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And Ch(en) got the win. That was frustrating.
Ch(acin) vs. Ch(en) | 23 comments | Create New Account
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jim854 - Wednesday, August 31 2005 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#127143) #
It's tough when the Jays keep coming up against all these Cy Young candidates like Bruce Chen! Aaron Small!
R Billie - Wednesday, August 31 2005 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#127145) #
Chen hasn't pitched too badly this year. However, he's not a guy you figure to be able to retire 18 in a row. There have just been way too many of these kinds of games for the Jays where they're completely quiet inning after inning.

After the game JP said they aren't looking for star hitters but rather a couple of more guys like Koskie and Hillenbrand. Huh? We have a lineup with Koskie and Hillenbrand and they get shut down a lot. I'm not sure how much adding two more guys of that level will improve things. What we need is a guy like Tejada who can make a difference in a game on a regular basis.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, August 31 2005 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#127146) #
The point is we can't afford the 12 million + type slugger...we need five or six Koskie's and Hilly's. Good professional hitters and hopefully at least two or three will be hot enough to give us the offence we need.

Adams, Hudson, Wells, Koskie, Hilly, Koskie2, Hilly2, Rios, Zaun/QDog

All with OBA near 380 and slugging in the mid to high 400's.

And to make it work for sure we need five healthy Halliday's in the rotation!
King Ryan - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 12:01 AM EDT (#127147) #
If JP spends his money on getting more Hillenbrands and Koskies I think my head will explode. I hope he was just speaking of their effort and character and not of their abilities on the field.
The_Game - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 12:38 AM EDT (#127148) #
Fan's Best Value MLB Index for MLB Parks:

Rogers Centre is #12 on the list.
Mike Forbes - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 01:29 AM EDT (#127149) #
I just can't figure out JP at all.. Sometimes he's saying that the Jays are gonna attempt to get a big bat... Then the next day, he's saying we're gonna settle for another 6th hole hitter or two.

I've said it before and I'm going to say it again... Average does not win championships.
John Northey - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#127151) #
Agreed Mike. An average lineup gives you average results (see Ash, Gord for examples). If JP goes for high end pitching to go with the average offense/good defense then it works, but right now we already have an average offense top to bottom without any gapping holes. 1B, RF, DH, and maybe LF are below league average for their positions but all are still decent offensively. We need a star hitter or two to be either developed or brought in to go with a killer pitching staff. Since none are on the horizon in the minors that means bringing them in.
Rob - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#127152) #
Adams, Hudson, Wells, Koskie, Hilly, Koskie2, Hilly2, Rios, Zaun/QDog

All with OBA near 380 and slugging in the mid to high 400's.

Aside from "Koskie2/Hilly2" who could be anybody, I don't think "all" of those players could put up a .380 OBP. Adams might do it, Hudson and Wells will not, Koskie has a shot, Hillenbrand will come nowhere near, Rios is doubtful and Zaun...well, Zaun might.

And only Wells, Koskie and Hillenbrand have any hope of slugging in the high .400s. I'm with Mike Forbes here -- this team has an average offense, and you do not blow the increased payroll on a bunch of average hitters. It would mean no progress.

Craig B - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#127153) #
Not that I disagree with the notion that big boppers are really important, but I think it's worth noting something about championship teams:

Teams since 1990 that have won the World Series without a 140+ OPS guy in their lineup (that is, guys who put up superstar numbers):

'03 Marlins
'02 Angels
'00 Yankees
'97 Marlins
'96 Yankees
'92 Blue Jays
'90 Reds

So out of 14 champions from 1990 to 2004, exactly half had a hitter who gave them genuine superstar production. The other half did not.

Now, look at the teams that *did* get big production from one or more players. The first thing you notice is how underwhelming (for much of their careers) some of these players are...

The big hitters on the '91 Twins were Shane Mack and Chili Davis.

The big hitter on the '95 Braves was Ryan Klesko.

The big hitter on the '01 Diamondbacks was Luis Gonzalez.

The Jays' offense doesn't need to get that much better in order to be a championship quality offense. The pitching and defense do need to get substantially better - pitching and defense win championships, and yes I really truly believe that - but the offense does not.

However, I do think like most of you that Koskies and Hillenbrands don't do *anything* to improve the offense. All they can do is help to tread water.

Unless you bring in a superstar, or catch the rare lightning-in-a-bottle that you get with a Luis Gonzalez who comes out of nowhere, they way an offense gets better is to bring in younger players because those are the ones who are much more likely to have the spontaneous surge in production.
Nigel - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#127160) #
The help for this offense is going to have to come externally. If you look at the current team the only players who you could reasonably expect to have significantly increased production from would be Koskie and Rios. Neither is a sure thing, although I do think Koskie is pretty likely to return to something approximating his career line next year. Rios is the great unknown - right now, the change in his swing to help him drive some balls on the inner half has left him unable to hit pitches on the outer half the other way. I think JP's biggest decision this offseason will be whether to roll the dice for one more year with Rios. I think I would but for some reason those comments of JP make me think he won't (there's no other place on the field to play a Koskie/Hillenbrand X2 and see an increase in production). While I agree with Craig, there's no help coming from the farm on offense.
Gerry - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#127161) #
Over the past month I have seen several other teams say they are looking for a big bat, so it could be that the market for sluggers will be similar to the market for premium starting pitchers. JP comments might be reflecting the realities of the market, and not his wishes.
Jonny German - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#127166) #
If you look at the current team the only players who you could reasonably expect to have significantly increased production from would be Koskie and Rios.

I think the catcher spot can produce more - anybody can hit better than Huckaby, and Zaun may hit better with more rest. Hudson was a better hitter in '04 than he has been this year. Wells is capable of a 900 OPS (as he did in 2003, and in contrast to the 800 he's put up each of the last two years). It's far too soon to put a ceiling on Hill. And my personal pick as likely to improve his overall numbers next year: Russ Adams. Consider:

Pre all-star: .253/.309/.425, 20-28 BB-K, 221 AB
Post all-star: .289/.388/.401, 22-16 BB-K, 152 AB

That second half is prime leadoff material.

Summing up: this offence could do a lot better. Hillenbrand and Johnson are the only guys I see operating at their peaks.

JP comments might be reflecting the realities of the market, and not his wishes.

That's pretty much exactly what he said on WWJP. Wilner was asking him if the two bats needed to be legit #3 and #4 guys, and JP said he didn't think those kind of hitters will be available.

Jonny German - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#127167) #
I should note, none of the above is to say that I'll be content to see the Jays do nothing to improve the offence this offseason.
Craig B - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#127169) #
While I agree with Craig, there's no help coming from the farm on offense.

Nigel is right, which is why those young players need to be brought in - at a high price if necessary - from other organizations.

Nigel - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#127172) #
Jonny - I agree that each of those things is possible (and given random chance one is almost likely to occur) but in each case the player has to significantly exceed pretty well established (except for Hill) career norms. Another way of saying this is that the Jays line-up has hit this season almost exactly (scarily so) in line with their career lines. I do agree that the post-allstar break Adams (higher OBP and lower SLG) is more the player that his minor league performance suggested. I just don't see Adams having another level above what he's doing now (which isn't a criticism because he's a very useful offensive player right now). I agree that Hill is a wild-card although what he's done this year is very consistant with what he did in his relatively brief minor league career.
R Billie - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#127198) #
The second half Russ Adams is pretty close to Brian Roberts at the beginning of his career. I think Russ has a 15+ homerun season or two in him down the road but his main contribution will be the onbase and a decent average and low strikeout rate. Good baserunner too.

I like Aaron Hill but he doesn't do much good if he doesn't have a place to play. Where is he going to play as things stand today? Who is going to move out to make room?

I think he's a decent shortstop and much better with his mechanics and arm strength than Adams even if he doesn't have the raw range. Third base seems like the ideal position for him but someone's playing there. I think you have to start him out as a true platoon with Koskie...done deal. Cory can't hit left handed pitching much. Outside of that you have to mix him in at second and short whenever possible.

As for the other improvements, first I think you have to see if Brian Giles or Paul Konerko will even consider taking your money.

Failing that I would take a two pronged approach to the offence. I would try to buy low in free agency or trades on players like Huff and Durazo. And I would also try to trade whatever necessary from the pitching depth for young position player prospects who have almost made it but not quite.

Bringing in a couple of Kotchman or Jackson or Gonzalez or others...guys who have the ability to be everyday players but haven't proven it yet. Do this in addition to getting your pair of Koskie/Hillenbrand level performers so that you have some high ceiling risks who can step in if they force your hand.

My concern is if we go out and spend $7 to $10 million on a Burnett or Washburn (hopefully not the latter) that the offence will improve only marginally and you're still suffering the majority of your losses because your offence can't produce consistently. I am extremely concerned over the feast or famine nature of this year's offence and I think they're famine a lot more often than feast.
Smaj - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#127203) #

I will pose the question concerning Hill being a long term keeper on the Jays Roster? When looking at the Jays roster & potential trades, the Jays area of strength is depth in the middle infield & in young pitching. Given that Koskie's contract is probably untradeable (poor form to trade a FA after one season as well), which two players do you want starting at 2B & SS, Hudson, Adams or Hill? I would make Hill the odd man out for many of the same arguements made to keep him. The Jays need to improve their offence & front end of their rotation. In order to make a trade of significance you have to give to get. I suspect Hill is a very appealing player to a team like the Cincy Reds, amongst others based on positional flexibility, potential production & cost. Adams looks like a leadoff man long term & will improve defensively at SS (everyone comments on his work ethic...etc.). Hudson is a Gold Glover plus chips in with the bat, has upside at age 27 & is a clubhouse leader...gotta keep him.

For the Jays to improve they will undoubtedly require a major trade. Trading from their strengths is intelligent & necessary for contention in 2006. Hill makes sense in a package for an impact player like Adam Dunn (guessing something like Hill, Bush, League, Frasor & Gross may land Dunn...obviously I have no idea, its fun to speculate however). The point being in order to improve & contend in 2006 which is a theme we all seem to share, the Jays are going to be forced to trade some valued commodities (young emerging inexpensive talent is a very valued commodity) & in turn rely on a Corey Koskie(veteran with health concerns & a large contract) return to form. Plus make a mark on the free agent market (i.e. AJ Burnett for $9-10M per).

To keep Adams, Hudson & Hill on the roster for 2006 seems like opportunity lost on improving the club dramatically, given the Jays needs & the perceived goal of contention in the 2006 season.
Jonny German - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#127206) #
The second half Russ Adams is pretty close to Brian Roberts at the beginning of his career.

I'm really scratching my head at this one... Adams' second half thus far, as stated above, is at .289 / .388 / .401. Roberts best before this season was .273 / .344 / .376 in 641 AB last year. I guess some might sneeze at 25 points of SLG, but at 44 points of OBP?!

R Billie - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#127211) #
Yeah I didn't really bother to check the numbers too closely. Or at all. But to me they're still similar hitters in style outside of the switch hitting thing Roberts has going. Roberts has taken a step forward and I think Adams still has another gear in him as far average and pop. I'm thinking a Darren Erstad type of career year at some point (.300, 18-20 homeruns).

As far as Aaron Hill being traded, yes of course trading him and/or Rios is definately and option and something the Jays should consider. I still think you'll need to platoon Koskie with someone at least against tough lefties.

The thing is, of the three middle infielders, I think Hill has by a comfortable margin, the most offensive upside. I'm talking Paul Molitor or Edgar Martinez here. If you're going to trade him rather than try to make a place for him you better get something special back which will be here for a long time. To me it makes a lot more sense to keep him somehow.

The other option is to cash in Aaron Hill to a team more in need of a 2B/SS/3B for a high ceiling 1B or corner outfield prospect. I'm looking at Arizona with Jackson and Quentin who took apart AAA this year. I would trade Hill for either one of them. That is if Arizona isn't going to have the patience to wait on Upton and Drew.
ds - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#127222) #
Hill, Bush, League, Frasor & Gross may land Dunn

Holy snikey! To get a guy like Dunn, anything more than Hill, League, and Frasor would be overpaying.

greenfrog - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#127223) #
Two points:

(1) I think the Jays will be hard-pressed to make any big splashes in the off-season (I would love to be proved wrong). Burnett is going to be widely pursued and isn't likely to pick Toronto.

(2) I disagree that it's all about pitching and defense, and that the offense is more or less OK. The Jays play in the AL, where offence is a big part of success. Their main rivals are New York and Boston. Surf over to or and check out the stats for their 1-9 hitters. A few points of comparison:

- Their guys walk a ton. I mean, a *ton*. A-Rod has a .420 OBP. Giambi's is .446 (no, that's not a typo). Sheffield: .385. Jeter: .390. Boston has *five* regulars with OBP's of .370 or higher. The Jays team leader is Zaun at .364.

The Jays' leaders in walks? Zaun (59), Hinske (43), Adams (42) and Wells (34). New York and Boston each have *seven* guys with more than 43 walks.

- They hit for power. Boston has three players with 20+ HRs (Ortiz and Ramirez have 36 and 33, respectively). New York has four, including A-Rod (40), Sheff (28) and Giambi (25). The Jays have one--Wells, with 24.

- They hit for average. Boston has *seven* regulars hitting .280+ (excluding Olerud, a recent addition, who by the way is hitting .319). The Yanks have four, including two bona fide .300+ hitters. The Jays have three (including Hill, who has only 273 AB), none of whom are .300 hitters.

The bottom line? It might be fine not to have a superstar hitter in your lineup, but in the AL, you'd better have a few very good hitters and some pretty decent ones on top of that. And when I say very good, I mean players who can hit, hit for power, and walk. The Jays don't have anyone who excels in even two of these categories, let alone three. So, yes, I think the Jays have a problem. A healthy Koskie isn't going to solve it.

Nigel - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#127224) #
I'm afraid that the price for young, premium offensive talent isn't going to be Hill and two set-up men. If you want a 25 year old like Dunn (by the way, I'm not sure he's even available) your going to need to move one of the teams premium pitching prospects. I think the cost will be more like one of Adams/Hill/O-dog; one of McGowan or Purcey; plus a second tier pitching prospect like League/Bush/Marcum/Janssen.

To get quality its got to hurt.
King Ryan - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#127227) #
Very true, greenfrog. Since Craig used OPS+ I will too. It may be true that you can win a championship without a 140 type player, but you need 2-3 120 level players at least. The Jays don't have any.

In an earlier thread I did some digging and found out that World Series winners have, on average, had three hitters with OPS+'s higher than Vernon Wells'.

Ch(acin) vs. Ch(en) | 23 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.