Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
After the season the Batter's Box roster got together to discuss the season. Here's what was said in the first of the five part series:

Craig B: It was an irredeemably disastrous season which has set this team back two years, at least. None of us expected this (a few of us feared it a possibility, but even then we didn't fear it would be this bad). It was a nightmare season from the very first game.

There were a grand total of two significant bright spots this season. Dave Bush pitched very well and Jason Frasor did as well.

That's it. The rest was a disappointment.

Coach: There's no way to put a positive spin on the season, which was indeed disastrous and is certainly irredeemable. It may even have "set this team back two years" in terms of winning over large numbers of fans, but I don't believe it will affect their play in 2005 and 2006.

Needless to say, any remote chance of being a fringe 2004 contender depended on all three superstars remaining among the league's best players at their positions. They didn't necessarily have to be in the top ten again as AL MVP candidates, but they definitely had to carry the team and hope that the supporting cast was adequate. If even one of them had succumbed to injury for any length of time, a .500 season would have been an accomplishment. All three? Read the standings and weep.

I may be in the minority around here for believing in clubhouse chemistry, hitting being contagious and other so-called intangibles, but those things are as real as a fastball between the shoulder blades -- they can hurt just as much, only it's harder to shake off the effects. Whether Carlos and Vernon were playing with nagging injuries or simply out of sync at the plate back in April, others (notably Hinske and Phelps) tried too hard too pick up the power slack. By May, it was obvious that Delgado was hurting more than helping. The hitting machine of 2003 was missing its engine, and every player knew it.

They were also quite aware that Halladay wasn't right. Even before shutting it down, Doc wasn't himself. A sense of impending doom permeated the clubhouse. How could it not? Winning clubs expect to win. It's an ingrained confidence that each player develops in himself and his teammates. If you're questioning, you're doubting, which leads to losing.

Dave Till: As Craig says, irredeemably disastrous pretty much covers it. The biggest things that went wrong:

1. Josh Phelps went splat. Instead of becoming a reliable 30+ HR masher, the former BP coverboy has turned into a platoon DH at best. While no one has ever publicly admitted it, the plan was to replace Delgado with Phelps. The organization didn't really have a backup plan for first base, as everyone assumed (with some justification) that Josh was going to be The Man. Now, it will be two or three years, at least, before a comparable basher can come up through the system. Since the Jays will not pony up the cash to sign Delgado, they'll have to try to cover first base with a mix and match of spare parts.

2. Eric Hinske regressed. At one time, it looked like you could pencil Hinske in for 20+ HR and a .270 average with walks; now, it looks like he's not going to reach any of those totals. And he's locked in for three more years. As with first base, the Jays didn't really have a backup plan here, either - the farm system is stocked with outfielders and pitchers, since that's what the club seemed to need.

3. Dustin McGowan blew up. He was expected to be better than Dave Bush; now, it will be two years before he can round into anything resembling his previous form, if he ever does. This opens another hole in the starting rotation.

4. None of the imported bullpen help worked out. The Jays signed three pitchers with closer experience, and none of them proved able to close games (though Tosca can possibly be blamed a bit for this, as he tended to shuttle from one to another at two-week intervals). Of the bullpen pitchers on the 2004 staff, only Speier can be counted on to be useful at all, and he's not really a ninth-inning guy. They also might be able to reclaim Frasor with careful handling.

5. Kevin Cash proved useless with the bat. He won't even have a career as a backup catcher now.

6. Of course, all the injuries.

From a casual fan's perspective, what we're looking at is a team that is on its way to losing nearly 95 games, and is about to lose its best hitter in the offseason. I don't envy the person whose job it is to try to market the 2005 Jays.

Having said all that, there is a glimmer of hope for the future. The kids coming up seem to be able to actually play a little. Rios has a lot of potential and a broad base of skills. I'm not high on Gross, but he can do some things. Adams is playing like he belongs here. Bush is now a quality starter and has shown that he can dominate at times. I'm not sure Chacin is for real, but he and Quiroz are likely to help each other's major league chances, as they work so well together as a team. And League has a world of potential, either as a dominating closer, or as an effective starter if he can learn a new pitch or two.

Leigh: "Unless, of course, my nine all-stars fall victim to nine separate misfortunes and are unable to play tomorrow. But that will never happen. Three misfortunes, that's possible. Seven misfortunes, there's an outside chance. But nine misfortunes? I'd like to see that!"
- Mr. Burns, in the classic Simpsons episode Homer at the Bat

That sums up the Jays 2004 season. If somebody would have asked me, during Spring training, if the Jays could possibly finish last in the American League East, I'd have said no, and then quoted the above passage.

I was overflowing with optimism at the beginning of April, 2004. Was the optimism warranted or naive? I'll say warranted, as warranted as Mr. Burns' optimism in Homer at the Bat. The Jays', like the Nuclear Plant Softball Team, suffered nine separate misfortunes, the simultaneous occurrence of which is the stuff of comedic fantasy.

Here, then, are the nine separate misfortunes which kept the Jays from winning over 90 games.

Run Distribution Bad Luck: the team finished 67-94, whereas their pythagorean projection based on runs scored and allowed was 71-90. So, that's 719 runs scored, 823 allowed = 71 - 90.

Carlos Delgado: from 1999 to 2003 (inclusive), Delgado averaged 133 runs created per season. In 2004 he created 89 runs. That's a 44 run difference, 31 after removing the 13 runs contributed by Phelps, Crozier and Gomez (pro-rated to match [each making up one-third] the number of plate appearances that Delgado missed relative to his five season average). We can then do the pythagorean projection over again, with the 31 extra runs added. So, now we are at 750 runs scored, 823 allowed = 74 - 87.

Roy Halladay's Injury: using Baseball Prospectus' PRAR (pitching-only runs above replacement), Roy Halladay was better than a replacement level pitcher by 93 runs in 2002, 102 runs in 2003, and 44 runs in 2004. If 2004 had matched his established performance level, the Jays would have benefited by 54 runs (98 - 44) - we don't have to add the value of his replacements while he was injured, because this stat is above replacement level, rather than gross production (as opposed to runs created in the above Delgado analysis). So, now we are at 750 runs scored, 769 allowed = 79 - 82.

Vernon Wells' Injury and Fluke-Induced Performance Drop: using Baseball Prospectus' BRAR (batting runs above replacement player), Wells was better than a replacement level player by 51 runs in 2003, compared to 21 in 2004. That's 30 runs. So, now we are at 780 runs scored, 769 allowed = 82 - 79.

Eric Hinske's Unexpected Performance Drop: using BRAR again, Hinske was 38 runs over replacement in 2002, 15 in 2003 and, well, 0 in 2004. For the rest of the third-basemen in baseball in 2004, the stat is BRAH (batting runs above Hinske). In the interest of not being too ridiculous with this, let's just use Hinske's 2003. I did not consider Wells' 2002, which was worse than his 2003, so I will not for Hinske even though it would help my analysis [sic] here. That's 15 runs difference. So, now we are at 795 runs scored, 769 allowed = 83 - 78.

Frank Catalanotto's Injury Problems: using a three-year average BRAR for the Cat, we could have expected 22 runs over replacement; instead we got five. That's 17 runs difference. So, now we are at 812 runs scored, 769 allowed = 85 - 76.

Miguel Batista's Control Problem Aberration: using the Halladay method above, we lost out on 12 pitching runs from Batista, relative to his 2003 numbers. So, now we are at 812 runs scored, 757 allowed = 86 - 75.

The Untimely End to Pat Hengten's Career: lest you think that I am weighing his very good 2003 season too heavily, I'll use a five-year PRAR average for Hentgen. Hentgen's five-year PRAR average, previous to 2004, was 34. In 2004, it was four. That's 30 runs difference. So, now we are at 812 runs scored, 727 allowed = 89 - 72.

Josh Phelps' Unexpected Performance Drop: using a two-year average BRAR for Phelps, we could have expected 21 runs over replacement, instead we got one. I think it is safe to assume that he would not have been traded if he had performed at his 2002/2003 established performance level. That is a 20 run difference. So, now we are at 832 runs scored, 727 allowed = 91 - 70.

So there you have it, this team could have easily won 91 games. The Season From Hell was a total fluke, the product of nine separate misfortunes.

Jordan: I agree on Craig’s latter two points -- it was a season, and it was just disastrous -- but I'm not sure about irredeemable. If nothing else, a lot of players important to the franchise's future got useful experience and even exceeded expectations at times. I'd be a lot more depressed if Dave Berg had finished the season as the regular second baseman against lefties.

Thomas: I wouldn't go so far as to say the Jays have been set back two years, but I can't see this season as treading water, either. Eric Hinske took another noticable step backwards and with the amount of money we have tied up in him over the next three years, that's a worrisome sign. His defence is improving, but with an OBP of .312 and a slugging percentage under .400 that's simply not adequate for a third baseman. Hudson took a step forward, but Vernon regressed as well. I didn't expect Vernon to drop this much from last year (although I was expecting a drop) and I wasn't impressed by his approach at the plate as a whole. McGowan's injury was devastating and Peterson's collapse is worrisome, as well.

There were some big strides forward made by several players in the minors, and I agree that JP is parctiularly strong at the draft. But I don't see us at the same position we were last year.

Robert Dudek: There's at least three other positive things to add to Craig's list:

1) Russ Adams has silenced most of the doubters with his bat. He seems to be light years ahead of Chris Woodward with the bat. I'm confident that he'll be able to outhit the shortstops we've had this year.

2) The phenomenal rise of Gustavo Chacin in the second half of the season. I doubt there was a better pitcher in the Eastern League in the last few months. His two starts in Toronto bode well - I expect him to start the year in Syracuse with a June call-up if things go well.

3) The Hawaiian Punch-Out. One of the most exciting arms our system has ever produced. The difference between League and Billy Koch is the movement on his fastball (Koch had none). He'll likely need more seasoning, but if I were running the team I'd stick him in long-relief next year and let him learn at the big league level.

Craig B: Robert, I didn't count the September callups as a bright spot... I probably should have. Clearly the success of Adams, Chacin and League and flashes from Quiroz as well, are very encouraging.

Also, it's not really a "bright spot" for me when someone continues to develop as I expect him to, but clearly (to me) Orlando Hudson has turned into an elite defender at second base and has hit well.

Mike Green:Paint me with rose-coloured glasses, but I see the team at about the same place as it was at the start of the season. This season, for me, was about the development of the kids and on this point the news was mixed but on balance a little positive (with the unexpected leaps forward by Chacin and Adams being the keys). The high points have mostly been touched on, but I would add in the development of Aaron Hill. I expect the core of the infield of 2006 to be Quiroz, Hill, Adams and Hudson, and I am quite pleased by that.


Part II tomorrow will take a look at the team off the field.
Year in Review Roundtable - Part I | 33 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Dan H - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 12:33 AM EST (#18961) #
Good stuff guys. Interesting to see the various takes on a disappointing season.

like the Nuclear Plant Softball Team, suffered nine separate misfortunes,

Not to nitpick, but they only suffered eight separate losses; Strawberry played the game, only to be pinchhit for by Home Run Homer as Burns 'played the percentages' in the ninth.

and yes, I watch WAY too much television.
_Nolan - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 01:11 AM EST (#18962) #
This just kind of popped into my head as I was reading Craig's pronouncment of this year as a season which has set this team back two years, at least. I am wondering if perhaps the opposite is true...

We were not supposed to seriously contend in '04 anyways; yes, the Jays were seen as a strong that probably would win 80-87 games with 90 wins as an optimal performance.

Let's say we won 88 games. Vernon played somewhere inbetween '02 and '03 levels, Delgado stayed healthy and performed up to his standards, Doc logged 240 premium innings, Woodward hit decent and kept his job, Hinske played just below his ROY season, Batista had approximated his '03 season, our new relievers played well and Cat performed up to his 3 year average (as Leigh described).

If all this had happened:

-Rios would probably have been a late call up and gotten considerably less playing time.

-Adams, Gross, Quiroz, League, Bush, Chacin, and Crozier would all probably had a lot less playing time when they were called up. Some, like Chacin and Quiroz and Crozier, may not have been called up.

-Mighty Mouse would probably not been picked up; if Woodward had been playing decent, there would have been little need of another utility infielder.

-We would have neve put BBBatista into the closer role or seen this as an option.

SO What?

-Well, our development of our future foundations got a huge headstart. If we had won 88 games, there is little chance that Rios is an everyday player. That puts his development for '05 back almost a year; instead in '05 we get to see a comfortable Rios who now knows he can make contact and can aim for power more often (Just in reading what he has said, it seems this year his main focus was solely on contact...). Also, Bush, Gross, Chacin, Adams, League, Crozier, etc. have all tasted the Majors and can probably be counted on for a little bit more in '05

-Doc's arm took a rest. This may be a hugely oversimplistic and sunny take on this, but if Doc's arm needed a rest, it's better he does it this year than go dead in '05 or '06 when there is a greater possiblity of competing for a title.

-This has been said before, but if Delgado had hit in '04 like he did in '03, then there is even less of a chance we can sign him this offseason (I still believe he will sign...).

My point is that if '04 had gone as planned, the Jays would then developing players next year that they got to take a long look at this year.


Yeah, I realize that this does not make this year seem any better, especially with the failure of Phelps- which I believe is the greatest set back in all of '04 (McGowan comes in second)-but, hey, it doesn't hurt.
_Nolan - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 01:12 AM EST (#18963) #
Wow, that was the longest and most opinionated thing I've ever posted on here...kind of scary actually...
_Caino - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 01:14 AM EST (#18964) #
Great job guys. This should generate some much needed off-season gossip.

I agree with Mike Green about the infeild. Personally, I'm excited about this team with J.P. at the healm. He strikes me as a manager with the future in mind. He is putting the personnel in place for this team to be successful for a long time and I see the infeild as bieng an example of that.

As a side bar. What is the status of Durazo?

I hear people wanting us to pick him up, but I couldn't find any info on him being a free agent. He'd obviously be a solid pick up, but would be expensive with a OPS of over .900. That said, would look good in the middle fo our line-up, that's for sure.
_Caino - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 01:16 AM EST (#18965) #
"We were not supposed to seriously contend in '04 anyways; yes, the Jays were seen as a strong that probably would win 80-87 games with 90 wins as an optimal performance."

Good point. In the long run, a high pick will probly help us out more than another year of finishing third.
_Magpie - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 02:51 AM EST (#18966) #
I may be in the minority around here for believing in clubhouse chemistry, hitting being contagious and other so-called intangibles

Its hard to talk about what can't be measured. And its easy to pretend it doesn't exist.

But I'll bet that if the bullpen hadn't been in a state of utter chaos almost from Day One, Kerry Ligtenberg would have been shut down until he was 100 percent healthy. I think he would have shut himself down.
_Ron - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 03:19 AM EST (#18967) #
I would be interested to see who led the Jays last season at swinging at the first pitch. My guess would be Wells. I couldn't even count how many times in his AB's he would swing and miss on the first pitch that was a high fastball out of the strike zone.

Hopefully he recongnizes this and corrects it for next season. Even though I don't put much stock in the MLB Stars vs. Japan player series, Wells has been outstanding so far.

One bright spot nobody has mentioned is Ted Lilly. While he was inconsistent at times, he still had an excellent season. He finished 2nd in the AL in BAA (.230)and was 6th in K's (168). His downfall was that he walked too many batters (89)and still continues to nibble around the plate even when he's behind in the count. For next season I'm not sure if Lilly can match or improve last seasons performance.
_Ron - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 03:27 AM EST (#18968) #
Another bright spot nobody has mentioned was the steady play and leadership provied by Greg Zaun.

And I just found out 6 teams have expressed interest in Zaun (COMN). Playing time will be a major factor for him. If Zaun leaves the Jays, they have a huge hole to fill at C.
_deesanchez - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 06:16 AM EST (#18969) #
unless myers will come back (healthy)...
_Scott - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 09:15 AM EST (#18970) #
I could bearly watch the end of the season. I am already fearing next season. I will go on record as saying the Jays will lose at least 87 games next season. Things could change over the winter, but I do not believe they will.
_Daryn - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 09:53 AM EST (#18971) #

We also finally made up our minds on Woodward and cut him....

I like the Zaun story, but its not a Jays success, its a "Zaun" success.. he won't be a factor in 2006-7 anyway... and little else matters..
_Mick - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 09:54 AM EST (#18972) #
I did not participate in the roundtable, but wanted to note that I think Leigh's Simpsons analysis is genius. Hey Richard Griffin, if you're reading, there's a ready-made column for you -- just be sure to spell Leigh's name write! (yes, that was intentional irony, copyeditor fans)
_Paul D - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 09:55 AM EST (#18973) #
Well, rumour is that Oakland's going to make Dotel available this offseason, and that Washington's going to make Nick Johnson available. One of Johnson or Durazo would make a decent stop gap first baseman, until the Jays can figure out what to do there long term. If you had Johnson, Cat, and one other player to rotate between 1b and DH, you'd be covered for the inevitable injuries to Cat and Johnson.

And I don't think Zaun will be that big of a loss. I'm guessing that JP can find a journeyman catcher out there if he really needs one.
Don't get me wrong, I'd like Zaun to stay, I just don't think it's a big deal if he doesn't.
Named For Hank - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 10:06 AM EST (#18974) #
I'm with Mick in both senses -- non-contribution and Leigh's a genuis.

But don't worry, I'm hard at work on my offseason State of the Fans address.
_Daryn - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 10:07 AM EST (#18975) #
I will go on record as saying the Jays will lose at least 87 games next season

87... I don't mean to be a pessimist, but I'm thinking MORE losses next year is a possibility, so more like 95...

The reason is, for this team to compete big time, it needs a David Ortiz style of bat at first, and another Lilly on the mound.. .AND it needs, Adams, Rios, Wells, Quiroz, and Hinske to have two years of incremental improvements...

i.e. there is NO point in signing the big name free agents this year... not till next year will there be a payback...

So... unless its just about filling seats, I don't see the Jays replacing Carlos this year.... and a 91 loss team WITH Carlos, is a 95 loss team without him... maybe worse....

Personally, I'm excited about this team with J.P. at the healm. He strikes me as a manager with the future in mind.

I am too.. and if I was an owner, I'd be pleased by the fact that JP delivered exactly the same odds of winning the pennant as the last guy did, with 30Million less in salary....

The question I don't have an answer to is, "Can a team built like this actually WIN"... or are we only going to top on the "Millions per Win" list and basically be competing in a second tier of the league....
_DeMarco - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 10:35 AM EST (#18976) #
I will go on record as saying the Jays will lose at least 87 games next season.

While I'm not very optimistic about next year, I still don't think you can justify a comment like this right now. The team could look very different by the beginning of 2005 and I think then, and only then can people make a calculated prediction.
_MatO - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 11:12 AM EST (#18977) #
According to the FAN the Jays budget has been set at $53M. Wilner is supposed to be on between 11:20 and 1:00. They haven't specified yet.
_Scott - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 11:14 AM EST (#18978) #
I agree that they could lost 95 mabye even 100, but it is only Nov 8. I am only comfortable with 87 yet.
_jim854 - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 11:27 AM EST (#18979) #
I think we all realize that it is too early to comment on the number of wins/losses for the team next year, however, there is enough info avaible to us to say with some certainty that the team may not be as good as this years team. And that is alright by me if we continue to play the young players.

Exhibit A
Delgado will not be back (you can take this to the bank) and no free agent or 2 from the middle of the free agent list is going to replace him.
Exhibit B
Zaun is unlikely to return and I think he is going to be missed more than we might think. He is a steadying influence on the pitching staff.
Exhibit C
Both Hinski and Lighterfluid will be back.

With only 13 million to spend on 4 middeling free agent players there may be more grief than hope as we saw last year in the pen. Unfortunately, a couple of million dollars per player doesn't buy what it once did.

The hopeful sign is that the Jays must continue to play the young players so that they can gain the experience necessary for the team to compete in 2 or 3 years time. To fill the roster with other teams rejects and not play the 'kids', may be a mistake that will become evident down the road.

Whats that old saying - Pay me or pay me later!
_DeMarco - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 11:40 AM EST (#18980) #
there is enough info avaible to us to say with some certainty that the team may not be as good as this years team

I disagree with this comment, I do not believe you can say this right now. Consider the following:

- you only have to replace Delgado's production of last year, which is very possible since he missed a lot of time and played poorly for a couple of months
- The number of injuries the Jays had last year, Wells, Halladay and Catalanotto could all be healthy next season
- Even if Hinske and Ligtenburg are back, which we don't know right now, how will this make the team worse than last year?
- Zaun is replaceable.
- Hentgen, Adams, Woodward, Berg, etc. won't be back next year.
- the prospects have more experience.
_MatO - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 11:43 AM EST (#18981) #
Wilner is on the FAN now.
_DeMarco - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 11:47 AM EST (#18982) #
For some reason, I can't listen to the fan over the internet. Is anyone else having this problem? Has the FAN made any changes to their 'listen live' link?
_MatO - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 12:21 PM EST (#18983) #
The FAN keeps saying that there is $13M to spend on FA's. I don't know how they get this.

$29.20M in committed contracts
1.80 assume Spieir
1.00 Adams, Johnson, Rios
1.00 2 catchers
1.00 say Menechino
1.00 Bush, Frasor, Chulk
.50 Hudson
$35.50 Total

Need a 1B, DH, backup IF?, 3-4 pitchers. Any position filled internally will cost $300,000. (eg. Chacin, League, Glynn etc.) I think they have more than $13M to play with with the budget at $53M.
Mike Green - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 12:34 PM EST (#18984) #
The math doesn't make sense to me either. Hudson might earn more than 500K but not enough that it would make a difference to your calculation.
_DeMarco - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 12:36 PM EST (#18985) #
The FAN keeps saying that there is $13M to spend on FA's. I don't know how they get this.

I think they are probably referring to This article.
_MatO - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 12:42 PM EST (#18986) #
Maybe that's based on a $50M budget but the FAN keeps repeating the $53M figure. I don't know where they get that figure (internally? they're all part of the Rogers family).
_Ron - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 12:53 PM EST (#18987) #
If that article is correct and JP only has 13 mil to get 4 or 5 players you can pretty stop talking about Glaus coming to the Jays (of course unless every other player is a bargain basement type).

I know Doc's a good pitcher but his salary is starting to really stick out. Hopefully he bounces back next season.
_DeMarco - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 01:15 PM EST (#18988) #
This is how I suggest they use the $13 million (if in fact that is the number):
- $7-8 million on a slugger, he should be an outfielder, 1st baseman, or possibly a 3rd baseman.
- $3-4 million on a closer, bullpen stud. If none are available, get two not as good/but quality bullpen pitchers for this price.
- $2-3 million on another inning eating veteran starting pitcher.
- if there is any money left, spend it on hitting/bench players.
_R Billie - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 02:15 PM EST (#18989) #
If the Jays can somehow get Nick Johnson, Erubiel Durazo, and Greg Colbrunn, I think you have yourself covered at 1B/DH. Along with Cat in left, Adams and Hudson on the middle infield, an improvement from Rios, and hopefully some kind of bounce back year from Hinske, you have somewhat of an offence to build around Wells.

The rest of the season will have to be spent improving and preparing the young pitching for 2006. If the Jays can get a guy like Matt Clement it would help them out a lot.
_Jabonoso - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 02:16 PM EST (#18990) #
I do agree with Craig B fully.
The rest of the commentaries are just going a "round tweet".
In Soccer, being such a great bussiness as it is, more and more money is spent. Many a team goes south, with a huge payroll and all, so that owners have had to learn how to correct it as fast as possible. Well, the emphasis is on the coaching team. A succesful coaching team is more important than your assortment of stars and the depth of your bench. And upon that coaching team rest the obligation of:
-best physical conditioning for every player, day one,last game and most important in the decisive games.
-team performance and overall strategies ( who plays, when, who rest and it is expected that best individual performances are achieved )
-team and individual mentality ( chemistry, psychology, motivation, etc ).

It is my impression tha JP has not been able to assemble a top notch coaching team. First it was about teaching fundamentals and overall development, but then seemed that winning or motivation or something was more important and Tosca was fired. It may be that the underperformances ( injuries included ) were considered as a consequence of the coaching staff lack of expierence-capacity...
_Vernons Biggest - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 02:49 PM EST (#18991) #
Halladay's "tired arm" diagnosis was not necessarily an injury, but a condition. Is this a re-occuring condition, and if it is, will Doc ever be able to clock the amount of starts he had in 2003 without having this thing come back again?
_Michael - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 05:44 PM EST (#18992) #
I agree a little with Leigh (although the 91 wins represents what the Jays could do if they got a little lucky as you have to figure one, or maybe, two issues like that happen to your team).

I think this puts us back at least one season. If we had reached 90 wins then it might be reasonable to improve the team and be shooting for a 90-95 win season where we were a realistic wild card team. After this season I think the target has moved to above .500.

There were bright spots like Hudson, Adams, Rios, and Hinske's defense. Wells wasn't a dark spot as expecting 2003 or better numbers from him is unreasonable. Moving forward, assuming Doc is healthy in 2005, the biggest issue is Hinske's bat. Other than that we have holes to fill (rotation, bullpen, 1b if no delgado), but we don't have much "contract dead weight", which is important.
_StephenT - Monday, November 08 2004 @ 10:54 PM EST (#18993) #
I basically agree with Leigh. Below is a chart comparing the 2004 and 2003 Jays in Wins Above Replacement. (This differs from Leigh's analysis in that it compares 2004 to 2003, not 2004 to expectations.) The most interesting thing to me is that the Jays actually gained 10 wins on turnover, which is suggestive that management knew what it was doing. The surprise was that the returning players dropped by 26 wins; while some of them were expected to decline, there aren't very many I would have argued for dropping from the team before the season:

Difference in Wins Above Replacement (2004 vs. 2003):

-4*2: Halladay, Delgado
-3*2: VWells, [Pythagoras]
-2*8: GMyers, JPhelps, -Escobar, ALopez, FCat, Hinske, Kershner, RJohnson
-1*7: -Stewart, Woodward, HClark, +Hentgen, -Bordick, +Gross, Berg

+4*1: +Lilly
+2*3: +DBush, +Batista, +Menechino
+1*8: +Speier, +Frasor, +Chacin, +Zaun, OHudson, Chulk, -Sturtze, +TAdams

Offense -19, Pitching +3, Pythagoras -3

Returning Offense -19, Departed Offense -2, New Offense +2
Returning Pitching -7, Departed Pitching -1, New Pitching +11

Returning Players -26, Departures -3, New Players +13

(Details of the calculation are here.)
Year in Review Roundtable - Part I | 33 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.