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Travis Snider has belted the first home run of spring training for the Jays, an opposite field poke to tie today's proceedings at 1-1 against the Phillies in Clearwater.  He was robbed of extra bases in his first at-bat on a leaping catch at the wall by John Mayberry Jr., the offspring of former Jay John Mayberry.   Just remember, when Snider wins the rookie of the year, you heard it here first!!

Meantime, Jason Lane has just followed with another solo poke and J.P. Arencibia just missed making it back to back to back jacks.  You can listen to today's game on bluejays.com.



Pitching wise, Scott Richmond pitched two shutout innings and Bryan Bullington gave up a run on two hits and two walks in two innnings but struck out four.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Travis Snider - Your 2009 ROY! | 41 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
China fan - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 02:37 PM EST (#196849) #

I agree that Snider has ROY potential this year.   The shift in expectations for Snider has been interesting.  Just last season, most people on this site believed that Snider should not be promoted to the majors in September because he wasn't ready for big-league pitching.  The consensus was that he wouldn't be ready until 2010.   And here we are, on the second game of the pre-season of 2009, and it's already virtually certain that Snider will start the season with the Jays and will probably remain in the majors for most or all of this season.  Jeff Blair's comment on Snider in his live blog today:  "Can't say enough about the shape that Snider's in. Ten pounds lighter, more muscle. 'He's a man,' Gaston says."

 

China fan - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 02:40 PM EST (#196850) #
And I can't resist adding one more quote from Jeff Blair (with apologies for my many quotations from his live blog today):   "Snider IS the best hitter on this team not named Alex Rios."
Mick Doherty - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 02:57 PM EST (#196851) #
Elvis Andrus begs to disagree with you, sir!
Ron - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 03:03 PM EST (#196852) #
One topic that has flown under the radar is JPís job security. Probably every fan/insider/media member will pick the Jays to finish 4th or 5th in the AL East this season. You canít expect the Jays to compete for a playoff spot after they had to slash payroll right?

And Iím sure the JP supporters will argue:

-         He has never had a payroll close to the Red Sox and Yankees

-         The Jays play in the toughest division in Baseball

-         Ownership hasnít been willing to go over slot in the draft or to make a big splash in the international market

-         The Jays have been ďunluckyĒ based on the run differential and the injuries sustained by the players

I would love to ask the owners, what is the criteria to determine if JP should be allowed to continue his plan after this season. Short of doing something illegal or trading Doc for Josh Towers, I have a hard time picturing him being given the pink slip.

Ryan Day - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 03:04 PM EST (#196853) #
I don't really get the Andrus hype. He doesn't look quite as impressive as Erick Aybar, who hasn't had the most impressive start to his career. I'm sure Andrus is incredibly talented, but I wouldn't expect a guy who hit 295/350/367 in AA to make a smooth transition to the majors.

That said, I think Snider will have enough struggles, like a whole month where he strikes out twice a game, that he won't be a sure-thing for ROY; I actually think Cecil might be a safer bet.

Greg - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 03:09 PM EST (#196854) #

I think the thing on Andrus is that his glove is more than ready for the majors.  I don't really see how is bat could possibly be ready though.

Are we really having a AL Rookie of the Year discussion without that fellow in Maryland?
Or is he persona non grata around here.

Ryan Day - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 03:23 PM EST (#196855) #
Wieters is apparently starting at AAA, and he might not even get the full-time catcher's job right away when he does join the O's. Though he's probably the front-runner if he gets enough time in the majors.
John Northey - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 03:28 PM EST (#196856) #
I suspect JP is safe as long as the Jays are doing well financially for Rogers overall (ie: after you factor in Rogers Centre revenue and SportsNet revenue from Jay games).  The lower expectations for this year won't hurt him either, as long as the Jays get good crowds overall.  FYI: 3 years in a row the Jays have had 2.3 million in attendance (2.302 to 2.399 million) climbing from 11th in 2002-2005 to 8th in 2006, to 7th in 2007 to 6th in 2008 (odd given the overall attendance didn't move much).  If they get up to 2.5 million fans I suspect ownership will be happy regardless of where they are in the standings.
greenfrog - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 04:06 PM EST (#196857) #
I think I read somewhere that pitchers have a hard time winning ROY honours, but Price has been hyped so much that it might even out this year. However, one thing working in Snider's favour is that the Rays might limit Price's innings this year, which could limits his wins and other stats. Right now I would say that Price, Snider and Wieters are all frontrunner ROY candidates.
Lucky - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 05:15 PM EST (#196858) #
Sounds like Snider will be a ROY candidate.  But not Cecil.  I watched him all last season and I don't think he's that good---yet, if ever.  And, I said 2 years ago that Ricky Romero was terrible and no one agreed.  Everyone kept saying (and hoping, I guess) that he was "the bomb".  Yeah, "bombed out". I don't think he ever will be a starting major league pitcher.  Or, I guess I should say, not a SUCCESSFUL major league pitcher.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 05:24 PM EST (#196859) #

Just to be clear, and the irony in my wording was obviously not ... obvious ... I don't personally think Andrus will be a ROY candidate, though that has been mentioned in North Texas media.  I think Omar Vizquel is going to play 125 games at short for the Rangers and Elvis will leave the building for time across the Metroplex in Frisco (AA) to fine-tune the stick work, if he can.

Apparently his glove is already MLB-Gold-caliber (supposedly anyway), but you can't come up to the bigs, hit .190 with no power and keep the job no matter HOW good the glovework.

SheldonL - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 05:30 PM EST (#196860) #
I think that after years of watching Escobar and Carpenter disappoint, I've come to the conclusion that young pitchers are guaranteed to experience growing pains but there's still potential for them to break out if they've got the obvious talent (i.e. hard, moving fastball and good breaking stuff).
So when I see people make bold claims that Ricky Romero or David Purcey or Brett Cecil or whoever won't make it to the big leagues ever, I just chuckle because pitching is some kinda unpredictable!

btw, Adam Dunn is 65th on the all-time OPS leaders list... quite incredible.

PPS: Does anyone know if TSN or Sportsnet or some random channel like OMNI or CityTV will be broadcasting spring training games?
Ron - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 08:04 PM EST (#196863) #
I suspect JP is safe as long as the Jays are doing well financially for Rogers overall (ie: after you factor in Rogers Centre revenue and SportsNet revenue from Jay games).  The lower expectations for this year won't hurt him either, as long as the Jays get good crowds overall.  FYI: 3 years in a row the Jays have had 2.3 million in attendance (2.302 to 2.399 million) climbing from 11th in 2002-2005 to 8th in 2006, to 7th in 2007 to 6th in 2008 (odd given the overall attendance didn't move much).  If they get up to 2.5 million fans I suspect ownership will be happy regardless of where they are in the standings.

I wonder how many season ticket holders the Jays have.

If the Jays can't even play sub.500 ball, I see attendance and TV viewers dropping off as the season goes along. The economy is unlikely to help the Jays either. I know General Motors has dropped out, after being a major sponsor of the Jays.



VBF - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 08:19 PM EST (#196864) #
I wouldn't worry about the Jays playing sub .500 ball.

While the economy doesn't help them, I think they won't be as bad off as other teams in professional sports. I don't think that television watching is affected too much in a struggling economy. It's also the Jays greatest tool at earning revenue (how many teams have potential TV markets of 31 million people?), and its the reason Rogers owns the Jays to begin with. So while attendance may drop if the team isn't competitive by May, they still present an incredible amount of value to Rogers. And if the Jays do what they've done the past three seasons, the Jays might be one of Roger's best ways to develop their brands, as paying for sponsorship is unfavourable.

If the Blue Jays were independant from Rogers, and Rogers paid for all the commercials, in stadium advertising, promotion, in-stadium store, television contracts, they'd have a lot more money to spend than they do right now. Rogers is lucky to have them at their disposal.

If the Jays were serious about making up for their lost sponsorship, they'd be (should be) thinking about way more creative ways to earn a buck.

VBF - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 08:20 PM EST (#196865) #
I believe that the season ticket base for the Jays is somewhere around 12,000.
TamRa - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 09:33 PM EST (#196866) #
Probably every fan/insider/media member will pick the Jays to finish 4th or 5th in the AL East this season.

Well that's the thing about predictions.

Last year, even people who believed in the Rays potential would have predicted them to finish 4th or 5th bot with a shot at finishing higher if things went right.

that is, there was a difference in "on paper" predictions and what was possible without invoking miracles.

I would say that's where the Jays are this year, albeit under somewhat different circumstances.  The Jays are "on paper" a 4th place team, but they are good enough and have enough potential swing factors to finish higher - even make the playoffs - if things break right (and as with the Rays last year, that includes things breaking wrong for the opposition)

As for Snider....if indeed Weiters is going to spend some portion of the season in AAA I think you could make an argument for Snider as the "default" favorite (if you buy into the difficulty of a pitcher winning it) for ROY. Any hitter beyond those two, and Andurus (who may well spend a little time in AAA himself with Vizauel in town, or at least on the bench) would be a serious dark horse.
timpinder - Thursday, February 26 2009 @ 10:09 PM EST (#196867) #

SheldonL,

Here's the spring training schedule:

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2009/06/c6495.html

Only two games are televised, but MLB.com has a few and about half of the games are on the radio.

SheldonL - Friday, February 27 2009 @ 12:30 AM EST (#196869) #
Thanks timpinder!

That sucks that only two games are televised and a full month apart to boot!

How about regular reason games? Does anyone have a tv broadcast schedule out there? I could only find an article about how CBC dropped baseball games because the $3.6 million in rights was too much for them, and that 145 games will be broadcast with 20 of them broadcasted by TSN. TSN was accommodating enough to supply a broadcast schedule of these games.
Surely, the other 125 will be broadcasted by Rogers Sportsnet but the site is really horrible of theirs and won't tell me anything.

I really hope we don't have any games broadcasted on Rogers 399 which I don't get.

And can someone explain why the Jays don't get all 162 of their games broadcasted? I understand that the hockey playoffs and basketball playoffs affects ratings negatively but that isn't enough of a reason to not broadcast, is it? How come channels like TheScore and such don't buy rights to the remaining unbroadcasted games?
VBF - Friday, February 27 2009 @ 09:28 AM EST (#196871) #
CBC backed out of their Jays deal because the Jays were unable to lower their prices to broadcast the games, so I doubt that Sportsnet could afford the tv rights. It's unfortunate because its an opportunity to build their brand nationwide, and I'm not sure why the Jays would not lower their tv revenue expectations. There must be something more to it.
Chuck - Friday, February 27 2009 @ 09:46 AM EST (#196872) #

I doubt that Sportsnet could afford the tv rights

Huh? Rogers owns both the Blue Jays and Sportsnet.

LouisvilleJayFan - Friday, February 27 2009 @ 01:36 PM EST (#196879) #
It would be cool to have Snider win Rookie Of The Year. I actually bought Snider's Lansing jersey (along with Brad Mills) from their auction last year. For those curious, I got Snider for $360 dollars and Mills for $95. I love this site, by the way. :-)
Mylegacy - Friday, February 27 2009 @ 05:40 PM EST (#196886) #
Louisvillejaysfan - were they signed?
ramone - Friday, February 27 2009 @ 05:43 PM EST (#196887) #

This might have been posted in another thread but I haven't seen it.  I just woke up off of night shift and checked my email and found a google alert to a tsn article stating the Jay will be going over slot in the draft.  Finally! 

(Sorry if this has been posted somewhere, still groggy from nightshift)

LINK

"The Blue Jays, under interim CEO Paul Beeston, intend to become even more aggressive in that regard by employing a new willingness to pay signing bonuses above Major League Baseball recommendations. That was a big no-no under old president Paul Godfrey and the shift in philosophy may help Ricciardi secure more high-end talent.

"That's definitely going to be an area we look at differently," said Ricciardi. "The gloves are off."

LouisvilleJayFan - Friday, February 27 2009 @ 07:53 PM EST (#196888) #
Nah, they came with a nice 8 x 10 photo of each player with a blurb about each of their seasons at Lansing and COA from the Lugnuts GM. Snider's was obviously about the 2007 season. Nice for framing. Something that probably only I will find funny seeing as I'm from Louisville though is that the Lansing GM's name is Pat Day (same as the famous jockey).
timpinder - Friday, February 27 2009 @ 10:18 PM EST (#196891) #

ramone,

Is that ever nice to hear.  If the Jays are going to win the AL East some day, it's going to be through the draft.  I am very pleased!  It's about time!

zeppelinkm - Friday, February 27 2009 @ 11:07 PM EST (#196892) #

You got that right!

This is without question the best news this offseason for the Blue Jays. Even though it came out during Spring Training of 2009...

 

John Northey - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 12:11 AM EST (#196893) #
Now that is big news if they follow through with it.  I suspect this means that Beeston has decided to tell Rogers to cut the ML payroll and increase the money for prospects due to the higher return.  I can live with the reduced payroll if this payoff occurs.  This will now be a very big draft for Ricciardi as he now has no constraints (that we know of).
Mylegacy - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 01:22 AM EST (#196894) #
"The gloves are off." BUT - are the fingers nimble enough to get results?

Here we have a team of scouts, cross checkers etc. all trained to FIND hidden gems - because we sure as heck HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE to afford to buy many REAL gems. These guys are trained to ONLY get behind guys that they KNOW are signable. How would these guys evaluate a Joba Chamberland - a guy the Yanks paid way over the mark? The Yanks scouts are trained to find out what it's going to take to OVERPAY the guy to get him in the fith round for first or second round money - these guys are experts at projecting where a guy would have gone if he wasn't thought to be unsignable. Our guys - not so much - they've never had to do that particular calculus. I'm more nervous than excited about this turn of events - as they say in British sitcoms - this could all go pear shaped.

In a way - underneath the radar JP has INVENTED a Moneyball move of his own - namely finding relievers in college - guys that can come cheap - but guys that have enough of a set of tools to become starters. Looks like Marcum and Cecil are his two BIG winners there. Nobody has given him any love for this - 'cept maybe me.

I feel sorry for JP - I think the guy has finally figured it out  - but by now there aren't a lot of us left that care.
92-93 - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 03:10 AM EST (#196895) #
John, I have been hoping for something like this for months, and you have been steadfast in your belief that the two are mutually exclusive. Seems like you're coming around.
timpinder - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 08:56 AM EST (#196897) #
This should be a big draft for the Jays, if the talent's there and they do in fact go over slot.  The Jays get their 1st round pick, a supplemental 1st round pick (37th overall I believe), their 2nd round pick and two 3rd round picks.  If 1st round talent is available in the 2nd or 3rd rounds, or 2nd round talent available in the 3rd round, because of financial demands, this is finally an opportunity for the Jays to make some headway.
smcs - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 10:14 AM EST (#196899) #
If I remember correctly, were the Jays not doling out larger than expected signing bonuses to later round guys in an effort to keep them from going to college in this past draft?  I seem to remember being surprised that Wilson, Brisker and Pastornicky all signed instead of going to college.  Am I mistaken?  Could this not be seen as a slow changing of the draft strategy?

Even then, it is nice to hear that the Jays will go after the best talent in the draft.  I just hope they resolve never to draft a Scott Boras client.  What he did with Pedro Alvarez last year should not be tolerated.

greenfrog - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 11:56 AM EST (#196900) #
Given the makeup of the AL East, it only makes sense to focus primarily on player development. In fact, this is what the Jays should have been doing from the outset under Ricciardi, rather than handing out huge contracts to players like Koskie, Wells and Thomas. Oakland, for example, has been very focused in its approach of trading veterans (even relatively young and accomplished ones) when they have significant trade value. The A's now have an outstanding farm system with tons of talent on the way-- as BP put it recently, "The A's system is loaded with elite pitching, high-ceiling young talent, and tremendous depth. They should easily return to perennial American League West contention by 2010." I hope the next Jays GM adopts a similar approach. It's the only way the Jays are going to build a serious contender--from the inside out.
Ron - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 01:14 PM EST (#196901) #
The Jays willingness to go over slot is huge news. Frankly, this is the biggest news of the last couple of months and deserves it's own thread. Now I can only hope the other 2 silly draft decisions go away (Won't draft Scott Boras clients/Won't take a HS pitcher in the 1st round).

The drafting bonuses/major league contracts the draftees receive are peanuts compared to most of the FA contracts given out.  I would much rather roll the dice with the David Price, Jered Weaver's, Cameron Maybin's of the world, than dish out 6-7+ million for the Jon Garland's, Randy Wolf's, and Adam Eaton's of the world. The slotting system is a complete joke.

Mike Green - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 02:14 PM EST (#196903) #
Well, all right then.  A cut in payroll followed by an investment in the draft.  That is a sign that the organization is starting to think.

You'd know that the guts are there (in addition to the brains) if they canned Ricciardi now and offered the job to Lacava.  The timing wouldn't be great for the season, but I would be a lot happier with Lacava at the reins for draft day 2009. 

greenfrog - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 02:45 PM EST (#196904) #
I think Ricciardi has to go simply to instill a fresh approach in the organization. As Jeff Blair said a year ago, "it's time." Beeston is the perfect guy to engineer a new-and-improved front office. In some ways, I think it's a good sign that he's taking his time, searching for a new president, adding scouts, making the team's draft approach more flexible, etc. I just hope the Jays don't bleed too much talent before he gets a new management team in place.
ramone - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 05:35 PM EST (#196914) #
Well Blair is reporting that the Jays have interest in Cabrera, ughh!  This would counteract the good news about going over slot somewhat by giving up a draft pick.
timpinder - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 06:06 PM EST (#196916) #
Sweetening the deal with an "upside" arm like League?  If they want to dump "a couple million" so they can bring in a guy like Cabrera, why not just give away Frasor and Tallet?  If, as Blair suggests, players like Scott Campbell and some upside arms have been discussed, I wonder if the Tigers are in the discussion.  They need bullpen help and a 3B, and the Jays are, according to Blair, trying to shop Rolen.
MatO - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 07:12 PM EST (#196917) #

Joba Chamberland - a guy the Yanks paid way over the mark

This is turning into an urban legend.  Chamberlain was paid maybe $250,000 over slot.  The Red Sox had the pick right before the Yankees and took some college lefty.  Chamberlain dropped because of weight and knee issues not money.  Ian Kennedy is cited the same way.  He was considered an overdraft since his Junior year was mediocre but his agent was Boras so he got above slot and the Yankees get credited for going above slot when they just plain overpaid.  I'd rather sign 5 Latin Americans at $200,000 each than blow it on one guy in the draft.

Why is JP being blamed for not going over slot when the sources above suggest it was Godfrey's directive?

Flex - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 11:03 PM EST (#196918) #
It's absurd for the Jays to be considering Cabrera because if they signed him they'd have to give up their first round draft pick. A lot of good paying over slot would do then.
Flex - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 11:04 PM EST (#196919) #
Or in other words, what Ramone said. (Sorry, Ramone, I went straight to the link.)
Glevin - Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 11:31 PM EST (#196920) #
"Given the makeup of the AL East, it only makes sense to focus primarily on player development. In fact, this is what the Jays should have been doing from the outset under Ricciardi, rather than handing out huge contracts to players like Koskie, Wells and Thomas."

Exactly. The only way the Jays are going to be perennial contenders in the AL East is to build a top system. It is certainly not impossible, it just requires paying more attention to scouting and development and willing to pay for better prospects.  Porcello who was one of the best prospects in the 2007 draft scared off a lot of teams with his demands. Ultimately though, the Tigers only paid $11 million or so for him over the next four years which is the same money Octavio Dotel got in a 2-year deal. The Jays' system is better than it was a few years ago, but it still an average system.
Travis Snider - Your 2009 ROY! | 41 comments | Create New Account
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