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The final installment of the roundtable takes a look at the team going forward:

Coach: The only thing that will stop the negativity is winning. Increasing the payroll and signing a marquee free agent (Delgado or equivalent) won't silence the people who went seamlessly from "Tosca must go" to "Tosca was a scapegoat" without pausing for breath. Or the ones who decried Gibby as a poor choice but now complain that he got only a one-year deal.

Anyone who truly believes that the 2004 standings are an accurate portrayal of the Jays' talent level or management acumen has his own agenda and isn't going to listen to reason. Those who demand a quick fix and a contender in 2005 are almost certainly going to be disappointed. Some of us, gifted with more vision or at least a bit of patience, are prepared to enjoy the continued improvement and wait for 2006, 2007 or whenever the stars align in the opposite pattern to this year.

Gerry: JP has $12 or $13 million to spend this winter, are you confident he will bring in the right guys? I don't know myself.

I think the plexiglass principal had a lot to do with 2004, I know I was doubting KC's chances this year because of their big jump last year, but I did not put the Jays in the same category, I should have.

With Delgado's departure how many above average players do you see in the Jays lineup next year?

Zaun is likely to regress to his mean.

Hudson is good, but only average offensively

Adams, as a young guy, is hard to assume him to be above average

Hinske has settled into "averageness"

Cat/Reed could be above average

Wells should be above average, but until he controls his aggressiveness his upside is limited

Rios should improve but might still just be average

1B and DH are unknown

For the Jays offense to take off next year we need Hudson and Hinske to raise their games and Rios to blossom. Hinske just turned 27 and Husdon will turn 27 in December so maybe JP is counting on the career year at 27 principal.

The Pitching should be better next year, Halliday, Lilly and Bush give the Jays a solid 1-2-3. Towers and a free agent fill out the list. The bullpen should be better, I look for Speier and Ligtenberg to bounce back and for the young guys to be better with experience.

Unless the Jays spend a lot on a fifth starter the rotation will be two starters short of the foundation for the future. The farm depth is still not there, McGowan, Rosario, Chacin and Banks need one more year each, but 2006 should be interesting with those bargaining chips.

Expectations for 2005 should be set at a .500 team, with possible career years moving the team up.

The rotation for 2006 should be full of home grown talent, setting the base for contention for the next few years (the Minnesota, Oakland plan).

Mike Green: I agree with Gerry about the expectations for the ballclub in 05-07. The team is likely to be pitching-heavy, with the cream rising in late 05. If the team plays well in early 05, and is within sniffing distance in July, mid-season promotions could make it interesting. More likely though is a .500 ballclub in 2005, with improvement in 06.

Pistol: As with any team in the bottom third of payroll success is only going to come from the acquisition and development of minor leaguers into productive major league players. The Jays are clearly headed on this course, but there have been bumps in the road that have slowed this course down. Contending in 2005 is probably unrealistic at this point, unless just about everything breaks right in Toronto.

But after that time thereís a real good chance that Toronto could develop one of the dominant staffs in baseball. Halladay obviously leads the way and is a #1 starter when healthy, and Bush looks like heíll be a mainstay in the rotation for several years. Following them are a number of pitchers, all of who could be at least middle of the rotation quality starters, and a few that could be potential aces: League, McGowan, Rosario, Chacin, Banks, Marcum, Purcey, and Z Jackson. Even if only 2 of those 8 work into good starters that still gives you 4 reliable starters. If 3 of those 8 work out youíre going to be paying your 5 starters about $15 million in 2007.

As an aside, given the pitching working its way through the farm system, Iíd be very receptive to listening to trade offers for Ted Lilly this offseason. His value is pretty high right now and heís under contract for next year at a very reasonable $3.1 million. After next year I believe heís in his final arbitration year which, if he pitches like he did this season, will likely cost at least twice next yearís contract. Toronto isnít likely going to be keeping Lilly at that price, and he wonít have as much value then in a trade as he does now. If ever thereís a time to trade a player itís trading Lilly now. The pitching would probably suffer next year as a result, but if taking a step back next year means two steps forward in 2006 shouldnít you do it?

While the minor leagues donít have nearly the amount of positional prospects as pitchers, there are less holes to fill. I would figure that Wells, Rios, Hudson, and Adams are locked in for several years, and it looks like Aaron Hill is well on his way to joining that group as well. Hopefully Quiroz can be a productive catcher, but catchers are unpredictable. That leaves a corner OF, 1B and DH to fill. In the short term it looks like Johnson and Cat will split one of those spots. Ideally, the remaining two spots are filled by above average players which the Jays will need to acquire in one form or another, assuming Delgado doesnít re-sign (FWIW, Iíd be willing to pay Delgado $10 million for the next 3 years).

So my outlook for next year is a team at or slightly over .500. After that I can see the team exploding into a serious contender at any point between 2006-2008.

Mike D: Assuming Toronto loses Delgado and doesn't replace him with a splashy slugger, something's gotta give. How can you run a walks-and-power offence with no walks and no power?

The question is, which of the following three things is more likely to happen?

1. The Jays loosen their purse strings, since power is always expensive and walks are no longer undervalued;

2. The Jays tweak their offensive philosophy, adding emphasis on speed and batting average (i.e., ability to make contact against tough pitching) to the lineup while hopefully continuing to preach selectivity and patience at the plate;

3. The Jays pull an Oakland and throw all their resources into constructing a club that pitches and defends well enough to compete. (Can this work at SkyDome?)

I have a terrible fear that the Jays will lose Delgado and choose none of the above three options clearly. When Delgado was hurt, the Jays had a slow, strikeout-prone, punchless team that didn't defend well. Needless to say, that's no recipe for success.

Jordan: I think that going the pitching and defense route would be not a bad idea at all, especially for the long term. Assuming no more injury disasters (an admittedly sizable assumption), the Jays have one ace (Doc), a strong #2 candidate (Bush), and a solid #3 guy who could still break out (Lilly), all locked in for '05. In the wings, they have exciting young arms like League, Rosario, Banks, and hopefully McGowan. Lock up Orlando Hudson and his gold glove at second, and keep an improving Russ Adams at shortstop; with a maturing Guillermo Quiroz behind the plate, you're solid up the middle. A Gross-Wells-Rios outfield would also be a huge defensive plus.

Accordingly, would it be worth the post-Delgado Jays investing in a Matt Clement or a Carl Pavano, to work on assembling a truly superior pitching staff, to support an opportunistic yet still only average offence? Maybe not in 2005 would that pay off, but by 2006, would anyone in the league be able to compete with that pitching and defence combo? It's worth thinking about.

Thomas: The potential pitching riches of the Jays have been addressed well in the above comments. However, the focus has tended to be on the starting staff, so what can we expect from the bullpen moving forwards? If we are looking more to the 2006 or 2007 timeframe, I think the only name that we can assume will be in the bullpen with any degree of certainty (obviously injuries or other very unforseen situations might interfere) is Brandon League, who looks like he'll be a very good releiver. Before this year Adam Peterson would have been on the list, but after the Syracuse meltdown he experienced after his short stint in the majors, he can no longer be counted as a sure thing. I'd still lay my money on him to turn into an above-average arm out of the bullpen, but it's not the near-sure thing it used to be.

If we count those two arms that gives the Jays two hard-throwing righthanders. Other potential names that come to mind are Fransisco Rosario, Jason Frasor, Miguel Batista or a pitcher like Shuan Marcum or "Nasty" Tom Mastny whose stuff ends up being better suited to the bullpen. Even though he'll still be relatively cheap I'm not convinced Frasor will be a Jay in two years and I don't think Batista will be in the bullpen in 2006, either. However, we can say the Jays can maybe count on one or two more arms coming up internally, either a name listed above or perhaps a suprise that the Jays weren't expecting to become a starter.

It's still clear that the Jays will have to search externally to round off the bullpen. It's premature to speculate on who they might seee to sign or trade for heading into the 2006 or 2007 season, but hopefully with the rise of young talent some of the free money could be directed towards signing a proven reliever, if it looks like we'll need someone to help put us over the top.

Finally, I'll have an article up shortly on the best relievers in Japan (hopefully this weekend). Based on the prices fetched by releivers last year, I believe the NPB is still not being properly utilised as a source of talent, and thus Japanese relievers are still undervalued. This could change for this year based on the performances of Otsuka and Takatsu, but as of now it's still an avenue the Jays should explore, in my opinion. If one of the better relievers is posted, assuming the Blue Jays consider character and do a careful scouting job of the player, I think a multi-year contract would be advisable. These pitchers still aren't fetching their market value in most cases, and to lock up a good pitcher for several years (two plus an option maybe) would ensure that come 2006/7 the Jays still have him at a reasonable price. Yes, it could backfire and leave the Jays stuck on a bad contract for two or three years, but I'd rather go that route than sign Buddy Groom to be our LOOGY for 2005. The potential payoff is very high, as we've seen this year, and in my mind it's a gamble well-worth taking.

Mike Green: I'd add Chulk to the middle inning relief list. Like Moffatt, I favour a 5 or 6 man bullpen, and it's better if there is also a spot in the bullpen reserved for up-and-coming young starters (Chacin, Banks, Rosario, Purcey...) for a period.

No more than 1 reliever should be committed to past 2005, in my view, and even that is questionable. With the amount of pitching talent on the way, it would be reasonable to avoid spending significant cash on the bullpen.

Jonny German: Gerry referred to Orlando Hudson as "only average offensively". That's true compared to an average AL hitter, but compared to an average AL second baseman his 2004 performance was superior by 20 points of OBP and 40 points of SLG.

Let's run through all the 2004 American League positional averages:
     AVG  OBP  SLG  
C .264 .326 .410
1B .266 .346 .447
2B .259 .320 .397
3B .269 .343 .449
SS .274 .327 .420
LF .281 .347 .448
CF .280 .339 .430
RF .275 .344 .436
DH .263 .345 .439


I think the currently projected 2005 Jays can easily match or exceed these numbers at 2B, LF, and CF. Rios and Adams I expect to be close to average at RF and SS. Third base is an obvious weakness, and catcher remains TBD - If Cash is a significant part of a platoon, it won't be an offensive strength. That leaves first base and DH. Given the money available in the 2005 budget, there's no reason for those positions to be offensive weaknesses for Toronto. Overall, I expect the Blue Jay attack to be only slightly below average. As I've yet to see a good explanation for why Hinske tanked, I'm holding out hope that he could bounce all the way back push this offence above average.

I've been working some numbers recently that back up some crude research I did a couple years ago - The conclusion is that in any given year, only 1 of 3 relievers who had a quality season the previous year will repeat as a quality reliever. In other words, although Speier, Ligtenberg, and Adams all looked like good acquisitions at the time, the fact that only Speier pitched well was not shocking. Relief pitching is highly unpredictable, and the only practical approaches are (a) spend a ridiculous amount of money to get the very best relievers or (b) stockpile a lot of quality options. The Yankees can tell you how even (a) doesn't always work, you can still end up with Tanyon Sturtze pitching some of the most important innings of your season. The Jays are getting close to (b).

Dave Till: I think that the Jays will bounce back some from 2004; they'd have to, wouldn't they? You can't have two consecutive years in which everything goes wrong, can you? How often can you roll a pair of dice and have it come up snake eyes? I think that the team might surprise people in 2005: hey, if the Raptors can start their season 4-1...

In the longer term, the Jays will only be able to succeed if their farm system can produce stars, as it's not likely that they will be able to import much in the way of top-drawer talent. And producing stars depends on luck: even the most informed scouting decisions are a bit of a crapshoot. Given the current crop of youngsters, the Jays will probably have to go the pitching and defense route, which is tough to do in SkyDome.

My conclusion: as I've said before, I fear that while J.P. is smart enough and hard-working enough to be a major league general manager, I fear that he just isn't lucky enough. I'm not sure, though, how you go about finding a general manager who is lucky enough. Perhaps Paul Godfrey should be trolling Casino Niagara for potential front-office candidates.
Year in Review Roundtable - Part V | 74 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_greenfrog - Thursday, November 11 2004 @ 10:58 PM EST (#18498) #
I wonder whether Ricciardi is wavering a bit in his approach to building a contending team. In the most recent article on the Jays website ('Jays May Let Hot Stove Simmer', JP sounds a bit uncertain about how best to proceed. It doesn't sound like he has much of a clear plan:

"Our payroll dictates how we have to do things. I think it's going to be a combination of how we've done things in the past," Ricciardi said at his year-end sitdown with the press. "We were able to trade for [Ted] Lilly and we were able to sign [Miguel] Batista as a free agent. Your roster is always a work in progress, in the sense that we added [Gregg] Zaun and [Frank] Menechino in the middle of the year, and now they're two of the guys we want to bring back.

"I don't think we'll address everything that we want. But we can address a few things."

...

"If Carlos Delgado leaves, I don't think we're going to replace [him] in the sense of finding someone that can give us 30 or 40 home runs and 100 RBIs, or 140 RBIs," he said, referring to Delgado's 2003 season. "I think we may have to do it piecemeal. If we're not going to be a club that hits the ball in the seats, we're going to have to do better in our situational hitting and doing things like that. We may have to build our offense a little different way. We're just going to have to be creative."
_Keith Talent - Thursday, November 11 2004 @ 11:06 PM EST (#18499) #
the people who went seamlessly from "Tosca must go" to "Tosca was a scapegoat" without pausing for breath

There's a very good chance that you're talking about two different groups of people here. I was a very vocal "Tosca must go" person, since April. I wanted them to jettison Tosca as they did with Jimy Williams in 1989, early enough to rebound and make something of the season (Cito Gaston led them to the division title that year). It was obvious in April that Tosca had learned nothing about bullpen managing from the year previous ("he won 86 games" you'll say; they could have won more). There was that horrendous start. I hold Tosca personally accountable for so many of those losses that buried the Blue Jays to 20 games under .500. At that point the season was lost. When JP finally made the move to can Tosca he admitted, "the horses are already out of the barn", meaning he didn't expect Gibby to salvage the season in the final two months and wouldn't be considering W-L as a measure of success.

The people who think Gibby is a bad choice for manager are idiots. Their main objection on him is that he's not one of the dozen or so names they've heared bandied by hack broadcasters.

Anyone who truly believes that the 2004 standings are an accurate portrayal of the Jays' talent level or management acumen has his own agenda and isn't going to listen to reason

Well, one has to look at results. And sure, we like the Blue Jays. We think they're great. But Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Boston and New York are also great. "Tampa Bay?" you might ask; but didn't they win 20 games in a row at one point? Crawford, Baldelli, Huff: these aren't hacks. I think the Blue Jays have the potential to be better than Tampa Bay next year. But prior to 2004 many thought the Blue Jays had the potential to be better than either New York or Boston and challenge for the Wild Card.

The Blue Jays sucked this year. They were fun to watch. But they finished in last place, because they were a last-place club. The standings are no aberration. Let's hope they bounce back and kick some butt next year; you never know.
_Geoff - Thursday, November 11 2004 @ 11:26 PM EST (#18500) #
Here are my ideal Jays in 2006

1. Adams - SS
2. Hudson - 2B
3. Rios - RF
4. Delgado - 1B
5. Wells - CF
6. Cat - DH
7. Quiroz - C
8. Hattig (or Gross) - LF
9. Hill - 3B

Bench: Tom Wilson, Menechino, Alfaro (sp?), Reed, Crozier

Rotation: Doc, League, Bush, Lilly, Chacin

Bullpen: Urbina, Rosario, Vermilyea, Speier, Chris Hammond, Trever Miller

With that in mind, if I were J.P. I'd have these goals

1. Sign Carlos, Urbina, Tom Wilson, Trever Miller and Chris Hammond to multiyear deals

2. Trade Hinske and Batista - I wouldn't need anything in return and might even be willing to take on cash

If these 7 moves were succesful, I think we'd have about 46 million in committed payroll and need a 3B, LF/DH, C and Starter...with a payroll of 50-53 million and possibly some of that committed to a departed Hinske and Batista (if cash is needed to make a trade work) we could have either very little or a lot to fill out the roster. But that's a secondary concern in my opinion, just as long as we don't give multi-year deals to the 2005 stopgaps

Anyways, just my opinion - I think Carlos is key
_Ryan Lind - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 12:00 AM EST (#18501) #
Coach: "the people who went seamlessly from "Tosca must go" to "Tosca was a scapegoat" without pausing for breath. Or the ones who decried Gibby as a poor choice but now complain that he got only a one-year deal."

No offense, but I really hate it when people do this kind of thing. I highly doubt that those saying "Tosca must go" are the same people that called him a scapegoat. You're just looking at two groups of people that are complaining and assuming that those groups contain the same members.

If you can honestly point out individual people that did what you described, then I'm wrong and I'll apologize. It's just a massive pet peeve of mine when people say "You guys wanted this but now you want this," when in fact the people that wanted the first thing are entirely different from the people that want the second one.

Anyways, (that was longer than I intended,) these roundtables were terrific. I enjoyed reading all of them, and have nothing further to add than what's already been said. So good job guys.
_Moffatt - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 07:50 AM EST (#18502) #
I highly doubt that those saying "Tosca must go" are the same people that called him a scapegoat. You're just looking at two groups of people that are complaining and assuming that those groups contain the same members.

You couldn't be any more wrong if you wore suit constructed entirely out of falsehoods.

There were a number of people that did this. I don't want to get into names (we have them) but this is something Coach and I discussed at length. This was not an off-hand comment by Coach. There were a few posters that did a 180 in less than a 48 hour period. It was imprssive to watch.
Pistol - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:10 AM EST (#18503) #
1. Sign Carlos, Urbina, Tom Wilson, Trever Miller and Chris Hammond to multiyear deals

Tom Wilson to a multi year deal? Is this a different Tom Wilson than the minor league journeyman with the funky stance?

You couldn't be any more wrong if you wore suit constructed entirely out of falsehoods.

Is that like a wool fabric?
_Daryn - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:24 AM EST (#18504) #
Is there a summary of games scheduled per team, within and outside of the division?? Its not balanced, that I know.. but I forget the breakdown

I wonder if a Team on the Oakland/Minnesota plan can actually play .500 when so many of their games are against the Bank of New York, and the Bank of Boston..
Pistol - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:32 AM EST (#18505) #
I wonder if a Team on the Oakland/Minnesota plan can actually play .500 when so many of their games are against the Bank of New York, and the Bank of Boston..

It's not like the AL West has been easy in recent times.
_NDG - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:36 AM EST (#18506) #
There were a number of people that did this. I don't want to get into names (we have them) but this is something Coach and I discussed at length. This was not an off-hand comment by Coach. There were a few posters that did a 180 in less than a 48 hour period. It was imprssive to watch.

I'm with Ryan on this one. Because I don't post nearly as often as some people, I constantly get accused of wavering, when I never have. Out the flip-floppers if you want but DaBox staff shouldn't paint everyone with the same brush. I don't mean this to be a harsh critism as this is a great site, but it's a small thing that could make it even better.
Craig B - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 09:27 AM EST (#18507) #
Out the flip-floppers if you want but DaBox staff shouldn't paint everyone with the same brush.

No one's painting anyone with anything. (Not since Mikey had that accident with the chocolate sauce and the ants, anyway).

And I, for one, DO NOT CARE if people change their minds (though I can't speak for everyone). That's their entitlement. No charges are being laid here - it's all just talk.

The main point, I think, was about the relentless negativity that surrounded the team - we ALL fell prey to it, and some might argue deservedly so - and how it made the fans (and the media - let's not forget that it's not just the people at Batter's Box we're talking about) bitter and recriminative about everything.

If we're pointing fingers at each other, it's a symptom of the same thing. Let's just stop.
Craig B - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 09:41 AM EST (#18508) #
Incidentally, I know the people who Coach is talking about, and I assure you all, that none of you who are complaining about the comment are included. They are all well-known irritants around here, which doesn't describe KT, or Ryan, or NDG at all.

Keith, you in particular were always very forthright that Tosca was completely lousy and had to go, and I remember you criticizing J.P. at the time for not canning him earlier.
_larryB - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 09:55 AM EST (#18509) #
As an aside, given the pitching working its way through the farm system, Iíd be very receptive to listening to trade offers for Ted Lilly this offseason.

How about Mark Teixeira for Lilly. Texas needs pitching and has depth at first (Adrian Gonzalez). Jays replace Delgado's power. Teixeira can also play third if Jays could move Hinske.
_Fawaz K - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 10:01 AM EST (#18510) #
I'm probably in the minority here as one who's more optimistic about the offence than the pitching. The highlight of the season for me was the beatdown Bush put on the pseudoyanks (being there helped) but I can't justify projecting him as a #3 or #2 after only 16 starts, particularly because his 2 or 3 superlative starts skew the numbers a bit. I expect Halladay to be good, but not 2002 or '03 good. The hitting, on the other hand, cannot help but be better as long as the team stays healthy, the kids progress and J.P. either manages to keep Carlos or finds another competent bat.
_Jim - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 10:01 AM EST (#18511) #
'Anyone who truly believes that the 2004 standings are an accurate portrayal of the Jays' talent level'

I'd love to find out another way of measuring baseball teams in reality besides Wins and Losses myself.
_Dr. Zarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 10:16 AM EST (#18512) #
I hold Tosca personally accountable for so many of those losses that buried the Blue Jays to 20 games under .500.

KT, the Jays didn't fall to 20 games under .500 til early August. In fact, it took a pretty severe slump to get them down there, as they never fell below 10 games under until about the 4th of July (and were at -12 on Aug 1). Tosca was fired August 8th, and I'm not absolving him whatsoever, but to say he made the Jays fall that low in April is a pretty good exaggeration. Up until that early August slump, I always felt there were a nice winning streak away from .500.
Pistol - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 10:29 AM EST (#18513) #
his 2 or 3 superlative starts skew the numbers a bit

And why wouldn't you count that?
Named For Hank - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 10:42 AM EST (#18514) #
I'd love to find out another way of measuring baseball teams in reality besides Wins and Losses myself.

Jim, wins and losses measure what the team did, not what the level of talent was capable of. We had the very, very obvious millstones of injuries, bullpen mismanagement and possibly wrongheaded changes in the team's hitting strategy weighing down the level of talent on the team. Of course, since you isolated it out of context and then implied that Coach was talking about something other than the team's level of talent, you fully match up with the rest of the quotation:

... has his own agenda and isn't going to listen to reason.
Mike Green - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 10:52 AM EST (#18515) #
Keith, I don't think you were intending to suggest that Carlos Tosca is as poor a manager as Jimy Williams, but it should be said that there was really very little similarity between 2004 and 1989. Williams did a horrible job, and it was plainly obvious that the 1989 team was a very good team playing very badly. I wondered why Williams hadn't been replaced after 87 or 88 at the latest.

Most prognosticators had the Jays in 3rd place in 2004, and while the bad start was a disappointment, it was nothing like the 12-24 record of the 1989 Jays. Further, Tosca's performance in 2003, while not without its flaws, was at worst average. The team had performed well relative to expectations.
_Jim - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 11:06 AM EST (#18516) #
'Jim, wins and losses measure what the team did, not what the level of talent was capable of. We had the very, very obvious millstones of injuries, bullpen mismanagement and possibly wrongheaded changes in the team's hitting strategy weighing down the level of talent on the team. Of course, since you isolated it out of context and then implied that Coach was talking about something other than the team's level of talent, you fully match up with the rest of the quotation:'

Well I'm not quite sure how injuries affect the situation. I understand that many injuries will hurt your winning percentage, but the fact that you can't replace your injured players without a huge dropoff is pretty related to your 'TALENT LEVEL'. I guess every other team in the league had no injuries or players who didn't live up to their projections.

Sure, the bullpen was mismanaged, but except for a few months of Frasor and some decent outings from Chulk the bullpen pitched like crap from the word go. I was one of the voices that wanted Tosca out the fastest, so I now love to see the Tosca apologists saying that he had a huge impact on the won/loss record.

I isolated the comment the way I did, because I agree that the won/lost record isn't a reflection of the acumen of management, but I do believe it is a reflection of the talent level. This is professional sports, you are exactly what your record is. The 2004 Blue Jays were a horrible, boring team.

'Some of us, gifted with more vision or at least a bit of patience, are prepared to enjoy the continued improvement and wait for 2006, 2007 or whenever the stars align in the opposite pattern to this year. '

I guess some of us just aren't arrogant enought to think that we have 'more vision' then others just because we don't turn a blind eye to a horrible season that leaves one with more question marks then the team had to start 2003. While developing prospects is key to winning and long term success, you can't just punt seasons while you do it.

Personally I'd say that anyone who doesn't think the standings are a function of a team's talent level is lying to themselves. Unless you think that managers and major league coaching have a huge impact on a team's one season win loss record.

I'm all for patience and building for the long term, but that doesn't change the fact that the 2004 Blue Jays can be described in one clause - stink, stank, stunk.
_Jonny German - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 11:10 AM EST (#18517) #
I can't justify projecting [Bush] as a #3 or #2 after only 16 starts

Using VORP as the yardstick, Bush was precisely an average #3 starter in 2004. That's a counting stat, so it penalizes him for having only been in the majors for half a year (unless you're going to assume he would have dropped below replacement level in additional Major League innings).
_Jabonoso - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 11:25 AM EST (#18518) #
Thank you for your work guys!
Two commentaries:
- The group is inclined to believe/wish that salvation is in the minors and coming up, when one of the strenghts of this front office is "find cheap major league talent", like the A's have being doing the last six years...
-Giving too much weight to "luck", i do not buy it and finding responsible people accountable, even if it is very difficult ( we have but a "few hairs in our hand"), is a fundamental issue. In the BBox we had not explored the vein of JP's commentary: " we had not a good spring training" , i believe, that a sound physical preparation is a must and not a given. Especilly true, since the BJ do not have a coherent winter playing policy anymore ( they used to send a group of players, majors and minors , to play in Lara venezuela with a group of BJ's coaches ). How much playing or pitching in winter is advisable, positive, i do not think the BJ's have an answer anymore ( and Oakland has a current program just as in the AFL ).

lastly i want to point out that i am also dissapointed by Coach position, no solid argumentation, " Hinske is trying too hard " maybe Sturtze and Long ( two JP's favs ) have being trying too hard, too. And althought not advised by Craig, finger pointing ( totally innecesary and out of place... ( maybe he is ivernating, lol )
Mike Green - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 11:53 AM EST (#18519) #
I've felt that the Jays did an excellent job in their minor league system in managing workloads of the players. In the Puerto Rican and Venezuelan Winter Leagues, there is, as Jabonoso points out, cause for concern, and having coaches on-site, at least some of the time, is probably a worthwhile expenditure.

Aquilino Lopez' season last year was not probably not helped by his winter league effort to convert to starting (apparently against the wishes of the organization). Rios, Quiroz and Chacin are keys to the future and it would be ideal if direct coaching assistance were provided during the winter. Does anybody know what happens now?
_Braby - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 12:05 PM EST (#18520) #
http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/TorontoSun/Sports/2004/11/12/710992.html
COMN for the latest on the Delgado watch.
Named For Hank - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 12:15 PM EST (#18521) #
Well I'm not quite sure how injuries affect the situation. I understand that many injuries will hurt your winning percentage, but the fact that you can't replace your injured players without a huge dropoff is pretty related to your 'TALENT LEVEL'. I guess every other team in the league had no injuries or players who didn't live up to their projections.

Who said such a ridiculous thing? A lot of teams did, and a lot of teams lost. Are you trying to say that every other team in the league lived up to expectations?

How many teams have a spare Carlos Delgado, Vernon Wells, Frank Catalanotto, Roy Halladay and Orlando Hudson on the bench? Maybe one guy like that. Maybe two. Maybe. But look at the Yankees -- when Giambi went down they had Tony Clark and Olerud who had been released by the Mariners. If the guys with the most money couldn't do any better, how could you expect the Jays to?

I'm all for patience and building for the long term, but that doesn't change the fact that the 2004 Blue Jays can be described in one clause - stink, stank, stunk.

I agree. You say it like I'm trying to argue that they were good, and they were not. But they didn't stink because the players on the team are inherently bad -- at least, not all of them.
_Jabonoso - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 12:51 PM EST (#18522) #
Mike:
Chacin was converted to starter in Venezuela against BJ's wishes and plans. He was told at the end of last year's season that his last chance with the jays depended on him concentrating as a power reliever, Chacin liked the sound of it visualizing himself as a closer. ( In the last two months of 2003 he increased his velocity to 94 mph ). If everything turn out well , call it serendipity or " good luck"
_Prisoner of Ham - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:08 PM EST (#18523) #
I was speaking not long ago with John Thorn, the baseball historian and one of the authors of Total Baseball. He said an interesting thing to me regarding the best way to construct a team given the characteristics of your ballpark.

We were talking in the context of SkyDome as a hitter's park. Here's what he said:

"If you have a park where home runs are common, then in building your team, you may have to go against type. you build not by emphasising the characteristic that all visiting clubs bring to your home park, but rather you go against type.

"if you're in a hitters park, build with pitching. if you're in a pitchers park, get some hitting. you've got to determine what is the nature of your ballpark and then build against it, because if you build for it, then you are in kind of a nuclear arms race where you're trying to have one more missle than the other guy. and you have over constructed for the features of your park and leave yourself vulnerable on the road."
_Prisoner of Ham - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:21 PM EST (#18524) #
I contribute that, by the way, in the spirit of the "team going forward" thread. (In case it seemed out of the blue).
_Jim - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:23 PM EST (#18525) #
Well then let's go back to the original statement in full:

'Anyone who truly believes that the 2004 standings are an accurate portrayal of the Jays' talent level or management acumen has his own agenda and isn't going to listen to reason'.

I believe that the 2004 standings pretty well reflect the talent level on the major league roster in 2004. I'm not sure what else it could represent.

I don't have any agenda at all. I like JP, I like what's he's done with the organization and I don't think there is any other option then how he has moved forward.

As for listening to reason - what reason is there to listen to? They had injuries? Yes, they did - it's part of the game. The coaching is bad? Well, Coach as far as I remember is staunchly in the 'Tosca - 2004 coaching staff' camp - so I don't think that is going to be the reason that I would be expected to listen to. Luck? Yeah, there is 'luck' in baseball, it doesn't make up more then a half dozen games in the standings.

You want to talk about what's going to happen in the future? That this team could rebound and have a .500 season? Sure, I'll listen to that, especially once the offseason unfolds. I don't see why 2004 needs to be excused away - it was a bad season for the players, coaches and front office. Why bother to make excuses. It's a learning experience, regroup and push forward. 2004 no longer matters, 2005 & beyond is the only thing that should be of any concern.

I don't agree with it, but I do think it's a valid viewpoint that this entire 'rebuilding' process could completely fall apart and things in 2007 could be no better then they are today. If someone has such clear 'vision' about what the future holds they should be doing something more productive with it then predicting it on the internet.

'If the guys with the most money couldn't do any better, how could you expect the Jays to?'

I never said I expected them to. I just don't expect to pretend that they somehow were better then their record indicated. That's one of the best things about sports. You are exactly what you are, it doesn't really matter how you got there.
Mike Green - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:26 PM EST (#18526) #
you've got to determine what is the nature of your ballpark and then build against it

That's an extreme view. You play 1/2 your games at home, and being able to take advantage, offensively and defensively, of what the home park offers is good strategy. That doesn't mean that you exclusively account for the vagaries of the home park, as you have to be able to compete on the road. Take Fenway Park. Building a team around speed there makes little sense, but having a fast centerfielder is a good idea. The other aspect is that while Fenway Park is a hitter's park that doesn't mean that pitching is any less important.

In the particular case of Skydome, it has been a modest hitter's park over the last 6 years. The characteristics of Skydome should have relatively little to do with your team design. You can win with a long or short sequence offence, although short is a little easier (as it is in most parks). Having more pitchers who are relatively less vulnerable to the homer is probably more important in Toronto than it would be in St. Loo.
_DeMarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:33 PM EST (#18527) #
I have a few comments on the Jays future:

1) I think the Jays may have to change philosophies a bit. The only reason small market teams like Oakland could compete with an emphasis on OBP was because they were one of a few teams doing so. Now that the almighty powers of the Yankee's, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc, are using this system I don't think a small markets can compete using the same strategy. Therefore I would support the move to pitching, defense and contact hitting. Take a look at the less expensive but useful players such as Doug Mentewfafoeifagavwitz.

2) If the Jays don't think they can afford to re-sign Lilly at the end of this season they should trade him now while he has value. I will go mental if another player walks away from this team for nothing when that didnít have to be the case.

3) I don't think the Jays can compete next year, therefore they should in no way mortgage their long-term future with any decisions. Plan for the future and deal anyone that has value but don't think will be part of the team in 2007. Of coarse donít make trades for the sake of trading, only make a deal if you think the player in return could be a part of the future.

BTW - I personally have never wavered from my position that Tosca had to go, it was the right move and fully justified.
_Rich - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:35 PM EST (#18528) #
Prisoner, that's an interesting theory, but there are just as many examples of this being false as true. Ones that come to mind immediately are the recent Oakland clubs, or more famously, the Royals' and Cardindals' track teams of the early 80's, playing in spacious turf parks and built around pitching, defence, and speed. The 87 Twins won the title as an offensive club in a hitter's park, while the current Twins are stronger defensively.
Mike Green - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:43 PM EST (#18529) #
Jim, if you said that in 2004, the Jays were unlucky with injuries to all of their key players and finished with a poor record and in 2003, the Jays were lucky in that regard and won 86 games, and that their true talent level for 03-04 is somewhere in the middle, you might find some support for that view. You are right that bench strength matters, and that it forms part of "true talent level".

So, how do you build that bench strength on a limited budget? My suggestion (and Moffatt's too, I think) is to start by shortening the bullpen to 5 or 6. This should allow you to have a 4th and 5th outfielder, as well as a backup first baseman on the bench, instead of Dave Berg. As for pitching, the only economical way to build is from within. When mediocre middle relief goes for $2-$3 million per year on the free agent market, teams with modest budgets have little choice but to develop most of their own pitching talent.
_Moffatt - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:49 PM EST (#18530) #
My suggestion (and Moffatt's too, I think) is to start by shortening the bullpen to 5 or 6.

Yep. :)
_DeMarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:50 PM EST (#18531) #
I have one thing to add to 'Prisoner of Hamilton's' comment about building against the strength of your park; if you play in a hitters park and you build your team around good hitters, their numbers will be inflated because of the park, these players will be more expensive to keep on your team. However if you have good pitching, the numbers won't look quite as good as if, say, they were in a pitchers park. Therefore, this strategy does make sense for a team with a limited budget.
_DeMarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:53 PM EST (#18532) #
Also, why don't teams with limited budgets go back to a 24 man roster? I would rather spend that little extra money one slightly better player than an extra player.
_Rich - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 01:57 PM EST (#18533) #
I think focussing primarily on pitching and defence is a flawed strategy for another reason - clubs without average or above offences almost never make the playoffs, no matter how good they are at preventing runs. There are exceptions, of course, but in my view it's not an advisable plan.
_DeMarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 02:07 PM EST (#18534) #
I think focussing primarily on pitching and defence is a flawed strategy

I should be a little more clear with my comments, when it comes to the draft, get the best players available. Still run your organization with the right approach to hitting. (I agree that you have to have a good offence to be truely competitive) However, when it comes to adding the missing pieces to your team, there is no point in going after the same guys the Yankee's and Sox want, you need to take a different approach and find players that can help your team in other ways.
_Jim - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 02:23 PM EST (#18535) #
'Also, why don't teams with limited budgets go back to a 24 man roster? I would rather spend that little extra money one slightly better player than an extra player.'

The 25th guy is going to make 300k... I'm not sure how much of an upgrade you'll see from that.
_DeMarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 02:30 PM EST (#18536) #
The 25th guy is going to make 300k... I'm not sure how much of an upgrade you'll see from that.

Last year it was the difference between keeping Trevor Miller or letting him walk.
Pistol - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 02:33 PM EST (#18537) #
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3611
"if you're in a hitters park, build with pitching. if you're in a pitchers park, get some hitting. you've got to determine what is the nature of your ballpark and then build against it, because if you build for it, then you are in kind of a nuclear arms race where you're trying to have one more missle than the other guy. and you have over constructed for the features of your park and leave yourself vulnerable on the road."

BP suggested that the Rangers need to go after hitting this offseason using similar reasoning. COMN.

To win you have to be good both offensively and defensively so I don't think that going to one extreme or another based on a park is a good strategy. But if you were to emphasize one more than the other I think the theory is a reasonable one.

Is SkyDome still a hitter's park or is it getting close to neutral now?
_6-4-3 - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 02:42 PM EST (#18538) #
Also, why don't teams with limited budgets go back to a 24 man roster? I would rather spend that little extra money one slightly better player than an extra player.

Like Jim said, the 25th guy is going to be a Pond type making 300K, so there's little benefit, plus it makes the team look cheap (witness the Expos lack of September call-ups, or the recent outcry over the idea that the Raptors might not carry 3 "injured" players).
_Prisoner of Ham - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 02:44 PM EST (#18539) #
Is SkyDome still a hitter's park or is it getting close to neutral now?

If it was once, and no structural changes have been made, wouldn't it still be? If it seems less of a hitter's park now, I suspect that's because of the hitters, not the park.
_DeMarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 02:46 PM EST (#18540) #
I guess I just don't think that the 25th man has proven very usefull and an extra $300,000 could be come the trade deadline, or that little more that gets the bullpen guy you really wanted.

Also, I wouldn't worry about fans starting to think the Jays are cheap.
_Four Seamer - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 02:49 PM EST (#18541) #
Also, why don't teams with limited budgets go back to a 24 man roster? I would rather spend that little extra money one slightly better player than an extra player.

I could be wrong, because I'm too lazy to look it up, but I strongly suspect that the size of the roster is covered off in the collective bargaining agreement - which means the Jays are contractually obligated to carry 25 players on the active roster.
_DeMarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 02:53 PM EST (#18542) #
the size of the roster is covered off in the collective bargaining agreement

I thought this could be the reason, but was also to lazy to look it up.

QOTD - Any guesses on who the first free agent to jump to a new team will be?
(and it has to be a free agent that the new team will be compensated will have to give up compensation for)
Mike Green - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 02:54 PM EST (#18543) #
Is SkyDome still a hitter's park or is it getting close to neutral now?

Here is BR's 2004 TO team page, which shows Skydome as a 106/105 park. It has been a 103 park on average over the last 6 years. Fenway has been about the same. For comparison purposes, Coors has been over 120 on average over that period. On the other side, Safeco has been about a 93 park over that period.
_Jim - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 03:05 PM EST (#18544) #
'I guess I just don't think that the 25th man has proven very usefull'

So you are going to leave your bullpen exposed in blowouts because you don't want to keep a mopup man around to save 300k? This is Major League Baseball, when you start looking for ways to save 300k on the payroll, it's time to join the International League.
_Braby - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 03:13 PM EST (#18545) #
Wouldn't puting the field turf in the SkyDome possibly be a structural change. Isn't field turf a lot slower than the normal turf the jays have had for the last 15 years? I'm sure a lot less ground balls would get through the infield.
_DeMarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 03:13 PM EST (#18546) #
So you are going to leave your bullpen exposed in blowouts because you don't want to keep a mopup man around to save 300k?

This didn't happen prior to 1994, not sure why it would happen now.
_Dan - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 03:29 PM EST (#18547) #
I agree we may have to wait a couple of seasons for alot of success from the development of the Jays farm system. But I have one suggestion, why not go after some of the high payroll players like Kevon Brown or Jason Giambi, whom I do not particularly like long term, but since the Yankees (who seem to want to blame all their failures on this year)want to dump, even if it means paying most of their payroll. Especially Brown, who obviously a year ago, the Yanks had high hopes for. I checked his stats especially over the last four years and each year he has gone from bad year to great year. Also, his stats this year showed his ERA at 2.41 on artifial turf. Now I am not a BRown fan, but if we could pick him up for next to nothing, I think he might be worth the risk, on a one year basis. By the way congratulations, this is a great site.
Mike Green - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 03:33 PM EST (#18548) #
Actually, a 25th man may be more important for a team with a small budget than one with a large budget. Platoon arrangements may be more common among the small budget club for reasons of economy, and these arrangements take up roster space.
_Jim - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 03:37 PM EST (#18549) #
'This didn't happen prior to 1994, not sure why it would happen now.'

Well for one thing offense prior to 1994 isn't like offense post 1994, so an extra arm is probably more useful in this day in age. I still don't understand why 300k in any direction matters.
_Michael - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 03:44 PM EST (#18550) #
Rather than building against your ballpark strengths or to your ballpark strengths it makes the most sense to build the best team possible. If the pitching available to you is better than the hitting available, take it! Same thing vice-versa. One thing that is true is that it is harder to win in a hitters park then a pitchers park. Because a high offense park will make your pitchers face more batters and tire them out more. In other words when you get beat up by "good pitching" the effect shouldn't carry over into your next games as your hitters aren't tired out. When you get beat up by "good hitting" the pitchers do get tired out in the next game.
Pistol - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 03:54 PM EST (#18551) #
Is SkyDome still a hitter's park or is it getting close to neutral now?

If it was once, and no structural changes have been made, wouldn't it still be?


On its own, yes, but if you're comparing it to the rest of the parks in the league it could change a lot as new parks are built and dimensions changed.
_MatO - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 03:55 PM EST (#18552) #
2) If the Jays don't think they can afford to re-sign Lilly at the end of this season they should trade him now while he has value. I will go mental if another player walks away from this team for nothing when that didnít have to be the case.

Ted Lilly is a FA after the 2006 season. He is arbitration eligible after the 2005 season after his contract expires.
_Moffatt - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 03:56 PM EST (#18553) #
This didn't happen prior to 1994, not sure why it would happen now.

Huh? Going back for the last 100 years there have always been long relievers/spot starters who saw most of their action in blowouts. The '27 Yankees, for instance, had a guy named Myles Thomas who was largely used in this role.
Pistol - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:01 PM EST (#18554) #
So, how do you build that bench strength on a limited budget? My suggestion (and Moffatt's too, I think) is to start by shortening the bullpen to 5 or 6.

I really liked yesterday's comment about having to do things differently than other teams when you have a smaller budget. Which got me thinking:

Would a 4 man rotation be advantagous for the Jays?

I know Rany J had a series of columns a year or two (or three) ago discussing the merits of the move, and how it didn't increase the chance of injury.

The obvious benefit is that you'd only need 4 starters. But you'd probably also need relievers who could consistently pitch more than 1 innings.
_DeMarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:04 PM EST (#18555) #
Huh? Going back for the last 100 years there have always been long relievers/spot starters who saw most of their action in blowouts.

I wasn't suggesting this, I was obviously very poorly suggesting that teams prior to 1994 didn't have a problem with finding a spot for a long reliever/spot starter. That it's not like if teams had a 24 man roster, all of a sudden staffs would be extremely overworked.
_Michael - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:06 PM EST (#18556) #
A 4 man rotation would be a good idea, but it may take a while to develop as it isn't clear if people who have been trained for the 5 man rotation could easily hack the 4 man rotation. Halladay liked the brief time he was on the 4 man rotation, although some may say that it contributed to his later injury.

I'd love to see the 4 man rotation of:

Halladay
Lilly
Bush
Batista

but don't know if they would all be willing/able to try the 4 man rotation.
_R Billie - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:07 PM EST (#18557) #
The Jays have cast a lot of trade offers this off-season and according to the Sun haven't pursued much at all in the way of free agents...yet. JP is apparently waiting to hear back from 8 to 10 teams but I wouldn't hold my breath on that this early.

The trade offers he has received from others centre around players the Jays want to keep. They will not be trading Wells, Hudson, or Halladay (all good news).

Although, if only because you have Adams and Hill nearly ready and both can play the middle infield capably, Orlando Hudson may be the one guy I consider trading. Mind you only for a legitimately wonderful return in full realization of his two-way value. Otherwise I have no problem keeping the real Gold Glove winner and good hitting second baseman around for a few more years at reasonable dollars.

So who could be moving? I think we can assume Hinske is one of them. Possibly Batista. Maybe Gross, Chacin, or Towers.
_MatO - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:12 PM EST (#18558) #
The Jays haven't been busy on the FA front because they'd have to give up draft picks if they signed anyone now. They'll wait until after the arbitration deadline in December. On the other hand, a solid major league player is worth far more than a 2nd round pick.
_Four Seamer - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:13 PM EST (#18559) #
This didn't happen prior to 1994, not sure why it would happen now.

Huh? Going back for the last 100 years there have always been long relievers/spot starters who saw most of their action in blowouts. The '27 Yankees, for instance, had a guy named Myles Thomas who was largely used in this role.


I'm guessing the reference to '94 is a reference to the brief era when 24 man rosters were the rule in MLB, not any sort of strike/pre-strike sea change in the way the game is being played. However DeMarco is free to correct my interpretation of his post.

However, I stand corrected on the CBA issue. Allow me to quote from Article XV of the CBA:

E. Active Player Limit
(1) The active Player limit set forth in Major League Rule 2(c)
for the period beginning with opening day of the championship season
and ending at Midnight, August 31, shall be 25, provided that
the minimum number of active Players maintained by each Club
throughout the championship season shall be 24. However, if a
reduction below 24 occurs as a result of unforeseen circumstances,
the Club shall, within 48 hours (plus time necessary for the Player
to report), bring its active roster back to a minimum of 24 Players.
The utilization or non-utilization of rights under this paragraph (1)
is an individual matter to be determined solely by each Club for its
own benefit. Clubs shall not act in concert with other Clubs.


So there you go - the Jays could keep a 24 man roster, if they really wanted to, although they could not act in concert with other clubs to convince them to keep a 24 man roster, too.
_Jobu - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:13 PM EST (#18560) #
On the other hand, a solid major league player is worth far more than a 2nd round pick.

Would they even have to give up that much to get Glaus? He's a "C" for some reason.
_DeMarco - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:18 PM EST (#18561) #
Actually my arguement of small market teams using a 24 man roster doesn't make a lot of sense when you consider that the extra roster spot is a great place to put a rule 5 draft pick.
_R Billie - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:21 PM EST (#18562) #
If the Jays try a 4 man rotation then I love the idea of Brandon League and Gustavo Chacin as middle-to-long relievers. There should be a lot more opportunities for multi-inning stints under those circumstances which should be ideal for developing these guys at the major league level.

It would take a lot of stones to try though. I can't imagine how many years it's been since starting pitchers went on three days rest with regularity. You can alleviate that somewhat by inserting a fifth starter in months where you don't have many off-days.

But I think the idea has a lot of merit, particularly for a team like the Jays. In fact, if you're going to have a 12 man pitching staff then I like the idea of the tandem starting system. You go with the 4 man rotation.

Have the starter go as far as they can before exhibiting signs of fatigue. That might be 80 to 90 pitches for a lot of guys. Then have a designated reliever, whether designated or not bridge the gap between the 5th through 7th innings, pitching 2 or 3 or even 4 innings if necessary. Ideal spots for young developing pitchers like League and Chacin.

Then you should still have enough relievers (about 4) to clean up the remaining innings near the end of the game. The idea is, it's easier to find pitchers that can get through 3 to 5 innings facing the order maybe 2 or 3 times than it is to find guys who can consistently go 6 to 8 innings and facing the order about 4 times.

Considering the volume of young pitchers the Jays have coming up with guys like Vermilyea, Marcum, Arnold, Rosario, League, Chacin and more who have the ability to pitch more than one inning stints the Jays might be in an ideal situation to try such a system. You're not looking to compete right away so why not experiment a bit? And guys like Halladay who want to pitch more innings and think they can handle a full workload even on 3 days rest can do so. Consider them a bonus.
_R Billie - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:31 PM EST (#18563) #
The Jays haven't been busy on the FA front because they'd have to give up draft picks if they signed anyone now. They'll wait until after the arbitration deadline in December. On the other hand, a solid major league player is worth far more than a 2nd round pick.

Even if they intended to wait until December 7th to actually sign someone one would assuming they would be contacting agents and even holding meetings to express interest, especially now that teams may negotiate freely. It's possible they are doing that and have been quiet about it but if you want to have a chance at a free agent you at least have to start talking to them a bit early unless you anticipate they will have a soft market.
_Michael - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:32 PM EST (#18564) #
Remember when considering trades that any player should be up for trade if you can get back more than they are worth. That includes Wells, Halladay, and Hudson. It isn't like the rest of the GMs are just waiting to do a their good young player for our bad player.

The people we'd expect to want to see traded are people whose perceived value by the league is greater than their true value or places where we have a strength (which I don't think we have at this point) or places where we can afford to weaken because the player likely will not be around for the next competitive Jays team. For instance, Hinske isn't a good player to trade because his perceived value is so low right now and it isn't like we have a lot of 3b/1b depth.

Unless there is a GM waiting to be hoodwinked. JP's best trade to date was probably shipping Mondesi to NYY so it can be done.
_Wildrose - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:46 PM EST (#18565) #
This article from prospectus may be worthwhile to read regarding radical roster management.

Maybe the Jays have to push the envelope to beat the juggernaughts in their division and try a very different approach.
Mike Green - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 04:49 PM EST (#18566) #
Those are interesting ideas, R. Billie. The idea of using Chacin and/or League in long relief roles has been espoused by many, myself included.

The tandem starter idea is a long-time favourite of mine, but it might be better to try it at the double A or triple A level as a pilot project first. Incidentally, a tandem starter regime is probably ideally constructed as a 4 day rotation- 2 pitchers/day, with a 3 man bullpen. It should be fairly routine to get a "complete" game from your tandem, allowing you to continue with an 11 pitcher staff.
_Tyler - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 05:54 PM EST (#18567) #
I don't want to get into names (we have them)...

Gee, I continue to be amazed about why the administration of this place has a bad rap with some people. That's without even pointing out that the statements "Tosca should be fired" and "Tosca is a scapegoat" aren't mutually exclusive. You can think that Tosca should be fired because of the poor handling of the bullpen while at the same time maintaining that firing him just allows JP to escape the heat for for bringing in a ton of crappy pitchers (Sturtze, to give one enduring example). I was happy to see Tosca go, thought it had to happen, but at the same time, I can still see that the deck was stacked against him in many ways, and firing him released heat that may well have been on other parties.
_Fawaz K - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 08:14 PM EST (#18568) #
his 2 or 3 superlative starts skew the numbers a bit

And why wouldn't you count that?


I don't think he'll face a line-up as bad as the one the Yankees put out there with any kind of frequency. He also won't have another shot at facing teams and hitters for the first time. I certainly count those games in terms of evaluating his performance and importance to the team last season and it may have been stupid to suggest that those few games were anomalies; what I hoped to imply was that I don't think a complete assessment of his future can be made yet. I do think the sample size makes suggesting that he is "a strong #2 candidate" or the third of "a solid 1-2-3" premature.

Using VORP as the yardstick, Bush was precisely an average #3 starter in 2004. That's a counting stat, so it penalizes him for having only been in the majors for half a year (unless you're going to assume he would have dropped below replacement level in additional Major League innings).

To continue the earlier thought, it would not shock me if Bush ended up being in the top 3 and doing a fine job of it. I did not say in my earlier post that I thought he was going to fail next season, only that I thought that making a projection even higher than the one the organization made (4th or 5th starter if I'm reading my press clippings correctly) at this time is a little reckless. The beginning of a major-league career is a peculiar time. How many players have come in and been completely overmatched initially? How many others started off with a bang before falling back down? Of course, my lack of acumen in this area may have resulted in my being more conservative in predicting the future, and maybe you guys are just prepared to call Ohio before I am - in which case it's all just fine.
_Keith Talent - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 11:20 PM EST (#18569) #
I don't want to get into names (we have them)...

Agree with Tyler. This freaked me out when I read it.
_Magpie - Friday, November 12 2004 @ 11:44 PM EST (#18570) #
if you're in a hitters park, build with pitching. if you're in a pitchers park, get some hitting.

This tends to happen anyway - the park makes it happen. If you play in a hitter's park, you tend to accumulate above average pitchers. Because the park makes average pitchers look below-average, and hence like people who need to be replaced. Meanwhile average hitters are carried by the park to the extent that they keep the job they would lose if they played anywhere else.
_Caino - Saturday, November 13 2004 @ 01:17 AM EST (#18571) #
"if you're in a hitters park, build with pitching. if you're in a pitchers park, get some hitting.

This tends to happen anyway - the park makes it happen. If you play in a hitter's park, you tend to accumulate above average pitchers. Because the park makes average pitchers look below-average, and hence like people who need to be replaced. Meanwhile average hitters are carried by the park to the extent that they keep the job they would lose if they played anywhere else."

- Very good observation Magpie.
Year in Review Roundtable - Part V | 74 comments | Create New Account
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