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Jays play in Seattle at 10:10 PM, Dickey vs Iwakuma (2.76 ERA 131 ERA+, 1.3 HR/9 1.4 BB/9, 8.0 K/9).  A few other things happened in MLB today too that you might have heard of, and by the time the Jays play we'll have seen the A-Rod circus go into overdrive while the others suspended are forgotten.

Via MLB - The players who were handed 50-game suspensions that effectively end their regular seasons include Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo and recently demoted Mets utilityman Jordany Valdespin. Minor Leaguers Fernando Martinez, Jordan Norberto, Fautino de los Santos, Cesar Puello and Sergio Escalona were also suspended.

Game Thread 8/5 in Seattle | 56 comments | Create New Account
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John Northey - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#277633) #
Forgot to add who is available in the pen tonight...
2+ days of rest: Loup, Oliver, Perez, Santos
1 day of rest: Lincoln (but 38 pitches so not really available)
0 days of rest:
Cecil* (just 9 pitches), Janssen (10 pitches), Wagner (20 pitches)

So all but Lincoln and Wagner are available (Cecil & Janssen didn't pitch the 3 games before so should be in good shape).  Hopefully not all will be needed.
John Northey - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#277634) #
One more thought... Jays are 1 game ahead of the Phillies, 1/2 a game behind the Angels and 1 1/2 ahead of the Giants in the battle for 'biggest waste of money in 2013'.  Yankees are ahead of the Jays by 6 1/2 so need a big slump to 'catch up' in that battle.
Richard S.S. - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#277637) #
According to MLB regulations, Toronto's Bickford pick is protected. To give A.A. the option this Offseason by going for a protected 1st round pick do we go bad? They are 10th and protected right now.

Or do we still "go for it". Esmil Rogers is running out of gas or just sucking badly his last two starts. A.A. said they're keeping an eye on him. If he 's shut down, who comes up. J.A. Happ starts Wednesday, so how good is he now? Josh Johnson is Start-to-Start and must be good to stay. Who replaces him?
jerjapan - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#277638) #
No idea what to make of this, but that's a Latin-heavy list of suspensions.  Why? 
Magpie - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#277639) #
Esmil Rogers is running out of gas or just sucking badly his last two starts.

A little of one, a little of the other. I think the league is catching on to him.
Magpie - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#277640) #
a Latin-heavy list of suspensions. Why?

My first thought - geography. Biogenesis operated out of Florida. Plenty of athletes were implicated with BALCO in Oakland, and I don't remember tow many Latinos in that crowd.
John Northey - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#277641) #
Seems from AA's interview that Nolin and Stroman are next in line for a get a shot at the rotation.  After left that is remotely close to ready? Thad Weber? Jenkins is on the DL, Hutchison and Drabek need more time I suspect.  Meanwhile McGuire is nowhere near ready while other options would be AAA Bush, Dave or (gulp) Romero.  Just shy of 2 months to go, can the Jays cross the finish line with 5 starters?

As to the suspensions - Latin heavy due to the place being busted being in Miami which would naturally have connections to Latin America instead of, say, California or Japan. If it was one in California then it would probably be heavy on the players from that part of the world.
Chuck - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#277642) #
A quip about A-Rod making the rounds: playing third, batting fourth, taking the fifth.
John Northey - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#277643) #
Jays are currently 10th in MLB (10th worst that is).  1/2 a game from being 11th/12th (Padres & Angels) 1 from 13th/14th (Rockies & Seattle).  On the other side they are 1 game away from 8th/9th (Phillies & Mets) and 1 1/2 away from 6th/7th (Giants & Twins).  So quite easily the Jays could end up anywhere from 6th to 14th worst overall.  Other spots are easily within reach as well (15th is Washington 3 games away, 5th is the Cubs 2 games off while Milwaukee is 4 games away in 4th worst).  So without any major shifts they could finish 4th worst or 15th worst.  Very tight in that window.  Miami is 3rd worst but 7 1/2 worse than the Jays so probably out of reach.  16th worst is Arizona 5 games ahead which is possible but somehow at this point we all doubt it eh?
Richard S.S. - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#277644) #
And a Clinic in northern Canada has what suspended - polar bears ?
Magpie - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#277645) #
There's what you call a non sequitur, for those of you who were curious.
uglyone - Monday, August 05 2013 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#277646) #
Some recent TJ recoveries.....

S.Strasburg: Surgery Sep.4 '10 - 4 rehab starts - Return Sep.6 '11 (12mos, 0wk)
A.Wainwright: Surgery Feb.28 '11 - Return Apr.7 '12 aka Start of '12 season (13mos, 1wk)
B.Anderson: Surgery Jul.13 '11 - 6 rehab starts - Return Aug.21 '12 (13mos, 2wks)

Jays' rehabs....

K.Drabek: Surgery Jun.8 '12 - 9 rehab starts - Return ??? (so far out 14mos)
D.Hutchison: Surgery Aug.7 '12 - 5 rehab starts - Return ??? (so far out 12mos)

I'd guess both can be called up whenever they get up to 100+ pitch counts, as long as they're pitching well. Drabek's already been given some extra time b/c it was his 2nd TJ I think.
Thomas - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 12:35 AM EDT (#277648) #
Even in a disappointing season, watching games like this can be quite satisfying.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 12:57 AM EDT (#277649) #
Lawrie staying hot. Maybe he is still a good player after all.

Season: 232pa, .233avg, .293obp, .429slg, .722ops
Last 20: 79pa, .282avg, .342obp, .535slg, .878ops (since return from injury)
Last 14: 55pa, .347avg, .400obp, .653slg, 1.053ops
dawgatc - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 05:03 AM EDT (#277650) #
I sincerely hope the Jays pick is not protected and makes them develop a legitimate draft strategy.The only team not to sign their first pick and its not the first or second time for this.Either they are really smart and the rest of the league is stupid or vice versa.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#277651) #
Lets hope Lawrie is what we always hoped - a potential all-star going forward even if he does get hurt a lot.

So, what do we see for 2014 in the question mark areas?  Anything positive?
3B: Lawrie - since back from last injury 282/342/535
2B: Izturis - June 10th to now 275/333/356 - right after an 0-7 game and after an 0-14 streak
2B: Bonifacio - July 1st to now 294/368/441 over 38 PA (0 SB 3 CS though) - huh, I didn't notice that.
CA: JPA - 1 for last 26 with 1 walk, 1 HBP, 1 Reached on Error, 1 GIDP OK, no making that look good

So on offense we see hope at 2B and 3B.  Catcher though... sigh.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#277655) #
Leaving aside sample size fluctuations, the club has four position needs: catcher, first base, middle infield (ideally shortstop with Reyes moving to second) and left field.  They don't need to fill them with All-Stars, but rather with average players.  Maybe Kevin Pillar and A.J. Jimenez are answers to two of the questions and maybe not.  The club needs to get on with attempting to answer them.
sweat - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#277656) #
Some of these numbers is  why I feel like if we had another offensive threat in the off season, it should be at Catcher.  Brian McCann, or possible AJ Pierzynski should be acquired. 
Obviously Cano or Utely would be a huge upgrade as well, but  will likely come at too high a cost.
I have noticed Bonifacio hitting a lot better lately, and feel he could be a valuable bench piece and would like to see him stay.

John Northey - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#277658) #
I figure the ideal is to find a solid RH bat to mix with Lind at DH (ideally able to backup LF/3B/1B even if with poor defense), a solid defensive middle infielder (John McDonald type but with a bit better offense), and figure out if Pillar/Gose/Sierra/whoever can take over LF.  Catcher is a nightmare this year - Thole should be hitting far better than 105/227/123 (zero OPS+) and JPA should also be hitting better than his current 211/247/394 (73 OPS).  If they just hit as they did before 2013 the catching would be at an acceptable level.

So, what is AA to do? He wants an ace for the rotation, new 2B (or SS or 3B which requires some shuffling) as top priorities, then comes DH, LF and catcher.  I see LF as the lowest on the list, with Davis being resigned as a backup/platoon partner.  A good hitting RH shouldn't be hard to find, but one who can play LF or somewhere else might be. A new catcher is much harder - it would require trading away JPA I suspect as you want to have Thole or someone used to the knuckleball and there aren't many around who are.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#277659) #
Every year, we focus on which individual positions need to be upgraded to make the team competitive. I think the organization would also be wise to address the meta issues to do with coaching (organization-wide), strategy (on and off the field), scouting, injury prevention, etc. Basically questions of synergy and being ahead of the curve regarding how to field a winning team as a whole. Call it the Rays (or the A's) way.
Hodgie - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#277660) #
Considering the offensive sink hole the catcher position has been this season, I would rather take Jeff Mathis and his Jedi ERA powers over this combination next season. With an upgrade at either left field or second base I doubt the Jays offence would be compromised.
Super Bluto - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#277661) #
No idea what to make of this, but that's a Latin-heavy list of suspensions.  Why

Florida is one reason, but also simple networking. Didn't Canseco turn a bunch of guys onto juice? You're more likely to ask guys you know for information. When the MOTW of this fiasco is made, I bet there will be a lot of scenes at backyard bbqs while the children innocently chase beach balls around and someone gets hurt.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#277662) #
greenfrog - oh, I agree 100% on upgrading coaching and the like.  I think the big 'moneyball' opportunity is in coaching, scouting, and the like.  The stuff we cannot easily measure, or even figure out how to measure.

I remember years ago people felt Leo Mazzone was a super-genius as a pitching coach in Atlanta. But when he went to Baltimore nothing went right. Was it him or other stuff around him that caused it all to work so well in Atlanta but not so well in Baltimore? Who knows.  But the club that can figure it out, how to measure success for coaches, is going to have a major leg up on the other teams. I wonder if Tampa already has.

Mike Green - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#277663) #
I was thinking about John Gibbons and Sparky Anderson.  When Gibbons was rehired, many people thought that it was going to be fine because Gibbons would just let the players play, like Sparky Anderson did. 

When Sparky had his great clubs in Cincinnati and Detroit, they were solid down the middle of the diamond (Bench, Concepcion, Morgan, Geronimo and Parrish, Trammell, Whitaker and Lemon).  That made it a lot easier, and in particular, made the pitching situation a lot easier to deal with. Gibbons has not had that luxury; I don't think that the talent on this club has brought out his best qualities. 

uglyone - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#277664) #
It's funny, because our biggest need for improvement also has the most chance of improving significantly internally - starting pitching. Buehrle and Dickey continue to creep down to 200+ip/~4era ish seasons, and IMO they're obviously quality mid rotation guys, even in what have been pretty rough years for them. They're older, but with their low-effort deliveries and velocity independant "stuff", are pretty safe bets going forward. Then we have a group of talented question mark veterans - Johnson, Morrow, Happ, Romero - all of whom would surprise noone by being quality starters in years to come. Then we have a group of legit upper-end young arms getting near MLB-readiness in Hutchison, Stroman, Nolin, and Drabek, all of whom could be quality SP as soon as next year, too.

Myself, I'd like to add one front-end SP from outside if possible, but I'd hesitate to pay the price for a second one, given the internal options. I'd wager that even if we didn't add anything from outside, our SP will be significantly improved next year regardless.

Not so much on offense.

Second Base IMO is by far and away the most critical priority. The Jays have posted a .537ops at 2B this year. .537ops. That's not just the worst offense from 2B in baseball this year by a healthy 50ops points, it's the WORST OFFENSE AT ANY POSITION BY ANY TEAM IN BASEBALL THIS YEAR. Miami has the worst catcher offense in baseball this year, at .578ops. With all their injuries, the Yanks have been playing AAA guys at 3rd all year and their 3B have posted a .556ops. KC has the worst SS offense in baseball at .551, Houston the worst CF offense at .594. But Toronto's .536 at 2B this year is the worst positional OPS anywhere in baseball this year.

And the depressing is this isn't the result of too many injuries or extraordinarily bad luck - we knew Izturis and Bonifacio weren't starting material unless we got really lucky, and the years they've had are no surprise, really.and the cherry on top here, of course, is that they've also been extraordinarily bad defensively, too. and the whip cream on top is that they've been 50% base stealers (11/22) this year as well. and the real kick in the nuts is that Kawasaki would likely have been a signficant upgrade offensively and defensively and baserunning-wise over what we got. 2B has been a historically bad position for the Jays this year, and the sad thing is that it wasn't all that unexpected. Even worse is that we have no internal solutions in the system anytime soon unless Andy Burns can make the switch over. For me, 2B is by far and away the biggest priority for next year.

Left Field is also a spot of concern, but while they've been bad for us this year, they haven't been horrific, and with a chance at Melky rebounding a bit due to health, and with Davis, Pillar, and Gose all potentially contributing there next year, this spot isn't quite as urgent IMO.

Catcher is also an issue, but I also think JPA will inevitably rebound to at least average C offense again next year, like he has done before. And since he's dirt cheap, there's no reason not to keep him around. More urgent would be to upgrade on Thole with a C with legit starting potential, who's also plus defensively. Being lefty would be nice, too.

And one spot I wouldn't sleep on is Designated Hitter. I still don't have much faith in Adam Lind. Over his last 42gms he's posted a .190/.245/.361/.606 slash line, which is unacceptable. His season stats are about to fall below .800ops, which will take all the lustre off of his early season success. If he doesn't turn it around over the lats couple of months, we're heading towards another season of sub-.750ops hitting from our DH, which just isn't good enough. I'd be focussing on adding a righty DH with legit starting potential, not just a lefty masher. A guy who can at least platoon very well with Lind, but could take over the role completely.

My offseason priorities (subject to change willy-nilly over the next two months):

1. 2B
2. #1 SP
3. RH DH
4. LH C
5. LF
China fan - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#277665) #
"...Either they are really smart and the rest of the league is stupid or vice versa..."

Neither of those scenarios is true.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#277666) #
China Fan, you do know that we're on a message board on the internet...not in a courtroom where everything is taken literally, right? If you do understand the difference then you're trolling. Your comment "neither of those scenarios is true," contributes very little to the original posters point.

Uglyone - You are BANG on. I agree with everything. You've identified the targets but what/who do you propose are the solutions?
John Northey - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#277667) #
dawgatc - the Jays did have a clear plan - to draft high quality guys in the later round (post round 11) who they might not be able to sign unless their first overall pick failed to sign. Also to sign guys who had lower demands in picks #2 through 10 (some super-low demands) in an effort to free up cash to chase their #1 pick and those later ones.  They also didn't fear 'blowing it' on that first round pick knowing that they might be able to get a better player in 2014 as that draft is viewed as deeper.  So basically, there is a strategy and one that is legitimate. Just not the one you wanted to see (sign everyone they draft I suspect is what you wanted to see). 

It'll be interesting to see how they go about it next year, especially if they get a top 10 pick again thus giving them 2 in the first 11, something that wasn't possible until 2013 (the first 13-15 picks were protected in the past, depending on league size thus no team could have more than one of them).  If AA feels it is a deep draft again, does he try to trade for some of those competitive balance picks other clubs got?  Does he punt a ton of picks again? Does he draft 'unsignable' guys after round 10 again (that I figure is a lock - a good backup strategy)?

I figured historically picks after the first 10 rounds rarely make it to the majors, let alone star. But in 2000, a year I randomly grabbed as being far enough in the past to be 'done', you saw 57% of first round picks make it, 56% in 2nd, 23% in 3rd, 40% in 4th (including Cliff Lee, David DeJesus, Yadier Molina - heck of a 4th round), 23% in 5th, 23% in 6th (3.3 WAR total), 33% in 7th (Aaron Hill who dns and a batch of filler), 23% in 8th (Brandon Webb, Dontrelle Willis), 16% in 9th (Encarnacion), 20% in 10th (Clint Barns plus filler), 30% in 11th (huh, a lot more than I expected), 13% in 12th, 6% in 13th, same in 14th, 13% in 15th, 3% in 16th (Jamie Shields so a big one), 23% in 17th (4 who got to 10 WAR), 3% in 18th, 13% in 19th, 10% in 20th.   So basically picks after the first 11 rounds were a 1 in 10 shot at making the majors with a small shot at stardom (maybe 1 in 50) if they actually would sign (didn't check outside of Hill if they signed). 

Thanks to the new system though things are going to be much harder to tell now.  The Jays aren't the only club to punt picks in the 3-10th rounds in an effort to have more cash for top 3 round picks (the guys the Jays signed in later rounds for big bonus money tended to be viewed as 2nd/3rd round picks).  In the past teams would draft guys with big demands if they could afford it, or draft lesser talents if they couldn't afford it. Now its a bit messed up as the Jays 30th round pick (Rowdy Tellez - but just a 465 OPS so far in rookie ball in 53 PA) could better than their 2nd round pick, same for their 11th round pick Jacob Brentz.  Go figure eh?

I'd wait a few years before saying the Jays had 'no strategy' in 2013. If those 2 develop then the strategy used worked really well, if not then it didn't.
dawgatc - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#277668) #
As an outsider it seems to me that if you employ the strategy the Jays used this year then you have less control over who your big money signings are going to be.I would think the second rounder would be pretty important and you would have a pretty good idea who you would like.Its possible that the Jays pick is the one they wanted but given that he signed way under slot it looks like he was picked because he would sign under slot.When you take Tellez in the 30th round thats ok but how did tou know he would be available.I concede that I am not qualified to comment as an outsider but it looks like the Jays operate differently than other teams.Three different scouting directors and 8 fired scouts indicate that AA isn,t that enamoured with our results either. You,re right ,we won,t know til a few years down the road but makes you wonder.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#277669) #
Catcher is also an issue, but I also think JPA will inevitably rebound to at least average C offense again next year, like he has done before

Here are the catchers 2010-2013, who had significant time, sorted by wRC+.  You'll find Arencibia at #26 of 29. Why would one think that Arencibia is going to do better in 2014 than he did over his career? His major league career to date has been marked by steady regression in all spheres.  It is one thing to imagine that he might return to his career averages, but anticipating that he will do better than that is another thing.  And what about the defence?  His numbers on what you can measure are poor, but what about the other things?  Don't you think that when a pitching staff does worse than any reasonable projection of what it is likely to do, some of that might be attributed to the dynamics of the pitcher-catcher relationship?
uglyone - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#277670) #
JPA's got a career 83wRC+ (and we're at what IMO is likely a low point right now), while median mlb catcher wRC+ has been somewhere around 90 the last few years. He's cheap, got tons of power, and has shown the ability to take enough walks before in his career. He rates about average in throwing out baserunners, usually rates well in the pitch-framing metrics, and seems to have a good work ethic.

I don't see any urgent need to dump him. Upgrading the uselessness that has been Thole/Blanco seems much more important, IMO.
Beyonder - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#277671) #
I think the Jays had a clear plan going into this years' draft, but the plan was: a) misconceived, and b) not executed. What we witnessed was probably plan "C", and even that plan was not executed well.

My hypothesis is that ten years from now we will be able to see pretty clearly that the strategy of punting picks does not work. What I mean by this is that an organization would be better off if they just picked the best player available (who will sign for slot) at each point in the draft.

The Jays punting strategies used in the past two drafts look on their face to be very similar, but they're actually quite different. In 2012, the Jays selected Matt Smoral, a player for whom the Jays had a good idea of what his demand were, and then decided to punt the last 7 rounds in order to accumulate enough slot room to sign him. I don't think this gambit actually pays off in the long run, but you can make a case for doing it.

What happened this year was very different. The Jays began punting (or "semi-punting" in the case of guys like Hollon) right after the 1st round. When Bickford failed to sign, the Jays were left holding the bag with a ton of slot money to burn, no one to spend it on, and nine rounds worth of underslot signings.

It's fine that they were able to sign guys like Tellez and Brentz, but these are simply guys who happened to have been left over after 10 rounds of drafting. When these sorts of players are the crown jewels of your draft class, something has gone awry.

Moral of the story: if you are going to punt in order to sign a single high value player -- make sure you actually sign that player.
Hodgie - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#277672) #
"If you do understand the difference then you're trolling. Your comment "neither of those scenarios is true," contributes very little to the original posters point."

Actually, ChinaFan is correct. When the original poster's point is a ridiculous exaggeration stated as an absolute fact, it is that point that contributes little to the discussion.

Mike Green - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#277673) #
Seasonal median wRC+ for a catcher might be 90 if you include catchers with 150 PAs or fewer.  If you look at catchers with 350 PAs or more over a year, median wRC+ is over 100.  Arencibia is a well-below average offensive and defensive catcher.  He'd be tolerable for a lesser role (200 PAs max) if he had the intangible element working in his favour.  He doesn't. 
John Northey - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#277674) #
I thought Thole mixed with JPA would be a solid cheap combo - both are under 28, both have a few years experience, and both showed an ability to hit for a 90 or so OPS+.  Then both collapsed this year - not just a little but a lot.  Very weird to have that happen, but it is the story of the Jays season it seem.  Now, Thole showed warning signs with a poor year last year but it was an injury filled one I think.

Right now JPA is at 373 PA vs last years 372. Right there is part of the story - he has been used far more than in the past and that might be a big part of the problem.  He has 6 fewer hits, 2 fewer doubles, 1 less HR, 4 fewer walks, 3 more strikeouts, and even grounded into one more double play.  That is the difference between an 89 OPS+ catcher and a 73 one.

So what to do?  Thole is signed for 2014 and JPA is under team control, but neither will cost much in 2014 ($1.25 for Thole, JPA should be in the same ballpark first year arbitration).   Gotta think Jimenez, A.J. is at least a year away (in AA, season line between A+ and AA is 302/344/406), no other catcher in the system outside of Thole has an OPS over 700 (he tore up AAA) and is playing over short season ball.  Wonder if we can get d'Arnaud (Mr. DL, now in AA hitting 708 OPS over 19 PA) back?
Ryan Day - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#277675) #
I used to have faith JPA could fine tune his approach at the plate enough to be a solid offensive catcher and an adequate defensive one. But he's hit worse in each of the three years he's been a regular. He has power, but he can't make contact and won't take a walk. This year, he's even lost his edge versus LHP. And most of the time, it seems like even his most ardent supporters can't describe his defense as much more than "good enough."

Catchers have funny career paths sometimes, so maybe he can still figure it all out. But you've got to be quite the optimist to believe he can be the starting catcher for a contending team in 2014.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#277677) #
The bar is pretty low.  A catcher who can hit .260/.310/.370 over 500 PAs and play solid defence would be very valuable for this club.  Russell Martin was, going into the season, a better player than that and got a contract for 2 years, $17 million.  Pierzynski was coming off a .276/.326/.501 year in 2012 and got $7.5 million for 1 year. 

I see that Dioner Navarro is on the list of free agents.  He's hit well in 150 PAs in 2013 and could probably be had for relatively little.  Over his career, he's hit .270/.340/.440 against LHP and he has hit enough against RHP that you could give him 300 PAs in a season without losing much. 

dalimon5 - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#277678) #

There is no "correct" response to somebody else's comment. The point is simple: write something that contributes to the discussion and moves it forward in some way rather than simply leaving vague statements pointing out that someone else's language is incorrect. Beyond the fact that it's lazy, it also comes off as if you care less about sharing an opinion on the discussion at hand and more about nitpicking the way it's written.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#277679) #
See Beyonder and John Northey's responses as examples that actually move the discussion forward regarding the original posters statement that the Jays seem to be operating backwards from the rest of the league when it comes to signing first round draft picks...
jerjapan - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#277680) #
Dalimon, I've got to side with Hodgie and China Fan on this one,

The original comment "Either they are really smart and the rest of the league is stupid or vice versa" is a false dichotomy - the fallacy of the excluded middle.  Logical fallacies - statements that either intentionally or unintentionally misrepresent information - are serious problems for the high level of discourse that happens on the Box.  China Fan was not being dismissive of the posters opinion, IMO, he was rejecting a misleading statement. 

Hodgie - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#277681) #
"The point is simple: write something that contributes to the discussion and moves it forward in some way rather than simply leaving vague statements pointing out that someone else's language is incorrect."

We obviously have very different ideas on what constitutes moving a discussion forward. Under what light is stating either the Jays are smart and everyone else is stupid or vice versa an incorrect usage of language? Time was there was an expectation on this site that a poster should not speak in absolutes unless they know something for fact. Stating that the above statement is not plausible is hardly nitpicking nor sufficient reason to brand another poster a troll.

scottt - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#277682) #
On its own, it's a false dichotomy, but the premises are clear.

1. The Jays have followed different draft strategies than the rest of the leagues both this year and last year.

2. The results have been... different.

3. Nobody seems to be emulating the Jays, so the other GMs must think those strategies are inferior.

Was there a poll on the Jays' drafting strategies?

SK in NJ - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#277683) #
Does anyone know why the Jays feel that AAA is not necessary for their pitching prospects? On my count, the Jays under Alex A have called up Zach Stewart, Kyle Drabek, Henderson Alvarez, Drew Hutchison, Chad Jenkins, Joel Carreno, Aaron Loup, and Sean Nolin straight from AA to the Majors. Now Stroman might be the next casualty. What is the rush? I know it was the PCL the last few years, but that is a stupid reason, especially since teams like the Cardinals and A's have their AAA affiliates in the PCL and they have a great track record of developing starters recently. Let these guys get innings and AAA experience under their belts before being called up.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#277684) #
I think it's risky to target "average" players to fill the four or so weak positions and assume you're good to go. In my experience, when you aim for average, you often end up with below-average or mediocre (signing Izturis as he was entering his decline years is a good example). I guess it's a question of targeting the right players. Boston signed a bunch of players that some viewed as average (I liked most of the acquisitions, coaching staff included) and are currently 68-46.

It might also help to have an organization and team that can elevate a player's game, not drag him down a notch. This might be another way to obtain average-or-slightly-above performance instead of below-average performance.
scottt - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#277685) #
If you have a protected draft pick and you don't sign a top free agent, you're doing something wrong.

Kyle Lohse was available until March 25 because nobody wanted to lose a first round pick on him.

greenfrog - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#277686) #
Another factor worth keeping in mind is the lack of positional player depth in the organization's high minors. As with starting pitching, a team's season is often won or lost based on the players available when the first string goes down. Even if the Jays fill a few holes, they are at risk of being exposed when injuries hit (as happened this year). I really don't want to be having the equivalent of the Negrych/Thole/Kawasaki debate regarding multiple positions next year - it will be a sure sign that the team isn't in contention.
Dave Till - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#277687) #
I have wondered all along: how much of player development is just simply luck? Especially when looking at high-school players. Many of the game's best players weren't first round picks. If the Jays aren't developing players, are they doing something wrong, or are the Baseball Gods dumping on them (presumably for committing the sin of sticking to artificial turf, I suppose)?

BlueJayWay - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#277688) #
I've often thought that there might be a whole lot more luck involved in the equation than people want to admit.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#277689) #
I would frame the question more broadly: why are certain organizations that lack hefty budgets (Tampa, St. Louis, Atlanta) so consistently successful? In general, they aren't outbidding other teams for marquee players. What are they doing right that the Jays can learn from? Is it coaching, scouting, sabermetrics, better front-office staff, a culture of excellence, a long-term philosophy?

The Jays have tried a bunch of stuff over the last 20 years, but they don't seem to have a clear philosophy or identity as an organization (besides, perhaps, a general notion of looking for undervalued assets and trying to avoid albatross contracts). I guess "we know how to develop pitching" might have been a recent motif, but that seems to have blown up over the last year or two.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#277690) #
Agreed Greenfrog - last winter I was really hoping the Jays would steal someone from Tampa Bay to be the new manager but instead brought in Gibbons.  Nothing against him, he does a great job with the pen for example, but one wonders if Dave Martinez was brought in if he might have brought some new ideas to the table and helped the Jays move forward.  I actually am very surprised no one has stolen him yet from Tampa to be their manager given how well Tampa has done.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#277692) #
Thole gets the start tonight with Josh Johnson pitching. We'll see if it helps Johnson.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#277693) #
It's normal for successful organizations to have their personnel picked off by ambitious competitors - Joe Maddon himself was poached from Mike Scioscia's staff. But that's never been the Blue Jays way. They've never hired a GM who had held a GM job before. Only two of the franchise's many managers (excepting their own recycling projects) had ever managed elsewhere in the majors. And neither of those two had been all that successful, Fregosi's two playoff runs notwithstanding.

Josh Johnson vs Felix Hernandez? Really? Will there be a mercy rule?
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#277694) #
Josh Johnson vs Felix Hernandez? Really? Will there be a mercy rule?

Well done, Magpie.  As the Milk Carton Kids said before they performed at Newport this year, high expectations are our worst nightmare.
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 06 2013 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#277695) #
Well, the Jays tried poaching Farrell from the Red Sox. The Sox responded by saying, we'll see your Farrell and raise you a Lovullo and a Butterfield. Poachback!
dawgatc - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 04:53 AM EDT (#277698) #
Sorry but my false dichotomy is due to my recent lobotomy! Truthfully my remarks were intended to spark debate,which they did.Many posters including Scott,John Northey,.Beyonder and Daliman5, put it much more eloquently than myself.I,m old now and prehistoric on computers so I,m not likely to improve........ So it goes.
rfan8 - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#277709) #

I don't think AAA is the developmental league it once was.  I've read (from Keith Law and others) that many teams have their top prospects bypass AAA. 

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