just bad.  Farrell on the other hand....
CeeBee - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#259614) #
Cordero makes my head hurt. I'm not sure he should even be given mop-up duty unless it's in Vegas. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...... hmmmmm yeah. That'd work!
Original Ryan - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#259616) #
I'm not mad at Cordero, either. I'm mad that games continue to slip away while the team's best reliever enjoys view from the bullpen. The Angels' best hitters (all right-handers) were due up, so Janssen should've been in there. Even though it was the eighth inning, that was the time to have your best guy on the mound.
China fan - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#259618) #
Neither Frasor nor Oliver were available today. So if Janssen had pitched the 8th inning, Chavez or Cordero would still have lost the game in the 9th inning.

When the Jays lose a game by 7 runs, it's a little hard to blame it all on a single pitcher. Some people still seem surprised that the Jays have a poor bullpen -- after the injury to Santos and the shift of Villanueva to the starting rotation, and the costly toll inflicted on the bullpen by the loss of three regular starters, which has resulted in the much heavier and more frequent use of the relievers. But we should get used to it. The bullpen is in poor shape, the priority is the rotation, and some games are going to be lost by the pen.
China fan - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#259619) #
Sorry, the final margin was 4 runs. Point remains.
Mike D - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#259620) #
I don't know if "mad at Cordero" is the right way to put it, because that implies that he could be performing better than he is.

I'm really mad at Farrell whenever he uses him in a high leverage situation, and I'm a bit mad at the contrarian "you know, we shouldn't overstate things, Cordero isn't THAT bad" commenters. He is very line drive- and homer-prone. I know he had a few clean outings in a row prior to today, but he's been lucky. His shutout inning at Fenway, for example, required two diving catches of hard-hit balls with a runner in scoring position.
92-93 - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#259621) #
Wait, why was Frasor unavailable? The 9 pitches he threw in the last 4 days were that stressful?

Excellent bullpen management by the Angels to bring in Frieri in the 8th to face the heart of the Jays order. Farrell is still clueless.

And Butterfield has had a really bad weekend. I can think of 4 very questionable sends off the top of my head.
Original Ryan - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#259622) #
Neither Frasor nor Oliver were available today. So if Janssen had pitched the 8th inning, Chavez or Cordero would still have lost the game in the 9th inning.

Not necessarily. Janssen would've been the one doing the heavy lifting in the 8th. If Janssen had a quick inning he might be able to come back out for the 9th. If he gave up a baserunner or two in the 8th, the guy coming out for the 9th would be facing the bottom half of the order.

China fan - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#259623) #
I suspect you'd have to ask the Jays training staff, not Farrell, about why Frasor was considered unavailable tonight.

In any event, Frasor is a good example of the weakness of the bullpen, which is my main point. Since May 1, the opposition has a .791 OPS against him. His WHIP for the season is 1.45. He's not exactly a savior in the wings.

And when Cordero and Chavez allow 7 runs in less than 2 innings, it's risky to assume that they would have been better in the 9th inning after a hypothetical Janssen stint, regardless of which Angels they were facing.
Original Ryan - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#259625) #
And when Cordero and Chavez allow 7 runs in less than 2 innings, it's risky to assume that they would have been better in the 9th inning after a hypothetical Janssen stint, regardless of which Angels they were facing.

We'll never know what might have happened had Janssen pitched the 8th. The point is that Farrell didn't put his team in the best position to win the ballgame. The Angels' best hitters were due up in the 8th, and the Blue Jays' best reliever should have been the one facing them.

China fan - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#259626) #
I'm actually not disagreeing with that point at all. I'm making a different point: the Jays bullpen is in bad shape, because of injuries and the rotation woes, and we as fans are going to have to get used to blown games.
John Northey - Sunday, July 01 2012 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#259628) #
OK - this is a bad thing. If we start 'getting used to blown games' then we'll see an empty Rogers Centre as no one wants to watch games that are blown in late innings.

Cordero coming in was defensible as he has had a few decent games (scary, but at least he survived them). The 'slave to the save' issue came into play though, as if anyone else was the official closer then we'd have seen Janssen in the 8th instead. Bringing in Chavez though was raising the white flag. This is a guy who has given up runs in every game he has appeared in. While he did have a good game in Boston (3 IP, 1 run) he is a starter or long man, not someone you bring in the 8th inning unless you feel it is a blowout. Without his 4 runs allowed we might have had extras - and yes, if that happened we'd probably have seen him then and he'd have blown it but at least there would've been a chance.

Sigh. This year the bullpen management has been driving us all nuts. The guys who should get the highest leverage situations are instead used in low leverage to get their innings in it seems. Meanwhile the Cordero and subs are getting pressure situations.
bpoz - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#259635) #
I know the pen is a mess. I think pen construction should have 4 guys that can go 1 inning and 3 that can do long relief.

My thoughts are concerning Chad Beck. IMO he is not yet a top 4 bullpen guy at the ML level. So he should be considered #5,6, or 7, therefore he is a long reliever. Since NH is not really in contention he could go there and Sal can figure out how to stretch him out. Maybe side sessions and some 2 inning games. Of course then LV which is in contention would be weakened. Then again Toronto is also in contention but probably very long odds.
John Northey - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#259642) #
Well, Baseball Prospectus has the odds at 8.7% which is probably as high as it has been in July in over a decade. 0.8% shot at the division, 7.9% at one of the wild cards. Their simulation seems to think 86 wins will get you into the playoffs this year due to the craziness of the AL East
uglyone - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#259656) #
I really hate to keep harping on the bullpen management, but there's one stat that IMO most clearly indicates the incompetence we've seen in this department this year:

Francisco Cordero - our worst reliever - has 38 appearances this year, which is more than ANY OTHER RELIEVER, with Frasor being the only other reliever anywhere close, with 35.

I'm not sure how much more bizarre it gets than that - our manager uses our worst reliever the most....by a healthy margin. It boggles the mind.
Hodgie - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#259663) #
Has anyone heard if Romero and First-Pitch Strike have had a falling out and are just not friends anymore?
BlueJayWay - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#259664) #
A lot of stats indicated Romero was due for a regression this year.  But I never saw this. 
hypobole - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#259667) #
"Francisco Cordero - our worst reliever"

David Pauley disagrees, though hopefully he won't be "ours" much longer.
John Northey - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#259670) #
OK - the mystery of the bullpen continues. 3 run spread with 3 innings to go, 2 runners on thus a situation where the game can go from 'eyeshot' to 'blowout' - who do you call in?

A) Frasor, 3 days of rest, 9 pitches the 4th day out
B) Oliver, 2 days of rest, used the 2 games before that
C) Pauly, 1 day of rest, 23 pitches the day before that

Also factor in Frasor: 109 ERA+, Oliver 270, Pauly 70 (43 as a Jay - was released by Angels).

Of course, the answer is C. Er, what? Why? There are 3 innings left, your closer (Janssen) has 2 days off so is available for the 9th if needed. Bring in Frasor or Oliver, followed by the other then Janssen if the game is still close.

Just so bizarre. Every situation that has any pressure seems to be time to bring in the least effective guy you can find. Maybe Frasor, Oliver, and Janssen are all hurting or he wants to save them for situations where the Jays are in the lead only. That is about the only logic I can think of.
uglyone - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#259671) #
it is absolutely nuts. there is no explanation for it at all.
hypobole - Monday, July 02 2012 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#259673) #
Pauley DFA. Andrew Carpenter coming up from Vegas.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/07/blue-jays-designate-david-pauley-for-assignment.html
John Northey - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#259674) #
Lets hope Carpenter is ready for a chance to pitch when the score is close but the Jays are slightly behind or it is the 7th inning and tied.

I am happy for Carpenter as he has been doing well in Vegas alternating starting and relieving (3.38 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, 6.8 K/9) and he has just 24 1/3 IP in the majors over 4 seasons (4.4 BB/9 vs 8.9 K/9 but 1.8 HR/9). If he can keep that ball in the park he has a chance. Big if.
China fan - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#259737) #
"....the mystery of the bullpen continues...."

Most of it is not really a mystery, since it's explained by injuries (minor and major) and the mediocrity of most of the non-injured. Really, the Jays have only had 2 reliable relievers this season: Janssen and Oliver. You can't run them out there every game. Their arms would fall off. If you were charitable, you could include Perez and Frasor among the somewhat decent, but they've had lots of bad outings too, and it's quite possible that both have nagging minor injuries that aren't disclosed. Villanueva has been okay, but he's obviously unavailable now. The list of the injured and the disappointing is much longer: Santos, Cordero, Carreno, Crawford, Beck, Coello, Chavez, Igarashi, Pauley. The Jays have been trying to build a good bullpen, but they've had a lot of bad luck, slumps, sophomore jinxes and disappointments. It's fair to question the Cordero acquisition in the off-season, and to question the bullpen management, but the reality of the injuries should be acknowledged as well.

The Jays spent a lot of resources to acquire 4 relievers in the off-season, and only one of them is really helping the team very much at the moment. That's not entirely Farrell's fault.
bpoz - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#259747) #
Back in the early 80's the pen with Joey M etc...was very bad.In 2011 & 12 the pen has been mediocre. In other words, not good enough.

I am wondering if you can put a lot of blame on the performance of the SPs.
Can we say any pen will be bad if overtaxed. That includes good pens. The 2011 & 2012 rotations had issues.
The early 80's had a good rotation.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#259755) #
The Royals obviously do not pay too much attention to splits.  Facing Cecil is a good time to give one of your left-handed hitting stars a day off. 
92-93 - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#259756) #
Sal Perez is such an interesting catcher to watch. His body type and the way he moves behind the plate is pretty unique. That pop time/release to nail Rajai Davis with a good jump on an off speed pitch was completely ridiculous.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#259759) #
Seems my guess was right - Frasor, Oliver and Janssen are being saved for lead situations or cases where they need work.  I can understand it - the team is in a nightmare situation with the pen & rotation right now - but it still leads to long layoffs for the key guys and I hope Farrell uses them in ties more often or situations like the other day where one hit would equal two runs.
Kasi - Tuesday, July 03 2012 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#259760) #
They were down by 3 already there. I don't mind that. What I do mind (and agree with you) is the reluctance to bring Janssen in in a tied game.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#259770) #
It's been a long time since I have harped on tandem starters, so here goes again.  If ever there were pitchers made for the tandem role, they would be Brett Cecil and Carlos Villanueva.  Each are decent for 75 pitches or so, and roughly twice through the order.  You could start Villanueva against a team that lists right like the Angels, and Cecil against a team like the Royals who are more evenly balanced.

Obviously they don't have the bodies to do that now, even if they were inclined to heresy. 

Paul D - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#259772) #
So I was thinking about what pitcher the Jays could get, in the Colby Rasmus/Yunel Escobar mold. That is, someone who was good, who might be struggling a bit, and has worn out his welcome.

I canít really think of anyone good though. Maybe Jair Jurgens? John Lannan fits, but the odds of him being good are pretty low.

I imagine the Sox would pick up salary for Beckett and/or Dice K.

Brandon League isn't a starter, but he fits the mold.

I don't imagine that Pittsburgh would trade Burnett, or that he'd want to come here or that fans would want him, but he'd also fit.
China fan - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#259773) #
Shi Davidi has confirmed that Frasor was nursing some kind of minor injury over the past few days, and that's why he was unavailable until yesterday. I know that some people don't want to be deterred from their memes and prefer to say "Farrell is nuts" and "it's completely unexplainable" but it turns out that there was a fairly simple explanation for why Frasor was not used. The injury report is mentioned here:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/2012/07/03/toronto_blue_jays_edge_kansas_city_royals_brett_cecil/
fozzy - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#259775) #
Jose Tabata is apparently working his way out of favour with the Pirates, a 23 year old OF with a 96 career OPS+. I have no idea where you fit him in though. Pittsburgh is tied for first in their division and LF is a question mark for them, perhaps something with Davis, maybe Johnson and bullpen help could get something done. I have no idea, since I have no idea where the Jays see themselves.

Brandon Belt seems to be receiving the Travis Snider treatment in San Fran. Then there's guys like Nick Castellanos who is blocked by the two headed beast in Detroit, but will demand a king's ransom back.

Part of the problem this year is that there are very few teams really stinking it up. It's July and there's no real sure sellers yet, except for the Cubs, Rockies, Padres and Twins, and likely the Astros and Mariners. Every other club look like one hot streak away from moving into the second playoff spot, even Philly, though it seems rather unlikely. Should be a fun deadline as clubs decide whether to buy or sell.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#259790) #
Good question on buyers and sellers.  Lets check the odds via http://www.baseballprospectus.com/odds/
Gotta be Buyers...
50%+: Rangers (at 100%), Yankees, Washington, Angels, Giants, White Sox, Cardinals

Should be Buying...
33%+: Atlanta, Mets, Dodgers, Red Sox, Cleveland

Likely Buyers...
20%+: Rays, Pirates (!), Diamondbacks, Tigers, Brewers

Crunch time ...
5%+: Orioles, Blue Jays, Marlins

Mathematical shot...
0.1%+: Oakland, Phillies

Can't wait for 2013...
0%: Royals, Twins, Mariners, Cubs, Astros, Rockies, Padres

So there are 7 teams who are as out of it as it gets, with 2 more on edge.  The Jays/Marlins/Orioles are all in tough situations despite the Orioles being in playoff position at this moment.  12 teams should be buying (1/3 odds or better) while 5 more are on the cusp and the right addition could push them over the top.

Lots of debate for teams, that is for sure.  FYI: Oakland's shot is only at the wild card while all others have a shot at their division as well as the wild cards.  KC and the Rockies both just reached 0% this week, the Royals hit it with yesterdays loss to the Jays (who knew?).
Paul D - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#259791) #
Olney says the Blue Jays actually finished third in the bidding for Yu Darvish behind the Rangers and Cubs. No bid was within $35MM of the $51.7MM Texas submitted.
Chuck - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#259795) #
I'd like to see the team get Bourgeois, if only for the comedy value. Buck could call him Booshwa (as he did last night) and Farrell could call him Burgess (as he did last night). Not sure how Tabler would tackle this particular surname.

I wonder how Bourgeois himself pronounces the name. I know that names like Belanger and Lajoie surprised me to hear out loud after I had read them first.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#259796) #
Moyer has had his 2 AAA starts - now what?  Villanueva is due today and could easily be bumped, but I'd have expected that to be announced ahead of time.  Alvarez should be safe, Laffey deserves a third start, Romero (hate to say it, but is he hiding an injury - 8 runs each of his last 2 starts, 4 runs each of his 2 before that, just one of his past 10 starts with less than 3 runs allowed), Cecil could easily be dumped too but I'd expect a start or two more first.  They could call him up for the bullpen but then wouldn't he have been called up instead of Carpenter? 

If he comes up who do you send down?  Chavez seems the obvious choice, Richmond and Carpenter are also on the bubble obviously.  Cecil could be sent back to AAA but if so then it is obvious he has no future here.

Hrm.  I hate to say it but I expect to see Romero put on the DL soon as there has to be something wrong there as he is too good to be pitching this bad.  6.87 ERA over his past 10 starts.
China fan - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#259802) #
Adam Lind is batting 5th tonight. Cue the moans and groans from countless fans who fear that he'll be batting clean-up next.

For what it's worth (and it's only 26 PAs), Lind has an OPS of .933 since his return to the majors.
hypobole - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#259803) #
Whether or not Lind should be batting 5th, it's hard to envision even him doing worse than the sub-.600 OPS KJ has put up since the end of May.
Anders - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#259805) #
Whether or not Lind should be batting 5th, it's hard to envision even him doing worse than the sub-.600 OPS KJ has put up since the end of May.

Pretty much no one on the team is hitting other than the first four hitters.

Mike Green - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#259807) #
I have no problem with Lind batting 5th against RHPs.  I do have a problem with him being in the starting line-up against LHPs.  I said it at the start of the season and nothing has changed- against LHPs, he hits a little worse than John McDonald and he plays first base (badly) and he's slower than John McDonald. 
fozzy - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#259808) #
It's unbelievable this team has been at .500 considering how patchwork the pitching has been, and how streaky the hitting has been. Getting Morrow back will be a big, big boost to this team.
China fan - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#259810) #
"....I do have a problem with him being in the starting line-up against LHPs...."

So do the Jays. He's generally sitting for LHPs these days.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#259814) #
So far.  Farrell's comments about Lind's relaxation and improved bat speed lead me to suspect that he will be in the lineup batting 6th or 7th the next time a LHP takes the hill for the opposition. 
Chuck - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#259815) #

So do the Jays. He's generally sitting for LHPs these days.

When Lind starts at 1B (against a RHP) he is rarely lifted when a LH reliever comes in, presumably because Farrell is probably not a great fan of moving Francisco into the outfield and Bautista to 1B. If Lind starts at DH, he's much easier to platoon with Francisco since there is no ensuing domino effect.

So while Lind won't start against LHP, he does stick around to face LH relievers probably more than is ideal. And that is a function of him playing 1B.

Chuck - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#259816) #

It's unbelievable this team has been at .500 considering how patchwork the pitching has been, and how streaky the hitting has been.

I believe they have only played 28 of their their 72 games against the AL East teams so far. That's got to be a factor.

grjas - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#259825) #
While i worry about Adam Lind as much as the next guy, i gotta say i am cheering him to turn it around. He has been as hard on himself as anyone, plays without complaint, went to the minors without a sniffle and worked his butt off. Hmm sounds like EE last year. So here's hoping.

In an era of prima donnas, you have to like his attitude. Hopefully the results will keep coming.
scottt - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#259826) #
Pretty much no one on the team is hitting other than the first four hitters.


It's hard to say that Davis is not hitting.

Hodgie - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#259827) #
It's hard to say that Davis is not hitting.

Exactly. Why, tonight alone he has manufactured two triples....

Anders - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#259828) #
It's hard to say that Davis is not hitting.

Sorry, I meant to say as of late. He's hitting .283/.333/.364 in June/July, which is basically his career mark in 2000 PA, though to be fair that is only slightly below average and hardly disastrous, compared to a couple of other Jays.

scottt - Wednesday, July 04 2012 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#259829) #
Shi Davidi has confirmed that Frasor was nursing some kind of minor injury over the past few days, and that's why he was unavailable until yesterday. I know that some people don't want to be deterred from their memes and prefer to say "Farrell is nuts" and "it's completely unexplainable" but it turns out that there was a fairly simple explanation for why Frasor was not used. The injury report is mentioned here:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/2012/07/03/toronto_blue_jays_edge_kansas_city_royals_brett_cecil/


Wait, Farrel actually goes on record as planning to use Carpenter in the late innings of close games?

92-93 - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 01:50 AM EDT (#259833) #
"The woes of the rotation of late had left several relievers hurting, Jason Frasor among them."

I would have liked some follow up from Davidi on this, maybe quotes from Frasor, Walton, and/or Farrell. There's very little to go on.

I know if I was a manager and a writer asked me in an off-hand way - "Hey, why didn't you go to Frasor in situation X?" and I had realized since that game I made the wrong move I might be looking for some sort of excuse. Saying the reliever is a little gassed would be a good place to start.
John Northey - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 02:24 AM EDT (#259834) #
I was mentioning it might be an injury for Frasor a couple of times - it just made sense - unless you go by Farrell is nuts theory (which I also mentioned ).

The good thing is a couple of nice wins and two of the emergency subs doing well. Lets hope the worst is over.
China fan - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 05:46 AM EDT (#259838) #
".....I would have liked some follow up from Davidi on this, maybe quotes from Frasor, Walton, and/or Farrell...."

But in the next sentence, you imply that Farrell is a liar who was looking for a convenient excuse to cover up his stupidity. So why do you want quotes from Farrell or Walton or anyone else? You've repeatedly implied in your posts that many senior members of Jays management are incompetent liars. To turn around and demand quotes from them is a little hypocritical.

Shi Davidi is one of the most respected members of the Toronto baseball press corps, and he's not in the habit of repeating lies. There are many possible reasons why he didn't include a quote from Farrell or Walton. Like other writers, he gets his information from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. Or there may have been a brief confirmation that didn't warrant a full quote. Or he felt it wasn't important enough to explore at length.

If you look at video of the post-game press conferences, they are often extremely short -- like 2 or 3 minutes -- because the writers are busy filing their stories and meeting their deadlines. They don't have time to ask every one of the dozens of questions that might occur to a fan or blogger. It's not their job to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Jason Frasor is actually injured and not simply forgotten about by an incompetent manager.

The evidence for a minor Frasor injury is pretty strong: 1) he didn't throw a single pitch between June 28 and July 3rd; 2) the bullpen and rotation were in serious difficulty in that stretch, yet Farrell didn't call him into a single game; 3) a respected baseball writer says Frasor was injured. Not sure why you prefer the theory that everyone is lying.
John Northey - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#259842) #
An interesting position by position chart is up at http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/teams_by_positions_ytd.php

Basically it uses colour to help tell how a team is doing at a position.  The Jays have red in LF and CF although both are above 0 for WARP which seems odd as only sub-0's are supposed to be red. 

Jays rank in AL East...
CA: 2nd
1B: 3rd
2B: 2nd
3B: 1st (by a mile)
SS: 3rd
LF: 4th
CF: 4th
RF: 1st (by a mile)
DH: 2nd

Huh.  Different than I thought.  JPA/Mathis are been decent but the rest of the division (outside of Boston) have been worse off.  Not a perfect method of course, but an interesting way to quickly get an idea when you aren't paying close attention to every player on every team.

James W - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#259843) #
No, he said what he would do in that situation. It's a giant leap to go from "If I were in that situation..." to "John Farrell is a liar."
Oceanbound - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#259845) #
Where are those WARP figures coming from? For instance, it pegs Granderson at 1.4 WARP and Rasmus at 0.7 WARP, despite both bWAR and fWAR having Granderson at around 1.4 WAR and Rasmus at 2.3 WAR.
hypobole - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#259847) #
"It's a giant leap to go from "If I were in that situation..." to "John Farrell is a liar.""

Not quite giant if you understand implication.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#259848) #
With a little depth in the rotation and better use in the pen (and these things are interrelated), this club could very well be sitting at 46 wins right now. 
China fan - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#259854) #
If I was Luis Perez, I wouldn't be very happy with the following quote from Farrell today, when he was asked about the decision to promote Sam Dyson:

"Biggest thing we've had a void with Carlos (Villanueva) going to the rotation -- when we're in that seventh inning where we're down a run, that pitcher who has been able to fill that role has been a little bit elusive," he said. "But having the ability to hold a game close when we're down a run -- we've had games that have gotten away from us with some inconsistency out of that pen."

(Of course this comment could be primarily aimed at Cordero, but it also seems to apply to all of the mid-inning relievers.)
scottt - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#259886) #
The pink/yellow in that chart seems there just to slew the results.

EE would be first at either 1B or DH but not if you split his WAR between 2 positions.

Lind is a huge negative. Bautista adds 0.1 to 1B with just 3 PA.

Baltimore has an MVP candidate in CF and replacement value everywhere else.
Their pitching cannot remain that good for much longer.

Mike D - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#259890) #
Francisco Cordero is the very worst oft-used reliever in all of baseball, by any measure. You can't make an honest argument against it.

Today was another one of those games where he won't get the loss or blown save, but his performance just crippled the team's chance of winning.
John Northey - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#259891) #
I think everyone here agrees with the need to let Cordero go at this point. I'd feel safer with almost anyone else over him now. An ERA over 6the at this point is unacceptable. He just doesn't have it.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#259892) #
I would have no trouble with the club moving Cordero to long relief (if he's willing).  Down two in the eighth is not the right situation given how he has pitched. 
BlueJayWay - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#259893) #
Cordero's been even worse this year than I thought he'd be.  And it was obvious he'd be bad.
smcs - Thursday, July 05 2012 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#259894) #
If he is going to go by "Sammy Dyson," I'm not sure how seriously I can take him.
Thomas - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 12:10 AM EDT (#259897) #
...But Mike Wilner told me he'd pitched reasonably okay in a few meaningless games.

I can't see anyone giving the Jays anything of little value for Cordero at this point. AA seems to have a good pulse of the trade market, so maybe I'm wrong on this point, but I can't see even a C prospect as a likely return for Cordero. Furthermore, I'm not at all convinced he's an appreciably better pitcher than Chad Beck or Evan Crawford or Joel Carreno or whomever else the team could add as a 7th reliever at this point.

I'd be okay to move him to the lowest possible leverage situations, as Mike Green suggests, but I'm not convinced he'd be happy with that and Farrell hasn't convinced me he'd not turn right back to Cordero in the late innings after 3 shutout innings in low leverage situations. I'd rather see him released if Farrell won't stop using him or if Cordero wouldn't accept the garbage innings. With Carpenter and Dyson in the bullpen, I don't think that's likely to happen though.
Oceanbound - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#259898) #
You're not going to get anything of value for Cordero, but I wouldn't be surprised to see another team look at his track record and his June ERA and give him a shot. And if he gets released, Coco can get Wilner to write a glowing pamphlet for him.

In the meantime, Farrell said that Cordero's a "stand-up guy". That's nice, though I wish he'd take more of a "sit-down" role in the future.
John Northey - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#259904) #
Cordero stats (please take any children away from the computer before reading)...
In high leverage (1.5 or higher): 57 PA: 333/396/542 - 938 OPS against (Edwin Encarnacion 2012)
In medium leverage: 46 PA: 390/457/585 - 1.042 OPS against (Jose Bautista last year)
In low leverage: 53 PA: 333/396/542 - 938 OPS against

In short, Cordero is identical in high and low leverage and sucks even more in 'average' situations. 

Over the last 28 days: 395/447/674 - 1.121 aka Barry Bonds 1993 (pre-enhancements)
Over the last 14 days: 500/520/792 - 1.312 aka Barry Bonds 2001 (enhanced version)
Over the last 7 days: 750/750/1.333 - 2.083 aka video game stats

I really don't see what he is doing on a ML team at this point.  The average hitter for the past 2 weeks has hit like the best offensive player of all-time at his peak did.  That is absolutely nuts.  He is bad and getting worse.  The average hitter against him hits somewhere between Encarnacion this year and Jose Bautista last year.  Imagine being able to send those two up every time in late innings - that is what the Jays are doing for their opponents by putting Cordero in.  Lately they've been doing the equivalent of letting Barry Bonds hit in every plate appearance for the opposition in late innings by bringing Cordero up.  Think about that.

Among guys with 10+ innings for the Jays only Carreno has a worse OPS against (995 vs Cordero's 969).  Cecil is next at 883, Chavez at 833, Drabek at 811, and Alvarez at 810.  That's it for guys within 160 points of Cordero.  Guys with under 10 IP who aren't pitching here right now who were doing better: Richmond, Mathis (yes, the catcher), Beck.  Luis Perez who isn't brought in when the game is close has a 228/315/322 - 638 line against.

Time to cut the Cord(ero).  Accept the $4.5 million is a sunk cost and move on.  If some other team is nuts enough to take his salary, great but don't keep losing games by letting Barry Bonds at his peak hit for the other team.

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