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Itís 9:00 on a Saturday evening. Do you know which team Justin Upton plays for?

The Diamondbacks are listening to offers for Justin Upton and about five teams have made shown serious interest in him, one of which is reported to be the Blue Jays. Another team that has shown serious interest is reported to be Tampa Bay and I would be surprised if Upton doesnít find the idea of patrolling the outfield with his older brother appealing. Many other teams have made inquires of various kinds.

In the opinion of many, the longer Arizona goes down the road the more it shows both the seriousness of the offers and the more difficult it becomes for the team to not deal him. I expect this saga to wrap up relatively soon, as Iím sure Arizona doesnít want the possibility of a trade hanging over Uptonís head all off-season. The four teams on his no-trade list are Oakland, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

As Bauxite Chuck alerted readers in another thread, the 2011 ZIPS projections for the Blue Jays are available. Marcum has the best projections of any starter, followed closely by Morrow and Romero. Bautista easily has the best projections of any Toronto hitter, with Travis Snider slotting into third place behind Lind. Interestingly, Arizonaís have previously been released. Since Sniderís been the subject of trade speculation in Upton discussions, the following is presented without commentary are the following projections:

Travis Snider: .260/.320/.465
Justin Upton: .292/.369/.505

What do you think Bauxites? Does Snider beat those projections? If so, does he approach those of Upton? And, does Upton reach his projections?

Odds, Ends and Uptons | 85 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Flex - Saturday, November 20 2010 @ 09:42 PM EST (#225940) #
Here's a good piece explaining some of the background and rationale for Kevin Towers' decision to put Upton on the market:

http://bit.ly/aOBeXM
Magpie - Saturday, November 20 2010 @ 10:42 PM EST (#225941) #
The Snider projection seems fine, although the slugging may be closer to .480 or .490. The BAVG and OBP seems about right, barring a drastic change in his luck, either for the better or the worse. (Snider actually did fine on his Balls in Play in 2010 - he hit .302, which was better than Overbay and Lind, and not as good as Lewis, which sums up about where Snider's foot speed ranks among the LH batters.)

As for the pitching projections - let me pull this one out of that nether orifice where so much of my good stuff emanates. Brandon Morrow, Brandon Morrow, Brandon Morrow. He will be the team's clear ace by the All Star Break, and come September 1, the team will be wondering how to keep his IP from jumping up from 146 to over 200...
timpinder - Saturday, November 20 2010 @ 11:34 PM EST (#225942) #

Snider beats the projections by a mile.  This will be his break out year.  He's absolutely demolished AAA pitching and has proven that he's too good for that level.  His best month in his first full season as a 21 year old in 2009 saw him produce a mediocre .807 OPS, but we finally saw him translate his AAA success in the majors in May 2010 when he threw up a 1.115 OPS, only to have his development delayed by a wrist injury.  He missed 3 months, and had to start over again in August and as we all know wrist injuries sap power and are difficult to recover from.  Despite that fact, he still managed 6 bombs and a .818 OPS during the last month of 2010, at age 22. 

His first few years in the majors remind me of Jay Bruce.  Both lefthanders with power, but Snider is over a year younger.  They were both average at first, then started to finally get it together only to be derailed by injuries.  They both came back and were strong the last month of the year after their injuries (Snider in 2010, Bruce in 2009 at the same age).  And we all saw the monster that Bruce turned into the last few months of 2010 after an above average first 4 months of the 2010 season.

I think Snider will struggle a little the first month of 2010, but will then finally get it together at the still very young age of 23 and become the Jays' best hitter going forward.  I don't think the projections are going to even be close, and he'll end 2011 with a slash line close to .300/.355/.525 at least.

I also think Bautista's projections are too high.  Pumpkin I tell you.  AA should trade him now.

Mylegacy - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 12:02 AM EST (#225943) #
An odd end of the Upton caper? Perhaps.

I've been reading everything on every site in Christendom, and several sites up to two blocks north of Christiandom as well, about Justin Upton and the DBacks strange move to trade him at this time. I've discovered a couple of strange facts. For instance - while I had heard he had an injured shoulder - I've found - apparently - he is known to actually have a "tear" in the shoulder. Does AA know? If he knows - would he make the trade without our "shoulder Doctors" (whoever they might be) having the right to thoroughly examine the offending body part?

Also, in my journeys I saw a site that seemed to offer as an explanation that the new GM had only two years to win or be replaced (the site alleges that his predecessor was in fact fired with several years still remaining on his contract, and the new guy has to win now to survive) - (I must confess to not following the goings on of the DBacks front office with any regularity)  - the bottom line was that the new GM  was trying to get "an outfielder, closer and starter" for Upton in order to win now - or by 2012 at the latest. TO could get him a starter and outfielder - but a closer - not unless Henke or Ward make a come back. But seriously, how does a club that lost over 90 games think it is only a couple of "new" players away from being a winner?

Damaged goods, or win now or be fired? Which is it? Both? Neither?

Curious, most curious.

PS: Notice how quite it's all become on the Grienke front?

Mick Doherty - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 01:35 AM EST (#225944) #

Itís 9:00 on a Saturday evening.

Thomas! Channeling the Piano Man?

It's 9 o'clock on a Saturday
The Bauxite crowd shuffles in
Like Dan "Magpie" McIlroy
Knockin' back a tonic and gin

He says, "Son! Lemme tell ya of Blue Jays
Glory days of not long ago
Of Henke and Ward and all the bats we'd afford
And Joe C. touched 'em all donchaknow ...

 

CeeBee - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 08:44 AM EST (#225945) #
Brilliant Mick! just brilliant :)
Mike Green - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 11:50 AM EST (#225947) #
Great, Mick.

The ZIPS projections are specific to the player's current context.  Anyways, subjectively, I'd mark both Snider and Upton down for .275/.350/.480.  And if I was forced to guess which one would take the league by storm with the bat, it would be Snider.

Gerry - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 12:28 PM EST (#225949) #

Heads up!

Batters Box will have an interview with GM Alex Anthopoulos here tomorrow.

Just thinkin' about
Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!

 

China fan - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 01:57 PM EST (#225950) #
I am definitely looking forward to the AA interview! I'm anticipating some very interesting questions -- even if AA dodges some of them.
FranklyScarlet - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 02:52 PM EST (#225951) #
Looking forward to that interview!
And, looks like Leyva landed a job...

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10325/1105096-100.stm



earlweaverfan - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 04:39 PM EST (#225952) #
Batters Box will have an interview with GM Alex Anthopoulos here tomorrow.

Wonderful!  Does this mean you have already conducted it, or that you will be conducting it?  If the latter, could we submit questions to you guys?

For example, I would want to know:
  • How are the trade and FA markets panning out so far (with respect to the price one needs to pay for desirable talent)
    • Compared to what you expected, going in?  and...
    • Compared to what you were hoping to get done?
  • What was the club's thinking in deciding to let:
    • Shawn Hill become a free agent?
    • Emaus remain unprotected?
    • Encarnacion go to Oakland?
  • In order to get more speed, OBP, and more success in advancing the runner, how much SLG/HR will the team need to give up this coming year?
  • We will likely be losing three of our stronger relievers, and we have also given up two AA relievers of moderate ability.  All for reasons we Bauxites appreciate.  So, are you still strongly expecting to improve the bullpen this off-season, and what is the basis for your confidence?
  • How has John Farrell influenced the thinking you had already been doing about the club, now that he has come on board?
  • Who are the players you most look to see a break-out from this coming year?
  • We suspect you would not call 2011 a re-building year, nor a year in which we pull out all the stops to contend.  What phrase would you use to describe your goals for 2011, instead?
Likely these overlap heavily with what you have already planned to ask him (or have already asked him).  Still, if not, feel free to plagiarize freely!!
Gerry - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 05:22 PM EST (#225953) #

Sorry, the interview was done last week so no extra questions.

It was also done before the Emaus and Loewen news came out.  And AA declined to answer a question about his plans for third base (the interview was done via e-mail).  That probably indicates that he doesn't know the answer.  If they sign or trade for a 3B fine, if not Hill or Bautista could move there.  It's a similar answer to the one he gave reporters this week about the Rajai Davis acquisition.  He doesn't know yet how they will use him.

An alternative view is that he does know but in that case Batters Box is not the first place he would come to to break the news.  Maybe if Rogers bought us he would.

 

 

John Northey - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 06:29 PM EST (#225954) #
An interesting item is how Pittsburgh dumped Zach Duke and Andy LaRoche.

Zach Duke is a LH starter who at 22 went 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA, but his best since has been a 103 ERA+ in 2009. His K/9 peaked as a rookie at 6.2, dropping to 5.4 last year. His BB/9 have been good, 2.1 to 2.9 over the years. His HR/9 was at 1.4 last year, his worst ever. He might be a solid pickup as a backup but not as a ML starter here. He is entering his age 28 season.

Andy LaRoche is very interesting. A third baseman who did great in the minors (295/382/517 lifetime with 853 his worst at a level outside of his rookie season in rookie ball) and was 4 times on the top 100 prospects by Baseball America. Yet in the majors he has had nightmares - 224/304/338 for a 71 OPS+. Pittsburgh though is known for being poor at developing talent (see Jose Bautista for a great example) and perhaps he could develop into what he could've/should've been here. He won't be expensive and should be able to be signed to a AAA deal with spring invite, especially with the hole at 3B we see here right now.

Boy has Pittsburgh stunk lately. 90+ losses every year since 2005. No more than 75 wins in a season since 1999. Sub-500 since Barry Bonds left as a free agent after the 1992 season when they were within an out of the World Series.
Magpie - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 07:11 PM EST (#225955) #
a slash line close to .300/.355/.525 at least.

I don't seem to be nearly as impressed as most people by Snider's numbers in his 48 games for Las Vegas - it's Las Vegas, and it's 48 games. That said, Bruce is indeed an interesting comp for Snider. For one thing, he strikes out about as often, which makes it effectively impossible for either of them to hit .300. No one who strikes out as often as these players hit .300 last year (Austin Jackson came closest at .293, followed by David Wright and Bruce) - and to come as close as Bruce did (.281), you need to hit .334 on your balls in play. Which is difficult.

But if Snider hits .265/.330/.490 with 30 HR and 95 RBI (which is kind of what I expect/hope for) that is a breakout year, as far as I'm concerned. I never thought he'd be as good as Delgado or McGriff.
Magpie - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 07:18 PM EST (#225956) #
By the way, there is no power on earth that could make me order a gin and tonic.
Magpie - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 07:28 PM EST (#225957) #
Andy LaRoche is very interesting. A third baseman who did great in the minors

Isn't that the Andy Marte story?

Hang on - you mean not every great minor league prospect makes it?
Mike Green - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 07:46 PM EST (#225959) #
I am optimistic about Snider's ability to hit for a good average.  He's got a level swing, hits the ball very hard and is very quick out of the box.  His path to being a dominant hitter in the league would be different from Delgado's or McGriff's. 
Mick Doherty - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 07:57 PM EST (#225960) #
Mags, was just trying to stay faithful to the original lyrics, and you must admit, you ARE this site's classic "old man sittin' next to me." I don't think anything appropriate rhymes with Labatt's ... 8-P
Richard S.S. - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 08:12 PM EST (#225961) #

PS: Notice how quite it's all become on the Grienke front?

Why Zach Greinke?   Let's talk about scarcity economics, the facts of life Mom and Dad never told you about.

1) This is Cliff Lee.   There is Zach Greinke.   There is a bunch of 3, 4, 5 starters who may or may not be as good as Jesse Litsch, Brad Mills, Scott Richmond and Robert Ray.

2) Cliff Lee stays in Texas or ignores his wife and signs in New York for really stupid money.   No one else will come close.

3) Shaun Marcum (13-9) was our Ace in 2010 after last pitching as our #3 starter in 2008.   Greinke is at least as good as Marcum with better stuff.   Our offense is much better.

4) If we have Zach Greinke, no one else we are competing with for a post-season berth will.

5)  If we have an Ace, isn't acquiring Justin Upton easier?

Mike Green - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 08:19 PM EST (#225962) #
Mick, you did stray from Billy Joel to Springsteen in there:

I had a friend was a big baseball player
Back in high school
He could throw that fastball by you
Make you look like a fool boy
Saw him the other night at this booze can
I was walking in, he was playing catch
We went back inside sat down had single malt natch
But all he kept talking about was

Glory days well they'll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a Bauxiteís eye
Glory days, glory days



greenfrog - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 09:28 PM EST (#225963) #
The thing to remember about Snider is that he's very young. He held his own in his age-22 season (year 2 in the majors) with an OPS+ of 106. Most players don't peak until their mid-twenties or so. I think Travis's power will play in the majors, and that he'll continue to improve over the next few years. For me, the question is whether he becomes an All-Star or merely an average to above-average player.
Mick Doherty - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 09:51 PM EST (#225964) #

Mike., you wound me. Springsteen is a great artist, and that song there you're rippin' off, it's  good -- great video ("Garvey got me in the ninth") but sir, I object. There's straying and then there's straying ...

Billy Joel's Piano Man : Bruce Springsteen's Glroy Days
::
Roy Halladay : Zack Greinke.

QED.

Thomas - Sunday, November 21 2010 @ 10:55 PM EST (#225965) #
Hang on - you mean not every great minor league prospect makes it?

I agree with you that LaRoche looks a lot like a Marte or McPherson than a diamond in the rough. I'd sign him to a minor league deal, but nothing more than that. I know your thoughts on Alex Gordon, so we won't rehash those, but to me Gordon is someone with a more promising profile, even if the odds are he's another in the same boat as the others.

Magpie - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 04:45 AM EST (#225967) #
His path to being a dominant hitter in the league would be different from Delgado's or McGriff's.

I just don't see what that path can be. I mean, I think he'll be a good hitter, maybe a very good hitter. He may even have a great year or two, when everything he hits finds a hole. But I actually think his path to being a great hitter is quite a bit like McGriff's - he has reduce his strikeouts dramatically in the majors compared to what he did in the minors.

How common is it for a hitter to strike out less often - not just less often, but a whole lot less often - at the major league level than he did in the minors? I don't know. It's certainly not impossible - after all, McGriff did do it. On the other hand, as far as I can tell McGriff's growth was pretty remarkable and pretty unusual. Delgado didn't do it. And Snider's plate discipline, while pretty good, is nowhere near as good as McGriff's (or Delgado's).

If Snider doesn't develop as dramatically as McGriff - well, it's just hard for a player who strikes out 150-175 times and walks about 60-70 times to get on base much more often than a league average hitter.

I do expect/hope that he will hit for enough power that it doesn't worry me. You didn't see me fretting about Jose Bautista's batting average...
Magpie - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 04:50 AM EST (#225968) #
I know your thoughts on Alex Gordon

Well, I will say this - unlike Marte and LaRoche, Gordon has spent his entire pro career in the same Certifiably Bad Organization. So who knows - maybe getting busted out of KC will work for him the same way being liberated from Pittsburgh worked for Bautista.
Magpie - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 05:01 AM EST (#225969) #
Maybe something like this

It's 9 o'clock on a Saturday
The Bauxite crowd shuffles in
And Magpie is under the table
Tequila! It wins again...
Kelekin - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 06:00 AM EST (#225970) #
I would love to see us take a flyer on Laroche.  He was having a really solid offensive season before they moved him around the diamond, and then he dropped off dramatically and lost a ton of playing time.  The entire Pirates' staff said at the start of 2010 that he was the likeliest to break out.  I just don't see the harm since we have no true depth at the position in the high levels (and let's be realistic, Bowman isn't very good).


timpinder - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 07:51 AM EST (#225971) #

Sickels' Toronto BlueJays Top 20 Prospects list is up:

http://www.minorleagueball.com/

That looks like a deep system, with 14 players receiving B- or better grades.  With the compensation picks the Jays will get this year for Downs, Buck, Olivo and maybe Fraser, the system should will get even deeper.

 

jerjapan - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 08:25 AM EST (#225972) #
Sickels really likes last year's draft, and thinks some players could receive a higher grade next year once he gets some more minor league data.  He doesn't value some of the Bauxite favourite propsects as much as I'd hoped - especially A-Hech. 

I look forward to seeing another draft as AA prepares to stockpile picks for 2011. 



Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 08:51 AM EST (#225973) #
Magpie, Snider is more likely than McGriff to hit .300 quite a few times and much less likely to draw 100 walks.  Greg Luzinski or Willie Horton (who didn't hit .300 but reached his peak in a low average time) are your models.  Snider is faster than either of any of those guys, and will get a few extra infield hits a year that way.

Recently, Ryan Ludwick (at age 29) had a season that would be something that Snider could do year after year, without doing anything except adding some extra pop as he moves into his mid 20s. 
Jdog - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 08:55 AM EST (#225974) #
You forgot a possible Kevin Gregg compensation pick.

Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 10:03 AM EST (#225977) #
The other thing about Snider is that he has noticeably more defensive value than McGriff or Delgado.  It looks like he will be an average defensive left-fielder in his mid 20s.  
Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 10:42 AM EST (#225978) #
Aaron Gleeman reports that the Twins left Kyle Waldrop off their 40 man.  He was battered around in Arizona, after a pretty   good year (59 relief appearances) in triple A.  He may have just been tired.  He might be worth a look-see.
92-93 - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 11:46 AM EST (#225985) #
If Snider can only be an average LFer I'll be disappointed, because so far I see a guy with above average speed and a strong arm who would probably be able to handle RF if he was given the opportunity to get comfortable playing there every day. LF hides too many horrendous fielders for average to be acceptable.
Magpie - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 11:47 AM EST (#225986) #
Greg Luzinski or Willie Horton (who didn't hit .300 but reached his peak in a low average time) are your models.

I don't think Willie Horton's a good example because he didn't strike out anywhere near as often. But Luzinski is interesting - he managed three straight seasons hitting .300-.309 with his usual walks and power despite striking out quite a bit. Not as often as Snider, but quite a bit anyway. And no, there wouldn't have been any leg hits in there.
Magpie - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 12:02 PM EST (#225988) #
Ryan Ludwick (at age 29) had a season that would be something that Snider could do year after year

I don't know if that particular type of season is something anyone can do year after year. When a guy who strikes out in a quarter of his at bats still hits .299 (more than .30 points over his career average) don't you suspect the guy just got lucky? Is it surprising to discover he hit .342 on his balls in play that year, rather than his usual .309? No one gets that lucky year after year, which is what that type of season generally requires. If you strike out in a quarter of your at bats - and Snider strikes out a fair bit more than that - the sky is not the limit. The limit is more like .265...

Not that there's anything wrong with that, considering the tasty extras (decent number of walks, who knows how much power) that should come along with it.
Mike Green - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 12:11 PM EST (#225989) #
Mags, Luzinski's BABIP was over .340 during his age 24-27 years.  If you hit the ball very, very hard and with a fairly level swing, you can do that.  Hitters' BABIP have much greater variation over the medium term than pitchers' BABIP.  For his major league career, Snider's LD rate is 22%.  In Ludwick's career year, his LD rate was 26%.  We don't have Luzinski's LD rate, but I'll bet that it was significantly over 20%. 

We think of high strikeout power hitters as having uppercuts.  Not all of them do. 

John Northey - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 01:35 PM EST (#225998) #
Sickels' is interesting...
1 A-, 2 B+, 2B starters - there is an entire rotation there (he ranks b's as... prospects have a good chance to enjoy successful careers. Some will develop into stars, some will not. Most end up spending several years in the majors, at the very least in a marginal role). Overall it was 1 A-, 2 B+, 4 B's, 7 B-, 6 C+ plus an extra 3 C+'s.

Checking 2010's list I see 3 B+'s (Wallace, Stewart, Drabek), 1 B (d'Arnaud), 2 B- (Jenkins, Cooper), and a ton of C's (10 C+, 4 C).

For 2009 you see A- Travis Snider, Cecil as a B+, Cooper B, 3 B- (JPA, Justin Jackson, Brad Mills), 7 C+'s, 7 C's.

2009 it was 1/1/1/3/7/7 (A-/B+/B/B-/C+/C)
2010 it was 0/3/1/2/10/4
2011 it was 1/2/4/7/9/0

Overall a big improvement at the bottom, shifting from C's to B-'s and B's but the top (B+/A-) is the same as last year and almost the same as 2009. AA's challenge is to increase the B+/A- crew.
timpinder - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 01:48 PM EST (#225999) #

Bill James' prediction for Snider in 2011, for what it's worth:
.273 / .337 / .495

With Snider I just see a guy who was rushed through the system and has been playing against much older competition.  I think he can improve on his SO % (and he did bring it down from 32.4% in 2009 to 26.5% in 2010), and on his power and pitch recognition.  He was 22 years old in 2010 and I think that some people are forgetting how young he really is and how much he can still improve.  I thought he took that next step last May but then got injured at the worst possible time.  Time will tell, and I know it's subjective, but he's just such a strong athletic kid and PCL or not, the numbers he's put up in AAA as a 20 year old and 21 year old are very good. 

92-93 - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 05:31 PM EST (#226003) #
I view Bill James' prediction of Snider as realistic if he receives regular playing time, not optimistic. I think it would be disappointing if he played around 155g and only posted an .800 OPS.
Magpie - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 06:11 PM EST (#226005) #
With Snider I just see a guy who was rushed through the system and has been playing against much older competition.

Holy crap! Someone who is Not-Me used the word "rushed?" I am encouraged. And there may indeed be something there - it may explain some of his difficulties in making contact....
DH - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 10:14 PM EST (#226015) #
On another note - I'm surprised AA didn't see enough potential in Shawn Bowman to offer him a crack at Las Vegas. He signed a minor league deal with the Braves today.
Alex Obal - Monday, November 22 2010 @ 10:38 PM EST (#226020) #
Of course Snider was rushed. It's water under the bridge now... I think tim's post is right on.
chocolatethunder - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 12:15 AM EST (#226023) #
Great point....Cito's presence around him probably stunted his development(understatement)....anyone else get a bit depressed reading tZips comparisons of our players...the most impressive was Sniders comp to David Ortiz...I love our startes but Zip gives them no love...another scary comp is Rajai Davis being the most likely player to hit over .300...
Gerry - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 09:33 AM EST (#226032) #

Ask BA answered a Joel Carreno question yesterday.

    Blue Jays righthander Joel Carreno had a 173-30 K-BB ratio in 138 innings at high Class A Dunedin. How good is he?

    Jason Miles
    Columbus, Ohio

Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2004, Carreno led the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League with 64 strikeouts in 65 innings in his U.S. debut three years later. Though he consistently threw strikes and racked up whiffs, he didn't spend an entire year in full-season ball until 2010, when he ranked fifth in the minors in strikeouts.

Carreno is a prospect in that he has a fighting chance to get to the big leagues, but he's not going to make our Blue Jays Top 30 in the 2011 Prospect Handbook. He was old for the Florida State League at age 23, and scouts who saw him weren't sure how he'd be able to overmatch more advanced hitters like he did high Class A opponents. Carreno's best pitch is a changeup that grades as plus at times, and he also throws an 88-92 mph fastball and an average curveball.

Pitchers with good command of average stuff often thrive in the lower minors. Carreno's future should become clearer after he pitches in Double-A next year.

 

ayjackson - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 10:36 AM EST (#226037) #
I thought Carreno's best pitch was a slider that he relies on too heavily?
Paul D - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 10:39 AM EST (#226038) #

According to mlbtraderumors:

 ESPN's Buster Olney wrote today that the Marlins, Rays, and Blue Jays are thought to be in the best position to make a deal. [for Upton)]


John Northey - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 10:59 AM EST (#226039) #
Lets hope if it isn't the Jays that the Marlins get him. Don't want Tampa getting any more high end players - the East is tough enough as is.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 10:59 AM EST (#226040) #

Of course Snider was rushed.

I'm not sure rushed is the right word.  It has negative connotations for a prospect.  Yet Travis has put up above average numbers over his first full season of at bats as a Blue Jay.

I think he received most of his promotions through the system on merit and to me, saying he was rushed suggests otherwise.

The only season that you could argue he was rushed was 2008, where he went from A+ to AAA.  He also had a wrist injury that year - I believe that they waited to heal before promoting him to AA.  However, he OPS'd .890 prior to his promotion to AA and .902 after his promotion to AAA-Syracuse (and .818 in the bulk of the season at AA).  He received a promotion (not assumed to be permanent) to Toronto after the minor league season, which can be questioned for other reasons, but didn't represent anything other than a look-see.  Oh yeah, he OPS'd .838 in 80 September PA's that year.

I think Snider's K-rates in the minors suffered because he was "challenged", but otherwise he responded well.  I think if he has the natural ability that I think he has, those K-rates will come down to 18-22% through his prime.  Regardless, he looks to have the tools to be a productive hitter with higher K-rates, as MG alluded to.  Mike seems to have a really good handle on Snider as a major league prospect and I think I'll just defer to his good judgement on this one.

In the end, I would not refer to a development path that produced a .302/.376/.530 line through the minors, and ended as productive as it started, as rushed.

ayjackson - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 11:13 AM EST (#226042) #

Tampa could put an interesting package together, but both teams seem to have tight payroll restrictions.  Tampa would like to send BJ and Garza the other way but, while that would address Towers' need for ML talent, it would be too burdensome on payroll, I believe.

Towers would likely want Hendrickson coming the other way, but the Rays need to get rid of Garza or Shields to trim their budget and have eyes on Hendrickson filling the void.

A three team deal might be better for those two trade partners.

Magpie - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 11:22 AM EST (#226043) #
The only season that you could argue he was rushed was 2008

Well, yeah. That's when the deed was done. Climb into the Way-Back Machine with me, to August 2008. Snider was 20 years old, he'd opened the year in A ball before getting promoted to AA. Did he tear the Eastern League apart? He did not. He hit .262, 17 HRs in 98 games, with a terrifying number of strikeouts. But hey - he held his own. Did I mention he was 20 years old?

And a month later he's playing in Yankee Stadium and the service clock is ticking. Brilliant. It's going to irritate me forever...
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 11:25 AM EST (#226044) #
Towers would likely want Hendrickson coming the other way, but the Rays need to get rid of Garza or Shields to trim their budget and have eyes on Hendrickson filling the void.

I am sure that Tampa could get their hands on Lurch if that was all that it took...:) You say Hendrickson, I say Hellickson, let's call the whole thing off.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 12:31 PM EST (#226049) #
In 2008 T Sinder, 24G 73AB so at least he got to play when he was promoted. He hit 301.

The service clock ticking is important, so why was he promoted? We were in a pennant race, sort of, was that the reason?
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 01:26 PM EST (#226057) #
Well that was a seven foot ooops.
dan gordon - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 02:41 PM EST (#226069) #
Victor Martinez is moving from the Red Sox to the Tigers.  4 years, $50 million.  Nice to see somebody getting taken away from one of the East beasts.  The Tigers are on a bit of a spending spree it seems.  Apparently the Sox didn't want to go 4 years with VMart.  Huff has reupped with the Giants.  2 years at $11 million per.  Several more 1B signings to come.  Who will the Jays end up with?
timpinder - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 02:48 PM EST (#226070) #

The Giants are going to regret the Huff deal.  He's not due another good year again until 2013.

I think the Jays are going to end up with Lind at 1B.

Forkball - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 03:08 PM EST (#226075) #
The service clock ticking is important, so why was he promoted? We were in a pennant race, sort of, was that the reason?

No, just a September call up, with the expectation it was a trial for the next season. 

The GM wanting to show that he was a good drafter, in the face of 'low upside' criticism, probably played a role as well.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 03:28 PM EST (#226079) #
An extra year of counting stats to boost his Hall of Fame credentials.

*ducks*

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 03:40 PM EST (#226083) #
FWIW, Snider was called up on August 29, 2008, when the club was 14 and 1/2 games behind the Yankees and 10 games behind the Sox.
92-93 - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 04:23 PM EST (#226086) #
He was called up in September to get comfortable for the everyday job Clarence should've but didn't give him in 2009. Nothing to see here.
bpoz - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 05:59 PM EST (#226095) #
AA was right about the FA catchers market. So M Olivo should get better than the $2.5mil IMO based on V Mart $12.5mil/yr & Buck $6mil/yr.

So IMO the Rockies did not want the pick at a cost of $.5mil and IMO there may not be anything else going to them from the Jays. AA cannot possibly get Olivo to play for the jays at a more sensible deal than the $2.5mil.

The arbitration deadline is tonight at midnight. I wonder if AA would acquire any Type A & B FAs just to gamble on getting the picks.
Thomas - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 10:18 PM EST (#226108) #
He was called up in September to get comfortable for the everyday job Clarence should've but didn't give him in 2009. Nothing to see here.

Here's another indication of your grudge against Cito getting in the way of the facts.

Snider played in 32 of the team's first 43 games in 2009. Three of the 11 games he missed were in a row in the middle of May, so there's a good possibility that may have been due to a day-to-day injury, given that he had not missed multiple games in a row since the second week of April.

He returned to the majors on August 18. He played in 45 of the team's last 46 games.

Magpie - Tuesday, November 23 2010 @ 10:30 PM EST (#226109) #
there's a good possibility that may have been due to a day-to-day injury

Nah. He was just scuffling. At the time, Ricciardi was talking about sending him out and Gaston was talking about a mechanical problem in his swing. The other thing going on was interleague play was coming up, and Gaston was trying get Adam Lind some time in the outfield.
Thomas - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 12:57 AM EST (#226122) #
Blair had a short, but pretty good, interview with Snider today that is up on the FAN's website. He talks about talking with Farrell, his relationship with Murphy and his plans for the offseason.
92-93 - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 01:16 AM EST (#226124) #
I don't consider playing (less than) three quarters of the time as everyday when you are losing it to Kevin Millar.
Magpie - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 11:50 AM EST (#226130) #
when you are losing it to Kevin Millar.

I didn't know Snider could play first base. Which is where Millar got into the lineup in April-May 2009. Snider was sitting for Jose Bautista (against LH) and Adam Lind (interleague). Come on...
bpoz - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 12:48 PM EST (#226133) #
92-93...You are being labeld as a Cito basher. Are you?

I have not read your positive views on Cito, you probably have some and I would like to hear them.

Someone on another site said that the WS winning teams "won despite Cito" I find that incredibly unfair.

BUT I think Cito was very unfair to JPA. JPA deserved better treatment. JPA got 4 of his 5 hits in his 1st game against TB. He also faced mainly tough pitchers the rest of the way and in Sept & on ward played little, starting 5 games as C or DH vs Price,Lester,Hernandez & CC. He was rusty against V Good pitchers in Sept. I am OK with the difficult opponents and lack of playing time because we all want wins and as the manager, Cito delivered. The lineup is Cito's call and Buck's large amount of playing time was explained as opportunity to get 20Hr which to me does not imply winning.
Sept and onward ABs Buck 87, Molina 25 and JPA 15, and I don't know how many ABs were at non catcher. To win you don't want all your catchers rusty, so I accept this.
But the comment "JPA will have to have a hell of a ST to make the opening day roster for 2011" was very unfair IMO. I will excuse it as frustration & stress, I also will believe "with no proof" that he regretted that statement and made his peace with JPA. Anyone can dig up explanation(s) to defend that statement, but IMO it was unnecessary and discouraging to a very fine prospect like JPA.
Dewey - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 12:49 PM EST (#226134) #
Blair had a short, but pretty good, interview with Snider today that is up on the FAN's website. He talks about talking with Farrell, his relationship with Murphy and his plans for the offseason.

Can't find it Thomas.  Where exactly do I look?  Do you have a link?
Dewey - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 01:56 PM EST (#226141) #
O.K., thanks, Timbuck2.  Finally got it. 

An enjoyable interview;  but god I hate TheFan.  All the in-your-face growling and strutting crap is just too off-putting to old fogies like me (and we're, of course, not their 'demographic'). 

92-93 - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 02:05 PM EST (#226144) #

In the real world, I'm one of Cito Gastons biggest fans. Absolutely loved him. But that doesn't mean I can't recognize the fact that since 1993 he's been a very poor manager and had no business coming back to this team 2.5 years ago. There's a reason nobody hired the man for over 10 years to be their manager, and it isn't because he stopped doing token interviews for people - if he was that good of a candidate, people would have come forward knocking doors down to get him. It's exceedingly telling that Pat Gillick, the GM under whom he got his first shot and won 2 World Series titles for him, never considered Cito as a managerial candidate despite hiring numerous managers in Baltimore, Seattle, and Philadelphia. There are facts on the ground that people around here seem very reluctant to acknowledge because the guy is a living legend in Toronto. I can accept that, but I can't sit back here for 2.5 years watching the continuous destruction of a very good GM (Ricciardi) while a legion of defenders come to a horrible managers' defense any time someone points out something they perceive as a poor move. Want an example? Scroll up to my covnersation with Magpie in this thread.

I didn't know Snider could play first base. Which is where Millar got into the lineup in April-May 2009. Snider was sitting for Jose Bautista (against LH) and Adam Lind (interleague). Come on...

Magipe uses the close of Come on..., as if I'm incorrectly incessantly whining about Gaston and this is another example. Rather, it's another example of his ill advised, spirited defense of the manager, because instead of the sarcastic I didn't know Snider could play first base, a person with an open mind might look at those early 2009 boxscores and think - Hey. Why on earth was Kevin Millar getting starts instead of Travis Snider? Couldn't the team have just played Jose Bautista at 1B instead of LF, opening up a spot for Snider vs LHP as well? Or couldn't they have sat Lyle Overbay vs. LHP for Adam Lind, opening up DH for Travis Snider? No. Magpie contends that Jose Bautista HAD to play LF, and Adam Lind HAD to DH, so what would possibly be left for Snider? First base? Heaven forbid! While he clearly didn't need to be playing first base to break into the lineup, I would have preferred him there or even at SS than to see Kevin Millar automatically draw the start every time they faced a LHP.

There's a lot of devil's advocate going on around here bpoz. While I do agree with the notion that other managers likely do nearly as well, perhaps better, than Cito did if they were handed the early 90s Blue Jays, you take it to the next level when you say they won DESPITE him. Without being in the clubhouse every day that one would be a little hard for me to sign off on, but with the clubhouse mutiny last year and Cito's inability to ever get a managerial job in baseball it's not ludicrous to suggest.

Magpie - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 02:19 PM EST (#226148) #
My point - Kevin Millar playing first base had nothing to do with Travis Snider. You certainly seem to be implying that it did, and if so that's simply... goofy. Travis Snider wasn't sitting against LH so Kevin Millar could play first base. Lyle Overbay was sitting. That's why Millar was on the team - to give Overbay a platoon partner, something I seem to remember everyone thinking was a pretty good idea.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 02:25 PM EST (#226149) #

92-93,

You make a number of interesting and defensible points, though I don't agree lock, stock and barrell or anything. And you lose me here:

No. Magpie contends that Jose Bautista HAD to play LF, and Adam Lind HAD to DH, so what would possibly be left for Snider? First base? Heaven forbid!

Physician heal thyself, sir! You are essentially criticizing Magpie by putting words in his mouth -- he said no such thing, though I suppose it's possible to infer that conclusion. And you set up a straw man by stating that this site somehow has been warmly and consistently defending Cito-as-manager. I haven't counted comments or anything (and don't intend to) but would guess that Cito-criticisms on the site -- and those made by the site's owners -- far outweigh the Cito-defense lovefest you seem to be feeling.

Mags is one of this site's most reasoned and reasonable roster members (as opposed to, for example, me) and you do your own argument a disservice by positioning him otherwise.

Magpie - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 02:34 PM EST (#226151) #
Magpie contends that Jose Bautista HAD to play LF, and Adam Lind HAD to DH

No I don't. I am saying that's what happened. I'm not saying Gaston was right or wrong in playing Bautusta (it was usually him) instead of Snider. I am saying that's what he did. That was the lineup configuration in April/May 2009: Snider/Bautista platoon in LF, Overbay/Millar platoon at 1b, Lind at DH. I don't say Gaston had to do it that way. But I don't think he was particularly wrong, either (although I did give him an E for his work in 2009 in my Jays Report Card.)
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 02:41 PM EST (#226155) #
The second half of 2009 was obviously not one of the high points of Gaston's managerial career.  Batting Millar in the cleanup slot in August, when he clearly had proven that he was done, was not reasonable. 

On the other hand, the fact that no team offered him a job after he left Toronto while Jimy Williams was offered a couple and even won a Manager of the Year award may be taken as "evidence" that teams generally thought that Williams was a better manager than Gaston.  This evidence leads to me mumbling  "crazy"...and getting on the euphemism treadmill. 



92-93 - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 02:46 PM EST (#226157) #
If Millar wasn't around, would Overbay have sat at 1B for Bautista, or would it have been Snider in LF? I think you're being intellectually dishonest if you think Overbay would have sat, so when I go back and look at the game logs and see that Snider didn't play more than a quarter of the time and that in each one of those games Kevin Millar started, I draw conclusions. Whether or not Snider specifically sat for Kevin Millar is irrelevant - every game he didn't play Bautista & Millar did. Did Cito walk over to Travis or the media and say - Snider is sitting so Millar can play? Of course not! Is that what happened? Undoubtedly. That's unacceptable, and me pointing out that Cito didn't hand Snider the everyday job in 2009 is what started this whole thing - it appears now that people admit this was the case, whereas when I first said it the first defense was that it was untrue, he did play everyday. So it goes in the world of the defend-Cito-no-matter-what crowd.
Magpie - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 03:10 PM EST (#226162) #
If Millar wasn't around, would Overbay have sat at 1B for Bautista, or would it have been Snider in LF?

If Millar wasn't around, Overbay would probably have been sitting for whichever other guy Ricciardi brought in to be his platoon partner. And Snider would have been sitting for Bautista, who happened to be his platoon partner. (If it had been 2008, he would have been sitting for Shannon Stewart, if it was 2007 for Reed Johnson.) We can certainly disagree on whether a 21 year old with one month of major league experience should be platooned at the beginning of his career. Gaston saw Jimy Williams do it with Fred McGriff, and did it himself with John Olerud. I don't think it's an unreasonable course of action, or further proof of his basic imcompetence. Which is how you seem to be regard it. After all...

since 1993 he's been a very poor manager

I just think that's a little simplistic. Like all managers, he is what he is. There are things he does well, things he doesn't do well, and a particular set of habits and tendencies. That's all. Sometimes his particular skill set matches what the team requires, sometimes it doesn't. And as a result, sometimes the team does well with him at the helm (2008, 2010) and sometimes it doesn't (2009.)

I think he did his worst work in 1995 (when the team gave up, and he let them) and 1997 (when he gave up himself, and just didn't give a damn anymore) myself.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 03:24 PM EST (#226163) #
I just think that's a little simplistic. Like all managers, he is what he is. There are things he does well, things he doesn't do well, and a particular set of habits and tendencies. That's all. Sometimes his particular skill set matches what the team requires, sometimes it doesn't. And as a result, sometimes the team does well with him at the helm (2008, 2010) and sometimes it doesn't (2009.)

I think he did his worst work in 1995 (when the team gave up, and he
let them) and 1997 (when he gave up himself, and just didn't give a damn anymore) myself.

Exactly the way I feel about him.
Magpie - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 03:31 PM EST (#226164) #
Sometimes, of course, the very same quality is both a strength and a weakness. While Gaston was notoriously quick to dump a veteran starting pitcher, he was also notoriously willing to stick with a veteran hitter. Sometimes that works (Lyle Overbay last year, numerous other examples) sometimes it doesn't (also numerous examples, most recently Millar the year before - it still seems impossible, but when Snider was farmed out in May 2009, Millar was hitting .300/.338/.500.)

A young hitter with no sustained record of major league success is a different issue. Snider struggled at the beginning of 2009 and 2010 - one year he was sent to the minors, one year he stayed in the lineup. I have no way of knowing how much either of those decisions had to do with the manager or with the GM. In 2010, it seemed clear to a lot of people, presumably Gaston and Anthopoulos among them, that Snider was swinging the bat well enough and was simply hitting in ill luck. In early 2009, Gaston had identified a mechanical problem in Snider's swing (he'd developed a hitch) that he needed to fix. Someone - Gaston or Ricciardi or both - decided it would be better for the team, or better for the player, if he fixed it in Las Vegas.
92-93 - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 03:35 PM EST (#226166) #
I'm not suggesting he didn't deserve to be sent down, merely that it's difficult to blame Ricciardi for rushing him when he may have planned for him to start everyday in 2009 and wanted to give him the proper exposure for that in 2008. That doesn't mean that JP couldn't have had a hand in recognizing Snider wasn't ready and agreeing he should then be sent down, but it also doesn't mean that calling Snider up in 2008 was a waste of his service time.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 04:14 PM EST (#226173) #
Thank you 92-93 for your response. Also everyone else for their input.

The 2009 season had a better start(27-14 May 18/09) than 2010, then going into Boston with rookie pitchers we had a 9 game losing streak. Halladay who was our losing streak breaker did not do it this time. I am OK with that.
This 2009 year was also when S Downs got injured running to 1st, right? I hope I am not mixing up my facts.
I strongly feel that any team that is succeeding as the May 2009 team was, should continue to do whatever they feel is right to keep on winning. So "I" will not complain about Snider or anything while we are in 1st. But later on while we were totally out of it then play the kids BUT I so...so...so strongly believe that Cito just cannot stand to lose. I cannot defend this OPINION sorry.
Magpie - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 04:16 PM EST (#226174) #
it also doesn't mean that calling Snider up in 2008 was a waste of his service time.

Okay. But I don't understand the strategy. Snider, however raw, was certainly an upgrade on Wilkerson-Mench. But it still only makes sense to me if you're actually planning on trying to win in 2009. Otherwise just let the kid continue to develop and fill the spot with some veteran placeholder. You know, like John Buck.

Was that the plan, in August 2008? To go for it in 2009? I simply don't know. Trying to win right now is always my strategy of choice (I know, I would be the worst GM ever), and I think it was Ricciardi's from 2006-2008. Trying yet again to win in 2009? It makes a certain amount of sense for other reasons - at this point, Ricciardi must have known that the ice was beginning a little thin beneath him and he needed some positive results to keep his job. Still, one wonders exactly how he thought they were going to do that. Certainly, by spring 2009 everyone connected with the team was doing everything they could to lower expectations...

Well, I suppose that when Snider was summoned to the majors at the end of August 2008, there was still some ground for optimism. The team had certainly played better since the managerial change. Maybe Wells would be healthy in 2009. Maybe Rios would bounce back. Ricciardi didn't know for sure that Burnett wasn't coming back. And while he knew McGowan was out, he didn't know that Marcum as well would miss all of 2009 (he went down a couple of weeks later.)
92-93 - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 04:38 PM EST (#226177) #
Bpoz, your strong beliefs are warranted. It was pretty clear that Gaston wanted to finish at least .500 this season, and you can't blame him for that. Being that I'm not that high on Arencibia I didn't mind Cito's allegiance to Buck in September, but you can see why it would really frustrate some people. Cito's pedal to the metal approach didn't really block anybody but JPA though, as far as I can tell. I cheered him loudly on Thank You Cito Night and am happy to move on.
bpoz - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 06:02 PM EST (#226183) #
"BUT I so...so...so strongly believe that Cito cannot stand to lose".

Here are the facts that I believe. 2010 starts with AA as new GM AND 2010 is to be Cito's last year as the manager. Either the team's choice or his choice.

AA says that 2010 is to be a building year. I believe, but unsure that Cito, does not say YES or NO about 2010 being a building year.

The team does pretty well to start, I have them at 7 games over 500 on June 19th(38-31) but goes to July 13th (44-45) 12.5gm back of NYY and 53-49 on July 30 8gm back of NYY.

Cito expresses faith in AA to improve the team for contending this 2010 year and AA confirms that he will make the necessary moves if we are close. So We could be going for a World Series Championship BUT since we dropped AA did not add anything for that big push. I whole heartedly back AA, I was expecting the drop off because of what happened in 2009. So I and others as well expected and hoped for trades of our veterans. Maybe this is unfair but the media mainly seemed to agree that we could not compete, so make the trades, for the future. Many media said that J Bautista could not keep it up, Hi 5s to the Bauxite that said just enjoy JB's heroics. AA kept the veterans.

Getting back to Cito, MAYBE HE BELIEVED or simply would not give up. Its his last year so why can he not "play to win as many games as possible". He did that and outperformed the experts. I say good for him and thanks.

We Bauxites correctly foresaw INNINGS LIMITS for some of our starters in Sept. Aug 31st 69-63 record with NYY & TB at over .600%. At seasons end both NYY & TB are below .600%. So we gained on them without Morrow & no mid season help. Good for Cito and us fans.

Our Sept rotation was Marcum,Romero,Cecil,Zep,Hill & Drabek.
I am sure that Cecil needed an innings limit, I don't know about Marcum and Romero. I fully agree that we have to protect our assets, it absolutely cannot be fair to risk their careers with too many innings. But Cito said that the large number of days between starts had a negative effect on all the starters. I don't know how the Starters felt. Earlier I think Cito agreed that to keep the SP rotation to the end of the season was the goal and I believe he used off days as extra rest, because the 5th spot was not skipped on off days.

AA praised Cito and his staff. I read that AA asks for many opinions including the Janitor's and why not. I hope that AA and Cito as advisor will work well together. I know that C Lau an old hitting coach used to talk to x-players of his to help them, I hope that Cito will be there for Jays players if they ask for help.

Well that is my imagination and speculation talking.

Magpie - Wednesday, November 24 2010 @ 06:21 PM EST (#226186) #
Its his last year so why can he not "play to win as many games as possible".

I don't think this was a legacy thing, as in "I need to finish over .500 to preserve it." Every time he looked around the Dome and saw the WS banners, and his own name and number up there he had to feel pretty secure about his legacy. I think some of it may have been his belief, rightly or wrongly, that it's good for the players - especially the young pitchers - to experience some success. Which he defines as winning.

And that's always the main thing. Winning as much as you can, winning at all costs. Winning is always preferable to any alternative. That's simply in the DNA of everyone who actually wears the uniform.  It's one of those immutable faiths they all live by, something those of us in street clothes who watch from near (like the GM's box) or afar (your television) do not necessarily share, and something we sometimes dismiss entirely. You know, like that idea they all seem to have that there's something special about closers. There are lots of other similar notions, that they all believe in whole-heartedly.

Which is why, I suppose, it's sometimes necessary to guard against it.
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