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Travis Snider continues to warm up to AA pitching.  The affiliates went 2-1 on the day.


Syracuse 12 at Richmond 2

Twelve runs on 9 hits, and only 3 extra base hits.  Seems like a lot of runs with that, right?  Well, the Chiefs also drew 12 walks.  Russ Adams had a strong day going 2-3 with two walks.  Thigpen and Nielsen also had two hits and Chip Cannon hit a solo HR.

David Purcey got the win going 5 innings and giving up 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk.  He threw 93 pitches on the day and induced 7 GB outs to 4 FB outs.  His AAA ERA is 1.94.  Mike MacDonald picked up the save with 4 innings of shutout ball.


New Hampshire 6 at Bowie 5

Travis Snider hit his 8th HR in 117 AA ABs, going 2-4 on the day.  He's hitting .333 with 6 XBHs in his last 10 games (36 ABs).  He now has 12 HRs in 178 ABs this year (1 every 14.8 ABs) compared to 16 HRs in 457 ABs last season (1 every 28.6 ABs).  So yeah, I think he's catching on to AA.  He's still striking out a lot, but when he makes contact good things happen.

The Fisher Cats also got HRs from Klosterman (plus a single), Patterson, and Jeroloman.  Kreuzer and Hatch each had a pair of singles.

Brett Cecil didn't have it yesterday.  He gave up three runs in 2.2 innings on 5 hits and 2 walks.  Jamie Vermilyea picked up the win with 4 innings of relief, giving up 2 runs.


Dunedin - Day off


South Bend 6 at Lansing 5

It was another rough start for Trystan Magnuson - 6 runs over 3 innings, striking out just 1.

Lansing had 7 hits on the day, with Barron the only player with more than 1 hit, going 2-5 with a triple.


3 Stars!:
3 - David Purcey
2 - Ryan Patterson
1 - Travis Snider
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Mike Green - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#185969) #
Snider's HR was on the road this time, but again to right-field.  It does beat a weak ground ball to short though.:)



John Northey - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#185970) #
So, over-under on Snider moving to AAA?  I'd say he'll move to AAA in early July so he can get 2 months there before a September call-up.  He may be a dead pull hitter with tons of K's but given how quickly he seems to have adjusted to AA (about 9 games) I figure the Jays will want to push him.  In May he is at 282-370-600 over 23 games vs his 9 April games where he hit 125-282-125.  722 slg% over his last 10 games. 
Pistol - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#185971) #
I'm guessing Snider doesn't see AAA at all this year.  Depending on how the Jays are doing, he may get a cup of coffee in September, but I don't see Syracuse in his future until next season.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#185973) #
Russ Adams is now almost 28, but might yet have a career as a utility player.  He turned 3 DPs yesterday, and may finally have found a position at second base.
Ducey - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#185976) #
Yeah, unfortunately there was a reminder yesterday that Adams still can't throw, he had an error on a throw yesterday...
China fan - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#185978) #
  Purcey seems to be still in good command at the AAA level, still posting good numbers.  But whenever he gets promoted to the majors, he seems to get rattled and nervous, resulting in poor performances.  Compare this to Jesse Litsch, who seemed totally confident and comfortable when he was promoted to the big team last year.  He was cool, calm and collected, and his numbers quickly reflected that confidence.  This leads me to speculate that Purcey's problems in the majors are partly due to anxieties and lack of confidence.   I wonder if the Jays are addressing this.  Do they have a team psychologist who helps a kid to deal with a case of major-league jitters?  (Or, alternatively, Halladay could lend him a copy of that pitching bible that he carries with him everywhere -- the one that deals directly with the psychology of pitching.  Purcey might benefit from something like that.)
    I realize that it's difficult to generalize too much from just two games by Purcey in the majors.  But recall that Gibbons actually took Purcey into his office and sat him down for a lengthy post-game conversation after his second start in the majors -- just to reassure the poor kid, who seemed wide-eyed and rattled.  I think this supports my theory that Purcey might need to overcome a psychological barrier as he makes the big step to the majors. 

jmoney - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#185981) #
Purcey's big league jitters would be understandable. My impression is that his command is a weakspot and he certainly was all over the plate with his first two starts as a Jay.

There is nothing wrong with giving him a taste of the big leagues and him struggling with it. He gets an idea of what it takes and if he really wants it he'll work to make the necessary adjustments.

Probably wouldn't hurt for him to learn another pitch either. Although I think his future is the bullpen.

ChicagoJaysFan - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#185982) #
Purcey seems to be still in good command at the AAA level, still posting good numbers.  But whenever he gets promoted to the majors, he seems to get rattled and nervous, resulting in poor performances.  Compare this to Jesse Litsch, who seemed totally confident and comfortable when he was promoted to the big team last year

I can't comment on the nervousness of the players as I think that's something very difficult to do from a distance and can only really be judged by those that deal personally with the players involved.

However, Litsch took a few starts to get under control last year as well.

After 4 starts, he had a 6.62 ERA, 3 K to 7BB, and pitched 17.2 innings.

He had one brilliant start in that time (his debut), but the other three were as forgettable as Purcey's two starts so far.  It wasn't until about Litsch's 8th start that his control started to look like that of a major leaguer.

I haven't thought much of Purcey as a prospect for a while and don't think he's much of one right now, but I think the comparison with Litsch isn't in-line with the actual statistics / performances of the two pitchers.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#185984) #
Purcey's ERA was much worse than his FIP in 2007 in double A, and has been much better than his FIP in triple A in 2008.  If you combine his two years, you probably get a fairer appreciation of where he is at- 117.2 IP, 107 H, 36W, 114K, 7HR, 3.75 ERA.  Those are solid numbers across the board, but as I have said before, I really believe that the best place for him is long relief in the majors.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#185986) #

I have to say that I'm surprised that so many seem to be legitimately concerned that Snider - a legit elite hitting prospect, with a great power stroke - is actually having his numbers boosted by a short porch in New Hampshire.

I highly doubt, given the all-around surge in his stats, that he's getting cheapo flyball homers out there.

 

As for Purcey, it's no surprise to see a kid nervous in his first bunch of MLB starts - it's actually almost expected. Especially gven that he was up against two very good hitting teams  - and, in the second game, was pitching in awful weather conditions.

Timbuck2 - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#185991) #
Personally I think that starting games at the Major leagues in not in Purcey's best interest right now.  I think he would benefit most by pitching out of the bullpen for a while while he acclimates to being on a ML roster.  Once he's gotten a few appearances THEN insert him into the rotation from time to time and evaluate how he does.  He just doesn't seem to have the right mental make-up yet for starting in the bigs.
R Billie - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#185993) #
Purcey's command in AAA is really not as good as the walk totals would lead you to believe.  The number one problem with his is his pitch count.  93 pitches to get through 5 innings despite not really allowing many baserunners and runs is quite unreasonably high.  He can't seem to put away hitters quickly and wastes far too many pitches.  It's just enough to get by at the AAA level but take a step up to the majors and it catches up to him big time.

Nerves probably play a role but I think it's as simple as just not being consistent and getting away with it against minor league competition.  If he can start posting pitches per inning consistently in the 14 or 15 range then I think he'll be able to turn that corner in the bigs.  But if he's already high against AAA competition it's only going to get higher against major leaguers.

The one thing I noticed in the bigs is that he pitches up in the zone with the fastball and can't seem to throw his breaking ball for strikes.  So major leaguers eliminate his offspeed pitch right away and can focus on the fastball up, either taking it harmlessly for balls or getting on top of it and doing a lot with it (as the Phillies did in their bandbox park).  He might have a chance against less patient, less powerful teams like the Royals but Detroit and Philly, nah.

FisherCat - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#185994) #

To reply in general to some items bouncing around here.

Travis Snider: If his homeruns at home are to right-CF (towards the scoreboard) then they're legit, but if they are straightaway RF or towards the line and don't clear the fence by more than 20 ft, then they're cheap.  It might be a good question to pose with the FisherCat beat writer Kevin Gray, although he seems to answer it in this line from his article on Friday  "MANCHESTER Travis Snider saw three pitches from New Hampshire native Kyle Jackson in the Fisher Cats' 7-3 victory yesterday.

The first pitch was deposited over the right-field wall, smacking a parked bus in the sixth inning. The third pitch was crushed in the same direction, nearly hitting the top of the light tower in the eighth."

So I suspect that more often than not his HR's would be out anywhere!

David Purcey: IIRC from an interview with Gibbons on the FAN590, he mentioned that Purcey needs another off-speed pitch that he can throw for strikes and he told him that in the closed door meeting to work on it down @ AAA.

Hodgie - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#185997) #

I have a question, complete with attached qualifier for those more learned than I. Should Snider even see AAA on his march to the big club IF his May is indicative of what the rest of his time in New Hampshire is going to be like?

Consider; a very quick peek at OPS across all of AA (yes, I know no park/league adjustments) show him to be the only 20 year old in the top 100, placing 68th after a horrific start to his AA experience. Of those 99 other players, only 14 of them are even within 2 years of age. Now here comes the IF; his May performance of 0.970, if maintained (give or take of course) would likely put him in the top 10 of AA, again as a 20 year old.

If (there's that word again) a player demonstrates sustained domination at the AA level at such a young age, what development path makes the most sense? If the time honoured axiom "AA is the hard jump to make" is accurate, what to make of Snider? Given that, would there be any benefit in spending time in AAA or should a September cup of coffee lead to a March date which could then lead to a torrid affair and a long, happy marraige?

Hodgie - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#185999) #
In case anyone was curious, it is the current plight of another phenom as much as Snider's May resurgence that gave rise to the question. What in the name of all that is the Big Red Machine are they thinking?
Helpmates - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#186002) #
For all the fuss that's made about the Jays passing over Tulowitzki in the '05 draft, it's even more painful to think that we passed over Bruce as well.  Groan... 
Mylegacy - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#186003) #

Snider spends all 08 at AA.

In 09 he starts in AA then hits AAA about June and gets a look in TO September. He's up for keeps in June(ish) of 10 at the age of 22. So says I.

Snider's stats at AA this year in 117 abs, 8 homers, 11 BB, 48 SO and a 239/345/470/815 line.

Against lefties (he's a lefty himself, both batting and throwing) he's hitting at a 257/349/400/749 clip. Against righties he's hitting 232/344/500/844. At home he's hitting 246/354/554/908 and on the road he's hitting quite a bit less at 231/333/365/699.

Like the big Red machine's Jay Bruce - Snider is going to strike out a fair bit but make beautiful music when he connects.

John Northey - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#186006) #
Snider could spend the year in AA, especially if his road numbers don't improve, but no way does he start 09 in AA.  AAA at least in '09 with a real shot at LF in the majors.  If he isn't the everyday LF by mid-season '09 I'll be surprised with the way he is going right now.  If his OPS doesn't climb over 900 by seasons end, or if he stalls in AAA in '09 then he could be delayed but I just don't see it with the way he has adjusted so quickly.

Snider is a special talent.  You don't keep those guys in the minors any longer than absolutely necessary.

uglyone - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#186007) #

Since Snider was ranked #11 by Baseball America this year, I did a little research on another board, to look at the progression of the other 22 hitters that have made the top-11 in the last 5 years. Interestingly, most of them were in AA by Lind's age (20), only 7 of them weren't - and 2 of those were guys still in college, and a couple others had already had MLB exposure straight from A-ball, even if they hadn't made AA yet.

If we look at these guys again,  to see how long it was before they debuted in the bigs....

BJ Upton: was in AA by 18, and was ripping it up in AA by 19, promoted to AAA that same year, and then to MLB as a september callup, before spending his 20 year old season in AAA again. Not a good comparison for Lind, as he was far ahead of his learning curve.

G.Sizemore: was in AA by 20, stayed there the whole season and hit well (.853ops). Promoted to AAA as a 21 year old, where he was decent (.798ops), and was a september call up. Promoted full-time to MLB the next year at 22. Perhaps a pretty good comparable to Lind's learning curve.

J.Mauer: was promoted to AA in the middle of the season as a 20 year old, and performed well (.853ops). Blew out his knee the next year in ST, but upon recovery, was promoted to MLB as a 21 year old after only a rehab stint in the minors. Perhaps a good comparable to Lind's learning curve.

D.Young: was in AA by 19 (.968ops), and promoted to AAA at 19 (.750ops). Started in AAA at 20 (.815ops), and promoted full time to MLB halfway through the year. His performance so far might suggest he was rushed. Not a good comparable.

J.Guzman: promoted to AA at 19 (.847ops). Started in AA at 20 (.826). Started in AAA at 21(.770ish ops), called up to MLB (..559ops). Started in AAA at 22 (.689ops), called up again to MLB. Started again in AAA at 23, and struggling. Perhaps a good comparable.

A.Marte: promoted to AA at 20 (.889ops), Started AAA at 21 (.878ops), called up to MLB at 21 and struggled badly (.438ops). Started in AAA at 22 (.773ops), called up to MLB at 22 and struggled (.708ops). Started in AAA at 23 (.766ops), called up to MLB and again struggled badly (.549ops). Started in MLB at age 24 and is struggling very badly (.294ops). Perhaps a good comparable.

H.Ramirez: promoted to AA at 20 (.872ops).  Stayed at AA at 21, and struggled (.720ops). Started in MLB at 22, and played well. Strange progression here. But perhaps a good comparable still.

J.Upton: in AA at 19 (.955ops). promoted to MLB at age 19 (.649ops). Started in MLB at 20 (.889ops). Not a good comparable...although if Snider gets his OPS up into that .950 range (like he's done in May so far), maybe.

L.Milledge: in AA at 20 (.879ops). started in AAA at 21 (.828ops), called up to MLB (.690ops). Full-time in MLB at 22. Maybe a good comparable.

C.Maybin: brief callup to AA at 20 (1.588ops in 20ab), followed by a brief callup to MLB that year (.473ops). Back in AA at age 21. Not a good comparable.

E.Longoria: called up to AA at 20 (.752ops). Started in AA at 21 (.968ops), promoted to AAA (.888ops). Started in AAA at 22 (.533ops in 25ab) and promoted to MLB (.748ops). Probably not a good comparable.

P.Fielder: called up to AA at 20 (.839ops). Started in AAA at 21 (.957ops), called up to MLB (.764ops). Full-time MLB at 22.

J.Bruce: called up to AA at 20 (1.057ops), called up to AAA at 20 (.925ops). Started in AAA at 21 (1.058ops), called up to MLB.

C.Rasmus: in AA at 20 (.932ops). in AAA at 21 (.573ops).

 

Even if Snider does well (i.e. .850-.900ops), most comparables stay down there for the year, and start the next year at AAA, where if things go well, they'll get a promotion that year, and if things still go well, get full-time MLB duty at 22.

Of course, if Snider keeps crushing the ball to a tune of .970ops like he has this past month, there's a chance he might move a bit faster.

 

 

 

 

 

uglyone - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#186009) #

For all the fuss that's made about the Jays passing over Tulowitzki in the '05 draft

at what point do the Rockies officially start making a fuss about Tulowitzki's .464ops this season?

 

John Northey - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#186013) #
Tulowitzki was hurt at the end of April thus no stink will occur until after he returns, which currently is expected to be around the All-Star break.  His injury was a torn tendon in his left quadricep.

It would be funny if he never again has an OPS above 700 or something like that given the grief JP has received for not picking him.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#186014) #
This time last year, people were still cursing Ricciardi for not taking Cameron Maybin. That seems to have died down lately.

Shane - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#186015) #

It would be funny if he never again has an OPS above 700 or something like that given the grief JP has received for not picking him.

That would matter not at all. The whole process Ricciardi used on draft day to select Romero instead of Tulowitzki is the real issue.

James W - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#186016) #
They'd probably make a bigger fuss if he weren't on the DL.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#186017) #
That would matter not at all. The whole process Ricciardi used on draft day to select Romero instead of Tulowitzki is the real issue.

His decision was based on the almost unanimous opinion that while Romero may not have been an elite player, he was a polished pitcher with great command and ML-ready pitches who'd be able to move through the system quickly.

If the Rockies get a pass if Tulowitzki unexpectedly turns out to suck, doesn't Ricciardi get one because everyone was just as wrong as he was about Romero?
Shane - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#186019) #

His decision was based on the almost unanimous opinion that while Romero may not have been an elite player, he was a polished pitcher with great command and ML-ready pitches who'd be able to move through the system quickly.

But it wasn't a unanimous decision to SELECT him and not Tulowitski among his scouts and management team. He was a overdraft. Ricciardi, basing opinion on Tulo due to some video he saw of him (as said by Keith Law). Russ Adams could play SS in the majors, etc. Anyways.

Ryan Day - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#186020) #
Who cares who's better than who, and who's an "overdraft." Alex Rios was regarded as a total overdraft at the time, and now people can't say enough nice things about Ash's drafting.

If Romero had turned out like everyone thought he would - say, a left-handed Shaun Marcum - no one would care about the guy who's a career 236/310/357 hitter outside of Coors Field.

ramone - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#186022) #
In non Ricky Romero overdraft news, anyone notice that Lind has been out of the lineup for the past two days, did he injure himself on a pillow again.
Helpmates - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#186025) #

at what point do the Rockies officially start making a fuss about Tulowitzki's .464ops this season?

I guess at the same point the Jays start making a fuss over Romero's 5.86 ERA at AA ball (to say nothing of Russ Adams' .358 OPS at AAA ball). 

uglyone - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#186028) #

so you think there could be MORE fuss made over Adams' and Romero's struggles than there has been to date?

not sure that's even possible.

Mike Green - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#186030) #
Tulowitzki had a fabulous year at age 22.  The fact that he started off slowly at age 23 and is now on the DL, probably won't mean much for his long-term value.  Maybin is one fine, fine prospect.  He hit roughly as well as Snider did at age 19 in the Midwest League, and has put up pretty impressive numbers at higher levels.  And he's a very good defensive centerfielder with great speed.  He may not  turn out to be a great player, but his odds of doing so are much better than Ricky Romero's chances.  That is why Maybin was the key piece in a trade for Miguel Cabrera.

The best thing is to not re-open this one.  A mistake was made, and hopefully not repeated.  It will be interesting whether Ricciardi or Lalonde makes the first pick this year.



Smithers - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#186033) #
Hadn't seen anyone mention it, but in yesterday's Syracuse-Richmond game our old pal Sal Fasano got the start at DH for Richmond and went 1-4.  It was just his 10th game in the last month, and his OPS is only .556 on the season.  Sure seems like there isn't that much left in the tank unfortunately, and as you can see by his mug, the fabulous stache has already taken a hit.  
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 27 2008 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#186034) #
Is it just me, or is there a coaching career awaiting Sal Fasano? With the loss of the moustache, he's got the look, to go with the baseball smarts for the job.
timpinder - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 01:40 AM EDT (#186036) #
Any word on why Adam Lind has been out of the lineup the last two games?
MatO - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#186051) #

Anytime you draft a pitcher you're taking on a big risk. I've compiled a list of pitchers taken in the first 6 picks of the 2000-2003 drafts (I figure it's too early to come to conclusions about drafts after that).  14 of the 24 picks were pitchers.

Stiffs- Adam Johnson, Mike Stodolka, Justin Wayne, Dewon Brazelton, Josh Karp, Brian Bullington, Chris Gruber, Clint Everts, Kyle Sleeth, Tim Stauffer

Not sure - Adam Loewen

Brilliant but brief - Mark Prior

Look like major leaguers after some struggles - Gavin Floyd, Zack Greinke

Of the 10 non-pitchers selected you have guys like Adrian Gonzales, BJ Upton, Mark Texeira, Delmon Young and Rickie Weeks.

There is just not a good success rate when it comes to pitchers.  You could say that any pitcher picked early is an overdraft.

 

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#186054) #
I agree, MatO.  The thing about it is that if you are going to draft a pitcher early in the first round, you want to make sure you've got a chance to get brilliance like you got from Gooden, Prior or Beckett.  Romero was not apparently drafted for this reason, but because he was close to the majors.  That is a highly dubious rationale for a draft pick with this value. 
MatO - Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#186056) #
Any time you take a college pitcher with one of the first 6 six picks you hope that he's close to the majors but that just appears to be wishful thinking.
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