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The Jays moved 2.5 games in front of Boston and New York, and stayed 1.5 games ahead of the second-place Orioles, with a solid 5-2 win in Oakland. The key blow was once again struck by The Dude Himself, Eric Hinske, whose fourth-inning homer off Dan Haren capped a two-out rally and plated three runs.

Hinske made a winner out of Josh Towers, who threw 100 pitches in pitching 6 2/3 innings and facing 27 batters. I had assumed that Towers pitching into the seventh inning was unusual, but in fact he did so regularly last year (9 times in his 21 starts). A series of long at-bats early in the game meant that Josh was unable to duplicate his normally stellar figures in pitches per at-bat - like Roy Halladay, Josh is most effective when he gets hitters to put the ball in play earlier in the count. However, he came back later to record an efficient series of outs and struck out six, matching his total from his earlier start in Tampa. Until that day, Towers had not stuck out six since September 18, 2003 against the infamously bad 2003 Tigers.

I was hoping to have a great deal to say about this game, especially when it looked likely that the Jays would win, when of course fate intervened. During the sixth inning, already faced with no TV and following the game via radio and GameDay, my son woke up and I was promptly in for two hours of getting him back to sleep. Needless to say, by the time I returned to the computer, the game was long over.

What, then, to say? Maybe I'll round up the day's other games.

Rangers got eight runs
Mostly enough to win games
Angels got thirteen

Milton Bradley rules
Giant rookie makes key botch
LA wins 9-8

Marquis pitches great
And hits a three-run triple
Cards 5 Cincy 1

Lo Duca's on fire
Went three for four, homered
Florida 8-2

Pittsburgh-Milwaukee
Ugh. Really, do we care? It's
Pittsburgh-Milwaukee...

Vidro's blast was big
Schneider's double was bigger
And Nats win 4-3

Brian Roberts has
Four homers already - wow!
Sosa hit one too

Would-be great matchup
Prior versus Jake Peavy
Padres-Cubs : POSTPONED

Shannon Stewart hit
A walkoff double; the Twins
Just kept coming back

Jays 5 Oakland 2
I already told you this
But it's nice to hear

D-Backs 4 Rox 2:
Webb was very efficient
Rox have lost six straight

Shame, dishonour; Craig
The first to resort to a
Haiku Game Report
Blue Jays 5, A's 2 | 84 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
NickOfTime - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:45 AM EDT (#111118) #
*snap snap snap*

Very impressive, Craig San. I'm in the best mood ever right now.
R Billie - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:53 AM EDT (#111119) #
I was really impressed with Towers' slider these past couple of games. It seems like it has some extra bite this year and he's spotting it well. He gets into trouble when he tries to challenge hitters inside and gets too much of the plate but he really seemed to bear down in this game once Hinske hit the big fly. If he can keep up this strikeout rate he might have a surprising year.

So far the decision to have both Chacin and Towers in the rotation seems like a great idea. Batista is generally getting the job done but dang if I'm not afraid he'll completely lose it and walk four guys every time out.

Haren looked unbeatable in the early going and seemed like he would complete the game on about 40 pitches. But he started leaving his pitches up and the Jays started touching up his fastball. Obviously Eric had the big blow and it's good to see him show that power which has been missing from his game since 2002. The question becomes if he hits as well as his rookie year, is that enough to keep him at first base on his current contract or do you maybe try to move him and use that money towards something else like a premium bat or pitcher?
Nolan - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:04 AM EDT (#111120) #
Since I'm not sure how to post a picture, or even if I'm allowed to, I'll just post the link. This is a hilarious picture of Todd Walker (though it's not so funny that he was injured on this play)

Go Here

rtcaino - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:18 AM EDT (#111121) #
Ya, Towers slider was fantastic. Interestingly enough, the majority of his strikeouts came using his fastball up and in.

Haren was spectacular. He really only made the one mistake. Had Oaklands bats been the least bit effective they could have made a game of it. Some facts from the good people at Athletics Nation:
-The A's are last in extra base hits in the American League.
-The team is fifth lowest in the AL in team OPS.
-The A's have also scored the second fewest runs in the AL.
-Not surprisingly, our team is hitting .203 with RISP. Only the White Sox have a lower batting average. The A's and White Sox are the only teams with an OBP below .300 with RISP.
- Blez.
All and all, a pretty poor showing thus far from the boys in green and gold.

I saw the FSN Bay Area broadcast and was impressed. The "old man" commercial was really funny.

The one thing I disliked was on Rios' ground out. On the replay, it was really close, though he appeared to have been safe. However, the broadcasters kept saying "GOT'EM!" as if it was a clear-cut play. All and all, I felt they offered a fair analysis of the game and I was impressed.

Great game cant wait for the next one. go Jays!
Michael - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 05:31 AM EDT (#111122) #
Caino, are you in the Bay Area? Nice to see Jays fans here. I am and again took advantage of FSN local A's coverage to see the Jays. I'm very pleased. The Rios play didn't bug me so much as the guys are home team announcers and at least one said "safe" once so I got the impression it was clear that a fair reading was he was safe on the close play.

I figured that Towers is a good person to pitch in the Collesium as he is (or at least was - I see his G/F is on an upward trend) a fly ball pitcher whose biggest flaw is the HR. Given that the Collesium is a tough park to hit the ball out of and that there is room for the fly balls to die there, it seems to suit him well. But I didn't expect him to pitch as well as he did.

I'm really impressed with the walks that Zaun is able to draw. I had a good feeling about Hinske entering this year, but my feeling was more that he'd be closer to his ROY numbers than to his last year numbers. But I didn't expect him to be as good or better than his ROY numbers. I know it is a very small sample size but so far so good!
Sister - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#111124) #
I live in Halifax, so the West Coast games are just a little too late for my viewing schedule (and I have a two month old to boot). Can someone give me the lowdown on Vernon Wells? It is great to see the Jays hitting well, but Wells' poor plate showing so far is a bit of a concern for me. How has he looked at the plate (outside of his results)?

Perhaps its way to early but perhaps 2003 was Vernon's "career best" season? I sure hope not.
CeeBee - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#111125) #
According to Sportsnet, Koskie left the game in the 7th due to a stiff neck which is not considered to be serious.
Jordan - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#111126) #
I'm as concerned about Wells as I am excited about Hinske -- which is to say, not much either way. Vernon's always been a slow starter: here are his monthly OPS totals over his career:
Month     OPS
April     666
May       900
June      958
July      883
Aug       714
Sept      901
He'll be fine.

Hinske looks great, of course, and if he ends up duplicating his rookie season (.279/.365/.481, 38 2B, 24 HR, 77 BB), I'll be very happy. But 96% of the season remains to be played.

The Jays are taking this season one series at a time; they've already wrapped up a series win in Oakland, so it'll be very revealing to see if they go for the jugular and sweep the A's today. Dave Bush in particular has to show that it was Boston's fearsome plate discipline that threw him off in his last start. This road trip is only going to get tougher after today.

And that's your daily reality check. :-)

Arms Longfellow - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#111127) #
You forgot one important thing in that report:

With the victory the Blue Jays are now the BEST TEAM IN BASEBALL!
Gwyn - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#111128) #
And that's your daily reality check. :-)

Can't you let us enjoy the moment ? :)

Pistol - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#111130) #
"But 96% of the season remains to be played."

We're moving quick, it's down to 95% now!

I agree on Wells, he'll be fine. He might not reach 2003 levels this year, but I'll be shocked if he doesn't at least get to his career average of .289/.333/.486. And the OBP from his career average should improve the most as he's improved that each year.

BB/AB
2002 - 4.4%
2003 - 6.2%
2004 - 9.5%

I think we should be excited that the team is playing so well without Wells, Koskie, and Hudson playing up to their normal levels. They'll all come around, and if it's the same time that Hinske, Hillenbrand and Zaun come back down maybe the team will keep on chugging along.

Dave Bush pitched a one hitter the only time he started in Oakland last year. Hopefully, we'll see another quality start tonight.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#111131) #
What was most frustrating last season was not the devastating injuries, but the lack of growth, and in fact decline, from a number of young players.

It is very early, but it's quite clear that Towers and Hinske have made adjustments in the off-season that hold out reasonable promise for improvement. Last night, we saw the sharp slider from Towers for the K in a key situation. That is new.

I suspect that the coaching staff will be getting good grades when evaluation time comes along.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#111132) #
To get back to something Tyler said last night in the Game Thread, here's Eric Hinskse's hot start, so where are all those posters who were saying that the best case scenario would be for Eric to start hot and then immediately trade him? I remember responding that if Hinske started hot we'd want to keep him, but not many agreed with me.

So, identify yourselves and let us know if that's still your advice. Don't make me search the archives and out you! Stand by your words or explain your change of heart.

Also, as of this morning Mr. Shea Hillenbrand is sporting an OBP of .394.
Pistol - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#111133) #
NFH - The Jays obviously traded Hinske and his albatross of a contract for this 'The Dude' guy who apparently is the second coming of Bonds. It was a great and often overlooked move by the front office this offseason.

MatO - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#111134) #
A major improvement of the team this year is the bench. If Koskie can't go tonight then you can slide Shea into 3rd, drop Cat into DH and play Sparky in left. That's just one of the options. Last year every option seemed to involve Dave Berg!
Mike D - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#111142) #
Fantastic Report
You made Tuesday poetic
Even the rainout
Ryan B. - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#111144) #
I've got to say that the team is really looking good this season. Mind you it's only been eight games, but I've really enjoyed what I've seen so far.

I had an absolute blast at the home opener and the game the next day as well. Everyone who attended the game, and didn't toss magnets around like an idiot, I want to thank you for creating a fun, enjoyable, unforgettable atmosphere that I havent felt at a Jays game in a long, long time. When the team was rallying in the bottom of the 9th I was on my feet the entire time slapping hands with people all around me as they scored. Even though they came up short I hope that the "casual" fans at the game realise this will be a fun team to watch this season.

The biggest surprise for me has been the play of Eric Hinske. I have never been a big Hinske fan and I really gave him a hard time last year when he struggled at the plate. I saw nothing in him but a waste of money. Now, looking at his performance, I have to say I'm starting to grow on him. Not only has his bat been great but he has played very well at first base. I know it's early, but if he keeps this up we will be forgetting Carlos and kicking ourselves for not believing in this kid. Eric, congratulations on proving me wrong, just make sure you do it all season!

On another note I'm not sure if this has been posted or not but the series with the A's has been broadcast on channel 001 for those who have Roger's digital cable. I've watched both games so far and plan on catching tonight's as well. The series is a free preview of MLB Extra Innings and is available to anyone with digital cable. FSN Bay Area is covering the games and they do a nice job. One of them said after Hinske hit a two run double that he was "on pace for 185 RBI this year." Funny stuff. I'll end this rant with three words:

GO JAYS GO!!!
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#111145) #
Rangers got eight runs
Mostly enough to win games
Angels got thirteen

I guess Craig don't know
How Texas baseball is played
Eight runs not so much!

Jordan - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#111147) #
Remember in the off-season, when the Jays were seriously thinking about signing Steve Kline? I'm kind of glad that didn't work out.
Grand Funk RR - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#111149) #
Hank, I was neutral on thhe Hinske chatter. BUT, I'd like to point out that I was one of the VERY FEW in here during the offseason supporting the Hillenbrand and Schoeneweis deals. Just saying is all.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#111151) #
Yep. So far I don't have any complaints about Mr. Hillenbrand. I still need to see more of Schoeneweis to form any kind of opinion of him, but if Hillenbrand keeps this up I think a lot of people will be eating their hats.
Ducey - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#111152) #
I think we must give JP some credit for all of this. I think we need to keep things in perspective - its early -after all Cesar Izturis is leading the National league in average - and Hitskie isn't going to hit .400 (or even .300) this year. However, a lot of things JP has done have worked out pretty well. Consider:

1. Adams has quitely been impressive - especially with the glove
2. Hillenbrand, Koskie and MacDonald have contributed to the kind of hardnosed, workmanlike manner the team appears to go about its business
3. As mentioned, the team has some depth and flexibility both on the bench and in the minors
4. The coaches and seem to have done somethings right in Spring training. Gibbons seems to be doing a nice job of getting everyone time and keeping the team loose.
5. The defence has been outstanding with Cat being about the weakest link. Hinske in particular has shown nice range.
6. Putting Chacin in the rotation has worked well
7. The Sheosen one has fit in nicely as a loogy who can pitch often
8. Batista has shown signs of embracing his role as closer
9. Give JP credit for picking up low/ no cost solutions like Towers, Zaun, and Walker.
10. Carlos who?
NYJaysFan36 - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#111154) #
MatO,

Here's a link to the Pawtucket Roster. You can get a good photo of old Dave Berg by clicking on the photo link.
http://www.pawsox.com/team/
.253/.616OPS is definitely not what we expect out of Reed or Shea this year for sure.
NDG - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#111156) #
NFH, I don't think I said anything about Hinske, during the offseason, but I was thinking that very thought the other night. If teams think that Hinske has turned the corner, now might not be a bad time to deal him. Being Jays fans, it's natural to think the Eric's now all better due to his changed stance. However, it is also possible that this new stance just means he's able to hammer the pitches pitchers were getting him out with before. Pitchers will adjust (it seems to take about a month to properly scout something new), what remains to be seen is whether Hinske will also adjust.
NYJaysFan36 - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#111161) #
Jordan,

Wow...Kline is not into it at all.
What a freaking cop out though. "I have to take care of my family." If I don't get any raises for the next 18 years, I will earn (gross) $1M I'm sure the Cardinals weren't offering less than $1M PER YEAR!
I will never spend $5.5M in my life. I can't stand the feed my family line that is becoming common when deciding whether to take $5.5M or settle for a measley 4 million. Yuck!
jsoh - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#111163) #
I didnt particularily see the logic in the 'deal Hinske' cries in the offseason, and the essentials of the argument are still eluding me. To me, the points against deal-the-Dude talk revolve around..

* Its been all of 8 games. We have absolutely zero idea whether this is his true level of ability or not. Nor does any other team. I'm sure the Dude had a hot 8-game stretch last year as well.

* Again. Its been all of 8 games. What team is so dissatisfied with their first baseman that they're going to pull the trigger on a deal this early into the season?

* I shudder at the thought of what this kind of move would do to the clubhouse: "You sucked. So we're trying to trade you. Now you've proven that you dont suck. So we're going to try to trade you harder".

Let the Dude play, and try putting off all this trade talk until mid-July. By that point everyone will have a much greater idea of all the relevant factors.

I mean. When we're going to be up 6.5 on the Yanks at the ASB, why would we trade our 1100 OPS+ 1B-man :)
Brett - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#111166) #
if Hillenbrand keeps this up I think a lot of people will be eating their hats.

I don't have the numbers in front of me, because I'm working on my crappy office computer, but I'm confident that Hillenbrand has been an extreme streak hitter in the past, great months followed by stone-cold ones.

Now, if he has a great April, and cools off just as Vernon heats up, then heats up when Koskie cools off... I don't have a problem with that.

Just as long as everyone doesn't go cold at once... like, say, April 2004.

Mark - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#111168) #
If Hinske is playing this well by the all-star break I think the jays should trade him. Maybe they could send him home to Wisconsin with a couple of young pitures for a 1 and a half years of Doc Jr. Then Hillie can play 1st, Cat DH, and the Babe and Sparky platoon in Left. BTW, nickname for Frasor, JF backwards K.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#111171) #
I mean. When we're going to be up 6.5 on the Yanks at the ASB, why would we trade our 1100 OPS+ 1B-man :)

Very good. Very good!

jsoh - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#111174) #
If Hinske is playing this well by the all-star break I think the jays should trade him

Ok. But why? Whats to be gained by it? Yeah, Hillenbrand could slide to first, but that'll weaken the team in a whole bunch of ways: Shea may be hitting worse, and he isnt as good a defender at 1B. You've opened up a hole at 1B for next year that has to be filled. Also, by pinning Shea at first, you've lost some of the positional flexiblity we currently have

Maybe they could send him home to Wisconsin with a couple of young pitures for a 1 and a half years of Doc Jr.

I can only presume you're talking about Sheets here, no? Why does Milwaukee make that deal? Hinske would only wind up blocking Prince Fielder. And really, as much as I like the Dude, Prince has waaaaaaay more upside.

Flex - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#111179) #
Jordan, that story about Kline is a laugh riot. In the words of Bugs Bunny, "What an ultra maroon."

I think Jsoh makes a good point about the clubhouse effect of trading Hinske. This thing seems to be knitting well, don't pull on any loose threads.
Chuck - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#111182) #
Some random comments...

How do you think Kline's teammates feel about his piss poor attitude? He's certainly not endearing himself to Joe Six Pack either, bemoaning his awful predicament. Still, sacrifices must be made to keep one's family in furs and diamonds. Let's hope that he can muster the strength and courage he'll need to face his challenges.

The Hinske bandwagon is certainly an odd one. That he has been successful thus far can't be refuted. That so many (myself included) had trouble fathoming a Hinske resurrection is entirely understandable. Any pre-2005 optimism anyone might have had could not have been based on anything more than wishcasting. I was not optimistic about Hinske (even imagining a scenario whereby he'd have to be released) but am very pleased to have been wrong, as, I imagine, are most people who shared my pessimism. Schadenfreude is not the word of the day here. That we feared Hinske would perform poorly doesn't mean we would have preferred to have been correct rather than watching him go all Pujols on us. Hopefully he can continue his unlikely renaissance.

If Shea Hillenbrand continues his 355/394/516 ways, I will eat a hat (ideally one made of chocolate). Trivial observation: Despite having an OBP higher than his AVG, he hasn't walked yet this season.
daryn - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#111183) #
<i>NFH - The Jays obviously traded Hinske and his albatross of a contract for this 'The Dude' guy who apparently is the second coming of Bonds. It was a great and often overlooked move by the front office this offseason.</i>

I'm enjoying Hinske's start to the season.... I don't have any illusions that he'll win either the HR title OR the batting title, and I'll consider 285, 26, 101 a big success.

but the best part is it keeps reporters from sticking a mic in his face and asking him how he plans to replace Carlos....

DUH, he was never going to replace Carlos, he can only ever be HINKSE

That being said, this good start will mask a future slump, whereas if he started slow, he could go for a hot 2 weeks and no one would notice...
rtcaino - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#111186) #
Michael, I'm not form the Bay area at all. Rogers relayed the feed to the GTA promoting their Extra Innings cable package. I do read AN fairly often though.

"identify yourselves and let us know if that's still your advice. Don't make me search the archives and out you! Stand by your words or explain your change of heart."

NFH, no need to search my friend. I am still very much a supporter of trading Hinske. I think we can all agree right now, that he is on a hot streak, and it would be reasonable to suspect that his performance will regress towards the mean. The question remains, what level of production can we expect from the Dude long term. That is a matter of speculation. None of us can see the future, and therefore we are all welcome to make predictions as to what we feel Hinskes output will be for the remainder of his contract.

I personally suspect that, even given his new stance, that he will not produce at the level that we need from first base to be competitive.

Again. Its been all of 8 games. What team is so dissatisfied with their first baseman that they're going to pull the trigger on a deal this early into the season?

I would also suspect that any team we trade for Hinske to will pencil him in at third base.

Let the Dude play, and try putting off all this trade talk until mid-July. By that point everyone will have a much greater idea of all the relevant factors.

Im not saying trade him today or tomorrow. Im saying trade him at a point where you think you are getting more value than you are giving up. No sooner, no later.
rtcaino - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#111188) #
""If Shea Hillenbrand continues his 355/394/516 ways, I will eat a hat (ideally one made of chocolate). Trivial observation: Despite having an OBP higher than his AVG, he hasn't walked yet this season.""

I think he's been hit by a couple pitches.
Jobu - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#111191) #
I don't suppose anyone reads Japanese well enough to explain what the hell this is about?

http://www.major.jp/pof/

If not, I'm content to enjoy the "humour of the unknown" of the whole thing. Who knew the Jays and Phils were so popular?
Chuck - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#111194) #
I think he's been hit by a couple pitches.

Nice to see a UW education not being wasted! ;)

Chuck - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#111196) #
None of us can see the future

Steven Wright: "I have a friend who's a peripheral visionary. He can see into the future, but only off to the sides."

Craig B - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#111197) #
If Shea Hillenbrand continues his 355/394/516 ways, I will eat a hat (ideally one made of chocolate).

I will join you in eating a delicious chocolate hat. Of course, I'll eat a delicious chocolate hat whether Shea stays red-hot or not; I just like chocolate.

Named For Hank - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#111199) #
Dear Toronto Blue Jays Bullpen Store:

Please increase your order for commemorative chocolate Blue Jays hats.

That is all.
Thomas - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#111200) #
I love Kline's sense of victimisation in the article. "Sometimes you miss the old places...but you've got to play with the hand you're dealt."

Yeah, I hate when I'm dealt the hand of free agency and can sign with any team that offers me a contract. Someone should inform Kline that he doesn't have to accept the largest monetary offer.

The O's can't trade him until June 1 or so because he's a free agent signee, but I really wonder if he'll pitch for them for much longer. His teammates and management have to be pretty annoyed at him at this point, and that's an understatement.
MatO - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#111203) #
We shouldn't be so hard on Kline. He didn't sign with the O's just for the money. He reportedly turned down more money from the Jays :-)
Jordan - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#111205) #
Steven Wright rules. "I just installed a skylight in my place. The people in the apartment upstairs are pissed."

Come now, we're not really discussing Hinske trades on April 13, are we? The Jays are no more likely to deal Hinske now than they were on Opening Day, and his trade value is no higher. The only long-term in-house 1B option is Koskie, and that's assuming the Jays give Aaron Hill the 3B job sometime next spring, which they're unlikely to do because Koskie's glove at the hot corner is one of his strengths. None of this is any different than it was on the last day of spring training.

More to the point, if Hinske has in fact come back, why on earth would you want to deal him? Early-season homer totals notwithstanding, the Jays are going to struggle to produce runs all year; on the other hand, the rising tide of pitchers in the farm system gets better all the time. This team needs offence. Hinske's contract is less of a burden with the new payroll and better production from him would match his forthcoming salary. In short: if Hinske actually becomes a solid offensive first baseman this year (with a nice glove to match), you'd be out of your tree to get rid of him.

Patience, patience. The Jays are off to a nice little start. Enjoy it, don't try to dismantle it.
dmac - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#111209) #
Hitskie isn't going to hit .400 (or even .300) this year

I don't see why he can't hit 300 this season. Why don't you think he's not capable of it?

A lot of you guys seem to be really happy if he duplicates his rookie season. I personally think his rookie season was overrated, and not all that special. I'd like him to do better then that, and with how he has reworked himself, he seems more than capable.
Joseph Krengel - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#111210) #
Hinske is making what, $3 million this year, right? If he can put up a .280/.370/.480 line and end up with 25-30 HRs and 80-100 RsBI, then he's worth every penny. Why trade from a position of weakness (powerful first basemen)?
Mark - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#111211) #
I like the Dude, he is one of my favorite Jays. We haven't seen intensity like his since Pat Hentgen (1st time around). However I think almost 3 years and 12 million dollars is reason enough to trade him. If you can get something of value in return and not have to eat any of his contract the Jays would be better off trading him and putting the saved money, along with the extra 20-30 million (WOW, that's awesome) into a true power bat or two. The Blue Jays great chemistry is a cute story but I think more than any other sport in baseball it is overrated. Actually it is not overrated because people openly agree (Including manager John Gibbons) that it doesn't mean too much. So if the Dude is this hot come July, trade him (preferably to the NL in case I am dead wrong) and lets see what the Gabe or Eric Crozier or even Aaron Hill can do.
Pistol - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#111220) #
"Hillenbrand has been an extreme streak hitter in the past"

I remember him getting off to hot starts with the Red Sox in his time there. Not so sure about his time in Arizona.

From 2002-2004 his OPS pre-break is .836 and post-break is .748.

At the end of the year if he's much in excess of .800 I'll be surprised.
rtcaino - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#111221) #
Jordan, Stephen Wright is OK. Just sometimes I cant hear him because he speaks in parenthesis.

Im not trying to dismantle the Blue Jays start, nor would I consider anything in your first paragraph to be a reasonable representation of the argument for trading Hinske. Also, I didnt mention trading Hinske because I thought of it last night and think it is a fresh idea. I simply responded to NFHs question of whether people had changed their opinions of Hisnke after his start.

Marks comments quite succinctly sum up how I feel about the Hinske situation. In the big picture, if the Jays want to be competitive, they need a power bat. Not that this necessitates a Hinske move. However, it does necessitate a move of some sort.

My guess is that the following positions are all but spoken for: C, 2b, SS, 3b, CF, and more likely than not LF and RF. Which roster spot would you want to displace to accommodate the new bat? Who would you want to displace to accommodate a new bat? Hinske? Cat? Gross? Rios? Quiroz?

My choices are either first base or DH.

Jonny German - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#111223) #

I personally think [Hinske's] rookie season was overrated, and not all that special.

By some measures he was the best offensive third baseman in the league! What more do you want?

However I think almost 3 years and 12 million dollars is reason enough to trade him.

How can you say this without qualifying what level of production you expect from him? Halladay makes a whole lot more than that, I don't hear anybody suggesting he should be traded.

Joseph Krengel is on the money... if Hinske hits in the neighbourhood of what he did his rookie year, he IS good value and trading him is pointless. What on earth do the Jays need more that a solid-hitting first baseman? Yes, that's what Hinske is if he matches his 2002 output of .279/.365/.481. AL first basemen last year hit .266/.346/.447.

jsoh - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#111224) #
My choices are either first base or DH.

And wouldnt you know it, but our erstwhile DH is signed to only a 1 year contract.

If the Jays are going to pick up a big bat in the middle of the season, its 'cause they're within striking distance of the playoffs. At which point we'll all be deliriously happy

Hinske isnt going to be traded just for the sake of making a move. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that unless he regresses to last year's results, he aint going to be traded at all this season.

binnister - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#111225) #
They had a "power bat" (in Delgado), and where did it get them?

Are the Jay's 6-2 if you substitute Delgado for Hinske at first? I honestly don't know.

As much as I'd like to have Delgado on the team for his 'power', I just get this gut feeling that this team doesn't do as well with him (instead of April!Hinske) on it.

Chuck - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#111226) #
I mentioned in another thread a while back that I could only foresee two possible fates for Hinske:

1. He continues to stink and is released outright.

2. He starts playing well and is kept because he is worth the money and is filling a need.

I could not imagine a scenario that sees Hinske traded. If his performance fell somewhere between 1 and 2, then I suppose he could be moved as long as the Jays picked up most of his contract. But that would mean finding a team that wasn't suspicious that he would return to his 2003-2004 levels.
jsoh - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#111227) #
But that would mean finding a team that wasn't suspicious

Mr. Van Den Corput, there's a Mr. Littlefield on line 1, a Mr. Lamar on line 2, and a Mr. O'Brien on line 3 all wanting to speak with you.

:)

Named For Hank - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#111228) #
.407 / .467 / .778

vs.

.367 / .472 / .600

Not that I expect Hinske's numbers to stay better than Delgado's (after all, The Thin Carlos has only hit one home run, and that will definitely change), but wouldn't it be great if they did? Heck, if Hinske keeps it close he'll make J.P. look like a genius.

Who thinks that Eric Hinske can beat Carlos Delgado in some kind of offensive stat? We could make an interesting bet out of this.
Ron - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#111231) #
I was one of the people that thought Hinske wouldn't perform to his rookie level this season.

We have to remember it's only 8 games into the season. A lot can still happen.

I would trade Hinske in a heartbeat if the player(s) coming the other way makes sense from a Jays pov.

If I was a GM, no player is an untouchable.
timpinder - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#111232) #
All this Hinske talk. Remember that through his minor league career and into his MLB rookie year, he's always had around a .275 - .280 average and has hit for some power. His bat should only improve in the long term. The last two years were the exception, not the rule. He is a good hitter. Why would you want to trade him? Good luck finding another defensively strong first baseman who hits well for both a solid average and power that's already locked up for a couple more years at about $5 million annually. I think that's a great bargain. Having said that, a .280 - .285 average with 25-30 HR's is a little closer to what we'll see from him this year and in the future, he's hitting a little over his head right now.
I'm more curious to see which one of the three major league caliber middle infielders Riccardi is going to trade at the deadline: Adams, Hudson or Hill? Three players for two postions, each of them having high trade value. It should be interesting.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#111233) #
D'ah I'd like to hear from Sideshow Mel!

-Flanders
Chuck - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#111235) #
His bat should only improve in the long term.

Unless he is the rare exception that is the late bloomer, the future is now. This is his age 27/28 season. This season and next are his theoretical peak.

Good luck finding another defensively strong first baseman who hits well for both a solid average and power that's already locked up for a couple more years at about $5 million annually.

After just 8 games you are prepared to say that Hinske is this guy? Didn't Hinske have an 8-game run similar to this in the middle of last season that got everyone's heart a flutter?

BCMike - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#111236) #

If you can get something of value in return and not have to eat any of his contract the Jays would be better off trading him and putting the saved money, along with the extra 20-30 million (WOW, that's awesome) into a true power bat or two.

Right, just like they were going to sign that big power bat this off-season? Money is useless if there is no one to spend it on. Dumping an asset simply because you are 'ovepaying' him or because his production doesn't match the SABRstereotype of his position, does not help the team. And if his contract is really that bad how do you expect to get something of equal value in return while also saving money?

If the Jays could somehow get something good for Hinske, I would be fine with it, but I see no reason to trade him just for the sake of trading him(or his contract).

Braby21 - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#111238) #
Anyone else notice this in the Kline article??

On the first play, Kline fielded a sacrifice bunt by Oakland's Mark Kotsay and tossed toward second baseman Brian Roberts, only to have John Gibbons, something of a novice first baseman, intercept the ball before it got to the bag. All runners were safe.

Ducey - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#111239) #
You ask why I said Hitske will not hit .300?

Here are his lifetime stats:
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/eric_hinske.shtml

He has not hit .300 at any level and he strikes out a fair bit. Anything is possible but .300 is not a reasonable expectation.

Should he be traded at the deadline? It depends what is coming back in a trade but I expect Hillenbrand will not be back next year. I expect JP will be trying to trade Shea and Cat at the deadline. In this senario, Hinske would be handy to keep around. You can then sign a free agent bat for DH and put Gross in left.

The Hudson, Hill, Adams soon to be dilemma will be interesting. I predict the Dog gets traded with Hill going to second.
NDG - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#111242) #
Right, just like they were going to sign that big power bat this off-season?

I don't ever remember the Jays intending to sign a big bat this offseason. Why let facts ruin a good line?

I'm not sure why so many believe Hinske is all of a sudden a top tier first baseman (OPS+ the last three years 124, 96, 74). There is very little to support this notion. Caino is dead on. An average hitter at first will be above average at third, that's why Hinske would have more value to another team than the Jays even if he performs the same. The Jays currently have three third basemen on their roster and two more in AAA. I really don't have anything against Hinske (I'd much rather the Jays didn't sign Hillenbrand), but in terms of roster construction, moving one of their third basemen makes sense.

Mike Green - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#111243) #

Hinske did well in spring training this year, and that combined with the new stance has persuaded me that his performance this year is not all fluke. I was a skeptic last summer when he went on his run.

Making any trade right now would be difficult, as it's not at all clear what the strengths and weaknesses of the club are. Offence was perceived to be the club's weakness going into the season, and it might end up so, but wouldn't it make more sense to simply play for a while and see what happens before making decisions?

Jeff Geauvreau - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#111244) #
Steve Wright - My land lady knits my condoms. I put my key in the door and the house started up. So I took it for a drive. When the cops pulled me over I told them to get off my f driveway

He is a hilarious guy. I will have to tell you guys over a beer someday the story of me and my 72 LTD with Steven Wright , Lawrence Morgenstern(SP) and assorted other Yuk Yuk comedians. I got pulled over for a spot check on Bay Street with I was the designated driver.

Do not have comedians in the car with you at a spot check. lol . Imagine four guys saying very loudly hide the weed and the coke. It is funny now but I was not laughing then.

Enough rambling....

I have been lurking everyday and I am glad to start posting again. My children and I are doing very well. I again thank the battersbox community for all the support I got last year after the death of my dearly departed wife.

I am moving to Mississauga in July and I am looking forward to attending many Jays games. I will be taking up a certain blue jay player family offer of autographs for my kids at the dome. You guys should remember a lot of Blue Jays players family read this site.

So try not to be too hard on some players. I step off the soapbox now.

Go Jays I like first place..

Jeff
Wildrose - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#111248) #
Coach warned us about signing Kline because of attitudinal concerns... looks like he was right. Kline did in fact turn down more money from the Jay's, (his wife is a Canadian), so I find his complaints about money and looking out for his family a bit comical. I'm sure the Oriole outfielders are not very happy with his comments about their poor range either.
sweat - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#111251) #
Just another one of those athletes who is an individual and not a team mate.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#111252) #
Just to add to the Steven Wright lovefest, "I spilled spot remover on my dog, now he's gone."
Chuck - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#111254) #
I have been lurking everyday and I am glad to start posting again.

Jeff, nice to have you back.

Mark - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#111259) #
The way the jays use their line up there is no reason Hill cannot replaces Frankie M as the super utility. He can spell all 4 infield positions for the time being as well as some time at DH.
R Billie - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#111263) #
Going back to my original point, Hinske is going to make a little over $13 million between 2005 and 2007. Is it worth keeping Hinske at salarys a little over $3m, $4m, and $5m for these next couple of years? $4m in 2006 and $5m in 2007 might pay half of AJ Burnett's salary. Or half of a .900+ ops hitter's salary.

The Jays have depth right now. They have to decide what use of their money is going to maximize their production on the field. Maybe keeping Hinske IS the right move if he produces well and there aren't any significantly better ways to spend about $5m a year in '06 and '07. But that's enough money that the Jays should be thinking long and hard about whether they're better off spending it towards a higher ceiling player. And obviously not this early but around mid-season if Hinske has built enough value to be marketable then you have to think about it.
VBF - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#111265) #
Jobu, this is the translation of the first paragraph given to me via dictionary.com

The hW?[X entering of the field Shigeru hero pitcher 1995 in opportunity, the Japanese player following one another, it exceeded the sea, continued challenge in measure. On the other hand, also the Japanese who challenges to the challenge "outside field" increases as one member who participates to club management. MAJOR. We convey the management management of club with JP via the eye of such 2 Japanese who participate at the locale.

:s

robertdudek - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#111266) #
As noted above, there isn't much point in making a trade now, unless someone phones JP with an offer he "can't refuse". Let's see how the offence is going by the time early June rolls around and make plans accordingly.

Andrew S - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#111267) #
NFH

I'm pretty sure I could come up with at least one offensive stat where Hinske will outperform Delgado. It's just not a very important one. But it is one where Hinske has outperformed Delgado each of the last three years.
Chuck - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#111268) #
I'm pretty sure I could come up with at least one offensive stat where Hinske will outperform Delgado.

Off the top of my head, how about 3B? SB? CS? GIDP?

BCMike - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#111270) #

I don't ever remember the Jays intending to sign a big bat this offseason. Why let facts ruin a good line?

So you are saying the Jays had no intention of filling the gaping holes at firstbase and DH with a big bat? The Jays didn't sign a big bat to fill either one of those holes because guess what, there wasn't one available on the market. That's why making room to sign a big bat is a foolish reason to trade Hinske.

The only reason to trade Hiske is to improve the club. You don't trade him and then hope you can improve the club later.

rtcaino - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#111273) #
Maybe true BCMike. Not to rag on you, but I can think of 30 million reasons why this off-season and last off-season is not a fair comparison. It's not that there weren't any bats, we just couldn't afford them. (Beltre, Beltran, Glaus, etc... Delgado)

Also, a while back someone posted a list of this year free agent crop. I couldn't find it in a search; does any body have it handy?
jsoh - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#111278) #
That's why making room to sign a big bat is a foolish reason to trade Hinske.

I call this the "gut the team, freeing up enough cap/salary space so that you can sign the number 1 free agent available" strategy.

For how well it works, I direct your attention to how well Chicago and Orlando faired when they made a run at Tim Duncan.

The astute will notice that Tim Duncan plays for neither Chicago nor Orlando :)

jsoh - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#111279) #
It's not that there weren't any bats, we just couldn't afford them. (Beltre, Beltran, Glaus, etc... Delgado)

One of these is not like the other. While everyone expected that Beltre and Beltran would get huge contracts, Glaus (and Sexson's for that matter) came out of nowhere.

At the beginning of the offseason, there was every expectation that the mid-level bats (Glaus, Sexon, Alou) would be available at a reasonable price. Then the market went ape

Stuff like this happens. It'll happen again. Factor in the fact that Toronto is hardly a choice FA destination, and the approach of trading a bird in the hand for the chance of the bird in the bush becomes a little less than optimal.

timpinder - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#111286) #
Chuck,
I don't think that Hinske has a solid bat and is good defensively based on the last 8 games, rather his entire career. From 1998 through 2002 he hit for a solid average with power. He was hit with the sophomore slump and an injury and his numbers suffered the last two years. I expect to see him get back up to his minor league/rookie season numbers this year of about .280 with 25 HR's, maybe better. As for him being solid defensively, he did lead all AL third basemen in fielding percentage last year, first base is an easier posisition, and he looks comfortable so far. $4 million a year is a good price for that kind of player, I'd be surprised if he's traded.
Ducey,
I agree totally that Hudson will be traded and Hill will be moved to second base. Riccardi likes his picks (Adams and Hill), and Hill can mash. Also, Hudson is proven and probably has the highest trade value of the three. He'll probably go with a package of prospects for a front end pitcher since the Jays aren't going to try to outspend the Sox or Yanks for the only free agent ace available next year, Burnett.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#111296) #
Here's one reason Hinske shouldn't be traded: Corey Koskie's declining AB totals over the last few years. Koskie is a great guy to have in your lineup (and in the field), but having both Hillenbrand and Hinske gives you valuable flexibility in case someone gets hurt.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#111298) #
BUT, I'd like to point out that I was one of the VERY FEW in here during the offseason supporting the Hillenbrand and Schoeneweis deals.

As I recall, I was neutral to indifferent on Schoeneweis. But I was definitely the one comparing Hillenbrand to Dave Berg.

I did say Hillenbrand was better...

Magpie - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#111301) #
Please increase your order for commemorative chocolate Blue Jays hats.

I sure hope one of those is for me. I said many unflattering thing about Hillenbrand.

Mmmm. Tasty hat...

Who thinks that Eric Hinske can beat Carlos Delgado in some kind of offensive stat?

Better narrow the field a little.

In 2004, Hinske beat Delgado in hits, triples, stolen bases, caught stealing, and grounded into double plays.

In 2003, Hinske beat Delgado in doubles, triples, stolen bases, caught stealing, and grounded into double plays.

In 2002, Hinske beat Delgado in hits, doubles, triples, strikeouts, stolen bases, caught stealing, and grounded into double plays.

Willy - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#111302) #
"I saw nothing in [Hinske] but a waste of money. Now, looking at his performance, I have to say I'm starting to grow on him."

Ryan B., I've been troubled by this all day. It doesn't sound good at all, and maybe you should see someone. (And think about him!)
Magpie - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#111303) #
Oops. My bad. In 2002, Delgado and Hinske were tied in triples. How did that happen? How did Carlos hit two triples?

So if we leave out the baserunning, the stat where Hinske beats him every year is GIDP.

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