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The three games with Baltimore provided an interesting perspective on the bullpen, for both the balance of this year as well as next.

In the opener three men who were not exactly being counted on as major contributors at the start of this season - Brian Tallet, Jeremy Accardo (not even in the organization until last month), and Brandon League - combined on a two-hitter, filling in for the suddenly indisposed Ted Lilly.

In the second game, two men entrusted with important roles in the pen from day one - Scott Schoeneweis and Justin Speier - imploded gloriously, wasting the best start of Shaun Marcum's brief career.

In the finale, B.J. Ryan did exactly what they're giving him all that money to do.

As sure as eggs is eggs, Speier and Schoeneweis will not be back in 2007.

Schoeneweis, alas for him, will be going onto the free agent market. With his ERA currently reading 6.88, he may have to wait a while before someone offers him more than a minor league deal for next spring.

Speier will take his numbers on the free agent market and someone will give him a couple of million dollars a year to do what he does right now. It won't be the Blue Jays, and having never been a Speier fan, I'm not too concerned. (It has long been my belief that Speier is a fine pitcher unless, you know, the game is actually on the line.)

With Speier now on the DL, and expected to be out until early September, the Jays can, if they like, get a head start on seeing how next year's bullpen works. Ryan is the closer, of course; Accardo, League, and Frasor are the RH set-up men; Tallet is the LOOGY; Downs is the long man and one of Rosario/McGowan is the Apprentice. That's seven relievers, which is at least one too many, but there are no signs that the Blue Jays are going to lead the way back to sanity.

No manager can live without a LOOGY, and the Blue Jays are carrying three left-handed relievers. Tony LaRussa must be so proud. I don't think there's any chance of Downs being considered for the actual LOOGY role. The fact that Downs can be effective for multiple innings is a skill that his manager, rightly, is reluctant to waste. We might also note that Downs' habit of throwing breaking balls in the dirt is not really what you need when the runners are already on base. Tallet sometimes shows signs of being very well suited for the situational lefty role - lately especially, he seems to come into a game, retire the first three hitters, and then the line drives start ricocheting around the outfield.

The best place for a rookie pitcher is long relief, Earl Weaver used to say. The Blue Jays obviously don't believe him. They seem to believe in tossing a young pitcher into either the starting rotation or late-inning short relief situations. If he drowns, well, at least he's not a witch. Maybe he can learn to swim at Syracuse.

Running the team is complicated, and every single one of us following the team can point to moves they strongly disapprove of - the Arizona trade, the Milwaukee trade, the Ryan signing, the Molina signing, the Burnett signing - but if there's one thing about this organization that makes me crazy it would be what seems to be an almost Steinbrennerian impatience, coupled with the attention span of a hummingbird. They make plans, and change them three days later. I don't know nearly as much about this game as I like to let on, but I do know this.

You must judge slowly.

Slower than that.

Much slower than that.
Jays vs Orioles, Odds vs Ends | 23 comments | Create New Account
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Magpie - Friday, August 11 2006 @ 03:53 AM EDT (#152785) #
Here are the fielding stats for Adams, MacDonald and Hill at SS

One of the truly strange things you will notice in the defensive stats - the Toronto shortstops have been in on 61 DPs. The third basemen have been in on 30. This seems to me to be an extremely unusual ratio, which I attribute to: a) the Toronto shortstops, especially Hill, have not been very good; b) Troy Glaus is very good at starting the DP.

OK, I gots to know! Is it that unusual? We'd better look at the other teams, too.

           DPs by   DPs by     Pct. of DPs 
Team  SS 3b started by 3b

Toronto 61 30 .330
Oakland 75 34 .312
Minnesota 56 25 .309
Boston 71 30 .297
Kansas City 85 35 .292
Chicago 64 25 .281
Tampa Bay 72 28 .280
New York 65 25 .278
Seattle 75 26 .257
Detroit 71 23 .245
Cleveland 77 19 .198
Texas 87 18 .171
LA Angels 71 13 .155
Baltimore 92 13 .012

Mike Green - Friday, August 11 2006 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#152802) #
Scott Downs is now scheduled to face Scott Baker in Saturday's game. Feel free to make the appropriate bad puns (e.g., "no one is going to get off scot-free").

I like this decision, both from the long-term perspective and in light of the short-term matchups with the Twins. 

My early favourites for the 2007 pitching staff are: Halladay, Burnett, Chacin, Marcum, Downs,  Ryan, Frasor, Accardo, League, Janssen, and  Davis Romero.  That's 11 and that's plenty.  For the first half of the season, Janssen and Davis Romero pitch in the bullpen in low leverage situations getting their Earl Weaver training.  Ryan and League get the high leverage relief work.  Frasor and Accardo handle the in-between.  McGowan, Rosario, Purcey, Jesse Litsch, Kyle Yates, Eric Fowler and Ricky Romero are in the high minors working on their game.  It's actually not bad. 

Christopher - Friday, August 11 2006 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#152803) #
McGowan, Rosario, Purcey, Jesse Litsch, Kyle Yates, Eric Fowler and Ricky Romero are in the high minors working on their game.

Do McGowan and Rosario have options after this season?  I was under the impression that the Jays had to apply for a special exemption on Rosario for this season.
Mike Green - Friday, August 11 2006 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#152804) #
Option years are explained here. Due to his age at drafting, McGowan was not required to be added to the 40 man roster, I believe, until 2004.  That means that 2005, 2006 and 2007 would be his option years. I believe that Rosario was also added to the 40 man roster in 2004, as a result of his arm surgery, and that 2005, 2006 and 2007 are also his option years. 
MatO - Friday, August 11 2006 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#152812) #
Rosario's 4th season was 2002 so he was added to the 40 man after that year despite being on the DL with his elbow.  McGowan's 4th year was 2003 (drafted 2000) so his option years would be 2004, 2005 and 2006 wouldn't they?  I also recall the Jays petitioning MLB to add an option year for Rosario since he missed all of 2003 and this request being granted thus allowing the Jays to send him down this season or he would have been out of options.
Mike Green - Friday, August 11 2006 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#152813) #
Players who are signed at age 18 or younger don't have to be added to the 40 man until 4 minor league years have passed. I suppose that would mean that McGowan was added prior to the November, 2003 Rule 5 and his option years are now gone.  It's a shame, because he is nowhere near ready.  Neither is Rosario. 

We'll see who is healthy in February and March, and come back to this.
Gerry - Friday, August 11 2006 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#152845) #

Good article Magpie.

We all know by now that JP can be emotional.  When people feel pressure their emotions can become heightened.  JP impatience might come from his need, or pressure on him, to win now.  We don't know what expectations came with the payroll increase, perhaps uncle Ted said if I give you more money I want a winner.  We saw already this season, in JP's outburst against the 3-4-5 hitters, that he thinks this team is better than it is showing. 

I don;t remember the Jays being this reactionary in previous years, what has changed in 2006?.

I can see JP signing a pitcher or two in the off-season but if Towers returns to form you will have a lot of candidates for the starting rotation.  Halladay and Burnett are guaranteed spots.  Chacin, Towers, Marcum, free agent and Janssen will make it five pitchers looking for three jobs.  Chacin could be a LOOGY if Tallet falters.

Jays vs Orioles, Odds vs Ends | 23 comments | Create New Account
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