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The Jays win a thriller to get within two games of .500, but lose Vernon Wells in the process. D'oh.

The Jays struck often in the late innings, so hey, maybe this Cito thing is taking off. Adam Lind came through in the clutch this time, with the most valuable hit of the Jays season in terms of WPA.

The bad news, however, is that Vernon is out four to six weeks with a strained hamstring/hyperextended knee. Kevin Mench is up to replace him and hopefully destroy left handers.

On a more positive note, Dustin McGowan's shoulder injury is not as bad as previously feared (see above link), and he may not have to have surgery, if the Jays are to be believed (I will admit this is a big if).

Lastly, perhaps the most devastating injury on the night was me busting up my leg while playing beer league softball. I was out for about five minutes, but as a result this morning's TDIB was a little late. Oh, the humanity.

Yankees in town tonight, with Joba Chamberlain taking on Roy Halladay. It should be a doozy.

TDIB 11 July 2008: Wells Out | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
greenfrog - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#188743) #
I would be surprised if AJ gets traded (or is traded for a good package of players). Look at it this way: if you were a contending team, would you really want AJ on your team? Maybe--he might be an OK option, but you're basically guessing that he (1) gets hot, (2) stays healthy, (3) improves enough in 2+ months to become a type A free agent, and (4) doesn't have a negative impact on your clubhouse.

That's a lot of ifs. If AJ had been more consistent this year (say, if his ERA were a full run lower), there would be a much better market for him. Unfortunately, he's been tanking in his walk year (and in the last few weeks before the trade deadline).
Pistol - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#188744) #
It may be just a recycling of Blair's blog yesterday, but CNNSI has the Phillies and Jays talking about Burnett.

I could be wrong, but I don't think any team is evaluating a pitcher these days primarily on his ERA. 

christaylor - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#188745) #
I don't buy the reports that McGowan "tear in the rotator cuff" area isn't as bad as it sounds. Wilner wrote about talking about it with Baseball Prospectus' Will Carroll, in it he mentioned that even it appears to be the same tear as he had last year, that doesn't take into account the body's natural ability to heal, meaning that if it appears the same, he's torn it again. I suspect that McG will be an injury risk the rest of his career, hopefully surgery isn't necessary, but I'd be very surprised if he made 30 starts in any of the next couple of years.

Why can't trainer/coaches figure this one out. I understand the desire to protect future earning for a player and an asset for a team, but this explanation for "fragile pitcher syndrome" doesn't pass the smell test. When players with "perfect mechanics" (Prior) can't stay healthy while "freaks" (Lincecum) whose arms are expected to blow up at any moment, it says to me we don't know enough about how pitchers ought to pitch to remain healthy for 30 starts year in year out.
christaylor - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#188746) #
...and another thing. Kevin Mench?! I couldn't agree more with Wilner on this one. Mench should not be the call up to replace Wells. He's not good in RF. He's been brutal since he's been in the Jays organization and while it is questionable that he'll help this team now, he's certainly not in the plans for the future. 2008 is a write off, I'm not sure about rushing Snider (although I'm sure that'd make myself and many others much more interested in watching the Jays), but there's got to be a better answer than Kevin Mench.
Mike Green - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#188747) #
It is hard not to be impressed with the moves to the lineup that have followed with Cito's arrival.  With the injuries to Hill and Wells- the club has installed Lind as the everyday leftfielder, moved Rios to center, will play a platoon of Wilkerson/Mench in rightfield, platoon Inglett and Scutaro at second and rotate Barajas/Zaun/Stairs through C/DH.  There is a hit to the team defence, which moves from outstanding to just above average, but the overall approach is excellent.

Next up: the pitching staff. That can wait until after the All-Star break.

Ryan Day - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#188755) #
Mench has always been strong against left-handed pitching, which is useful to have with Lind, Stairs, Overbay, and Stairs  on the roster.  He's still just 30, so shouldn't be the victim of a sudden collapse. If you're  going to get on Ricciardi's case for demoting Lind after a handful of games, it seems silly to write off Mench on the basis of 50 bad at bats when he's got
over 800 that say he's pretty useful.

Wilkerson is looking like he's toast, though. I'd rather see Lydon or Coats, neither of whom are great but would at least offer some versatility.
mathesond - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#188758) #
Mench shouldn't be the victim of sudden collapse? I posit that Mench has already suffered sudden collapse
Ryan Day - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#188759) #
Based on 49 PAs?
Hodgie - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#188760) #

"When players with "perfect mechanics" (Prior) can't stay healthy while "freaks" (Lincecum) whose arms are expected to blow up at any moment, it says to me we don't know enough about how pitchers ought to pitch to remain healthy for 30 starts year in year out."

Not sure if you have seen this article already christaylor but if not, give it a read. It is one of the best articles on pitching mechanics I have ever read. It specifically talks about the difference between Lincecum and Prior and even alludes to the myth of Prior's perfect mechanics. I know someone here at Da Box had already posted the link to Verducci's article, however I couldn't remember who/when so I have just re-posted.

mathesond - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#188763) #
Based on 49 PAs?

Actually, based on the 790 PAs he amassed in 2006/07. This year is a gimme.
Ryan Day - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#188764) #
Mench Vs LHP:
    2006: 303/364/513 (132 PAs)
    2007: 314/343/558 (166 PAs)

He shouldn't be allowed anywhere near right-handed pitching, but as a lefty-masher, he should be solid.
Magpie - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#188765) #
I may be the only one, but I don't really think Tim Lincecum's delivery and mechanics are that strange. His big stride, for example, is not even close to being as long as Sandy Koufax, who almost stepped off the mound and landed on the grass.

Linceum actually reminds me a little of Orel Hershiser. Completely different body type, but something very familiar about the delivery.
robertdudek - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#188767) #
I stopped listening to the "we can predict pitching injuries" mantra when people said that Roy Oswalt couldn't last as a starting pitcher because he was too short.

I believe that the two biggest factors affecting a pitcher's likelihood of getting injured are: 1) genetics and 2) random luck

At a distant #3 I'd put workload and further back I'd put "mechanics". #1 (genetics) is probably the key, but we basically know nothing about the role that genetics plays in avoiding arm injuries. And #2 is a much bigger factor than (I think) most people are apt to give credit to.

When a pitcher gets injured, inevitably, the "mechanics" gurus will point out all the various flaws in the delivery. When a pitcher shows abnormally good durability those same people will detail how "clean" the throwing motion is. It is all post-facto analysis.

seeyou - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#188769) #
I don't have any problem with Mench being called up, he should be fine as long as he's limited to being a platoon guy to give Lind or Stairs a rest against lefties and as a PH against lefty relievers.  In fact, I was kind of surprised the Jays decided to send him down instead of Wilkerson when Lind was called up.

What I do have a problem with is the idea of having Brad Wilkerson as a starter.  The wheels seem to have completely gone off for him.  I mean, in the past few weeks he's been riding the bench as Eckstein gets starts at DH, but now suddenly we're supposed to believe he's OK starting in a corner outfield spot over the next month and a half?  I'd much prefer to give someone like Buck Coats a chance over that time, he shouldn't be any worse offensively than Wilkerson and from what I remember from Spring Training and his short time in the bigs earlier this season he was pretty decent with the glove.

Also, does anyone know how Shannon Stewart's recovery is going?  I'm not particularly enthralled with him either, but I'd prefer him over Wilkerson.
christaylor - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#188780) #
I'd read the first page but until now I hadn't gone further (the sad fact of writing a PhD thesis) I'd expected it to be a Lincecum family love piece... after about the 2nd page the article got really good (after the Lincecum love-in).
christaylor - Friday, July 11 2008 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#188782) #
That's an interesting take - although the way to see how much of a role of genetics plays would be get a large set of identical twins and set them with the task of becoming major league pitchers. Could be a fun experiment. :)
TDIB 11 July 2008: Wells Out | 16 comments | Create New Account
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