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The Rangers fell in April and never got up. Last week, they decided to clean house and devote the remainder of the season to figuring out what kind of talent they have in-house. So, goodbye to Kenny Lofton, Eric Gagne and Mark Teixeira, all of whom fetched a respectable return on the trade market. And hello to the first wave of prospects, led by Jason Botts and the guy from Atlanta with the long name.


While the Jays were fumbling around in Tampa, the Rangers were off doing their dirty work, taking 2 of 3 from Cleveland at the Jake to keep the Jays only 7.5 games out of the wild card.

It's a pair of aces tonight as Roy Halladay faces Kevin Millwood. Millwood is making nearly $10 million this year to put up a 5.95 ERA. He is so nondescript it's not even interesting. He's got a fastball that ranges from 90 to 95, a hard slider, and a slow 12-6 curve in the mid-70s. He also has a show changeup. His numbers are as average as average can be, with two notable exceptions. His strand rate is bad, and his hit luck is uncharacteristically awful. His career BABIP against is .301; his 2007 figure is .354. What's going on?!

Steve West at Go Rangers! may have solved it. His theory concerning Millwood's sudden fall is that he's tipping his breaking pitches. Say it ain't so! Check out this Gameday-powered analysis of Millwood's release points, which reveals a pronounced difference between his fastball release point and trash release point. As West puts it: "Heís throwing the curve and slider in a similar position, but the fastball is being released about 7 inches right and 5 inches higher. Tell me thatís not a huge difference! I believe a major league hitter would pick up on this and be able to tell fastball or not, and that could very easily be the difference in being able to hit it or not." Fascinating. Millwood also appears to follow righty pitchers' standard preference for curveballs against lefties and sliders against righties, which can only help hitters know exactly what's coming.

My first reaction to this study was that I'd love to see something like this done on Josh Towers, who seems to run into bad hit and homer rates every single year. Towers' raw stuff is very pedestrian, and if he's tipping his pitches, it's amazing he's lasted all year in the majors.

For what it's worth, Millwood has been battling the flu this week. He is still very likely to make his start tonight.

Most current Jays have rotten numbers against Millwood. Zaun is 1-13 with 5 K and a walk. Vernon is 1-11 with 2 K and a walk. Matt Stairs is 4-20 with 6 K and 2 walks. Aaron Hill, 2-10 with 2 K. The lone bright light is Frank Thomas, who's 10-18 with 2 homers and a double.

Tomorrow, it's a 6'8" center from Cal State Northridge, "Tall" Kameron Loe, facing Shaun Marcum. My one indelible image of Loe is from Sunday, July 10, 2005, in the eighth inning of the last game of The Series From Hell. With the score tied 5-5 and one out, and the Jays in desperate need of anything positive to take away from Arlington, Loe faced John McDonald with one out and Eric Hinske on third. McDonald hit a high chopper about 50 feet into the air that I swear would've been over just about every other pitcher in baseball. Not Loe, who is very tall and apparently in possession of one impressive combination of mad hops and madder reflexes. He made an incredible leaping catch for the groundout and then retired Russ Adams casually to escape the mess. The Rangers scored 4 in the bottom, the Jays scored 3 in the 9th, and it all amounted to a third straight gut-wrenching loss, 9-8. It was terrible...

Loe has a sinker, a curve and changeup. He is a solid groundball pitcher who pitches to contact. (In other words, Marcum gets to deal with yet another big scary Fausto type with only a gang of lumbering righty power hitters behind him. Poor guy.) The sinker hangs around 90, with the curve in the high 80s. I'll just link over to Steve West again since his analysis of the Rangers' starters is remarkably exhaustive and awesome.

He isn't established as a big-league starter just yer - he isn't really an extreme groundballer, and his K/BB figures are a bit mediocre for any but the most extreme groundballing fiends - but I think he's certainly deserving of a full-season audition, especially for the Rangers, who play in one of the best hitters' parks in baseball. Plus, it is my entirely subjective opinion that sinker machines are 6000 times more likely to win games in 120-degree Texas heat than they are in normal Earth weather.

Loe has pronounced splits. His K/BB ratio shows no platoon splits in the small sample, but righties hit .266/.337/.392, while lefties hit .328/.380/.522. So lefties seem to hit his sinker much harder. I'm starting Stairs and Olmedo tomorrow, and maybe even Howie Clark.

According to Wikipedia, Loe has a 7-foot boa constrictor which he keeps in the Rangers' clubhouse. The boa's name is Angel.

Sunday, it's a 6'7" forward from Lamar, Colorado, "Tall" Brandon McCarthy. Like Loe, McCarthy throws a fastball around 90, a curve and a change, and is tall. However, the similarities end abruptly right there.

Unlike Loe, McCarthy is a big flyball pitcher who looked like a strikeout artist in the making throughout his minor-league career. McCarthy's poor peripheral stats this year have very little to do with a conscious pitch-to-contact approach and much more to do with a surprising degree of ineffectiveness. McCarthy shredded AAA at age 22 and was very successful as a reliever for the White Sox. His change looks like it should be a devastating strikeout pitch, especially since it's often 12 or more mph slower than the fastball and it comes from McCarthy's way-up-high arm slot.

Take away his disastrous April and McCarthy is actually having a successful year despite his inability to get strikeouts. Since May 1, he has a 3.69 ERA, and he's averaged more than 5 innings per start. There is still lots of room to improve but he's hanging in there as a flyballer in a tough hitters' park.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been playing first base and batting out of the 7-hole for the Rangers. At 14 letters, Saltalamacchia has the longest surname in the history of the phylum Chordata. It's loads of fun to say but torture to try to fit on a jersey. Imagine if he got sent to the Jays, with their way-too-big font. Quoth equipment manager Zack Minasian: "First, I had to learn to spell it. I looked at Catalanotto and that's 11 letters. That goes from armpit to armpit so there was no way I was going to use regular thick letters for Saltalamacchia. So I went with the thin letters. I don't normally do that, but in this case, I had no choice."

Salty will catch twice a week, spelling Gerald Laird, according to the Rangers' master plan. Adam Melhuse is the odd man out. Says he: "It looks like AB's are going to be tough to come by in the next two months, but next year might look good. The way I see it, I don't anticipate them bringing Saltalamacchia in here to back up. They'll either have him playing behind the plate every day or playing first base every day. I just need to be patient." At least this year he's got a manager who talks to him.

If you believe in the Ewing Theory, which states that the Rangers will improve as a team without their brightest offensive star, then Scott Lucas would like to introduce you to your Rangers Ewing Theory MVP: Brad ".223/.301/.462" Wilkerson.

Joaquin Benoit and leftander C.J. Wilson will share closing duties for the Rangers in the absence of Eric Gagne and Akinori Otsuka. Benoit is the Rangers' version of Jason Frasor (plus five or seven inches) and figures to get a nice payday when he hits free agency after next year. Wilson was fiddling with the gyroball in spring training with Tezuka-san himself. He has been murder on lefthanded batters and may be used as a LOOGY in the ninth. Pinch-hit at your own risk.

With the acquisition of Kason Gabbard, the Rangers sent sinkerballing lefty Jamey Wright to the bullpen, where he'll serve as their Lenny DiNardo: high groundball rate, bad peripherals, will come in when the Rangers need to turn the lineup around or get a lefty to beat the ball into the ground.

27-year-old DH Jason (Intelligent Infinite) Botts has emerged as a slugging machine in AAA this year. He's getting a full-time audition as a cleanup-hitting DH. He's never slugged like this before - his career minor-league stats aren't quite at Jack Cust levels - but it's worth a shot.

I wonder if rookie reliever A.J. Murray has ever gone by his given first name... or if he did once and then stopped at the exact moment he landed in the Rangers organization.

And Sammy Sosa will be used primarily as a bench player while the Rangers audition their kids. Outwardly, Sosa is cool with it.

The Credit Section: All offensive stats, pitches per PA for pitchers and league average stats are from the Hardball Times. Pitchers' stats and leverage indices are from Fangraphs. Minor-league stats are from Minor League Splits and First Inning. K% and BB% are strikeouts and walks as a percentage of plate appearances; GB% + LD% + FB% = 100.


Advance Scout: Rangers, August 3-5 | 48 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Friday, August 03 2007 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#172530) #
I'd be starting Olmedo all three games.  It's not as though he's 18 and needs to be introduced slowly. 

A boa named Angel?  Killing me softly, I guess. Great scout, Alex.
Mick Doherty - Friday, August 03 2007 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#172533) #

Great item about Murray, who is going to be a good one -- but I had not a clue his full name was Arlington John Murray. (Thank you, BaseballReference.com.)

Are there any other ballplayers out there, or historically, who share a given first name with their team's home city?

Or even a last name? I don't think Daryl Boston ever played for the Sox, and though Reggie Cleveland did, he was never an Indian. Anyone?

Mike Green - Friday, August 03 2007 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#172534) #
The speedster George Washington Case did play for Washington.
Chuck - Friday, August 03 2007 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#172537) #

Kevin Millwood, position: enigma

This is Millwood's 11th season. Despite a lifetime ERA's in the 3's, he's only had one season in the 3's. He's had three really good seasons and the rest of the time, meh (this year, he's gone from meh to blech). His pattern has been a banner season followed by two mediocre ones. That should mean that big things lie ahead in 2008. If I were a betting man, however, I'd wager that the trend's about to end.

Mike Green - Friday, August 03 2007 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#172538) #
BBRef's age 31 comps for Millwood suggest that the odds would be in your favour, Chuck.  Here's what they've done after age 31 so far.  I guess the main thing that he has in his favour is that he has been healthier than most, and was not really overworked.  The chances of him pulling a Bunning are maybe 1 in 4.
greenfrog - Friday, August 03 2007 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#172539) #
Millwood is making nearly $10 million this year to put up a 5.95 ERA.

Speaking of overpriced pitchers:
Pitcher A: 5-6, 94 IP, 4.31 ERA, 15 HR allowed, 1.27 WHIP, $12M salary
Pitcher B: 8-7, 137 IP, 3.88 ERA, 10 HR allowed, 1.47 WHIP, $400,000 salary

Pitcher A? AJ Burnett. Pitcher B? Chad Gaudin.

Ouch.
Stan N - Friday, August 03 2007 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#172541) #

So it seems that the Jays have picked up utility infielder (2B/SS) Hector Luna on waivers from Cleveland.

Alex Obal - Friday, August 03 2007 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#172542) #
On a completely unrelated note, the chart and article lie. Jamey Wright is in fact a righty. I'm not exactly sure how I convinced myself he throws with the wrong hand, though I've never seen a righty with such bad defense-independent numbers last so long as a starter. Though he definitely took a few strides toward the crucial 1 K/BB in his losing effort today.

That is all.

FanfromTheIsland - Friday, August 03 2007 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#172543) #
That was very nice of Doc to welcome Frankie back like that.
Barry Bonnell - Friday, August 03 2007 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#172545) #
So it seems that the Jays have picked up utility infielder (2B/SS) Hector Luna on waivers from Cleveland.

With Howie Clark being released.
John Northey - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#172547) #
Sad to see Howie let go.  Just something fun about a guy named Howie.

Clark - 204/298/245 this year, 262/331/354 lifetime over 294 AB's, 33 years old, 78 OPS+ lifetime
Luna - AAA this year, 286/338/409 last year, 276/330/397 lifetime over 660 AB's, 27 years old, 89 OPS+ lifetime

Seems like a solid backup in the middle infield and if his defense is any good he could be a solid everyday SS.  What an odd move, but good for the Jays as this is exactly the type of guy needed here - a solid backup who could play everyday in the middle infield.  He has played over 20 games at 2B/SS/LF/3B/RF while also getting a few in at 1B and CF.  Outside of catching you can put him anywhere.

Just noticed he has spent all of this season in AAA (thought his 2006 numbers were for 2007 at first).  How very odd.  A near regular in '06 hitting 1/2 decent and then left to rot in AAA.  He hit just 251/297/362 in AAA after a decent spring (241/405/310).  I suspect he was depressed about being left in AAA and his bat went to heck.  In truth his minor league numbers are never that impressive (OPS between 550 and 771 - he was at 772 in St Louis before being traded to Cleveland last year).

Well, can't hurt.  Another right handed bat to mix into the game.  

Alex0888 - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 02:15 AM EDT (#172549) #
Is Angel the Boa a tribute to Angel Berroa?
Lefty - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 03:55 AM EDT (#172551) #
Luna has been apparently been losing the battle of the bulge. Cleveland has been on him for well over a year to lose weight and felt this is limiting his speed and mobility, especially his first step capabilities.

At one time he certainly did project as a regular, but even at just 27 those days are likely over. I don't see him as a someone who will challenge for a regular middle infield job. I don't see him pushing Hill to short and he's not strong enough defensively to play there himself.

He should be nice insurance on the bench though, if they can get him to put in some training.

scottt - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 06:59 AM EDT (#172552) #
Johnny Mac went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts, 1 ball batted into a double play and a foul ball popped out.

They had a good opportunity to pinch hit him for stairs in the ninth with 2 outs and runners at first and second.

That would suggest that they don't trust Olmedo's defense and that he'll be spending most of hist time on the bench.



Dave Till - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#172553) #
They had a good opportunity to pinch hit him for stairs in the ninth with 2 outs and runners at first and second.

That would suggest that they don't trust Olmedo's defense and that he'll be spending most of hist time on the bench.


The Jays were ahead in the bottom of the eighth, so I think they wanted to have McDonald's infield defense out there.
FranklyScarlet - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#172558) #

That would suggest that they don't trust Olmedo's defense and that he'll be spending most of hist time on the bench.

No, it wasn't the best place for him to make an appearance.  Gibbons would want to use him in the best place to succeed.

He is starting today,  I think Jerry said last night.

ANationalAcrobat - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#172559) #
No one has mentioned it - Am I the only one who found Cosentino and Campbell unlistenable? There is something about them that just feels irrelevent.

I'd love to see Ashby and Howarth also broadcast on TV... I've seen it done on a screen at the dome while waiting for concessions, and it was excellent.
Chuck - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#172560) #

Am I the only one who found Cosentino and Campbell unlistenable?

I didn't see the game last night, but in the past I have found Cosentino to be knowledgeable, but so desirous to prove such to the world that he can't let a second go without talking, as if he feels that he's auditioning (which he sort of is). And his authoritative posture is tiresome, presumably moreso to those of us at this web site (who are the true authorities!).

 

Stan N - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#172562) #
I only heard the TV version of the game on and off thru the evening, but I have to say the only thing I was thinking was "What a breath of fresh air.  This is so much better than hearing Rod Black's pompous, cliches that he delivers over and over again that have no bearing to the game".  Not to say that last night's tandem was wonderful, but I guess it's all relative!
BigTimeRoyalsFan - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#172563) #
I wait for the day TV isn't a couple of seconds behind so I can just listen to Jerry & Allan and watch it at the same time.
Flex - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#172564) #
I haven't seen much here on the CBC team of Hughson, Barfield and Mulliniks, but I like what I've heard so far. Jesse seems to have a slightly different mindset than Rance, and a personality that rounds out the team. He actually seems to do as much "announcing" as Hughson at times, which is kind of funny. He might be a bit of a control freak.

It's a bit odd to have two hitters as colour men. I'm surprised they don't have a pitcher in there to give the other side. But so far, for me, it works. And Jesse seems willing to be critical, or at least direct, which I appreciate.
BigTimeRoyalsFan - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#172565) #
Why on earth would Gibbons go to Downs with a 4 run lead in the 9th and a runner on first with 1 out. Not to mention 2 RH coming up. And don't give me the answer he hasn't pitched in 3 days so he needed some work. He has been a horse all season, what he needs is some rest before we roll out Litsch and Towers against the Yankees. How the heck does he not go to Frasor there?

williams_5 - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#172566) #
This is neither here nor there, but can anyone tell me if the logic behind "defensive indifference" is sound? It seems like if you are up by enough runs that the baserunner doesn't matter, why not just try to gun him out anyways? Try for the out, and worst case scenario a meaningless run is on third instead of second (which would seem to be a rare occurence). Maybe it doesn't apply as much to the Jays given how poor they are at throwing runners out, but if you've got any kind of a chance at getting a guy out it seems like you should go for it.
Chuck - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#172568) #

can anyone tell me if the logic behind "defensive indifference" is sound?

The DI strategy is not intended to avoid the risk of a throwing error but rather to allow all the infielders to position themselves optimally to reduce the chances of a hit. The first baseman doesn't hold the runner and neither middle infielder breaks to second on the stolen base attempt -- no one is needlessly out of position to guard against a meaningless stolen base.

Lefty - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#172569) #
In general I don't have any problem with defensive indifference.  When invoked you should be certain the game is completely in hand though.

Today they let Kinsler walk down to second with one out, before Melhuse singled to centre for the RBI. Now all of sudden the manager thinks the games on the line?

If the game was that close in the manager's mind he should have had the team paying attention to the runner. And if League and Zaun decided this for themselves then there has to be a few words with them -- and one would wonder who's in charge?

Personally I would have left League in to mop up, but Gibbons elected to drag another appearance out of Downs.  Now theres a Blue Jay who is earning his cheque this year.




AWeb - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#172570) #
The whole "defensive indifference" thing strikes me as another conventional wisdom that teams have used for so long they've forgotten exactly why it started and when to use it. Just removing the potential for a force out at second seems like a huge tradeoff, and perhaps not worth the positioning tradeoff on it's own.

Similarly, playing the lines to prevent doubles or playing the outfield deep to prevent doubles strikes me as extremely counterintuitive in most situations. If this was the best way to prevent runs from scoring, why wouldn't teams play like that all game? Not that there aren't situations where a double is much worse than a single, but maximizing the potential for an out seems like a no-brainer. Yes, if there is a speedy runner on first and a double probably costs you the game, then try to prevent it. But letting a bloop single fall in or a chopper go through the hole has a pretty strong cost associated with it.
VBF - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#172572) #
It's mind blowing how down on Frasor they are. It's like they're punishing him for doing something, it's that bad. Today was the perfect opportunity to let him pitch two or even three innings. And even if you hate the guy's guts (for some apparant reason), at least you would've given him his fun in the sun and you wouldn't have to use him for another 4 months. Unlike everyone else he doesn't really interact with anyone in the bullpen, just kind of sits in the corner with his head down, though thats probably me making something out of nothing.

Cito Gaston is in town. Time to put the Gibbons era to rest.


scottt - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#172574) #
I figure Janssen was not available because he threw more than 1 inning yesterday.

They won't use Accardo if it isn't a save situation.

Frasor? They're probably saving him for a game in which they're losing by a big margin.

I was suprised to see Downs come out to face right handed hitters. Logically, he gets tomorrow off to prepare for the Yankees series. McGowan usually pitches deeper into games than Marcaum, so he shouldn't be missed anyway.

I get the impression there is one too many guy in the bullpen, but then again, the bench is under used as well.
Considering how often a pinch runner is used, it's sad that there's not real base stealer available.

Is Thipen catching tomorrow or is down to once a week?




GregJP - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#172576) #
I hate to beat a dead horse, but with the way the Yankees are hitting  3rd place is 95% certain.

I'd like to see Janssen gradually work up his innings and join the rotation for the last 5 or 6 weeks.  Either that or make his present role permanent, and end the speculation.

I really have no clue what they're doing with Thigpen.  If he's a catcher, have him catch.  If he's going to have a go at 2B, move Hill to SS and give it a shot.

It seems like we're in some kind of twilight zone between contending for a playoff spot and doing what is necessary to properly prepare for next year.

I realize that Gibbons/Ricchiardi  have jobs to worry about and want to win as many games as possible, but 2008 is THE window of opportunity, and I'd like to see the rest of this year's focus being on preparing for the run next year.

I might even call up Lind and have him spell Johnson and Thomas against tough right handers.  He seems disinterested in AAA, and if he is to contribute next year any major league AB's he can log this year should be beneficial.





BigTimeRoyalsFan - Saturday, August 04 2007 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#172580) #
Glaus is sitting Sunday so it looks like we will see both Olmedo and Luna.
Chuck - Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#172583) #
I didn't see Thomas' two-homerun game, but today (Sunday) he appeared to be standing a little closer to the plate than usual. Is this my imagination or has he started making some adjustments?
China fan - Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#172587) #
  Jays only 5 games out of wild card now.
zeppelinkm - Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#172588) #

This is weird. I feel something I haven't felt since like right before that 9 game losing streak.

Hope...

Frank Thomas is starting to roll. If he pummels the ball for the remainder of the season, will anyone doubt his signing again?

Halladay, Burnett, McGowan, Marcum, Towers/Litsch...

Alex Obal - Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#172589) #
This is stupidly optimistic on my part to even entertain this possibility, but I don't care:

We have a potential You Be The Manager scenario brewing. Suppose the Jays defeat the Yankees tomorrow, 8-6, behind a fifth-inning explosion off Pettitte and the grittiest, gutsiest, Chaciniest Jesse Litsch effort to date, but it takes a huge toll on the bullpen:

Yankees   111 002 010 - 6
Blue Jays 100 070 00x - 8
 
Blue Jays       ip  h  r  k bb pit 
Litsch (W)     5.1 10  5  3  2 104
Tallet         0.1  1  0  0  1  17
Frasor         0.1  0  0  1  0   4
Downs          1.0  1  0  2  2  36
Janssen        0.2  2  1  0  1  24
Accardo (S)    1.1  2  0  3  0  38

This brings the Jays within 3 games of the Yankees. Does the thought of bringing Doc back on three days' rest... I mean... it's gotta cross your mind, right? Just a little bit?
Alex Obal - Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#172590) #
(Make that 3.5 games, speaking of stupidly optimistic...)
AWeb - Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#172591) #
Does the thought of bringing Doc back on three days' rest... I mean... it's gotta cross your mind, right? Just a little bit?

With the way the pitching is carrying this team, today included, it wouldn't cross my mind to mess with the rotation. If the bullpen is burnt out, Syracuse is right there in NY, isn't it? Send down whoever isn't able to go again and call up someone else.  Also, why move Halladay up a day to face NY a day early? I prefer Towers/Clemens and Halladay/Wang over the reverse.
Alex Obal - Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#172593) #
The idea would be to get Marcum in there on 3 days' rest in the Wednesday game and then come back with McGowan, Towers, (ideally) Burnett and Halladay in some order in the KC series. The offday Thursday puts McGowan on his normal rest, and AJ's likely return affords you the luxury of putting the big guns on 5 days' rest for the next turn if you feel that's necessary. Since the Yankees are (in my humble opinion) going to be the toughest team to track down in the wildcard chase, why not put 2 of your big 3 in against them if you feel you can get away with it?

I probably wouldn't do it either. I believe in Josh Towers. But I'd be very tempted, especially since Towers can pitch out of the pen Tuesday if Halladay only goes 5 or 6.
ahitisahit - Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#172594) #
All of the tinkering with the rotation would be great, if the Jays played the rest of their games at the Rogers Centre. 12 games under .500 on the road isn't going to make the playoffs no matter who is pitching.
Mike Green - Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#172595) #
Nice YBTM scenario, Alex.  All I can say is that I'd recommend having Game Over Gronk's cell no. at hand tomorrow.  The Chiefs are in Ottawa, and he'd make a valuable call-up if the Yanks burrow their way deep into the Jay pen.  I'll probably have more comments in the Yankee Advance Scout thread...

This Texas series made me think about luck and timing.  The Jays certainly have had their share of bad luck, but this weekend the schedule-maker came up aces for them.  The Rangers with Saltalamacchia instead of Teixeira are a markedly less dangerous team for the Jays' right-handed starters. 

CeeBee - Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#172596) #

"All of the tinkering with the rotation would be great, if the Jays played the rest of their games at the Rogers Centre. 12 games under .500 on the road isn't going to make the playoffs no matter who is pitching."

While the team in general has been crappy on the road and wins by a starter may not be the best stat, a quick check shows that Halladay, Marcum and McGowan are 12-10 on the road so maybe it does make a difference who starts and who doesn't?

Sanjay - Monday, August 06 2007 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#172597) #

I would have Burnett skip his rehab start altogether in Syracuse on Monday and have him start in place of Towers on Tuesday.  

I think Burnett is going to play a big part in getting us to the post season. I have a feeling he is going to pitch as well as he did when Halladay was gone during the appendicitis. 

Most people including the media have been on Burnett's case for not performing when he does pitch and will always be a .500 pitcher. 

Even though he has a 5-6 record, his peripherals are as good or better than those of Roy Halladay who has a 12-5 record. 

electric carrot - Monday, August 06 2007 @ 12:19 AM EDT (#172598) #
About this road problem the jays seem to have -- I can't help noticing that the Jays home era vs road era is almost a full run different, (3.75 to 4.55.) It seems strange because isn't The Rogers Centre a slight advantage to hitters and thus a disadvantage to pitchers. (BTW the stats in 2006 show the opposite trend while 2005 shows a similar trend to 2007.) My question is about those dark uniforms on the road. Does it allow the hitter to see the ball better because of the contrast in brightness? Or, does it make it more difficult to pitch in hot weather because it absorbs more heat? Those uniforms seem wrong to me. And I wonder if any knowledgeable person has ever brought up problems with them.
TamRa - Monday, August 06 2007 @ 01:15 AM EDT (#172599) #

AJ has 4 losses this season in Quality Starts, no one else on the team has more than one.

 

CeeBee - Monday, August 06 2007 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#172600) #
I've often wondered why the heck they wear a black road jersey so often. I work outside and in the sun most of the time and come summer time ALL my dark shirts go into the bottom of the drawer till cooler weather returns. Black IS way hotter than white or grey and that alone seems a very good reason to wear road greys, especially in the heat of summer. As to the visibility of the ball issue, very interesting point as thats a factor with pitchers gloves as they are not allowed to use white  gloves for that very reason.
ahitisahit - Monday, August 06 2007 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#172603) #
I'll admit I thought AJ pitched better than his record would indicate. To me it is frustrating that he needs a month off every season with injury problems.
kettch - Monday, August 06 2007 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#172604) #
I've heard several times on the radio broadcast that the players actually find the black uniforms more comfortable than the home whites or road greys on hot days, because the fabric of the black uniforms is significantly lighter than the other ones. Although before I learned that, I was also puzzled about why they were wearing the blacks so often on hot days (I think at one point last year I made a half-hearted attempt to track the team's performance according to jersey colour at home, and found that they were doing better in the home whites...)
CSHunt68 - Monday, August 06 2007 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#172606) #
All of the tinkering with the rotation would be great, if the Jays played the rest of their games at the Rogers Centre. 12 games under .500 on the road isn't going to make the playoffs no matter who is pitching.   http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL_1987_standings.shtml   Obviously, the two leagues ('87 AL and '07 AL) are different. Still, as a blanket statement, the second sentence is demonstrably false. Teams can play (exceedingly!) poorly on the road and make the playoffs. If the Jays finish out 13-12 on the road (to finish 11 games under), they could still get to 90 wins (the projected wildcard total) by going 21-6 at home. That's just better than three out of every four. Impossible? Nope. Unlikely? Sure.   The point is, obviously, they really need to play better ALL THE WAY down the stretch - both at home and the road - to give themselves a reasonable chance. If the season ended now - and the Jays finished 12 games under on the road - yep, they'd miss the playoffs. ... Fortunately, there's still ball to play.
Chuck - Monday, August 06 2007 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#172607) #

Even though he has a 5-6 record, his peripherals are as good or better than those of Roy Halladay who has a 12-5 record. 

Halladay: 0.6 HR/9, 1.9 BB/9, 6.1 K/9, .309 BABIP
Burnett: 1.4 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 10.1 K/9, .276 BABIP

Burnett only "wins" in K/9. Burnett's superior H/9 (not shown) is partly a function of his superior K/9 (fewer balls in play should mean fewer hits allowed) and partly a function of his superior BABIP, which speaks more to chance than skill(league average is around .290).

As per BP's Expected W-L calculation,  Halladay should be 8.9-7.3, Burnett 6.0-5.7.

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