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Josh Towers held Cleveland to five hits in his seven innings - alas, all five went for extra bases. Two solo homers, three doubles, and a throwing error gave the Indians four runs.
Jays 1, Indians 4: Big Sticks beat Little Sticks | 37 comments | Create New Account
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mlb86 - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#126900) #
Darn....I suppose you can only oppress Indians for so long before they rise up in rebellion.
Ron - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#126901) #
I pose 5 questions for all Da Box readers:

1. Has this been a positive or negative season in terms of development for Brandon League?

2. Will Rios develop into a 3 or 4 or 5 power bat within the next 3 seasons?

3. Will Gabe Gross be a starting OF for the Jays next season?

4. Does Wells lead the majors in swinging at the first pitch?

5. Is Batista going to be the Jays closer for next season?

Andrew K - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#126902) #
Here are my brief answers:

1. Marginally negative

2. Probably yes, but the Jays may not be able to risk waiting for him

3. No (because JP will purchase an OF in the offseason)

4. Probably yes, but only if you exclude non-qualified players

5. For the start of the season, yes; for the end of the season, no; for the postseason, no.
CeeBee - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#126903) #
my thoughts.

1. Negative start but looking more positive as the season progresses and he gets more innings.
2. 3 or 6 I'd say, but 3 only if Vernon moves on or is shifted to 4 or 5.
3. No
4. Without looking it up I'd guess that he's in the top 10.
5. Yes, unless they trade him.
King Ryan - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#126904) #
1. Positive. Hey, all major league experience is good right? Plus he's worked with Brad Arnesberg.

2. No. I think Rios will hit for enough power to be an everyday player, but he won't be anyone's 3 or 4 hitter.

3. No. Gabe Gross will be a good fourth for some team though.

4. Well I don't know about "swinging at the first pitch," but he is ranked 143rd out of 153 in pitches/plate appearance. Vernon sees the same amount of pitches as Shea Hillenbrand, and more than Guerrero, Anderson, Pudge, Neifi and a couple others. The worst player in the majors at seeing pitches is Robinson Cano.

5. Like the poster above, I think Batista will be the closer at the start of the season, but not at the end of it.
Mark - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#126906) #
1. Unfortunately No.
I can't see how this season has been positive for League. See Adam Peterson.
2. Fortunately Yes
In three years, when he is entering his prime, Rios should be an adequate #3 hitter.
3. Unfortunately No.
I believe Gross should get a shot with the jays. One reason, John Schuerholz aggressively tried to acquire him in April.
4. Unfortunately Yes.
Even though he swings at many first pitches, everything he hits is hit so hard and on a line I think he is just having a very unlucky season statistically.
5. Unfortunately Yes.
Batista has been better than we have seen in these parts in a while but I think there is better both on the FA market and in the system. Unfortunately the FAs (Wagner, Ryan) will be pricey and the young ones (Gaudin, Rosario, Banks, Purcey) are not quite ready to close

Feel free to rip me to shreds
Useless Tyler - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#126907) #
No, No, No, No, and No.

Or rather - indeterminate, unproven, better options, excessive pessimism, acquisition.
Magpie - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#126908) #
OK, I'll play.

1. Not positive - he didn't progress nearly as much as we all hoped. So in that sense it's a negative. Not a wasted year, not a crash and burn. If the season ends today, it's a running-in-place kind of year. But this could actually chnage over the next month.

2. Yes - although that depends on how you define the term. I expect Rios to hit as many HRs as, say, Shea Hillenbrand. Who for much of this year has been a cleanup hitter.

3. No. His only hope is if Catalanotto and an infielder get traded for a power bat that happens to play first base.

4. No.

5. Yes. Improving the bullpen is always worth doing, but there's no real reason it should be a priority for this team. If League takes a big step forward, he might establish himself as the main setup guy and be in a position to become the closer for 2007.

I have a query of my own. What happens with Chad "Out of Options" Guadin next year?

timpinder - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#126909) #
1. Negative - League lost a year because he's learning his delivery all over again after Arnsberg tried to change it.

2. Rios will be a decent #5 or a good #6 hitter.

3. Unless the bat JP picks up is a DH/1B, which is unlikely, or Rios is traded, also unlikely, Gross is gone for a power corner outfielder.

4. Probably.

5. Nope, Batista's trade bait tying up salary that could go towards a power bat or A.J. Burnett's contract. (Fingers crossed)
rtcaino - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#126911) #
I think Mr. Out of Options has a good chance of making the bullpen next year. But it's going to be a dogfight for those last few spots in the pen.

League has not had a good year. Especially so, given the context of the high expectations that I (and others) had for him. But he is a young arm with NASTY stuff. Plus he has Arnsberg in his corner, which should count for something.

In the end, the ultimate determining factor of whether this season was positive or negative will be if he is ready to contribute to a competitive Blue Jays ball club next year.
slitheringslider - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#126912) #
1) Not necessarily negative, but it's a lost year.

2) Yes, I believe Rios would be good for at around 30HR

3) I hope they give them a chance, maybe JP could deal Cat so he could platoon with Sparky

4) Don't know the stats, but he should be among league leaders

5) Depends if he gets dealt over the winter. Cause he might be worth more in the trade market than say someone like Speier, and Speier can step in as the stopper. I could foresee this scenario because of the wealth of arms that are ready in the minors.

And about Gaudin, I think he deserves a shot at the Major Leagues, because he stuff has impressed me at times. He has an good fastball and a wicked slider that I remember some commentator said could be the best in the Blue Jays Organization. I think he has the potential to be a middle of the rotation starter or above-average/excellent reliever.
Magpie - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#126913) #
And about Gaudin, I think he deserves a shot at the Major Leagues

Agreed. But Gaudin, and anybody who tries to give him that shot, is in a real bind.

He certainly doesn't look to be ready for the Show quite yet - I mean 31 hits in 13 IP is really, really hard to cope with. If he's not ready next spring, though, he has to clear waivers to be sent down. And if he's not ready,you can't carry him. Unless you don't mind making the other players, who want to win, wonder just how serious management is about winning.

So you try to send him down, and someone claims him. The same way Toronto claimed Douglass and Nakamura last year. Then that team will have the same problem - a pitcher not quite ready, but a pitcher you can't send to the minors without the risk of losing him altogether.

The only team that can afford to carry someone like that is a team that doesn't mind losing - hello Kansas City.

The unfortunate Mr Gaudin needs to pitch very well next spring, and carry it on into the season, or else. Or else he's got an excellent chance of bouncing from one bad organization to another while he tries to learn his trade. The foolishness and impatience of Tampa's management has done this young prospect no favours at all.

hugh - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#126915) #
Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologize.

On the 18th of this month, the fiancee and I left town on a holiday to the deep south.

I paid almost no attention to baseball during this time. Bought 2 newspapers. In both issues, the Jays had won yesterdays game.

Clearly I should have bought more newspapers.

Now that I'm back in town, maybe we can put this thing back together again.

Magpie - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#126917) #
Welcome back,Hugh. No shortage of scapegoats, or people volunteering to be scapegoats. Take a number!
hugh - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#126919) #
...then I read this, and I may never leave the country again...any other bad news I missed out on?
hugh - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#126920) #
...intended link to the Toronto Star article about Halladay being done for the season. This is really sad.
Jonny German - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#126927) #
The unfortunate Mr Gaudin needs to pitch very well next spring, and carry it on into the season, or else.

I'm hoping he gets called up and pitches a good number of September innings. There's gotta be some silver lining to being out of the race!

Elijah - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#126928) #
Okay, I'll go along with this too.

1. I think it was negative because the Blue Jays seemed somewhat indecisive on what to do with League. If they wanted him to be a starter, why did he start the season in the majors as a reliever? Unlike Gaudin, League has not demonstrated at AAA and IIRC, they're both 22 (too lazy to look it up). I don't know if he strikes out enough guys to be a future closer (considering his stuff, I can't understand why he hasn't always had high K/9 ratios). I won't say it's a wasted year yet but like Gaudin was a couple years ago with the Rays, I think League may have been rushed a tad.

2. In the next few years? Maybe not. Ever? Possibly. But is he going to be better than the likes of Hillenbrand and Koskie in those spots? I think so. That doesn't mean he's going to be in the class of Sheffield-ARod-Giambi/Matsui or other monster 3-4-5 combos. Yes, this means I believe the Jays need to find a big bopper in the middle of the lineup. I'm sure that's a newsflash to all Bauxites. =)

3. No. The OBP in AAA is nice but where did that power go?

4. According to ESPN's page, Wells has 99 AB where he put the ball in play on the first pitch. To me, there's a difference between putting balls in play versus just swinging and fouling it off or missing it. When he puts it in play, he's at .364/.353/.586. I believe that there's nothing wrong with swinging at a hittable first pitch, which Vernon does often and many pitchers will try to get ahead with a first-pitch strike. So whether he swings at the first pitch too much, I really don't know. I really don't care who leads the majors because I don't know how strong a correlation there is between leading the league at swinging on the first pitch compared to overall production. Somebody must have access to that data.

5. Probably. I don't see any other internal options at this point and I don't believe in signing a closer as a FA unless he's of the caliber or Rivera, Wagner, Hoffman (in his prime) or Gagne. The shelf life of most closers is surprisingly short aside from the top 10 or so (this is based on my gut feeling - not actual research).
slitheringslider - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#126929) #
I totally understand that he's out of options, but I feel like he is someone that could possibly come back and haunt us for dropping him. By no means do I think he's gonna be a franchise player or even an all-star, but I think he can be a very solid player for us down the road. Hopefully he can carry his AAA success to the major league level.
Lefty - Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 11:59 PM EDT (#126930) #
With respect to Gaudin I would call him up for September and throw him into some situations where he has the proverbial chance to succeed, ie match him up with weak left handed hitters in low leverage situations.

Go into spring training with the message he has a spot in the staff, but he has to earn it.

Hopefully he either very good and genuinely earns a spot or is pretty bad and slips through waivers with another 150 guys at the end of spring, thus protecting him for another shot when the chance arises.
Lefty - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#126932) #
Year G GS CG W L SV IP H BB ER HR SO ERA SO/9 BB/9 H/9 whip
2003 15 3 0 2 0 0 40.0 37 16 16 4 23 3.60 5.2 3.6 8.3 1.32
2004 26 4 0 1 2 0 42.7 59 16 23 4 30 4.85 6.3 3.4 12.4 1.76

The above are Gaudin vital statistics from the yrs. 03 and 04. Folks might check them out in a cleaner format.

Gaudin was certainly dealt a crappy hand by the Devil Rays. Called up as a 20 year old in 2003. But his numbers that year suggest he was pretty close to being a servicable player. He clearly regressed in 2004 and regressed much much further this season. If it was not for his effort in AAA there would be no discussion here.

Clearly he has again had another nice season at AAA. All indications suggest that he should be able to carve out a decent career for himself. I think his issue may be between the ears rather than in the legs, arm and shoulder.

This is a guy thats just got to rise above the crappy hand he was dealt. If he can't then the Jays wouldn't be loosing much if he eventually is waived and claimed. This is Chad Gaudin's struggle. Hopefully he can pull it together quick.
Magpie - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 01:14 AM EDT (#126933) #
Here are Lefty's numbers.

Year  G GS CG W L SV   IP  H BB ER HR SO ERA  K/9 W/9 H/9 whip
2003 15  3  0 2 0  0 40.0 37 16 16  4 23 3.60 5.2 3.6  8.3 1.32
2004 26  4  0 1 2  0 42.7 59 16 23  4 30 4.85 6.3 3.4 12.4 1.76 

Lefty - halfway through this season, someone showed me the Wonderful and Indispensable "pre" and "/pre" HTML tags. (Using quote marks instead of angle brackets so as not to invoke them here!) What these tags do is display the text exactly as you type it. You can line up your rows of numbers, encase them in "pre" and "/pre" and they display... like they do here!

Beats hell out of literally making HTML tables, which I was actually doing for awhile. Never again, man!

Lefty - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 02:03 AM EDT (#126934) #
Thanks Magpie. That doesn't sound to difficult.

I'll give it a practise try, preview and delete.

By the way, what ever happened to the Stats Inc. Scouting Notebook. My guess is the internet overtook the print edtion. That was a great read and I love the spray chart, which is what I assume you collect for the company.

Is Stats Inc primarily in the business of providing services and scouting to pro baseball now?

Those books were written to my level of attention, someone who enjoys the game and a serious fan, but doesn't think of baseball as university exam.

Thanks again.
Magpie - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 04:31 AM EDT (#126935) #
In the early days (mid to late 80s) STATS did provide information to certain MLB teams. I'm pretty sure they don't anymore - major league baseball has gotten into the data gathering business itself in a fairly big way.

STATS provides data to wire services and media outlets - you'll usually see the logo at some point during a TV broadcast.

And I miss the Notebook too! It was full of fun stuff.

Jim - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#126936) #
I guess I don't see the problem with keeping Gaudin next season. Teams carry players who aren't ready all the time - and this team carried players who couldn't contribute at all this season when they were still in the race (League, Huckaby). Quiroz is no different, he's not ready either, but he'll be here because otherwise you lose him, and I'd say backup catcher is more important then 12th reliever.
PeterG - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#126937) #
I don't even see wasting a spot on the 40 man with Gaudin when it might mean some other promising youngster like Box favourite Davis Romero might be unprotected and claimed. The odds are stacked against Gaudin and the team CANNOT carry him while he develops if ever. The only way I change my mind on this is if he is called up for September and pitches brilliantly in his opportunities. He has not yet developed a major league repertoire. His slider is great but that's not enough. The fastball is below major league average and other pitches don't exist at any level. Waive him or include him in a trade. Doubt anyone would want him except as a throw in as they'd have the same problem Jays have in twerms of keeping him on the roster.
Alexander - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#126955) #
1. Negative, obviously.

2. No. He will be lucky to hit more than 15 in any of those
years to come.

3. No. Gabe Gross will either catch on as a backup or be
designated for assignment.

4. Good question! (Although I'm certain someone on this
page actually knows the answer to that.

5. Yes.
slitheringslider - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#126974) #
I don't even see wasting a spot on the 40 man with Gaudin when it might mean some other promising youngster like Box favourite Davis Romero might be unprotected and claimed.
I very much doubt Davis Romero would be anywhere close to having the ability to pitch in the Major League level, as he merely pitched in high-A. There are many pitchers who are further along than he is and are higher than him on the depth chart. Gaudin, on the other hand, has pitched fantastic at times in AAA, and obviously is much closer to the majors than Romero is.
And also, as far as I know, Gaudin does not have a below-average fastball. He can at times rush it up there to the mid-90s with decent movement. His stuff has never been a question, it's mostly locating his pitches.
PeterG - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#126996) #
The problem with Gaudin is that he has never had the time to develop properly and he cannot have that wasted time with Tampa back. He's just not a good bet for the Jays. Earlier in the season, I was one of those who considered Davis Romero a long shot for the 40 man but he has won me over. Not only would I protect him ahead of Gaudin but numerous other boderline prospects as well icluding Cosby, Negron, even Ramirez or Diaz.

If there are other GMs who support Gaudin as strongly as some on this board, then I suggest to JP to attempt to trade him(use him as a sweetner) in a package deal as I strongly maintain that time is simply heavily against him as regards to ever being a Jay.
John Northey - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#126997) #
So, if we take it as a given that Gaudin is trade bait and that the Jays need a big bopper and have Hinske as the 'dead weight' they will clear out to make room on the roster with Hudson, Koskie, Adams, or Hill being on the list of guys to go with Hinske/Gaudin as a full time slot must be made for the big bopper who do they go for? It will have to be from a weak team who can give Gaudin time in the majors and cannot be Tampa as they gave up on Gaudin already.

Kansas seems a possiblity. Mike Sweeney is at 300/345/527 this season and is lifetime 304/374/501 while playing 1B/DH. He has yet to get 30 HR's and might be a bit cheaper in trade than others. He is 32 thus in the 'danger zone' for hitters (32 is generally a big dividing line). His contract goes through 2007 so it certainly fits the Jays goals there. He is signed for $11 million a year (not sure the amounts for '06 and '07 though). Get rid of Hinske's contract and both teams could be winners.

Other celler dwellers don't seem to have a guy they would give up that the Jays would be wanting (Seattle with Sexon, Pittsburgh with Bay, Reds with Griffey or Dunn-who K's too much for JP I suspect). So, as a preliminary bet, I'm betting on the Jays getting Sweeney from KC in the winter for Gaudin, Hinske, and one of Hudson, Adams, or Hill - perhaps with a B-level prospect mixed in from KC's side.
PeterG - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#127002) #
Regarding the Sweeney situation, I wouldn't worry about his contract as he can opt out and become a free agent at the end of this season. He will likely do that even though he will have to sign somewhere for less money but it's difficult to see him remaining in KC. That said, I don't think he's a guy JP wants unless he becomes really attractively priced. I believe I heard JP suggest more than once than he wanted a hitter who can play the outfield, no doubt to replace the present lf platoon.
John Northey - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#127007) #
Outfielders eh? Which ones are available and who would the Jays want? Low K's are a must, as is a rep for being a hard working player. I think if they get anyone new it will have to be someone who has at least a 500 Slg% with a 350 OBP. Otherwise why bother when we have lots of guys with a 750-850 OPS already.

So, who fits and which might be available? I'll use ESPN's stats to find out...

There are 20 outfielders in the majors with a 495 or greater Slg%. Of those just 4 fall below 350 in OBP with one of those being at 345 (Jose Guillen). We'll cut out the other 3 (Carlos Lee, Jason Lane, Jermaine Dye) from further consideration.

Some are easy to eliminate due to how the player and team seem to be perfectly happy together or contract issues - Hideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield (both Yankees), Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez ($20 mil? dont see JP taking that), Andruw Jones, Jim Edmonds, Shawn Green. That cuts a total of 10 from the initial 20.

So we are down to these 10...

Ken Griffey Jr.	302/371/578
Miguel Cabrera	331/392/578
Adam Dunn	250/390/565
Jason Bay	300/392/550
Cliff Floyd	283/364/517
Kevin Mench	280/350/515
Jose Guillen	298/345/513
Pat Burrell	282/386/511
David Dellucci	259/385/507
Brian Giles	300/422/499

Griffey Jr. is rumoured to be available, but I don't see him coming here. Miguel Cabrera is being moved to third base from left field, which sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Cabrera appears to be arbitration eligible which might make owner of the Marlins decide to get rid of him but I doubt it. Adam Dunn would be nice but his K's are far higher than JP likes (ML record 195 last season). Jason Bay is just in his second season so I doubt Pittsburgh would let him go just yet. Mench is good but he plays in Texas which inflates the offensive numbers thus making him less than the premium hitter the Jays are after. Jose Guillen has been known as a head case in the past and has hopped from team to team, thus could be available but his career numbers are so-so (277/325/452) so I doubt we'll see him here. Pat Burrell is in his prime and getting expensive so he might be available but is a Phillie lifer so, unless the fans hate him for some reason (beyond the normal for Phillie) I doubt he is going anywhere. David Dellucci is 31 and having a career year in Texas - 'nuff said. Brian Giles is a very solid, steady player playing with a team that has tons of holes but in a weak division...hmmm...could SD be tempted by a package of prospects that are at the ML level?

Not a lot available at the premium level the Jays are after in the outfield. Lets hope JP finds something good this winter.

King Ryan - Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 05:08 AM EDT (#127019) #
Brian Giles is a free agent after this year, actually.

I think JP should be aggressively pursuing both Giles and AJ Burnett. I've heard that Giles doesn't want to leave the west, though.
James W - Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#127020) #
Miguel Cabrera was originally an infielder, but was moved to the outfield because the Marlins already had Mike Lowell at 3B and Alex Gonzalez at SS. His moving back to 3B isn't much of an issue. And there is absolutely no chance that the Marlins would attempt to trade him.
Ron - Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#127036) #
It makes no sense for the Royals to trade Sweeney with Hinske as part of the package coming the other way.

There's no way a lowpayroll club such as the Royals would want to go anywhere near Hinske's contract. And that's not even taking into consideration the Royals would be trading away their best player.

I'm sure there are clubs out there that would be more than happy to aquire Sweeney without sending a bad contract the other way.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#127044) #
Actually, looking at the Royals depth chart on it looks like third base is an ugly gapping hole on offense, where Hinske would actually be a big improvement. So if they wanted to get someone who could play third, if they wanted a young pitcher or two, if they want another young infielder then the Jays would be a good match. Given the Royals are going nowhere then trading their best hitter for decent filler at third plus prospects while cutting payroll overall (Hinske makes less than Sweeney over the next two years by a fair amount I think) seems like a good idea to me.
Ron - Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#127049) #
The only scenario where I see Sweeney being dealt to the Jays, with Hinske going the other way is if some combo of Purcey, Jackson, or/and Romero are going the other way.

The Royals are building for the future and the worst thing they could do is let HInske take AB's away from Teahan.

I just think it's wishing thinking that another club would take on Hinske's contract while giving something valuable in return (whether it be a straight up trade or some sort of package deal).
Jays 1, Indians 4: Big Sticks beat Little Sticks | 37 comments | Create New Account
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