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Five (count 'em) rookies get the start for the Blue Jays today against the Devil Rays -- and it would be six greenhorns if Alex Rios weren't grabbing some bench. Russ Adams (SS), Gabe Gross (LF), Guillermo Quiroz (C) and Eric Crozier (DH) are in the lineup, while Dave Bush toes the rubber. Barring trades (and that's a risky thing to bar, with this club a miserable 27 games under .500), Bush, Adams and Gross are locks to start next year with the big club, while Quiroz looks like he could use another half-season in the minors, and Crozier's jury is still out. Don't expect this many rookies to debut with Toronto in one season for a long time; we'll look back years from now on 2004 as the renewal of the big-league club. Todd Ritchie, the walking incarnation of Kenny Williams' buyer's remorse, gets the start for Tampa. Have the D-Rays improved on their 2003 campaign? They could go 1-16 from this point onwards and still beat last year's 63-99 record.
Game 148: Green Jays | 81 comments | Create New Account
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_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#34776) #
Here are the lineups, from the scene of the crime:

Crawford, lf
Lugo, ss
Huff, 1b
Baldelli, cf
Martinez, dh
Cruz, rf
Upton, 3b
Blum, 2b
Fordyce, c
Ritchie, p

Adams, ss
Hudson, 2b
Wells, cf
Delgado, 1b
Hinske, 3b
Johnson, rf
Gross, lf
Quiroz, c
Crozier, dh
Bush, p

Wasn't Quiroz supposed to be very good defensively above all? The bat arrived big time in 2003, but before that it was his defensive tools that made him interesting. He hasn't shown me too much yet - still looks very green back there.

Small, small, small sample size.
Coach - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#34777) #
we'll look back years from now on 2004 as the renewal of the big-league club

Renewal is a good word, and it will be an ongoing process, with Hill and some exciting pitchers not far away. From the current rookie crop, if there's even one star among the position players, two or three others live up to expectations, Bush doesn't change a thing and Frasor finds his niche, that's a tremendous injection of talent.

Gross is off to a promising start, but hasn't proved beyond a doubt he is ready for 400 AB next year. He is an excellent left fielder already, who would probably be above average in right. So far, he's displayed a tendency to improve as a hitter over time at each level.

Quiroz has been pressing. A couple of months in Syracuse, 100% healthy, hitting line drives and working every day on his footwork should make him a different player. Next time, we'll see how good he really is.

Crozier as the 25th man next year still sounds good to me, but I wouldn't pencil him in as an everyday player. I'm surprised we haven't seen him in the outfield yet; he sure is a pleasure to watch around first base. Maybe they'll try him in left on the road trip.

Adams has great at-bats. He'll never be Ozzie Smith with the glove, but he has surprising range and can make all the plays. Every shortstop has the occasional brain cramp or makes a bad throw; what remains to be seen is how consistent he can be and if he can avoid fielding slumps. So far, he's doing much better defensively than Rios did in his first two weeks.

Of course, the sky's the limit for Alexis, who turned out, after trying too hard for a while, to be a spectacular fielder. If hits the weight room and works hard in the cage, he's going to hit a lot of ropes. Many will find gaps; each year, a few more will leave the yard.

Dave Bush has been fantastic. Poised far beyond his experience, pinpoint control and better stuff than I imagined -- his start in Oakland was unbelievable. I see nothing wrong with a Halladay-Lilly-Bush front three plus a $2-3 million free agent if Batista stays in the bullpen. Bush has also been unlucky, and is due for some run support.
Coach - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#34778) #
Bush has had only one "poor" start -- against these D-Rays, he gave up a bunch of early hits, some of which could have been caught, and didn't get out of the third. Last time Tampa was here, Dave held them to one earned run into the eighth for his first career win.

I'd have a short leash on him today and in the rest of his starts. It's his second pro season, his first September and he's already thrown the most innings of his career, including high school and college. Lately he's using his fielders more and relying less on the strikeout -- another sign of maturity.

Two neat and tidy innings on 17 pitches. I sure wish they'd score him some runs for a change.
Coach - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#34779) #
Big-time bomb for Gabe -- straightaway CF with some serious hang time. 1-0 Jays.
Coach - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#34780) #
Nice job by Quiroz to stay with the Upton K (on a deuce in the dirt) and make the throw to first. Awesome curveball to fan a helpless Blum. After two easy outs, all of a sudden, Bush hits a guy, walks a guy and gives up a hit. We're tied.

The Dome sounds pretty quiet on TV, much like this place. Don't forget the Fisher Cats, weather permitting, are going for the sweep and the championship shortly.
Pistol - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#34781) #
Wasn't Quiroz supposed to be very good defensively above all?

Yes. That's what he was really known for prior to this year.
Coach - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#34782) #
No excuse for Quiroz there. He simply missed a fastball by closing his glove too soon, leading directly to the second run. He needs to relax and trust his ability before he runs out of opportunities.
Coach - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#34783) #
Sparky's HR tied it up in the fourth, then back-to-back singles by Hudson and Wells set up the big man with one away in the fifth. Carlos patiently draws the semi-intentional walk, as they prefer to bring in a lefty to face Hinske with the bases loaded. C'mon, Eric. Flare one to left.
_JackFoley - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#34784) #
I put Menechino in here, but I don't think Gibbons will.
Coach - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#34785) #
Not a terrible move, Jack, but a bit early. Maybe Frankie pinch-hits in the eighth vs. Miller.
_JackFoley - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#34786) #
That's why I'm not the manager.
Coach - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#34787) #
Besides, Hinske is clutch. 4-2 Jays!
_JackFoley - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#34788) #
Excuse the threadjack, but this from an MLB article:

When Aaron hit his 700th home run for the Braves on July 22, 1973, at old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the drive went five rows over the high wall in left field and was retrieved by an 18-year-old fan, Robert Winborne.

The Braves gave Winborne 700 silver dollars in exchange for the prime horsehide sphere. At the postgame press conference, Winborne offered to donate the $700 to charity, but Aaron, who knew something about poverty as a former Negro League player, encouraged him to keep the money.

It's depressing to think how times have changed.

Come on Quiroz, let's blow this thing open.
_JackFoley - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#34789) #
Good cut, at least.
_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#34790) #
Man, hitting the ball in the air against this Tampa team is a total waste of time, unless it leaves the yard completely.

A few of my thoughts about the Young Ones; between innings notes....

Quiroz looks more comfortable today - maybe the initial jitters are gone, maybe it's a pitcher he's quite familiar with, maybe it's just me. Oh, there's a passed ball. Whoops.

Bush is scuffling a little over these last few hitters, but I think he's been better than advertised. (Ricciradi still says he thinks he's a 3 or 4 starter.) But he looks like a pitcher to me. I said "Mark Prior light" when I saw him in Syracuse, and its still what I think. He doesn't have Prior's awesome physical gifts, but what he's got is pretty good. And he does have the same sense Prior gives you of absolutely being in control of what he's doing, of being a pitcher. Even more than Doc...Last Blue Jay pitcher like this was Jimmy Key.

Oh, Sparky!

Rios has a wonderfully quick bat - but he doesn't actually swing very hard most of the time. I think that's why he's not hitting HRs yet; he's just meeting the ball for the most part. I think he's starting to rip a little harder on occasion, and I think he'll continue to do that. Wonderful athlete.

Adams as a hitter reminds me a little of Cat, which would be just fine. I'm not sure about his arm at SS, especially on turf - but Ozzie himself didn't have a great arm (although he had other skills that more than made up for it.)

Gross looks like a ballplayer; I don't know that he'll be a star, but he's prettty complete. He does everything a little better than I expected, excpet hit for average (so far).

Crozier is interesting - I don't think he's got the upside the others have. He's a fair bit older, he's already about as good as he's going to get. But that looks like a decent ML player. If you can hit .290 in the IL with 20 HR, you're a ML hitter. Not going to be a star. Willie Upshaw is a decent comp (not as good as the Upshaw of 83-84, but maybe a little better than the Upshaw of 85-87.) I like his hustle, I really like his plate discipline, and I like his athleticism at 1st.

Not that Delgado is unathletic, by the way. Before today's game he was standing by 3B loosening up - holding his hand about a foot above his head and then slowly kicking a leg up to touch it. And I thought - OK, a 32 year old guy, 6-3 and 235, who also was a catcher for several hundred professional and who knows how many other games. Wish I could do that.

I had some thoughts on the Round Up about Batista in the pen. It occurs to me that one of the more interesting arms that has passed through our pen this year (and no one seems to talk about him) is Sean Douglass. When your ERA is 6.28, that will happen.

Douglass has been used as a starter (10.38 ERA) and as a long man (4 IP last night and 5 ER; 5 IP his previous outing.) I would really like to see him get a shot at short relief. He throws quite hard and he's quite hard to hit (LH hitting .269, RH hitting .232) - his problem is the base on balls. It was Tom Henke's problem as well, as he was tried in a number of different roles in the Texas organization before he became the Syracuse closer in 1985.

I don't think Douglass will become another Henke - but I think he's the only guy around the ML level with a shot. He has the most exciting arm.

Liam thinks I'm nuts with regard to Douglass...
_Rob - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#34791) #
Interesting notes, Magpie. Douglass has been interesting since he stopped blowing up in the starting rotation.

One question: am I missing something...should we know who Liam is? ;)
Coach - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#34792) #
Mark Prior light

The high socks and athletic build add to that illusion. Bush has a similar arsenal, slightly less explosive. And yeah, he's really smart.

Douglass? He's about as tall as Henke, but I fail to see any other resemblance.
_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#34793) #
Liam is my son and heir. Last night he said these words to me:

"Douglass sucks."

OK, son, but his ERA in relief (even after last night) is 4.21 - and he's got 36 Ks in 38.2 IPT. And he's been working mop up and spot starts. I think he can be better....

Quality start for Bush - cruised through 2.2, and then picked his way intelligently through the final 3.1
_JackFoley - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#34794) #
Nice inning from Mr. Freeze.
Coach - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#34795) #
Frasor got Blum to sky one -- Carlos yelled "I got it" so loud, I think he scared Jay. After pounding Fordyce early, he got him to chase a 1-2 curve low and away. Then the lefty Crawford hit a one-hopper to the mound. Very nice job.
_CaramonLS - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#34796) #
Magpie or anyone else can you fetch me Douglass's ERA based on Catchers? I want to see how he is doing with Zaun vs. Cash vs. Quiroz.
_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#34797) #
He's about as tall as Henke,

...and he strikes people out...
...and he's hard to hit...
...and he's made it to age 25 without having managed to figure out where found home plate can be found

Of course Tom Henke was a great pitcher. And Sean Douglass is... well, roughly what Henke was in 1984. Not a great pitcher. Barely a major leaguer.

Now from that point, Henke became Henke, became a great pitcher. Chances are obviously very slim that Douglass can do anything comparable, but I think there is zero chance of Frasor or Chulk or Speier becoming really special.

What? Not gonna let Sosa pitch to Carlos?

Pistol - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#34798) #
Bush is scuffling a little over these last few hitters, but I think he's been better than advertised. (Ricciradi still says he thinks he's a 3 or 4 starter.)

You know, I was wondering if JP has upped his opinion of Bush since he's been pretty good so far (4 ERA 2.5 K/BB). That surprises me somewhat.
Pistol - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#34799) #
Magpie or anyone else can you fetch me Douglass's ERA based on Catchers? I want to see how he is doing with Zaun vs. Cash vs. Quiroz.

I don't know what they are, but I wouldn't read anything into them even if they were drastically different.
_Scott Levy - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#34800) #
Bush has thrown 184.2 innings this year, counting today's start and his minor league season. Would anyone else shut him down for the year? I know Batista has already been demoted to the pen, but Halladay is back soon, and you still have Lilly, Douglass, Miller, Towers, and Glynn.

If Bush completes 200 innings combined this year, that might be a bit much considering he's a converted closer.
_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#34801) #
Magpie or anyone else can you fetch me Douglass's ERA based on Catchers?

Nothing here in the Jays game notes - I can figure it out when I get home.

A few fun things in the notes...

Like catcher ERAs...

Zaun - 4.79
Cash - 5.07

Myers - 3.38
Estalella - 6.48
Quiroz - 8.75

Obviously sample sizes are much too small on the the last three guys (all between 25 and 32 innings)

And run support for starters. Everybody is in the 4.0 to 4.9 range except Ryan Glynn (20 runs in 2 starts) and poor Pat Hentgen (just 53 runs in 16 starts, 3.3 per game)
_CaramonLS - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#34802) #
Well as far as Douglass goes, I think hes got a good arsenal of pitches, a really electric fastball, but he doesn't have a lot of sense, so I think a good veteren catcher would help him out a lot and guide him through the game.

I want to see how he is with Zaun (who would prolly have the best ERA with him), or Quiroz MAYBE since he has had tons of experience catching him in triple A. But I think Cash would have the worst ERA with him.

Thats my theory and its why I want those eras heh.
_Ron - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#34803) #
I wonder if the Jays hold on to their lead, will Batista come out for the 9th to close the game?
_JackFoley - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#34804) #
It looks like Smart Miggy is coming out in the ninth. I hope this experiment pays off. Batista has the salary of very good closer---maybe he can become one.
_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#34805) #
Oh my God.

Lou Piniella has been possessed by the spirit of Tony LaRussa. Or Whitey Herzog.

Four pitchers in one half inning. No runs scored.

Maybe he's just amusing himself, but he's boring the hell out of me.
_DGriebeling - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#34806) #
They're talking about Frasor having come in in a save situation and Speier coming into a save situation now too.... which makes me wonder.. when do save situations begin?

If Douglass (since everyone is talking about him) comes in in the 6th in a 4-3 Jays leading game, but gives up 2 runs, is that a blown save? If not, would it be in the 7th? How about the 5th?

Second part, I guess that means you can have multiple blown saves in a game?

Any insight would be appreciated!!
_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#34807) #
That's Ryan Glynn warming up, folks.

We're seeing some really good OF play today.
Pistol - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#34808) #
Thats my theory and its why I want those eras heh

Studies have been done that show the only affect that catchers have defensively is in how well they do controlling the running game. Everything else is negligable.
Pistol - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#34809) #
when do save situations begin?

I believe the 6th inning (as starters need to go 5 to get a win).

Looks like Batista is in line for a save?
_greenfrog - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#34810) #
Escobar is pitching another gem for Anaheim (8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K), although yet again he isn't getting any run support. Esky really has become a good starter.
_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#34811) #
I believe the 6th inning (as starters need to go 5 to get a win).

Unless you get one of those weird deals where the starter gives up 4 runs and gets knocked out in the 1st. In comes, oh Ryan Glynn. He works the second inning and the Jays score seven. Glynn is the pitcher of record. When Kevin Frederick relieves him in the 3rd, its a save situation.

I can imagine an 8 inning save in some fashion like this...
_JackFoley - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#34812) #
Great stuff! Miggy helps the Jays and---finally---helps the Monkeymen in their quest for the consolation bracket championship.
_Tassle - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#34813) #
A shaky save, but a save nonetheless. I guess it's progress.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm an Atlanta Braves win away from cashing out on a 140$ Pro Line ticket. So everyone think happy thoughts about Jaret Wright!
_Rob - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#34814) #
So far so good - on Batista and on Atlanta, for Tassle's sake. Marquis has a zero in a few places in his linescore -- I won't say which ones, of course.
_Ron - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#34815) #
Dicey 9th with the first guy getting walked and Upton later hitting a single.

I still don't like the idea of Batista as the closer (poor command of the strike-zone), heck I don't like Batista as a Jay period.

It's kinda depressing to see how good Escobar is doing this season. He's well worth the contract the Halo's gave him.

Nice to see a clutch AB by Hinske to give the Jays the runs they needed. I know Hinske is a whipping boy in Da Box but he's still going to end up with around 75 RBI's this season.
_Tassle - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#34816) #
If you jinx my pitcher, so help me God I'll kill you Robbie. Don't even think I'm joking!

Okay, maybe I am.
_6-4-3 - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#34817) #
Ask and you shall recieve:

(this is handdone with ESPN's game logs, so something like the hits or K's might be wrong. The runs are accurate, though)

Sean Douglass pitching to Kevin Cash:

8 2/3 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 8 walks, 7 Ks, as a reliever vs Detroit and Boston.

Sean Douglass pitching to Gregg Zaun:

21 2/3 innings, 25 hits, 21 runs, 15 walks, 22 Ks, as a starter in 3 games vs New York (x2) and Tampa, and as a reliever in 4 appearances vs Baltimore, Boston, Anaheim, and Tampa Bay.

Sean Douglass pitching to Guillermo Quiroz:

8 1/3 innings, 10 hits, 6 runs, 5 walks, 7 Ks, in 4 relief appearances vs Oakland, Texas, Baltimore, and Tampa.

Catcher ERAs:
Cash: 0.00
Zaun: 8.73
Quiroz: 6.48

Now, I don't think that this is of any value, but since you asked nicely . . .
_Ron - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#34818) #
Tassle you just jinxed yourself.

I did a few announcements on Da Box about my Sports Action tickets and everytime I ended up losing except for on one ticket.

I assume you need the Braves to win by 2 and not 1 because it would be considered a tie.
_Tassle - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#34819) #
No, a tie is either way by 1. So if you pick a tie you're picking a 1-run game either way. A V or an H is just by 1 run. Or so it says on my ticket.
_Ron - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#34820) #
No, a tie is either way by 1. So if you pick a tie you're picking a 1-run game either way. A V or an H is just by 1 run. Or so it says on my ticket.

I'm confused. So I was correct then right? A 1 run victory for either team is a tie whereas a team winning by 2 runs or more is considered a victory.

Perhaps you have a Point Spread ticket and not an Oddset ticket, where if the point spread was one run than you would win if the Braves win by one run.
_Tassle - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#34821) #
No, I know what I am talking about.
Picking a tie is picking a 1 run game EITHER WAY. So if the Jays beat the D-Rays by 1 or the D-Rays beat the Jays by 1, it would count as a tie.
Picking a straight H or V win means you are picking one team to win by 1 run or more. So if the team you picked wins by 1 run or 50 runs, you still win.
Dooes that make sense?
_Ron - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#34822) #
I think you have a point spread ticket. Even though I have Sports Action in BC and it's Pro Line in Ontario I'm sure the rules are the same.
_Tassle - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#34823) #
No, guy, I know what I am talking about. I really don't know how to explain it any more simply. Go here:
And click on rules. It confirms what I am saying.
_Rob - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#34824) #
Marquis' no-hitter is over, so I apologize for that, but it's still scoreless. And I know you will kill me if they lose, so I won't say anymore. ;)

If anyone didn't know, the Fisher Cats are six outs away from the championship. 2-0 lead, details here.
_Ron - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#34825) #
I just checked that site. Pro Line is different than Oddset. I understand what you're talking about though.
_Tassle - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#34826) #
Rob, sorry, you did it a second time so I have to correct you. Marquis is the pitcher the Braves traded to the Cards in the offseason who is finally thriving in St. Louis. Jaret Wright is the former phenom who bounced around for awhile before finally coming into his own this year for the Braves. Wright is the guy pitching tonight. It's an understandable mistake though.
_Rob - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#34827) #
Ah yes, I confused the two. Why would I say Marquis? I have no idea. Jason=Jaret?
_Tassle - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#34828) #
Probably because they're both so similar. Guys with potential who never shined coming into their own in the same year and both have played for the Braves. Kinda made sense to me.
_Tassle - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#34829) #
_Rob - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#34830) #
It made so much sense to me, I didn't even know who was pitching. ;)
_Rob - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#34831) #
Minor league news: Last call, League to pitch the ninth.
_David Paul - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#34832) #
Fisher Cats win! Fisher Cats win! Fisher Cats win!
_Rob - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#34833) #
4-0 there, Tassle. Looks like Jaret Wright might do this. ;)
_Urooj - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#34834) #
Please tell me we don't have a $4 Million a year closer!
_CaramonLS - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#34835) #
I think its 5 million Urooj :)
_greenfrog - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#34836) #
Yup, Escobar is well worth the money he's getting. But I'm not sure he would be doing as well had he stayed in Toronto. I'm sure the change of scenery helped, as did moving to a grass field (Escobar having become more of a ground-ball pitcher in the last year or two).

It's interesting that after several years of unfulfilled potential, the former "big three" of Escobar, Carpenter and Halladay have all become excellent starters. Unfortunately, we've only got one of them left...
_Rob - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#34837) #
It's interesting that after several years of unfulfilled potential, the former "big three" of Escobar, Carpenter and Halladay have all become excellent starters.

Also interesting:
Carpenter had many arm problems.
Halladay had to be rebuilt from A-ball up.
Escobar was...well, we all know how maddening he was.

So there you have three pitchers who were question marks for a long time.
_CaramonLS - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#34838) #
green - thats whats wrong with baseball and all these smaller market teams. That stupid FA rule.
_6-4-3 - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#34839) #
green - thats whats wrong with baseball and all these smaller market teams. That stupid FA rule.

I disagree, at least in this case. I'm in the camp that Escobar would look worse if he was still in Toronto. If he thinks that his run support is bad in Anaheim, he'd love it in Toronto this year. Plus, he has the added bonus of avoiding turf. He now pitches in an all-grass division, and he avoids the double-whammy of Toronto and Tampa Bay in the East. This year, he's pitched 10 innings on turf, and last year he pitched 98 innings on it. His turf / grass splits are significant.

And Carpenter was done in as a Jay by injuries, free agency or no free agency.

Now, Free Agency is a bad thing when it creates an attitude of despair (IE: the "no matter how good the farm system is, it's just filled with future Yankees" complaint), but in these cases, it's not to blame.
Dave Till - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#34840) #
While you never know, I can't imagine Batista being an effective closer. Closers usually have one dominant pitch that they throw for overpowering strikes; Batista has about a zillion pitches, and is having trouble finding the strike zone.

The Jays must have set a record for the number of pitchers used as the closer in a single season: Adams, Ligtenberg (was he anointed at one time), Speier, Frasor, Batista...

Carpenter is also helped by the change of scenery: isn't St. Louis a good place for pitchers?
_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#34841) #

Catcher ERAs:
Cash: 0.00
Zaun: 8.73
Quiroz: 6.48

Now, I don't think that this is of any value, but since you asked nicely . . .

I did the same thing, 6-4-3 - got slightly different numbers because one of us has got some Zaun work charges to Quiroz or vice versa - but the overall is about the same and about as significant (I have 8.23 in 19.2 IP with Zaun and 7.84 in 10.1 IP with Quiroz.)

Small sample size, pay no attention. I agree absolutely.

I think the following is more significant, although again its a very small sample size:

Starter - 13 IP, 18 H, 15 ER (10.38)

Reliever - 25.2 IP, 19 H, 12 ER (4.21)

He's always been a starter, but maybe its just the wrong role...
_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#34842) #
That stupid FA rule.

What it means really is most of us can't afford to be stupid. As I think most of us know, drafting high school pitchers is a bit of a crap shoot - remarkably, Carpenter, Escobar, and Halladay have all become successful ML pitchers.

BUT drafting HS pitchers and rushing them to the major leagues when they're 21 (Halladay and Escobar) or 22 (Carpenter) is just bloody insane and stupid.


OK, I got a little excited there but Dr Evil himself was in the press box today, with Mrs Ash (and Pat Gillick and Bobby Mattick) and I was reminded.... oh, its a defnsible strategy for a rich and deep organization, like the one Ash and Gillick ran in the 80s and early 90s. But by 1995, such a strategy was no longer operative.

They're running up their ML service time and counting down the free agency clock while they're still learning their trade. What's the point of that?
_greenfrog - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#34843) #
Congrats again to red-hot New Hampshire. Rosario six shutout innings (what a tear he's on), Vermilyea and League close it out (can we please give League a rest now, please?), Aaron Hill 3-4, a HR for Hattig, and two hits apiece for Rich, Jova, and Singleton.
_6-4-3 - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#34844) #
The only Zaun / Quiroz change that I found and used was yesterday's game vs Tampa: Douglass pitched 2 innings (with 3 ER) with Zaun, and 2 innings with Quiroz (with 2 ER). I don't think there were any other times when Douglass pitched to two catchers, but I could be wrong.

The one catcher ERA calculation that I'd like to see is Batista's catcher ERAs. I remember one of the knocks against Cash early on in the season was that he wasn't properly equipped to catch Batista. In the Roundup today, it was mentioned that Cash was overwhelmed by Batista's pitches, so I wonder if Cash didn't do well against him. With that in mind, I decided to check it out, and found that Cash didn't catch Batista from May 23rd - August 18th. Cash was also on hand for some of Batista's worst meltdowns, including May 23 (3 innings, 7 hits, 5 ER, 6 walks). I'd imagine that if there was a pitcher that catchers can have an impact on, Batista would be the one. Of course, his recent struggles have come with Zaun behind the plate, so who knows?

I checked and apparently St. Louis is an average park for pitchers and hitters, at least if I'm reading the numbers right.
_Magpie - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#34845) #
Douglass pitched 2 innings (with 3 ER) with Zaun, and 2 innings with Quiroz (with 2 ER).

There ya go. For some reason I thought it was all Quiroz.

My God. I was at the game.

My mind was probably on the official scorer, who called a WP on a fastball that clanged right off the glove... and wondering why you walk Cruz to pitch to Upton...

and Carlos is about to shown the open road...

and Vince is begging to set out on the open road...

and Mats has been locked out of the rink...

These are not the best of times in the old town, are they?
_Scott Levy - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#34846) #
I'm in the camp that Escobar would look worse if he was still in Toronto. If he thinks that his run support is bad in Anaheim, he'd love it in Toronto this year. Plus, he has the added bonus of avoiding turf. He now pitches in an all-grass division, and he avoids the double-whammy of Toronto and Tampa Bay in the East. This year, he's pitched 10 innings on turf, and last year he pitched 98 innings on it. His turf / grass splits are significant.

Escobar was better on turf (4.14) in 2002 than he was on grass (4.45). In 2001, his turf ERA was 3.44. ESPN doesn't show his splits the years before that, but I would say Escobar doesn't really have a problem with turf. Last year was probably more of an aberration.

Signing Batista over Escobar was a stupid, stupid move.
_greenfrog - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#34847) #
I don't think signing Batista was a stupid move. It's true that in the second half of 2003 Escobar was settling into the role of starter quite nicely. But it's also true that he was extremely inconsistent in the first half of 2003, and during the previous several seasons. There was simply no guarantee that, after having signed a three-year, $15-18 million contract, Escobar wouldn't have reverted to his previous form (eg, some stellar starts, some implosions, with an ERA over 4). And have we forgotten the arm problems (mysterious forearm seizures), and the PR issue surrounding his alleged domestic assault?

Batista, on the other hand, was considered by many to be underrated, with very good stuff (see, eg, the preseason ESPN scouting report on him), who was thriving in the shadow of Schilling and Johnson in Arizona. His numbers last year (a breakout year for Batista) were comparable to or better than Escobar's (3.54 ERA vs. 4.29), and several teams were apparently interested in him last off-season. If I recall, the vast majority of BB readers were ecstatic to get him. Most commentators thought his signing had substantially improved the Jays rotation for 2004.

Batista may yet recover from his mediocre season; or he may not. Either way, the signing was a reasonable one at the time. Certainly no less intelligent than trading for, and extending the contract of, Ted Lilly. You just can't always win when you have the budget constraints that Toronto has.
_greenfrog - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#34848) #
Of course, while the Jays were combing through major- and minor-league reports to find the likes of Batista, Hentgen, Lilly, Adams, Speier, Ligtenberg, Zaun, and Gomez, Theo Epstein was having Thanksgiving dinner with Schilling and his family--and getting Foulke's signature on a contract.

As I say, it's all about economics.
_CaramonLS - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#34849) #
Well part of the reason I hate the FA rule Magpie is it is insanely benifical to the yankees and all those other free spending teams.

Personally I would love to have some much younger pitchers who should be facing Major league batter come up and face them without having to worry about a damned count down clock which puts the screws on their development.

You see Players - especially pitchers come into their prime later rather than earlier and you need to then either decide to trade them or lock them up to an expensive (and sometimes risky long term deal) in order to avoid losing them.

Look at the Cubs pitching, you can garentee Clement, Zambrano are going to be getting big big big money partly because of their age.

Personally I prefer an age of 30-31 where no matter what their playing time they get to go free.
_CaramonLS - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#34850) #
Now I think the Ability of a catcher to call a game is almost unmeasurable, but I can garentee it has an effect.

I mean there is no effective way to calculate (aside from continual non-statistical observation). How effective a catcher can be with a pitcher with such small sample sizes.

Now - that being said there are certain pitchers who would benifit GREATLY from someone whispering in their ear telling them what pitch to throw and when.

From what I have seen of Douglass it is pretty clear that he makes the wrong pitches at the wrong times and it would be nice if maybe a pitching coach could give him an ear piece and guide him through a game.

Soooo many pitchers have the Ability to pitch in the bigs, are blessed with all the talent in the world - So thinking Logically wouldn't it be nice if you had a catcher who was a good plate caller who could guide these people through the game.
_Young - Saturday, September 18 2004 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#34851) #
Over the season, Batista VORP (21.0) and Escobar VORP (48.6).

Batista is owed 3.6 mil this year, followed by 4.75 mil over both the next two.

Escobar is owed 6.25 this year, followed by 6 and 6.5 mil the next two.

Of course, the comparison doesn't end there. The Blue Jays have a payroll of just under 50 mil (Dugout Dollars people), the Angels have 120 mil payroll. So Batista takes up abouy 7% of the Blue Jays payroll and Escobar 5% of the Angels payroll.

What can this tell us? Not much, Escobar has been a better pitcher this year, obviously. He costs more, but there is a diminishing return for a team like the Blue Jays to pay top dollar for players (Think how much Delgaldo must produce to be as productive as his share of the Blue Jays payroll, or Halladay for that matter).

I can't believe people point to Escobar and say that we should have kept him instead. Think of the third round pick we got for him as well. That is value. Think of the 3 mil we saved from Escobar to Batista, if you think of that money being used to pay Lilly's contract, great. If you think of that money is used to pay the bullpen, fair enough, that was a bad risk. But still, that we had the chance to take that risk on Speier, Ligtenberg, Adams and de la Santos was great in my view.

Speaking of the bullpen, not every team can be like the Angels and pull out a Donnelly, a KRod and a Ben Weber, whoops, Weber sucks this year... Gregg will do... Just look at the Yankees and what their millions have gotten them. 3 reliable relievers (not counting El-Duque), Quantrill, Rivera and Gordon. Albeit they are all friggin amazing, ARP 6, 20, 23 this year (Jays have an overall ARP of -5.5, ouch). But the 3 of them together costs the Yankees 17 mil, or 1 mil less than what we are paying Delgaldo.

I'm adamant about this! The Batista signing was good!
_Matt - Sunday, September 19 2004 @ 03:05 AM EDT (#34852) #
I dunno... Is there really a problem with Batista as a closer??? What if he's just not durable enough to be a fulltime starter and the shortness of work leads to more efficient and productive work and thus dominating numbers? I don't comprehend the problem here... This adjustment can be made quite easily this offseason....

Although 7% of the entire payroll is a bit much for a reliever... :(

Having said that though, if he becomes lights out than the 7% maybe isn't so bad after all...
_Wayne H. - Sunday, September 19 2004 @ 06:39 AM EDT (#34853) #
Almost everyone who suggests that re-eigning Kelvim Escobar, would have been the be all and the end all for the Jays, usually neglect a very important consideration.

The Jays offered Kelvim arbitration, and when he signed with the Angels, two draft picks fell into the Blue Jays' laps.

With the Supplemental First Round pick, lefty Zach Jackson was selected. Remember, JP had Zach Jack targeted if lhp David Purcey was chosen by another team. He was ecstatic to get both top notch lefthanded pitching prospects.

With the Angels' Third Round pick, 1b-of Adam Lind joined the Blue Jays flock of minor league prospects.

Keeping Escobar would have also meant the "loss" of those two great prospects.
_sweat - Sunday, September 19 2004 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#34854) #
Wayne H. thanks for pointing out what we all knew, but were too stupid to remember. That should pretty much move everyone into the signing Batista was the right thing to do camp.
Coach - Sunday, September 19 2004 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#34855) #
Keeping Escobar would have also meant the "loss" of those two great prospects.

Nobody knows whether Kelvim would have accepted an equivalent offer to stay. He was very frustrated with the Jays, an attitude that began long before the front office regime change, and the bright lights of L.A. probably beckoned. I don't think he would have given any "hometown" discount, and if J.P. got into a bidding war with Arte Moreno, guess who would have to blink first?

Instead, the Jays turned Escobar into Batista, Jackson, Lind and (even after the signing bonuses) about $3 million in flexibility. Both sides seem to have done very well.
_Wayne H. - Sunday, September 19 2004 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#34856) #
You are absolutely right, Coach.

There was certainly no guarantee that Kelvim Escobar really wanted to remain a Blue Jay. Given his obvious talent, if somewhat inconsistent performance, there was likely a bidding war in store for his services. I doubt if JP would have played in that sandbox.

Instead, the Angels are very happy with Kelvim Escobar, as he seems to have harnessed some of that unlimited potential. He is well paid for his services too.

The Jays have Miguel Batista, Adam Lind, Zack Jackson, and some financial flexibility. That is combined with some long and short term gains in talent.

It sounds to me like a win-win for everyone involved!
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