Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine

Well, here we are, the end of another season. (Another year older, and deeper in debt.) Welcome to this, my last Blue Jays Report Card, this time covering September and the whole year in one panoramic swoop. Enjoy, if possible!

Rule 6.09(d) of the Official Rules of Major League Baseball reads as follows:

The batter becomes a runner when a fair ball passes over a fence or into the stands at a distance from home base of 250 feet or more. Such hit entitles the batter to a home run when he shall have touched all bases legally.

Just thought I'd remind you all of that, as we haven't seen too many of those this year. Whoa! Low blow!

September stats are AVG/OBP/SLG; for season stats, it's AVG/HR/RBI/OBP/SLG, for all you traditionalists out there.

Russ Adams
September: .194 .241 .243
Season: .256 8 63 .325 .383
Well, I'm not sure. Had a stretch in the summer in which he looked like a perfect leadoff man: he was working the pitchers for walks, and driving his on-base percentage up. Now, it looks like the pitchers have caught up to him again. (Either that, or the magic pixie dust has worn off, or the gods have gotten bored, or both.)

Right now, there's not a dime's worth of difference between him and Aaron Hill at the plate. Both men are young enough to improve, but Adams has less potential. Doesn't have a great arm for a shortstop, and made 26 errors, but he's good enough defensively to play there. (If he were a foodstuff, he'd be those beans that sorta taste okay but are kind of good for you - the ones you buy at that health-food store.)
September grade: D
Season grades: C- B+ C- A+ B+ D
Overall grade: B-

Frank Catalanotto
September: .320 .400 .507
Season: .301 8 59 .367 .451
Ended the season with a flourish to become the only Jay regular to finish over .300. Cat's weakness, which is also a strength, is that he is programmed to foul off borderline two-strike pitches instead of taking them for balls, so he doesn't walk enough to reach stardom. But, because he can make contact, he doesn't strike out much either.

The problem he faces is that left field is traditionally a power position, and Cat doesn't have much power. As popular and as useful as he is, the Jays need to upgrade somewhere, and this could be it. But a .367 on-base percentage isn't anything to sneeze at, so he won't be first in line to lose his job. (If he were a foodstuff, he'd be a medium-rare steak with potatoes. A good one too, not one of those stringy things you get at cheap steak houses. The cholesterol hit would be worth it.)
September grade: A+
Season grades: C A- B A+ C A+
Overall grade: B+

Andy Dominique
September: N/A
Season: .000 0 0 .333 .000
When we look back on the J.P. Ricciardi Era in Toronto, we will no doubt spend a great deal of time discussing whether Andy Dominique or Bobby Estalella had a greater influence on the growth and development of the young Jays pitching staff. I don't mean to knock Dominique; given that he's made it to the major leagues, even if only briefly, he's better at his job than I am at mine. (If he were a foodstuff, he'd be one of those beef jerkies they sell at the cash register at variety stores. I'll stop this now, I promise.)
September grade: N/A
Season grades: - - - - - -
Overall grade: Irrelevant

John-Ford Griffin
September: .375 .375 .625
Season: .308 1 6 .308 .692
Well, he's obviously got power. But I wonder whether he's just a mistake hitter, given his low batting average in Syracuse. And major league pitchers don't make many mistakes. I'd guess that J-F isn't likely to have much of a career. But, hey: he's got his name into the book, and he has a souvenir for his mantelpiece. Lots of ballplayers have ended up with a lot less.

Because I am a child of the 1970's, I can't think of his name without wondering what happened to England Dan. (If he were a foodstuff, he'd be a Big Mac. Sorry, I lied.)
September grade: Insufficient data
Season grades: - - - - - -
Overall grade: Maybe

Gabe Gross
September: .255 .333 .392
Season: .250 1 7 .324 .348
I think more highly of him than I did when I first saw him, but he is not likely to have a future in Toronto. He's a good defensive outfielder, with a good throwing arm, and he plays hard, but Reed Johnson has all those attributes and is a better player. Gross could also serve the team as a lefthanded hitter off the bench... but Frank Catalanotto is a lefthanded hitter, and is also better than Gross. There's no room for Gabe anywhere.

I see his future career as being much like Jayson Werth's, and the two men now seem remarkably similar to me. Both are outstanding athletes, both have holes in their game, and both can make a useful contribution if used properly. In my dreams, I see Gross as being a part of a package trade for a top-rank hitter.
September grade: C+
Season grades: - - B - - C+
Overall grade: C+

Aaron Hill
September: .235 .330 .296
Season: .274 3 40 .342 .385
To me, the solution is now obvious: you keep all of them. Hill is getting better, but he isn't good enough yet to shove aside another infielder and take his job. Besides, I am beginning to believe that job switches should happen organically: if Hill is good enough to push aside Koskie, Adams or Hudson, he'll just start gradually getting more playing time than his ostensible rival, much like Hillenbrand has slowly pushed Hinske aside. And depth is a good thing to have: as the last two years have shown, somebody's always going to get hurt.

It's not clear yet exactly how Hill will develop. He could add power, lose a bit of mobility and become a slugging third baseman, or he could retain his athleticism and remain a middle infielder. He reminds me a bit of Jeff Kent; when Kent was young, I would never have predicted that he would remain a second baseman. As an athlete, he's about half way between Kent and Paul Molitor. That's a heck of a neighbourhood to be in.
September grade: C
Season grades: - A+ A+ D+ C C
Overall grade: B

Shea Hillenbrand
September: .301 .323 .387
Season: .291 18 82 .343 .449
Epitomizes the Jays' strengths and weaknesses. His strengths: he's a tough, competitive player, he can play third and first well, he hits for line-drive power, and he can send one out of the park every now and again. A player acquisition counts as successful if the player improves the team; using this criterion, it's safe to say that Hillenbrand was an extremely successful acquisition.

But Hillenbrand illustrates how difficult it is to become a champion. He's a good player, but he's not great. Great players can do what Hillenbrand can do, but also reach base more often and hit more home runs: compare Hillenbrand to, say, Albert Pujols. The problem, of course, is that players like Pujols are very hard to find, and the teams that have them don't want to give them up. The moral: you have to be lucky as well as smart.
September grade: B+
Season grades: A+ C+ B- A- C+ B+
Overall grade: B+

Eric Hinske
September: .263 .299 .413
Season: .262 15 68 .333 .430
Car number eleven, your time is up. He's not a useless player by any stretch of the imagination: he runs well, he works hard, he can hit for power now and again, and he was a selective hitter before deciding that he had to try to hit everything as hard as he can. He could help many teams as a spare bat off the bench. (In fact, he hits reasonably well for a third baseman. Oops.)

But he's just a bit worse than Hillenbrand as a player, both offensively and defensively, and he has holes in his swing that he just isn't likely to overcome at this late date. The Jays need to upgrade at least two of their prime hitting slots to contend, and The Dude looks like candidate #1 for upgrading.
September grade: C+
Season grades: A B+ F C+ A C+
Overall grade: B-

Ken Huckaby
September: .333 .333 .667
Season: .207 0 6 .250 .253
It's worth remembering, I guess, that any major-league player is a heck of an athlete. We joked about Huck's hitting all summer ("It's Strike Out Ken Huckaby Day today at the ballpark!"), but if he were to show up at your beer-league softball game, he would own it.

In a better world, Huck would never have gotten this much playing time. He was originally signed as an organizational soldier, #4 on the team's depth chart behind Zaun, Myers and Quiroz, and was pressed into service when everybody else fell in battle. He will play in Triple-A for as long as he wants to, and could probably get a coaching job when he decides he doesn't want to any more.

(By the way, he only batted three times in September. He got a hit. Huzzah, Huckie.)
September grade: Insufficient data
Season grades: - D- F D- - -
Overall grade: D- (out of the goodness of my heart)

Orlando Hudson
September: .217 .208 .348
Season: .271 10 63 .315 .412
Over the course of a season, Hudson is about as consistent a hitter as you could wish for. He can be pretty much guaranteed to hit .270 with some doubles, occasional home-run power, good speed, and not too many walks.

I won't say much about his defense: you all know about it already. If his sprained ankle causes him to lose the Gold Glove, it will be a horrible miscarriage of justice. I hope that he recovers fully from his injury: I fear that he might lose a half-step or so, which means that he will become merely excellent at second.

An interesting question for discussion: would an offensive upgrade at second be more than offset by what would be lost by replacing the O-Dog with a merely mortal defensive player? Discuss amongst yourselves.
September grade: D-
Season grades: B+ B+ D A+ B+ D-
Overall grade: B

Reed Johnson
September: .250 .303 .333
Season: .269 8 58 .332 .412
You already know as much about him as I do: he's a good fourth outfielder, but not quite good enough to play regularly. His versatility, all-around skill set, and hustle will keep him in the majors for quite some time.
September grade: C-
Season grades: A A F A B- C-
Overall grade: B-

Corey Koskie
September: .256 .355 .378
Season: .249 11 36 .337 .398
I wonder whether Koskie was pressing a bit in the early going. It seems to me that many hard-working and conscientious players struggle a bit when they sign their first free-agent contract because they feel compelled to overachieve. (Especially when they're Canadian and returning to their home and native land.) When you combine that with the injury, it was pretty much a lost season for him.

But it's way too early to give up on him yet. He started hitting the ball for power late in the year, and he is, by far, the best defensive third baseman on the team. Even in his off-year, his slugging percentage and on-base percentage were still higher than Aaron Hill's. Hill may well pass him and become a better player, but he hasn't done it yet. I may be being blindly optimistic, but I think we will see a much improved Koskie next year.
September grade: B-
Season grades: C+ C+ - - B+ B-
Overall grade: C+

John McDonald
September: N/A
Season (Tor only): .290 0 12 .340 .323
This was the only trade the Jays made all year. Whoa. Did what he was asked to do: he played against left-handed pitchers, and helped Adams ease into his full-time role. He even had a hot streak at the plate, which disguised the fact that he can't hit the ball very hard. His slugging percentage in Detroit was .325; only Huck and Quiroz, among active Jays, had lower slugging percentages. You'll note that Alan Trammell isn't the manager any more.
September grade: N/A
Season grades: B+ B+ F - - -
Overall grade: B-

Frank Menechino
September: .278 .381 .556
Season: .216 4 13 .352 .345
Good teams have players like this as their 25th man: he can play three infield positions, has tremendous plate discipline, and hits well enough to pinch-hit off the bench. He doesn't hit for average, but he doesn't really need to.
September grade: A
Season grades: C- B B B+ C+ A
Overall grade: B

Greg Myers
September: N/A
Season: .083 0 1 .154 .083
Showed up, batted a dozen times, and went home again.

A baseball player's career is over so quickly: I remember going to spring training in 1991, and seeing a young Greg Myers, the Jays' catcher of the future, full of promise. (And I am older than Myers. I hear footsteps behind me.)
September grade: N/A
Season grades: - - - - - -
Overall grade: Oh well

Guillermo Quiroz
September: .227 .320 .318
Season: .194 0 4 .256 .250
Has had very little opportunity to improve: first, there were the two collapsed lungs, then the rain of frogs, then the plague of locusts, then... Has the potential to be a first-string catcher, but ill-fate has cost him two years of development, so he's still a year away. I fear that we will be saying this next year, too, as, between now and then, he'll probably be struck by lightning, run over by a scooter, and attacked by a predatory bird.
September grade: D
Season grades: - - - - - D
Overall grade: D

Alex Rios
September: .241 .262 .397
Season: .262 10 59 .306 .397
Has every skill a star major leaguer needs except one: he can't control the strike zone. Some players can work around that to a certain extent, if they learn to recognize their hitting zone and focus on waiting for a pitch in that zone. Joe Carter and Vernon Wells, to name two, have had useful careers despite poor strike zone judgement, and Rios has enough raw ability to be able to join their ranks. But Rios is still at least a year away from being a useful hitter, and the Jays' window of opportunity isn't wide enough for them to wait. At this point, I'd bundle him in a trade, and hope he doesn't blossom on a divisional rival. His upside is still Dave Winfield, but his downside is DeWayne Wise, and he's closer to Wise than Winny.
September grade: D-
Season grades: A- C B- C D- D-
Overall grade: C-

Vernon Wells
September: .245 .331 .377
Season: .269 28 97 .320 .463
When evaluating a player, you have to focus on what he can do, not what he can't. By now, it's obvious that V-Dub just wasn't born with the ability to improve his plate discipline beyond a certain point, which means he won't become as good a hitter as Delgado or Green. (As if you could do better, dear reader.) He won't ever win the MVP or come particularly close. But it's important to remember what Wells can do: he can hit thirty home runs, play a Gold Glove center field, run well, throw well, and remain calm under pressure. That's a lot of positives. On a championship team, he wouldn't bat third, but he would be a key contributor. (So kwit yer bitchen, everybody.)
September grade: B-
Season grades: D- B+ A A C+ B-
Overall grade: B+

Gregg Zaun
September: .192 .315 .321
Season: .251 11 61 .355 .373
Another emblematic Jay: Zaun is a tremendously hard worker, calls a great game, hits for occasional power, and has great strike-zone judgement. He's that rare player who has tremendous experience without having too many miles on him, and I'm glad that he's on the team that I support.

But it must be said: Jason Varitek and Jorge Posada have all of Zaun's strengths, and are significantly better hitters. Did I mention yet that it's going to be very difficult for the Jays to improve from here?
September grade: C+
Season grades: A+ B- B A C+ C+
Overall grade: B+

The Jays' pitching has been pretty good this year, given that The Man has been out for over a third of the season, and that the Jays play in a hitter-friendly park. Want to hear something startling? The Jays have exactly two pitchers who have thrown enough innings to be eligible for the ERA title. Despite this, they had the best pitching in the division. (They did too.)

September stats are IP/H/BB/SO/ERA; season stats are W-L (SV) IP/H/BB/SO/ERA.

Miguel Batista
September: 11.0 13 4 10 7.36
Season: 5-8 (31) 74.2 80 27 54 4.10
Yeah, yeah: I'm annoyed with him too. But Rule 1 of roster management is this: don't replace a player unless (a) you are absolutely convinced you have a better player who can do his job, and (b) dumping the player doesn't open a hole elsewhere. Despite Batista's mostly godawful September, he did get seven saves this month, and his K/IP and K/BB stats are good (thanks mostly to that wondrous 4-strikeout outing). I'm not entirely convinced that Frasor, Speier or Chulk could do a better job. Mind you, Brandon League may find the range any day now...

There's a case for not having your best pitcher as your closer, as sometimes those seventh and eighth inning appearances are more important. And I believe that the Jays' bullpen did so well precisely because Batista's durability allowed Gibbons to assign clear roles to everybody, which gave the staff a comfort zone to work in. Moving Batista out of his job restores that uncertainty.
September grade: D+
Season grades: B+ A+ A B- B D+
Overall grade: B

Dave Bush
September: 27.0 25 10 17 5.00
Season: 5-11 (0) 136.1 142 29 75 4.49
I agree with Jordan (I believe it was him): Dave Bush and John Gibbons do not get along. Bush seems to be on a shorter leash than any of the other starters, and I fear that it's only a matter of time before he's shown the door. He can be frustrating to watch, as he never seems to be mediocre: he's either getting bombed, or his curve is working and he is efficiently retiring the opponents. His K/IP ratio and home runs allowed suggests that he's going to follow Josh Towers' career path, which is a hard path to follow. But, when all is said and done, he didn't really have that bad a year. Put him in a ballpark in which it's tough to hit home runs, and he could win 16 games.
September grade: D+
Season grades: C- D - B+ C+ D+
Overall grade: C

Gustavo Chacin
September: 29.0 34 7 19 4.34
Season: 13-9 (0) 203.0 213 70 121 3.72
An impressive season, especially since he was a rookie. But his K/IP and BB/IP ratios aren't great, which suggests that he's going to struggle a bit from here on. But you have to give him credit for answering the bell every time out. He'll have a starting job on opening day 2006. And, since he's left-handed, he'll be pitching until I'm old enough to start needing to gum my food.
September grade: C+
Season grades: A C B A D C+
Overall grade: B

Vinnie Chulk
September: 10.1 15 5 8 6.10
Season: 0-1 (0) 72.0 68 26 39 3.88
To return to my point about Batista and the bullpen: all of the Jays' relievers have had stretches this year in which they couldn't get anybody out. Speier, for instance, had a gawdawful April. Chulk struggled this month, but was lights-out in July. Frasor really struggled in the summer. And so on. Switching roles around to try to ride the hot hand is like trying to herd cats - it's impossible to control the unpredictable.

By the way, Vinnie is walking a fine line - he struck out only 39 in 72 innings. Is his arm getting sore?
September grade: D
Season grades: B+ B- C A B D
Overall grade: B

Scott Downs
September: 32.1 37 12 28 4.73
Season: 4-3 (0) 94.0 93 34 75 4.31
He could turn hard left or hard right at this point. At times, he looked like a dominant starter, striking out batters in bunches. At other times, he looked like the 13th pitcher on a 12-man staff. Excellent K/IP ratio - and, compared to Ted Lilly, he looks like Bob Gibson out there.
September grade: C
Season grades: - A- F C A C
Overall grade: B-

Jason Frasor
September: 13.2 5 4 13 0.66
Season: 3-5 (1) 74.2 67 28 62 3.25
If you have to replace Batista, Frasor is probably the #1 candidate for the job. He throws hard, and doesn't try to make things too complicated out there. A solid, underrated pitcher. Is just a wee bit better than Chulk: check out their strikeout totals.
September grade: A+
Season grades: B- B A- D- A A+
Overall grade: A-

Chad Gaudin
September: N/A
Season: 1-3 (0) 13.0 31 6 12 13.15
Some pitchers have trouble making the quantum leap from the minors to the majors. Either their stuff isn't quite major league quality, or they are intimidated when they have to face guys they've idolized as kids and/or watched on This Week In Baseball. There have been pitchers who have never gotten over the hurdle. Gaudin might, but he won't do it here - he's been passed by McGowan and Marcum already, and there are more coming up behind him.
September grade: N/A
Season grades: - - F F - -
Overall grade: F

Roy Halladay
September: N/A (*sobs*)
Season: 12-4 (0) 141.2 118 18 108 2.41
Could somebody please reassure me of something: Doc will fully recover, won't he? Sometimes people don't.

You know the rest of the story as well as I do: he was the greatest pitcher on God's green earth before being conked on the leg. If he recovers fully, he'll likely be the greatest pitcher on God's green earth once again. Please, Baseball Gods; I beg you.
September grade: N/A
Season grades: A+ A+ A+ - - -
Overall grade: A+

Brandon League
September: 11.0 6 7 3 2.45
Season: 1-0 (0) 35.2 42 20 17 6.56
At this point, the Jays need to do two things. First, they need to decide what they want to do with League. Do they want him to start, or do they want him to be their closer-in-waiting? Then, they should send him to triple-A for at least another half-season of development. When he begins to find the range, then bring him up. Getting world-class instruction and major-league meal money is cool, but at some point he's going to have to actually pitch.
September grade: B-
Season grades: D - - - F B-
Overall grade: D+

Ted Lilly
September: 22.0 24 15 14 5.73
Season: 10-11 (0) 126.1 135 58 96 5.56
People are currently speculating whether the Jays should offer arbitration to Lilly. Based on his September numbers, and his season overall, my opinion is: no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no. Surrendered 23 home runs in 126 1/3 innings. Yow. (If he were a foodstuff, he'd be milk that had gone about three days past its Best Before date.)
September grade: F
Season grades: D+ D C+ B - F
Overall grade: C-

Shawn Marcum
September: 7.0 6 4 2 0.00
Season: 0-0 (0) 8.0 6 4 4 0.00
It was only four appearances, but this young man can now say he went an entire month in the major leagues without giving up a single earned run. Not too many people can say that. Of course, it's way too early to determine how good Marcum will be, but he's off to a heck of a good start.
September grade: A
Season grades: - - - - - A
Overall grade: Too early to tell

Dustin McGowan
September: 15.0 12 3 9 3.00
Season: 1-3 (0) 45.1 49 17 34 6.35
Was clearly not ready for a starting job, but everybody knew that, including Dustin himself, so he gets a mulligan and gets to start his major league career over. He's now gradually breaking in as a long reliever, which is what young pitchers are supposed to do. His September peripherals indicate that he has the potential to become quite a good pitcher indeed.

Of course, the minors are filled with pitchers with great stuff but no command: that's the only real difference between major league pitchers and minor league pitchers. There have been many minor-league phenoms who just couldn't find the handle at the major-league level; does anybody remember Mo Sanford? Scott Ruffcorn? Roger Salkeld? Sidd Finch?
September grade: B
Season grades: - - - - F B
Overall grade: C-

Justin Miller
September: N/A
Season: 0-0 (0) 2.1 5 0 2 15.43
It bears repeating: the difference between a major league pitcher and a minor league pitcher is usually command, not quality of stuff. Miller, when on his game, can make hitters look helpless with his slider. Unfortunately, he doesn't have command of it, and it looks like he might never get it. Oh, well: he'll always have the memory of the game in which he two-hit the Anaheim Angels or whatever the heck they were calling themselves that year. I hope he has the game ball on his mantelpiece.
September grade: N/A
Season grades: - - - F - -
Overall grade: F

Scott Schoeneweis
September: 11.2 10 1 3 0.77
Season: 3-4 (1) 57.0 54 25 43 3.32
The best lefthander out of the bullpen since Plesac, and an excellent acquisition by J.P. Allowed only two home runs all year, despite constantly having to face the league's top lefthanded hitters in late inning clutch situations. His September K/IP ratio suggests fatigue. Let's hope he hasn't suffered any arm damage: the effects of overuse don't usually show up until the season after a pitcher is worked too hard. I can now spell his name from memory without looking it up.
September grade: A
Season grades: D B B- A- A- A
Overall grade: A-

Justin Speier
September: 10.1 8 6 12 1.74
Season: 3-2 (0) 66.2 48 15 56 2.57
Was a bit lucky in September: allowed nearly one and a half baserunners per inning, but still kept his ERA below two. A solid pitcher, and one of the reasons why the Jays' bullpen was so deep and so effective.

Despite his success, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with him as the closer. His funky delivery has a lot of moving parts; there are too many things that could go wrong. Someday, his arm is going to fall right off his shoulder, just like Mom said it would, and then where will he be?
September grade: A-
Season grades: F A- A A+ B+ A-
Overall grade: A-

Josh Towers
September: 44.0 45 5 22 2.45
Season: 13-12 (0) 208.2 237 29 112 3.71
Take a bow. Every generation has at least a few pitchers who are successful despite not having a hope of being able to overpower hitters, and Towers may well be one such pitcher. His margin of error is still razor-thin, but at this point we have to say that Towers has earned the right to be called a quality major-league starting pitcher. Fanfare of trumpets!
September grade: A
Season grades: B- B+ C D A- A
Overall grade: B+

Pete Walker
September: 6.1 7 2 6 7.11
Season: 6-6 (2) 84.0 81 33 43 3.54
Pitched well early in the year, not so well in September. If the Jays' rookie phenoms start shoving their way onto the roster, this is the guy who gets pushed over the side first. Oh, well - he's been through all of this before. It beats working in a call centre.
September grade: D-
Season grades: B+ A B+ D+ B- D-
Overall grade: B-

Matt Whiteside
September: N/A
Season: 0-0 (0) 3.2 6 5 5 One zillion (approx.)
Two years ago, guys like this sucked up (and sucked in) a lot of innings for the Blue Jays. Not any more, they don't. Bravo, J.P.

(Five walks and five strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings? WTF?!)
September grade: N/A
Season grades: - - - - - -
Overall grade: F

Y'see, the problem is this: J.P. and the Blue Jays are rational people in an irrational world. They've spent the last three years patiently building up a farm system, hiring intelligent and hard-working managers and coaches, slowly creating a winning attitude, and building a sound and viable business model - and they're competing with teams that throw money around like a drunken sailor who has simultaneously heard that he has won the lottery and that he is going to die tomorrow. The Jays' rationality is good, on one hand: they're not stuck paying millions of dollars to people whose careers are moribund. (Yo, Baltimore: I'm lookin' at you.) But can J.P. and his crew of sensible thinkers survive an off-season in which other GM's will no doubt be overspending?

The impulse to go all New England and keep one's hand in one's pocket may well be overwhelming - but J.P. has to find two bats and possibly a pitcher to keep from finishing third yet again and again and again. Life is short; it's time to spend Ted's money and live a little! Everybody order dessert with your meal!

Blue Jays Report Card for September 2005 | 14 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 04 2005 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#129638) #
Once more, I doff my cap, Dave - nobody does it better.

Dave Bush and John Gibbons do not get along.

It sure is hard not to suspect this - I've suspected it. That said, I thought Gibbons went well out of his way, above and beyond the call, to single out Bush for praise after his mediocre start on Saturday. And the praise was more personal, about his character and willingness to do what's best for the team, than about how well he was playing.

For whatever that might be worth... Probably not much.

Rob - Tuesday, October 04 2005 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#129639) #
Shaun Marcum holds the new record for most innings pitched in a season by a Blue Jay without giving up a run.

Mylegacy - Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 01:27 AM EDT (#129641) #
Hats off Dave! Great work.

However, I think you're almost a full grade too high on the batters and about right on the pitchers. I could quibble with a few, but what the hay...

JP thinks he can only improve by being more balanced, better 1 through 9. He doesn't think he can afford one or two real bangers. The problem with that is that not even one of our regulars is league average.

I think (becasue he has no real alternative) he's gotta go for pitching, defense, speed and intense prayer to the God of his choice. At least we've got two the four and what the hay give me knee pads and I can pray with the best of them.

Magpie - Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 03:28 AM EDT (#129642) #
The problem with that is that not even one of our regulars is league average.

Whoa! Hold it right there!

The average AL batter created 4.9 runs a game this season. The Jays had six regulars who were above that (in order, Catalanotto, Hillenbrand, Wells, Hinske, Johnson, and Hudson) and two more who were barely below it (Koskie and Zaun.)

The 14 AL teams averaged 770 runs in 2005, and the Blue Jays scored 775. You have to have some people who are above average in order to do that. Especially when you've invested more than a thousand at bats on hitters who were decidedly below average (Adams, Hill, Rios.)

Wildrose - Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#129647) #
Very well written Dave, I didn't even much bother with the grades, I just wanted to read your comments.

I can now spell his name from memory without looking it up.

Great Line!

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#129652) #
Orlando Hudson a B, and Shea Hillenbrand a B+? I demand a recount! Weren't there some butterfly ballots with hanging chads?

Nice job, Dave.
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#129654) #
The problem with that is that not even one of our regulars is league average.

It depends what you mean by "average". If you mean relative to position, then Zaun was clearly above average with the bat. Wells and Cat (thanks to a .300 average) were too.

If you just mean relative to the average hitter, then Hillenbrand clearly was as well - though then you're comparing a DH to players from all positions, including SS and 2B. By that measure Hinske even put up a .269 EqA, which is above league average.

Jonny German - Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#129664) #
Dave, outstanding report card as always. These are one of my favourite regular features. Just one simple improvement springs to mind: at-bats!
Dr. Phil - Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#129694) #
Wow, I know that most people aren't very high on Hinske, but a G for September, ouch, that's harsh!!! :)
Dr. Phil - Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#129695) #
Sorry, meant to add that I also thought it was an excellent report, one that had me laughing at some of your insights. Great job!!
Willy - Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#129712) #
Nice report, Dave. Heck, I wouldn't mind going to the grocery store with you sometime either.
Dave Till - Wednesday, October 05 2005 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#129724) #
Dr. Phil: I used G as a placeholder when I wrote my article. Hinske got a C+; I've updated the article. Thanks for catching that.
Joe - Thursday, October 06 2005 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#129746) #
I've meant to say this for a while, Dave:

Without taking anything away from the rest of the contributions, the Report Card is probably my favourite regular feature on Batter's Box. You're always entertaining, and it's fun watching exactly what your favourite players are doing, too. Thanks for everything you've done for the past few years.
Mike D - Thursday, October 06 2005 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#129753) #
Dave, can't wait to see your 2006 grades. Let's hope they're higher across the board!
Blue Jays Report Card for September 2005 | 14 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.