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Dane Johnson is a regular visitor with us here at Batters Box.  We last talked with Dane in June and while Dane was in town recently for the end-of-season awards we sat down with him to talk about the 2010 season.

The official release announcing Dane's award gave up a bio for Dane:

JOHNSON is being recognized as this year's recipient of the BOBBY MATTICK AWARD for excellence in Player Development. The Coral Gables, Florida native has spent the last seven seasons as the organizations Roving Pitching Instructor, playing a key role in the development of many of the Club's young pitchers, including Shawn Marcum, Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil & Marc Rzepczynski. He began his coaching career with the club in 2000 as the Pitching Coach in Medicine Hat (Rookie) before moving to Auburn (A) and New Haven (AA) prior to settling into his current role in 2004. A former Blue Jay in 1996, the right-hander won six major league games, including his first against the Blue Jays as a member of the White Sox on June 8, 1994.


BB: Dane, last night you received a special award for your work.  I assume you will say it's a team effort but you must be doing something right to get all these pitchers to the big leagues.

DJ: Like you said it wasn't all me.  We have all the working pieces in place and it's a pleasure to work with the pitching coaches each and every day.  It's exciting to come to work and not only is there good work being done but there are good relationships too and that is important to our success here.  The coaches are getting our message through to the players and that works all the way up to the top, to Bruce (Walton), who sets the tone for all of us.

BB: You have just seen Deck McGuire throw here in the bullpen, and I assume in instructional league too, what have you seen in him?

DJ: Deck's a big eager kid who wants to learn a lot about pitching.  There is a lot of pitchability in him, he has four pitches, he covers each side of the plate with all four of them.  He has to learn how to do it better with us, we might have to tinker with a few things, with some grips and maybe a few mechanical things.  He is a big physical kid that attacks the zone and throws strikes and can throw three or four pitches in any count.

BB: Other than his fastball what is his second best pitch today?

DJ: Probably the slider at this point.  We will try and make that the change-up as we go along.  We love the change-up here as you know Gerry.  Changing speeds is big at every level, not just in the minor leagues but in the major leagues also.

BB: For Henderson Alvarez to get to AA what does he need to do, does he need to become a pitcher and not a thrower?

DJ: I think you hit it on the head.  Henderson has some amazing stuff.  He gave up a lot of hits to innings pitched this season.  His command needs to be where he wants it and we want it and he is fully capable of that.  If he does that everything will take care of itself, his secondary pitches are good, they are still developing.  We are still looking for the right breaking ball, we think the slider is going to be it, we see the good ones in there and it's just a matter of time before that starts clicking, with his command to get him to the AA level.  We are not concerned about what level he is at, we are more concerned about what kind of development he has as a pitcher.

BB: Chuck Huggins has probably earned a promotion to AA.  What does he have to do differently at AA to succeed?

DJ: He had a little peek at AA this year and through no fault of his own he had just two starts there.  He needs to pound the zone, get his secondary pitches over the plate, work ahead and keep the counts in his favour.  He is not going to blow anybody away but he has a very effective curveball and a very effective change-up.  If he spots his fastball and pitches down in the zone he will have success at AA, I don't doubt that.

BB: Doug Davis told me that this season Joel Carreno went from a fill-in starter to a prospect.  When I saw him pitch last year I saw a good slider but he was a guy who was almost afraid to use his fastball.  Is that what changed this year?

DJ: Joel was an interesting guy by the end of last season in Lansing.  Joel is a strong, physical kid and he will give you the 150 innings you are looking for and stay healthy all the year.  He did use his fastball more, we have been harping on him to use his fastball.  Joel has a nice slider, a nice pitch to get guys out at the A-ball level and will probably play at the AA and AAA levels but his fastball is going to have to be more of a factor at those levels.  I think that's more of a psychological thing for Joel to overcome at this point.  We are trying to tell him at the A level that he needs to use it rather than have him go to AA and experience using it.  We are putting on bets and throwing money at him to make it fun to try and get him to use those pitches, "hey Joel, how many guys can you get out with your sinker today?".  It's fun to watch him execute with his fastball, to save his slider.  The slider is a weapon for him and his change-up is very good too.  He is kind of a dark horse, you don't know what is going to happen with him.  We are going to let him keep going until someone says you are giving up too many hits, or walks or runs.

BB: Nestor Molina made a lot of progress this year and he is still just a young guy.  Is there any chance he could be a starter next season?

DJ: It's a possibility.  Nestor is still young, he pitched as a 20 year-old this season in Lansing and Dunedin.  He is a go-getter, he throws three or four pitches over the plate.  He's got a fastball, he has a real good cutter now, he has a split and a straight change.  He brings an arsenal to the table that makes you think he could start and that's not totally out of the plan to do that, to get him more innings.  We got him spread out this season, two or three innings when he did pitch, we just need to make sure that arm is built up.  You know he is coming over from being a position player so that's a part of it too.

BB: Misaul Diaz pitched well this season and was promoted to Auburn.  What is his strength?

DJ: Misaul has a real short quick arm action on the back side, he is a tall slender kid, a good athlete, moves well on the mound.  He is a little unorthodox with his throwing motion which affects the hitter some and adds some deception to his stuff but he is 92-93 with a real good sinker and a hard slurve for a breaking ball but it works and we think it will work up the chain.  It might need to be tightened in the future but his change-up is coming, he understands the game.  He is a good looking kid with a good arm and his stuff will play.

BB: Deivy Estrada pitched in the GCL as a 17 year old.  What do you see in him?

DJ: Deivy is a really young kid that has a lot of pitchability as far as knowing how to work the plate with his fastball, changing speeds, throwing any pitch in any count, fastball or breaking ball.  His stuff is not power stuff at all, he is 84-85 mph max right now.  We hope to get some more out of him as he gets older and matures because the pitchability is there so if we could get the stuff to match the pitchability we could have something special.

BB: Bobby Bell was a reliever and you made him a starter this year.  But he has had some injury issues so do you see him back in the bullpen next year?

DJ: Yeah, at this particular point I do.  That's still to be decided but if he is in the pen he will still get two or three innings when we can, more of a middle relief type.  We still have to kick back in the off-season and assess who our starters will be next year.  I am not going to count Bobby out as being one of those.

BB: Chad Jenkins, was he a better pitcher at the end of the year than he was at the start?

DJ: Absolutely, no doubt about it.  He is still in the process of learning, he is heading in the right direction, I personally like what he is doing.  He is down in Florida now to work on his slider.  When he is down at the knees with his sink he gets the ground ball, gets ahead in counts.  It's all about putting guys away and finishing them when he is in those counts.  The change-up is there, there is pitchability in there that needs to come out but he is headed in the right direction.

BB: Las Vegas is a tough environment for pitchers.  When you promote a guy to Las Vegas it is a case of suck it up kid, or do you do things to help them with their confidence?

DJ: A lot of pitchers have expectations for their year and if they don't admit that they are full of crap.  They all want to win this many games, or strikeout this many, or only give up so many hits.  If you get wrapped up in those numbers in that league it can be quite a downer to you because it is a hitters league.  There are hitters ballparks, hitters weather and it can destroy your confidence if you go in with too high expectations.  I am not a numbers guy, I don't need to see numbers, I see how guys are throwing the ball.  If more pitchers took that approach at that level, about what they need to accomplish in their games, taking into consideration what happens at that level and the ballparks you do pitch in, they need to scale back their expectations of what they can accomplish at that level.  It's not easy, a lot of guys had to regain their confidence after what would happen in the ballparks there, and the weather.  It's a tough place to pitch and you have to be strong between the ears to pitch there.

BB: When you moved Danny Farquhar into the long relief role he pitched really well.  Was that mental or more reps?

DJ: More reps.  When you are a closer, and you gave to get three guys out and the game is on the line, and the pressure.  Danny needed to develop some of his pitches and use more pitches in games and we found he wasn't doing that in the closer role and giving him two or three innings stints did wonders for him and he can use his whole arsenal now to get guys out.

BB: Aaron Sanchez has got a lot of glowing reviews since you signed him.  Is there any way a guy like that could play his way onto the Lansing roster to start next season?

DJ: Like I said we have to kick back in the off-season to see where our guys fit.  With a guy like Sanchez, a guy like Syndergaard, some of the high-priority guys taken high in the draft that have some ability that we have seen so far, I am not really concerned with where they go as to what they do where they are at.  We have arms that could go pitch there and Aaron is among the arms that could go there and we will figure that out in the off-season and going into spring training.  But no matter where he is going to get the things he needs to do and the plan and philosophy that needs to happen in his everyday work to get him to progress.


Batters Box thanks Dane Johnson for his time. 

An Interview with Dane Johnson - September 2010 | 32 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
rtcaino - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 08:14 AM EDT (#224082) #

Great work Gerry!

I very much look forward to next years minor league season. (Which I have mentioned once or twice already!)

BA's PCL top 20 is released today, and AFL is underway. After that, it will be a long stretch of limited minor league content.

China fan - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#224083) #
In the AFL opening game yesterday, McDade had two hits (including a double) and Thames had one hit as the Javelinas lost 8-6 to the Rafters.  Iglesias played at SS and Hechavarria did not play.  No appearances by Jays pitchers.  Thames played at RF.   It will be interesting to see if Hechavarria and Iglesias are rotated at SS and whether Hech will play any games at 2B.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#224086) #
"We love the changeup"

Seconded. Sly Stone used to explain his frequent "lateness" with words to live by: "it's not the time, it's the timing." For pitchers, disturbing a batter's timing is about even with being able to locate pitches in importance.

Gerry - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#224088) #

BA has JP Arencibia as the #8 prospect in the PCL.  Buster Posey is #1 and fellow playoff performers Madison Bumgarner is #4 and Mitch Moreland #16.  Brett Wallace is at #10.

JPA's defense takes a knock per BA:

 His 13 passed balls ranked second in the league, and PCL observers criticized him for getting lackadaisical behind the plate. His arm strength is average, but he threw out just 23 percent of basestealers for the 51s.

Wallace gets so much negative comment I am surprised he made the list:

PCL observers did have  concerns about Wallace's offense, however. He has trouble pulling balls with authority, and managers felt he could be attacked on the inner half. He doesn't clear his hips well in his swing, which makes scouts wonder how well his stroke will translate. His speed and mobility are well below-average and he'll never be an asset defensively.


Mike Green - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#224089) #
BA attaches a lot of weight to draft position.  The graduation rate from the first round to the majors is so much higher than in any later round (even among later developers like Arencibia, Romero and Sergio Santos) that it is reasonable to do so.

Hopefully, we'll see further evidence of this with Kevin Ahrens next year.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#224091) #
Great work Gerry!!

So we have a Blue Jays way to develop our young arms.

Incredible insight into pitching and progressing in Vegas.

Help me understand something else. You take a guy out of the the closers role, not as a demotion but as a way for him to get his reps on his "weaker pitches" for development purposes even if it means bad numbers and losses. So when I look at the box score the bad numbers BB & Hits, even HRs are a necessary price for future development. I SEE it as a step back but it really is not.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#224093) #
Gerry - these interviews are excellent - both the questions you ask and the answers. Your access to these guys is fantastic - a huge feather in DaBox's feathered hat of many colours. Bravo!

ON BA - BA has a problem - BA has been following guys for years - through HS - then Uni - then the minors - they've compared these guys to each other for YEARS. We fans are more likely to look at what the guy did for us today and make changes in our assessments very quickly  - while BA looks at their comparable rank to another guy and only slowly rearranges these relationships as guys rise and fall. Generally speaking, I really like BA's "internal group think" and "group assessment" - I don't always agree with their conclusions but mostly when they get around to raising a guy and dropping another guy those are good thought out moves.

Once again Gerry - bravo!

Gerry - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#224098) #

In general teams try to get pitching prospects as much work as possible.  The more they throw the more they learn about getting hitters out.  Starters face the same hitter three or four times in a game and, especially at higher levels, they have to pitch them slightly differently each time so the hitter can't anticipate what is coming.

So if a team puts a pitcher in the starting rotation they generally think highly of them.  Most major league relievers were starters in the minors.  Most minor league relievers are non-prospects.   If a relief pitcher takes a big step forward teams will make them starters as the Jays did recently with Bobby Bell and Joel Carreno.

But there are pitchers who don't like starting, Trystan Magnuson for example.  Some pitchers like coming to the park knowing they might pitch that night.  If a relief pitcher is a closer he will generally pitch one inning and usually with the game on the line.  If the game is on the line the pitcher will stick with his best pitches to get the win.  But the minors are also about development and it can be hard to develop a pitcher when he is a closer.  That is what Dane is talking about with Danny Farquhar.  By pitching him in middle relief the Jays were saying to him, use all your pitches, don't try and be too fine, and just get better.  It seems to have worked.

Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Mick Doherty - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#224099) #

Gerry, you're getting really good at asking the "right" questions in the right ways. I see you even employing some old tried-and-true journalist-interviewer tricks (e.g. sticking into the middle of a question, "I know you'll probably say xyz, but ..." really draws the interviewee into new directions.)

As others have said here, bravo, sir. In fact, bravissimo!

TamRa - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#224101) #
love the interviews!

a couple things that jumped out at me were the Molina point, and about Sanchez.

There's actually some pretty serious overcrowding in the lower levels and i wonder if we won't see the Jays drop a lot of the marginal "filler" guys as a result.

Here's a list of the number of starts guys had at each level, omitting the guys who are already gone or figure to be minor league free agents:

Mills - 20, Ray - 18, Perez - 15, Gonzo - 15, Zep - 12
AA -
Drabek - 27, Stewart - 26, Boone - 22, Perez - 12, Gonzolez - 9, Reyes - 2
Carreno - 25, Huggins - 23, Alvarez - 21, Page - 14, Jenkins/Liebel - 13, Shopshire - 4
Sopshire - 24, Tepera/Sever - 22, Fields - 19, Smith - 14, Jenkins - 13, Crawford - 7, Hutcheson/Lawrence - 5, Webb - 2
Webb - 13, Strickland - 12, Hernandez - 11, Hutcheson/Lawrence - 10, Nolin - 6, Diaz - 5, Wojechowski - 3, Smith - 2, Sanchez - 2
SS -
Purdy - 10, Vargas - 10, Sanchez/Diaz/Estrada - 8, Syndergaard/powell - 5, Nolin - 1

without refreashing my memory on the relative performance of the lesser lights, and assuming for the sake of this exercise that Hill wins the fifth starter job and no starter from this group is used in the major league pen, here's a quick and dirty possible assembly of the puzzle:
(bolded the guys i consider actual prospects on some level, or at least capeable of doing something in the majors)


Bell (stopgap until Jenkins is promoted)
(Carreno and Bell figure to be relievers if they make the bigs but  still)

Jenkins (maybe a month or two)
Alvarez  (might repeat the whole season)
McGuire (my instinct says Lansing but the crowd there is thick so...)
(Shopshire and Fields maybe as excess guys who plug in in case of injury or else add to the crowding at Lansing)

Wojechowski (still not sure of spelling - potential mid-season promotion)
Dyson (Same deal as McGuire, hopefully advanced enough to be the guy who's pushed ahead a bit)

Excess: Tepera, Sever, Crawford (to pen? He did some in relief already)



Excess - Strikland



2011 draftees

I don't see how you work Sanchez in at Lansing (and no one loves the guy more than me) and if Molina is going to start, he's either gonna have to go down to a lower level and bump someone like Hernandez, or 9more likely) be the long guy in Dunedin and get his shot when some guy turns up with an injury

in any case, it seems t me that guys like Page, Tepera, and Sever HAVE to be on thin ice just because of the number of bodies in play.
(not that any7 of them are a great loss - it just makes it hard to predict who will go where with so many excess guys floating around)

MatO - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#224102) #
It looks to me that Reyes will be out of options in 2011 and he was injured at the end of 2010, though I don't know what that injury was.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#224103) #
If I have followed correctly, this piece concludes BB's minor league coverage for 2010.  Kudos to the entire crew on a great year.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#224104) #
What Mick and everyone else said!
TheBunk - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#224105) #
Dyson in Lansing just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. 2011 is his age 23 season and he's coming from a major conference. I think Dunedin is more plausible.
Thomas - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#224106) #
Thanks to Gerry for two informative interviews.

Former Jays manager Carlos Tosca has been hired as the bench coach for the Atlanta Braves. He'll serve under Fredi Gonzalez, under whom he was also bench coach in Florida.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#224107) #
WillRain, I like your listing. L Perez & R Ray are missing, AAA or AA for them I assume.

I see Vegas as competitive except that the ballpark may be a negative to winning there. I just don't know. But there should be plenty of talent there.

ST may change some spots for Dunedin & Lansing. I think both have a chance to be competitive.

AA is where IMO the SP rotation looks weak stuff wise but there is experience there. As Dane said each pitcher tells them where he belongs, so hopefully some will knock hard on that door. I feel that our AA team will be bad. "Nothing Great" pitching and young position players like McDade & d'Arnaud. Will A Hech start at AA. The hard Vegas infield will really force A Heck's defense to its peak level when he gets there. So the 2011 New Hampshire team's prospect for success depresses me but then if the position players repeat 2012 there maybe we win a lot in 2012.
jerjapan - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#224109) #
"Sly Stone used to explain his frequent "lateness" with words to live by: "it's not the time, it's the timing."

Mike Green, you appear to have some seriously good taste in music. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#224111) #
Thank you.  My current favourites are a Brazilian group called Garotas Suecas, a little bit of Sly, a little bit of Hendrix, a little bit of the Kinks, some cool Brazilian rhythms and a whole lot of musicality in a tight package.  You can check them out on youtube or through a small label called American Dust. And they're in their early 20s, so they may yet peak in 5 years!

TamRa - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#224112) #
WillRain, I like your listing. L Perez & R Ray are missing, AAA or AA for them I assume.

AAA bullpen, IMO.

Dyson in Lansing just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. 2011 is his age 23 season and he's coming from a major conference. I think Dunedin is more plausible.

Certainly possible, depending on how many of the non-prospects they are willing to kick to the curb. But you could say the same thing about Woj.

A lot of that would depend on spring performances and injuries i expect.

MatO: I'm just presuming on Reyes clearing when he's optioned out.It's not impossible some team could consider him a better option than some guy they were gonna break camp with. i figure it's mildly more sensible to presume he clears as presume he's claimed.

rtcaino - Wednesday, October 13 2010 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#224115) #
Garotas Suecas


Never heard of them, but I'm digging their groovy sound.
brent - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 02:33 AM EDT (#224117) #

I seemed to read a lot that Overbay finished the season strong, but have a look at his month splits here.

He actually peaked in July and then slowed down in August and more still in September. The last 22 games of the season he was below all of his avg. season stats. I don't think that bodes well for any team that will sign him (other than on a team friendly contract, of course).

My offseason wish list:

another impact bat to help anchor the lineup

a serious basestealing/pinch runner 4th outfielder or utility inf.

opportunities for players from the farm to win spots on the 25 man roster

lots of draft picks from letting players walk (including Gregg)

TamRa - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 03:42 AM EDT (#224118) #
Alex's interest in trades over free agents fascinates me. Not sure what our talent will get, but the idea of getting a good relatively young closer, a good upside guy at 3B, and perhaps a slugger for 1B sends the mind reeling.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 06:01 AM EDT (#224119) #

I would like to see A.A. trade for, signs as a Free Agent or promotes from the farm:

1) 1B:  better than Lyle Overbay.  If not, Adam Lind starts as 1B.  

2) 3B: better than Jose Bautista.   If not, Jose Bautista starts as 3B.

3)  Closer: better than Kevin Gregg.   Whether so or not, pick up Kevin Gregg's options.

Any one of the three will be a good start.    Travis Snider starts as Outfield,  JP Arencibia starts as Catcher.   2 to 5 Players will be non-tendered and 2 to 5 Players will be traded.   One Starter, 5 or 6 Relievers and 2 or 3 for the Bench/ Starters are needed.   That should make a lot of space in Las Vegas. Who gets promoted and to where?



scottt - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 07:12 AM EDT (#224120) #
It seems AA recognizes  the team needs more OBP and some of that should come from a read lead off hitter. It's hard to get that from a corner infield, although there's obvious exception like Youkilis and Figgins. Also, Bautista might be gone in 2012, if not before that, so do you really build around him?

I presume one of the questions in those interviews for  the manager  position is what  changes does this team need to compete.

By the way, Fredi Gonzalez has taken over from Bobby Cox and it's reported that Wallach is no longer under consideration.
jerjapan - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#224123) #

My current favourites are a Brazilian group called Garotas Suecas

I'll check them out!  I assume you're familiar with the whole tropicalia thing - os mutantes (who are coming to TO as an opener in the next few weeks), tom ze, etc.  Pop genius!

John Northey - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#224125) #
So, who has a high OBP that is out there and what position does he play?

400 OBP...
Joey Votto CIN 1B 26 - arb, free agent after 2013
Miguel Cabrera DET 1B 27 - signed through 2015 $20+ per
Albert Pujols StL 1B 30 - we wish
Josh Hamilton TEX LF 29 - arb, free agent after 2012
Joe Mauer MIN CA 27 - signed forever
Shin-Soo Choo CLE RF 27 - arb, free agent after 2013
Prince Fielder MIL 1B 26 Free agent after 2011

Are any of these guys available? Fielder was apparently available earlier, and is on his last year pre-free agency. If Detroit decides it is time to cut back Cabrera could be. Can't imagine any others would be available unless we gave up all prospects in the system, and maybe not even then.

Jason Heyward ATL RF 20 - wow, what we dreamed Snider would be
Paul Konerko CHW 1B 34 - free agent, 158 OPS+ this year but just 119 lifetime
Daric Barton OAK 1B 24 - not free agent until 2014
Adrian Gonzalez SD 1B 28 - free agent after 2011, is available and 2 years of 150+ OPS+
Matt Holliday StL LF 30 - signed through 2016 at a reasonable rate, not a hope of getting

So for extremely high OBP there are only 1B/RF/LF with one CA. Of those only 1B are even slightly likely to be available. For available Konerko is most available (free agent), Gonzalez & Fielder are likely available, Cabrera could be.

Gonzalez is interesting as the Padres have said their budget is $40-50 million and he will make just $5.5 next year. That makes him a valuable trading chip. We have tons of young quality pitching which could be what they want (everyone seems to want it at least). They had a guy start 26 games with a 68 ERA+ and another start 25 with a 86 (ugh). If they had 1/2 decent pitching in those slots they'd be in the playoffs right now.

Would you trade Drabek & Rzep & someone else (low minors) for him? Or those 2 pitchers plus Snider? I suspect that would be a starting point for SD - ML ready players they could toss in during 2011
TamRa - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#224129) #
No way I'd include top-shelf guys for a guy leaving after one season unless there was an opportunity to extend him first.

All other consideration of relative value comes AFTER that point is covered.

cybercavalier - Thursday, October 14 2010 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#224143) #
3B: better than Jose Bautista. If not, Jose Bautista starts as 3B. It seems AA recognizes  the team needs more OBP and some of that should come from a read lead off hitter. It's hard to get that from a corner infield, although there's obvious exception like Youkilis and Figgins. Also, Bautista might be gone in 2012, if not before that, so do you really build around him? I presume one of the questions in those interviews for  the manager position is what  changes does this team need to compete.

I think a few posters here may have thought of signing Bobby Abreu for previous baseball season. Do you think it is now a good time to get him from the Angels. His on-base ability throughout his career shall be undoubted, although power number and homeruns may have diminished. Maybe we can flip Encarnacion for him and other incentives (prospects, draft picks, cash etc.) Lind, Snider and he can share corner outfield and DH duties. Contract-wise, Abreu is due 9M next season with a 9M team option and 1M buyout for 2012. At any rate, he seems to be a potent on-base stopgap until someone from the farm of the Jays or some other team can step in.

Or for a financially cheaper route, the Pirates seems to have a plethora of outfielders who cannot show success at MLB: Lastings Milledge or Brandon Moss. Especially the speed potential of Milledge can be acquired according to the buy-low-sale high principle given Milledge unsuceesful season at MLB.

Or Chris Lubanski at Las Vegas has a chance to show his skills, although he is mostly a power hitting outfielder? At any rate, I still think JBau is a better 3B than RF.
bpoz - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#224150) #
Using the memories of other Bauxites, let me introduce something that seemed to interest the baseball world back in the late 1980's.

Whitey Herzog & the Cardinals traded G Tempelton, T Simmons & possibly some others and got back Oz Smith, some Catcher and maybe some others AND they picked up Willie McGee (in a minor deal I believe). This all happened in 1 off season and then they won the WS either that year or the next.

To me that was quite a feat. Speed was their calling card. Vince Coleman... I don't know where he came from.
JohnL - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#224153) #

Speed was their calling card. Vince Coleman... I don't know where he came from

Coleman could be fast at times, but in the 1985 NLCS, he was outrun and runover by the field tarp and I think missed the whole World Series.

Mike Green - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#224157) #
bpoz, you can check out a lot of the details on BBRef.  The very brief story on the Cardinals in the 80s is as follows.  They won 1 World Series (1982) and lost 2 others (1985 and 1987).  They acquired Ozzie Smith for Garry Templeton (who was the hottest of tools guys, but never quite developed as hoped) after 1981.  The 1982 team benefited from great years from Keith Hernandez and Lonnie Smith (who led the team in stolen bases) and Joaquin Andujar (youneverknow), as well as very useful performances from Ozzie and Darrell Porter.  George Hendrick added a fair bit of pop in the outfield  At that point, Willie McGee had not yet developed and Vince Coleman was not on the team.  It was not really a unidimensional club.

The 85 club did steal a lot of bases (with Coleman stealing over 100, but what they did best was reach base, leading the league in that category.  Jack Clark provided significant punch. They also got a great year from John Tudor.  The 87 club was similar, although I doubt that there has been another club which made it to the World Series and whose team leader in pitching wins had 11 (Tudor only threw 96 innings that year). 

bpoz - Friday, October 15 2010 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#224163) #
Thanks Mike.
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