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Ho hum, just anoth--wait, what? Grand slam? Hmm?

Oh. Oh, I see. Blown to bits, you say? Could you recover any of the--

Oh. Oh, I see.
Game 149: Soft-Tossing Lefty vs Moyer | 33 comments | Create New Account
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Ron - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#128330) #
Perfect timing for Batista to announce this morning he was not going to talk to the media for the rest of the season.

By all accounts the Jays brass expect to contend next season for the division title/wildcard spot. Most fans firmly believe next season is the "season" for the Jays to produce or else JP's job could be in danger.

Here's the million dollar question.

Do you trust Batista to be the Jays closer for next season?
HippyGilmore - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#128332) #
Do you trust Batista to be the Jays closer for next season? Hmm, let me think that over for a nanosecond... No. No. A thousand times, no. If this team wants to contend next season, I am almost certain Miguel Batista will not cut it as closer. Miguel Batista as a long man in low leverage situations, maybe. But not as closer. I'd rather not have to trust Speier to it either, though I'd be much more confident in him than Miguel. With B.J. Ryan on the open market and J.P. with money to spend, I sincerely hope he makes an effort to sign him. I sincerely doubt Hoffman is leaving a playff contending San Diego team, so Ryan is the best option by far out there. Do it, J.P.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#128333) #
If Batista is still on the team next season, it should be in Pete Walker's role. A waste of $4.75 million? Sure, but he's effectively destroyed his trade value as a closer, and his command probably isn't good enough to start.

What an awful signing this turned out to be, and it looked pretty good at the time.
Lefty - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#128335) #
You know, I'm just wondering if thats really a fair question after an obvious abortion of an appearance.

But I'll try to answer.

For most of this season Batista was a fine closer. I haven't felt so much confidence in the nineth inning since the early days of Billy Koch. The thoughts of Kelvim Escobar's last stint as closer still haunt me more than the Batista performance this season.

This guy handled the role very well for the most part. He has obviously fallen completely apart. What's the reason, talent, confidence or injury? I don't think we know. But if I had to guess I would lean to confidence or injury.
The_Game - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#128336) #
Wow, what a truly amazing finish to that game.

Where have I seen that before? It all seem so familiar...
jsut - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#128338) #
Some meaningless statistics.
Name			saves	blsv	blsvpct
Bob Wickman		43 	5	10.4
Mariano Rivera		40 	4	9.09
Joe Nathan		38 	5	11.6
Francisco Rodriguez	38 	5	11.6
Danys Baez		37 	8	17.77
Dustin Hermanson	34 	4	10.52
B.J. Ryan		34 	5	12.82
Francisco Cordero	34 	8	19.04
Eddie Guardado		31 	5	13.88
Miguel Batista		28 	8	22.22
The_Game - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#128339) #
Oops, double post, and to answer your question, no I don't think if you are JP you can trust Batista in the closer's role next year. But I don't think he should waste any of the cap space on a closer next year like Ryan either. Tough decisions to make indeed..
Matthew E - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#128342) #
I was just thinking... have the Jays hit a grand slam this year?
R Billie - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#128343) #
I would lean towards the explanation that he has always been a competent but not particularly accomplished pitcher most of his career despite a fastball in the mid 90s.

One he really doesn't have an out pitch. His fastball alone clearly isn't good enough to dominate batters. He doesn't have any quality secondary pitches he can command consistently, at least that what it appears as a reliever.

He's never been known as a guy with great command which is a huge strike against him as a short reliever in a lot of high leverage situations.

I think for $4.7 million he's an OK mid to late rotation starter. Closer is just the wrong role for him the same reason it was the wrong role for Escobar. Guys without command can average out to a decent performance over many innings but will always be quite volatile in shorter appearances.

Either you send Miguel to the 4th spot of the rotation, you trade him somehow (which probably would have been easier as a starter), or you keep him as an expensive swingman. He is just miscast as a closer unless he can find a useful second pitch. I'm not sure how he survived as a starter with so many pitches and now can't seem to mix it up the same way as a reliever.
JZK - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#128345) #
It's getting to be like a broken record these days. The Jays offense is able to muster just enough to take the lead into the ninth and Miggy comes in to blow it. I'll grant that he was pretty good for much of the year, but the last month or so, he's been godawful. So why keep giving him the ball in the ninth? Make him the setup guy, or better yet, give him a rest and let someone else take over as closer. This is just getting ridiculous.
JZK - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#128346) #
Two, both against the Red Sox. Zaun and Johnson. Ah, the good ol' days...
Dave Till - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#128347) #
Do you trust Batista to be the Jays closer for next season?

I'd like to see what happens for the rest of this season first. I'd leave him in the closer role for the rest of the month to see whether he can snap out of his current funk. If he can't, I guess you have to replace him.

His season mystifies me. He was good for several months, and only now is blowing up horribly. I guess it goes to show that pitchers are unpredictable.

And, if you replace Batista, who do you replace him with? Speier was exceptionally good for a while there, but he's given up a few bombs of his own. Frasor and Chulk are decent pitchers, but they're not dominant either. I guess the moral is that there are very few pitchers who can be counted on, year after year, to deliver the goods.

Lefty - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#128348) #
Here here!
CSHunt68 - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#128349) #
Speier. No-brainer. I mean, he's the best guy in the bullpen, right? So, unless they get someone else ...
Or, unless they abandon the stupid notion of the "closer" in the first place. ... Which we all know ain't gonna happen. ;)
Pistol - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#128352) #
1. Name calling and other juvenile postings are not welcome here.

2. If you are going to post be sure to make a contributions to the discussion of the game and/or team. Simple venting is not contributing.

RBillie and jsut are fine examples of posters contributing to the discussion in this thread.
Mike Green - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#128353) #

Here is the bullpen. It's basically flat. Speier and Frasor have each been a little better than Batista, but really it wouldn't make much of a difference if you had flipped a coin for the roles. I agree that Batista is more valuable in the rotation in 2006, and that between Speier, Frasor, Chulk, SSLoogy and possibly Downs, a solid foundation for the pen is already there.

You have to like Rios' response to the benching. He's a streak hitter, and maybe this is the start of something.

Pistol - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#128356) #
A post from JayFan0912:

With the number of arms coming up from the minors in the bullpen Batista is as good as gone. His recent failures indicate he cannot be counted to be a consistent closer, and he is way too expensive for middle relief.

I guess that JP will try to trade him, but there likely won't be any suitors -- who wants a closer who makes a habit of losing games in the ninth on home runs.

I would want to keep Speier as the setup guy, a job he has done very well, and let Frasor be the closer. Speier has struggled once he was given the closer role, Frasor just tired after being overused by Tosca. And Frasor has slightly better stuff.
Andrew Ward - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#128357) #
Do you think Zaun and Miggy are going to go out for drinks afterwards and commiserate? My tv screen is in great danger everytime he pitches. By-the-way, a friend of mine was at Friday's game and said they definitely played New York, New York. He brought me a program too, and why was Matsui on the cover? It's a Blue Jays program after all. Sigh.
Named For Hank - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#128358) #
This guy handled the role very well for the most part. He has obviously fallen completely apart. What's the reason, talent, confidence or injury? I don't think we know. But if I had to guess I would lean to confidence or injury.

Didn't he start well last year and then tank at the 3/4 mark? Maybe he just can't pull off a complete season. Magpie! Make us a data table! Stat!

Calls for Speier to be the closer: who remembers all of the fretting about just how terrible a signing Speier was only last year? Just because a guy is hot for a little while it don't make him the best closer on the team, unless you want to rotate closers. And I don't think we want to do that.

And I'm not badmouthing Speier or saying that he wouldn't be a good closer -- I'm just saying that all of these evaluations are based on really short term observations, and that's not how you pick a closer.
John Northey - Monday, September 19 2005 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#128363) #
As to the programs, they have had visiting players on them as far back as 1978 as the program from my first ever game shows (Yankees beat the Jays 11-3 that day). When I was there for the Cardinals game they had Larry Walker on the cover. I'm fairly certain this isn't a Yankee visiting only thing. Putting the opponent on the cover does help identify who it was that played the day you bought the guide.

Now, playing NY NY at the end of a game, that is just pathetic.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 01:15 AM EDT (#128369) #
I think if I had to pick a new closer from the Jays current roster today, I'd pick Frasor. Speier's been our best pitcher this year from the bullpen, and his year is actually quite statistically similar to last year, other than the fact he's cut down his walks in half.

However, I'd go to Frasor for a couple of reasons. He has been consistently very good this year other than a horrific July (8.72 ERA in the month). While it's nice to divide stats up by month, I'd be loathe to dismiss Frasor's July entirely. However, he had three bad outings in the month, two of which were against Texas (5 runs in 1.2 innings). You'd think this Texas thing might be an anomaly, but he has given up 10 runs against them in 5 career innings. So, clearly Frasor is fine against 12 teams, but we need to let Chulk/Speier/someone else close against Texas.

Secondly, Speier gives up more homer runs than Frasor (18 over last two years vs. 11), and obviously with your closer protecting one and two run leads and tie games, homers can be partiuclarly devastating. So, I'd be a bit hesitant to hand Speier the closing role if he gives up homers every 6.3 innings.

However, I doubt the Jays in spring training will be looking at the situation the same as we are today. Because of roster additions and subtractions and the development of young players, I suspect there will be at least one name in the mix that we don't have right now and at least one potential candidate will be gone.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 01:21 AM EDT (#128370) #
Interesting fact of the day: Jason Bay is 20 for 20 in stolen base attempts.

He's quietly turning into a hell of a ballplayer.
Gitz - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 01:34 AM EDT (#128375) #
Absent a "proven closer" in the bullpen, I like the idea of letting someone different close game, giving the job to whoever is pitching the best in April and May, and seeing how it goes. Every year three or four middle relievers emerge as quality closers, and every year three or four quality closers get raked. Though this didn't work so well two years ago in Toronto, that doesn't necessarily mean it wouldn't work in 2006.

On the other hand, assuming they do remove Batista from high-leverage situations next year, it wouldn't be a bad idea for the Jays to invest some money in a top-notch reliever. After all, J.P.'s erstwhile boss, Billy Beane, has never been afraid to throw $$$$ at a closer.

In that spirit, Here's a pitcher who won't cost as much as B.J. Ryan: Kyle Farnsworth. True, he may re-sign with Atlanta, but the Braves more than any other team in recent years have turned anyone they please into closers, so they have faith in their ability to develop pitchers, and evidence to pillar their faith. It all adds up to Farnsworth being a rental. And they've probably learned from this year, when they traded for a "proven closer," Danny Kolb, who didn't work out so well -- not very surprising, of course, when you consider how weak Kolb's peripherals were in 2004.

(That never precluded Bob Wickman from saving 44 games -- and counting -- in 2005, or prevented Jose Mesa from, well, continuing to get any saves. Right, right. "Closer mentality." Though, I confess, after seeing Arthur Rhodes last season, I became more of a believer, but not entirely so. One thing I do believe: if closer mentality does exist, Rhodes didn't have it. Digressions, digressions.)
Gitz - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 01:35 AM EDT (#128376) #
My own, somewhat local, fact of the day: Mark Ellis leads the A's in OPS.

A funny game, this baseball.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 01:45 AM EDT (#128378) #
Didn't he start well last year and then tank at the 3/4 mark? Maybe he just can't pull off a complete season. Magpie! Make us a data table! Stat!

I did already! Last Tuesday! Let me copy and paste a bit...

Overall 	ERA   W  L  SV SVO  G  GS  CG     IP  H  R  ER  HR  BB  BB/9  SO  K/9  AVG
Pre-All Star	3.00  6  4   0   0 22  15   1  108   106 41  36   6  31   2.6  76  6.3 .260
Post-All Star	4.22  4  5   0   0 14  14   1   85.1  91 44  40   7  29   3.1  66  7.0 .277
Pre-All Star	4.02  8  6   0   0 19  19   2  123   114 56  55   9  56   4.1  73  5.3 .253
Post-All Star	6.07  2  7   5   5 19  12   0   76.2  92 59  51  13  40   4.7  31  3.7 .303
Pre-All Star 	2.97  4  2  15  17 37   0   0   39.1  37 18  13   3  10   2.3  25  5.8 .242
Post-All Star 	4.66  1  4  12  17 26   0   0   29    35 15  15   5  15   4.7  23  7.1 .294
And adding it all up..
Overall 	ERA   W   L  SV SVO   G  GS  CG  IP    H    R  ER  HR  BB  BB/9  SO  K/9  AVG
1st Half	3.46 18  12  15  17  78  34   3 270.3 257 115 104  18  97   3.2 174  5.8 .253
2nd Half	4.99  7  16  17  22  59  26   1 191   218 118 106  25  84   4.0 120  5.7 .290
I guess tonight's games only adds to the overall picture...
Ron - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 02:28 AM EDT (#128379) #
Those are interesting numbers for Batista. I'm wondering why he fads badly in the 2nd half? At first I thought it was just fatigue but that can't be it. Batista is known for having a rubber arm and he's a closer this year, so innings isn't an issue.

I would love for a media member to ask Batista himself why he fads in the 2nd half but that won't happen because he doesn't talk to the media anymore.
King Ryan - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 02:39 AM EDT (#128380) #
I was just thinking... have the Jays hit a grand slam this year?

Yes they have. Two in fact. Gregg "The Warrior" Zaun hit one in the fifth game of the season against Boston, and Reed Johnson had one on July 1st against ... Boston.

I'm not going to comment on Miguel Batista (what is there to say?) But I'd like to comment on the power shortage.

In the gamechat a few days ago I was commenting on the "dueness" of the hitters. Thought I'd see just what kind of dry spell our players are in, homerun wise, by looking at the last day they hit one out. There are several hitters that have not homered this month, among them:

Johnson: July 31
Adams: August 2
Hill: August 9
Hudson: August 10 (Hurt since September 7..)
Catalanotto: August 11
Hillenbrand: August 16
Hinske: August 21

That's 7 of the Jays regular players that have not hit a homerun in at least a month. Isn't that absurd? If you want you can sub Rios for Johnson, who homered tonight but before then hadn't for about a month as well.

Adams, the regular leadoff hitter, isn't expected to hit homeruns, but he was going at a pretty good clip until he hit two on the second of August and just stopped.

The platoon in LF is also not really expected to hit it out that often, but Sparky showed some good pop before...

Hillenbrand often bats cleanup for this lineup, and he hasn't homered in a month?

Hinske often bats fifth, and he hasn't homered in a month?

Corey Koskie, our other cleanup hitter, has hit one homerun in the last 30 days.

Vernon Wells has two homers this month...more than anyone else on the team!

I mean it's just crazy. This stuff...this complete and utter lack of power from the offense worries me a lot more than Miguel Batista does, in all honesty.

P.S. Sorry if you don't like my font, but I just can't stand the default. I assume you can edit it out if it bothers you, but I tried my best to make it not-obnoxious.

groove - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#128383) #
It's not a good sign when the fans start booing when your closer allows a lead-off single. I think we all knew that the outcome of this game would change when Batista trotted his sweaty face onto the mound. If he was a proven closer then sure, let him get out of his funk, but half a season does not a proven closer make. I would rather see anyone else out there, but obviously Frasor or Speier should be given the opp's from this point on, and hopefully some 7th/8th inning work can help batista get some confidence back.
Flex - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#128385) #
It seemed to me, watching the game last night, that after the single and the bunt for a hit, Batista looked scared. When Zaun came out to the mound for a chat, the camera zeroed in on Miguel, and showed the face of a frightened man. I felt bad for him.

Maybe this goes to the "closer's mentality" idea.
Flex - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#128386) #
Sorry, I guess it was Huckaby who went out to talk to him at that point.
R Billie - Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#128436) #
I agree that out of Batista, Speier, and Frasor there isn't much to choose. have three roughly equally talented pitchers there (though Speier has the best ratios by far). So why not switch up who pitches in the high leverage situations based on who has set a trend of being hot?

When the Reds had the Nasty Boys, was one of them pronounced the closer for the entire year no matter what? Randy Myers had 31 saves that year but over 25% of the saves came from other pitchers.

You might say ok but the Jays don't have three dominant relievers. But that doesn't mean you stick the closing duties with just one pitcher who isn't dominant. I'm not saying pull Batista out of the role. I'm saying after he struggles 3 or 4 times in a row, give him a night or two off, let someone else who's going well have a chance and bring him back rested.
Twilight - Wednesday, September 21 2005 @ 01:12 AM EDT (#128453) #
I know this is looking into the future rather than addressing the problem, but there are two guys around that I think could succeed in this role next year or the year after.

Dustin McGowan may very well develop into a great starting pitcher, which would of course be more valuable. But his relief appearances definitely seem better than the games he started. He's shown he can throw an inning or to in a mid to high leverage situation. And he can push 100 mph. If he can settle in and command better, maybe he could take that job over.

Brandon League, well what is there to say. He reminds me of Billy Koch when he went spotty. But I enjoy watching him pitch. He also throws 100 mph, and 94 mph with movement, which can be very dominating. But right now can only command the fastball consistently. When he's on top of it, he's impossible to hit. But when he gets behind in the count, then throws the straight fastball over the plate, well that's just a recipe for disaster. His past couple of outings have been good, and I think with some adjustments he could be a very effective closer.

Despite a few struggles in the past, I would hand the ball to Speier in a save situation. His opp avg is a miniscule .194 and a lot of hitters just can't figure him out. He does need to get used to changing speeds more often though, because his slider is only 2-3 mph slower than his fastball.
R Billie - Wednesday, September 21 2005 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#128498) #
McGowan does impress with his potential. I'm a little wary of taking a young guy who just had elbow surgery and asking him to pitch in a role where the manager might call him on back to back days or three days in a row on a fairly regular basis. I'm looking at Eric Gagne who has now had two Tommy John surgeries fairly close together.

Brandon League I agree does have potential but he does not have a history of dominant strikeout numbers nor being incredibly hard to hit save for that stretch run in the 2004 Eastern League. He needs a lot of work and quality instruction and patience right now in order to realize what he can possibly be.

In both cases I don't think you want to put them in high profile roles at the major league level in 2006. Not if it can be helped. If you're forced to roll the dice for one year then I think McGowan is a much better bet for success at this point. I'd rather see him iron out his starting game though.
Game 149: Soft-Tossing Lefty vs Moyer | 33 comments | Create New Account
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