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Kermit the frog once said "It ain't easy being green" but it's a lot easier today as we celebrate all things Irish on this St. Patrick's Day.  We certainly hope the Green Jays have the luck of the Irish not only today against the Orioles but against the rest of the American League in 2010. 

Today, let's look at things from a fantasy baseball perspective.  USA Today Sports Weekly recently released its Fantasy Baseball issue and came out with its Fantasy Extra update issue today.  Three Green Jays made the Top 200 list with Aaron Hill being ranked 51st while Adam Lind and Vernon Wells were rated 64th and 160th respectively.  

Which player - Green Jays or otherwise - will have the luck of the Irish and who won't have it this season?  If you like, you can throw in an "out of nowhere" prediction like Ryan Howard hitting 74 homers this season but try to make it somewhat realistic.

Erin Go Bragh!  By the way, it's not a coincidence that this post comes up at 3:17 today!  Always thinking!!  :D

I'm not involved in any fantasy leagues but here are my picks for what they're worth (translation - not much!  Like my Jerry Schunk rookie card!).  I see Shaun Marcum winning 15 games while keeping his ERA below 4.00 and Vernon Wells bouncing back with a .285/.355/.465 season with 20 homers and 90 runs batted in.  I'm not nearly as confident about Lyle Overbay or Brian Tallet having great seasons.  For the American League, I like Grady Sizemore and David Price to have a better year but I think Ben Zobrist and Jake Peavy will struggle.  In the National League, Rickie Weeks and Cole Hamels should bounce back but Mark Reynolds and Chris Coghlan take a step back.  My "out of nowhere" prediction is Roy Halladay winning 30 games for his first NL Cy Young award.

The floor is yours, Bauxites!  Happy St. Patrick's Day and please don't drink and drive - EVER!!

UPDATE March 17 @ 4:00 pm:  The Green Jays beat the Orioles 4-1 to cap off a nearly perfect St. Patrick's Day in Sarasota this afternoon.  Former Green Jay Cesar Izturis led off the Oriole first with a single against lefty Brian Tallet but "Wolverine" was perfect the rest of the way by delivering four shutout innings with six groundouts and three strikeouts.  Shawn Camp had a perfect fifth inning with a punchout while Scott Downs and Kevin Gregg also pitched a scoreless frame each with a walk and a strikeout each.  Jason Frasor worked a clean eighth with a pair of ground ball outs but the shutout was broken in the ninth as the luck of the Irish graced the Orioles.  Merkin Valdez walked Pedro Florimon Jr. and he came around to score when second baseman Brad Emaus had his legs cut out from underneath him by shortstop Ryan Goins while trying to catch a two-out infield fly off the bat off Miguel AbreuFlorimon Jr. came around to score while Abreu was credited with an RBI single.  However, Emaus stayed in the game and Valdez bounced back by striking out Adam Donachie to end the game.

Offensively, the Green Jays put this one away with a three-run third inning and a run in the fifth thanks to Travis Snider's first big fly of the exhibition season.  Snider had a 2-for-3 day at the dish to push his batting average up to .250.  Alex Gonzalez and Brad Emaus had two hits apiece with Emaus adding an RBI and upping his batting average to .367.  El Duderino, Chris "The Big" Lubanski, had the only other extra base hit for the Green Jays and also drew a walk.  Other hits were provided by the .467 hitting Randy Ruiz (who also walked), Raul Chavez, Jeremy Reed and Joey GathrightReed is hitting .385 which is 203 batting points better than Gathright in the battle to earn a backup outfield spot.  Brian Dopirak was hitless but did collect an RBI on a sacrifice fly.

Your winner - Brian Tallet (2-0, 6.00 ERA).  Your loser - Jason Berken (0-1, 4.15 ERA).  The Green Jays improve to 7-5 and have a half-game lead over Kansas City for the Spring Training wild card while trailing Tampa Bay in the East by 2 1/2 games.  Baltimore falls to 5-9.  The Jays face the O's again tomorrow at 1:05 post meridian time Eastern in Dunedin.

OK Green Jays, Let's Play Ball! | 75 comments | Create New Account
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Chuck - Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#212500) #
A St. Patrick's day gift: an interview with Bill James. Okay, the interviewer is Geoff Baker, ex of Toronto, who I can take or leave. Well, actually, he's someone I can't really take at all. But he is a small price to pay to hear Bill James.
Lylemcr - Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#212501) #


In the AL East : Either Boston or NY will not make the post season.  Injuries in thier starting staff shows thier weakness in the bullpen.  Baltimore will emerge as an up and coming team and place 2nd.  TO will see some growth in thier young players but really wish they played in another division.

AL Central: Kansas City places second in the division and ButtlerGordon finally emerge.  Minesota takes first place and Liriano has 35 saves.  White Sox are surprisingly bad and Guillen is the first coach fired.

AL West: Seattle wins the AL west and the have a couple big surprises: Milton Bradley hits 30 HR, Bedard pitches healthy and League emerges as thier closer.  Thier season ends in a nice note when Griffey retires after going to the playoffs. 

Seattle has 2 pitchers in the Cy Young voting(Lee and Felix), but don't win because they split thier vote.  Verlander wins the Cy Young.

MVP will be Justin Moreneau.


Gerry - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#212503) #

The Zach Zinicola era is over.  Zinicola was returned to the Nationals today per Jordan Bastian.

This is not a surprise as the Jays have a lot of candidates for the bullpen and Zinicola didn't really stand out this spring.  His competition, Casey Janssen, Jeremy Accardo, Josh Roenicke and Merkin Valdez will be happier today. 

christaylor - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#212504) #
I thought Baker's is painful to watch. Luckily Bill James is Bill James.

Some thoughts on the 2010 season.

AL East:

The Yankees and Red Sox finish 1-2, New York cruises all season and wins at least 10 more games than BOS. Chad Gaudin starts a surprisingly large number of games. The O's find they don't have as much young talent as they thought the had. The Jays are right with them. The Rays win some games.

After being beaten repeated by the Yankees, Red Sox Nation calls for blood. Big Papi continues down the Frank Thomas career path (possibly being released). LF emerges as an issue and a trade is made in July.

AL Central:

Minnesota and Detroit get in a dog fight and we might see a repeat of 2006 where the wild card does not come out of the AL east.

AL West:

Seattle looks good, but falters. The Angels don't look good but don't falter as much as expected. Texas makes a run in mid summer but fades when Josh Hamilton gets injured.

The Phillies win the World series.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#212506) #

Roy Halladay winning 30 games for his first NL Cy Young award.

I'll agree with half of this -- he gets his "first" NL CYA (out of how many, though?) but the era of the 30-game winner is long dead and gone. He'll win 18-22 or so.

I think Baker is extremely professional and quite good. We did a whole series of feature interviews WITH both Baker and Richard Griffin a while back …

MatO - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#212507) #
Baker wrote the WHITE JAYS piece from around 2002-2003.  It was perhaps the worst piece of sports journalism I have ever seen.
christaylor - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#212508) #
Then Griffin blamed the racial make up of the team on the book Moneyball. I believe this was in 03... right in the middle of the Jays early season surge that year (IIRC).

Awful stuff, all around.
92-93 - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#212509) #
Travis Snider has now HRd in 3 straight spring ABs, 2 off Jeremy Guthrie and 1 off Kam Mickolio. Here's sincerely hoping he's penciled into the 7 hole everyday.
#2JBrumfield - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#212510) #

I guess we can now sing "No No Zinicola" to the Kinks "Lola".  Zinicola will unfortunately be remembered for plunking Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli in the melon earlier this month.

Gerry - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#212511) #

Blue Jays release Casey Fein per Bastian.  The Jays have too many bullpen arms at this point.

Casey we hardly knew ya!

92-93 - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#212512) #
5ip 5h 2er 2bb 5k 1hr - nice line for Romero, especially considering the other 10 outs came via the GB. He sounds like he's ready to go.
MatO - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#212513) #
In the previous game Romero had only one flyball out.  I didn't think he was much of a sinkerballer before these last 2 games.
Gerry - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#212518) #

Brian Dopirak has been sent down to AAA.  It looks like Randy Ruiz has the RH DH job, not that there was much doubt. 

Also Jaret Hoffpauir and Kyle Phillips were sent down.  44 players remain per Bastian.  The Jays have under 2 weeks left in Florida now.  I assume they will be down to 25 or 26 players before they head to Houston for their final exhibition games.

John Northey - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#212519) #
Don't know if anyone noticed it yet, but the Star pass is there for 2010.

80 games for $95 ($110 if bought online) (doesn't include opening day). Must present it 45 minutes or more before game time. Seats in the 500's are $11 this year so if you plan to go to 9 games you've paid for it. No good for me (3 girls makes it hard to get to that many games, although all of them want to go with me to a game).

Does anyone know if they are transferable or limited to just the person who buys them (ie: if I thought I'd take the girls to 10 or more games would I be able to buy one for me and one for them then just alternate between them a single pass)? Don't see myself buying it this year but next year would be possible as I work on making addicts of them :)
stevieboy22 - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#212520) #


The pass is transferable.. There isn't any identity characteristics on a card... It kind of just looks like a TTC pass....

If you got two passes and  both your daughters wanted to go, you could get 3 tickets together by just paying for the extra seat..

The pass is a fantastic deal. For those of us who live in the downtown area, it makes total sense, as you can usually sneak into the 100 on dead games; looks like there will be plenty this  year.

92-93 - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#212521) #
I'm sure they state that they are non-transferable, but I wasn't asked for ID once last year and routinely gave the passes to friends. Hopefully the people at Rogers realize that for most of these people, that $11 "saved" is going straight to food and beer anyway.
Thomas - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#212522) #
I'm sure they state that they are non-transferable...

They do not state this (at least not in the past few years). The oringinal response was right.
Thomas - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#212523) #
Lance Broadway and Zach Jackson have also been sent down. No surprises so far, aside from perhaps the release of Fien, but as Gerry points out, the Jays have an abundance of arms. Still, I'm a bit surprised they released him over one of the other bubble arms.
scottt - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#212524) #
Zinocola looks like a younger Accardo. I'm really not worried about the bullpen.
TamRa - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#212526) #
Noted in passing on MLBTR:

According to a Plain-Dealer writer, the Indians first drafted Tim Lincicum and offered him $700K (which was over slot and apparently the MLB suits were displeased) but were told it would take a million to sign him.

So Lincecum ends up with the Giants for the love of $300K

I suspect this sort of thing happens far more than is reported and while it doesn't excuse the Jays choices regarding Paxton et al last year, it does provide a bit of perspective.

Thomas - Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#212528) #
I wonder whether Lincecum would have become the pitcher he is today had he signed with the Indians. Off the top of my head, I believe Lincecum's had his unique throwing motion for a substantial time. When he came out of university the San Francisco front office likely had hesitations about his delivery; the same ones that let him fall to tenth in the draft. However, given his success against college hitting they decided to let Lincecum maintain his delivery, at least until it caused him problems, and so far it hasn't. San Francisco had no grounds on which to change his motion given Lincecum's years of success and injury-free history.

If he had been drafted several years earlier by Cleveland he wouldn't have had the same body of success which likely played a substantial role in San Francisco's decision not to tinker with his mechanics. I'm a bit sceptical that the Indians wouldn't have looked at this wiry 20-year-old with a unique delivery that they paid $1 million to sign after drafting him in the 42nd round and started changing his delivery. His last two years in college were fantastic (his first was stil good) and, without them, I'm not sure Lincecum isn't seen as a guy with a non-traditional delivery that needs to be fixed to some degree.

It's all speculation, but I remember reading about the discussions the Giants had over what to do with his pitching motion and without hs full resume I'm not sure if he's given the benefit of the doubt.

cybercavalier - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#212530) #
No surprises so far, aside from perhaps the release of Fien, but as Gerry points out, the Jays have an abundance of arms. Still, I'm a bit surprised they released him over one of the other bubble arms. .... Zinocola looks like a younger Accardo. I'm really not worried about the bullpen.

I do think that Fien and Zinocola will have better chance with the Tigers (if he was signed back) or the Nationals. The Jays have been stockpiling arms at the MLB and AAA level, so no worries. Anyhow, the Jays get $25,000 from Zinocola. As Fien was claimed by the Red Sox before coming to the Jays, his pitching shall find him a place with a MLB team.

Hitting and batters are more of concern to the Jays. I think that's partially the reason from the Jays' point of view that journeymen like Ruiz and McCoy are getting long looks.
martinthegreat - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 01:04 AM EDT (#212531) #
Bold prediction. Ruiz hits over 35 homers.
LouisvilleJayFan - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#212534) #
Bold prediction. Ruiz hits over 35 homers.

You may not be too far off. I wouldn't be surprised if he was one the Jays better offensive players this year. I'll even go so far as to say if he gets the plate appearances he might even have a more productive year than Hill, but not as productive as Adam Lind.

Gerry - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#212535) #

From the New York Post via MLB Trade Rumors (so take it with a grain of salt): The Diamondbacks are looking for pitching and among the teams with available pitching are the Jays: 

The D'Backs had interest in Jays pitcher Dana Eveland earlier in the offseason. Sherman says the Blue Jays would be very happy to move Eveland or Brian Tallet.


Gerry - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#212539) #
Brandon Morrow was scratched from his scheduled start today due to a sore shoulder.  The Jays describe the move as precautionary.  Stay tuned for further updates.
damos - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#212541) #
Per Bastian:
McGowan in AAA: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 36 (18). Topped out at 88 mph on radar gun.

Matthew E - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#212542) #

Brandon Morrow was scratched from his scheduled start today due to a sore shoulder.  The Jays describe the move as precautionary.  Stay tuned for further updates.


Gerry - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#212543) #

Bastian reports that Edwin Encarnacion is feeling much better and took batting practice today.

On Friday morning, Encarnacion stepped into the batter's box at Dunedin Stadium and tested his surgically repaired left wrist during a round of batting practice. It was Encarnacion's first time taking batting practice in roughly two weeks, and he was feeling good after the session.

"It feels good. I'm almost ready," Encarnacion said. "I think I'm going to be ready to play in a couple of days. I didn't feel anything today."


Gerry - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#212544) #
McGowan topping out at 88 shows why the Jays are being cautious with him.  McGowan was up to 94-95 before he was injured.  Shoulder injuries are harder and slower to come back from than elbow injuries.  Pitchers sometimes never regain their strength after shoulder surgery or it can take a couple of years for them to do so.  It appears to me that McGowan is still working his way back from his injury.  The Jays problem is that McGowan is out of options and they are unlikely to be able to send him down to AAA without losing him to a claim from another team.  So look for McGowan to start the season on the DL and perhaps not appear in minor league games for a while.  There is a limit, which I believe is 30 days, on how long a player can be assigned to the minors on a rehab assignment.  If the Jays start McGowan in minor league games in April then by early May he will have to be recalled.  Games pitched at the minor league complex don't count so I would think a month of minor league complex games followed by a month of minor league games might see McGowan back in the major leagues by June.
Gerry - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#212546) #

More from Bastian via Twitter:

Health-wise, McGowan said he's fine: "It's just more fatigue it seems like. I haven't thrown this much in a while."

Matthew E - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#212547) #

Brandon Morrow was scratched from his scheduled start today due to a sore shoulder.  The Jays describe the move as precautionary.  Stay tuned for further updates.

You know what this reminds me of, in the context of Richmond's injury and all the injuries the Jays had last year? It reminds me of the "Die Broke" philosophy. The idea is that people should rig their finances so that they have enough money to carry them to the ends of their lives, and no more. (Presumably your kids can fend for themselves.)

Maybe the idea of accumulating all these starting pitching candidates was to have enough so that the last five of them to remain standing wouldn't suffer their season-ending injuries until the last week of the season. Then in 2011 they can start all over again.

China fan - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#212549) #

Wow, all of that much-vaunted "pitching depth" has been disappearing in a hurry -- or, if not disappearing, it's being postponed into the future anyway.  As noted in this thread already, McGowan is probably months away from a major-league starting role.  Richmond and Litsch are injured.  Cecil, Drabek, Mills and Ray all need time in the minors.  Purcey is now relegated to the bullpen -- where he managed to walk two batters in a single inning today.  Morrow has been showing mixed results in spring training, and now there are potential injury concerns too.  Lance Broadway seems to be an off-off-Broadway production.  Eveland has been posting some pretty good numbers, but it's unclear if he's good enough to start in the majors -- and Bastian recently tweeted that Eveland is being considered only for the bullpen.

Who does that leave?  Marcum and Romero are fixtures.  Rzep seems to be sticking in the rotation, and probably should be given the chance to stick, although he had a bad outing recently.  And so, for the final two spots in the rotation, we're left with Morrow and Tallet -- even though Tallet really should be in the bullpen and Morrow probably needs more time in the minors.  So, with all of the "depth" that we thought the Jays had, the team is pretty well forced to keep Morrow and Tallet in the rotation, regardless of what happens for the rest of spring training.  Not much depth, if the team is obliged to keep two pitchers in the rotation who should probably be elsewhere.

Gerry - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#212550) #
The optimistic thought that David Purcey makes the opening day roster as a reliever hit a mini-bump today.  Purcey loaded the bases in his one inning on a hit and two walks, but escaped.  There is still work to be done there.
earlweaverfan - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#212551) #
This thread began asking for predictions - many smarter people than me have skilfully avoided that invitation.  Here I go (again):
  • Three of the Jays starters - Marcum, Romero, and Scrabble - will put in a strong, successful season, with lots of promise for the future, winning 42 games among them, sometimes aided by surprisingly strong early leads that give them a cushion to ride on
  • Tallet will have his best season yet, but that will mean he ranks as a strong fifth starter, let's say adding 9 wins to that total; still, he will not establish himself to be a long run rotation answer, given the alternatives
  • McGowan will go to the pen once he comes off the disability list - I count on zero wins from him as a starter
  • Assuming he is/stays healthy, Morrow will struggle, disappoint, but will be given plenty of scope to show what he can do - as of today, I am counting on only 4 wins from him
  • Ultimately one of Cecil or Stewart will push himself into Morrow's spot, and will win another 5 games in that slot; if Morrow is an Opening Day scratch, Cecil will take his slot and win 9 games over the year; unlike Tallet, he will still be seen as a possible keeper in the rotation 
  • None of Richmond, Litsch or Shawn Hill will win a start with this year's team
  • The bullpen will inherit a number of games where they are tied or losing, and a combination of Hill, Lind, Ruiz, Snider, Bautista, Encarnacion, Wallace, Buck, Arencibia and yes, even modestly recovering Overbay and Wells will slug them back into the lead - I project another 15 wins from the pen, especially if Frasor gets to be the closer
  • This makes for 75 wins, far from horrible, indeed just hopeful enough to keep us all coming back for more
Of course, if the arm injury decimation continues, 50 wins is still well within reach!

Gerry - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#212552) #

Bastian has the Dustin McGowan story here.

The short version is that the Jay's trainers told McGowan he would likely have a tired arm this spring having been off for 18 months.  McGowan understands that and knows he is likely to start the season still on the DL.

Mike Green - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#212553) #

The club is not remotely forced to keep Morrow in the rotation.  In 2010, there would be nothing wrong with opening the season with a rotation of Marcum, Romero, Zep, Eveland and Tallet with Morrow, McGowan, Litsch, Cecil possibly ready by mid-season (if that is what is best for them).  The nice thing about not having a realistic chance of competing is that the club does not need to take unnecessary risks with pitchers.  If they feel that Morrow ought to be in the major league rotation and that he's ready, then he should be.  If not, then Eveland is a perfectly good option.

Alex Obal - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#212554) #
Let's get rid of the word 'ready' and the phrase 'needs more time in the minors,' and replace them with 'should(n't) be in the majors.'

Morrow could probably hack it in the AL East right now. I figure he'd average 5.6 innings a start and put up an ERA in the mid-4s. So, in that sense, I think he's 'ready.' If the Jays had designs on contending it would be nearly inexcusable to start the season with Eveland in the rotation over Morrow.

However, I want to see Morrow's BB% and especially P/PA way down. The Jays may get more out of Morrow while he's under team control if he spends some time overpowering minor-leaguers. He may not be 'ready,' in the sense of '... to make his best possible long-term contribution to the team,' even though strictly speaking I don't think he needs more time in the minors to pitch competently in Toronto. 
China fan - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#212555) #

Mike, you and I might both feel that Eveland is adequate for the rotation, but the reality is that he's been dumped by three teams (Arizona, Milwaukee and Oakland) and the Jays have not been impressed enough with him to make him a contender for the rotation (according to Bastian, who should know what the Jays are privately saying).   Eveland has a career ERA of 5.54 and a career WHIP of 1.704.   He's had a few good games in the Grapefruit League, but that doesn't necessarily qualify him for a full-time major-league slot.  If he's pressed into the rotation, it will be a gamble, at best.

If Morrow is injured, or if he totally stinks up the joint, of course the Jays will find someone to replace him (they'll have to) -- whether it's Cecil or Eveland or whomever.  My point is that these are not great options.  And my point is that nobody is pushing Morrow neck-and-neck for a slot in the rotation.  He's basically been handed a slot, regardless of his performance in spring training, because of a lack of major-league-ready alternatives.  Could Morrow benefit from a bit more time in the minors?  We'll never know, because the Jays aren't even considering that option at this point, due to a lack of strong alternatives.

westcoast dude - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#212556) #
Although Dana Eveland hasn't actually started a game, most of his innings pitched have been against major league batters. He could start and pitch five innings next week, then finish spring training with six and he'd be ready to go.  Injured pitchers are incurable optimists, but a sore shoulder invariably is the kiss of death.  They have two chances to come back: slim and none.  Janssen know his limitations and he may beat the odds--so far it's encouraging, even promising.  I doubt McGowan will be claimed by anybody at this point. The question becomes, "What have you done lately?"
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#212558) #
I agree entirely with Mike Green. In fact, I'd go further. I think the Jays would be making a large mistake by putting Morrow in the rotation. The team is going to need innings out of starters, otherwise the pen will be shot by June. It's one thing to pitch against the AL West and Central in the expanses of Safeco and get away with walking 6 in 5.2 innings. It's another entirely to take that show to Yankee Stadium or Fenway and expect anything other than to get killed.

That's not to say I don't think Morrow can be an upside major league pitcher. But to put him in a rotation in the AL East, after 70 mediocre major league innings in Safeco last year against a different (lower) level of competition, is asking for heaps of trouble He belongs in NH, where he can learn to find the strike zone (44 walks in 69.2 ip last year) and not having his a$$ handed to him by NYY, the Sox and Rays.

I'd go with Marcum, Romero, then in whatever order Eveland, Tallet and Zep. I'd have guys in the pen who can pitch more than one inning. I'd also expect to replenish the pen more than once from the minors by July.

This is a very thin rotation, not only in talent but also in the number of innings pitched that can reasonably be expected.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 19 2010 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#212559) #
I doubt McGowan will be claimed by anybody at this point,

McGowan would be taken in a Midtown minute. That was exactly Ricciardi's figuring when he refused to offer Chris Carpenter a major league contract until the home-team period had passed for free agents, and other teams had proven him wrong. Two years later, the Cards had Carpenter, Carpenter had a CYA and Ricciardi and his fans had excuses. Not to say the McGowan will win the CY, but I have no doubt at all he'd be claimed.
TamRa - Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#212560) #
Gotta love the obsessive negativism on display in the last dozen posts or so.

whatever happen to Spring being the season of hope?

Gerry - Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#212561) #

Tom Tango, aka tangotiger, gets featured in the Star today.  Here is the heading:

Sabermetrics: Stats guru advising Blue Jays.

There's no statistic too obscure for Blue Jays adviser Tom Tango, a self-taught, secretive superstar in the growing field of sabermetrics

Gerry - Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#212565) #
Bastain reports today that Dustin McGowan is being shut down for one week due to a fatigued arm.  It's not an injury but as reported yesterday McGowan needs to build up strength in the shoulder and rest and recuperation are part of that process.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#212566) #
If you go to and listen to the 6 PM show you'll hear Jesse Carlson (29) has MCL damage to his knee.  Unknown if he needs surgery.  There are other interesting tidbits there, before and after the Carlson bit.   Looks like an open roster spot.
92-93 - Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#212567) #
5ip 6h 3er 0bb 3k for Rzepczynski today, with a 9:2 GB:FB ratio. The command and keeping the ball down are particularly encouraging. It appears that Marcum, Romero, and Rzepczysnki are near ready to go, and each probably has 3 more spring starts to fine tune.

If Morrow can indeed start the season in the rotation, I'd assume Eveland is destined for Carlson's spot. Perhaps Purcey has a chance too.
ayjackson - Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#212569) #
Gerry, are you in Dunedin?  If so, will you be offering up some prospect candy in the coming days?  Be nice to know who's having a strong spring down there.
Thomas - Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#212572) #
Some more players were assgined to minor league camp today: OF Jorge Padillia and pitchers Willie Collazzo, Rommie Lewis and Steven Register. The rumour is that all four had both Georgetown and Villanova in their Final Four.

Gerry - Saturday, March 20 2010 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#212575) #
I am not in Dunedin but I will be there just at the end of spring training.
scottt - Sunday, March 21 2010 @ 05:27 AM EDT (#212579) #
The idea with Morrow was to keep him in the rotation no matter how he pitches.

Without Morrow the rotation is Marcum and 4 lefties. The other rotation candidates seems to be Cecil, Eveland and Purcey, in that order.

Tallet was the long man in the pen. Eveland is the logical candidate for that right now.

Gerry - Sunday, March 21 2010 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#212581) #
Morrow will rest until Wednesday then begin throwing.  If his shoulder is OK he will pitch in a game on March 29th.  If he feels OK there he could pitch in the Jays last pre-season game on the Saturday before the season begins.
92-93 - Sunday, March 21 2010 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#212583) #
It sounds like he may need a few more starts in the minors and should open the season on the DL. Would they really bring him north after starts of 4 and 5 innings? Seems like a sure-fire recipe to start taxing your bullpen in April. Cecil now has 3 starts to prove himself ready, or the 5th spot is Eveland's.
ayjackson - Sunday, March 21 2010 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#212589) #
I think Eveland or Tallet get traded and Cecil's in the rotation to start the year.  I imagine the Jays have to send better compensation to Oakland if he makes the team, so you better be sure you need him.  I'm not sure he doesn't find his way back to Arizona.
scottt - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 06:34 AM EDT (#212592) #
If that's the case, it all depends on how determine his worth. His last year wasn't very good and he's  barely making the bullpen this year.

I don't see Tallet being traded. He could put some decent numbers this year.

TimberLee - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#212593) #

Some of you may find this of interest since it concerns two Jays prospects. Yesterday (21 March) John Sickels, on his Minor League Ball, presented the stats for two unnamed pitching prospects and asked readers to vote on which was the most promising. To spoil the suspense, the two were Zach Stewart and Kyle Drabek and the numbers clearly make Stewart look like the better bet. Sickels says he did this because he thinks Stewart is greatly overlooked as a future MLB starter.

Mike Green - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#212594) #
On the official site, Bastian indicates that Marcum has been confirmed as the opening day starter and that there is a good chance that Gregg will be the closer.  In another season, many people would be unhappy if Gregg were to be the closer because, at this stage of his career, he is a middle reliever on merit.  This season, it is all about perceived rather than actual value.
92-93 - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#212596) #
For me the best strategy for closer is the one that gives both Frasor and Gregg a chance to be Type A FAs for 2011.
Gerry - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#212597) #
Edwin Encarnacion played in a AAA game today and went 1-5, per Jordan Bastian.
Ryan Day - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#212598) #
Gregg was a Type A this year, and it didn't do the Cubs a lot of good.
christaylor - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#212599) #
Whether AA can flip Gregg or Frasor for something is definitely much more important than their FA status. I'd say type A/B status is probably irrelevant for both of them... I'd be surprised if the Jays got picks back for either. The days of picks for the Justin Speiers of the world are probably over.
greenfrog - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#212603) #
I don't know, the reliever draft pick strategy seemed to work out pretty well this off-season for Boston, which received a first round pick for Billy Wagner (who missed most of 2009 as a result of surgery). Granted, Wagner is one of the best relievers of all time, but he will be 39 in July.
ramone - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#212605) #
Rosenthal just put up a column saying the Jays won't settle for fringe prospects for Downs or Frasor, he also said they have no problem offering both of them arb next year as even if they accept the Jays are fine with brining them both back, they'd prefer the picks of course.
Parker - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#212606) #

I think the best-case scenario (realistically speaking) is that all three pending FA relievers fall just below Type A status.  This way, they have enough value to not be a huge risk to accept arbitration if offered, but not high enough in value that it's not going to cost potential suitors their first-round pick to sign them as free agents.

On the other hand, the absolute best-case scenario is the three form the greatest 7th, 8th, and 9th inning lockdown guys in the history of Major League Baseball and the Jays ride their arms all the way to a World Series victory... or that they are traded midseason for Evan Longoria, Franklin Gutierrez, and Matt Wieters.  A guy can dream.

Mike Green - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#212607) #
the Jays are fine with brining them both

this year the Jays won't have a bullpen; instead it will be a pickle barrel.
92-93 - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#212608) #
Whether AA can flip Gregg or Frasor for something is definitely much more important than their FA status. I'd say type A/B status is probably irrelevant for both of them... I'd be surprised if the Jays got picks back for either. The days of picks for the Justin Speiers of the world are probably over.

Part of their trade value is tied to their upcoming FA status. I also don't think those days are over - Mike Gonzalez & Jose Valverde both brought their teams compensation this year, as well as the aforementioned Wagner. Baltimore was a team with a protected first round pick that didn't mind losing their second, the 54th pick to sign a reliever. If Frasor in particular pitches well enough to reach Type A status, I'd assume he can secure himself a fairly decent multi-year contract, and his along with Gregg's salary is low enough this year that offering arbitration doesn't appear to be a very big risk.
Mike Green - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#212609) #
Personally, if it were my club, I'd try to lengthen Frasor out.  I believe that he now has a repertoire that is conducive to success in longer stints.  If not in a tandem starter role, then as an actual traditional starter.  In other words, I'd like to see them try the Fassero conversion.  Actually, there's still time.  They could start the season with Frasor/Tallet as a tandem starter in the #5 slot, and gradually lengthen Frasor. 
Spifficus - Monday, March 22 2010 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#212610) #
Stretching Frasor out would be an interesting idea if it were someone younger and under team control for longer. I'd think he'd have more market value if he were to reinforce his successes of last year rather than switching to another role. I would think scouts and front offices would wonder whether a decent performance (if he were to even have a decent performance in that role) is sustainable or a mirage. Another year of good late inning work would solidify his value as a setup guy that a contender could use. Throw in his 5-10 stature (a scout would likely view a lack of height as a lack of stamina), and his perceived value as a starter would be even less.
ayjackson - Tuesday, March 23 2010 @ 12:16 AM EDT (#212612) #
Blair articles on baseball are few and far between these days.  We shouldn't let one fall through the cracks.
sam - Tuesday, March 23 2010 @ 04:56 AM EDT (#212614) #
Gutiérrez, really?
Maldoff - Tuesday, March 23 2010 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#212616) #
Sergio Santos apparently has a good shot at making the Chicago White Sox out of camp as a reliever. With him having been in the system for 2 years, how come the Jays couldn't figur eout this conversion?
Gerry - Tuesday, March 23 2010 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#212617) #

RJ Anderson at Fangraphs writes a story in praise of Shawn Camp.

What makes Camp intriguing besides his (presumably) lower trade return and modest salary just over a million dollars? He’s a groundball machine (56% career) and devours righties (career 3.05 K/BB ratio against them). Any pitcher who can survive in the American League East is worthy of a look-see, and a transition into the American or National League Central would almost certainly improve his numbers, albeit on a marginal level.

 In other bullpen related news Jesse Carlson threw off a mound yesterday to test his knee and seemingly all was fine.  He will throw off a mound again tomorrow and all going well could pitch in games this weekend.

ayjackson - Tuesday, March 23 2010 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#212620) #
Sergio Santos apparently has a good shot at making the Chicago White Sox out of camp as a reliever. With him having been in the system for 2 years, how come the Jays couldn't figur eout this conversion?     I'm pretty sure the Jays were planning on the conversion as well, but they didn't have room for him on the 40-man roster, so he was exposed to other teams.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 23 2010 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#212638) #
An interesting exchange from a recent BP chat:

rinaldi19 (AZ): Who has better production in 2010...Laporta or Snider?

Matt Swartz: Wow, talk about two really comparable players. Their PECOTA projections are pretty darn similar. I would say Snider is younger, so maybe he has the best chance to break out and make me look bad if I say Laporta, so I'll say Snider. But it's really a toss-up from where I sit.
Flex - Tuesday, March 23 2010 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#212641) #
I find this a bit confusing. Casey Fien says he asked the Jays why he was being waived and they told him he was "a liability."

Somehow that doesn't sound like the Jays. I don't believe it. The only reason I can see them saying that is if Fein had an attitude problem. Apparently he never actually pitched in a game.


Here's the link:

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