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Sometimes you're the ball.  Guess which one the Jays were Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field?   As our John Northey put it in yesterday's TDIB thread, "Sometimes you are the monster and sometimes the monster eats you."

The Jays made it 16 straight runs in the series after grabbing a 2-0 lead in the top of the second on an RBI base knock by Jose Bautista and a sac fly by Marco Scutaro.  However, it wasn't long before the Jays were in dire straits as the lead was gone in the bottom of the second.  The White Sox finally remembered how to score again by getting two runs of their own against Brian Burres.   

Toronto had a chance to take the lead in the fourth but Aaron Hill was robbed of an RBI single by his second base counterpart Brent Lillibridge on a nice diving stop to end the top of the fourth.  Burres kept the Pale Hose off the board until the fifth when his "fast"ball, changeup and curveball repertoire stopped working.  He gave up the go-ahead run and left the bases loaded for Shawn Camp.  The kill shot was a grand slam by Alexei Ramirez to put the game away and give the White Sox a six run inning and an 8-2 advantage.  Jermaine Dye got to Camp the next inning with a two run bomb to give the Chicago double digits in the run column. 

Brandon League worked a one walk seventh and Bryan Bullington struck out the side in the eighth but not before stranding the bases loaded on two hits and a walk.  Burres took the loss by lasting just 4 1/3 innings and giving up six runs on seven hits and four walks while whiffing only two.  Camp had an outing to forget by allowing the other four runs on two gopher balls and allowed all three of his inherited runners to score.

The Jays had only seven hits and four walks in this one and went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.  Kevin Millar was the only Jay to have a two hit night as he pushed his average up to .344.

It's up to Roy Halladay to try to give the Jays another series victory.  "Doc" will go against Jose Contreras in a 2:05 p.m. EDT start at the Cell.


In other TDIB notes......

*   A pitcher with the initials A.J.B. was pounded by the BoSox.

*  The Hoff is back and not a moment too soon as the Brewers almost gave one away in Houston.  A couple of Astros were also ejected.

*  The M's tried to give one away against the Halos but ultimately failed.

*   The Giants win and bail out the Big Unit, who remains four wins away from 300.

*   The D-Backs will have to make do without their ace for a while.

*   The Twins are expecting their other star player with the initials J.M. to be back this week.

Sometimes You're The Louisville Slugger, Baby..... | 61 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#198985) #
Everyone has their own way of doing things.  After Friday night's delightful game, with Doc up on Sunday and a full pen effectively at one's service, you could have made last night's game a Charlie Wholestaff start.  Burres starts, and after 4 innings, you are delighted to be tied at 2 with Buehrle, and bring in Frasor to pitch 3 innings.  It's a high enough leverage situation to merit the usage. 

That would have maximized the chance of winning the game.  On the other hand, there is a potential long-term advantage to the more conventional usage of the pen employed by Gaston/Arnsberg.   Frasor's current role is to pitch 2 innings maximum late in the game; this defined role perhaps helps him to thrive.

Mike Green - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#198986) #
Oh, and Albert Pujols hit a grand slam yesterday to reach 1,000 RBIs before age 30.  His BBRef most comparable is Jimmie Foxx, who holds the record for most RBIs before his age 30 season at 1,345. 
Magpie - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#198990) #
His BBRef most comparable is Jimmie Foxx

Which is sort of good news and bad news. The good news, obviously, is resembling Jimmie Foxx as a hitter. The bad news is that Foxx stopped being Beastly at a very early age. He had 518 homers by the time he was 33 and finished up with 534. Of course, I believe he was more of a drinking man than Albert.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#198991) #

Burres starts, and after 4 innings, you are delighted to be tied at 2 with Buehrle 

Your #11 or #12 starter goes up against an ACE, and it's even after 4.  Bring in a fresh arm for two, and another for the next two, and Downs saves the 9th.  Roy pitches 7-9 IP using 0-2 fresh relievers.  Purcey will have 2-4 fresh relievers plus Downs.  You have good enough pitching, just use it judiciously.

China fan - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#198992) #

A few problems with the "Charlie Wholestaff" theory:

1) If you're trying to squeeze 5 innings out of your bullpen, you're normally going to need 3 or 4 relievers, at least, and the odds are that one of them will be Shawn Camp, who allowed 4 runs last night.  If it's not Shawn Camp, the chances are that another reliever is going to allow a run or two.  If you're gambling on getting a scoreless 5 innings from your bullpen, it's not normally a winning gamble.

2) The Jays only scored 2 runs.  That's not enough to win the game, even if you somehow squeeze a perfect 5 innings from your bullpen.

3) If your starter succeeds in holding the opposition to 2 runs in his first 4 innings, and the game is still tied, it's a real slap in the face to deny him the chance at 5 innings and the win.  Managers need the respect of their players.  If you yank a starter after 4 innings, when he's only allowed 2 runs and the game is tied, it's a serious mark of disrespect to that pitcher, even if it is Brian Burres.  Players remember that kind of thing.  It's bad for morale for the whole team.  Besides, if the pitcher has done pretty well for 4 innings, and his pitch count isn't too high, the odds are pretty good that you can squeeze a 5th inning out of the guy. I think Cito was playing the odds correctly in this case -- and he was respecting his pitchers too.

Waveburner - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#198993) #

I also see no issue with Gaston leaving Burres in for the 5th. Lest we forget our 2, 3, and 4 starters after Doc right now are Purcey, Richmond and Tallet. I'd put put the odds at very good that all 3 at some point this season will have consecutive starts of under 4 IP. The Jays with their current patchwork rotation cannot afford to unnecesarily burn their pen. When Burres left we were down by 1. If Camp gets the groundball he got from batter #3 from either of the first 2 hitters the Jays get a DP and are out of the inning down just 1 or 2. Camp had a suckage day. It happens. Like another poster said, banking on 5 shutout innings from the pen is foolhardy at best.


Mike Green - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#198994) #
I wasn't suggesting that Cito's usage was wrong. Merely, that there were a couple of different ways of looking at pitcher usage and leverage in a difficult situation.  With luck, there won't be too many pitching matchups like last night's, after the middle of May.

Doc must be feeling pretty good.  He hasn't been at his best so far this season, and he sits at 4-1.  Hold the opposition to 3 runs over 7 or 8 innings, and let the offence and the bullpen do the rest. 

greenfrog - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#198995) #
On Contreras's start: "I guess that was probably the biggest positive today, for him to go out there and pitch seven innings and give up three runs against that lineup," Konerko said. "That's going to make him feel good and it's going to make him feel he can do that against anybody because that lineup is stacked right now."

Amazing how, in 20 games, the Jays have gone from an offense-starved team to one with a "stacked" lineup. And the lineup really does look good with Rolen, Overbay, Barajas and Snider hitting 6-9 (to say nothing of the 1-5 hitters).
brent - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#198996) #

They just need to go 66-76 the rest of the way to prove a lot of the "experts" wrong. 80+ wins here we come!

brent - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#198997) #
Does Burres get another start? Is there any word out there yet?
Gerry - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#198998) #
I read somewhere today, could be the newspaper or online, where Cito said Burres would get another start.  There is no-one beating down the door from Las Vegas at the moment.
davidcanavan - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#199000) #
Didn't know where to post this but something i find interesting. Today the Red Sox Double A affiliate lost a game 20-15. On that team they have the Sox's 16th 17th and 18th round picks from the 2006 draft. Two of those players are Lars Anderson and Josh Reddick, their number one and five prospects. The other guy is Jorge Jiminez who is hitting almost .400 this year and hit .319 last year. Not a bad draft. Especially when you consider they got Bard in the first round, and Masterson in the second.
scottt - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#199001) #
Yesterday was one of those games that is not winnable. I think Cito played it perfectly. Had Camp done the job, they would have stayed in it. If not, it's not worth killing the bullpen at the start of a road trip, especially when the next game is a day game followed by a trip to the airport.

Things worked out perfectly today. Doc won by the thinnest of margin. They've now won 6 series and lost none.

Geoff - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#199002) #
If the Jays manage to pull three out of four from the Royals with a rotation of Purcey, Richmond, Tallet and Burres, this would have to stack up as the most spectacular month in franchise history. I think it must already qualify as the most surprising/unbelievable.

And when they have Greinke and Meche coming at them, winning this series may require the most luck of all. Sure, Toronto is an offensive juggernaut but those two pitchers have been tight like Doc with their pitching.

If only there were someone else to take the mound other than Burres, you'd think the Jays would be more likely to win 3 rather than lose 3.

Because until today, KC were the leaders of their division. Along with Seattle and Toronto. KC, Seattle and Toronto were the AL division leaders today, the end of week 3. Still doesn't sound right. If the Nationals and Pirates were leading their divisions, I would know this is just some Twilight Zone episode. Thankfully the Nats are as terrible as one would expect.

TamRa - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#199004) #
There is no-one beating down the door from Las Vegas at the moment.

Neither was Burres.

Sadly, he prob will get another start, But I'd take Miller, or even three IP or so from Bullington before I'd be in favor of Burres going again.

zeppelinkm - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#199005) #
Rich Harden threw 6 innings today and struck out 9. To date he has pitched 21 innings and struck out 35, for a K/9 of 15 to date. This man is utterly awesome when he's in the game. Let's all pray that he can keep his arm intact for 30 starts and 180 innings this year and see what he can do. He's a legitimate contender to K 300 guys in a season.

VBF - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#199006) #
All sources seem to indicate that Romero can come back from the DL after the 15 days, so they really only need one or two more starts from Burres. Cecil isn't a AAA veteran like McGowan had been when he was mediocre and called up, but calling up a kid when he's not really all that deserving as worked for this organization. I think Cecil might have been disappointed to not go North with the team after Spring Training, so why not give him a taste anyways? There's not a lot to lose, because I don't think anyone has much confidence in Burress.

And of course injury can plague pitchers in the meantime, but when Litsch is ready to return, I would be reluctant to move Tallet back to the bullpen, if his pattern of success continues.
brent - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#199007) #
Thanks for nothing Baltimore and New York. How about winning a game next time you play Boston?
Flex - Sunday, April 26 2009 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#199008) #
Watching Sunday night baseball tonight, ESPN put a graphic up of the top second basemen in the majors, and it was infuriating not seeing Aaron Hill up there. His stats were better than almost every player shown. Before the graphic came up, Jon Miller actually touted Hill by name as one of the top young second basemen, and Joe Morgan had to say, "He's not on this list" (or words to that effect).

I have to say, it was galling. Such a ridiculous oversight.

brent - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 01:46 AM EDT (#199009) #
How long will Boston keep going before a loss? I hope Cleveland doesn't roll over for 3 straight, or I might just Pukelis.
Anders - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 02:14 AM EDT (#199010) #
Watching Sunday night baseball tonight, ESPN put a graphic up of the top second basemen in the majors, and it was infuriating not seeing Aaron Hill up there. His stats were better than almost every player shown. Before the graphic came up, Jon Miller actually touted Hill by name as one of the top young second basemen, and Joe Morgan had to say, "He's not on this list" (or words to that effect).

I have to say, it was galling. Such a ridiculous oversight.

The piece was about how baseball is loaded with a bunch of great second basemen right now. I think we all like Aaron Hill, and there are plenty of reasons to think that he'll keep hitting, but 90 at bats isn't a particularly large sample size, and Aaron's career numbers, while decent, are hardly earth-shattering. Before this year you could make a decent argument that Hill was the 5th best second baseman in the AL East.

For the most part the players listed in the graphic, I believe  Utley, Kinsler, Pedroia, Orlando Hudson, Dan Uggla and one other person (Phillips?), are all hitting comparably to Aaron. I love to criticize ESPN as much as anyone, but I don't think his omission was criminal - they even gave him an honourable mention.
TamRa - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 02:50 AM EDT (#199011) #
Before this year you could make a decent argument that Hill was the 5th best second baseman in the AL East.

Worse than Iwamura?

I don't think I'd find any such argument very compelling at all.

brent - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 03:41 AM EDT (#199013) #

Burres is listed for his next start. I was surprised that Cecil and Mills aren't even on the 40-man roster yet.

James W - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 07:40 AM EDT (#199016) #
The argument was very easy to make:  Aaron Hill did not play at all in the last 4 months after suffering a concussion.  Nobody knew if he'd even be able to play again, let alone outplay anyone's predictions as he has.  Akinori Iwamura played second base for the American League champions.
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#199017) #
If you were to check the major publications, the major sports talk people (Radio & TV), the significant blogs for the last_______days/weeks/months/years, you would find little or no mention of the Jays in comparison to the other teams.  Toronto players are always undervalued, rarely given their due.  As long as this happens, Toronto slides under the radar, sometimes catching people by surprise.  Boston has to win 9-10? in a row not to fall 2,3 or 4 games back.  New York will be lucky to finish 3rd this year.  Toronto finishes 71-71 in the next 142 and Toronto wins 85.  Just finishing +8 in Apr. and +1 in each month's records to follow: 90 wins!
MatO - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#199018) #

 I was surprised that Cecil and Mills aren't even on the 40-man roster yet.

You don't put young playrs on the 40 man until you absolutely have to.  There is no point in having the clock ticking for no good reason.

Mike Green - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#199020) #
The Royals will be starting four right-handers in this series.  Having Snider in the lineup every day should be a plus. 

I don't know if anyone mentioned this, but Snider may look like he is 21 (or less), but he sounds as though he is 31 (or more).  It might be his way of dealing with rookie nerves; hopefully as the season goes on, we will see some of the energy of youth.

westcoast dude - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#199021) #
Another second baseman under the radar is Alberto Collaspo of the Kansas City Royals who just turned 26  and impresses with a .377 / .414 / .528. Last season he played 2B, 3B, SS and OF.
Mike Green - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#199022) #
Paul Byrd is available, and I can't imagine that he would cost much, given the market.  He wouldn't be a bad stopgap measure in case Litsch and Romero aren't ready for a month.
Greg - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#199023) #
Not that I'm suggesting the Jays go after him, but what's the word on Ben Sheets?
Is he physically able to pitch this year?
Magpie - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#199024) #
Jerry Crasnick at ESPN recently looked over some of the available FA talent out there.

Ben Sheets is currently rehabbing - he's a few weeks away from actually throwing and probably wouldn't be MLB ready until after the All Star Break. The Brewers offered him arbitration, so it's unlikely that anyone will sign him until after the June draft, at which point no draft pick compensation will be required.

Paul Byrd plans to spend the first half of the season at home with his family, and hopes to hook on with a contender for the second half.
John Northey - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#199025) #

Last I knew Sheets was out for at least 1/2 the season, probably more.  Checking Rotoworld I see nothing since March when he rehabbed with the Rangers team doctor.  Not signed anywhere, not going to throw until mid-season it appears and very unlikely to be back and effective until late August I'd say from the reports.

Basically, we already have someone in that role - Shawn Marcum.  He might be back in late August early September and might pitch well.  Or he might not. 

The Jays really do have a lot of depth coming up.  We have Litsch and Romero coming back soon most likely, then Marcum then McGowan (although those two might be next year not this).  Mix in the current rotation of Halladay/Purcey/Richmond/Tallet/Burres with 3 of those 5 having ERA+'s over 120 (Halladay 126, Richmond 143, Tallet 161) and you are in pretty good shape.  If someone could just convince Purcey to throw (#&! strikes we'd be in excellent shape.  For comparison the Yankees have their starting 5 from day one still going with ERA+'s of 163 (Pettite)-123 (Joba)-100 (CC)-88(AJ)-14(Wang).  I don't think they want to imagine what happens if Pettite or Joba goes down (although it is fun to imagine for us).  The Red Sox have used 6 guys with ERA+'s of 208 (Wakefield)-189 (Masterson)-105 (Lester)-85 (Beckett)-66 (Penny)-40 (Dice-K). 

So, if we go by ERA+ for guys with 2+ starts we get...

208-163-276 (Wakefield-Pettite-Romero)
189-123-161 (Masterson-Joba-Tallet)
105-100-143 (Lester-CC-Richmond)
85-88-126 (Beckett-AJ-Halladay)
66-14-78 (Penny-Wang-Purcey)
40-na-53 (Dice-K-na-Litsch)
Plus Burres in 1 start at 38 for ERA+ (just below Dice-K)

So, for slots 1,3,4,5 the Jays are better than both the Yankees and Red Sox by at least 12 points of ERA+ while losing in the #2 hole by 17 to Boston (way over the Yanks).  Not bad at all given we are down 3 starters from last year and our top prospect (Cecil) is in AAA while the guy who was to be #2 is at #6 for ERA+ (Litsch) and is beating the $100 million roll of the dice by Boston.  Will this stay the case all season?  Extremely doubtful but boy is it fun right now.

FYI: The Rays starting 5 (no missed starts) are at 134 (Shields) - 124 (Kazmir) - 99 (Garza) - 91 (Niemann) - 63 (Sonnanstine) (Jays winning all 5 slots, with 3 guys doing better than their best).

While I'm at it might as well check the bottom lines for ERA+ and OPS+...
Boston: 122-116 (actually doing really well)
NYY: 77-115
Tampa: 102 - 96
Toronto: 121-123 (now is that balanced or what?)
Baltimore: 84-102 (well, what did you expect with one guy over 100 for ERA+)

Mike Green - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#199026) #
Byrd does not have a lot of options.  He would not ordinarily be valuable to a contender, unless the team has had a lot of injuries to the pitching staff.  No harm in asking if he'd pass on some May family bbqs to heave the horsehide for a few greenbacks.
China fan - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#199027) #
Byrd was still pitching somewhat effectively last season, and looks like he'd be a worthwhile pickup.  But even if he signed today, he's been inactive for months and it would take him two or three weeks to get up to major-league readiness, wouldn't it?   The Jays are assuming that at least two (Romero, Janssen) of their injured pitchers will be ready in two or three weeks, so Byrd wouldn't be necessary.    (That's even if Litsch is further delayed.  Speaking of which, we are still waiting for results of Litsch's visit to Dr. Andrews today -- has anyone heard anything yet?)
Gerry - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#199028) #
Casey Janssen is pitching tonight for Dunedin.  So far he has pitched three shutout innings with one ground ball hit allowed.
TamRa - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#199029) #
Nobody knew if he'd even be able to play again

I didn't see any indication that his ability to play this year was in any doubt from as far back as last September. There was no reason to assume this offseason that his career was in jeopardy other than assuming a worst case scenario

It's akin to assuming that Marcum is in some danger of being done as a valuable starter.

Now, if he had still been showing effects last fall and into the winter I'd agree with your point.

Gerry - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#199030) #
I think Jamie Campbell needs a shotgun to get Joe Carter off the broadcast.  Joe sure loves to talk.
Bid - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#199031) #
Really...who would you rather listen to...Joe or Jamie?
Waveburner - Monday, April 27 2009 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#199032) #

(That's even if Litsch is further delayed.  Speaking of which, we are still waiting for results of Litsch's visit to Dr. Andrews today -- has anyone heard anything yet?)

Cleared to resume throwing, I don't know how to do the link thing.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 07:59 AM EDT (#199033) #
Tell me I'm wrong.  Ricky Romero is due back 2-3, possibly 4 weeks; Casey Janssen is due back 3-4, possibly 5  weeks; Jesse Litsch is due back 4-5, possibly 6 weeks.  The next callup from the minors is due/can be made in 7-10 days with Fabio Castro the first 'lamb to the slaughter'.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#199034) #
Should be interesting if Burres does poorly next time.  I figure he gets 2 starts to show something, then would be dumped for someone else unless he does 1/2 decent (5+ with 3 or fewer runs, or 7+ with 4 or fewer).  Castro is probably next (Litsch came straight from AA so we know JP is willing to do that) unless Cecil or Mills or someone else suddenly 'clicks'. 
Jdog - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#199035) #

Purcey was difficult to watch right from the start last night. Its tough when your having trouble locating your fastball and you can't get a curve ball over to save your life. Anybody know if the wet ball was to blame for part of his struggles last night? I didn't hear any post game remarks so was just curious if Purcey mentioned the ball being wet as a factor in not throwing the curve ball much.




TamRa - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#199036) #
Casey Janssen is due back 3-4, possibly 5  weeks

Actually, Janssen is set to get three more rehab starts so he could concievably start for the Jays on May 16.

christaylor - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#199038) #
On the broadcast (IRC I was watching & listening at the time) I recall hearing that Purcey is bothered by the cold weather (finds it hard to get a grip on the ball). No news there, pitchers have a tough time adjusting to less-than-optimal conditions.

Purcey, even though struggling, is perhaps the most interesting Jays pitcher to watch right now, in my opinion. Why? Doc is good and always is good. Wolverine and Scott "Barnacle Scraper" Richmond never had the prospect label nor the raw talent of Purcey and Burres shouldn't even get the next start (but all the other options are flawed if only other reasons).

Last night was a weird one; that Vernon K was a turning point. In the grand scheme of things the K and the loss doesn't matter much, but I sure hope the Jays adjust. Namely, don't let Jose (who has talent, I don't think there's any dispute there) beat up on them. Get back to jumping on opportunities like they had in the 2nd. It would surprise me not a whit to see the Jays lose 3 of 4 to KC (prove me wrong BJs prove me wrong). The test will be how the Jays bounce back from going from riding high darlings to being beaten up on for the first time this young season. There's a ton we don't know about the new Cito era Jays. Dealing with adversity when there's expectation is one of them.
christaylor - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#199039) #
Neither. I had the radio on while watching.

But seriously, what does Joe Carter really have to offer a 2009 Jays' broadcast? About the only thing I can think of is of stories of Cito running the clubhouse (yawn).

I don't think I am going on a limb when I say that the 92 and 93 Jays won, despite Carter in the middle of the order. He was gifted that spot in the order by Cito and was good, never great. I love the "touch 'em all Joe, you'll never hit a bigger home run in your life" call too, but I'm focused (at present) on the Jays winning ways in 2009.

Personally, I find Joe Carter's brother (who does softball hitting homerun contests for money, last I heard on the radio, last season or the season prior) to be more interesting than Carter himself. On the other hand, Jamie does a good job of Jays broadcasts (much better than Rob Faulds ever did) and I'm glad we've got him to listen to each broadcast. He's grown into the job and is more entertaining with Fletcher in the booth than with Rance in my opinion.

This is of course, a matter taste, which there's no arguing about, as the expression goes... but feel free to have at me: en garde.

(getting on soapbox) I will say this, which is not a matter of taste: it is a travesty that Tom Cheek is not in the HOF. Howarth should follow him the year after... no disrespect to the other Ford C. Frick winners, but c'mon. The whole thing stinks to high heaven. Cheek should have been in before he died. As a Jays fan, I find it difficult to understand the decision making process behind this award. (off soapbox).
Chuck - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#199041) #

He's grown into the job and is more entertaining with Fletcher in the booth than with Rance in my opinion.

This is of course, a matter taste, which there's no arguing about, as the expression goes... but feel free to have at me: en garde.

This is a conversation we have fairly frequently in these corners. I believe the popularity pecking order is Fletcher, Mulliniks, Tabler, but I could be mistaken.

I like both Mulliniks and Fletcher, as each bring something different to the table. I think I could grow weary of each if either were fulltime, so it's nice that they rotate. I would be happy to see Tabler removed from the rotation entirely, as Candiotti was years ago. Tabler's inane blatherings are cringeworthy.

John Northey - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#199044) #

The Frick award is an interesting thing.  Dave Van Horne should be in (Expos announcer, very very good, from 1969-2000).  Jacque Doucet was the French voice of the Expos for 34 years.  Why these two voices in the darkness, and two of three who were still alive for the last ballot (plus Tony Kubek who won) are not in is every crazier than Cheek not being in.

However, something to remember is just 33 people have won this award so far, with just one winner per year.  Joe Nuxhall seems to win the fan vote every year, or at least come close, and has yet to get in (the Reds radio voice from 1967 to 2004 plus parts of 3 more seasons before he passed away while waiting to be voted in).

The Frick is a frustrating award, with many deserving candidates but just one getting in each year.  We have 3 who deserve it from Canada (easily) plus the regular vote leader.  They really need to find a way to clear out some of that backlog or it will become an award given out only to those who have passed away.

D. King - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#199048) #

Hello everyone, I'm a first time poster. Very frequent reader, however, and I want to thank everyone here for creating what is an incredibly entertaining and educational resource. Over the past three years this site has single handedly transformed me into an avid baseball fan, though I admit I still have a ton to learn.

If the FA options remaining out there are less than exciting, at what point would it be prudent for the Jays to investigate a deal for a middle-rotation starter. There seem to be a lot of interesting names that are up for free agency after the season. Daniel Cabrerra, for example, might be a neat fit if Arnsberg could use the some of the same lessons that he gave to A.J. Heck, seeing Randy Johnson in Toronto might even be worth a bad trade.

I know that it is very early to begin thinking about any sort of a "lets go for it this year" deal, but does the temptation rise if we can exit May, say, ten games over .500? Would it make sense then, to trade from our strengths (I assume these would be pitching and first base prospects)? Or would the best route be to sit pat and stay on plan to contend next year (avoiding any Loaiza/Young scenarios).

I seem to recall hearing someone say that you take two months to figure out what you've got, then make your adjustments over the next couple of months. Is this a rule that holds weight?

I think that I'd be most comfortable not making any sort of deal, and allowing this team to play out the schedule as they are. I have a sense, though, that the best trades are often the most unpredictable ones, and the ones that I'd be afraid to make.

D. King - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#199050) #

Although, I admit that the idea of trading for a veteran FA pitcher might seem as ludicrous as the new Yankee Stadium ticket prices by the end of May if our starting pitching weaknesses start catching up with us.

Which, in this series, just might happen.

John Northey - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#199053) #

I've been thinking about what do you do if you are JP right now? 

The rotation is a nightmare, but 3 of the 5 who are there right now have ERA+'s of 125+ while the other two are 1) a prospect who you gotta figure out if you cut or keep (Purcey) and 2) a placeholder until someone gets healthy (Romero/Litsch/Janssen). 

The pen is still deep with Downs/Carlson/Camp/Frasor/Murphy/Bullington all having ERA+'s over 150 while BJ is DL'ed and Tallet is in the rotation.  League is having issues, and Murphy I wouldn't trust one iota (2 runs allowed on 7 walks in 6 1/3 IP) but overall you can't really complain too much.

Only two guys in the everyday lineup are below 100 for OPS+ - Rios (75) and Barajas (96).  Bautista & Millar are hitting far better than dreamed of, while McDonald and Chavez are as advertised (great field, no hit) and Barrett is DL'ed.

So the team is playing great, the biggest 'hole' is the rotation which has tons of help coming soon which will lead to the pen getting even more crowded.  The biggest lineup hole is a guy signed until 2014 who should start hitting anytime now, not counting the backup SS and backup CA who normally aren't expected to hit their weight anyways.  The best trade right now would be sending off guys who are way over their heads (most of them) for some top level prospects to fill in organizational weaknesses but doing that would send a horrid message to the fans who are just starting to notice.

Nah.  The best thing to do is sit back and enjoy until July then decide where the holes are and what the odds are.  If there is a clear hole by then (and there should be) it will be easier to trade with the also rans.  If the team has fallen back you can trade someone who is over their head for a quality prospect.  Perhaps the smartest thing is to talk with Halladay's agent about an extention and see if something can be done quickly to increase the positive feeling fans are getting right now.

Gerry - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#199054) #

Brett Cecil had a very good start for Las Vegas today, he pitched six innings and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits, 1 walk and 5 K's.  The 3 runs all came in the same inning and they came via a soft ground ball to third, a walk, a ground ball to left, a soft fly ball (sounds like a bloop), finished with a steal of home by Eric Patterson.  So three hits in one inning, no hard hit hits, one hit the rest of the start.  Cecil had four 1-2-3 innings.

I am not saying Cecil is ready but he could be soon to add to Romero, Litsch and Janssen.  If I was David Purcey I would be hearing footsteps becuase to me he is the number 5 starter, not Tallet.

Chuck - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#199057) #
I am not saying Cecil is ready but he could be soon to add to Romero, Litsch and Janssen. 

What is the presumed "safe date" to take away super-two status? May 15 or something?
James W - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#199058) #
The day after Matt Wieters is called up.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#199060) #

The day after Matt Wieters is called up.

Well played, sir. The Orioles will be taking no small pains to get the Wieters timing just right. Makes it easier for everyone else to just follow their lead.

China fan - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#199061) #
Even after today's strong performance, Cecil still has an ERA of 8.31 this season.   In 17.1 innings, he has given up 22 hits and 8 walks, versus just 9 strikeouts.  I think his "super-two" safe date is the least of the Jays concerns with regard to Cecil.  I suspect they'll want to give him another couple of months in AAA to gain a bit more confidence and consistency before they think about calling him up -- especially since they have Janssen and Romero relatively close to returning.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#199067) #
Agreed on Cecil.  I'd love for him to earn a call-up but a 3 run outing ain't it.  That game will help, but after that horrid start I figure he'll have to have 3 good starts in a row before any thought of call up would occur.

Still, this is nice to be able to leave him down and only have Purcey and Burres as the fear guys both of whom might be replaced within 2 - 3 weeks thanks to injured guys coming back.

scottt - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#199068) #
I'm not convinced that Purcey is going anywhere. Tallet threw 56 innings last year and that's not far from his career high.

Incidentally, Romero is set to resume throwing Saturday.

scottt - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#199069) #
That looks like another quality start from Richmond.
D. King - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#199071) #

I suppose that I may be showing my ignorance here, but could I ask for a clarification on super-two status and its rules?

greenfrog - Tuesday, April 28 2009 @ 11:48 PM EDT (#199076) #
The way I see it, Purcey either regains his control (and I wonder how much of it is mental--I've seen him have stretches with very good control), or he simply won't last in the majors. He was really wild in his last start. Will he be the next Ted Lilly or Victor Zambrano?

I'm confident that Cecil will get on track, but I wouldn't expect to see him for at least a couple of months unless Janssen, Romero and Litsch suffer setbacks. I could see a rotation of Doc/Litsch/Romero/Richmond/Tallet (or Doc/Litsch/Romero/Richmond/Janssen) by early June.

Richmond was very impressive tonight: command, composure, stuff--he had it all working.
Chuck - Wednesday, April 29 2009 @ 06:32 AM EDT (#199085) #

I suppose that I may be showing my ignorance here, but could I ask for a clarification on super-two status and its rules?


"A player with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration. In addition, a player can be classified as a "Super Two" and be eligible for arbitration with less than three years of service. A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 17 percent in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season"

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