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A distinct feeling of Deja Vu.

Read about the game here. It was all a bit like Saturdays only not so dramatic.

Baseball in Arlington is more like softball; I'm going to be having nightmares about it for weeks, every time you look up the ball is soaring into the air somewhere and scores of Texans are scampering happily around the bases. Jays pitchers all end up looking like Nuke LaLoosh before he stopped shaking Crash Davis off. No offence to our resident Texans, but I really don't look forward to the Jays visits to Arlington.

To move on to other happier topics, I'd like to have a look at how the Jays pitching stacks up with the rest of the AL East now we are in out temporary Halladay-less stage.
On Saturday Jaysfan0912 summed up what many bauxites might be feeling "Right now, the jay's pitching staff is worse than the baltimore orioles, and inferior to the red sox and yanks". I admit I wasn't far from that frame of mind myself when I heard that Doc was going to miss six or so weeks. Is it true though?

To put the state of the rest of the pitching in the division into perspective let's take a pleasant moment to remember just how good Roy Halladay has been this year.

NAME		G	W	L	IP	BB	SO	K/9	ERA	VORP
Roy Halladay	19	12	4	141.2	18	108	6.86	2.41	52.6

I believe Magpie has used the term otherworldly about HLH this year, I think that about sums it up. Only Eric Bedard in the AL East this year has been comparable.
Here's how the pitching staffs of the contending teams in the AL East stack up over the next few weeks. I know the trade deadline is coming up and this could all change drastically if Eddie Guardado ends up in Boston, or A.J Burnett comes to the division or whatever the heck the Yankees are going to do. This is the state of play as of today though, and it's worth looking at. It's not pretty, I warn you. I think we can safely say the quality of starting pitching in the East is pretty awful. Five pitchers have a negative VORP, 20% - thatís really pretty amazing.

Rotations

Toronto

NAME		G	W	L	IP	BB	SO	K/9	ERA	VORP
G. Chacin	18	7	5	103.1	36	61	5.31	3.57	19.8
Pete Walker	22	3	2	53.0	20	22	3.74	2.55	19.1
Josh Towers	17	6	7	97.2	18	61	5.62	4.33	11.2
Ted Lilly	17	7	8	88.0	38	67	6.85	5.42	3.9
Dave Bush	10	0	5	53.1	10	26	4.39	4.89	2.5

I admit I'm guessing with the Jays rotation, that's what I'd throw out there though. Pete Walker may well not be there, as there are other alternatives, but I think Bush has to come back up. Walker's VORP total makes things look a little better than they really are, he hasn't pitched well recently and I doubt if he'll be able to match those figures over the next few weeks. Lilly and Bush, however should figure to put up far better totals in the July and August than they have in the first, both have pitched well recently. I'd figure it to balance out, Walker to fall off and Bush and Lilly to pick it up.

Baltimore

NAME		G	W	L	IP	BB	SO	K/9	ERA	VORP
Erik Bedard	9	5	1	60.2	14	52	7.71	2.08	23.2
Bruce Chen	17	7	5	102.1	32	71	6.24	3.87	18.2
D. Cabrera	17	7	7	97.1	50	89	8.23	4.90	-2.2
Sidney Ponson	18	7	7	107.2	41	59	4.93	5.93	-8.4
Rodrigo Lopez	18	7	5	108.2	33	68	5.63	4.72	-7.9

Baltimore's rotation should be considerably improved when Bedard returns after the break, it's doubtful he can be quite as good as he was before he got hurt, but I still think he's odds on to be the best pitcher in the division until Doc's return. Even so the Orioles rotation is still awful, Bruce Chen has been largely excellent, but has shown signs of coming back to earth recently, as for Cabrera, Lopez and Ponson - well Josh Towers has been considerably better than any of them.

Boston

NAME		G	W	L	IP	BB	SO	K/9	ERA	VORP
Matt Clement	18	10	2	117.0	35	97	7.46	3.85	23.7
Tim Wakefield	17	8	6	110.2	46	67	5.45	3.98	18.6
B. Arroyo	18	7	5	109.2	25	64	5.25	4.02	15.9
David Wells	15	6	5	90.0	11	49	4.90	5.00	8.2
Wade Miller	12	2	3	68.0	34	49	6.49	5.03	4.0

Boston's is the only rotation I'd take over the Jays, and they should get better, a lot better, if Schilling returns able to pitch anywhere near his best. I hadn't realised quite how good Clement had been lately, no wonder J.P made such a push for him last winter.

New York

NAME		G	W	L	IP	BB	SO	K/9	ERA	VORP
Mike Mussina	18	9	5	113.1	27	80	6.35	3.97	19.3
Randy Johnson	18	8	6	121.2	23	109	8.06	4.14	16.7
C. Wang		12	6	3	83.1	22	31	3.35	3.89	13.9
Carl Pavano	17	4	6	100.0	18	56	5.04	4.77	-1.3
Kevin Brown	11	4	6	65.2	15	45	6.17	5.48	-1.5

Mussina has been considerably better than I had realised. Wang has been surprisingly effective, but as Steven Goldman has pointed out often, he is slave to a poor defense. This is really a pretty unimpressive group, even if Wang can keep producing at these levels and short of a trade there is little sign that things will get any better.

There's a big drop-off from Halladay to Bush, but the Jays rotation is still considerably better than those in Baltimore and New York and will stand comparison with Boston's.

Bullpens
I'm just going to look at the top four pitchers in each bullpen, these are the guys who should get most of the innings in high leverage situations.

Toronto

NAME		G	W	L	IP	BB	SO	K/9	ERA	VORP
Justin Speier	33	1	1	32.0	5	21	5.91	2.81	9.5
Jason Frasor	35	1	3	38.0	16	27	6.39	3.08	8.4
Vinnie Chulk	33	0	1	40.2	15	25	5.53	3.98	8.1
M. Batista	37	4	2	39.1	10	25	5.72	2.97	7.2

I have to admit I'm surprised at how solid this quartet has been. None of them are world-beaters, but, they tend to get the job done more often than not. For the record, despite all the rumours I'm not expecting Batista to go anywhere at the trade deadline. This is probably the second best bullpen in the division, I'd place this group ahead of Baltimore, but behind the Yankees.

Baltimore

NAME		G	W	L	IP	BB	SO	K/9	ERA	VORP
B.J Ryan	38	1	2	38.1	12	58	13.62	2.58	12.6
Chris Ray	10	0	0	11.2	3	15	11.57	0.77	6.5
Jorge Julio	40	2	2	40.1	12	35	7.81	4.24	5.9
Steve Kline	42	2	3	32.1	21	25	6.96	5.57	-1.3

B.J Ryan might be on his way out of Baltimore if they decide to be sellers at the deadline, he's a free agent at the end of the season and the Orioles don't seem to be too confident of re-signing him. If he stays though he gives them a legitimate ace closer. Julio does a decent job generally in the 8th, but the middle relievers are pretty questionable, Ray has had a great start, but he's just 11 innings into his career in the bigs.

Boston

NAME		G	W	L	IP	BB	SO	K/9	ERA	VORP
Mike Timlin	41	3	1	41.2	10	27	5.83	1.73	14.3
Mike Myers	31	3	1	17.0	5	10	5.29	2.65	4.2
Matt Mantei	34	1	0	26.1	24	22	7.52	6.49	-3.1
Alan Embree	40	1	4	35.2	11	28	7.07	7.82	-11.7

Man, that's ugly. Mike Timlin is fighting the good fight all alone, although Mike Myers has been reasonably reliable. The new plan, of course, is to have Curt Schilling move into the 'pen, but I'm inclined to agree with Johnny Damon's doubts as to how well that will work. This is a hard situation to judge as you have to imagine Epstein and co. will do something at the deadline to address this situation. As things stand this is the worst bullpen of the four contenders, and by some distance.

New York

NAME		G	W	L	IP	BB	SO	K/9	ERA	VORP
Tom Gordon	41	2	3	42.0	19	44	9.43	2.79	13.9
M. Rivera	32	4	2	33.2	11	36	9.62	1.07	11.5
T. Sturtze	32	2	1	47.2	8	24	4.53	3.97	7.6
Buddy Groom	21	1	0	23.0	7	12	4.70	4.30	3.8

After his tenure in Toronto I still find it hard to believe that having Tanyon Sturtze return can improve things, but it unquestionably does as it gives them someone Torre trusts to get to Gordon and Rivera. Stanton and Quantrill leaving was definitely addition by subtraction, though how their early to middle inning replacements will fare is open to question. With Sturtze, Gordon and Rivera Torre now has a group of veterans he's probably going to feel comfortable running out there every day, as long as all their arms stay in shape this should be the best end-of-game bullpen in the division. Gordon and Rivera certainly look comfortably like the best 8th/9th pair out there.

The Jays might not have the best rotation or bullpen of the four teams contending in the East, but as things stand, Toronto's pitching even without Halladay is, overall, looking better than that in New York and Baltimore and edges the Red Sox.

Links

-- The ex-Jays team game was played briefly in the game chat yesterday and Ken Rosenthal notes today that The Blue Jays' farm system produced six All-Stars.

-- Newsday has some speculation about Braden Looper's future in Shea, but also reports Kevin Millar may be taking his act to the Astros in exchange for Chad Qualls

-- Geoff Bakers report on yesterdays game has Gibby steamed at losing and steamed at Frasor for walking Sandy Alomar Jr.

Jays 8 - Rangers 9 | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, July 11 2005 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#122212) #
After a day off, and with the All-Star break coming, I was hoping that Gibby would bring in Batista in the eighth after Schoeneweis. He has been using Batista in tie games on the road in the last few weeks.
Jim - TBG - Monday, July 11 2005 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#122228) #
I'll throw in my own take on the weekend: A Kick in the Teeth from the Baseball Gods You might detect a hint o' bias.
Lefty - Monday, July 11 2005 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#122229) #
A couple of notes.

I don't see Ryan going anywhere. The Orioles like the Jays are attempting to challange the big two. Sosa is off the books after this season so will give Balt. some flexibility.

I don't buy this Shilling in the pen idea either. If he can get 60% of his stuff back, my guess is Miller is bound for the pen. He seems to be be great the first two innings and then struggles. Though I'm not sure how 3-4 appearaqnces a week might effect him. Arroyo might be the next choice. But really Wakefield would be perhaps the best choice as bullpen help and spot starter.
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2005 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#122249) #


So I'm looking at some stats, and I see that the "awful hitting" Jays sit 7th in all of major league baseball in runs scored.

3 whole runs less than the "mighty" Baltimore Orioles. (yes, with one extra game played).

That's some pretty good awful hitting, eh?
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2005 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#122250) #
Damn I wish I could edit....

To note, the Jays are a whole 6 runs back from the 5th ranked team in runs scored (CIN), but they've played one more game than us.
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2005 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#122252) #
And are you sure you'd take Boston's rotation over teh jays', even without Halladay?



Last 10 rotations:

T.Lilly: 10gms, 60.1ip, 1.22whip, 3.13era
M.Clement: 10gms, 67.0ip, 1.31whip, 4.43era

G.Chacin: 10gms, 55.0ip, 1.51whip, 3.76era
T.Wakefield: 10gms, 65.1ip, 1.45whip, 4.55era

P.Walker: 2gms, 11.1ip, 1.32whip, 4.77era
D.Wells: 10gms, 60.2ip, 1.29whip, 5.04era

D.Bush: 3gms, 15.2ip, 1.34whip, 4.59era
W.Miller: 10gms, 57.1ip, 1.61whip, 5.18era

J.Towers: 10gms, 55.1ip, 1.66whip, 5.69era
B.Arroyo: 10gms, 57.0ip, 1.42whip, 5.36era
Craig B - Monday, July 11 2005 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#122281) #
I'd take Boston's rotation, by a hair, and Toronto's pitching overall, by the same amount. No question the Jays have been as advertised this year, though, and Boston's guys subpar.
JayFan0912 - Monday, July 11 2005 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#122292) #
That's a nice study, and a lot of work...

But really, given the choice between

lilly/chacin/towers/walker/bush/etc. vs.

RJ/mussina/pavano/wright/brown/wang
Schilling/clement/miller/wakefield/wells/aroyo
Bedard/ponson/cabrera/lopez/whoever

who would you choose ?

I think that in the rest of the year the rotations for the sox/yanks/orioles will be better. Especially when factoring the impact on the bullpen of having to bail halladay's replacement earlier ... and halladay's intangibles.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 12 2005 @ 01:32 AM EDT (#122316) #
Not sure if there's any real reason to think that any of those other rotations will improve significantly over their performance so far.
Jays 8 - Rangers 9 | 9 comments | Create New Account
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