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Something's got me reeling. Stopped me from believing. Turn me around again?


Mark Buehrle and Jeremy Hellickson go at it for the third time this year.
Game Thread - 7/20 vs Tampa Bay | 69 comments | Create New Account
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scottt - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#276741) #
Something's got me reeling... Lawrie at second base.
Kasi - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#276742) #
So what has AA said in public about how awful all the Starting Pitching aquisitions he made have turned out? Is he still saying they'll turn it around? I'm believing that will happen less and less. (well I think Dickey will be league average, maybe even better next year if he's healthy, but Beurhle is bad and Jojo is Morrow v 2.0)
John Northey - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#276743) #
Well, 8 1/2 back of the 2nd wild card and not doing well today (down 4-1 as I type).  Yeah, time to start selling with an eye to the future as this big push for 2013 flopped and flopped badly.  Dickey, Buehrle, and Johnson were disasters (first two at least on pace for a lot of innings and are decent 4th/5th starters but Johnson isn't even that this year).  Reyes was down with injuries for a long time but at least hit well when healthy (120 OPS+).  Bonifacio = disaster.  Izturis having his worst year since his 2nd season in 2005.  Thole has a negative OPS+ while Blanco was at 44 when dumped.  I mean, how much more could've gone wrong this year with the acquisitions?  Short of one of them injuring his teammates via some bizarre onfield accident (knock on wood).

5 games under.  Just hard to believe when there was such hope at the start and after that 11 game winning streak put the Jays back into it. 

Gerry - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#276744) #
AA has said this team was put together for several years of playoff contention. Are we confident that this same team will be in the playoff hunt next year? If you are doubtful then moves need to be made.
Sano - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#276745) #

Could any of these disasters have been predicted?  As much as we all questioned whether Boni could repeat his one good year and JJ's health, I think what has transpired has truly been an absolutely amazing confluence of ALL the worst possible scenarios.  It truly boggles the mind and makes clear, rational analysis of the situation really difficult.  One is so tempted to think that next year MUST be better, but I don't really know if that's just wishful thinking.

What makes it even more difficult to take is that the Rays and Red Sox offseason acquisitions have all performed (or overperformed).  Why is it that the Rays just continue to find these perfect role-players whereas the Jays are stuck with the Izturises/Kawasakis of the world?

dalimon5 - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#276746) #
It's quite simple really. AA and the Jays took the easy way out. They wanted to build a winner right away, which is possible, but not in one fell swoop of offseason trades. You're not going to outsmart every other team and cherry pick the best players from another team. How did they take the easy way? The went after Johnson, a completely different pitcher after his major surgery - yes he had success last year but not as the dominant, Verlanderesque pitcher he used to be. Secondly, they picked up a questionable Cy Young pitcher in RA Dickey who they were hoping would pitch unlike any other knuckler ever did in the AL East. Reyes and Buerhle are fine...Reyes is great and Buerhle is the price for that (+ giving up prospects).

The best thing AA did was hire Gibby. AA's bullpen philosophy is great but he applies it equally to all other parts of the team which isn't forgiving.

What I would have done is trade for Reyes and Buerhle, skip Johnson since he's only had one decent year as the pitcher he is now post surgery (93 mph heater, etc). I wouldn't have traded for RA Dickey either. I would have traded for a SP who is proven and NOT coming off major surgery, like a James Shield equivalent...not a guy who USED to be that in Johnson. And I would've ponied up the money to sign Greinke.

So you get Greinke, another stud pitcher like Latos/Shields (whomever was being shopped) and Buerle/Reyes. You give up the same prospects.

Contrast what the Jays did with TB. Tampa makes great trades...the Jays could've gotten Wil Myers I'm sure by sending a package of Morrow, Drabek, Janssen. But they don't do those challenge trades because they know there's a good chance it could backfire. Instead they take the safest route and try to "steal" a trade. In reality they're killing themselves.

I would trade Bautista, Janssen, Morrow and hope that Johnson and Dickey can turn it around next year then trade them away. For all the talk of getting high ceiling top athletes I only see AA getting high risk guys who are more likely to fall out that succeed. If you want to get players like that and put them in the minors, great, but having inconsistent players like Morrow, Lawrie, Johnson, Rasmus, Cabrera and Edwin (he's playing great but falls in this category of high risk) crowd the major league team is ridiculous. It's 'experimenting.' There's a reason other teams weren't lining up to trade for Colby, sign Melky, etc etc.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#276747) #
Trade Talk Time.
Outfield: Jose Bautista is a must keep. Colby Rasmus is becoming more consistent and probably will earn a multi-year deal over the 2nd-ish half. I need to see Melky Cabrera play healthy, because right now he has no trade value. Emilio Bonifacio can play multiple position at need, which is where his value is. Rajai Davis is a "game changer" with his speed. He is offensively and defensively adequate. He has strong trade value.

Infield: Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Reyes are must keeps, while it's too early to make a final decision on Brett Lawrie. Adam Lind has regained some trade value, but how much, I'm unsure. I highly doubt either J.P. Arencibia or Josh Thole are moved due to the uncertainty at the Catching position in the system. Maicer Izturis and Mark DeRosa and others have very little to no trade value.

Starters: R.A. Dickey could be really good if totally heathy, but presently is of more value to the Team than in trade, he stays. Josh Johnson has little trade value without a good 2nd half. Ideally, he gets a Qualifying Offer, and either returns for one year or signs somewhere else gaining the Team another early pick (30-35 range). Mark Buehrle has Value and a big contract. I can't see the Team get fair value for him. Esmil Rogers has trade value, but bigger value because he's 1st time arb-eligible this off season and not a free agent until 2017. Ricky Romero, Brznfon Morrow and J.A. Happ have potential value, but until they pitch at the Major level fair judgement is uncertain.

Relievers: Neil Wagner, Juan Perez have negligible value. Casey Janssen has strong value as a Closer. Brett Cecil has LHP late inning value. Steve Delabar has the most value, late inning, possible closer, and not arb-eligible until 2015. That's worth Top Value. Darren Oliver has minor value and will go somewhere. Aaron Loup, Sergio Santos, Luis Perez have questionable value.

Prospects: I don 't know who can or could or should be tradeable, but acquiring a Top Stud Pitcher will be expensive. This is a mandatory acquisition, as soon as possible, and necessary since Doc left.
Kasi - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#276748) #
Well that's our season for you. Bases loaded, no one out and Izturis/Arencibia let us down again.
Magpie - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#276749) #
The best thing AA did was hire Gibby.

That's an interesting opinion. I would have thought that dumping the Vernon Wells contract, and locking up Bautista and Encarnacion at below-market value would trump that. Even if you do give Gibbons bonus credit for how the 2013 team has over-achieved for Gibbons this season... wait a minute...
Magpie - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#276750) #
Bases loaded, no one out and Izturis/Arencibia let us down again.

Don't forget Rasmus, who's left 7 men on base all by himself this afternoon.
Magpie - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#276751) #
the Jays could've gotten Wil Myers I'm sure by sending a package of Morrow, Drabek, Janssen. But they don't do those challenge trades

Well, that doesn't even remotely resemble a challenge trade. But anyway - the Royals were looking for someone to anchor their starting rotation - not a task you'd entrust to Morrow or Drabek - and Tampa offered someone who'd thrown 200 plus innings for six consecutive seasons. Toronto had nothing similar to offer.
Jdog - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#276752) #
Trade deadline candidates: If the Jays make a deal who would you suggest they target? Here is who I am hoping for.

Jesus Montero- Coming off surgery and a horrible start to the year, I'd love the Jays to acquire him to be the DH/1B bat that replaces Lind when they let him walk or trade him at the deadline.

Nick Castellanos: His name has been thrown around and if he can still play 3rd base I would overpay for him if I was A.A.






dalimon5 - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#276753) #
Magpie,

When I speak of the best things AA has done it's implied that I won't be stating the absolute obvious...come on give your head a shake. Should I have spent another 1000 words describing all the other amazing thing that AA has done which ANY gm in the game would have thusly done also (drafting the big three, hiring extra scouts etc etc).

You are a troll. You say that Brandon Morrow, Janssen, Drabek are not a challenge trade for Myers. Look at the facts...Morrow's 21 game season last season was every bit as good as Shields and he isn't an impending free agent like Shields so KC would get more years out of him. You are right, Morrow doesn't have the same track record as James Shields which is why you add pitchers like Janssen and Drabek who by all accounts is a higher ceiling pitcher than Wade Davis. AND that trade proposal I threw out there didn't have the other players that TB got back in the deal.

If you're going to make general comments like "that doesn't even remotely resemble a challenge trade" when the facts point to the obvious then please back it up with facts or prepare to be schooled. Make an argument showing that the Jays have ZERO to offer another team looking for an ace rather than wasting everybody else's time by leaving crusty statements as if you're a know it all. Geeeze.
Sano - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#276754) #

I'm with Magpie on this, there's not a chance that Morrow, Drabek and Janssen compares to Shields and Davis.  Not even Dayton Moore would be foolish enough to take the Jays offer over the Rays. Morrow's never hit 200 IP, Drabek's coming off his second TJ (who cares if he's higher ceiling than Davis) and Janssen is a closer so has limited value.

Now Shields would be a guy I'd put at the very top of my offseason wish list if I was AA.  Stump up the cash Rogers.

Magpie - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#276755) #
You say that Brandon Morrow, Janssen, Drabek are not a challenge trade for Myers.

Because that's not what a challenge trade is. A challenge trade is when you trade your third baseman for somebody else's third baseman, or one of your starting pitchers for somebody else's starting pitcher. The only challenge trade for Myers would be someone like Gose. Or Sierra. In which case you'd kind of be challenging Dayton Moore to demonstrate just how crazy he can be, I suppose. But he's been known to do some strange things...

Anyway, Morrow's got about the same track record as Wade Davis, the other starting pitcher they got along with Shields. Who's actually younger than Morrow. They're pretty much a wash. So if I have to choose James Shields on the one hand or a guy rehabbing his second Tommy John along with a relief pitcher... that's pretty easy. I'd be really smart if I just kept Wil Myers! But the package the Royals did get was simply quite a bit better, and Toronto had nothing to offer that fit Kansas City's specific need.

This team will have to do very well to win 84 games this season - which means that Anthopoulos' best team here will still be his very first one. The team he inherited minus Roy Halladay. And if they don't win at least 90 games in 2014, I think Gibbons and/or Anthopoulos will need to make sure their resumes are up to date. And rightly so.
Parker - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#276756) #
Looks like JaysTalk callers have finally learned how to use the internet.
adrianveidt - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#276757) #
How is a ball team going to win 90 games with no starting pitching and a bunch of bad position players?
Magpie - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#276759) #
Good question.
Ron - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#276761) #
"Failed Prospect" Challenge trade ........ Lawrie for Moustakas, who says no?
TJ Caino - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#276762) #
Should I have spent another 1000 words describing all the other amazing thing that AA has done which ANY gm in the game would have thusly done also (drafting the big three, hiring extra scouts etc etc).

Every other GM had an opportunity to draft one of the big three.

And 'extra scouts' implies hiring more scouts than other GM's would thusly do.
dalimon5 - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#276763) #
At the positions that they were drafted, no they didn't. They drafted players they perceived to be more valuable like any gm would.

Extra scouts doesn't imply that other gm's wouldn't hire the same amount or more if they had the parameters and options that the Jays have. It's widely known that the Jays spend heavily in drafts and scouting since AA took over. Again...cherry picking facts to suit your argument. Look at the full picture.

Mags, you are right. It is not a challenge trade per se but my point still remains that the Jays don't capitalize on opportunities which TB does. TB already has an advantage with their drafting positions and acumen for recognizing and nurturing talent which makes it even more surprising that they are the team that consistently gets back better returns on all of their trades. They don't take "big risks" on players like Delabar or Rasmus...guys with big upside...they just consistently trade off some of their best players and get better ones in return (Garza for Archer, Hak Lee...Huff for Zobrist) and on and on. The Rays are not afraid to trade key pieces away for key pieces to come. The Jays are and rightfully so. It's amazing really how adept TB is at identifying talent on the opposing team to get back in a trade while the most other mlb teams target players that only pan out half the time (jury is still out on Drabek, Gose, Wallace, Darnaud etc).

I'm beginning to suspect that this philosophy of targeting high upside talent is the opposite of the Rays who always ensure they get an average to above average player back at least.
dalimon5 - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#276764) #
While Deck Mcguire is sloshing away in the minors, many of Ricciardi's college picks have done well for themselves. Maybe AA isn't as good with identifying safer pick guys or maybe it just hasn't been long enough to see if his picks have panned out. In any case I want AA to start drinking the water that the management team has out in TBay.
Magpie - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#276765) #
I'm beginning to suspect that this philosophy of targeting high upside talent is the opposite of the Rays who always ensure they get an average to above average player back at least.

Indeed. I think the value of "merely average: is regularly underestimated. Being an average player is to have value. The Jays would be in much better shape if Bonifacio, to name one, was merely average.

And upside is always something nice and shiny to think about, because everyone wants a pony - but I think it's a pretty small proportion of ball players who actually achieve all that upside anyway. And when was the last time this particular franchise developed a young player, brought him to the majors, and saw him continue to develop and grow? Was it the guy being honoured tomorrow?
Mike Green - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#276766) #
Shawn Green.  Orlando Hudson.   Orlando Hudson was not, on the other hand, drafted for his upside in the 63rd round or whenever it was...Aaron Hill achieved his upside in Phoenix.

And yes, there is nothing wrong with having average players at many positions- platoons are great for achieving that.




ncones - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#276767) #
the strange thing with AA's drafting isn't the lack of safe players, it's that outside of the Big 3 - who'd probably be top 15 picks if 2010 was redrafted - the best value picks at their slot have been college guys. For all the noise about drafting high-ceiling risky players, Burns, Pillar, and Nolin have been the best value picks for the Jays under AA.

I still have faith in the high-ceiling, high-risk draft strategy. Other times can get away with drafting a larger quantity of second-division starters. Being in the AL East, the Jays have to swing for the fences, for the Matt Kemps in the 6th round (IIRC), or for nothing.

AWeb - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#276768) #
And when was the last time this particular franchise developed a young player, brought him to the majors, and saw him continue to develop and grow? Was it the guy being honoured tomorrow?

Which leads me to believe that the problem in Toronto is the coaching and organization, through and through. I don't know what they are trying to teach the players, or trying to get them to do, but after the past 10 years, it's either the wrong thing, or they aren't able to communicate it properly.

Toronto last brought up a string of successful young position players that had multiple good seasons in the 1980s? Early 90s? A few exceptions (Halladay, Wells?) since then,but sheesh...
Hinske - RoY, then worse for two solid years. Capable part-timer once he left
Lind - Great in 2009, then worse for three years.
Orlando Hudson - very good, average hitter, left, hit better as defense declined
Rios - run out of town during down year, has been a solid player every other year but 2012.
Russ Adams - Declined in every way at the MLB level. Exactly the type who could have been a decent player, but never managed it.
Aaron Hill - another good second baseman who hits better as soon as he left.
Arencibia - continually worse every year so far.
Not superior prospects all, but young players who peaked quickly and didn't improve (unless it was elsewhere). Health has been an ongoing issue.

The successes lately, Bautista and Encarnacion. Great successes. But Bautista's best years are gone already, and apparently not a widely teachable thing.

And then there was the pitching staff...

Better franchises (Tampa, St. Louis, Boston, Oakland, etc.) don't have better talent, they figure out how to develop and maintain that talent. It's hard not to feel that if Tampa and Toronto switched rosters, the results would simply be the same for each franchise. If next year is more of the same, the entire organization should be turned over, top to bottom. Bad luck that follows teams around usually indicates an actual problem aside from flipping tails 10 times in a row.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#276769) #
Jose Reyes is being everything he was acquired to be. It's possible he returned 3-5 games early, needing more ABs before returning, I can't say for sure. Brett Lawrie had been twice recalled to the Team at least 75-150 ABs too soon, and installed at 2nd Base at least 14-21 games too soon.

Adam Lind has been a nice surprise. Edwin Encarnacion is having another strong season. He was hurt (hand) late on Springb training and was unready to start the season needing another 50-60 ABs. First Base was to be reasonably shared equally between the two, but might not.

Emilio Bonifacio is defensively worse than he should be, is it turf verses grass? Offensively he's severely below his average numbers. Who knew he could be this bad. Mailer Izturis was a Batter's Box well thought of acquisition. After being a problem offensively and defensively earlier this season (April, May), he's much better at both lately. He just isn't a regular Starter at any INF position. Munenori Kawasaki and Mark DeRosa only play when a GM isn't good enough to plan ahead.

J.P.Arencibia lost his Catcher Coach when Gibbons was hired and not replaced. If he's going to be the #1 Catcher, you need him to be as good as he can possibly be, not just ignored. Why was Josh Thole acquired if he's not Dickey's primary Catcher in Spring Training? Acquiring "no-hit" Henry Blanco was a huge mistake and is costing Thole dearly.

Jose Bautista has not been a strong April hitter and was injured after moving to 3rd Base. He's been cold in April, hot on May, cold in June and warming up in July. Colby Rasmus has been a surprise. Looks like he's putting it all together, which is promising for the second half. Has Melky Cabrera ever been totally healthy this season? I don't think so.

Talking about pitching takes too much time and pain. A.A. made a lot of mistakes, mostly in judgement, but no one has had his BAD luck this season. That being said, he knows what this Team must have, at all cost, as soon as possible and more will be discovered as this Team finishes the season. Acquire Top Stud #1Starter, keeping R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle as mid-Rotation pitchers. Brandon Morrow goes. Esmil Rogers and J.A. Happ are 6th and 7th Starter (or are traded). Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison start in Buffalo. Further acquisitions for a #2 Starter and another mid-Rotation Starter will make this team better.

A.A. has to learn to acquire veterans who actually have something left for the Bench. If you are going to spend with the big boys you must think like the big boys.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, July 20 2013 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#276770) #
Better franchises (Tampa, St. Louis, Boston, Oakland, etc.) don't have better talent, they figure out how to develop and maintain that talent. It's hard not to feel that if Tampa and Toronto switched rosters, the results would simply be the same for each franchise. If next year is more of the same, the entire organization should be turned over, top to bottom. Bad luck that follows teams around usually indicates an actual problem aside from flipping tails 10 times in a row.

+1
Magpie - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#276771) #
Acquire Top Stud #1Starter

You really ought to rethink that particular idee fixe. Did you miss the Roy Halladay years? Any list of the ten best starters in baseball this season will certainly include Felix Hernandez, Chris Sale, Matt Harvey, Cliff Lee. They will all be watching the post-season on television, where they may well be joined by Clayton Kershaw, who's merely the best starter in the game.

Meanwhile the top starter for playoff contenders includes such famous heroes as Jeff Locke, Chris Tillman, Justin Masterson, and Bartolo Freaking Colon.
adrianveidt - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 12:39 AM EDT (#276772) #
I'm suspicious of this idea of "developing talent". These guys are drafted as young men. By the time someone is a young man, they have the talent, or they don't. You don't create it where it doesn't exist already. You can be guided and taught and so forth, but either way what you'll end up with is related to the genetics you begin with. I don't think organizations consistently ruin hugely talented players.

And what difference does it make anyway? Let's say the problem is they're drafting players that are good and ruining them. Or let's say they're not drafting good players. Either way, the problem is the front office, and higher than that in the pyramid, it's the owner. The Blue Jays have a terrible owner, like all Toronto sports franchises.
Magpie - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 01:04 AM EDT (#276773) #
I'm suspicious of this idea of "developing talent". These guys are drafted as young men. By the time someone is a young man, they have the talent, or they don't.

Agreed, but what I'm thinking about is helping young men get what there is to get out of their talent. Adam Jones had an OPS+ of 87 in his first full season, which has been followed by 105, 108, 111, and 126. That's what I mean by development. It's growth as a player, it's not something that's guaranteed to happen just because someone has talent.

And it doesn't really happen here, not since Delgado. Maybe Alex Rios was growing, maybe even Travis Snider on a smaller scale (at least until Farrell took over). But generally Blue Jays spin their wheels, if they don't actually go backwards. Occasionally they cough up a completely random good season (Wells, Lind, Hill) but if they do, they instantly revert to form.
Magpie - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 01:14 AM EDT (#276774) #
platoons are great for achieving that.

I'm not sure - really, I'm not sure! - that that's an optimal use of roster resources. I'm inclined to think that setting up a platoon would be worthwhile only if if it was going to give you production that was well above average. You've only got four bench players, and one of them has to catch and one of them has to be able to play shortstop.

Gotta always remember - the seven man bullpen and the five man rotation isn't going anywhere. It just isn't. Believing or thinking or dreaming or wishing otherwise... that's Canute and the waves, I tell ya!
John Northey - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 01:14 AM EDT (#276775) #
While I agree with some of what you say Richard there are disagreements...
  1. DeRosa was signed as a backup - 2B/3B/1B but not a 'wow' guy, just a 1/2 decent one that no GM should hesitate to release should it become needed.  He should be let go soon as his value is dropping fast after a hot start.  FanGraphs now has him at -$1.6 million IE: below replacement level.  If AA keeps him around you can live with it, but batting him cleanup?  What the heck is Gibbons thinking?  He has mainly hit in the 4/5/6/7 slots which is insane.  8/9 is where he should hit but if you play Bonifacio then maybe 7 but no earlier.

  2. Kawasaki did a fantastic job as backup SS.  During his callup for SS he hit 225/337/325 while playing acceptable defense (0.6 UZR/150 - IE: league average).  That OBP and league average defense puts him up as a solid backup, especially at the ML minimum and with options so he can be bounced to Buffalo whenever needed.  FanGraphs puts his value so far this year at $3.1 million - not bad for a guy they got for insurance.

  3. Bonifacio - other than his 2011 season he has been, at best, a backup and at worse a weight on the club.  This year will be his 3rd time as a negative in value based on FanGraphs - he has been worth $3.7 million less than a replacement level player this year.  Ick.  I was hopeful based on spring scouting reports that he was ready to do 2011 again but looking at the stats it seems that was just a scouts dream rather than reality.  It is well past time to say goodbye to him.

  4. I don't think having Blanco here hurt Thole.  I think Thole has been dropping in the majors (he did have a bad year last year) and while he tore up the minors he seems in that neither-world of too good for AAA not good enough for ML action at the moment.  Blanco wasn't a horrid idea, just the Jays got caught up too much in keeping all their options open rather than going with the better player.

Now, when it comes to coaching - oh yeah do I ever agree.  What the heck happened to having a strong catching coach?  He doesn't even need to be on the bench, just there pre-game and post-game to work with JPA and be available in the clubhouse between innings for him.  The two hitting coaches on the team might be causing some confusion but overall the offense has been acceptable.  The pen amazing.  But what the heck happened to the starting staff?  When you could easily imagine 10-20 ERA+ points being on their record and still not being fully happy then you know something serious went wrong.  The challenge is what.   How much is the defense, how much is the pitching coach,  how much is the catcher, how much is just plain old dumb luck?

Speaking of defense... regulars and UZR/150... 100+ Innings to be listed.
+10 or more (ie: very good defense): Rasmus, Bautista (Encarnacion would be at 3B if he had 12 1/3 innings more - go figure).
0 to +9 (ie: above average): Lawrie at 3B, Kawasaki at SS
-0 to -9 (ie: below average): Bonifacio at 2B, Davis in LF, Lind, Cabrera, Encarnacion at 1B
-10 to -20 (ie: very poor): Izturis at 3B, Davis in RF, Reyes
-20 or worse (ie: ugh): Izturis at 2B, Izturis at SS, DeRosa at 3B (-30!!!)

So the more I look the less I think of it the more I see DeRosa as someone the Jays need to get rid of almost as much as Bonifacio.  Checking PA it seems Gibbons likes DeRosa the same every month - PA by month are 38-42-42-24 (roughly projects to 36).  Ah well, he is better than Bonifacio at least (ugh).

Still, for backups you rarely can have great choices.  Generally backups are strong at one or two areas but weak everywhere else.  Normally it is strong on defense/speed weak on hitting or good hitting very poor defense.  The Yankees were using Jayson Nix and , a Jay castoff, and David Adams at 3B (48 OPS+ or slightly worse than Bonifacio) and even wasted 50 PA on Ben FranciscoVernon Wells was a pricey guy they got in the winter (down to 77 for OPS+ now), Ichiro Suzuki has been decent if he was a 4th outfielder but a 95 OPS+ won't get it done in RF everyday.  Still they get breaks and have a winning record.  Go figure - helps when you do have an ace in the rotation (Kuroda has a 152 ERA+).
Sano - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 03:51 AM EDT (#276776) #
More criticism of Dirk and Zaun from JP.

http://www.awfulannouncing.com/2013/july/blue-jays-catcher-j-p-arencibia-lashes-out-at-sportsnet-analysts-pleads-team-president.html

This guy needs to go. He's got a way too inflated picture of his own performance. I don't like the over the top JP bashing, but when he's clearly not able to handle the criticism in a constructive way and talks to Beeston about it? That really comes off wrong.
scottt - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 06:04 AM EDT (#276777) #
Davis is a good example of a platoon bench player.

DeRosa was only meant to play against lefties. He's been used too much, but that is because of injuries.

I don't understand Blanco ever being on the team. The guy is below replacement value with no upside.

The offense is not the problem. Only Houston and Florida have worse starting pitching than Toronto.

It's ironic that a team that seems to draft only pitching prospects seems unable to develop any starting pitchers.
Gerry - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#276778) #
The word from Buffalo is that Melky Cabrera is on his way to Toronto.
Chuck - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#276779) #
You are a troll... prepare to be schooled.

I've been away awhile. The tenor of discourse seems to have taken a turn.
Original Ryan - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#276781) #
I've been away awhile. The tenor of discourse seems to have taken a turn.

I unbookmarked the site in January for that reason. I still lurk around some, but that's it.

Kasi - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#276782) #
I don't think how we've gone and picked up players for cheap to fill in is all that much different from how Tampa has. Remember they have both Escobar and Johnson on their team now. They also got Farnsworth and some other guys who were somewhat head cases too.

I think the main difference between us and them is in a couple areas.

1. Coaching. Gibbons is fine, but he's no Joe Maddon. I think we need to overhaul our pitching staff too, to get more out of our starters.
2. In acquisitions I think the philosophy is mostly similar, but I think AA hasn't prioritized defense well enough, which has hurt us a bit.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#276783) #
I'm not sure - really, I'm not sure! - that that's an optimal use of roster resources. I'm inclined to think that setting up a platoon would be worthwhile only if if it was going to give you production that was well above average. You've only got four bench players, and one of them has to catch and one of them has to be able to play shortstop.

Platoon catchers are one obvious answer.  I thought that Thole had the talent for that.  That may or may not be right- it hasn't been tried.  You can have a platoon at second base, if one of them can play shortstop also.  A Kawasaki-type could be platooned with an offense-first RH second baseman.  Your DH can also be a third/first back-up (Encarnacion would be an example), limiting the demands on the bench.  Tampa has sometimes used complex time- and role- sharing arrangements,often with Ben Zobrist as the lynchpin, to good advantage.

What I do know is that you do not want to give  Bonifacio 400 PAs and Arencibia 500 PAs. 
China fan - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#276786) #
"...I thought that Thole had the talent for that. That may or may not be right- it hasn't been tried...."

Are you suggesting, after his .338 OPS so far this season, that Thole should be getting a bigger share of playing time on the roster, so that we can learn more about him? If the sample size in 2013 is inadequate, what is it about his career numbers that would convince us that he deserves a bigger share of playing time this season? Alternatively, why do you feel that he is still an unknown commodity or a young prospect of great potential who should be "tried" in a bigger platoon role this year?
Gerry - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#276787) #
Melky back. 7 man bullpen back. Wagner sent to Buffalo.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#276788) #
Dirk Hayhurst and Greg Zaun do a good job (you don't have to agree) and part of that job requires analysis. Pitchers (Dirk) and Catchers (Greg) know about other Pitchers and Catchers very well because they have done the job. The whole world knows how good Arencibia truly should be and how bad he actually is. Why doesn't he?

Josh Thole caught 17 (MLB) + 103 (AA) games in 2009 his first year up. In 2010 he caught 73 ( MLB) + 48 (AAA) games. Coming up to stay in 2011, he caught 114 games. Although injured, he still caught 104 games in 2012. He wasn't called up until June 8th as a part-time catcher, having caught little of Dickey in Spring Training. Thole was the # 1 Catcher and Dickey's personal Catcher the last two years. He has Career Numbers: .255 AVG, .326 OBP .325 SLG. He has little power, but that's all Arencibia has. If I send anyone down, I keep Thole.

I always thought J.P. Arencibia was intelligent, now I'm sure he's barely better than the village idiot.

DeRosa's and Kawasaki's playing time came from A.A. not doing a good enough job. Occasionally a Backup has to play 30-90 games as a regular and on a Team going for it, being just above replacement level average is not good enough.
Wildrose - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#276789) #
" You are a troll... prepare to be schooled."

Unfortunately a lot of angry, bitter resentment out there given the course of the season. Hopefully people can better control themselves.
Magpie - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#276790) #
Platoon catchers are one obvious answer.

Indeed they are, but you do have to have two catchers anyway and no matter what happens the one you don't like is still going to start at least 40 games, probably more. The position is always a platoon of some sort - it's just usually a Top Guy vs Second Guy platoon. There aren't all that many LH catchers out there. The ones you do find usually aren't people you really want to be part of a classic platoon arrangement. They tend to be too good for it (Mauer, McCann, Pierzynski, Castro) or not good enough (Kottaras, Montero, Avila).

The 1989 Jays did indeed have a platoon arrangement at 2b with Liriano against RH pitching and the backup shortstop (Lee) against LH pitchers. Liriano didn't really have a platoon split, which may cause one to wonder what was the point; however Lee was quite a bit better than Liriano against LH and quite a bit worse against RH. It's weird that both guys were switch-hitters.

But it's very tricky to make the available resources line up as neatly as required. The easiest way is probably an arrangement like Johnson-Catalanotto at a corner outfield spot. Which will work best if your nominal starter is a LH batter who needs to be platooned and your fourth OF is a RH hitter.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#276793) #
Are you suggesting, after his .338 OPS so far this season, that Thole should be getting a bigger share of playing time on the roster, so that we can learn more about him? If the sample size in 2013 is inadequate, what is it about his career numbers that would convince us that he deserves a bigger share of playing time this season? Alternatively, why do you feel that he is still an unknown commodity or a young prospect of great potential who should be "tried" in a bigger platoon role this year?

It has been a pretty terrible 44 PAs, playing once every five days.  If Arencibia was an average catcher, I'd say that Thole ought to stay in the role he is in.  But he's not.  He is a classic platoon player.  Thole showed enough in the rest of his career prior to 2013 and in Buffalo over 160 PAs that I'd give him at least half the catcher's job to see what he can do. 
adrianveidt - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#276796) #
Magpie, I can believe almost anything about this rotten excuse for an owner, but are experienced, intelligent professionals like Beeston and Godfrey unaware of this developmental problem?

And my goodness, what a problem it is. The organization can get players as far as Toronto, but then cannot coach them beyond that point? That is really mind-boggling incompetence.

You offered one example of a player who has done better each major league season, but that's not proof the Jays aren't trying to do the same thing with their players. You offered examples of Jays players who haven't improved. Why couldn't they just not be talented enough to improve? Maybe they were overrated. That's certainly my suspicion, given that there's so much discussion around here about "prospects", when most of them will not even get as far as the majors.
AWeb - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#276805) #
You offered one example of a player who has done better each major league season, but that's not proof the Jays aren't trying to do the same thing with their players. You offered examples of Jays players who haven't improved. Why couldn't they just not be talented enough to improve?

Of course the Jays are trying to do the same thing, they just aren't succeeding lately. Players are "supposed" to get better through the peak years, but in Toronto, they haven't been. It might be bad luck, but it's been consistent bad luck. The alternative, that the Jays players, throughout the entire organization, just aren't talented enough (in a sport where teams draft 50 players a year and sign multiple free agents), is far more damning to the organization.  Frankly, if you are talented enough to be a capable 22- 24 year old MLB player (and Toronto has had lots of decent seasons from players in this range in the past decade), you are talented enough to improve, like most players do on aggregate. Or, again, Toronto is somehow identifying players that peak earlier and lower than most franchises, which is ridiculous. Development matters, and you can see it at the organization level. Obviously any particular player could be explained, but patterns emerge from the noise...

The longest playoff-less streaks are Pittsburgh, KC, and Toronto. Toronto has been run better than those two in the past 20 years, but I think it might be time to bottom out. Again, I'm willing to hope 2014 will be better with this crew, but another year of the same results, and they should just flush out everything. I'm obviously annoyed at the team right now, making another baseball season difficult to watch. And sick of watching promising players crap out.
John Northey - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#276812) #
Wow, what the heck has happened to JPA?  To keep going on about broadcasters instead of focusing on your job is just sad.  If he can't handle what they say then he needs to turn off the TV and just focus on playing well.  He has played better in July than overall (701 OPS) but his June was a horrid mess (175/230/313) as was his May (208/232/375).  Now, if he was a star ala Reyes or Encarnacion or Bautista then he could get away with this attitude.  But when he plays like he has all he does is make the Jays regret trading d'Arnaud (even if d'Arnaud hasn't played since April 17th).  If I was the manager I'd be very, very tempted to bench JPA for a few games in a row and just let Thole start unless a LHP is out there.  Put him into a platoon and see how long it takes to get him to figure out that the media isn't his issue - he is his own issue.

CeeBee - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#276813) #
I can't get to the link provided. Seems to have been removed so I'm wondering if there's something fishy going on. There don't appear to be any other references to a recent JP vent that I can find either. I think sometimes one has to be rather wary of stuff on the www.
Parker - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#276815) #

It's still there.  Do a Google search for "arencibia beeston" and it's the top result.

Whether it's legit or not is another story, but the story is definitely still there.

CeeBee - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#276817) #
weird.... last time it gave me a 404 error but this time it loaded. If true, as it appears then JP is doing most of us a favor cause he's probably hastening his departure out of town.
Parker - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#276819) #
Yeah, I was wondering about this myself.  After the last bout of whining, you'd think someone from the team would've straightened him out.  Now that he's done it again, one wonders if he really is that dumb or if he's doing it on purpose la Shea "this ship is sinking" Hillenbrand. There are some eerie similarities to the two: both are/were shameless self-promoters, and neither one can/could draw a walk to save his life.
Eephus - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#276825) #
There are some eerie similarities to the two [Hillenbrand and Arencibia]: both are/were shameless self-promoters, and neither one can/could draw a walk to save his life.

At least Shea Hillenbrand could back it up (.294 avg, 108 OPS+) as a Blue Jay. The same can hardly be said about J.P.
Ryan Day - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#276827) #
You can't blame JP for getting confused. If he's spent any time listening to Buck & Tabler, he might assume team broadcasters are merely fan club members who won a contest.

(That's a cheap shot, I admit, because I do think Buck is a good broadcaster. But JP could sail a pickoff throw into centre field, and Tabler would compliment him on his arm strength.)
China fan - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#276830) #
"....He is a classic platoon player. Thole showed enough in the rest of his career prior to 2013 and in Buffalo over 160 PAs that I'd give him at least half the catcher's job to see what he can do...."

Mike, I accept your point that the Jays could do better at the catcher position, but why do you think Thole is the answer? You keep repeating your opinion, but you don't actually give data to support it. Thole's career OPS is 50 points below Arencibia's OPS. His career splits don't show that he is better against RHP than Arencibia. If the Jays want to improve the offense from their catcher, why should they give half of the at-bats to a catcher who is demonstrably worse than their current guy? Why not look elsewhere instead? I don't see any statistical evidence to support your faith in Thole. Shouldn't you acknowledge that your opinion is based on a hunch or intuition, rather than data?
Ryan Day - Sunday, July 21 2013 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#276831) #
Thole's career OPS is 50 points below Arencibia's OPS.

This omits the fact that Thole's career OBP is 57 points higher than JP's. 57!

His career splits don't show that he is better against RHP than Arencibia.

Over their careers, Thole's OBP vs. RHP is 77 points higher.

It's great that JP can hit a home run now and then, but that makes up about 99% of his value. He has the worst qualified OBP in MLB this year. In his 3 years as a regular, it has got worse every year, and it didn't start out very high.

I don't think anyone is suggesting Thole is an all-star, or that he should be signed to a 5-year deal. But JPA is like a less-patient version of John Buck without the defence, so it's not like it takes a lot to improve on it.
China fan - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 02:16 AM EDT (#276835) #
OPS is explicitly designed to take account of both OBP and SLG. Obviously it does not do so perfectly. But to imply that OBP is a superior metric to OPS is rather odd. You're suggesting that we can ignore one-half of the OPS metric and focus on whichever half is favorable to our argument. To dismiss the other half as "the odd home run" is illogical. You can't cherry-pick the narrow metric and ignore the broader metric. Otherwise we could argue that Kawasaki is a superior hitter to JPA. Or alternatively we could claim that SLG is more important than OPS. Either would be permissible if we cherry-pick a narrow metric.
Richard S.S. - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 05:28 AM EDT (#276837) #
Arencibia has Power, much, much more than Thole. While in SLG Arencibia exceeds, in every other needed catching ability including AVG and OBP Thole does better. It's easier starting the season in a new League. By now, personal numbers should be reaching norms. Missing April and May means the adjustment is still ongoing. What's Arencibia's excuse.

OBS or OPS or whatever it's called is fine if apples to apples and oranges to oranges are compared. Comparing a poor hit, poor walk, big HR hitter to a good hitter, decent walk and small power is unbalanced.

Career stat for career stat, offensively or defensively , Thole is better than Arencibia, but he's a career NL hitter. Thole hardly ever plays,16 games (41ABs) in June and July, but he's a good catcher. Arencibia, on the other hand should be as good as Posey.
AWeb - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 08:05 AM EDT (#276841) #

There are stats that take the OBP/SLG into account. WRC+ (win runs created) does this, higher is better, and Arencibia is at 79 this year, 85 career. Thole is at 23 this year, 82 career. Basically, a  .330/.330 hitter is just as good as a .270/.430 hitter, OPS difference be damned.

HRs are good, and thankfully Arencibia hits them, otherwise he's obviously unplayable. Arguing over who deserves more playing, the bad hitter with bad defense, or the other bad hitter with average defense, only shows how terrible this season is. Next in the series of depressing arguments  - Davis vs. Cabrera - which below average RF should the Jays be playing more?

Then it's onto the really depressing argument - who has been the best starting pitcher for the Jays this year? OK, I guess that's Rogers (that's a pretty depressing answer) Second best?

 

Chuck - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#276843) #
Arencibia, on the other hand should be as good as Posey.

???
Mike Green - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#276844) #
Thank you, Ryan and Aweb. 

I saw enough from Thole in Buffalo that I actually think he has a chance to be a perfectly fine platoon player of the Ernie Whitt type.  He has gotten stronger than he was 2 years ago.  I think that the odds that he hits with medium range pop are better than the odds that Arencibia develops sufficient plate discipline to be an average everyday catcher.  That is purely a subjective opinion, I will grant you. 

I understand sticking with a regular who has played well for you in the past (like an Aaron HIll 2 or 3 year ago), but Arencibia has never played well at the major league level.  If the club doesn't want to give Thole a chance and doesn't want to get rid of Arencibia entirely, then they ought to be acquiring a LH catcher. 

John Northey - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#276846) #
JPA is an odd bird.  The Jays seem to like him a lot (as seen by his playing 4 out of 5 days, and before even more) even though every measure seems to say he is weak defensively and his offense leaves a lot to be desired.  As a backup he'd be acceptable but not as an everyday catcher, let along a heavily used regular.  He is currently #5 in innings caught in the majors (strangely John Buck is #4).  Despite catching Dickey just the one time (I think) he leads the majors in passed balls and is 4th in wild pitches while catching.  His 34-11 SB-CS is nothing to brag about either.

He seems to work hard at being the best he can be as a catcher - I've read stuff about his strong work habits in the past.  But he just doesn't seem to be getting anywhere with that work.  If another team asks for him as part of a trade I'd not hesitate to include him but the Jays would then be a bit short on catchers as after Thole you are down to very weak hitting catchers in the system until the next prospect is ready (probably 2015).  FYI: Blanco has improved in Seattle - he now has a 57 OPS+ vs the 44 he had here...OK, while 13 points is nice he still sucks.

92-93 - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#276847) #
"Otherwise we could argue that Kawasaki is a superior hitter to JPA."

If my team needs a hit to win the game or a quality AB to extend the 9th inning I want Kawasaki up ahead of Arencibia.
CeeBee - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#276848) #
The problem with Arencibia its all or nothing and it's more often than not, nothing. Is the fact that strikeouts usually are not double plays much of a bonus?
Mike Green - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#276851) #
It depends.  A ground ball from Bautista in the 9th yesterday would have been a lot better than chasing a fastball way out of the strike zone up. 
Mike Green - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#276852) #
2 runs down, nobody on base, 2 outs bottom of the ninth.  I want Kawasaki not Arencibia.  More importantly, one run down, leading off the bottom of the ninth, I want Kawasaki.

2 runs down, runner on first, 2 outs bottom of the ninth.  I want Arencibia not Kawasaki. 

Magpie - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#276859) #
If he's spent any time listening to Buck & Tabler, he might assume team broadcasters are merely fan club members who won a contest.

That is exactly how players regard the local broadcasters. They're part of the team, and expected to behave as such. Martinez and Tabler are also entitled to professional respect because they actually played the game.
bpoz - Monday, July 22 2013 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#276864) #
I too think this team will not make the playoffs this year. So I am considering what Gerry is asking. Basically how confident are we/I that this team will be in the playoff hunt next year.

IMO J Reyes is a V good offensive player. But his injury hurt. Also IMO Lawrie can be a good player. But he must actually do it. So hopefully in 2014 those 2, EE & Bautista stay healthy and produce well/as capable. Rasmus & JPA 25-30 HR with 80+ RBI I think is good. A healthy Lind can do 25 HR 80+ RBI with 500PA IMO. So I think the offense can be OK for contention.

If I understand the Bauxites correctly, our defense is poor. I do not know what to do about that, so I will not worry. Maybe better SP will somehow solve this.

Great pen.

Our SP has been bad. But in 2014 we get back a lot of injured pitchers. Depending on how the injuries go in 2014 we should be deep. L Perez is another bullpen arm. Most Bauxites know the long list which should include Nolin & Stilson in 2014. Maybe right out of ST.

This is where the management/coaching staff have to select the best players for the team. This can be very difficult. Sometimes injuries will make the choice for you. Zep got injured in 2010 ST and so lost his chance at the rotation. Cecil was called up after the season started because of another injury, not sure who.

In 2010 Eveland, 2011 JoJo were in the rotation as "hope to get lucky long shots". I am glad we did not do that in 2012 & 2013.

Veteran SPs like Buehrle & Dickey automatically make the team because ST is just a "get ready" time. J Johnson & B Morrow if still Jays also get automatically on. That is 4 SP, but we will need about 7. Does E Rogers have to fight for a spot or do the more experienced Romero & Happ get some kind of preference. Both Romero & Happ will complain if left off the team, but a more worthy (to be determined) Rogers can be sent to the pen. That way nobody has to feel bad.

If Nolin & Hutch are putting up zeros in Buffalo in April, will they have to stay there. They have options to burn.

Since I have seen Nolin & Hutch dominate in the minors in the past, I expect it to continue. I am watching the Jay's staff struggle so to see this next year would not be totally unexpected.
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