Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
This is your big debut, it's like a dream come true.

Chris Tillman (3-2, 3.52) starts game two of this series for Baltimore. Lefthander Sean Nolin hopes to have this one pegged for the win column for the Blue Jays in his inaugural appearance on a major league mound. First pitch is at 7:07 pm ET on Sportsnet 1.

Nolin was rated the #19 prospect in the Jays farm system by Baseball America. The 6-foot-5 hurler throws a four-seam fastball anywhere from 8894 miles per hour, settling around 90-91. He also throws a two-seamer in the high 80s. His best secondary pitch is said to be his changeup and he throws a curve in the mid-70s and a slider. He is projected to be a back-end of the rotation hurler. Marc Hulet shares his observations of Nolin on FanGraphs.

Nolin will be wearing Edgar Gonzalez's old #35, not #71 as earlier reported. That leaves Domingo Cedeno as the only Jays player in the 70s club. The infielder wore #70 during the 1993 campaign. Baseball-Reference is a wonderful thing!

To make room for Nolin, lefty Darren Oliver has been placed on the 15-day Disabled List and fellow southpaw J.A. Happ goes on the 60-day DL. This means a stay of execution for "Razor" Ramon Ortiz, who will now go to the bullpen.

In other news, The Baltimore Sun has a story on the idiot fan at the Dome after Nate McLouth's controversial catch in the left-field corner seats. Sports Illustrated also weighs in with video.

Random thought...

Toronto Raptors play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin pinch-hit for Buck Martinez behind the mic last night. He reminded me of Chip Caray. According to his tweet yesterday @MattDevlinRaps, he will be calling the action for the rest of the homestand.

@BlueJays: Tonight's @BlueJays lineup: Cabrera-LF Bautista-RF Encarnacion-1B Lind-DH Arencibia-C Lawrie-3B Rasmus-CF Bonifacio-2B Kawasaki-SS.
Game Thread 5/24 vs. Baltimore | 43 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
92-93 - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#272661) #
Since May 12:

Emilio Bonifacio - .321/.333/.464
Jim Negrych - .263/.333/.342

I've been encouraged by what we've seen from Emilio of late. He's looking more comfortable in the field, which is really important to this team's defense.
Mike Green - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#272664) #
Selective end points.  Bonifacio went 3-4 on May 12 and 2-4 on May 14, and since then is 4-20 with no extra base hits, one walk and 3 strikeouts consistent with his horrible year-long performance.  He does look better in the field than previously, but it is pretty clear that he is going to have to walk more than once a week to be a serviceable player.   He has done it before in his career, but for some reason, his plate discipline has gone AWOL this year. 
Chuck - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#272666) #
This is your big debut, it's like a dream come true.

If Nolin smiles for the camera, are we going to love it?
Dave Till - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#272668) #
If Nolin smiles for the camera, are we going to love it?

If I'd wanted a Peg board, I would have gone to Home Depot. :-) :-)

Some rambles:

At this point, I'm grateful that the Jays still have a chance at a meaningful season. On May 4, they were 10-21, having just gotten bombed by the Seattle Mariners, and were about to play the following fun schedule dates:
  • Tampa away for 4
  • Boston away for 3
  • San Fran at home for 2 (a brief respite against the defending World Champs)
  • New York away for 2
Given their past history in all three road parks, they could quite easily have gone 3-8 in that stretch, putting them at 14-29 (counting the last Seattle win before the road trip from Hell). Instead, they went 6-5, and have won 3 of their last 4 since then. Their 7-3 record in the last 10 games is the best record in the last 10 games in the AL (no, really). All this despite losing two starting pitchers.

I mentioned this before, but the Jays have played more games against the AL East than their division rivals:
  • Toronto 29
  • Tampa Bay 25
  • Baltimore 22
  • Boston 21
  • New York 21
You will note that this is the current AL East standings, in reverse order. And the Jays have three more games against Baltimore before earning a respite and playing... the NL East leading Atlanta Braves. Who created this schedule, anyway?

I find that I am impressed with John Gibbons' managerial decisions. He seems willing to be a bit creative with his lineup - for example, his experiment of just moving everybody up one spot in the order instead of trying to find somebody to bat leadoff appears to be working out okay. He's used his bench more in seven weeks than Farrell did during his entire tenure. And he's gotten actual production out of Adam Lind. I think AA made the right decision when he brought Gibby back.
hypobole - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#272676) #
"Nolin was rated the #19 prospect in the Jays farm system by Baseball America."

I don't know if anyone else feels as I do, but as time goes on, I'm having less and less respect for BA's rankings.

With Law, the 1st thing I imagine he does is look at a player, live or on video.

With Sickels the 1st is look at his numbers.

With BA the 1st is look at what round he was drafted.
Mike Green - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#272677) #
Nolin was #11 on BB's post-season list (which included d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, Marisnick and Nicolino).  The most reliable evaluators, in my view, integrate varying pieces of subjective and objective information (including in no particular order actual observation, statistics, views of scouts, draft position, age).  BA, Law and Sickels all do to some degree, but with different weighting.  Claims that any one evaluator is superior to the rest ought to be treated with a large grain of salt. 
uglyone - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#272678) #
"I find that I am impressed with John Gibbons' managerial decisions. He seems willing to be a bit creative with his lineup - for example, his experiment of just moving everybody up one spot in the order instead of trying to find somebody to bat leadoff appears to be working out okay. He's used his bench more in seven weeks than Farrell did during his entire tenure. And he's gotten actual production out of Adam Lind. I think AA made the right decision when he brought Gibby back."

I liked the hire myself.

It's not his fault that all his star players have played like crap this year. The production Gibbons has helped get out of his lesser players - bottom of his order, bench, and bullpen - by using smart situational managing based on valid splits should not go unnoticed.

heck, even as much as I hate the idea of carrying 8 arms, and giving up in games....I still have to give gibby some credit for letting his callup bullpen arms (ortiz, gonzalez, bush, etc. etc.) soak up so many useless innings, instead of ruining the good arms in his 'pen early on, which could have easily happened given how bad the starters were.
uglyone - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#272679) #
for the record on Nolin, I was high on him last year, and in my personal super-amateur rankings, had him around about the same place as guys like Nicolino in the backend of the top-10. Nolin seems to me to be a guy who slipped through the cracks a bit, but his increase in velocity since draft day is legit and no surprise given his size, and his numbers have simple been very, very good.
hypobole - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#272680) #
"Claims that any one evaluator is superior to the rest ought to be treated with a large grain of salt."

If talking to people is evaluation, BA guys are evaluators. But they don't, to the best of my knowledge, have any scouting skills. They do talk to a lot of people with scouting skills. I've noticed they've been late catching the helium guys and late lowering expectations of high picks that regress. Maybe it's just me.
boz - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#272681) #
Nice job by Matt Devlin,if you play the drinking game every time Buck laughs at his own bon mots your down and out by the end of six.
Eephus - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#272682) #
Well that went well.

Alex Anthopoulos does a lot of things superbly but bringing up young starting pitchers is not one of them. I sure hope when his time comes that Aaron Sanchez sees AAA before the big leagues.
smcs - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#272683) #
Sean Nolin ties Mike Darr and Jeff Ware for shortest debut by a starter for the Jays. Mike Darr never made a 2nd start.
sam - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#272684) #
You see, that's what a good catcher can do--kill rallies.  It's what JP Arencibia does not do and Matt Wieters does.  At the end of the year, some people might just say that Arencibia and Wieters are comparable, but Wieters will have "won" games with plays like that whereas Arencibia will not. 
Mike Green - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#272685) #
Baltimore has 3 3s.  Poker or Yahtzee?
greenfrog - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#272686) #
It's too bad the Jays let Carlos V walk. He would be a useful player to have on the roster this year.
eudaimon - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#272687) #
What the hell kind of strike zone is this?
AWeb - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#272688) #
Lawrie and Gibbons thrown out of the game extremely quickly. Pathetic umpiring. Awful.
Mike D - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#272689) #
That is about the most unprofessional umpiring sequence I've seen.

Don't like a player? Screw him over. Don't provoke the reaction you're spoiling for? Eject him anyway!
christaylor - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#272690) #
http://www.brooksbaseball.net/umpire_cards/ump_cards.php?umpire=52

Ugh.
Alex Obal - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#272691) #
I thought Nolin looked okay. Both Machado's and Hardy's hits in the first came on curveballs below the knees (though down the middle). That's tough. Nolin responded pretty well in the first, but eventually the hits just became too much...

Dan Bellino looked less okay, obviously.
greenfrog - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#272692) #
There was at least one dubious call on him (the high curve especially), but Lawrie probably deserved to be tossed, in my view. Actions can speak as loudly as words, and the message behind Lawrie's gestures, culminating in the batting glove toss, was pretty clear.
AWeb - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#272693) #
Actions can speak as loudly as words, and the message behind Lawrie's gestures, culminating in the batting glove toss, was pretty clear.

Heavens to Betsy, not a couple of tossed gloves after a couple of borderline strike calls, to end an inning as he gets his fielding stuff from the batboy! That barely happens 2-3 times a game. Not much wonder the ump had no choice but to run him. A player was unhappy after striking out. Bring on the robot players that won't react to things happening in the game, to protect the poor umpires. I was expecting a big reaction from Lawrie, and he didn't give one. As mentioned above, why not throw him out anyway.

And Gibbons was tossed in about 2 seconds.

Nice slap bunt by Bonifacio. That is the first time this year I have used "nice" and "Bonifacio" in a thought.
Gerry - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#272694) #
As I said yesterday it looks like Nolin was called up too early. I don't think it will do him much harm but he didn't pitch well.

What we don't know is if he was nervous and that impacted his pitching but he was up in the zone and too much in the middle of the plate. His command was not good.
greenfrog - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#272695) #
Zaunie says he doesn't blame Lawrie for reacting, but he can't blame the ump for tossing Lawrie either. Sounds about right.
Mike D - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#272696) #
I disagree with Zaun (and Greenfrog). It's unfair to eject a player who is deliberately showing restraint. Players discard their equipment after making the third out all the time.
robertdudek - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#272697) #
If the same standards used to eject Lawrie were applied across the major leagues, Derek Jeter would have averaged 30 ejections a year.
greenfrog - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#272698) #
It was a funny sequence. I agree that Lawrie was showing (or attempting to show) restraint. It is quite possible that there was no conscious intent to show contempt towards the ump. He might just have been flinging his gloves away in frustration/annoyance.

On the other hand, the long rearward glove toss, landing at the ump's feet, after the equipment violation, arguably *looked* like an attempt to show the ump up. Just as Lawrie may had no intent, the ump can only go on the words said or gestures made. Lawrie could have thrown his gloves in any direction, but he threw them a long way, and directly back at the ump.
Mike Green - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#272699) #
Much improved behaviour from Lawrie, and if you are going to get tossed over bupkes, tonight was a good time to do it.
Magpie - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#272700) #
he threw them a long way, and directly back at the ump

Or directly back at his bat and helmet. If I was going to be bothered by anything, it would have been bouncing the helmet off the turf. But that was sill pretty mellow, for Brett.
greenfrog - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#272701) #
If I were an ump and a player tossed equipment in my direction, even batting gloves, I would eject him. Don't like it? Don't throw gear at umps, especially when you were suspended for doing it only a year ago.
Gerry - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#272702) #
And the Sean Nolin era is over, for now. He is on his way out of town back to New Hampshire. A corresponding move will come soon when the Jays can locate a warm body.
Magpie - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#272703) #
It's possible that the "t" on my ancient, ancient keyboard is beginning to fail. It's beginning to generate some interesting typos, unless I give it a pretty decent whack. I have grimly resisted all these modern keyboards, with their bizarre and confusing rearrangement of the HOME-END key area. I may finally have to submit....
hypobole - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#272704) #
In yesterdays game thread I opined we have some ignorant fans, regarding balls in play. Today, Derosa reaches into the stands to catch a foul and a touque goes flying in his direction. Some of our fans aren't just ignorant, they are downright stupid.
Richard S.S. - Friday, May 24 2013 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#272705) #
With just halfways' decent pitching this is a win.

There were runners on in every inning: 1st: runner on first, no one out - nothing. 2nd: runner on first, no one out - CS and two more outs. 3rd: runners on first and third, 1 out - nothing. 4th: runner on first, 1 out - nothing. 5th: runners on first and second, no one out - DP and second of three Ks for Arencibia in an 0 for 5 night. 6th: runners on first and third, 2 outs - nothing. 7th: runner on first, 2 out - nothing. 8th: Runner on first, no one out - DP and third out. 9th: runners on second, 1 out - nothing. (Check the summary on Gameday - MLB App.).

With more selective hitting even this could have easily been won.

There should be no way Lawrie gets thrown out hitting .190, he needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.
John Northey - Saturday, May 25 2013 @ 12:50 AM EDT (#272706) #
Sean Nolan being sent down after that disaster makes sense. Someone who can eat innings is likely who will be called up.

Was this worthwhile calling him up? You now have one less 40 man slot for the year, and a kid who just got his butt handed back to him big time.

Pluses? I suspect with the amazing success he has seen in AA so far, 1.19 ERA over 6 starts, that he was at the point where he probably wouldn't listen to anyone and just keep doing what he was doing - understandably so. The Jays needed to get him a butt kicking to see that he isn't ready, or to get him up here if he was ready. So either outcome would've been positive and, sadly, the butt kicking was the end result. Now we see if he learns from it and builds up for another call up later, or if he is defeated by it and drops down a bit.
Magpie - Saturday, May 25 2013 @ 01:59 AM EDT (#272707) #
he needs to learn to keep his mouth shut

Well, he did keep his mouth shut.
Oceanbound - Saturday, May 25 2013 @ 04:21 AM EDT (#272708) #
John Lott @LottOnBaseball 5h
Umpires' crew chief Wally Bell said Lawrie was ejected for violating baseball "etiquette" by tossing his gloves "in a bad manner."

Remember kids, always say "please", never argue balls and strikes, and when you're punched out by the exuberant old man behind the plate (no, not Henry Blanco), hand over your gloves to your butler in an orderly fashion
Mike Green - Saturday, May 25 2013 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#272709) #
I don't see any plusses to the Nolin call-up, in retrospect.  The club took a gamble that a bona fide prospect, who needed more time in the high minors, could actually help them now and it didn't work out.  Obviously, Nolin can overcome this, but it isn't what you want to do from an optimal development perspective.
John Northey - Saturday, May 25 2013 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#272710) #
Nolin was slaughtering AA in his time there so far. An ERA nearly as low as Bob Gibson's best says that even if only over 6 starts after a 2.19 in A+. Those are video game numbers.

Now, I think they should've sent him to AAA at this point instead of back to AA as he clearly needs more of a challenge than AA is presenting, but the majors are not his place yet.

His last home run given up before yesterday was June 11th, 2012. His last game allowing more than 3 runs was was April 17th 2012. More than 2 earned runs was May 31st 2012. 6 runs like last night? May 29th 2011 when he was in the Midwest League.

This is a kid who hasn't faced a real challenge in over a year. Everything he has seen has been quick and clean. He needed a push to show him what he needed to do or to find out if he is ready already. There were worse choices the Jays could've made and I have trouble blasting them too much given where Nolin is in his development. If he never gets back due to a Romero effect then clearly he wasn't built to survive up here anyways.
hypobole - Saturday, May 25 2013 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#272711) #
"he was at the point where he probably wouldn't listen to anyone and just keep doing what he was doing"

I have to disagree with this - I believe it's the opposite. First, I can't see the Jays punting a game just to teach some prospect a lesson. I have to think Nolin has been listening, working hard, having success and the Jays thought he was worthy of a shot. He was mostly unlucky rather than bad in the 1st.

However the 2nd brought to the fore Mikes point about rushing him. He's had success, but he hadn't experienced any recent failure. How does he respond when most everything he throws, good or bad, is falling in, finding holes or leaving the yard?
John Northey - Saturday, May 25 2013 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#272712) #
Might not have said it best there... there were two outcomes the Jays were looking for...

1) Nolin is ready (an ERA sub 1.20 in AA suggests that) and has nothing else to learn in the minors

2) Nolin isn't ready but needs to find what he needs to learn or will just keep pounding the crap out of AA hitters (and soon AAA) without knowing what adjustments are needed to succeed in the majors thus wasting time unless he sees how ML hitters react.

Now, I suspect the Jays thought he'd give them 5 innings and maybe allow 3 or 4 runs. Basically what you'd expect out of Ortiz but a good learning experience for a kid who might be a part of the Jays future rather than give those innings to a guy over 40 who won't be here next year (or maybe not here by next week). It wasn't a write off the game to teach him, but a take a chance and if it doesn't work at least the kid will learn something vs having an old guy eat a few innings (and he was there to eat a few and didn't do that well either).

I basically see it as a situation where the Jays figured either risk a horrid outing from Ortiz or see if the kid has 'it' already with a horrid outing being the risk again.
TamRa - Saturday, May 25 2013 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#272713) #
my only complaint is that we don't know how much of this setback was due to him being too wired in his debut. I would have prefered he get at least one more start to mitigate that factor, even if I told him up front "we only need one more from you" so he doesn't get any negative perception about being sent down OR put too much pressure on himself to get better in the second start.
Thomas - Saturday, May 25 2013 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#272714) #
I opposed this call up when it was rumoured and I don't see the benefit now. I don't think this carries the same downside as rushing Romero back, but I'm just not sure that any reasonable expected gain from Nolin's performance would be meaningful enough to assist the team's quickly fading hopes of contention came close to outweighing the potential downside of pushing a prospect to the majors too soon and detrimentally impacting his development.
Game Thread 5/24 vs. Baltimore | 43 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.