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Today, John Beamer tells us in THT that most projection systems have Frank Thomas mashing in 2007 for 450-500 plate appearances. Meanwhile Rich Lederer in Baseball Analysts reviews the ground-ball and strikeout tendencies (Shouldn't Strikeout Tendency be the name of a Marxist faction?) of minor leaguers, and finds that Chi-Hung Cheng was in the right place last year before his injury. And the Todd Helton trade talks continue, with money as opposed to players seeming to be the major issue. "Helton for diddlysquat" doesn't quite have the ring of "Manny for nothing", does it?

And don't forget, it's only 3 weeks until pitchers and Molinas.

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JustinD - Monday, January 29 2007 @ 03:08 PM EST (#162774) #
How serious was Cheng's injury? If he could ever get those walks under control he could be a dominant pitcher.

Also, I really hope that the Red Sox don't get Helton. Even if he only hit 10 homers for them, having someone that can get on base in front of Manny and Ortiz more than 40% of the time is not a good thing for the rest of the AL. The Sox are starting to worry me.

JustinD - Monday, January 29 2007 @ 05:43 PM EST (#162782) #
Another thing about the Sox. As scarry as that lineup is with Manny, Ortiz, Helton, Drew and Youkilis getting on base around 40% of the time, they dont have a closer just yet. And I'm sure Blue Jay fans know how much a difference there is between a good closer and an average/bad closer. One bright spot there.

On to the Jays now. Is Purcey going to start the year at Double-A or wil they try him again at Syracuse? Does anyone still think he can be a major league starter?  His K numbers are pretty good, but he has a lot of control problems. Where would I be able to find out what his GB% and K% were to figure out what quandrant he would be in?

actionjackson - Monday, January 29 2007 @ 06:51 PM EST (#162787) #
JustinD, you can find Purcey's New Hampshire splits here. Scroll to the bottom of the stats to find and click on his Syracuse pitching splits and his cumulative pitching splits. I can't find BF anywhere, so it'll be hard to be totally accurate with your K/BF%, but you can try guestimating. There might be other sites out there that will have it, but I can't think of them right now.
Rob - Monday, January 29 2007 @ 09:16 PM EST (#162789) #
Assuming that the batted-ball types (the last six columns), walks, HBPs, and strikeouts are the only possible outcomes, Purcey's K rate is 19.6% and his GB% is 40.4%. Purcey is 1.2 innings short of the cutoff for the chart in Lederer's article, but if he made it on there, he would be below average in GB% and just above in K rate.
actionjackson - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 12:45 AM EST (#162799) #
Does the DirecTV deal affect the 2007 MLB Extra Innings Package in Canada? If it does I'll be choked because unless I'm mistaken DirecTV is not available up here and I've enjoyed Extra Innings the last 5 years. Way to go Bud. Please the corporation and stick it to the fans. Remember that slogan when baseball came back after the lockout nonsense? "Thankyou fans!" Well here goes my attempt: "Thankyou Bud!" OK, the enthusiasm's not there, but the sincerity level is about the same. I guess you can muster up enthusiasm when you're a millionaire athlete and you desperately need the fans to buy in again. This guy's reign of terror cannot end soon enough for me and yet the owners will try to keep him on because they're rolling in the dough. Meh!
williams_5 - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 01:08 AM EST (#162800) #
Here's a Yahoo article discussing the DirectTV deal.
Pistol - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 08:49 AM EST (#162802) #
For those with ESPN insider Keith Law has his top 25 prospects listed.  Adam Lind checked in at 19.  The list excluded players new to pro ball so Travis Snider wasn't in consideration for this list (although I'm guessing he wouldn't make the list or the 10 honorable mentions).

The big surprise to me was Fernando Martinez at #6 who was playing in the AFL at 18 this year.

Original Ryan - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 09:35 AM EST (#162803) #
Does the DirecTV deal affect the 2007 MLB Extra Innings Package in Canada? If it does I'll be choked because unless I'm mistaken DirecTV is not available up here and I've enjoyed Extra Innings the last 5 years. Way to go Bud.

As an ExpressVu subscriber, Extra Innings has never been available to me.  In the event you're no longer able to get Extra Innings, you might want to consider MLB.TV as a substitute.  I subscribed to it last year and loved it.  They carry every game with no blackouts.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 10:03 AM EST (#162804) #
Justin D, Cheng had a torn labrum, which was operated on shortly after the season ended.
Flex - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 10:13 AM EST (#162806) #
They carry every game with no blackouts.

Wait. Is that because you live outside of Ontario? I thought that all the Jays games were blacked out for people in and around Toronto. If that's not the case, they'll soon have a new subscriber...
Original Ryan - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 10:24 AM EST (#162807) #
The MLB website says Jays games are supposed to be blacked out across Canada, but I didn't experience any blackouts last year here in New Brunswick.
SheldonL - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 10:29 AM EST (#162808) #

I don't know anything really about ExpressVu or DirecTV but I use Starchoice. I don't subscribe to MLB Extra Innings but nevertheless I still get to watch all the baseball games on all four Sportsnet channels.

It's great fun, there's almost always a Sunday night game and they'll scatter 3-4 other games during the rest of the week.

Dez - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 11:33 AM EST (#162809) #
I subscribed to and experienced no blackouts for Jay games in Toronto and Waterloo. Hopefully the same is true for next year.
ayjackson - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 12:54 PM EST (#162810) #

I received my copy of Baseball America's 2007 Prospect Handbook in the mail yesterday.

Of note Brandon Magee is said to have the best fastball and slider in the organization.  This is a bit of a departure from the website which lists Frankie Rosario as having the best fastball.  The book says that Magee throws his fastball from 91-94mph with really good movement.

At 23 years of age, he really needs a rapid progression through the minors this year - starting at Dunedin and maybe hitting AAA by the end of August.

Mike Green - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 01:47 PM EST (#162811) #
Most sources had Magee's fastball at 91-92.  His GB rate was an impressive 57%, but he didn't really dominate in the New York Penn League.  If everything works perfectly, he spends 1/2 season in Dunedin and then goes to New Hampshire for 10-12 starts in 2007, with a very optimistic ETA of July-August 2008. 
G Baier - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 05:38 PM EST (#162824) #

This may not be germane to the thread, but New Era's American website is now selling a version of the new hat we saw at the Frank Thomas press conference. It is a semi-fitted BP hat made of space age materials rather than the authentic version, but for those who just can't wait to be the first to have the new hat they now have a chance - doesn't look like it is available in the jays shop online. 

VBF - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 06:03 PM EST (#162825) #

This hat has been the the epitomy of the Jays marketing department. Good (okay, maybe arguably good) ideas and an absolutely terrible promotion of the item.

The hat was initially introduced as a side note to the Thomas press conference, in a little "by the way we have a new logo" speech by Godfrey, which was easily forgotten as the focus of the day was on the big man.

And to match the customers' demand for this new product, they very appropriately decided to release the selling of these hats, well over a monh after the introduction date. And at some point along the distribution channel, a snag was hit and the hat is still unavailable to be purchased at any merchandise outlet in Toronto. And appropriately, no employee has any idea as to when the hat will finally hit the shelves.

But the Yankee and Red Sox Flags are perfectly on time and in their generous shelf space in the Jays Shop.

MondesiRules - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 07:56 PM EST (#162827) #

Hat will be shipped on Feb 1st.

Also a new home and away batting practice jersey for 2007:



Mylegacy - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 08:24 PM EST (#162828) # is reporting that the Jay's have signed Victor Zambrano of the Mets to a minor league deal with a spring invite to the show. Imagine trading this guy for Kazmir...good grief... Under the circumstances however, looks like a GOOD(ish) pick-up.

Yahoo MLB says the following about him;

Update: Zambrano (elbow) believes he'll be ready for the start of spring training, the New York Daily News reports.

Recommendation: Originally, Zambrano had planned on returning as a reliever until he fully regained his stamina and arm strength. However, since he's been throwing in Venezuela recently, Zambrano feels he's ready to jump into a starting role right off the bat in 2007.


Flex - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 08:59 PM EST (#162829) #
It's a chance for JP to pull off a reverse Chris Carpenter. The odds are against him, but it's worth a shot.

I hope they're well stocked with arm slings in the Dunedin clubhouse.
JayFan0912 - Tuesday, January 30 2007 @ 09:18 PM EST (#162830) #
minor league deal ?

Sounds too good to be true.

Zambrano pitched effectively in the AL east, and if healthy he could be an adequate #3. It's great insurance in case of injury, and it virtually makes sure a 9.11 ERA pitcher wont make starts for us -- there are probably 6 pitchers fighting for two spots. I wonder what's the amount ... I followed him for a while, seeing if the jays would sign him, and he reportedly turned down $2 million  from the mets.

Great deal.

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