Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
2004 was a forgettable year for the Toronto Blue Jays and their fans, as the club floundered its way to 94 losses and the AL East cellar, a locale not visited by this club since 1997. With it all said and done, who were the culprits responsible for the mess? Who on the club turned in an individual performance not deserving of a Last Place label? The Batter’s Box roster has handed out grades for all of the good, the bad, and the ugly 2004 Jays, and over the next 3 days we’ll present these assessments.

Before we get started with our look at the pitching staff, a big shout out to Mike D for being the catalyst that made this report happen.

Terry Adams: C-
(GPA 1.55, High B, Low F)

Dave: When I look back, I realize that I have no memory at all of Adams or how he pitched here. Perhaps this is a case of self-protective amnesia. He changed his pitching pattern when he went to Boston: he started throwing more strikes, and the batters started hitting them harder.

Jonny: For his career, Adams has a 4.04 ERA and as a Blue Jay he was at 3.98. But don’t follow me down that line of thinking to conclude off the cuff that he actually lived up to expectations in Toronto, a few disasters aside: inherited runners scored at a 52% clip off him, compared to his career 31% rate.

Jordan: Maybe I'm judging him too harshly, but that grand slam by Matthew LeCroy was the stake in the season's heart. Turning him into John Hattig was JP's 2004 high-water mark.

Miguel Batista: C
(GPA 2.02, High B, Low D+)

Gerry: Would the real Miguel please stand up? Inconsistency was his reputation before he signed with the Jays and he came through as advertised.

Mick: Disclaimer: Gotta be honest here -- as a Yankee fan living in Texas, I realize a number of you already think "What the *&^%$ are you doing on this site, anyway?" (Cabal, this means you.) Anyway, given that, except for the few games against the Rangers that were on Fox Sports Southwest, virtually my entire exposure to the Blue Jays this year has been through reading Batter's Box ... I have to conclude that my grades are truly a reflection of the community's (Peña's) dicussion rather than anything as spurious and unreliable as actual observation.

Batista is probably a little overpaid, but like some others here, I discounted salary entirely from the grade. He is the only Jay to be an Andujar semi-finalist, and as we noted on the semi-final list of candidates, "The much-maligned 'El Artista' was supposed to be the club's #2 starter -- and in fact, finished second on the team in wins at 10-13 -- but ended up the season auditioning for a new role as closer, where he saved all [five] games he was charged with protecting." Look, my favored team was relying on Tanyon Sturtze and traded for Esteban Loiaza, while the local nine was running out Scott Erickson, Chan Ho Park and John Wasdin as starters this year. Batista looked mighty fine from this vantage point.

David Bush: B+
(GPA 3.42, High A, Low B-)

Pistol: Called up at the beginning of July Bush was usually solid, and at times spectacular. I thought he was tiring down the stretch but he ended up throwing a gem against the Yanks in his last start (granted it was the Yankees B team).

Interestingly, to me at least, Bush had the same number of groundballs as flyballs (127 each) this season.

Mike Green: I like Dave Bush a lot. He gave the Jays 97 good but not great innings. His grade would have been higher had he pitched a full season at this level of performance.

Gerry: David Bush will be interesting to follow, he is reportedly very intelligent. He does not have one outstanding pitch but he mixes his pitches well, will he develop like a Greg Maddux, or will he be just an average pitcher?

Vinnie Chulk: C+
(GPA 2.44, High B, Low D+)

Thomas: Overall it was a moderately successful year for Vinnie. He pitched very well before the all-star break and quite poorly afterwards. In comparable innings totals Chulk allowed 1 home run and a .202 opponent's batting average before the break, and 5 home runs with a .318 opponent's batting average afterwards. The first number
was never sustainable, and hopefully the latter is due partly to bad luck. Chulk still has a big question mark going forwards.

Mike D: Look, this guy will be pitching in the majors next year, and that's an accomplishment. He was absolutely lights-out in June, particularly in late June (when he was getting the job done as eighth-inning guy). He slumped badly in August, but was less of a liability in September.

I think if he's used properly, he can be an effective setup man. I think he needs another pitch to use against lefthanded hitting (maybe a cut fastball?), and he obviously needs to improve his command. But he ought to get another chance in '05. He's tough on righties and still young enough to improve.

Dave: When all the highs and lows are averaged out, Vinnie became what his previous numbers indicated he'd be: a replacement-level relief pitcher. He's not good enough to play a vital role in a bullpen, but he's better than most of the discards and suspects that have been given brief auditions over the last two years.

Valerio de los Santos: E
(GPA 0.47, High D, Low F)

Spicol: Yeah, I flunked VDSL. It's all relative, you see. There are no easy jobs in baseball, but surely one of the easiest is that of the LOOGY. And if a guy can't even make it as a LOOGY, that's the epitome of failure. I suppose one could make a case that we need be easy on Valerio since he was hurt. Tell that to my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Wilder, who held Tommy Martin back after missing two months of school despite his mother's note about his mono..

Jonny: I graded Valerio "Incomplete", because really, what can you tell from 12 innings pitched? Look for him to follow the Trever Miller path out of town. Hopefully the next Toronto LOOGY will come up heads.

Bob File: C-
(GPA 1.58, High B, Low D-)

Jordan: Opponents hit a team-high .331 off him, but 14 of his 18 earned runs came in just 6 of his 24 appearances. His final line looks worse than it was, but it still wasn't great.

Dave: As a general rule, if a pitcher doesn't strike out at least one man every other inning, he doesn't have enough stuff to pitch at the major-league level. It's like going to war with a starter's pistol when your opponents are deploying cannons. File managed to pitch better than the rest of the motley crew on the Syracuse-to-Toronto shuttle, but 15 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings is not good enough.

Jason Frasor: B
(GPA 3.13, High A, Low B-)

Mick: I gave Jason Frasor an A? Wow. Okay, well, if it's true as Thomas writes that where Frasor's concerned, there's "not much discrepancy here between the average and the low," it's also true there's not much difference between the high and the low, either. Say, did you realize that Frasor's seven Win Shares in 2004 were just one less than David Bush's eight, and that other than those two, only the projected front three of Halladay, Batista and Lilly (with 10, 11 and 16, respectively) had more among Toronto hurlers? Jayson Werth is gone, people! Quit bemoaning his loss and glory in the dominance that is Jason Frasor! And after all, according to the USA TODAY 2004 MLB Salary Database, Frasor didn't earn ANY money this past season, making his Win Shares per $100K (an Andujar stat developed on Da Box last season) a cool infinity.

Thomas: Not much discrepancy here between the average and the low. However, Frasor's walk rate concerned me, especially for an acting closer. Frasor's post-ASB stats had a noticeable dropoff as well, and his opponent's batting average made a jump of 105 points. He'll have to make some adjustments coming into next year and he's not going to be an ace reliever, but he should be a solid component of the bullpen. Note to Gibbons: Only pitch him at night.

Kevin Frederick: D+
(GPA 1.22, High B-, Low F)

Mike D: If there ever was a golden opportunity for a 27-year-old longshot to make a name for himself in the big leagues, it was the bullpen of the 2004 Blue Jays. Quite simply, Frederick failed to take advantage of that chance. He walked far too many batters and allowed hits in bunches, allowing the Dreaded Big Inning far too often -- he surrendered runs in 10 of his 22 appearances, each of which in a short relief role. He was also an integral part of that horrible August collapse against the Orioles, one of the games that best encapsulated the frustration of the '04 Jays.

Robert: Rick Adair marvelled at Frederick when the Box was in Erie early in the season, wondering why he wasn't in AAA or the majors. He could still have a journeyman's career as a reliever, but it's a big jump from succeeding in AAA and surviving in the majors and some pitchers never make it.

Lucas: Threw lights-out for Syracuse and New Hampshire. BB/K rate plummeted upon call-up. Nine of his 21 runs were allowed in two mop-up appearances, so maybe an “F” is too severe.

Roy Halladay: C+
(GPA 2.30, High B, Low D+)

Thomas: His results weren't that good, but they weren't awful either. Add in pretty large considerations about his injury and the pressures placed on him as being staff ace and I'm willing to be pretty forgiving. If he's healthy there's no reason he shouldn't pick up where 2003 left off.

Lucas: I suppose his grade depends on how much his injury is held against him. Cold-hearted me went purely on expectations. Averaged 250 innings with a 3.10 ERA the last two years, dropped to 133 innings and a 4.20 ERA in 2004.

Pat Hentgen: E
(GPA 0.46, High D, Low F)

Gerry: Pat Hentgen disappointed himself, and Blue Jay fans everywhere, with his 2004 performance. We still don't know how he put up good numbers in the second half of 2003.

Pistol: The success on the mound wasn't there, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. Hentgen left at mid-season knowing that he didn't have anything left in the tank. There's something admirable about that.

Jonny: As painful as it is for a Blue Jay fan to admit, Pat Hentgen was a full-measure failure this year, showing no trace of his mid-90s form. Thanks for the memories, Pat!

Moffatt: People who believe in DIPS thought that Hentgen's post All-Star numbers last year were done by smoke and mirrors. Those people were right.

Jason Kershner: D-
(GPA 0.87, High C, Low F)

Spicol: Four times in Jason's short stint with the Big Jays this season, he entered a game, allowed a man or two to reach base and was yanked by a pull-happy Tosca without getting an out. On all four occasions, the subsequent reliever allowed one or more of Jason's baserunners to score. I ask you, was Kershner's poor performance (6.04 ERA despite a decent k-rate and walk rate) due to the way he pitched or the way he was used and ultimately "supported" by his teammates? Considering he continued to pitch poorly in Syracuse over the rest of the season, maybe it was a bit of both.

Kerry Ligtenberg: D-
(GPA 0.76, High C, Low F)

Lucas: Is it possible to rate Ligtenberg anything but an "F?" It is. His rates of homers allowed, walks and strikeouts were actually very close to career averages. Unfortunately, everything hit into the field of play became a hit. Prior to 2003, he'd allowed a .269 average on balls in play; in 2004, that average skyrocketed to .382. He'll be better in '05.

Gerry: Kerry Ligtenberg did have some good performances, some days he was just horrible. A half dozen terrible outings cannot completely mask the good ones and a D- is too low.

Mike D: F, F, a thousand times F!

Looking over the season's boxscores, Kerry played an integral role in TEN -- count 'em, ten -- losses, usually by frittering away leads or tie scores, or by allowing slim deficits to balloon way out of hand on his watch. His awful ERA didn't even tell the whole story of his badness, as an astonishing 17 of his 29 inherited runners came home to score. Certainly, he could have added to his Resume Of Doom had the Jays not kept him 300 yards from pressure situations from about mid-August on, as evidenced by his ugly meltdown against the Yankees in the Menechino Game.

I supported this signing, as he had a very good track record, health excepted, over the course of his career. I don't know if it's because he got way out of shape, pitched hurt, or simply lost confidence, but he severely underperformed this season, especially in high-leverage situations. I'd reluctantly be willing to give him another chance next year, but he's got to rededicate himself to conditioning.

Ted Lilly: A-
(GPA 3.72, High A+, Low B)

Robert: I love the way he pitches. Three plus pitches (fastball, change, curve) give him the weapons to succeed for a long time. When he has command of the curve he's going to pitch a good game. Probably a little too aggressive against the opposition's best hitter with men on base.

Mike Green: Lilly's performance, as measured by the three true outcomes (walks, homers and strikeouts) and the two indicators (line drive rate and popup rate) was fair. He's a flyball pitcher, who benefited from the superior defence of Wells and Rios. 197 innings of fair performance is a B in my book.

Moffatt: I was possibly the only person on the Box who thought that Lilly for Kielty was a bad idea. I'm really glad that J.P. agreed with the majority position and made this move.

Aquilino Lopez: F
(GPA 0.21, High D, Low F)

Mike Green: What is there to say? He pitched very poorly in 04 after a promising 03, was sent down to Syracuse where he continued to pitch badly and was released by the organization.

Spicol: Looks like I was more generous to Aquilino than most of the Roster. Clearly, April was a disaster (11 runs, 4 HR and 19 baserunners allowed in 8.2 IP) but he wasn't bad throughout May and June (3 ER in 12.1 IP). Who knows what happened in Syracuse but the electricity he showed in '03 just wasn't there this year. He might be hiding an injury.

Moffatt: What happened to this guy? He's a cautionary tale to those putting to those who want to appoint Jason Frasor the closer for life.

Justin Miller: D+
(GPA 1.49, High B-, Low F)

Thomas: He didn't flunk this year but he came pretty close. When he's on Miller has really nasty stuff, but he needs to strike out more batters if is he going to compensate for his lack of control. A 1.12 K./BB ratio with a K/9 ratio of under 5.50 won't cut it unless you're Kirk Reuter. His window of opportunity to stake a claim in the future rotation of this club is closing rapidly. He'll likely get a shot in the pen in 2005, and he has to impress there.

Robert: Not the same pitcher after his leg injury this year. It could be that he was too rusty to have proper command of his pitches after coming back. He's always struggled with location and he doesn't have the same movement he had pre-injury. He might come back next year and be a decent pitcher, but I doubt it will be as a Blue Jay.

Dave: 95% of the time, he seems to have no idea what he's doing out there. The other 5%, he's a dominant major league starting pitcher. He reminds me of Robert Person: lots of potential, not so much on the actual. And, even if he does manage to put it all together, he's likely to get hurt. I don't expect anything from him.

Micheal Nakamura: D
(GPA 0.93, High C, Low F)

Pistol: Nakamura was effective for his first month with the team and then the wheels came off. He was worth taking a look at, and was essentially free, but it doesn't look like he has a future in Toronto at this point.

Jordan: Yes, it was only 25 innings, but a 7.36 ERA? Seven homers allowed? Nakamura is the exception to the rule about BB/K peripherals being positive indicators. Not a big-league pitcher.

Justin Speier: B
(GPA 3.03, High A-, Low C)

Gerry: Justin Speier did pitch better at the end of the year but he had 8 losses. He was not "B" worthy. Speier had 8 losses in 62 games, Jason Frasor had 4 losses in 63 games, Ligtenberg, who was ranked far lower, had six losses in 57 games..

Mike Green: Speier's performance mirrored Lilly's, although over many fewer innings. He's an extreme fly-ball pitcher, who benefited from the strong outfield defence. His walk, HR and K rates were all a little less than Ted's. He's a serviceable reliever. Ideally, he wouldn't be the ace among the relief corps, but 2004 was not a year to be worrying about the ideal.

Josh Towers: B-
(GPA 2.59, High A-, Low C)

Craig: Josh Towers makes as much out of what he has as any pitcher in baseball, leaves everything on the field, tells it like it is, and never backs down. I love him for it, and though he remains a #5 starter he deserves a shot with a team that won't screw around with him - hopefully the Blue Jays. Extremely limited upside, though.

Mick: Josh "Fawlty" Towers. Sure, he was 9-9 in his 21 starts. Better record than Batista? Uh, no. I have just one stat to back that up. Batters hit .273 against Batista, while they managed to his *.310* against Towers. Competing against himself rather than El Artista, how about this ... coming into 2004, Towers had a career K/BB of 113/28 (4.03:1). This past season it was 51/26 (1.96:1). Make that Josh "Afwul" Towers -- a reach for the Paris pun, but I'm looking for a closing line here and that was it.

2004 Blue Jays Final Grades - Pitchers | 19 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike D - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 11:16 AM EST (#19151) #
Great job in putting this together, Jonny!
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 11:19 AM EST (#19152) #
I fear that this thread may have been lost to readers in the flood of spam. Surely the readership has some thoughts on the Roster grades. Are we too nasty or too nice? Maybe all of you agree with the consensus, but that doesn't seem too likely.
_DeMarco - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 11:45 AM EST (#19153) #
Here are my personal grades (in bracket):

Terry Adams: C- (D)
Miguel Batista: C (C)
David Bush: B+ (B)
Vinnie Chulk: C+ (C)
Valerio de los Santos: E (F)
Bob File: C- (D)
Jason Frasor: B (B-)
Kevin Frederick: D+ (F)
Roy Halladay: C+ (B)
Pat Hentgen: E (F)
Jason Kershner: D- (D-)
Kerry Ligtenberg: D- (F)
Ted Lilly: A- (A-)
Aquilino Lopez: F (F)
Justin Miller: D+ (D)
Micheal Nakamura: D (F)
Justin Speier: B (B)
Josh Towers: B- (C)
_Ducey - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 11:45 AM EST (#19154) #
I would give Bush an A myself. You may question his ability to succeed longterm but this was not the exercise was it?

I disagree with Gerry that he does not have an outstanding pitch. I think his curveball is great. When he was getting it over he was really effective. He changed speeds on it very effectively. I am not sure you could expect any better performance from a guy in his first major league season.
_R Billie - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 01:30 PM EST (#19155) #
My own thoughts.

Terry Adams: C- (D)
In retrospect it was probably unreasonable to expect Adams to repeat his career like performance of 2003. He did start off the year well and then seemed to completely fall apart as his role improved which is what really disappointed me. It was a decent gamble on a one year deal that turned into a decent prospect. This is the type of risk the Jays should continue to take on players who will have trade value even if they underperform expectations.

Miguel Batista: C (C)
Part of his struggles I'm willing to write off as a change in leagues, maybe part because he's seldom pitched an entire season as a starter. His K/BB rate has never been exemplary but it really nose-dived this year. Late in the season even throwing his fastball for strikes posed a big challenge and that's never something you want in a pitcher. I think he can fix that but he'll never be confused with Halladay or even Escobar in the control department. If he's a starter he can give the team league average innings though they won't look pretty. As a reliever who knows...he has the stuff to dominate but if he still struggles with command it won't do him much good.

David Bush: B+ (A)
You couldn't ask much more from a rookie drafted just two years ago. He showed command of all of his pitches, a good knack for setting up hitters, and the poise of a veteran. He gives up a lot of hits but keeps walks and homeruns reasonable. The few times he struggled he failed to mix his pitches adequately to make up for his average stuff. His ceiling is probably no higher than a #3 starter, definately a solid 4th, but I think he can give the Jays 200 Radke-like innings for years to come without the $9 million salary Radke is likely to earn. That's pretty darn valuable.

Vinnie Chulk: C+ (C)
He gave the team everything he had at a time when no other relievers outside of Frasor were getting it done. His command was never where it should be though and as the team used him more and more the pitches started elevating and Chulk started getting hurt. He also doesn't have much of a weapon against good lefthanded hitting. It's important for the Jays to get veteran production in the pen so guys like Chulk won't be overworked or have to carry the burden of high leverage situations all the time.

Valerio de los Santos: E (Incomplete)
Apparently he was hurt much of the year. His numbers weren't terribly impressive coming into the year but they indicated he could handle righties as well as lefties which should have made him more than a LOOGY. He probably has the ability to be a serviceable middle reliever but not really a high leverage guy.

Bob File: C- (D)
You have to respect a guy that comes all the way back from the problems that File had. Unfortunately he never found his good breaking ball and even when he had it he didn't have a pitch to put away lefties which limited his upside. It's going to be tough for File in the majors until he finds that slider again.

Jason Frasor: B (C)
His results were great when the team really needed a shot in the arm in the pen. His command however was not quite in line with the good results. He had to fight his way back from a lot of 3-ball counts early in the year and as the season progressed he was able to battle back from fewer of them. He also didn't throw his slider as much as he needed to relying almost exclusively on the heat. He's not a closer though if he tighten up his control and mixed his pitches better he could be.

Kevin Frederick: D+ (F)
The stuff is there but I suppose there's a reason this formerly favoured prospect hasn't made an impact at age 27. His control isn't good enough and I suspect he doesn't hide the ball well enough with his delivery allowing hitters to gauge his release point and follow the ball all the way even with the good movement it has.

Roy Halladay: C+ (C+)
I'm more likely to rate Doc incomplete. It was clear he wasn't the pitcher he was last year, losing some command and not mixing his pitches as much as he did before. He looked healthy in his last three starts which was very important. Hopefully he'll get the appropriate amount of rest for his arm from now on.

Pat Hentgen: E (F)
Disappointing. I never thought for a second he was the pitcher he was in the second half of '04 but I was hoping for a guy who could at least be in the neighbourhood of Batista's 4.80 ERA as a 4th or 5th starter. You know it wasn't for lack of effort.

Jason Kershner: D- (D-)
Hmm. I didn't feel strongly either way on Kershner. I knew he was in the mix but I wasn't sure what to expect from him.

Kerry Ligtenberg: D- (D)
Like Halladay I'm more likely to give Ligtenberg an incomplete. His peripherals were there but he was apparently battling a serious hip problem for much of the year. Hopefully he'll get over it and the Jays will get something closer to the guy they signed. His upside is limited because lefties hit him hard but he should be a guy you can bring in late in the game against the Mora/Tejada/Lopez lineups of the world.

Ted Lilly: A- (B)
Lilly was very good but there's a great deal of room for improvement. I have problems giving a guy an A when he simply isn't pitching efficiently or getting the most from his abilities. When he has control of his curveball AND mixes in his changeup enough, he looks unbeatable. He seldom does both though and often he misses with his curve too much and runs up his pitch counts. His curve is definatley an out pitch but I'd like to see him stick with a simpler game plan and give the team more innings per start. He has #2 starter potential.

Aquilino Lopez: F (F)
Whether it was too much work in 2003 between the majors and winter ball, the league realizing he relies on his slider too much, or the Jays tinkering with his delivery, Lopez didn't resemble the pitcher he was last year. It all starts with his fastball which just wasn't good. It didn't matter how good the slider was if he fastball wasn't there to set it up. You can't get away with throwing only a breaking ball no matter how good it is.

Justin Miller: D+ (D)
D is a fair grade but I would have liked to see Justin pitch healthy the entire season or at least be given appropriate time to recover from his injury in the minors before being thrust back into the breach after several weeks off. His performance was right up there with Lilly and Batista early in the year. It might be that he can't stay healthy but shows all the promise of being a useful major league pitcher. When he's on he looks like a 15 game winner.

Micheal Nakamura: D (F)
Nakamura has the command and the movement and the crazy arm angle and the pitchability. He simply doesn't throw hard enough to keep major league hitters honest. Especially lefties who aren't fooled much by his sidearming action.

Justin Speier: B (B)
Speier looks like a solid above average reliever when he's healthy. He could probably put up OK numbers as a closer given an extended chance but setup and middle relief on a deeper team is more his speed.

Josh Towers: B- (C+)
Josh keeps impressing the team with solid performances just when one is ready to write him off. I think by this time people know what to expect from him. Decent innings as a #5 starter, a record around .500, and a quick hook for the big innings he seems to inevitably give up without warning. His strikeout rate is borderline poor but he has just enough velocity to hang in against major league hitters and usually brings good control, if not command within the strikezone. He probably deserves the #5 starter role in 2005, even if it's only to try and produce some trade value so that Chacin or Arnold can eventually take over the role.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 01:58 PM EST (#19156) #
Excellent post, R. Billie.

One difficult question is how to deal with players had a 1/2 season or less with the club. One approach is to grade them on the same scale as those who play a full season based on their performance (so Bush gets maybe in the A- range and Gabe Gross get something in the D/D- range). Another approach is to grade them on a less differentiated scale on the theory that the sample sizes are small (so Bush maybe gets in the B/B- range and Gross gets in the C- range). Either approach has validity.
_DeMarco - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 02:23 PM EST (#19157) #
Just some thoughts:


I have heard someone close to the situation say, 'if this guy cared as much about baseball as he did about his poetry, he would be a perennial all-star'. However, regardless if there is any truth to this comment, Batista did not perform to expectations, but was still a serviceable starting pitcher that won 10 games.


Because he only pitched half a season and wasn’t spectacular, I don't think I can justify giving him an A.

de los Santos

He pitched 11 innings a walked 10 batters, I don't see any reason he deserves anything higher than an F.


He should be commended for the job he did because he should have never been put in that situation. However his saves are misleading and was just an average pitcher last year (which is positive for the future, but this is about 2004)


If a player is hurt, he shouldn't play, especially when it's obvious he is hurting the team. His performance in 2004 was one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

Justin Miller

The tattoo story alone made him a worthwhile pitcher, he is definitely a different character with some talent. He was hurt by a poor outing after learning about a death in his family. I think this guy is worth keeping around for another look, however his 2004 season has to be evaluated as a disappointment.


I thought he should have been the closer from the beginning of the year. He was very good when he wasn't hurt.


I'm just biased against pitchers that don't strike out a lot of hitters. Towers was a nice guy to have as an insurance policy, however I would hate to have to count on him as one of my top 5 starters.
_Ron - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 02:30 PM EST (#19158) #
I think Miller is done with the Jays. The wheels came off this season. He has good stuff but I'm thinking his problem is mental. I don't see this guy having a long career in the bigs.

Towers is an interesting case. When the injuries piled up in the summer he carried the pitching staff for 6 weeks. Hopefully he gets a fair shot as the 5th starter.
_Fozzy - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 02:43 PM EST (#19159) #
I agree with Ron about Towers; when compared to similar teams' fifth starters he's one of the better ones, and doesn't seem to put up a whole lot of complaining considering how much #5 starters get jerked around because of the schedule...

I'm not sure what more he can do to prove himself to the Jays though these past couple of years, but I digress...
_DeMarco - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 02:48 PM EST (#19160) #
Again I am a little biased, however I still expect Towers to pitch poorly despite his past success. That is the main reason that I wouldn't make him the 5th starter.

Ron is probably right that Miller is gone from the Jays, and I do think he has some mental issues, but I would rather have him as my 5th starter than Towers. (I'd prefer someone else over both of them, but if I had to pick between the two...)
_R Billie - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 03:32 PM EST (#19161) #
I think if Miller was gone the Jays would have taken him off the 40-man roster along with the six other guys they removed earlier. It looks like they will at least give him a chance though I think it will take a bit of time in the minors as a starter for him to tune up his control back to where it was before the injury. If he does I think he can give Lilly a run for his money as a starter. I mean if you can live with Batista's command problems and pay him nearly $5 million, you can surely live with Miller earning the minimum.

I really don't put much stock at all in the innings after Miller's return from injury when he struggled. His control has always been sensitive and throwing him to the dogs after about two months off without a chance to tune up his command was unfair. If you look at his pre-injury numbers they were relatively solid if unspectacular.

If he's going to succeed it's going to be as a starter. His first inning performance is way too erratic for him to be a reliever.
_Caino - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 04:24 PM EST (#19162) #
It seems like having Towers and Miller may be a tad redundant. I don't see either any higher than a fifth starter on a good team. But who knows? Surely J.P. does more so than myself...
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 04:27 PM EST (#19163) #
There is nothing wrong with having six or seven viable candidates for the starting rotation. Pitcher's health is always an issue, and if a team makes it through May with its' top 5 starters still pitching, it's been a good year.
_Caino - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 04:42 PM EST (#19164) #
"There is nothing wrong with having six or seven viable candidates for the starting rotation. Pitcher's health is always an issue, and if a team makes it through May with its' top 5 starters still pitching, it's been a good year."

Very true. I was thinking in line with whether pretecting him over a prospect on the forty man roster was a good idea. Any thoughts?
_Geoff - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 05:12 PM EST (#19165) #
I was thinking in line with whether pretecting him over a prospect on the forty man roster was a good idea. Any thoughts?

This, I find, is one of the more delicate balancing acts a team faces. Especially a team like ours with a deep farm system. We don't want to lose good prospects. However, we want some AAAA players on our 40 so that we are not rushing prospects to the bigs out of necessity. In my head, 30/10 (MLB players/prospects is about the right balance - I think Towers makes a top 30 list - assuming he'd be willing, if need be, to be in the bottom 5 at AAA
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 05:20 PM EST (#19166) #
It depends on whether the prospect who might be left off the 40 man as a result is, say, John Hattig, at one pole and Robinson Diaz at the other. We'll be taking a closer look at the 40 man roster soon.
_Mylegacy - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 09:27 PM EST (#19167) #
About Lighterfluid:

I'm sure I read he had(has) arthritis in his hip. I'm no doctor but a friend of mine says if he has then he's through as a professional athlete.

Anyone know a) if he "has" and b) how serious that is?
_Caino - Wednesday, November 03 2004 @ 10:58 PM EST (#19168) #
"I'm sure I read he had(has) arthritis in his hip. I'm no doctor but a friend of mine says if he has then he's through as a professional athlete."
Ya I "heard" that he "has" arthritis in his hip too. I'm 100% sure on it, just not on the source. I'm pretty sure it was on The Fan. So Wilner, if you read ths, can you confirm??
I know Mogilny had Asteo-arthritis in his hip. As i recall he missed most of the season, and wasn't very effective in the playoffs. But I'm not sure if that was why he missed games, or he had other things wrong with him too. I'm also not sure if our pal Lighterfluid has the same kind of arthiritis or not.
_Doodles - Saturday, November 06 2004 @ 04:42 PM EST (#19169) #
There is a kid in my small town who is supposedly throwing up to 93 mph. That is what they are saying. I havent seen it yet. He is a small thin righthander who is a senior, 17 in high school who is going to be draft elegible this year. Supposedly he is a stud. But he is under 6' feet tall and maybe 170 pounds. But he does have a future in pro ball. He is from the area just outside of Sudbury, Ontario. Alexander Mackenzie. Anyone know anything about this player? I wouldn't be surprised at all considering he is an Ontario kid if the Jays tried to sign him as a 30th rounder for about $30 grande upon completing high school. Anyone familiar with Mackenzie?
2004 Blue Jays Final Grades - Pitchers | 19 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.