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It's early days yet, but that Evil Ghost that haunted 2005 seems to have risen from the old crypt and is loose in the Rogers Centre again.


That would be whichever malevolent spirit it is that requires that the Blue Jays lose at least two of every three close games they play in. After a month and a couple of days, the Jays sport a 3-8 record in one-run games. They've scored more runs than the Orioles and given up fewer. But Baltimore has the exact opposite record - the Orioles are 8-3 in one-run games - which is why they're ahead of Toronto in the standings.

It could always be worse - Seattle's lost 8 of 9 one-run games, and Atlanta's yet to win a single one, despite being in nine of them. But it's irritating nonetheless.

In 2005, of course, the Blue Jays became just the third team in history to outscore the opposition by more than 70 runs over the course of the season, yet still post a losing record. There are now four, as the 2006 Cleveland Indians achieved the same depressing feat. This happened just twice in the previous century, to the Cincinnati Reds in 1955 and 1958.

None of these teams were good in one-run games - how could they be, after all? As it happens, the 1955 Reds, who went 17-21 in one-run games, were the best of this Gang of Four in close games. And none were worse than the 2005 Jays, who lost 31 of 47.

At the time I said with verve and confidence that this was a one year fluke. Bizarre swings in a team's record in one-run games are largely a matter of random chance. Luck. A roll of the dice. And that's not something that persists from year to year. And time told the tale - in 2006, the Blue Jays were a very impressive 20-10 in one-run games, and in 2007, they went 29-25.

But as you can imagine, that grisly 16-31 mark in one-run games in 2005 prompted me to give the matter a closer look. While it has long been generally understood that random chance really does provide the only reasonable explanation for the phenomena, it did seem worth the trouble to investigate some other possibilities. But the teams that do well in one-run games have nothing else in common; some have a good bullpen, but some don't; some have good hitters off the bench, but some don't; some have shrewd and experienced managers, but some don't; some have offenses built around the home run, but some don't; some like to play small ball, but some don't. They have nothing in common, except their luck.

And similarly the teams that do badly in one-run games have nothing else in common either. some of them have good bullpens, some of them have good hitters off the bench, some of them have shrewd and experienced managers, some of them have offenses built around the home run, some of them like to play small ball. And some of them don't. They also have nothing in common, except their luck.

Well, we resist as vigorously as we can the notion that in the end so much of this comes down to a roll of the dice, random chance. Luck!

It is, however, by far the most reasonable explanation. Think about it. You don't lose by eight runs because you didn't catch a break - you lose by eight runs because you weren't very good that day. But the breaks of the day can cause you to win (or lose) by one run - when the game is close, when two well-matched teams (and at this level, all the teams are reasonably well-matched, from worst to first) both give a quality performance, anything can happen.

This is because the impact of random chance is sufficient to overwhelm the impact of overall quality.

We resist the notion anyway. It seems such a cop-out - instead of identifying and understanding what has happened and why, we're supposed to throw in the towel? Surely we can do better than that?

More subtly, the notion that random chance plays so crucial a role in the fortunes of the team simply slams a stone wall in front of our own pretensions to explain everything, and account for everything. There's no explaining how the dice are going to roll, there's no understanding it. It cuts us off - we have to let go, and watch what happens. The game can not be controlled, or predicted, or understood.

I nicked today's title from a story by the great Roger Angell, in the course of which he makes the following neat observation on George Steinbrenner:

What makes any hard-fought, well-played game so attractive and interesting is the perfect unpredictability of the outcome when a player is up at the plate or on the pitcher's mound.... But Mr Steinbrenner doesn't appear to find any pleasure in that moment; in fact, he can hardly bear it when his carefully selected, highly paid athletes actually have to go out there and play, and he and they and all the rest of us must wait to find out what will happen.

We have to surrender, too. It is irksome to suppress our inner Steinbrenner and acknowledge that there simply are things we can not know and can not account for. But we had best do so, or this game will drive us as crazy as it's driven Boss George.

It's not about character. Retired ball players often like to say that character is why a player succeeds, and I have no doubt that they believe what they're saying. Why wouldn't they? If their success was because of their superior character, it lets them persist in believing that they are superior human beings rather than people who lucked out in the genetic lottery. But baseball is not a game where you're more likely to succeed if you dig down deep and find a way to try harder than the other guy.

Baseball's a game where you're more likely to fail if you do that.
5 May 2008: Pluck and Luck | 128 comments | Create New Account
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robertdudek - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 04:10 AM EDT (#184338) #
I calculated BaseRuns for all Blue Jays batters with 40+PA (not including Sunday):

First Last Tm PA BaseRuns per PA
Alex I Rios TOR 128      21.93      0.171
Matt Stairs TOR 88      11.95      0.136
Vernon Wells TOR 132      17.76      0.135
Gregg Zaun TOR 88      11.23      0.128
Lyle Overbay TOR 117      14.28      0.122
Aaron W Hill TOR 132      15.90      0.120
Frank Thomas TOR 72        7.93      0.110
Marco Scutaro TOR 82        8.77      0.107
David Eckstein TOR 126      13.27      0.105
Shannon Stewart TOR 76        7.24      0.095
Rod Barajas TOR 48        4.39      0.091
























































robertdudek - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 04:13 AM EDT (#184339) #
Same list for pitchers (not including Sunday):

First Last Tm Base Runs IP BR/9IP
Shaun M Marcum TOR        13.8        40.0        3.10
Roy Halladay TOR        17.9        49.7        3.23
Dustin M McGowan TOR        17.8        35.3        4.54
Jesse Litsch TOR        18.6        33.3        5.03
A.J. Burnett TOR        21.6        37.3        5.21
David K Purcey TOR          2.7          4.3        5.71
     


Jesse C Carlson TOR          3.8        14.0        2.43
Brian Tallet TOR          4.3        12.0        3.22
Scott Downs TOR          8.6        13.0        5.95
Jeremy Accardo TOR          7.1        10.0        6.39
Jason Frasor TOR          3.1          8.3        3.34
Brian T Wolfe TOR          4.4          7.3        5.41
B.J. Ryan TOR          2.6          7.0        3.39
Shawn A Camp TOR          0.4          4.0        0.84
Brandon P League TOR          2.1          2.7        7.15
Randy D Wells TOR          0.0          1.0        0.32


robertdudek - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 04:21 AM EDT (#184340) #
I've long thought that a team's record in one-run games is of extremely limited usefulness in understanding baseball.

What is far more interesting is comparing a team's actual record to that which the team would have compiled had the game ended after 6 or 7 innings (with tied games counted as half a win). This will give you a better indication of teams that are able to bring the win home, those that are good comeback teams and those that blow more leads. Additionally, you ought to be able to tell if it is the offense or defense that is more responsible for poor or excellent late inning performance.

These data are obtainable from the Retrosheet game logs, but it takes some work to extract them.

scottt - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#184341) #
The current record is just a factor of the great starting pitching, under average offense and up-and-down bullpen.



AWeb - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#184343) #
The Jays have one clear problem so far this year: their horrific runners in scoring position performance so far this year.  They are putting up a .213/.303/.300 line in 342 PAs - this is a full .104 OPS behind the next worse (Tampa) in that situation, and .160 behind the league average. For a variety of reasons, teams usually do slightly better with runners in scoring position - but not the 2008 Jays. Opponents have been held way down (.643) in those situations too, but not quite as far. Overall the Jays have a .695 OPS (think Zaun and Eckstein filling an entire lineup, and remember that with RISP, it's more like McDonald and Stewart), and are allowing a .697 OPS.

The reasons teams stink in close games might depend on random chance and the little breaks, but I think it's pretty clear that the "little things" that are going against the Jays this year mostly involve a total lack of "clutch" hitting (i.e., some liners finders gloves, no bloops dropping in, and XB power at all). Heck, other teams have booted a few easy plays this year allowing the Jays to win as many as they have.
Mike Green - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#184344) #
If you break the season down into 16 game pieces, we have just finished the second of ten.  The club is on pace for 76 wins, but the Pythagorean would have them at 88 wins. 

With the starters being healthy and the league environment being more favourable to pitchers, the club is getting over 6 and 1/2 innings average out of Halladay, McGowan, Burnett, Marcum and Litsch.  It really is difficult to give 7 relief pitchers enough work to cover less than 2 and 1/2 innings per night, leaving aside days off.  The result is that Brandon League rusted early in the season and Tallet especially and Frasor are rusting now.  They could put the roster spot to good use...

Ryeguy - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#184347) #
I agree with you Mike. The Jays definitly could use to trim the bullpen down a man, as Wilner has been pulling for recently. If I had my druthers, I would bring back up Coats so we can actually have a real speed guy off the bench. Something the Jays are majorly lacking.
tstaddon - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#184350) #
Have to say I agree with the notion of bringing up another man for the bench, the ways the starters are going. Perhaps it will be wise to evaluate Carlson further, but the way he's going -- and the way he can throw more than an inning at a time -- makes Tallet somewhat redundant. His arbitration dollars will be increasing every year, too, and with Downs locked up (and Romero still developing), perhaps he could be spun for a platoon outfielder if Lind continues to scuffle (more on that in a moment). I wonder if the Cubs need a lefty...
Leigh - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#184352) #
While reading about luck and the record in one-run games and 2005, etc., I could hear Ricky Jay's voice in my head (from Magnolia):

...and it is in the humble opinion of this
narrator that this is not just "Something
That Happened." This cannot be "One of those
things..." This, please, cannot be that.
And for what I would like to say, I can't.
This Was Not Just A Matter Of Chance.
Ohhhh. These strange things happen all the time. 
tstaddon - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#184353) #
Was at the game yesterday. Here are a handful of observations:
-Halladay was really locked in. Outside of that four batter stretch in the fourth inning, the only time anyone even made quality contact on him was Quentin in the 3rd. He threw the cutter at 89/90 all game long, but then in the 7th when he needed a little extra, he dialed the four-seamer up to 92. Many of us have speculated that Halladay may not throw his heater at full velocity. For me, this seemed to confirm it.
-Swisher and Thome looked brutal against Carlson. The league may catch up to him, as he's only a two-pitch arm with average stuff. But his BJ-esque sling-shot delivery really threw them. With two strikes, Thome was even cheating on Carlson's fastball and had to check his swing when it was a slider. I was impressed.
-I still think Accardo's nursing an injury. Almost no splitters all season... not pushing the ball past anybody... almost no strikeouts... and Konkero/Dye hit the ball hard against him. I worry.
-Eckstein should never be in the game in the 9th inning. He's already made six errors. We wouldn't think that was acceptable if Hill had run up six already... but for Eckstein to do it? Brutal. Riddle me this, Gibby/JP: if you're willing to bring your closer in for the 9th inning, why wouldn't you bring in a player whose role is basically Defensive Closer. It's senseless.
-speaking of Eckstein, I actually like him. But Overbay should be hitting second. Great OBP, bad power, but at least --some-- presence to slot in behind Rios. Eckstein would make an excellent ninth hitter. Get him there.
-Finally, Adam Lind. I think he's got everything to be a sort of Paul O'Neill-light out there. But yesterday at least, he looked absolutely lost. Hard to believe for a guy with almost 400 major league at bats. Granted, Contreras is a wily, crafty veteran with a lot of different looks and pitches. But Adam looked rough. And he wasn't good in left, either. That fly out that ended the 7th was a Manny-esque adventure. Here's hoping he can pick up some confidence against the Rays' righties this week. Otherwise, we might be hard pressed justify the next hundred plate appearances.

nanook - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#184354) #
I can't believe Adam Lind can't hit. If you look at his numbers, he figures it out and is eventually dominant at every level he's played.
I'm not laying Lind's struggles at the feet of Gary Denbo, but he was an interesting choice as hitting coach, to say the least.
I've read good things about him, but JP doesn't seem to hire anyone with a monster reputation. Is he afraid to be upstaged, or are guys with superb resumes just too expensive for what is still a team that is careful with its money?


dogbus - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#184355) #

It boggles my mind that Eckstein is still our starting shortshop.   The last shortstop the Blue Jays employeed who made this many costly errors, this early was a fellow named Russ Adams.    The only difference is that at this time in 2005 Russ had made only 5 errors, while Eckstein has now made 6. (And is on track for roughly 36, as oppose to Russ Adams' 26 from 2005). 

Eckstein is currently hitting .246/.317/.316 and yesterday made the game alot closer than it had to be. 

It is well documented that John McDonald's glove makes up for his bat. 

Free Johnny Mac.

ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#184356) #
I've read good things about him, but JP doesn't seem to hire anyone with a monster reputation. Is he afraid to be upstaged, or are guys with superb resumes just too expensive for what is still a team that is careful with its money?

I think that's a really unfair comment.  Coaches don't receive much publicity or anything, so it's hard to find too many that the average fan would know.  With that said, each of the following had a very good reputation before joining the Jays organization:
  • Arnsberg - an architect of the Marlins pitching staff
  • Butterfield - his defensive coaching through the DBacks, which has been hugely strengthened since he came to the Jays (developing two gold-glove caliber 2B will do that)
  • Denbo - minor league hitting instructor that developed most of the Yankees
I think it's without bias to say that Butterfield and Arnsberg are among the top 5 at what they coach (pitching and infield defense respectively).
ayjackson - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#184359) #
The RC radar must be a couple of ticks slower than the RSN radar.  RSN had Doc's cutter at 91-92 and his sinker at 94.  I didn't see him throw any four-seamers.  He had a nice change working as well at about 87mph.  Doc has a nice curveball, too, apparently.
ayjackson - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#184360) #

While on the subject of spitch speeds, I noted that RSN had Litsch clocked for one four-seamer at 94mph and the next pitch at 91.  This didn't seem likely the usual 100mph-curveball-glitch.  Can any of the Pitch FXers confirm this?

Even being able to show 91 on occasion could really help Litsch.

AWeb - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#184361) #
I saw the same thing and went looking for pitch speeds elsewhere. I saw CBS sportsline, which does a pitch location/speed tracker in game, had Litsch reaching above 90 a few times, but nothing above 91 that I saw. Assuming the 91 was valid (94 is a bit of a stretch for Litsch), it would be great news for him if he can dial it up like that. RSn definitely has a fast gun - I saw several 95-96 mph readings on Halladay, which I think is a bit much for him. Maybe RSN bought that Fox radar gun from when the Tigers made the World Series that had everyone, even todd Jones and Kenny Rogers, punching in at 95 mph+.
Mike Green - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#184363) #
Butterfield is unquestionably among the top 5 at his craft.  He might be the best. 

Evaluating Arnsberg is much more difficult.  Some pitchers have thrived under his tutelage; others not.  The injury record of pitchers under his care is so-so.  Both the Marlin organization of 7 years ago and the Blue Jay organization of today invested significant player development resources (especially high draft picks) in pitching, and so it is not enough to simply look at team ERA+.

Dewey - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#184366) #
... the notion that random chance plays so crucial a role in the fortunes of the team simply slams a stone wall in front of our own pretensions to explain everything, and account for everything. There's no explaining how the dice are going to roll, there's no understanding it. It cuts us off - we have to let go, and watch what happens. The game can not be controlled, or predicted, or understood.

Superb piece, Magpie.  (Notice how assiduously us devoted Bauxites have been avoiding your central point?)  It's a game played by humans, on a field of play.  Not in our heads or on a computer screen. 
Ryeguy - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#184368) #
I was at the game Sunday. The fastest pitch i saw on the gun, granted i didn't look every pitch, was 94 in the first inning.
dan gordon - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#184369) #

Regarding the idea that luck is the main determining factor in 1 run games, I remember in one of Bill James' Abstracts, he said that the old adage that good teams win the close games is (as is often the case with old baseball adages) completely the opposite of what the facts reveal.  Good teams win the blowouts, while the outcomes of close games are largely due to luck.  If you think about it, it makes sense.  If a team is winning a lot of games by 6,7,8 runs, and not losing many by that much, they're probably a pretty good team.  I have used that info to good effect in baseball fantasy pools.  Many think that closers on weak teams are not nearly as valuable as closers on good teams because they don't get many save chances.  While they do get fewer than those on good teams, the difference isn't nearly as great as people think, because when poor teams win it is often because they are just squeeking by, and winning close games, and when good teams win, it often is by a lot of runs and there is no save opportunity.

Regarding the radar gun readings, I read many years ago that there are 2 very different types of radar guns, and they will give different readings.  One type reads the velocity of the pitch when the ball leaves the pitcher's hand, when the ball is travelling at its' peak velocity.  The other takes the average of the velocity during the entire distance from pitcher's hand to catcher's glove.  Since a pitch gradually loses some velocity during its' flight, this type of radar gun will give you a lower velocity.  I believe they indicated that the difference was about 2 mph on average.

Timbuck2 - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#184370) #
Evaluating Arnsberg is much more difficult. Some pitchers have thrived under his tutelage; others not. The injury record of pitchers under his care is so-so. Both the Marlin organization of 7 years ago and the Blue Jay organization of today invested significant player development resources (especially high draft picks) in pitching, and so it is not enough to simply look at team ERA+.

That could simply be because some pitchers are much more receptive to his advice then others.  And that could explain Toronto's recent success with relief pitchers grabbed off of the scrap pile.  Those guys are desperate to get back to the majors, thus becoming very receptive to Arnsberg's instruction.  I think that Shawn Camp is a perfect example of this.  He was taught how to throw the changeup this spring by Brad and has been very effective with it so far.

Speaking of relief pitching - Anyone heard how Armando Benitez is doing these days?
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#184372) #
Speaking of relief pitching - Anyone heard how Armando Benitez is doing these days?

I'm rather certain he's still recovering from that leg injury a while back.  He hasn't pitched in about 3 weeks or so.

I'm not really interested in diving into a debate about the merits of Arnsberg, my point was, and still is, that JP doesn't shy away from hiring well-respected coaches.

Managers - perhaps - but he seems to go after the best coaches that are available.
ayjackson - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#184375) #
Arnsberg's calling card with the Jays seems to be the sinker.  Maybe it's Doc's influence but there seem to be a disproportionate number of Jays finding success with it.  I attribute Janssen's and Dustin's success to the two-seamer.  AJ seems to be converting over to it.  Jesse has been working on it alot.  It is a pitch that bores down and in to right-handers and it seems to induce a lot of grounders.
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#184376) #
Speaking of pitchers, Bob Elliot has a very complimentary article on Marcum today.  No real insight is provided, but there are some pretty impressive quotes from anonymous scouts.  Take them for what any anonymous quote is worth, but here they are:
  • "Some guys have the ability to spot pitches. This kid can dot," one scout was saying yesterday. "I'd pay my way into the park to see him pitch.
  • "I read where a guy compared him to Greg Maddux," said White Sox coach Harold Baines
  • Earlier this year, a scout compared Marcum's now-you-see it, now-you-don't success at keeping hitters off stride to a right-handed Tom Glavine.
I just added him in my fantasy league (the RP eligibility adds some nice flexibility), so I'm doubly hoping he lives up to any of those compliments.
uglyone - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#184377) #

The Jays have one clear problem so far this year: their horrific runners in scoring position performance so far this year.  They are putting up a .213/.303/.300 line in 342 PAs - this is a full .104 OPS behind the next worse (Tampa) in that situation, and .160 behind the league average. For a variety of reasons, teams usually do slightly better with runners in scoring position - but not the 2008 Jays. Opponents have been held way down (.643) in those situations too, but not quite as far. Overall the Jays have a .695 OPS (think Zaun and Eckstein filling an entire lineup, and remember that with RISP, it's more like McDonald and Stewart), and are allowing a .697 OPS.

 

What I find interesting  this year so far is that we have an example of THE EXACT OPPOSITE occuring down in Oakland.

Oakland and Toronto have both been slightly below average in overall hitting so far this year.....Oakland ranks 9th with a .707ops, and Toronto ranks 10th with a .695ops. Yet somehow Oakland ranks 3rd in runs with 159, and Toronto is 3rd WORST with 130. Obviously, the difference comes in the area you noted - hitting w/RISP. Oakland is the best hitting team with RISP with an .860ops, while Toronto is the worst hititng team with RISP with a laughable .603ops.

It'll be interesting to see if these turn out to be simple small sample size aberrations, or if they continue for much of the season.

HollywoodHartman - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#184378) #
Clutch is the new Moneyball?
Mike Green - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#184379) #
The A's went .240/.340/.392 with runners in scoring position in 2007, while the Jays went .274/.348/.439 in 2007.  My bet is that both will regress over the rest of 2008, with regression being a good thing here in Toronto.
Mylegacy - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#184380) #

Elliot's article on Marcum was wonderful. Being compared to Maddus and Glavine - wow.

On May 3rd I wrote: "I'd rather watch Marcum pitch than any other of our starters. The guy throws nasty sh*t than goes 90 degrees to the left or the right - depending on what he wants to do. I love this guy. He really only had one weakness - the long ball... but he seems to have that under control big time. Quietly - Shaun is becoming an ACE! "

On a team with Halladay, AJ and McGowan - Shaun has been able to learn his craft in the relative obscurity of the number 4 pitcher slot. I imagine that has contributed to his climb as well - the knowledge that he could develop, knowing the team wanted him to be great but didn't need him to be great. As he becomes great, and gradually moves into the number 2 spot, we look like a team that could dominate in the play-offs -- IF we can get there!

AWeb - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#184381) #
I don't think there's any way Toronto can continue to so greatly underperform with RISP - I would assume that the current level of underperformance would be historic if it happened for 6 months instead of just one. I mean, to get to where they are, Toronto had a 11-100 stretch...that's beyond just bad, that's worse than most pitchers manage, on a level with "random guy who played HS baseball 20 years ago gets to bat". Until recently, I thought the most frustrating part was that they didn't even seem to be hitting the ball hard in those situations....weak grounders and popups for everyone! The thing is with Toronto's general lack of HR power (especially with Thomas gone, and Lind scuffling), they can't score any other way - it's hitting with RISP or nothing.

It's flukey, and frustrating, and is no more likely to continue from now than it was to happen in the first place. I keep hoping for Rios to turn it around - he's been pretty terrible again this year with RISP, just like last year. Of course, in 2006, he was the best hitter in those spots on the team. Maybe the last year and 1/6th of splits have convinced Gibbons that leadoff is the best place for Rios, at least until he proves himself able to 
uglyone - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#184383) #

I think it's obvious that it's "in their heads", and it was last year, and it still is. When they're up with RISP, they're fully aware of how bad they are in that situation, and they seem unable to deal with that pressure.

Not sure if that counts as an "intangible" or not.

ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#184384) #
Jacque Jones has been DFAd.  He might be an interesting pick-up as a 4th OF if Stewart / Lind don't turn things around.

Jones definitely isn't worth trading for by giving anything up, but he's usually been able to hit righties well and can play all three outfield spots.  If he comes at major-league minimum, he would be a nice fit I think.  At the same time, I wonder if the Cubs will pick him up so that they can have a CF?

If he's willing to come as a minor-leaguer, I say to sign him at the end of the 10 days.  At a minimum, I'd rather have Jones as a call-up than Coates.
Flex - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#184386) #
Regarding Marcum, lately I've read a couple of stories, including Elliot's, that describe him as 5 foot 9. But he sure as heck looks a lot taller than that, and both Yahoo Sports and ESPN.com and the Jays official web site list him as six feet. So where is this 5' 9" business coming from, other than shoddy reporting?
scottt - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#184387) #
I keep hoping for Rios to turn it around - he's been pretty terrible again this year with RISP, just like last year.

Actually, he hasn't been that bad.

Stewart, Stairs, Overbay and Zaun have been terrible.

Eckstein has been great.

Batting average with bases empty, runners on base, RISP, RISP-2outs

Eckstein: .232 .267 .303 .455
Rios: .281 .339 .241 .200
Stewart: .256 .185 .154 .400
Stairs: .340 .265  .214 .125
Overbay: 300 .200  .125 .000
Zaun: .279 .235 .160 .000
tstaddon - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#184388) #
If recently DFA'd outfielders are what you seek, then I'd hope that Jason Michaels and Brad Wilkerson would pique your interest before Jacque Jones.
Jdog - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#184389) #
Your starting shortstop David Eckstein is batting in the 9 hole tonight....hallelujah
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#184390) #
If recently DFA'd outfielders are what you seek, then I'd hope that Jason Michaels and Brad Wilkerson would pique your interest before Jacque Jones.

I think Jones is one of those guys that was so overrated for so long and people spent so much time saying that he wasn't that good that now he's underrated.

I don't see Wilkerson as all that better than Jones - Wilkerson is better against lefties in his career (slightly worse against righties though), and is better getting on-base, but doesn't have the power, speed, or defense that Jones has.  I see them as equivalent players in value, but with different abilities.  The last 3 (full) years, their OPS+ are:
  • Wilkerson: 103, 86, 104
  • Jones: 98, 108, 87
That's almost identical over the 3 years (they've averaged the same OPS+ during that time).

As for Jason Michaels, I'm quite curious why you'd put him in the category of the other two.  His only skill used to be getting on base, but he's completely lost that ability.  I'd actually wonder if he needs eye surgery or something as it's been a pretty dramatic drop-off - and losing the ability to draw walks is something that shouldn't happen that early in a career.  Michaels would be useful as right-handed bat, but I still think this team is in bigger need of people that can hit righties than lefties.

With the way we've been hitting lefties so far this year, I could be wrong, but I chalk that up to sample size.
ramone - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#184391) #
Good to see Eckstein batting 9th, not so sure I like stewart batting 2nd though.  Lind sitting against a righty, has Gibby already seen enough?
Greg - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#184392) #

I don't think anything was in the Jays head in 2007

Jays RISP: .276/.348/.439
League RISP: .275/.356/.424
Jays Total: .259/.327/.419

The Jays were slightly better than average RISP in terms of OPS, and MUCH better than their overall line.

I have no doubt that intangible mental issues arise with players, and some will often go through periods when they "press".  But the notion that an entire team could have something in their heads preventing them from hitting with RISP seems dubious to me.  Especially when RISP was one of the few strengths the Jays had in 2007.  I'm fairly confident that Jays RISP stats will not vary much from normal by the end of the year.

RISP stats are odd I find.  They clearly are crucial to winning games, but they seem to have very little predictive value.  RISP heroes one day are RISP goats the next.

Greg - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#184394) #
I certainly don't have the intelligence to run something like this

But I'd be interested to see whether past BA in general would be a better predicter of RISP BA, than past RISP BA.
Magpie - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#184395) #
Gibbons is probably reacting to the batter-pitchup matchups (he believes in them, just like Earl Weaver before him.) Eckstein is 1-11 against Vazquez. Stewart is 7-20 withy a coup-le of homers.

However, thge cleanup hitter (Stairs) is 1-21 against Vazquez. Yikes. Hill is 0-8, Wells 4-29.

uglyone - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#184396) #

nice to see Eck in the 9-hole, at least until he gets hot.

Stewart seems to have been waking up a bit at the plate the last couple of times out - this might be a good move.

85bluejay - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#184397) #

The Jays have announced Shannon Stewart as the everyday leftfelder - a quick hook on Adam Lind - I hope lind

doesn't sit on the bench, he is better off playing everyday in Syracuse. - pick up Jacques jones or bring

up Inglett/Coats for bench duty. Don"t let Lind rust on the bench.

Glad to see Eckstein batting 9th, now have Mcdonald as a late inning defensive replacement.

ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#184398) #
Lind sitting against a righty, has Gibby already seen enough?

Who knows - he could be sitting because:
  • Lind's neck is acting up again
  • some other minor injury
  • there is a a really tough pitcher on the mound (Vazquez) who doesn't have any real split difference to speak of
  • they're working on something in the cages and he wants Lind to have more swings before going out again
  • Lind looks like he needs a break
  • any one of numerous other reasons to sit the guy
I think day-to-day roster decisions get criticized too much given the lack of information observers have.  Until baseball publishes publish football-like injury lists, I think you have to rely on the longer term view, and 6 of 9 or even 3 of 6 (Lind's recent playing time) is not so limited that Gibby has something to justify.  Once Lind only plays in something like 3 of 9 games or 20 of 40, then I think we have a legitimate reason to question roster decisions.
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#184399) #
The Jays have announced Shannon Stewart as the everyday leftfelder

Of course if the Jays say something like this, then you can also question their roster decisions.  I hadn't heard that - sorry.

I wish they never brought him up - the guy showed all last year he wasn't ready and a few weeks in Syracuse shouldn't have changed anything.  Especially a few weeks where he still didn't look like anything more than the lefty bat in a platoon.
ramone - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#184400) #
I feel a minor trade or pickup for another outfielder coming, with Lind getting regualar at bats again in Syracuse.
Magpie - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#184401) #
By the way - the White Sox are carrying eight arms in the bullpen. With Joe Crede scratched tonight (the announcement said "migraine-like symptoms"), Ozzie's entire bench consists of A.J. Pierzynski and Brian Anderson.
uglyone - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#184402) #

I really don't know if putting Lind back in AAA will do him any good. We all know he can hit at AAA. He seems to have a block at the MLB level, though. Don't think it'll do the team any good either, not for performance or for trade value.

Maybe it's time to try a different strategy - see if he can build up some confidence hitting in limited bench at bats in only favorable matchups, and go from there.

scottt - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#184403) #
Wrong shortstop in the 9th spot.

Eckstein is .091 .167 .091 against vasquez, McDonald is .429 .500 .571

Stewart in left is probably the right call.
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#184404) #
Ozzie's entire bench consists of A.J. Pierzynski and Brian Anderson.

Too bad it's not hockey, football, lacrosse, or some other such sport where attrition / fatigue advantages can more easily be exploited.  At least it should make bullpen strategy rather straight forward.
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#184405) #
Some good news on BJ today ... he's been cleared by doctors to pitch on consecutive days now.

Also a very curious comment by Gibbons about Stewart hitting 2nd ...

That's where he's hit most of his career and he's been successful every year he's played.

I hope that quote misrepresents Gibbons.  Gibbons hopefully was saying that Stewart has hit at the top of the order most of his career ... as Stewart has hit in the 2nd spot half as often as he's hit third and nowhere near as often as he's hit leadoff.
Magpie - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#184406) #
Fifteen minutes to game time. Aaron Hill and Shannon Stewart are running wind sprints in shallow left field. A trainer is stretching Lyle Overbay  into shapes I will never form. Now Stewart is running sideways from the third base foul line into shallow centre., and Eckstein's come out to play catch with Hill...

I always get a kick out of this stuff!
uglyone - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#184407) #

yeah, it's definitely not the two-hole that Shannon feels most comfortable in.

but there is a surprisingly clear argument that he's at home in the 1-hole...based on his splits from that slot, acknowlegding the ridiculously small sample size this year:

  • 2008: 11ab, .884ops (.589ops total)
  • 2007: 434ab, .753ops (.739ops total)
  • 2006: 141ab, .731ops (.715ops total)
  • 2005: 517ab, .726ops (.711ops  total)
  • 05-07: 1092ab, .738ops (.724ops total)
  • 2004: 378ab, .827ops (.827ops total)
  • 2003: 573ab, .822ops (.823ops total)
  • 2002: 520ab, .839ops (.813ops total)

not a huge difference....but a consistent one.

Thomas - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#184409) #
Maybe it's time to try a different strategy - see if he can build up some confidence hitting in limited bench at bats in only favorable matchups, and go from there.

I'd rather send Lind down to Syracuse, as I don't feel comfortable with Stewart as the everyday LF if the team is trying to get back to .500 and contending. I'd rather find another bat to get some time at LF/DH. If they're not going to use Lind there, let's find someone else.

Also, we Bauxites have some work to do on our internet campaigning if victory results in 19 at-bats and then a spot on the bench.

Mike Green - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#184410) #
I don't know who is responsible for the handling of Lind, but whoever it is should immediately be shown the door.  If this constitutes what Gibbons or Ricciardi or somebody else thinks is a reasonable shot for a young player, they just don't get it. I know that he has looked bad since he arrived and there is only so long you can wait, but six games is not the right answer to the question.

 A bunch of things would have to go right for the Jays to make the playoffs, and one of them would have been Lind performing as he possibly can.
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#184411) #
Whatever your thoughts on Lind, the bench has to be a bad spot for him and the team.

What use is a 5th OF who ...
  • is a mediocre defender
  • has no speed
  • is on the bench primarily because the manager doesn't believe in his hitting
Unless this is a plan to ease him out for a week or so and then start to play him more after Denbo's had some work with him, I can't see any benefit to the team or Lind of having Lind on the bench in the majors.

Ryan Day - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#184412) #
I hate this offence. But man, I love the pitching.
John Northey - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#184413) #
Well, Lind is really the 4th outfielder now, with Rios/Wells/Stewart starting and Stairs is the DH.

Lind now will play whenever Rios/Wells/Stewart/Stairs/Overbay needs a day off.  Stairs and Stewart will probably get a day every two weeks while the rest need a day a month at minimum.  That works out to 7 games out of 30, or 23% plus any extra time off those guys get.  Scutaro should only play 3B while going into the outfield/DH/1B if an injury happens or if he is pinch running for Stairs/Overbay while McDonald backs up Hill/Eckstein. 

In truth this is a good use of resources if you feel Lind is destined to never be more than a 4th outfielder, which the Jays seem to feel and, given his age and situation could be all Lind will be unless something changes quickly (ie: he figures out how to hit major league pitching like he figured out minor league pitching).

Last year Lind was poor in the majors, this year he has looked worse.  Maybe he is one of those guys who never will figure out the majors.  However, playing him in AAA when we know what his skills are seems a waste.  Give him 1 out of 4 starts and some extra pinch hitting for Eck or Barajas or Stewart whenever possible.  If he comes around then give him more starts vs RHP over Stewart.  However, more time at AAA won't tell us if he can hit major league pitching.  Now is the time for Lind and if 4th outfielder is all he'll be, so be it.

scottt - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#184414) #
I can't imagine how things would be if the Rios for Lincecum deal had gone through. 6 good starters and no offense.
scottt - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#184415) #
Ozzie's entire bench consists of A.J. Pierzynski and Brian Anderson.

Too bad it's not hockey, football, lacrosse, or some other such sport where attrition / fatigue advantages can more easily be exploited.  At least it should make bullpen strategy rather straight forward.

And yet, Gibbons brings a right handed pitcher to face Toby Hall with Pierzynski on the bench.
uglyone - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#184416) #

quick update:

  • S.Stewart: .666ops
  • R.Johnson: .670ops

 

.....................and JOHNNY MAC IS IN THE GAME!

scottt - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#184417) #
It's too bad JOHNNY MAC can't defend against walks.
jsut - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#184418) #
Ryan channel Batista for that save.
scottt - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#184419) #
First 4 game sweep of the White Sox in Blue Jays history and it wasn't easy.
Mylegacy - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#184420) #
I know the Lady wore Red - but no question tonight Lady Luck was in the house and she was wearing Blue Jay Blue. Has the relentless, never ending, soul destroying run of bad luck, or no luck, finally turned? Oh - let it be.
Mike D - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#184421) #
They gone.
Cracka - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#184422) #
That's why you pay $47 million for a closer -- he clearly wasn't on his game tonight and it sure looked like he was more worried about balking than throwing strikes...  but he got 'er done in the end.  
Alex Obal - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#184423) #
April choking brings May intangibles.

It rhymes.
westcoast dude - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#184424) #
The exorcist's bill is in the mail.
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#184425) #
John - I can see where you're coming from, but I don't think you give up a roster spot for someone so that they can develop into the 4th OF role.

There are guys available for major league minimum that are already capable of playing the 4th OF role.  These players are available every year.  If that's the best that Lind can be, we should send him down and put in someone like Jones, Wilkerson, or someone else that is already at the 4th OF level.
Frank Markotich - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#184426) #

Watching the Blue Jays this year takes me back to 1968.

I was at the game tonight, and before the top of the 9th the infielders were throwing the ball around, and the shortstop absolutely gunned a throw to first from shallow left field. I thought, geez, Eckstein can throw better than I thought.

As for Lind, if they're not going to use him he should probably go back down, though he doesn't have anything left to prove at AAA. Still, he wasn't hitting (I know, I know, it's only a few games) and when the offence is struggling you have to show something. There's a fine line between showing patience and having some expectations of a player. If Lind is too fragile to cope for a little while, then so be it. If he stays up, he'll get another shot.

 

grjas - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#184427) #
While winning 5 in a row has certainly been a treat, it is tough to say they've turned the corner. In the last 5 games of their recent losing streak, they scored the whopping total of 15 runs. In the 5 games of their current winning streak, they have scored the whopping total of ... wait for it... 15 runs.

Come on guys the offence isn't really this anemic, is it?

(But man, gotta love the pitching!)

robertdudek - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#184428) #
For a player like Lind, getting 10 PA a week in the majors is better for his development than playing everyday in Syracuse.
ayjackson - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#184429) #

For a player like Lind, getting 10 PA a week in the majors is better for his development than playing everyday in Syracuse.

I couldn't agree more, Robert.  Adam has nothing left to prove in the Minors.  He has to learn to hit in the majors.  It's a confidence thing right now for him, I believe, and I think the Jays have decided that he should get it back gradually from the 4th outfielder role.  I concur.

timpinder - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#184430) #

Putting Lind on the bench is the wrong thing to do.  He really didn't look bad until yesterday when he repeatedly whiffed at the forkball.  He hit the ball hard a few times during his first few games but didn't have any hits to show for it.  The Jays should have given Lind a chance to work his way out of it, like they did with Hill in 2005.  And where would McGowan be right now if the Jays gave him the hook after his first few starts last year when he struggled out of the gate?  This is another bad move, and I agree that Lind has no place on the bench.  He should be starting in the majors, but if Gibbons wants to go with Stewart, the "hot hitter" (.589 OPS before tonight's game), then Lind should be sent back down to AAA to play everyday.

At least Eckstein is finally hitting 9th.  It's lessening the blow.

Frank Markotich - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#184431) #

Robert, the more I think about it, the more I agree with you. Lind turns 25 in a couple of months. Going back to Syracuse won't do any good. He's proved himself there.

And the team is trying to contend this year. That takes priority over the development of Adam Lind. Mr. Lind has some responsibility to step up and show something in the opportunities he's given as we go along.

Dave Till - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#184433) #
Inspired strategy from B.J. Ryan tonight - cleverly, he walked the bases full to pitch to the guy currently not able to hit his way out of a wet paper bag with a canoe paddle. 1-2-3 double play, no problem. Had 'em all the way.

timpinder - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#184434) #

Agreed, the offence is still looking poor.  I believe that Lind could be the answer if he's allowed to play through his struggles, but I digress.

A trade is the other possible way of improving the offence.  Steve Phillips of ESPN recently suggested that the Jays should trade some pitching depth to acquire a big bat, and specifically mentioned Dunn, Hamiliton (who I didn't know was available), and Bay.  Hamilton's controlled and Bay's likely signable long term.  They could probably be had for something including Lind and Purcey/Cecil.  I know it's a hypothetical, but it got me thinking about whether or not the Jays should do something like that, especially with Burnett likely gone next year.

Magpie - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#184435) #
Gibbons brings a right handed pitcher to face Toby Hall with Pierzynski on the bench.

Absolutely wrong. Gibbons waited until Pierzynski was officially in the game as the pinch-hitter, and brought in the LH Carlson to pitch to the pinch-hitter. Pay attention.
timpinder - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#184436) #

Alright, so Lind will probably be heading back to AAA since he's not going to sit on the bench.  That's according to Ricciardi, via Jeff Blair.

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080505.blair06/GSStory/GlobeSportsBaseball/home

Lefty - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#184437) #

Seems like the team made the right call - for now - naming Stewart the starter in left. He looked like 27 year old tonight. Maybe its not true, maybe you can come home.

It would be great for him to be a real contributor to this team this season.

Adam Lind, he's never convinced me. I think with a fair bit of work he can become a decent hitter. Hey Ryan Ludwick has a big league job.

It would be nice if this team could have someone blosom in the minors this year and become a bit of a trading chip. Brandon League for instance.

Wilner is speculating he is being stretched out. Why is he being stretched out? Is the team trying to provide an insurance policy for the impending departure of AJ?

I think this kind of pitching comes around once in a blue moon. Last time it was Key, Clancy, Stieb, etc. It might be a longtime before we see the opportunity that appears to be be before us now.

Ricciardi better start working the phones for some offense and not blow this chance.

 

 

Magpie - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#184438) #
The Jays have announced Shannon Stewart as the everyday leftfelder

Not exactly, Gibbons just said he'd run with this lineup for the next few days and see what happens. He said he didn't think Adam Lind should go down, that he was sure he would start hitting.

I hope that quote misrepresents Gibbons.  Gibbons hopefully was saying that Stewart has hit at the top of the order most of his career ...

You're right, it did. Gibbons actually said that Stewart has hit in the top spots (plural) most of his career.
King Ryan - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#184439) #
Boy, that was nerve-wracking.

I know it worked, but do we really want to use Shawn Camp... he of the 5.10 career ERA and the 7.20 ERA last season ...in high leverage situations? 

I mean, talk about putting way too much stock into early performances.  Shawn Camp is a career AAAA guy who really should be nowhere near the pitching mound when the game is on the line.



Magpie - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#184440) #
do we really want to use Shawn Camp

I hear you, but... He's got a new pitch, a changeup, and that's enough (especially in short relief). He developed it this off-season. He's quite literally a different pitcher.
Greg - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#184441) #

With Wolfe hurt, Accardo not looking very good and Gibbons hating Frasor

Camp kind of seems like the top righty in the pen by default, simply by virtue of the fact that he hasn't screwed up yet.  I get the feeling we'll be seeing him a lot until he does.

Alex Obal - Monday, May 05 2008 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#184442) #
I hear you, but... He's got a new pitch, a changeup, and that's enough (especially in short relief). He developed it this off-season. He's quite literally a different pitcher.

And, most importantly of all, a new defense. Camp has always been a decent pitcher. I will not let this go!
King Ryan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#184444) #
  He's got a new pitch ...

Yes, him and every other pitcher entering spring training...
rtcaino - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 02:13 AM EDT (#184448) #
"Inspired strategy from B.J. Ryan tonight - cleverly, he walked the bases full to pitch to the guy currently not able to hit his way out of a wet paper bag with a canoe paddle. 1-2-3 double play, no problem. Had 'em all the way."

Yep, it sure is nice to have BJ back. If Janssen and League did not get injured these past years, our bull pen would be unreal. (Assuming they were both to perform at pre-injury levels.)

"I hear you, but... He's got a new pitch, a changeup, and that's enough (especially in short relief). He developed it this off-season. He's quite literally a different pitcher."

And he is looking great. I've been getting upset because he doesn't pitch more often. I keep wanting to get another look at him. Small sample size considered, his performance calls for a longer look.

IP: 4     H: 2    BB: 0    K: 5

"They could probably be had for something including Lind and Purcey/Cecil.  I know it's a hypothetical, but it got me thinking about whether or not the Jays should do something like that, especially with Burnett likely gone next year."

With Burnett potentially leaving, I'd much prefer to keep Purcey. Which is not to imply that I would relish parting ways with Cecil, or Lind, who I think should stay up in the Majors.


Question:
If A.J. opts out, what is our payroll situation looking like for this up coming off-season? Might we have the resources for a free agent splash? Possibly a one of those Big Scary Bats we yearned for in the past. IIRC, Thomas, Burnett and Eckstein come off the books, but Rios, Hill and Wells are in line for pay raises, which eat in to the available funds?
92-93 - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 02:40 AM EDT (#184449) #
Answer (fun exercise, thanks for the Q) :

Wells + 1m
Hill + 2.2m
Halladay + 4.3m
Lyle + 1.2m
Rios + 5.1m
Downs + 1.5m

Thomas/Glaus/Johnson - 10.5m
Burnett - 12m
Eckstein - 4.5m
Zaun - 3.8m
Stairs - 1.2m
Scutaro - 0.4m
Stewart - 1.5m

So by my count salaries are rising roughly 15.5m and there's around 34m coming off the books. I'm sure I'm leaving some minor things out and you will all correct me. That means JP should have at least 20m to play with, assuming only a tiny bump in payroll from Uncle Ted. LF & C might need some pickups (or Zaun/Barajas' options) but Lind/Stairs Thigpen/Diaz might be the answer by then. So what's left is all that dough for DH & SS. Rafael Furcal would look awfully nice but will not come cheaply.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 03:09 AM EDT (#184450) #
One other note from tonight's game - Shannon Stewart is still really, really fast. He doesn't have the quick first step he used to have, but once he hits top speed he's pretty damn impressive.
King Ryan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 03:40 AM EDT (#184452) #
All I'm trying to say re: Shawn Camp is that, new pitch or not, different pitcher or not, I think he needs to prove himself a bit more before he gets relied upon to retire two good batters with the tying run on base in the 8th.  I'd be much more comfortable with Accardo or Frasor in that position, struggles this year be damned.
owen - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 04:22 AM EDT (#184453) #
I think he needs to prove himself a bit more before he gets relied upon to retire two good batters with the tying run on base in the 8th.

Well, he retired two good batters with the tying run on base in the 8th.  Seems like a good way to go about proving yourself.
brent - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 05:37 AM EDT (#184454) #

game 33- WPA heroes McGowan (4)*, Camp (2), Ryan (5)            WPA let downs Eckstein (12), Rios (8), Carlson, Overbay (7)

* means over +-.300

Even batting 9th Eckstein led in negative WPA- ouch.

brent - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 06:27 AM EDT (#184455) #

Athletics Nation has a new post up about the June draft. May we have one, too. Let's keep up with the Jones'.

Paul D - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#184456) #
Do Lind and Purcey have enough value to get someone like Bay, or is that just wishful thinking on my part?  What would it take to get a deal for Bay done?  Lind, Purcey... does Thigpen have any value?
China fan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#184459) #
    It would be nice to upgrade the woeful offence by trading a surplus pitcher, but do the Jays actually have a surplus, especially among those capable of starting?  Burnett is likely to depart at the end of the season, and who replaces him?  What if Litsch regresses next season -- who steps in?  Or if there's an injury?  On the depth chart, Purcey still seems like the 6th starter, so can the Jays afford to trade him?  I'm doubtful that the team can afford it.  Banks is gone, while Chacin is still struggling and doesn't seem much of a prospect for 2009.   It would be nice if Davis Romero or Brandon League or Ricky Romero would make a run for a starting-rotation job (hell, I'd even settle for Murphy or Parrish) but I wouldn't want to count on it.  If the team traded Purcey -- even in a package with a couple other prospects -- they might not get enough of a hitter to justify the hole in the rotation in 2009.
Paul D - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#184464) #
I guess it depends on what you think of Purcey.... I don't think much of him, and don't see him as being more than a 5th starter, at best.  That's why I'd be comfortable trading him.  If you disagree, keeping him makes sense.
timpinder - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#184465) #

The Reds traded Hamilton for Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera.  Despite his history with drug addiction, Hamilton was still a solid bat and defender who was controlled.  I don't think it's too much of a stretch to suggest that the Reds would trade 4 months of Dunn for something centered around Purcey or Cecil.  In my opinion the Jays would have to sign Dunn long term, though, for the trade to be fair.  As for Bay, if the ESPN Rumor Central reports during the off-season were accurate, the Pirates weren't asking much for him at all.  However, Bay was coming off of a terrible year and now that he seems to be hitting again, his value is likely up.

Personally, I'd like the Jays to play Lind everyday.  I think he'll be a good hitter in the majors and he just needs to hit out of his slump.  His minor league stats are better than Bay's and at a younger age.  If that's not going to happen though, then I'd only like to see a trade if the Jays bring in a player they'd control for a few years like Hamilton, or a player they could likely extend, like Bay.  Giving up 6 years of someone like Purcey or Cecil for half a year of Dunn would not sit well with me.  Signing Dunn long-term would probably consume all of the $20 million per year the Jays may have to play with, and I'd rather they spend a good portion of that on a SS anyway, since Jackson (if he's the real deal) won't be ready for at least a couple of years.

It's all just speculation at this point, and teams probably won't declare themselves sellers for a while.  The Jays definitely need a bat in LF, though.  If they won't give Lind the position, then they should make a trade...........or sign Bonds.

ChicagoJaysFan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#184466) #

quick update:

  • S.Stewart: .666ops
  • R.Johnson: .670ops
What's more telling is the following:
  • S. Stewart: 86 OPS+
  • R.Johnson: 76 OPS+
Still too early to draw any conclusions on this, but if they end up providing similar value - the $2 million saved makes Riccardi's call a pretty good decision.
ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#184467) #
In Adam Lind's last 77 major league plate appearances, he's posted a .216/.259/.625 ba/oba/ops. I don't know what constitutes a 'small sample' vs. a reasonable one, but it always seems that a reasonable sample size varies according to the argument being made.

If the Jays want to cash in the year in order to give Adam Lind every opportunity to play, whether or not he's another hole in a lineup with a few of them, then playing him full-time now seems the thing to do. Otherwise, until he looks a lot better at the plate than he has (his last at-bats were terrible overall), I'd pick his spots.

At this point in a fantasy pool, I'd predict Adam Lind has a better chance to figure as a marginal major leaguer than as an impact player or even an above-average one. He's certainly not putting up numbers which suggest corner outfield potential, and he's not a youngster. I'm not suggesting the team should give up on him, but I wouldn't try to bolster the over-enthusiasm that some had for him this year by railing at the team for not continuing to run him out there when he's obviously struggling and they're trying to win every game.

In fact, just a short time ago, Rogers was getting lampooned on here by some, for not making him a 'super 2' by calling him up a week earlier, and thereby foregoing wins. Now, the team is apparently supposed to sacrifice wins in order to run a sheltered workshop for Adam Lind.
Chuck - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#184468) #
In my opinion the Jays would have to sign Dunn long term, though, for the trade to be fair. 

I thought I read something to the effect of there being something like 10 teams that Dunn cannot be traded to, as per his contract. The presumption is that the teams in question do not have deep pockets (Dunn would presumably expect a lucrative extension were he traded). I don't know if Toronto would have made Dunn's no-go list back when he signed his contract.
ChicagoJaysFan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#184469) #
I thought I read something to the effect of there being something like 10 teams that Dunn cannot be traded to, as per his contract. The presumption is that the teams in question do not have deep pockets (Dunn would presumably expect a lucrative extension were he traded). I don't know if Toronto would have made Dunn's no-go list back when he signed his contract.

According to Rosenthal, that is essentially correct.  Dunn can't be traded anywhere until June 15 at which point the full no-trade is lifted and there are only 10 teams he can't be traded to.

However, elsewhere it is reported as being even more restrictive in that after June 15 Dunn specifies 10 teams to which he is willing to be traded.

There's a rather big difference there and depending on when the teams had to be named and the amount of teams involved, the Jays could either be a team on or off the no-trade list.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#184470) #
First off, Alex is entirely right about Shawn Camp.  Decent pitcher before the new pitch; may be better than that now.  I still would rather see Jason Frasor given a high leverage role, but that is unlikely given Gibbons' low opinion of him.

I guess I had better explain why I feel the handling of Lind was so wrong.  Lind had torn up triple A, and the organization had delayed in calling him up.  When they did, they had two options- either platooning him with Stewart (Lind has had significant platoon splits over his career) or playing him every day.  The team announced that they would give him a full shot, and play him every day.  Then, they pulled him from a game against a knuckleballer, then a lefty, and after 19 ABs, are going to send him down.  The problem is the mixed messages that the team delivered.  If the team felt that he needed to prove himself at the major league level, it ought to have begun by platooning him.  That was not, however the message the team delivered originally, but it sure changed fast. These mixed messages will not help Lind's confidence. 

The club does not have a plethora of options in left-field.  Shannon Stewart is not Stan Musial or even Rusty Greer out there.  At this stage of his career, he is a useful role player, and that is it.  Travis Snider's injury and the departure of Frank Thomas (with Stairs assuming the DH role) consequently made the handling of LInd a very important item.  It was botched by the organization.

My sense of it was that Gibbons decided that he needed a #2 hitter in place of Eckstein and that Stewart filled the bill best because he does get on base some and he has some speed.  It is this kind of thinking that drives me up the wall.  Against RHP, Overbay is a far better choice.  The upshot is that because of a fixed idea in the manager's head of what a #2 hitter looks like, an opportunity to improve the offence has been lost. 

China fan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#184471) #
  Why do you think the Jays are going to send Lind back down?   They haven't said that at all.   They did make a vague statement that they want him to be playing regularly somewhere -- either in the majors or in Syracuse -- but I don't think that precludes the possibility of finding enough work for him in Toronto (platooning, pinch-hitting, maybe some games at 1B or DH) to keep him gainfully employed in the majors.  I'm puzzled that you think the Jays will send him back to Syracuse after just 19 plate appearances in the majors -- nobody in Jays management has said that, as far as I know.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#184476) #
The team has said that Shannon Stewart is their everyday left-fielder.  That means either Lind gets to play 1 time a week or so, or that he is sent down. 

It is really, really dumb to change your "everyday" left-fielder after 6 games.  I suppose that you could say that the organization has a communication issue.  That they had never committed to Lind being the everyday left-fielder 10 days ago, and that they are not committed to Stewart now.  It would be a lot better if they simply said so.  "Adam's up and will get a lot of playing time, but so will Shannon", in the folksy language of the managerial tribe.

John Northey - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#184477) #
With a little effort the Jays could get Lind into 2-3 games a week fairly easily as he is now the backup outfielder (thus any of Stewart/Rios/Wells gets a day off in goes Lind) and the backup DH (if Stairs needs a day off) and the backup for 1B (move Stairs to first, give Overbay the day off).  Those are 5 slots that he is the #1 backup for.  Also, if a pinch hitter is needed who would you use - Scutaro, McDonald, Barajas/Zaun (whoever isn't starting) or Lind?

Right now Lind is the best in-house solution for the 4th outfielder on the Jays.  The other options are...
Russ Adams: 247-371-412 in AAA, could backup 2B as well and 3B/SS in emergency situations
Chip Cannon: 254-376-380 at 1B in AAA
Buck Coats: 250-333-389 in AAA
Wayne Lydon: 255-302-330 in AAA
Matt Watson: 196-281-268 as DH in AAA
Joe Inglett: 412-483-588 2B/OF in AAA plus 303-351-394 for the Jays

Inglett is the only real option from that list, with Adams and Chip Cannon well below Lind and Inglett imo.

Inglett would not be a bad choice instead of Lind, as he is 30 and going nowhere thus no worries about 'wasting him' on the bench.  It all depends on how much playing time you expect the 4th outfielder to get and how good/bad Inglett is out there.  Lind looked much better than expected last year in LF.

If I ran the Jays I'd probably look to trade Scutaro to anyone for anything (short of a big contract being taken over) and bring up Inglett to cover that position.  I'd mix in Lind 3 times a week - once for Stewart, once for Stairs and once for one of Rios/Wells/Overbay each week as Stairs hasn't cracked 500 AB's since the 90's and the outfielders getting a day off every 3 weeks seems about right to keep everyone fresh.  If Lind picks it up then he can regain LF, if not then 3 starts a week is reasonable with pinch hitting duties the other 4 days for Eck/catcher/Stewart.
China fan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#184478) #
     I have to disagree with the notion that Lind has to be played every day.  These guys are adults, aren't they?  I would hope they can handle an occasional benching, spot duty, etc.   I would hope that their egos are not so fragile that they are crushed and demoralized if they are not playing regularly.
     The Jays have obviously been very ambivalent about Lind since the beginning of the season.  He's in the majors only because of the unexpected Frank Thomas disaster.  The Jays clearly have concerns about certain aspects of Lind's hitting, and those concerns haven't disappeared.  Lind is not at all analogous to Aaron Hill in his early seasons.  It's a false comparison.  The Jays were confident that Hill would adjust and bounce back, no matter how low his batting average fell in his first or second season.  The Jays don't have the same confidence in Lind, so why should they play him every day?
     Some players do respond better to full-time play -- that's one reason (reportedly) why Shannon Stewart is getting more work now -- but on a 25-man roster it's impossible for everyone to play regularly.  Some platoons and pinch-hitters have worked very well in the past.  Look at Matt Stairs last year who began as an occasional player and thrived so much that he was promoted to full-time duties.  Or look at Reed Johnson in his early years.  I don't think that every young player has to be guaranteed a full-time job for an entire season.  If they're not playing every day, that's an adjustment they have to make.  Yes, a veteran might adjust better, but I don't see why a young player can't handle part-time duties.

China fan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#184479) #
   Just to clarify:  I realize that Mike was not saying that Lind must be an every-day player.  I'm just saying that I think Lind is a grown-up who can handle the "mixed messages" of the past couple of weeks.  I think ballplayers are routinely given mixed messages, and that's part of the job.  They know that their role in April might be very different from their role in May or June.  Any player who can't handle a change of role is surely not ready for the big leagues.
ChicagoJaysFan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#184480) #
John - I'm coming around to what you say and I think you've convinced me that this is an ok situation for Lind.

The one aspect of your plan I'm not sure I agree with (and it's admittedly minor) is why dump Scutaro to bring up Inglett?  They seem to be pretty similar players and if any of Rolen, Eckstein, or Hill are injured, you'd probably end up with Adams on the ML roster if you trade Scutaro.  I'd rather have Scutaro be the depth guy in that situation.  You could call up Coats and only have 4 guys for 2B, SS, 3B, but I like having 5 for those places - especially since I think Inglett and / or Scutaro would need some days off if pressed into full-time duty.

John Northey - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#184484) #
When it comes to a short bench you have to have as useful players as possible on each slot, with clear roles for each.  Right now we have...
Barajas - catcher is a limited slot, but at least Barajas can play 1B if needed
Scutaro - third base, second base, LF, 1B are his slots with slightly below average defense from what I've seen with a 86 lifetime OPS+ with reasonable but nothing special speed he is of limited value, a good 25th man but not a great one and at age 32 he isn't going to change
McDonald - shortstop, second, third are his slots with the scary 57 OPS+ but amazing defense, at age 33 not going to change
Lind - LF, DH, 1B are his slots with a bat that has potential to be really good and defense that was better than expected, at age 24 has room to grow

Now, Scutaro and McDonald are signed for 2009 as well at $1.1 million and $1.9 million respectively.  That is $3 million for utility guys that will cost $800k minimum (Inglett and Adams).  $2.2 million shouldn't be a big deal here but one never knows. 

Inglett: 2B/3B/SS/LF are his slots with a lifetime OPS+ of 93.  What is his defense like?  Hard to say in his very limited time but didn't look bad to me.  Always had a good OBP in the minors (just once sub-360) so not a leap to say he has at least a useful bat and gets paid the ML minimum.  Age is 30, so not likely to improve but is 2 years younger than Scutaro which is always a plus

Adams: 2B/OF/3B/SS are his slots with a lifetime OPS+ of 80 but showing hope in AAA.  Decent defense for OF/2B from reports while mediocre at best for SS and very poor for 3B.  Still very cheap.

Inglett/Adams is a downgrade on defense from McDonald, but an upgrade in almost all areas from Scutaro except possibly on defense, although given some of the ugly plays I saw Scutaro do when filling in for Rolen I doubt he is much of an upgrade that way. 

Inglett would be an upgrade over Scutaro, thus given the limited roster slots I say trade Scutaro and give Inglett the backup slot.  Or go to 11 pitchers and have both up although I don't see playing time for both given our team as is.  For a backup the effect on win/loss is minimal though unless an injury strikes, in which case Inglett should be first up and given the playing time over Scutaro, in which case I can live with the way it is.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#184485) #
Inglett also bats left, which is a plus.  You can rest Hill and Rolen on days when the opponents have a RHP going.  The club will probably stick with Scutaro, though, "sunk cost' and all.

uglyone - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#184486) #

I never understood the notion of "babying" a kid in the majors (or in any big league sport)....especially if that guy has had all the AAA at bats he could ever need, and a good amount of MLB at bats as well.

The kid's got to earn his playing time, like everyone else.

Thomas - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#184488) #
The kid's got to earn his playing time, like everyone else.

Some people would say that a career Triple-A line of .341/.415/.532 over 340 ABs, after a line at Double-A of .310/.357/.543 over 348 ABs would earn a kid his playing time.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#184489) #

I have no firmly held opinion on Adam Lind.  He might turn out to be a bona fide corner outfielder, or he might be no more than a latter day Chad Mottola.  I really have no idea, and I'm prepared to defer to those who are much closer to him than I.  If Gibby thinks he needs to do more to earn significant playing time, so be it.

But two weeks ago, when the club was running Joe Inglett and Marco Scutaro out in left field in a regular basis while Lind cooled his jets in Syracuse, the club apparently was slow to call him up for fear of running up enough service time to make him a "Super 2".  Now maybe they are comfortable enough that he won't be that they can sit him on the bench and give him spot duty.  Or maybe they felt all along that he was no better than Inglett or Scutaro and there was no rush to call him up, and only did so to let him struggle for a handful of at-bats and shut up the critics.  But for a club with a general manager who can quite reasonably accused of making things up as he goes along, with no real apparent strategy, it requires a real suspension of disbelief to think there may be some method underlying the madness.   

 

Thomas - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#184490) #
Inglett would be an upgrade over Scutaro,

John, I agree with the bulk of your post, but regardless of whether or not this is true, I'm not sure the Jays see things this way as they had Inglett on board by the end of the 2007 offseason and chose to trade for Scutaro anyway. The only argument I see for Scutaro is that he could play SS and maybe Inglett can't or is very stretched there and the Jays wanted a backup SS (they trade for Scutaro before signing Eckstein). However, that still doesn't explain the two-year contract they gave to Scutaro, especially in light of having Inglett already on the 40-man roster. Even if they thought of Scutaro as their backup SS, if they really valued Inglett more there was no reason to go anything but year-to-year on Scutaro, but they signed him for two years anyway.
Thomas - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#184491) #
Even if they thought of Scutaro as their backup SS, if they really valued Inglett more...

What I was trying to convey there, probably not very clearly, was that if the Jays thought Inglett was better and that Scutaro's sole advantage was his ability to play SS, you can see why they might have traded for him before they realised they could Eckstein on a favourable contract. However, if they really valued Inglett more as a hitter, there was no reason to go anything but year-to-year on Scutaro with Inglett already an in-house option. Thus, my conclusion that they value Scutaro more highly than Inglett, whether it's because of his defense, his veteran presence, his proven MLB production or whatever.
China fan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#184492) #
   Lind has now had 369 ABs in the majors -- which amounts to more than he had in AAA -- and his line is .249/.292/.415.   Those numbers are even worse if you look at just the last two seasons.   That's a pretty reasonable explanation for the "madness" of the team's reluctance to make him a full-time player.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#184493) #

Some people would say that a career Triple-A line of .341/.415/.532 over 340 ABs, after a line at Double-A of .310/.357/.543 over 348 ABs would earn a kid his playing time.

Absolutely - that has already earned him 369 MLB at bats over the last 200 or so Blue Jays' games. Which he's used to produce a .707ops.

He's at a point now where he's got to earn his MLB playing time with MLB performance, not AAA performance. Or else hell, we could argue that Inglett is earning playing time by hitting even better in AAA this year than Lind did.

I'm a Lind fan - I'm pretty confident that he'll become a solid MLB hitter. I don't see much use in him going back down to AAA either. But at the MLB level, he's at the point where he shouldn't be getting handed at bats just because he was good at AAA - he's got to earn his at bats now with MLB performance, like the rest of the Jays do. Like future hall of famer Frank Thomas had to do.


 

timpinder - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#184494) #

I included a link above in which Blair quoted Ricciardi as saying that Lind would not sit on the bench, that he would play everyday, and that a trip back to the minors was very likely.

I just checked the link again, as I was going to use it in response to the question about why we should believe that Lind was on his way down.  However, that part of the article has been removed.  I am not crazy.  I read it with my own eyes.  Can somebody who might have read it last night when it was fresh verify that?  I wonder why that quote was removed.

China fan - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#184495) #
     An earlier version of Blair's article included the following lines, on the subject of why Gibbons benched Lind:   "And he had the support of general manager J.P. Ricciardi, who made it clear before the game that Lind will not be left to sit on the bench and could be sent back to the minor leagues."  
     However, the key word here is "could".   He didn't say "would."   A lot of things are possible, and a demotion is obviously a possibility at some point, but Blair didn't say that Lind would probably be sent down.  He just said it might happen at some point.
     Ricciardi probably said that Lind might be demoted if he isn't getting any playing time in the majors.  But it's pretty clear that the Jays aren't going to do that immediately.  They'll probably try a few more games of platooning him and giving him part-time duties, and perhaps a few more starts, and then they will reassess.  That makes sense to me.
    
ayjackson - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#184498) #

Adam Lind definitely looks a bit anxious up at the dish.  So it's no good sending him out there against the likes of Wakefield, Beurhle, Contreras and Vasquez (who have filthy stuff).  I hope they pick good spots for him to succeed and gain the confidence he needs to face the best MLB pitchers out there.

The likes of Sonnanstine, Garza and Jackson would be better options for Lind - and he may have some success in the minors against them.

rtcaino - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#184499) #
Answer (fun exercise, thanks for the Q) :

Absolutely no problem, thanks for the answer!

Athletics Nation has a new post up about the June draft. May we have one, too. Let's keep up with the Jones'.

I used to visit that website frequently. But when my computer crashed, I lost my bookmarks, and I forgot about it! great site, glad you mentioned it!

And I also cannot wait for the draft coverage!

I guess it depends on what you think of Purcey.... I don't think much of him, and don't see him as being more than a 5th starter, at best.  That's why I'd be comfortable trading him.  If you disagree, keeping him makes sense.

Reasonable people can disagree about things like this, but I disagree! Well he may be no more than a 5th starter, that would be one heck of a rotation!!! All and all, I think he will be a better pitcher than Litsch. But that all depends on being able to locate his pitches. Lucky for him, and us, he has the luxury of honing his craft in AAA.

In fact, just a short time ago, Rogers was getting lampooned on here by some, for not making him a 'super 2' by calling him up a week earlier, and thereby foregoing wins. Now, the team is apparently supposed to sacrifice wins in order to run a sheltered workshop for Adam Lind.

Well that kind of implies that the same people were making both arguments.

Still too early to draw any conclusions on this, but if they end up providing similar value - the $2 million saved makes Riccardi's call a pretty good decision.

Unless Lind starts hitting. Then the value from that roster spot will be realized facing left handed pitching, which Reed does better than Stewart. Though, given the situation, it was prudent to hedge his bets, and keep the guy who can hit RHP decently if needed.

At this point in a fantasy pool, I'd predict Adam Lind has a better chance to figure as a marginal major leaguer than as an impact player or even an above-average one. He's certainly not putting up numbers which suggest corner outfield potential, and he's not a youngster.

At this point, I think it would difficult to look at his ML numbers and ignore his Minor League track record. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#184502) #
Lind didn't face Sonnanstine in the minors, as far as I can tell, but did have a nice game against him in the Show last June. Jackson, by the way, has filthy stuff too, but harnessing it is another issue.
Pistol - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#184504) #
Athletics Nation has a new post up about the June draft. May we have one, too. Let's keep up with the Jones'

Honestly, other than seeing a few snippets in Keith Law's chats I haven't looked at the draft at all.  And then I see yesterday that it's a month away!

It's definitely more exciting when the Jays have extra picks and/or picks at the top of the draft.  This year it's just #17, 63, 95, 119, and 149 in the top 5 rounds.

One thing to consider - 3 years ago the Jays spent a late round pick on Brett Wallace (knowing he was likely going to ASU).  I imagine if they liked him then they still like him now.
timpinder - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#184505) #
I'm starting to come around and accept the idea of picking Lind's spots.  He faced two left-handers (7 AB) during his 1 for 19 stretch.  Perhaps starts against some "easier" right-handers will be enough to get his confidence up and his swing back.  Then on to some tougher righties and eventually some lefties.  Some bauxites make good arguments, and it's true that Lind isn't 19 years old and doesn't really need to play everyday in the minors to develop.  Besides, Burnett is likely gone next year and I worry about the Jays' rotation if they trade away an arm like Purcey for a one or two year pre-Snider fix in LF.
timpinder - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#184506) #

"One thing to consider - 3 years ago the Jays spent a late round pick on Brett Wallace (knowing he was likely going to ASU).  I imagine if they liked him then they still like him now."

Funny you would mention Wallace.  John Sickels has Wallace as the 8th best hitter in the draft, and if you scroll down the page, Terry Ryan has the Jays selecting Wallace with their first pick in the mock draft.

http://www.minorleagueball.com/

ayjackson - Tuesday, May 06 2008 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#184507) #

Funny you would mention Wallace.  John Sickels has Wallace as the 8th best hitter in the draft, and if you scroll down the page, Terry Ryan has the Jays selecting Wallace with their first pick in the mock draft.

Wallace is ranked there as the 8th best college hitter - all things equal, roughly the 30th ranked draftee.

The mock draft was a Poll-draft.  FWIW, I voted for Aaron Hicks.

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 07 2008 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#184536) #
My initial reaction, after a casual look, was Hicks too.  I have a feeling that by the time Pistol is through with them, we'll know what kind of shampoo Hicks and Wallace use. 
ayjackson - Wednesday, May 07 2008 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#184550) #

According to Baseball America's latest draft primer, There are three high school pitchers who project in the late teens that also are among the top hitters in the prep class - the three being the aforementioned Aaron Hicks, Ethan Martin and Casey Kelly.

I wonder if this could be the year that JP drafts a HS pitcher, knowing that they also project as a hitter and are thus not as risky.

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