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The season comes to a close with Litsch vs Baltimore. A win today and they reach Cito's stated goal of 10 games over 500.

Thanks to the two rain shortened games we have a fully rested pen so if Cito wants any final looks at guys today is the day. Probable final games as a Jay: Zaun, Wilkerson, Mench. Snider will get his last chance to leave a strong impression before JP goes Christmas shopping for a DH or something else. McDonald and Scutaro try to talk the Jays into letting them share SS. Bautista fights for a roster slot in 2008 as does Curtis Thigpen. The Jays staff, unless Camp or Frasor have a meltdown today, will have 15 out of 19 pitchers with an above league average ERA (McGowan at 99, Purcey at 78, Benitez at 76, and Accardo at 66). If John McDonald plays 7 innings he'll take over the lead for innings at SS over Eckstein. The Jays regular lineup (based on inning leader at position) has only 3 guys under 100 for OPS+ - Barajas, Eckstein/McDonald, and Stairs. Lind and Inglett with bad days could drop under as well (both at 101).

Elsewhere in games that matter... Minnesota plays KC trying to keep the advantage over Chicago who plays Cleveland. Both have the same number of losses so Chicago must win to guarantee their rain make up game tomorrow vs Detroit matters or pray that Minnesota loses. A one game playoff would occur Tuesday in Chicago if needed.

The Mets play the Marlins while the Brewers battle the Cubs. Brewers and Mets are tied so if one wins and the other loses we have a wild card winner, if both win or both lose we have a one game playoff tomorrow at what could be the final game in Shea Stadium. I like the Brewers odds today with CC going while the Mets are counting on Oliver Perez to keep them alive.
September 28th: The Final Day | 29 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
92-93 - Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#192902) #
It's the 4th inning right now at Camden, and Jesse has looked really solid. It might just be the camera angle, but his pitches seem to me to have some good movement on them. His stats since his callup from Syracuse are remarkable, and really, his whole season has been. No way would I have predicted he drops both his ERA and WHIP. If he can be a back-end horse for us until he hits free agency that could be quite valuable.
christaylor - Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#192903) #
I totally agree, Litsch is never going to wow anyone but he's grown in to a fine pitcher and I have no problem with the post-demotion Litsch being this teams 3rd starter. I'm not especially happy with being down two key pieces of the rotation, but even with losing AJ this team is in better shape pitching wise than all the hand-wringing would suggest.

With today's win, the Jays under Cito are on a 94 win pace, even if one wants to consider how things look without the 10 game win streak they are on an 85 win pace. If AJ returns and nothing changes on offense, I don't think it is unreasonable to expect the Jays will be able to put up 85 wins again. It all depends on how the chips fall on off-season moves.

On the negative side: anyone else *really* concerned about Adam Lind? Since he hit his last home run on August 19 he's .265/.297/.303 and looking very much like the same Lind pitchers figured out after his first 33 games in the majors. Perhaps he should be bait this off-season for a team looking to dump a high-price vet for a young controlled player with upside.

It was again mentioned in another thread, but the Jays should really make a play for a rehabbing Bedard, even pitching injured and in front of an absolutely terrible defense this season, he wasn't terrible.

Just some thoughts.
Dave Rutt - Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#192904) #
Mariano Rivera just closed out Mike Mussina's 20th win - the first time Moose has won 20 in his career. It's an improbable achievement given his age, and I'm sure many people had him written off years ago (he hasn't won more than 15 since 2003). And on the last day of the season no less. Congrats to Mike.
christaylor - Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#192905) #
Congrats to him but I have no shame in saying that I was rooting against him and I'm rooting against him for the hall of fame, for the obvious warm up incident at the ASG and more importantly his problem with having to wait during pre-game ceremony for Tom Cheek.

Mussina is one of the bigger jerks in baseball.
Chuck - Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#192906) #

On the negative side: anyone else *really* concerned about Adam Lind?

Pitchers are clearly learning to exploit Lind's lack of plate discipline so 2009's mission will be to make the appropriate adjustments. Given his age, the likelihood of stardom is minimal, but he does appear to have the tools to be a solid contributor at a minimal cost.

Magpie - Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#192907) #
On the negative side: anyone else *really* concerned about Adam Lind?

He's not a star - he a solid complementary bat. He's Trot Nixon. This is his destiny.

Travis Snider, on the other hand...
Dave Till - Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#192908) #
Lind is young enough to improve, but he has a ways to go: he's not hitting for much power, he's not walking much, he doesn't run well, and he isn't a great fielder. His upside is to become the next Frank Catalanotto. His downside is to become the new Robert Perez.

I can't forgive Mussina for how he behaved on the day that Tom Cheek was honoured. There's a word that springs to mind when I think of him; it is not suitable for use on this site. It's seven letters long, begins with "a", and ends with "e". And it's not "anemone".

Mike Green - Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#192909) #
Well, there are now 8 starters who may be out of baseball within a year and deserve to go into the Hall- Clemens, Maddux, Pedro, Unit, Glavine, Smoltz, Mussina and Schilling.  Actually, they're all no-brainers as far as I am concerned, and I would be that at least two will have to wait for the Veterans Committee. 

Strangely enough, the starters of the 90s ended up as more impressive as the shortstops.  Youneverknow with pitchers...

Ryan Day - Sunday, September 28 2008 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#192911) #
I think Lind will be fine, though you'd want to have a strong right-handed bat to complement him. (Where "strong right-handed bat" is not Kevin Mench, Shannon Stewart, or even Brad Wilkerson, who was supposed to be able to hit lefties)
Jays2010 - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 12:51 AM EDT (#192912) #

I think Lind can be a little better than Catalanatto, but not much beyond that most likely. He may very well play in one or two all-star games, but he is not Travis Snider. As the season has now concluded, this is my offseason gameplan for the Blue Jays. I am trying to be reasonable with my signings/trades, but I may be way off so feel free to call me on it. Playing fantasy GM is far more interesting than what actually happens. Alas...

-Sign Manny Ramirez for 3 years and 70 million with the following breakdown:

2009: 25 million

2010: 25 million

2011: 20 million

Comment: This seems like around what Manny will get, though it could be slightly more or less if people don't trust him due to the Boston fiasco. Personally, I feel comfortable with the gamble and have resigned myself to believing that Manny simply wanted out of Boston and it is perfectly reasonable to expect that he won't take his tomfoolery to his next team. I am sure the Dodgers aren't complaining now. I also don't see too many teams with a shot at Manny (Dodgers, Yankees, Blue Jays, Angels with the Phillies, Mets and maybe the Rays with an outside shot.) Chances of this happening: 5-10%. Alternate options: Pat Burrell, Magglio Ordonez and (sigh) Jason Giambi.

-Trade Adam Lind, Ricky Romero and Scott Campbell for Matt Cain

Comment: I am not sure if this is over/underpaying for Cain. Frankly, Romero could step in next year and do what Cain has done for them the last 2 years (200 innings with an ERA below 4.00, but a disgusting W-L record). Cain is not Lincecum (in the eyes of ML baseball and San Francisco) but he is basically a healthy version of AJ Burnett, upside and all. I trust the young kid actually hitting his upside moreso than the embattled veteran in Burnett. There will be tons of competition to acquire Cain, but if the difference between acquiring him and not is someone like John Tolisano, I'd be all in. San Francisco needs prospects (specifically position players) and they may finally feel better about getting 3 or 4 very good pieces than trading a pitcher for one piece, such as the Rios/Lincecum or Delmon Young/Lincecum trade offers of the past. I also doubt that JP would trade Romero and a lot more to acquire someone like Cain, but maybe he realizes that his job is on the line and that he needs elite players, which Romero/Lind et al are not. Chances of this happening: 0-5%. Alternate options: Scott Olsen, free agent starters such as Ben Sheets on a one year deal.

Trade BJ Ryan and John McDonald for Brandon Wood

Comment: Look, the Angels have SS options that they probably prefer to Wood and also seem to want a proven closer to replace K-Rod. I know that BJ struggled at times, but he still finished off with dominant numbers and I have to think that a team would rather take BJ for 2 years and 20 million than hand out 5 years/75 million for K-Rod or 4 years/45 million for Fuentes. From the Jays standpoint, it is very likely that BJ improves next year since he will be two years removed from TJ surgery, but we have such a bullpen abundance that it does not make sense to tie up 20 million in BJ if it is the difference between someone like Pat Burrell and Manny Ramirez. Chances of this happening: 5%. Alternate options: Trading BJ Ryan for Magglio ordonez or prospects from the Cardinals, Indians etc.

-Sign Paul Byrd to a one year, $6 million contract

Comments: I am not sure exactly what Byrd will command, so I'm taking a total guess. Basically, with the Burnett savings (even after signing Manny) and the Frank Thomas savings, there is money left to solidify the rotation while maintaining a 100 million payroll for 2009. Once McGowan is back (and assuming Halladay/Cain/Litsch/Purcey are effective and healthy) then you can trade Byrd. I'd rather have him than take a chance on Richmond/R Romero (Cecil is not ready) as the 5th starter until McGowan is back if there is money to do it. Chances of this happening: 50% (Byrd or a comparable cheap starter on a one year deal). Alternate options: Freddy Garcia, Brad Penny et al.

-Trade/non-tender Jason Frasor (I don't think I need to explain this).

-Sign a backup catcher (Sal Fasano!) either to backup Barajas until JPA is ready, or on a minor league deal to challange Curtis Thigpen...

-Tender contracts to Jose Bautista, Brian Tallet, Jeremy Accardo and renew all the necessary 0-3 players.

-I'd also extend Roy Halladay with a 2 year 44 million contract that pays him 20 million in 2011 and 24 million in 2012 when Manny is off the books.

-I'd consider extending Matt Cain at the right price (maybe 2 years with an option to take him to 2014) and strongly consider giving Snider an Evan Longoria type deal.

Without going through each player, the 2009 payroll would be around $100 million and the 2010 payroll would be around $110 million with no subsequent big-money moves other than moving Overbay after 2009 if David Cooper is ready (which he looks like he might be).

Most importantly, if we stop our rash of young pitcher injuries there could be a ridiculous surplus of ML ready starting pitchers in 2010, including Halladay, Cain, McGowan, Cecil, Purcey, Litsch, Marcum, R Romero, Mills et al. Attrition will solve some of this problem, but I suspect we may be in a position to move someone and replenish the prospects from the Cain deal. The potential roster by the all-star break of 2009:

SP1: Halladay

SP2: Cain

SP3: McGowan

SP4: Litsch

SP5: Purcey/Cecil/R Romero

CL: Downs   SU: League, Accardo, Carlson, Tallet, Janssen, Wolfe etc

Batting Order:

RF: Rios

1B: Overbay

CF: Wells

LF: Ramirez

DH: Snider

3B: Rolen

2B: Hill

C: Arencibia

SS: Wood

If JP has the offseason of all offseasons, we could maintain a middle-of-the-pack payroll and maintain a top pitching staff in the majors (this may be better than it has ever been), have a top 5 AL offence, a lights out bullpen and we wouldn't even have to gut the farm system to do this (and if we do, we will replenish it soon enough if we can avoid pitching injuries and build a surplus). This is probably the most futile excercise I can go through as a Jays fan, but oh well...


Jays2010 - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 12:56 AM EDT (#192913) #
Sorry, I clearly had us trading R Romero in the Cain deal and also on our roster. That solves some of the potential pitching surplus down the road...
TamRa - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 12:59 AM EDT (#192914) #
If that deal would get Cain, I'd fly to his home and carry his bags to ST for him myself!
I wonder if anyone has looked to see if Lind's turning cold had anything to do with when Cito started hitting him higher in the order - maybe he started trying to do too much?
Jessie Listch, in the nine starts since his recall: 1.92 ERA

Alex Obal - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 03:07 AM EDT (#192916) #
Ridiculous pie-in-the-sky comp of the day:

Jesse Litsch = Andy Pettitte.
scottt - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 06:17 AM EDT (#192917) #
I'd see if the Mets would take Ryan and Overbay for Delgado as the top three things the Mets need is pitching, pitching and more pitching.

John Northey - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 07:22 AM EDT (#192918) #
Checking the spits at B-R Lind had troubles batting 5th (260/291/386 over 134 AB's) but the AB's are too low to really say it is a lock. Still, interesting.

The high/medium/low leverage stats...
High: 259/317/466 over 64 PA's
Medium: 357/387/556 over 137 PA's
Low: 234/259/336 over 143 PA's

Huh. Low pressure = low results for offense. Yet higher in the order, which suggested more pressure, also equals low results. No idea if this stuff continues year to year (I don't think batting order stats generally do but does leverage?) but it suggests focus might be a problem. If he is batting when nothing is on the line he falls asleep.

For other pressure situations his OPS is above 775 in all but 3 situations - >4 runs (705), 2 out RISP (558) and Late & Close (651). High and low pressure cause issues?

Eh, probably reading too much into tea leaves here. This is the type of stuff hitting coaches are paid to figure out as players just don't build up enough PA's to make it statistically significant.
HollywoodHartman - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#192933) #
"Romero could step in next year and do what Cain has done for them the last 2 years (200 innings with an ERA below 4.00, but a disgusting W-L record)."

If Romero can do that next year I will eat my hat.
Jays2010 - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#192935) #

"Romero could step in next year and do what Cain has done for them the last 2 years (200 innings with an ERA below 4.00, but a disgusting W-L record)."

If Romero can do that next year I will eat my hat.

Sorry, I meant more that Romero could maybe step in and provide a similar record as Cain, and Lind would add a couple of wins. Obviously wins are a horrible way to judge pitcher value, but Cain has to be considered a disappointment for the Giants (compared to Lincecum). If the Giants do trade Cain, perhaps they'll think that replacng Cain with a .500 pitcher is an upgrade, and then the offence would be upgraded by whatever Cain brings back. I mean, it is Sabean after all...

Jdog - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#192939) #

If that deal would get Cain, I'd fly to his home and carry his bags to ST for him myself

Its hard to know what SF would be expecting but i think the proposed deal would be very close, It would obviously all depend on how their scouts view Romero. But getting a bunch of years from Romero and Lind while trading Cain away who is much closer to making the big bucks would make a lot of sense for the giants, and your throwing in a 2B who could possibly start in the big league's down the road. Heck I make that trade if I am SF.

I also agree with trying to trade BY Ryan (getting a SS would be ideal) but, I dont think the Angels will be looking outside the organization for a closer.

Glevin - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#192941) #
"Its hard to know what SF would be expecting but i think the proposed deal would be very close, It would obviously all depend on how their scouts view Romero."

Not a chance at a chance. Matt Cain is only 23, the same age as Romero and younger than Lind. He's also potentially under contract for another 3 years. If the Giants trade Cain, they'll be looking for a top, young power hitter. This is from the Mercury News...

"One rumor is already floating that would send Cain to Milwaukee for first baseman Prince Fielder. But Giants officials aren't interested in a 1-for-1 swap for Cain, and it's doubtful the Brewers would just toss in All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy."

This doesn't mean that this is a trade that will go through, just that this is the type of value the Giants are expecting and a potentially pretty good LFer and potential middle of the rotation starter will not cut it. They'll certainly be looking for a better deal than Baltimore got for Bedard which would mean something like Snider, Cecil, and then some...
Ryan Day - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#192942) #
Romero's value is still pretty negligible. It looks like he might be turning things around, but he probably needs a few months of solid performance before you could consider him a valuable trading commodity.
Mike Green - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#192943) #
Litsch reminds me of Steve Trachsel in many ways.  He's been a good pitcher so far by being especially effective with runners on.  He does look like he can stand up to 200 innings, which means that he has a decent chance of improving rather than regressing as Trachsel did.
Chuck - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#192948) #

Heck I make that trade if I am SF.

The old chestnut that the team getting the best player in a trade tends to win the trade seems to prove true an awful lot (no need to cite exceptions, I know they exist, e.g., Colon to Montreal). Give me the quality over the quantity and I'll take my chances.

Were Sabean to move Cain in such a trade, there would surely be a mutiny. I can't imagine what they'd call it.

Chuck - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#192949) #

I also agree with trying to trade BY Ryan (getting a SS would be ideal) but, I dont think the Angels will be looking outside the organization for a closer.

The Mets would seem an ideal trade candidate but I'm not sure what they have that they could move. There's some extremely high end talent -- Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Santana -- that ain't going anywhere.

Jays2010 - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#192952) #
In regards to Cain; you guys are probably right that my proposal would not get it done. Not so much because it's a horrible proposal (or so I think), but that others would offer more and that Sabean never seems to pull off 3 for 1 or 4 for 1 trades; he'd probably prefer a one for one for Snider over that package. However, if the Giants are willing to change their philospophy then something may be doable. Scott Olsen is probably a better trade target since the Marlins seem to be willing to do quantity trades (though Olsen's SO rates are worrisome). Olsen would probably more/less cost the same as Cain over the next two years and JP reportedly offered Rios for Olsen two years ago. Maybe R Romero, Jeroloman, Campbell and Mills? Maybe R Romero/Jeroloman and Lind if they move Jacobs or Willingham. The main point remains though...if I were the GM I would not get involved with another big contract pitcher and I would go hard after the best hitter available on a short-term deal (Manny). Having arguably the best hitter and pitcher in the majors is an excellent way to have an imposing offence and pitching staff, in my opinion.
Ryan Day - Monday, September 29 2008 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#192954) #
I would go hard after the best hitter available on a short-term deal (Manny)

The best hitter available isn't going to take a short-term deal. Manny's having a huge year, and his pricetag is only going to go up if he has a strong post-season. I bet he gets four years, maybe even five from someone.

You might get Giambi on a two-year deal; I don't know if anyone's going to want to commit long-term to him.

One interesting possibility is Furcal, who might be interested in a one-year deal to re-establish himself for the next big contract.
SheldonL - Tuesday, September 30 2008 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#192960) #
I really like the idea of trading for a young pitcher like Cain, but because he's got a very friendly contract ($2.85mil in '09, $4.65 mil in '10, and a club/possible player option at$6.25 or $8.2 mil for '11), the cost will be very high!

I think that given Sabean's inability as a GM, you could possibly get Cain for B.J Ryan, Lind and a prospect like Brett Cecil.

It probably seems like you're overpaying but really, you have a number of arguments: one, Lind is going to be under control for 5 more years(or is it 4?) and he's got a promising career as an above average major league hitter (NOTE: the sky is not falling because he's had a rough september!); Cecil looks to have enough talent to be a serviceable SP and given the Giants' park's dimensions, he might be able to step in right away and perform very well(sub 4.00 ERA), and you have to convince them that with Lincecum, Zito, Sanchez and a free agent SP acquisition, they'll be division contenders (don't laugh!) and thereby need a better closer than Brian Wilson to get the job done... hence B.J Ryan.

I really think we ought to dangle B.J for an SP or a big power hitter. We have no need for a closer given that we have the best bullpen in the league.

I think B.J Ryan to the mets would be interesting since Wagner's done for next season which is the final year of his contract. I think asking for Delgado alone in a 1 for 1 swap makes sense for both sides. Both sides don't lose much money and the mets get a solid closer for 2 seasons.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 30 2008 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#192976) #
"I think that given Sabean's inability as a GM, you could possibly get Cain for B.J Ryan, Lind and a prospect like Brett Cecil."

This is a reasonable proposal, and Cain would help the team in 2009 (especially if the Jays lose AJ). But trading those three players creates some uncertainty for the Jays as well. Does the team have an effective in-house replacement for Ryan? Closing games requires more than just a live arm, and Ryan could well be back at full strength in 2009 (he looked a lot better towards the end of the season). How good are Lind and Cecil likely to be? Despite struggling in September, Lind carried the team for a while this summer, while Cecil had a fantastic year - he could be as good as Cain before too long. Tough call.
Jays2010 - Tuesday, September 30 2008 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#192993) #

Regarding Matt Cain...reportedly he is untouchable at the moment, but I somehow doubt that. Cecil/Ryan/ Lind is too much in my opinion; there are very few prospects I'd consider near untouchable, but Cecil/JPA/Snider should not be moved for guys with only 3 years before free agency, in my opinion. However, I'd be all for a Lind/R Romero/Ryan/Campbell for Cain trade, even though that is a lot for someone like Cain...

SheldonL - Tuesday, September 30 2008 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#192997) #
I think that you have to wow San Fran to a certain extent to get a premier talent like Matt Cain.

He's 23 (turns 24 tomorrow) and he's already got two 200+ IP seasons both of which had ERA's of under 3.75.
Oh and here's the best part, we get him for a total of $16 mil for the three years!
We shed B.J's two years and yes, Cecil and Lind have upside but that's just it, upside. Here, we've got a proven talent and under control for a very, very reasonable price.
September 28th: The Final Day | 29 comments | Create New Account
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