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Adam Lind had the big poke in a seven-run seventh to lift the Jays to a 10-6 win in Brett Cecil`s major league debut Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Centre.


You had to like what you saw from Cecil if you're a Jays fan.  It was even enough to make me overlook the fact he grew up as a Yankees fan!  The young lefty had the adrenaline going into overdrive as his first two pitches to Grady Sizemore sailed well wide of the strike zone.  However, Cecil struck out Sizemore with a slider to end a nine pitch at-bat in which Sizemore fouled off three fastballs he couldn't get around on.  Cecil was throwing around 93-94 miles per hour with a lot of movement, overcoming a couple of singles to strike out Shin-Soo Choo swinging on a 93 MPH heater to end the first.  The Jays tried to get to Indians starter Anthony Reyes in the first when Marco Scutaro singled but after Aaron Hill`s fly ball died at the warning track in left, Scutaro was thrown out trying to steal second after Alex Rios went down swinging. 

Cecil`s second inning started off well as he got Jhonny Peralta swinging on another 86 MPH slider.  He then plunked Matt LaPorta and he came around to score when Ben Francisco`s single to left was misplayed by Travis SniderFrancisco proceeded to steal third and Cecil then hit Kelly Shoppach with a pitch and the radio broadcast indicated the Indians catcher may have turned his elbow into the pitch.  Regardless, Cecil should have been out of the inning when Lyle Overbay took a Sizemore groundout and fired to Scutaro at second to force Shoppach but a bad throw by Scutaro sailed over Overbay to allow Francisco to cross the plate with Cleveland`s second run.  I don`t care if you can`t assume a double play would have been turned, Scooter should`ve had an error and that DP should`ve been turned.  However, Raul Chavez gunned down Sizemore trying to steal second for the final out.

The Jays got one back in their half of the second when Adam Lind singled to left and he scored on an Overbay double that Sizemore nearly came up with at the center field wall.  Cecil worked his first 1-2-3 frame in the third and the way he ended the third was simply awesome!  After giving Mark DeRosa some chin music with a fastball, Cecil struck him out on a nasty slider that DeRosa just looked sick on.  Cecil should`ve had another three-up, three-down frame but Aaron Hill dropped the ball on a pop up single by Jhonny Peralta and I thought Hill should`ve been given an error as the ball was in his glove before he dropped it.  Still, Cecil rebounded by ringing up LaPorta on another silder and got a forceout to end the frame.  Cecil plunked Shoppach a second time in the fifth and despite Shoppach`s threatening stare, he kept the Tribe off the board.  He also overcame a single and a double in the sixth after inducing a 4-6-3 double play.  

The Toronto offence did absolutely nothing as Reyes retired 10 in a row after Overbay`s double.  However, Snider singled to left to lead off the sixth and Scutaro got aboard with a bunt single.  Vernon Wells worked a walk to load the bases with two outs and Lind delivered with a single to centre past a diving Peralta to score Snider and Scutaro

Just like that, Cecil was in line to savour the prospect of his first major league win.  However, he`d see his efforts go right in the toilet.  Jason Frasor got a groundout to start the seventh but allowed a Shoppach single and he gave away to lefty Jesse Carlson.  He looked good Sunday against Baltimore but he didn`t have it against the Tribe as he yielded three straight singles against the lefty-hitting Sizemore and the switch-hitting Asdrubal Cabrera and Victor Martinez that tied the game at 3-3.  Carlson finally got an out when he got a grounder back to the mound off DeRosa and fired to Chavez at home to force Sizemore but he uncorked a wild pitch to allow Shoppach to score the go-ahead run.  After walking Choo, Carlson was relieved by Brian Wolfe and he was welcomed back to the bigs by Peralta`s two run single on the first pitch he threw.  Wolfe finally ended the frame with a lineout to third but Cleveland scored four times to take a 6-3 lead.

Rafael Perez took to the mound for the Tribe in the seventh and he got a huge break when Overbay lined one off the mound and off Perez it appeared to allow Peralta to get to the ball and throw out the Jays first baseman.  Just when it looked like a comeback wasn`t going to be cards after that setback, Chavez went the other way on a single to right and Snider also went to the opposite field with another base knock.  Former Jay Vinnie Chulk relieved Perez and he came in with an ERA of 2.25 but an ugly K-BB total of 9-4.  He hit the double digit mark in the BB column by walking Scutaro to load the bases and Hill singled up the gut to make it a 6-5 game.  Jensen Lewis came in to face Rios and the Jays centerfielder fouled off three pitches before singling home Scutaro to tie the game at 6-6. 

Lewis got Wells to fly out but Tribe manager Eric Wedge went to Tony Sipp for the lefty-lefty matchup against Lind.  Sipp had given up just one hit and that was to Lind in his first five appearances in the bigs.  That included an inning and a third of shutout ball Monday against the Jays.  However, just like drinking coffee when it`s too hot, Sipp got burned as Lind launched one to the second deck for a three-run bomb to put the Jays ahead by three.  Then Scott Rolen gave Sipp one to grow on by lining one over the wall in left to give the Jays a 10-6 lead. 


Wolfe gave up a leadoff single in the eighth but did strike out Shoppach to end his day on a good note.  Scott Downs was nails again in preserving Wolfe`s win by giving up just one hit in getting the final five outs, including three K`s to give the Jays a split of this two game set against the Tribe.

Cecil gave up two runs (one earned) over six innings on six hits and three hit batsmen and posted an impressive K-BB mark of 6-0.  Lind had the big day with three hits and five RBI while Scutaro reached base thrice with two singles and a walk.  Snider also had a two-hit afternoon as part of the Jays 12-hit attack.  Every starter reached base once and only Wells did not get a hit.  More impressively, seven runs were scored with two outs as the Jays went 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position.  The losing pitcher was poor Vinnie Chulk in his return to Toronto.  The Jays are 3-2 against the Tribe so far this season compared to 1-6 last year.


In other TDIB Notes.........

* Let`s hear it again for Scott Richmond, your American League Rookie of the Month for April.

*  Despite striking out his last eight hitters, Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees lose again to the Red Sox and also lose catcher Jorge Posada to the 15-day DL.   The Red Sox also last Jacoby Ellsbury to a wonky hamstring.   Meantime, A-Rod goes deep twice in an extended spring action.

*  The Astros and Nationals see-saw affair was suspended due to rain after a 10-10 tie in the eleventh.  Meantime, Astros ace Roy Oswalt has a sore digit.

*  Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio must have bought the Pittsburgh Pirates too because the Brewers continue to own the Bucs with their 17th straight win.

Touchdown Jays! Cecil Was Lethal! | 65 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#199464) #
You can see the importance of defence on other clubs.  Lind's 2 run single was a "Jeter-special" up the middle past Peralta.  There's no way that Scutaro fails to make that play.
stripeymonkey - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#199465) #
Things are still very interesting in Jays Land and hopefully the bullpen will regroup on the West coast. I'll take a 3-2 record from the 5 games but the Angels seem to be improving dramatically.

Keith Law was on with McCown yesterday and was cooling the Jays hot start by trotting out the "they haven't faced anyone yet" line. In order to bask in the good times while they are still happening does anybody have the time/inclination to redraw the AL East as if the season had started when Cito took over? I keep hearing that the Jays have the best record in MLB since Gaston arrived. Is this true? And if it is, he must have the lion's share of a season under his belt by now. Where would the Jays be sitting and how many games would be left in the "season"? Would they be playing meaningful ball in "September"?

92-93 - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#199466) #
"Lind's 2 run single was a "Jeter-special" up the middle past Peralta. There's no way that Scutaro fails to make that play."

Great call, Mike. That was a pathetic lack of range on Peralta's part, he really only had to move a few steps over to at least get a glove on the ball and prevent a 2nd run from scoring. Defense is an important thing to keep in mind when you look and see Peralta's 23 HR 89 RBI.

A legitimate case can be made that Marco Scutaro is the best all-around SS in the AL right now. Scary, but true.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#199467) #

Let`s hear it again for Scott Richmond, your American League Rookie of the Month for April.

Hooray, but from the article linked:

Jerry Garvin (1977), Chris Michalak (2001) and Gustavo Chacin ('05) are the only other Blue Jays rookie pitchers to begin April with a 3-0 record.

Not exactly the magical Steib-Clancy-Halladay names one would hope to see in projecting the "kid's" (he's 29!) future.

braden - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#199468) #


Since June 20th of last year, the AL East standings look like this:

Toronto-     70-47

Boston-       66-46  1.5 GBL

New York-   65-51 4.5

Tampa-        63-52  6

Baltimore-   40-75  29

Magpie - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#199469) #
Elsewhere in the AL East...

The Red Sox took the second game of their mini-series in the New Stadium. Joba Chamberlain was awesome, blowing away 12 batters in 5.1 innings, an overwhelming display of dominance that Michael Kay evidently just couldn't shut up about - save for that pesky first inning, when the Red Sox rang up enough runs to win the damn game. The Yankees so far have allowed 6.38 runs per game, which is - well, I don't know what it is. Are there even words to describe such a thing? Are there words to describe the tingle of pure pleasure I get when I contemplate it?

It turns that the Yankees don't have a broken Wang, just a damaged one, and that the problem goes back to last season's foot injury. And while Alex Rodriguez is coming back soon, the Yankees will be breaking even as far as how it affects their offense, with Posada (.312/.402/.584) heading to the DL with his bad hammy and expected to miss 3 to 4 weeks.

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, and David Ortiz is slugging .331 with 0 homers. The only Boston starter who's actually been good is the one who was once a teammate of Dennis Lamp. Who's older than me.

And some disturbing news for Tampa, as Scott Kazmir has mysteriously lost velocity on both his FB (down to 89 mph) and his slider (down to 80 mph) and AL hitters are punishing him accordingly. Dave Cameron at FanGraphs has the details in "Scott Kazmir is Busted."

No one saw that coming, right?
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#199470) #

Lind's 2 run single was a "Jeter-special" up the middle past Peralta. 

Peralta does seem a little heavy set to be a shortstop at 6-1, 210 at this point and I know there`s been talk of moving him to third.  Maybe they should look at moving Asdrubal Cabrera to short as that was his position when he began his minor league career with Seattle.  Still, I thought Peralta`s two run single in the sixth was going to be the kill shot before the big seventh inning.

Also, mad props to Raul Chavez for starting that rally with a single and for helping Cecil along in his major league debut.  He`s done alright since filling in for Michael Barrett.

#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#199471) #

No one saw that coming, right?

The Mets did.  They were just 50 wins too early.

Magpie - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#199472) #
They haven't faced anyone yet.

Gosh, I seem to remember someone showing up to provide some opposition.

They've faced some of the same teams. Toronto is 16-10 against the Central and the West; Boston is 6-5 and New York is 10-5 against the Central and the West. And Tampa is 4-9.

John Northey - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#199474) #

Good question on the AL East during Cito's reign.  There have been 117 games played by the Jays under Cito v2.0 since his first game on June 20th (the day after my birthday).

Jays: 70-47  59.8 % (35-39 at time Cito took over)
Boston: 66-48 57.9% 2 1/2 back (49-38 in 2008 +17-10 in 2009)
Tampa: 66-52 55.9% 4 1/2 back (54-36 in 2008 +12-16 in 2009)
NYY: 62-53 53.9% 7 back (49-40 in 2008 +13-13 in 2009)
Baltimore: 40-76 34.5% 29 1/2 back (30-59 in 2008 +10-17 in 2009)

Wow has Baltimore stunk since Cito took over here.  But the Jays are better than the whole AL East since June 20th last year which is great to see.

Magpie - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#199475) #
Wow, is this ever cool.

Tim Marchman found this in the Library of Congress.


It's a series of still images of the great Mordecai Brown. He put it up on his website. One of his readers edited it into a video clip, that looks absolutely awesome.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#199478) #

Saw that video of Three-Finger Brown earlier today.  Very, very cool to see a guy who pitched in the pre-Ruth days throwing.  Hopefully he finds more like it. 

Another cool thing seen today is the Baseball Digest library on Google Books for free from 1945 to 2007.  Used to love those back in the 80's when there was no internet and newspapers had so little it was crazy.

China fan - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#199482) #
In the broadcast yesterday, there was speculation that Peralta may have got a spike stuck in the turf when he was trying for Lind's 2-run single.  Not sure if that's true -- the replay doesn't make it clear -- and maybe they were just searching for an explanation for his slow first step.
jerjapan - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#199483) #

Great debut for Cecil.  If our injured guys come back strong we could be facing a wonderful dillema with too many arms for too few spots ...

Cecil got me wondering ... how common is the college reliever / starter conversion?  Would Cecil have slipped at all in the draft due to his having been a reliever?  In this older interview with the Box he lets on that most teams talking to him saw him as a starter ...

Lucky - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#199484) #
Sorry---this is off-topic.  What is the deal with Russ Adams?  Last year he was a starter and this year he is hardly playing.  It looks like Mathews has pushed him out.  I know he is not in the Jays' plans any longer, but how much longer is there on his contract?
Magpie - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#199487) #
What is the deal with Russ Adams?  Last year he was a starter and this year he is hardly playing.

He's hurt, but I don't know what's wrong. After an excellent spring, he was off to a fine start with Vegas. Then on April 21, he struck out in the sixth inning and someone else replaced him in the field next inning. And he hasn't played since.

He's not on the 40 man roster anymore, and at some point doesn't he become a minor league free agent? I don't know how that works. At any rate, I assume he'll become somebody else's Joe Inglett one of these days.
MatO - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#199490) #

The six bullpen pitchers not named Rivera appeared in last night's game for the Yankees and I can honestly say that I've never heard of any of them.  The best of them is named Coke (things go better?).  Four of them had ERA's over 5.  Is this what $200M gets you these days?

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#199495) #
Bruney and Coke haven't been half-bad this year.  Veras and Ramirez were decent last year.  The big thing is that all of the Yankees pitchers appear to be underperforming so far, and a very poor defence probably plays a significant role, just like it does for the Indians.  The return of A-Rod and the DLing of Posada may mean a modest offensive improvement, but a larger defensive improvement.

Mylegacy - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#199497) #
We owe AJ, Marcum and McGowan. If they hadn't gone AWOL we wouldn't have been able to see - this soon - how good Romero, Richmond and Cecil are.

In 2010 we have Halladay and then four of Romero (L), Cecil (L), Marcum (R), Richmond (R), McGowan (R), Litsch (R), Tallet (L), Janssen (R), Mills (L), Ray (R) and Rzepczynski (L) who is smokin' at AA.


SO SERIOUSLY WOW - is there any chance that we trade Halladay? I'm - at least - open to consider it.

MatO - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#199498) #
Bruney wasn't one of the six that appeared in the game.  I would have recognised him!
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#199499) #
No.  This is one time that you absolutely would not trade Halladay.  He is by far the best pitcher on the club, and it is a club which (to my great surprise) has a realistic chance of making the playoffs, with the health of the everyday lineup being the key factor.
brent - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#199500) #
Halladay is core- you don't trade core. If there is a surplus of starters, you probably want to deal McGowan or whoever is closest to free agency from the arb players.
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#199501) #

I just picked up my copy of USA Today Sports Weekly and Roy "Doc" Halladay is on the cover.  There's also a mini article about Tim Collins inside.  It's nice to see the Jays are getting some love here!

Magpie - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#199502) #
All of those starting pitchers haven't really proven a whole lot yet. Marcum has 24 career wins, Litsch and McGowan have 20. Tallet and Janssen have 8, Richmond has 5,  Purcey has 3, Romero has 2. The rest of 'em - zero. Nada. Not a one. Bugger-all. Them and Kevin Phillips-Bong.

Let's not count our chickens until they hatch. And become chickens. TINSTAAPP.

Pistol - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#199503) #
SO SERIOUSLY WOW - is there any chance that we trade Halladay? I'm - at least - open to consider it

Don't confuse quantity with quality.

But it does open the door to consider trading pitchers.  If you're good and cheap there's usually pretty good demand (which is why they're traded so rarely).
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#199504) #
On the other hand, trading a lesser pitcher for position depth will absolutely make sense once the guys on the DL start returning.  Jeremy Accardo need not be in Las Vegas much longer, as well.
MatO - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#199505) #

a mini article about Tim Collins

Trying to sneak one by?

Dewey - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#199506) #
Terrific 'video' of Mordechai Brown.  Reminded me a bit of Ewell (The Whip) Blackwell, who I saw pitch a couple of times.  And Satchell Paige's wind-mill wind-up had something of the same distracting effect, I'd imagine.  (Never saw Satch pitch, alas, except once on early television.)

If you're in San Francisco sometime, go to Lefty O'Doul's restaurant, and walk down to the booths at the back.  You can sit right next to an eye-level photo of old Three-Finger himself while you enjoy your burger. Among many other wonderful old photos, of course.  Maybe it's all been changed by now, or outlawed or something.  Baseball.  Memories.

stripeymonkey - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#199507) #
Thanks for the AL East redraw. Let's hope they still mirror that when August/September roll round.

With regard to the surfeit of starting pitchers, let's wait and see how they perform after their surgeries. There's no guarantee they will come back as strongly as they left. Or can someone provide me with some reassurance on that front? I'm thinking of BJ Ryan as an example.

Sano - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#199512) #
I seem to remember that JP's philosophy towards pitching is simply that you can never have enough.  I think that that's been shown to be the right perspective.  I agree that we have a lot of guys coming up now who seem to be very promising, but hey, a lot can happen between AAA and the majors, let alone AA.

I really hope that Doc is re-signed before this season's over.  It is cliche, but he truly is the sort of pitcher that you would want guys like Cecil/Romero/Purcey/etc hanging out with.  That's even what everyone says when they come to their first ST, "Wow, Doc is amazing..."  Good, watch and learn young padawans....

That said, every player does have his price.  JP's admitted as much himself.
China fan - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#199513) #

Of the 12 pitchers that Mylegacy listed (and I would add Castro to make it 13), of course there are serious doubts about some of them.  Purcey might never fulfill his potential; McGowan's injury recovery is problematic; Tallet is best-suited for the bullpen; and there is uncertainty about the future development of Mills, Ray, Castro and Rzepczynski (although I think at least a couple of those will be solid major-leaguers).   But that still leaves 7 pitchers that I think we can be reasonably confident of.   Based on all the reports that we're getting on Janssen and Marcum, I think it's pretty reasonable to expect that both of them will probably bounce back to good form.  Litsch, Romero, Richmond and Cecil are also excellent bets for the future, based on everything we've seen so far.  And of course Doc.  So that's 7 pitchers, plus a couple of the other youngsters (Mills, Ray, Rzepczynski and Castro).  So I think there are 8 or 9 solid bets for future starters.   Enough for trade bait, but only when the Jays have figured out which ones are best and which ones are expendable -- which might not be clear until 2010.

Another key issue:  who would the Jays want to trade for?   There aren't any obvious holes in the lineup right now.  Third base? Rolen looks good enough for the rest of his contract.  First base?  Only if Overbay seriously slumps for the next couple of months.  Catcher?  Not with two excellent prospects nearly ready.  A veteran starting pitcher?  Why trade for an expensive veteran when the team is getting better performances from Richmond and Romero than almost any veteran could offer? 

I would venture this scenario:  the Jays might trade one of their pitchers if they're hit with a very damaging injury to a key frontline player who can't be replaced internally.  But other than that, the Jays will prefer to keep all of their pitchers until April 2010 at least.


greenfrog - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#199514) #
No need to trade anyone when you're 19-10...I think it all depends on how the season unfolds. For example, at the moment Barajas is hitting 333/356/519, but his career line is 244/291/413. That's roughly 175 points of OPS above his career average. So catching could be an issue (I see Arencibia as being more of a factor next year). If Snider is still struggling in midsummer, maybe you look for a slugging LF. But all that is pretty far off.

Either way, the Jays have a nice collection of young pitching talent. The critics have focused on the injuries (Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus is the latest to point the finger at JP, and Rotoworld has been pretty harsh on the GM as well), but some of the key players--Litsch, Romero, Janssen, Marcum--are on the road to recovery, and overall the future looks bright. Speaking of BP, I think there is something pathological going on over there. They can't stop criticizing Toronto, even when the team is 19-10, Lind and Hill are breaking out, Richmond is the AL Rookie of the Month, Romero's star is soaring, etc. I don't get it. When the organization struggles, they excoriate JP. When the future suddenly looks a lot brighter, they excoriate JP. It's as if they just can't bear the thought of acknowledging the team's success. They seem to have too much invested in the idea of Toronto as a badly-run organization.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#199515) #
They seem to have too much invested in the idea of Toronto as a badly-run organization.

Well, yeah. After all, hell hath no fury like a scorned lover. "I thought you were my little sabermetric darling! You're just like all the rest! I hates you! Hates, hates, hates you!"

Anyway, I feel reasonably confident - I guess - more or less - about exactly one starting pitcher on the whole damn staff. He's working tonight, and I gotta tell you people. This matchup scares the crap out of me:

TOR (Halladay 5-1, 3.86) at LAA (Ortega (0-1, 5.56)

It just does. They so often come back to bite you in the hindparts. I shall never, never forget how cocky I was going into this game. Roy Halladay, having the best year of his life against John Way-Back Wasdin. How could we lose? What could possibly go wrong?

Okay. Nervous Nellie.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#199517) #
I'm nervous about this start too. But the Jays are catching a break. No Vlad, Lackey, Santana (or K-Rod, for that matter). And you know Doc wants to send the team to 20-10 overall. But Anaheim has some pesky players: Napoli, Hunter, Rivera, Kendrick, Morales...

On a different note: I think Boston is going to have its way with Cleveland this week. They're playing well, and are super-patient at the plate. Which means a lot of ABs against the Tribe's bullpen. Need I say more?

jerjapan - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#199518) #
They seem to have too much invested in the idea of Toronto as a badly-run organization.

Well, yeah. After all, hell hath no fury like a scorned lover. "I thought you were my little sabermetric darling! You're just like all the rest! I
hates you! Hates, hates, hates you!"

I've heard one or two references to this on this site before, but my experience with the Prospectus crew doesn't go that far back.  Were they JP supporters in the beginning, only to sour on him when his more old-school scouting and team character tendencies emerged?  How long till they acknowledge that this is a strong squad?

On another topic, I mentioned this in another thread but it seems to be suitable here to several earlier comments ... why not parlay some of the minor league pitching depth into positional prospects for the high minors?  I know you don't see a lot of these types of trades, but I'm not talking Brett Cecil here.  A SS/3B/OF prospect or two would look a lot more attractive to me than Jason Lane (who, admittedly, I did want to see the Jays carry over Millar) and Russ Adams.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#199519) #
They seem to have too much invested in the idea of Toronto as a badly-run organization.

greenfrog, I'm so stealing that.

If I'd been shooting fish in a barrel for the last five years, and suddenly the fish started mutating and growing huge sharp teeth and looking like they might conceivably bite my face off, I'd probably have a hostile reaction too.
jmoney - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#199521) #
I was an avid BP reader way back in the day when Gord Ash was a whipping boy, and yes, BP did have a honeymoon phase with J.P. (A Beane protege', the hiring of BP alumni Keith Law)

In those days, the writers were not as accessible. They didn't have daily chats, and answer reader questions all that much. Of course, I think Joe has become a bit jaded sifting through 1000's of emails from kids telling him his predictions were wrong and how he hates "their" team.

I think the Jays have a vocal internet fanbase that has antagonized them, not to mention J.P. as a rather polarizing public figure.

TamRa - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#199522) #
I don't think that it is necessary for us - as fans - to identify WHICH pitchers fill out our future's enough to know the math is in our favor.

Let's restate the list:


We need, at any given time, FOUR of those guys to be solid starters.

Which is to say, we can suffer an attrition rate of over 70% and still have what we need.

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#199523) #
BP had some problems this year.  Their projections are, I am thinking, going to fare less well than the free CHONE and ZIPS ones.  Their criticisms, some of which are merited, have an edge that might result from this. 
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 06 2009 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#199524) #
Magpie: feeling any better about the matchup now?
Waveburner - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 12:41 AM EDT (#199525) #

Why is Halladay back in with 101 pitches in a 13-0 game? Is Cito going to use Halladay for 110-120+ pitches every start regardless of outcome?

Don't get me wrong this game is awesome and I love this team right now, but what the hell is the point? Why does Bill Murphy collect a paycheck if not for mopping up these 2 innings?



Glevin - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#199526) #
"Why is Halladay back in with 101 pitches in a 13-0 game? Is Cito going to use Halladay for 110-120+ pitches every start regardless of outcome?"

I don't know, but throwing 117 pitches in a 13-0 game is pointless. It probably will do no harm, but if there were even a 0.005% chance of it, it's not worth it! The Jays could throw Raul Chavez out there and they'd still win.
Ron - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 01:32 AM EDT (#199527) #
I had no problem with Doc coming out for the 8th. His 4 seam fastball still hit 93 on the radar at the end of the 7th inning. The weather was perfect and he was breezing through the Halo's lineup the whole game. Too many people become slaves to 100 pitches, the save stat, the win stat, etc...

Scutaro has morphed into Barry Bonds in regards to drawing walks. The Jays currently have the best 1-2 hitters in the Majors. The Jays are playing so well, I have nothing negative to say.
Magpie - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 01:51 AM EDT (#199528) #
Exhales.... And this was a very badly needed day off for the bullpen. Only one day off since the season started, and no complete games from the rotation.

I think if Halladay had made it through the 8th with less than 115 pitches and the shutout still intact, he would have come out for the ninth as well.  All starters like to pitch shutouts, and some of them even take some pride in completing their starts.

Jays2010 - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 03:15 AM EDT (#199529) #

I was thinking that after the all-star break this team would be hitting its stride towards a true contending year (for a playoff spot) in 2010. But considering all of the pitchers that are coming back and will only make us stronger, there are a ton of reasons to be optimistic.

why not parlay some of the minor league pitching depth into positional prospects for the high minors?  I know you don't see a lot of these types of trades, but I'm not talking Brett Cecil here.

I'd agree with this. But one of the problems is that other than Doc and Cecil, what kind of trade value do our pitchers actually have? And if we are trading an arm, based on everything JP has said or done, it will not be one of our better arms. So Halladay, Cecil, Romero are not going anywhere. Marcum and McGowan are injured and, personally, I wouldn't trade either because they represent pitchers who have proven they can be at least midrotation starters, and maybe more. Janssen is just coming back from injury and JP seems to be very high on him. So who is left?

Well, I don't think Castro or Ray will bring a whole lot back and may be more useful as AAA insurance. Tallet, Richmond, Litsch and Purcey all have varying degrees of value, but it is hard to say exactly what they might bring back in a trade. For example, if Litsch were healthy and performing like last year, would the Brewers consider moving Escobar? I highly doubt it. Could Purcey land Jason Donald. This is something I think might be more realistic. Considering that an unproven Edison Volquez (who some thought wouldn't be more than a backend starter due to control issues) landed Josh Hamilton after he had a .922 OPS in 90 games, I think it is safe to say that regardless of prospect rankings or subjective ceilings (i.e. Litsch is a backend starter and nothing more), a pitcher (proven or unproven) will bring back a hitter who will likely be considered more valuable than the pitcher. In 3 weeks if Litsch, Romero and Janssen are all back in the picture, I'd be open to moving someone like Purcey/Tallet/Richmond, but I doubt JP will do this. And I can't blame him because it does not take long for a surplus to evaporate due to attrition. In JP I trust.

brent - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 03:58 AM EDT (#199530) #
That 2 for 11 from the "heart" of the lineup was not impressive. At least Wells' hit was a good one.
scottt - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 06:27 AM EDT (#199531) #
I hope we see Ortega again this year.

Tonight will be a lot harder, but with the DH the halos are using, you never know.

Coke isn't terrible, but he lost another game today and that's the type of stuff the fans in NY remember.

Dave Till - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 07:10 AM EDT (#199532) #
Having Halladay throw that many pitches makes me nervous too, but the bullpen was absolutely exhausted. And they'll be needed.

The Jays won't be taken seriously until they play the Sox, Yanks and Rays, I fear. It's true that the Jays have had an easier schedule than usual - mostly playing weaker teams - but it's also true that the Jays were supposed to be one of those weaker teams.

What I realized yesterday: most teams have one or two dangerous hitters in the heart of the lineup, and then a bunch of sorta okay hitters. The Jays, on the other hand, have one guy to set the table, and then five guys - Hill, Rios, Wells, Lind and Rolen - who are heart-of-the-order hitters. And the team has no holes. The line keeps moving, as Jamie Campbell is fond of saying.

And the team defense is still good, which helps whatever pitcher they throw out there. If your fielders can save a hit or two a game, the pitching always looks a whole lot better.

I still wonder whether the Jays are good enough to actually win anything - it's a long season. We're starting to get our hopes up now; the letdown, if it comes, will be cruel. But the franchise looks much healthier now than it did six months ago, no? And the Jays don't have to beat everybody in the AL East - they only have to beat two out of the three rivals.

(As for the pitching: you can never, never, never have too much of it. Don't trade any of those guys, please.)

greenfrog - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 07:44 AM EDT (#199533) #
The Jays may be playing weaker teams, but they're beating an awful lot of them. And the AL only has so many teams to play. The other noteworthy thing about the Jays' schedule is how few days off they've had compared to their rivals.

One thing the Jays haven't done yet is face a lot of #1/2 starters (some of whom, like Sabathia, Beckett and Lee) are still searching for their mojo. It will be interesting to see how they do against the likes of King Felix, John Lackey, Ervin Santana, CC Sabathia, etc. Although the team broke through for a couple of runs against Grienke, they didn't really do much against him. My sense is that as the schedule gets tougher, the Jays pitching staff (and defense) is going to have to get a bit stingier--Doc aside, of course. He's positively a miser on the mound.
Magpie - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#199534) #
The Jays may be playing weaker teams, but they're beating an awful lot of them.

Let me refer you all to the 2005 White Sox, a team nobody expected a whole lot from. They came charging out of the gate (24-7) largely by beating the crap out of the Kansas City Royals.
MatO - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#199535) #

They managed 8 more walks last night.  It's ironic that when we're told over and over on the broadcasts that the big difference with the Jays batters is that they're being told to be more aggressive at the plate, that they're actually walking more than ever.

Mike Green - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#199536) #
"Aggressive" has several meanings.  What you do want is swinging aggressively (with full extension, etc.) on good pitches with less than 2 strikes.  What you do not want is swinging at pitches out of the strike zone.  The homers from Hill and Overbay last night were on good aggressive swings. Mulliniks' criticism of the Jays' hitting in the Denbo era was that they seemed to take a defensive approach with less than 2 strikes, and let good pitches go by or took weak swings at them. 

It is possible to be aggressive and disciplined at the same time; Gene Tenace would know. 
Richard S.S. - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#199537) #

(As for the pitching: you can never, never, never have too much of it. Don't trade any of those guys, please.)

Halladay, Marcum, McGowan, Litsch, Purcey, Richmond, Janssen, Romero R., Tallet, Ray, Cecil, et al, are The Toronto Blue Jays 2009 & 2010 Starting Pitching Staff - Pick 5.  The whole purpose, behind this year, was to see as many people as possible, and see how good they are.  There are still 5-9 more people the team would like to see and evaluate.  How many Boxiens and others were complaining about the Team not signing a starter, of any kind, during the off-season?  Too Many!  Toronto has needs, a star Shortstop for one, a Closer, 1B, 3B and C. are others.  The current shortstop is 33, at the point you should consider replacing sometime soon.  The heir apparent is still at least 2 to 4 years away.  Toronto must evaluate the trade possibilities each player has. 

Considering that an unproven Edison Volquez  (who some thought wouldn't be more than a backend  starter due to control issues) landed Josh Hamilton after he had a .922 OPS in 90 games.

1 of Purcey, Romero or Cecil, + 1 of Marcum, McGowan or Janssen, + 1 of Camp, Carlson or League will get you anyone you need.  Different things get you different things from different teams.  Teams will try to unload salaries sometime this season, if the economy doesn`t improve faster.  We need to figure out who to keep, who to trade and who to wave good bye to.  We have at least 7 free-agents this off-season and at least 5 free-agents next off-season.  Who replaves WhomÉ


Nolan - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#199538) #

It's ironic that when we're told over and over on the broadcasts that the big difference with the Jays batters is that they're being told to be more aggressive at the plate, that they're actually walking more than ever.

It's probably a little of column A and a little of column B.  What I see is that the Jays are willing to jump all over a fat pitch early in the count if the opportunity is there, but lay off anything they can't handle.  Seems to result in more first or second pitch hits as well as more walks when nothing is offered to hit.

 Last year, it seemed that too many good pitches were taken with the aim of drawing a walk, which resulted in defensive hitting from behind in the count.

Nolan - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#199540) #
And it appears I owe Mike Green a coke...
Moe - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#199541) #
As for the pitching: you can never, never, never have too much of it. Don't trade any of those guys, please.

I couldn't agree more. Yes, IF all are healthy and performing well, the Jays have excess. But what are the odds of that happening? See the situation right now, they are all needed: who says that Richmond will still be performing the way he does right now in three months? And that Cecil will be effective and doesn't need more time in AAA? And that Tallet won't get injured after his workload jumps too much? I don't believe there is anyone to trade until there is a healthy 7 man rotation with 2-3 more arms in the minors who could get a call in case of an injury -- and I don't see that happening.

Plus, as others have pointed out, none of the pitchers that could be traded are at peak value so the returns would be rather small. 
Moe - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#199542) #
The Toronto Blue Jays 2009 & 2010 Starting Pitching Staff - Pick 5.

I would love to agree, but unless a team gets really lucky, it needs at least 7-8 different starters with multiple starts. (I can't find the THT article on that right now). That means you need your 5 out of spring training, 1 swing man in the pen and at least 2 arms in AAA that can be called up any time but that also don't suffer from staying down. If you add that young arms are more likely to break down (as we have witnessed) there are no 3 pitchers to trade the way you seem to suggest.

Of course, I agree for next year there is need at C and SS and the year after at 1B and 3B (and that is assuming Rolen stays healthy which I don't really see). But with the economy going down I hope the Jays can just take on salary dumps from other teams (I remember some 120m payroll comment)
John Northey - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#199544) #

What is most fun is how this team makes one think of the old early 80's when we saw a young Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy, Jimmy Key (pen then ace), and a cast of solid mid-rotation guys (Filer, Cerutti, etc.) come up and take over.  Of course, we also had the outfield of the 80's (Bell/Moseby/Barfield) and Tony Fernandez at SS mixed with Upshaw then McGriff then Olerud at 1B (all star followed by two 'hall of the very good' who were followed by potential HOF'er Delgado).

As to an excess of pitching, if the right calls are made a trade of two or three to get a top SS prospect would be well worth it.  We are set at LF/CF/RF/2B/DH until about 2014 so we need to fill in 1B/3B/SS/CA.  CA has two decent prospects near the majors who should get a look-see in September.  1B has Cooper (Lind could move there too).  3B and SS have prospects but the SS guys are not impressive this year so far.  Finding a good SS prospect would be worth more than two of the pitching prospects imo (could move to 3B if needed or somewhere else).  For a high end use 3 pitchers (Litsch once healthy could be good trade bait as the most proven while still cheap).

Mike D - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#199545) #

Two points about the "soft schedule."  First, it's interesting to note that Buster Olney (in his early April schedule overview) considered the Jays themselves to be part of a soft schedule for other teams; he used "Orioles-Jays-Mariners" and "Tigers-Rangers-Jays" among his examples of stretches where potential contenders could take a breather.

Second, it's worth pointing out that in trying to make the point that the Jays aren't necessarily better than their preseason predicted record, the "soft schedule" types are ignoring the preseason predicted records of their opponents thus far and focusing, where helpful, on their actual current record.  In other words, if BP insists that the Jays really are no better than they predicted notwithstanding their 20-10 record, then they shouldn't be describing teams like the 11-17 Indians or 9-16 A's as soft touches when they predicted those teams to be far superior to Toronto in the preseason.

christaylor - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#199546) #
Nate Silver (inventor of PECOTA) has given up control of PECOTA to less BP lackies to focus on his excellent stats/politics site (for critics: yes, it has a Blue slant but the site is completely unique in its ability to bring advanced statistics to polling -- a good thing in my book no matter the political slant).

In past years, Mr. Silver would often add, if pressed, there were "fudge factors" lurking in PECOTA. With the algorithm secret it is impossible for an outsider to know what the fudge was going on, but I suspect Mr. Silvers intellect and baseball gut were one reason PECOTA consistently did better than most other projection systems... but, we'll see; I suspect Silver still takes phone-calls about PECOTA from the BP folks.

On the other hand when I got the spreadsheet this spring; I had more "that can't be right" moments than I ever have had previously. I don't suspect BP is hurting economically, but I suspect the site will take a hit if PECOTA consistently under-performs the competition (free or otherwise, such the excellent work Ron Shandler has been pumping out for about twenty years).

On another hand (am I allowed to have three hands?) BP's Gary Huckaby (one of the founders) published an article "Baseball Analysis is dead". Perhaps that crew is running out of gas, seeing article after article by Joe Sheehan on "sample size" and "strength of schedule" is making me think they've a) run out of idea b) decided to become evangelical (because a few of them have been granted membership into writer's association).

Personally, I've been enjoying Bill James' online (www.billjamesonline) site ($3/month) more lately and am seriously considering not renewing my BP subscription when it comes due in August. Sadly my last three years there, might be just catching the tail-end of a once great site. Hardball times remains consistently good and free.

Sorry for the digression (coffee break time) - anyone else have other sites they like?
Matthew E - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#199547) #

Another point about the soft schedule: when was the last time that the Jays actually took advantage of a soft part of their schedule to this extent? In my mind, the past decade or so has seen Jays teams where we'd say, "the next thirty games ought to be fairly easy on the Jays," and then they'd go 13-17 or something.

20-10 is better than 13-17. Therefore this team looks better than those other Jays teams.

Mike Green - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#199550) #
The "soft schedule" really comes down to the fact that they haven't played the Red Sox yet.  That is true, but it only carries you so far. If they'd played the Red Sox 6 times and gone 2-4 instead of 4-2 against weaker AL Central or West opposition, they would be 18-12.

This is a good club that is off to a good start.  While the pitchers have had a succession of injuries, the everyday lineup has, to date, been injury-free, and that has helped a lot.  Long may they run.

OBG - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#199552) #
The Jays are now 7-3 in games decided by 6 runs or more... I remember a Bill James article back in the day that argued a team's ability to beat another team decisively early in the season was an excellent indicator of that team's overall quality, more so than the relative strength of their opponents. Maybe it's too small a sample and means nothing, but interesting methinks.
John Northey - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#199554) #

Outside of here, I tend to waste too much time at Baseball Think Factory, especially their newstand area where they list articles from all over the free areas of the web (and some from pay sites).  BP I never paid for even though I enjoyed them as a free site since my limit is about $10-20 a year for any site and they charge (iirc) $50 US a year.  Haven't checked BJO lately.  Generally there is enough free stuff via BBTF, here, Hardball Times, and local newspapers that I don't feel the need to pay for baseball stuff anymore.  Oh, and I'm addicted to Baseball-Reference of course :)

Non-baseball would be the Star, the Sun, the Globe, the NY Times, and sometimes I like to go to Nate Silver's 538 site along with the blogs at the Green Party site (where I blog politically from time to time).

christaylor - Thursday, May 07 2009 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#199583) #
JP needs someone to dance with for a trade. I trust in JP as well (although he took a huge hit this year in my books ducking Wednesday's w/JP -- whether that was a directive from Beeston I don't know or the reverse a directive from Godfrey to do WWJP, again I don't know)... but from his comments in his past, he's always been negative on the possibility of trading.

True, his negativity comes from deal with fan comments that go "why don't you trade x, y, z for a, b, c" with the tacit assumption that it is easy to trade in MLB (my assumption is that it is very very difficult as a minor trade can taint a GM for a decade -- he who shall not be named for that old guy playing 3B for Texas named Young).

Where am I going with this? I think trade talk is premature. I'd love to see the Jays pry Jason Donald away from PHI -- but what I've read about Donald hasn't convinced me of much and now PHI has plunked him at 3B (he wasn't going to unseat Rollins but it still says something). The Josh Hamilton trade was a steal at the time (and I'd still say at present) true, but no matter what people say about the inspiring story of Hamilton, I'm sure there were (and maybe are) lingering doubts about him (sadly)... Hamilton has a back story that I am sure few in the baseball world understand.

That said, if JP can find a Purcey believer -- go for it. However, I bet the true believers in Purcey are few and far between and mostly in the Jays org.
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