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The Jays wrap up the season's first road trip with a morning game against the Bostons, who you knew weren't going to persist in emulating the 1962 Mets...

The schedule makers gave Toronto just 11 home games in their first 31. When they're done with Boston, they come home for a five game stand against the Yankees and the Devil Fishies - and then it's back on the road for another 10 games, where they will visit the Rangers, the Yankees and the Rays - you know, three of the four teams who made it to the post-season last year. No one should be too surprised if they're looking up at the rest of the division by the time this is done - not too surprised, and not too worried.

It has been encouraging to see the strong early season performances of Kyle Drabek and J.P. Arencibia (with the bat anyway - I think the jury is still out on his defensive work.) Ricky Romero and Jose Bautista are picking up more or less where they left off last season. Travis Snider isn't hitting, but I'm starting to suspect that young Snider may prove to be a somewhat streaky performer with the bat anyway, veering back and forth between hitting like Ted Williams in 1941 and Ted Williams today.  He is still green as grass, and it especially shows in his outfield play.

Snider has also been running the bases very aggressively, like many of his teammates. On the whole, I'd say this has worked out exactly as aggressive baserunning always works out - they've stolen the occasional run, and they've sabotaged the occasional promising inning. (In yesterday's game, they achieved both of these ends.) I've always believed that aggressive base running helps you beat the bad teams, which is a good thing; however, I also believe that it helps the good teams beat you, which is not so wonderful. It would be swell to take that into account at some point. That point may not be now, however. One of the other things that is achieved with this kind of aggressive approach is what it teaches a young team about itself - this is how young players discover what they can and can not do (as well as what they should and should not do.)

Is it just me, or does this team's offense look... shallow? I suppose it looks especially shallow when just three regulars (Bautusta, Escobar, Arencibia) are carrying the offense on their backs, with very little help from the rest. It's early days, of course - Rajai Davis and Juan Rivera are surely not this utterly useless (although Rivera is the most uninterested ball player I have seen in some time.) I think we're all waiting to see what the team gets from Lind (currently in a 2-23 skid after a good start) and Aaron Hill (6 hits in his last 10 ABs - maybe he's actuallyheating up for the first time in eighteen months!)

Ricky Romero has been simply sensational, of course - 20 Ks and just 4 BB in his 21.1 IP speaks for itself. The base on balls has been a bit of a problem for the rest of the staff, most obviously in the Seattle bullpen meltdown. David Purcey paid the price for that, but he was hardly the only offender. The team has issued more free passes than any other team in the league Villanueva, Rzepczynski, and Dotel have combined to issue 15 walks in just 20.2 innings. They need to cut that out.

Tough Sledding | 65 comments | Create New Account
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Mike D - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#232918) #
Rivera has indeed been useless, and there's been no indication that he would happily accept what his role clearly ought to be, which is bench bat.  The main reason why I was so surprised by Napoli-for-Francisco was that I couldn't believe the team would really plan on playing Rivera every day.  The last-second signing of Podsednik was an attempt to address this, I think (because Davis was going gangbusters in spring), but the team needs pop and while a healthy Pods would be more valuable than Rivera overall, it's not what the batting order is currently craving.

I know it's the PCL, but Thames is smacking the ball around, and he's a lefthanded bat.  In a vacuum free of service time concerns, you could alternatively make a case for calling up Lawrie to DH and get daily infield instruction from Butterfield.

greenfrog - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 08:27 AM EDT (#232919) #
The Jays really need a win today. Before the road trip, I predicted that the team would likely be thrilled to go 5-5. They would be in a position to reach that goal today, had they not lost that ridiculous game against the M's. At this point, going 4-6 looks pretty respectable. But something tells me this one is going to be tough to win (even with RR on the mound). The Sox have come to life, and they want that first winning streak of '11.

For me, the team's aggressive approach at the plate mirrors its aggressive approach on the bases. Sometimes that approach pays off, often it doesn't. Each year in the AL, the top three offensive teams typically have an OBP ranging from 333 to 366 (usually in the 340-360 range). Only one has had an OBP of less than 330 (Texas in 2005, a year in which they had a "mere" 329 OBP but also hit 260 HR). The Jays' OBP last year was 312. So far this year, its 326. So swing hard, hit some home runs, and skimp on plate discipline, but don't expect to make the playoffs.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#232921) #
The first 15 games have gone better than I expected.  If they can emerge from the first 10th of the season at .500 despite a little bad luck and with the absence of Morrow/Francisco and Davis/Bautista/Escobar at various points, this counts at above-par performance.

The best pitcher in the bullpen to date has been....Jason Frasor. 

Mike D's suggestion of Thames for Rivera has my backing.  The prospect of a Thames/Encarnacion platoon at DH with Encarnacion also getting some work at first base from time to time and Thames getting occasional work in left-field with Snider DHing makes a lot of sense. 

Gerry - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#232923) #

I was thinking the same about Snider at the weekend.  At some times he looks lost out there and then for a while he looks amazing.  He needs to figure out the difference to cut down on the "lost" times.

I think Adam Lind is hitting in some bad luck, he has been robbed of more hits this season than any other Blue Jay hitter.

Jose Bautista's timing is still off, he is missing pitches he would have hit last season.

I thought Litsch pitched better than the score showed yesterday.  Boston is a tough matchup for him, a lot of lefty, experienced hitters, and he was pitching on the road too. 

If Cecil can regain his form and if Morrow comes back as he left off in 2010, the Jays should see some better results.

bpoz - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#232925) #
AA was asked how he thought the team would do this year.

He answered, He would not be surprised if the team took a step back or won more games than last year maybe low 90s. He reasoned that there were a lot of 1st round draft picks on the team, which implies talent and players in big contracts which means that someone thought they were good enough to pay them as such.
Either way the winning range seems to be low 80s to low 90s.
I guess it is a good answer.
JC - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#232927) #

Didn't see this mentioned anywhere else: Indians AA reliever Yohan Pino (starter in AAA last year) has been traded to New Hampshire.

Is this the return for Purcey?

China fan - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#232932) #

The Jays acquired Pino for cash considerations, according to MLBTR.   So it doesn't sound like he's the return for Purcey.  And in fact I hope Anthopolous can acquire someone younger and more promising in exchange for Purcey. 

Pino is 27 years old and had a lousy season as a starting pitcher at AAA last season:  ERA of 5.75 and WHIP of 1.524 and a K/BB of just 2.43.   Now he's being converted to the bullpen, where maybe he'll have better luck. He hasn't been a top prospect for some years.  Here's what MLBTR says:  "Pino last cracked a Baseball America handbook four years ago, when his command was said to rank among the best in the Twins' organization."

ayjackson - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#232933) #
Rosenthal tweeted that we're trading Purcey to Oakland for Danny Farquar!!!!
damos - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#232934) #
Welcome home Danny Farquhar. 
China fan - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#232937) #

It will be nice to have Morrow back in the rotation, but he's unlikely to be the cavalry riding to the rescue, at least in the short term.  I suspect he'll need several games to get back to top form.  In his final rehab start at Dunedin yesterday, the Jays wanted him to pitch into the 6th innining, but he only made it to 4 innings. Given that Romero is the only starter who has consistently made it to 7 or 8 innings, it might be a good idea to retain an 8-man bullpen for one or two more series.  It's a bit risky, but McCoy is not really essential to this team every game.  If Patterson is injured, Snider slides into CF for a few innings and Rivera comes off the bench to play LF.

The real question is what happens when Davis comes off the DL.  Patterson has been playing well and presumably should stay on the roster, so does Rivera get dumped at that point?  It's hard to see how Rivera should rank ahead of Patterson or Encarnacion on the roster.  Or, if the Jays revert to a 7-man bullpen, is Rivera more valuable as a bench player than Janssen or Francisco in the bullpen?  I don't think so.

dan gordon - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#232939) #

Getting Farquhar back would be a nice return for Purcey.  Usually, you don't get much for a DFA'd player.  I didn't like the Rajai Davis trade and this would at least return half of what they gave up in that deal.


dan gordon - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#232940) #
They should be getting 5 players back within the next 2-3 weeks - Morrow, Francisco, Encarnacion, Davis and Podsednik - my guess would be that barring further injury they demote/drop Reyes, Perez, Janssen, McCoy and Patterson.  That gives them a 7 man bullpen, which Farrell said he was expecting as the normal allotment when he was interviewed on The Fan this weekend.   Unless they decide they don't want to wait out Rivera's typical horrible start to the season.  He usually starts to get it in gear in May and then has quite good numbers from June on.  So far he has had an even worse start than usual, which is saying something, given how bad he normally is in April.  If they decide to cut him loose, then Patterson probably stays - as long he promises never to try stealing 3rd with a 5 run deficit in the 8th inning again.  Ever.
Maldoff - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#232942) #
Can anyone explain why, other than having options, Janssen is the one who keeps getting sent down? He seems to be one of the better bullpen options these days.
Hodgie - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#232943) #
What I find amazing about Bautista is that despite showing signs that his timing is slightly off, he has still put up a .444 wOBA to start the season. What does that mean for AL pitching when he regains his timing?

Illustrating the fun with early season numbers, I accidentally sorted MLB players by wOBA in ascending order and apparently poor Carl Crawford has the worst mark in the majors at .151, is a minus defender (-4.2) and had put up a sterling -1.1 WAR in 13 games.

China fan - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#232947) #

....Can anyone explain why, other than having options, Janssen is the one who keeps getting sent down?

Well, he's only been demoted once so far, and it was only for a few games.  I think the Jays are beginning to appreciate Janssen a bit better these days.  Faced with a choice between Janssen and Purcey, for example, the Jays chose to promote Janssen, even though he had options and Purcey did not.

The next decision will be even tougher.  Morrow and Francisco will bump two pitchers from the roster -- maybe three pitchers if the Jays return to a 7-man bullpen.  If Janssen is demoted again, it's only because he has options and won't be lost on waivers.

But with Romero's big troubles against Boston today, I think the Jays should keep the 8-man bullpen for a little longer.  In that scenario, after Morrow and Francisco are promoted, it might be Perez and Reyes who are demoted (or DFA'ed, in the case of Reyes), and Janssen might stay.  It really depends on whether the Jays still think highly of Reyes.  If they are still determined to keep Reyes on the roster, it will be very difficult for Janssen to avoid demotion again.

92-93 - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#232948) #

The best pitcher in the bullpen to date has been....Jason Frasor

Jumping straight to K-BB to evaluate the bullpen's performance tells you very little. Carlos Villanueva has been the best reliever so far, and I still can't figure out why MIL gave him away for free.

BalzacChieftain - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#232949) #
I will be throroughly confused if Reyes stays on the team when the pending roster moves shake out. Options be damned, he's been atrocious and if he's kept on I will be of the opinion that it has to do with saving face.  For what it's worth, I supported the Purcey DFA but I think he is a better pitcher than Reyes.
ayjackson - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#232950) #

I don't see how Purcey is a better pitcher than Reyes.  Purcey has a fastball that can't find the strikezone and a marginal slider.  Reyes throws as hard starting as Purcey does relieving.  I'm not a big believer in Reyes, but he has to be better than Purcey.

I think the Jays will keep Reyes so they have two lefties in the Pen.  That would mean another demotion for Casey.

BalzacChieftain - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#232951) #

To me, Purcey is better than Reyes because he is a reliever and doesn't pitch that often. I'd rather have a brutal bullpen lefty than a brutal lefty starter. But then, if Reyes is in the bullpen, maybe he performs better than Purcey so my point is moot.

Kelekin - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#232953) #
I don't think that logic follows.  Wouldn't be a marginal starter have more value than a marginal reliever? Albeit, of course, marginal value. ;)

I have said since we acquired him that I wanted him in the bullpen, and inevitably Reyes will end up there, as he should.  I think he'll be one heck of a reliever, especially in comparison to Purcey.
China fan - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#232956) #

Keith Law's latest jibe on Twitter today:  "Does anyone else think the Red Sox brass watched Farrell manage this year and think, "Wow, glad we let that guy go?'"

Which only goes to prove two things:  1) Keith Law still loves the anti-Jays cheap shot at any opportunity;   2) managers can never win in the arena of public opinion.  Whether it's a veteran manager with World Series rings in his final year before retirement, or a rookie manager in his first month in the majors, everyone loves to second-guess.

Flex - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#232959) #
I saw that Law jibe and I thought it was beneath even him. Farrell is clearly still finding his feet as manager, but who wouldn't be after 15 games? And for plenty of other reasons, just a nonsensical comment.

Terrible series by the Jays. The hitting was more frustrating to watch than the pitching, and the pitching was bad. It was inevitable that Boston would come out of its funk, and no surprise it happened when they returned home from a road trip. And speaking of road trips, after a 10-game trip the Jays are home for 5 games, and then they're gone for another 10-gamer! Someone up there doesn't like us.
92-93 - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#232960) #
Bring back Gibby.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#232961) #
After this game, the Jays are at about par as far as I am concerned.  I am not worried that Romero did not have it today.  If the club is to win, the pitching has to be well above average and the offence average.  We'll see whether the first part of the formulais a realistic possibility a few times through the rotation with Morrow and Francisco closing. 

The golfing analogies are coming fast and furious, as a counterpoint to the snow that is falling. 
vw_fan17 - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#232962) #
Maybe it's just because I'm a frustrated Toronto fan (Leafs/Jays).. But, it seems almost as if,the Jays on the road are the magical cure for whatever has been ailing the home team (Angels, Mariners, Red Sox)... Dang, this road trip has been tough to watch..
bpoz - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#232965) #
Tough road trip. Big boost for the confidence of 3 Sox pitchers.
It is still early so we have lots of games to improve on previous years performance against the AL East beasts and inter-league play.
92-93 - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#232967) #
7-9 is probably right around where a reasonable projection would have had this team opening to start the season. 8-8 after a 10 game road trip would have been a really good start.

I like the idea that AA was willing to part with Farquhar to get a player he wanted in Rajai Davis, but then also willing to deal an "asset" to get that player back despite having just traded him away. I wonder if Oakland asked for Purcey and were rejected. AA seems to be as obsessed with collecting arms as his predecessor and a 24 year old submarine arm in AAA who has shown success is a good, controllable piece with options, something Purcey had run out of. Good swap, but a part of me still thinks AA should have been shopping the expensive pieces like Dotel & Rauch rather than lose 4 years of Purcey's potential.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#232969) #
CF, the Jays have an off-day on Thursday, and then Morrow will return for his start.  If the club needs an 8 man bullpen following an off-day and a rotation of Romero, Drabek, Cecil, Morrow and Litsch, they are in deep, deep trouble. 
Magpie - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#232970) #
I'm not a big believer in Reyes, but he has to be better than Purcey.

Why? To this point in his career, Reyes hasn't actually done anything appreciably better than Purcey, except be slightly less wild. But very, very slightly - Purcey has walked 4.7 batters per 9 IP in his career, Reyes has walked 4.6 per 9 IP. Whereas Purcey has struck out 8 and allowed 9 hits per 9 IP, while Reyes has struck out 6.1 and allowed 10.8 hits. Granted Reyes has been almost exclusively a starter, in the tough NL East. Whereas Purcey has thrown a whopping 36 in his 149 career innings in relief, against the patsies in the AL East....

So yes, I think the Jays might have been hasty in kicking Purcey out the door. I might mention that Scott Downs' ERA after his age 28 season was 5.41 (Purcey's was 5.33). But that said... who cares? I firmly believe that there is no shortage of pitchers who can help you in these roles, and if you can't find four or five of them to fill out your bullpen, you have no business running a baseball team. Purcey was out of options and the team had plenty of alternatives. He picked the wrong time to have a bad week. That's the way it goes.
China fan - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#232971) #

Mike, the 8-man bullpen was originally supposed to be just for the Seattle series, when Mills and Janssen were called up.  Then it was extended for the Boston series when Perez was called up.  Now you're agreeing that it should be extended for the Yankees series as well.  Seems to me that it's not quite as temporary as it first appeared.

After the bad start by Romero today, there's really nobody in the Jays rotation at the moment who can be confidently relied on for 7 or 8 innings.  Let's pray that there aren't any extra-innings games in the Yankees series -- because that would be a good definition of "deep trouble."

Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#232972) #
CF, Morrow won't be called up until after the Yankee series and there is a day off between the Yankees series and Rays series. 

I have a world of confidence in the young starting pitchers.  Running out an 8 man pen behind them would amount to a show of non-confidence.  The best thing that you could do for them is to get a DH who can hit. 

Chuck - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#232973) #
Once Farrell starts using relievers not named Villaneuva for more than just one inning, he won't find that he runs out so quickly and can maybe get away with "just" 7. I would think that Janssen, Zep and Camp are all candidates to be used for multiple innings.
China fan - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#232975) #

Mike, I'm not sure of your point.  Morrow is not the issue -- there is already an 8-man bullpen.  (I would expect that Perez will be sent down today and Francisco will replace him, which will keep the bullpen at its current 8-man size.)

Of course I'm not advocating 8 relievers for the indefinite future.  Quite probably they won't need it after the Yankees series. Who knows, the Jays might even decide that McCoy is more valuable than an 8th reliever tomorrow (although I would disagree).  But I don't think an 8-man pen is an insult to the pitchers -- it's just a form of support, and a reflection of the Jays depth in relievers.

Meanwhile, in other news:  check out Brett Cecil's tirade on Twitter against a fan who criticized the Jays pitching today.....  You can read it at!/CEC0208      I totally sympathize with Cecil on this one, but I can see the Jays PR department wringing its hands in worry about this.  Feuds between players and fans, no matter how obnoxious the fan, can be a sensitive matter. (Remember the Rios case, although of course not directly comparable in key facets of the case.)   It will be interesting to see if the Jays try to rein in the Twittering by the players at some point.

Kelekin - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#232977) #
One thing that I am liking is that, even without Davis, we have 15 Net Stolen Bases.  Hill having 5 is pretty surprising, although not as much as T-Bone Snider having 4.
Chuck - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#232980) #
SB% is probably a better way to evaluate their success, in the aggregate, than net stolen bases. At 21 for 27, their success rate is 78%. Break-even figures to be somewhere between 70% and 75%.
bpoz - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#232981) #
So in this cyber world a fan expressed himself. I don't know what was said, but of course it was negative.
Cecil responded in kind. With strong team spirit these young guys will grow together. I wish I could remember how that young 80s team grew up.
There were positives on the road trip. IMO S Richmond was awesome.
Was not Pythogaras supposed to give us victories for our positive run differential.
ayjackson - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#232983) #

 Break-even figures to be somewhere between 70% and 75%.

I thought it was around 67%?

Magpie - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#232984) #
Data Table time!

Blue Jays base stealing, through the years....

Year    SB    CS    PCT    Att/Gm

1977    65    55   .542    0.75
1978    28    52   .350    0.50
1979    75    56   .573    0.81
1980    67    72   .482    0.86
1981    66    57   .537    1.16
1982    118    81   .593    1.23
1983    131    72   .645    1.25
1984    193    67   .742    1.60
1985    144    77   .652    1.37
1986    110    59   .651    1.04
1987    126    50   .716    1.09
1988    107    36   .748    0.88
1989    144    58   .713    1.25
1990    111    52   .681    1.01
1991    148    53   .736    1.24
1992    129    39   .768    1.04
1993    170    49   .776    1.35
1994    79    26   .752    0.91
1995    75    16   .824    0.63
1996    116    38   .753    0.95
1997    134    50   .728    1.14
1998    184    81   .694    1.63
1999    119    48   .713    1.03
2000    89    34   .724    0.76
2001    156    55   .739    1.30
2002    71    18   .798    0.55
2003    37    25   .597    0.38
2004    58    31   .652    0.55
2005    72    35   .673    0.66
2006    65    33   .663    0.60
2007    57    22   .722    0.49
2008    80    27   .748    0.66
2009    73    23   .760    0.59
2010    58    20   .744    0.48
2011    21    6   .778    1.69

It's early days yet, but this year's crew has been the most aggressive base stealing bunch in team history - they're averaging even more SB attempts than Tim Johnson's Runnin' Rebels of 1998. But they really have been very good at it. They've sort of combined the percentage smarts of Cito Gaston's running game with the aggressiveness of Bobby Cox's....

You can sure see where J.P. Ricciardi came aboard, and cut the SB right out of the team's handwriting, can't you?

And don't you think Bobby Mattick could have used a STOP sign, back in the day?
DiscoDave - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#232985) #
Those are some ugly SB rates in the the 1st 6 years.  I would have started fining guys if they ran on their own, or tied a railway tie to their backs.
Magpie - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#232986) #
I wish I could remember how that young 80s team grew up.

Like young people everywhere, they mostly grew up and moved away. By the time the Jays finally won in 1992, there were very few players left who had played for the Jays under Bobby Cox. Jimmy Key was in the rotation in 1985 and 1992, and Tom Henke spent his first three months as a Jay in Cox's bullpen. No one else was important to both teams. Who else was there? Stieb and Mulliniks were still around in 1992, but they were very marginal players by this time. Eichhorn, Gruber, and Lee made their ML debuts under Cox, but they were just having the introductory cup of coffee. Alfredo had returned from a couple of California stops (and Eichhorn had also made a few stops before returning to Toronto.) By 1993, most of these guys were gone as well (although another prodigal, Tony Fernandez, made the first of his many returns...)
uglyone - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#232987) #
it's definitely a tough call in the 'pen.

Dotel arguably had the worst relief performance of any of our relievers last year, and this year so far, and he's the most limited in usage due to his ineffectiveness vs. lefties.

He's probably the most deserving candidate to be on the outside looking in, but then again he's nowhere near DFA worthy.

Janssen's going to be the fall guy for the time being, because it's really the only legit option. It's nice having a quality reliever like Janssen in reserve for when the next inevitable injury hits, that's for sure.
Magpie - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#232988) #
Those are some ugly SB rates in the the 1st 6 years.

Word. That 1978 team was really special. Rick Bosetti led the team with 6 SB - he was caught 10 times. Luis Gomez had 2 SB - he was also caught 10 times. Only one player - one! - on the whole damn team had more SB than CS. That was Gary Woods, who attempted exactly one stolen base, and was successful.

Not that it mattered much, anyway. Probably shortened the game a little, which wouldn't have been such a bad thing, come to think of it.
Chuck - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#232989) #

I thought it was around 67%?

Just dug up The Book: "In a random situation, the break-even point is 72%. In the real world, we know that runners are safe 67.8% of the time, making us think that they are not smart basestealers. But, in this situation, the break-even point is only 65.6% of the time."

If, in fact, the Jays are not running "randomly" and are running disproportionately in situations where the break-even point is lower (e.g., two outs, man on first), then their break-even point is indeed closer to your 67% than to my 70-75%. And I imagine they are running more strategically than haphazardly, so we should probably go with your number.

A more sophisticated analysis of the team's base-stealing attempts this year would consider each attempt individually, evaluating the team's win probability before and after each attempt or by assessing the break-even rate of each individual attempt.

uglyone - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#232990) #
Just doublechecking to make sure I'm not making things up....


Francisco: 3.76era, 3.12fip, 3.16xfip (v/LH 2.93fip, 4.41xfip)
Rauch: 3.12era, 2.94fip, 3.98xfip (v/LH 3.62fip, 3.80xfip)
Frasor: 3.68era, 3.31fip, 3.71xfip (v/LH 4.16fip, 4.52xfip)
Villanueva: 4.61era, 3.74fip, 3.24xfip (v/LH 4.29fip, 2.80xfip)
Janssen: 3.67era, 3.85fip, 3.49xfip (v/LH 4.94fip, 3.86xfip)
Camp: 2.99era, 4.16fip, 3.93xfip (v/LH 4.88fip, 4.79xfip)
Rzep: 0.00era, 0.08fip, 0.08xfip (v/LH 3.25fip, 3.28xfip)
Dotel: 4.08era, 4.20fip, 4.07xfip (v/LH 5.09fip, 5.68xfip)

2011 (not including today's game):

Francisco: ----
Rauch: 2.70era, 4.41fip, 4.04xfip (v/LH 8.06fip, 5.68xfip)
Frasor: 2.70era, 3.36fip, 2.64xfip (v/LH 0.06fip, 1.02xfip)
Villanueva: 0.93era, 3.99fip, 3.86xfip (v/LH 8.76fip, 6.97xfip)
Janssen: 0.00era, 2.51fip, 4.11xfip (v/LH 3.06fip, 4.07xfip)
Camp: 3.52era, 3.84fip, 4.45xfip (v/LH 8.31fip, 10.07xfip)
Rzep: 4.32era, 3.54fip, 4.10xfip (v/LH 3.06fip, 3.38xfip)
Dotel: 6.75era, 4.56fip, 5.00xfip (v/LH 12.06fip, 12.94xfip)

yep, that's what I thought - Dotel is our 8th best reliever.

and he's not getting any younger.

this should at least be reason enough for Farrell to use him absolutely 100% strictly as a ROOGY, which should make his numbers pretty enough to get something for him.
Chuck - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#232991) #

Janssen's going to be the fall guy for the time being, because it's really the only legit option.

When can players signed as free agents be traded? June 15? Janssen may lose the numbers game for the next two months until Dotel and/or Rauch can be moved.

Ron - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#232993) #

Im starting to wonder if lunchboxhero45 is going to develop into the scary middle order of the bat that we all thought he would become. Hes still young but in over 700 PAs at the major league level, his slash line is .247/.312/.431. When he was in the minors, I thought he might be the next Lance Berkman and now Im wondering if he will even be a Trot Nixon type (good but not a great player). Im not off the lunchboxhero45 wagon but I wouldnt be surprised if he wasnt on next years Jays opening day roster.

Gerry - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#232994) #

There are some (Keith Law) who think Brett Lawrie ends up in the outfield.  If Eric Thames develops then the Jays could have too many corner outfielders, Bautista, Snider, Lawrie and Thames.  In that case someone will have to be traded.

At what age does Travis Snider's development cycle end?  Snider is 15 months younger than Eric Thames and even more younger than Darin Mastroianni.  Thames appears to have moved relatively quickly though the minors so Snider gets at least another year to "settle down".


Speaking of tough sledding I haven't heard how much of a genius Buck Showalter is over the past week.


Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2011 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#233002) #
Chuck, the figures in the Book for the break-even point for stolen bases probably also have to be adjusted for the run environment. My guess is that the current break-even point on the average attempt is 68-70%. The steal down 5 runs late is, alas, not an average attempt.
TamRa - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 05:09 AM EDT (#233005) #
When can players signed as free agents be traded? June 15?

That's without their permission. with their consent they can be dealt anytime.
(albeit i'd heard both June 15 and June 1, don't know which is legit)

mathesond - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 07:28 AM EDT (#233008) #
(albeit i'd heard both June 15 and June 1, don't know which is legit)

I had heard 6 months after signing, but like TamRa, I am not sure how legit that is
robertdudek - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#233009) #

About Snider... I'd give him another 6 years of development.

One of those guys will be the DH and another could replace Lind at 1B when he is packed off during his arb-years.

I think Lawrie stays in the OF, Thames becomes DH, Snider becomes 1B.

Magpie - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#233010) #
Snider becomes 1B

I just can't see a 5-10 first baseman. Not anymore.
Flex - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#233012) #
One of those guys will be the DH and another could replace Lind at 1B when he is packed off during his arb-years.

I don't think Lind has any arb years, does he? Including club options he's signed until 2016. Which, of course, doesn't preclude the possibility that he'll be packed off.
bpoz - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#233023) #
If Lawrie ends up in the OF, I wonder if he can handle CF reasonably?
If he cannot handle 3rd base well defensively, then I guess AA will be shopping. 2nd base is supposed to be Nix's better position and his bat seems decent. Hill, Escobar & maybe soon A Hech are middle IF. Also this year A Hech burns his 2nd of 3 options.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#233025) #
[re Nix] his bat seems decent

While it's not impossible that Nix has turned a corner, his track record should not be overlooked.
ramone - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#233028) #
As per MLBTraderumors via twitter the Jays have activated Francisco and sent Litsch down.  I thought they would have cut ties with Jo Jo but AA does enjoy his asset collecting.
dan gordon - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#233032) #

Litsch has been the team's best 3rd best starting pitcher so far this year.

  • Reyes ERA 6.75, Cecil ERA 6.19, Litsch ERA 3.63
  • Reyes WHIP 2.18, Cecil WHIP1.56, Litsch WHIP 1.44
  • Reyes K/BB 12/7, Cecil K/BB 11/7, Litsch K/BB 16/7

If I was Jesse Litsch, I'd be seriously ticked at this.  As a fan, I am disappointed and puzzled.  It looks like the team has decided they aren't going to contend this year, after only 16 games.  The excuse for doing this is to not lose Jo-Jo Reyes and his career ERA of 6.42??  Fine, I have other things to do, too.  Maybe next year.  Go Giants.

BalzacChieftain - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#233033) #

Though the 22nd-25th roster spots will never make or break a season, I'm curious as to what AA will do when Davis, Morrow, and Podsednik are back.  Morrow and Davis will be put on the 25-man for obvious reasons ($$$), but I'm not sure Podsednik will ever dress as a Blue Jay.  The marginal value of Podsednik over Patterson is negligible at best, and Davis and Snider will most likely get regular at bats. 

Bauxites, who goes down when Morrow and Davis are back?  Will Davis have an extended rehab stint in order for things to shake out?

BlueJayWay - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#233034) #
That's very odd they sent Litsch down, if true.  I don't think anyone saw that coming.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#233035) #
If you dig deeper, the numbers are still good for Litsch.  The contact rate in the zone (and outside the zone) is way down from even his pre-surgery days.  He's not giving up a lot of fly balls and he throws strikes. 

Bad move.

BlueJayWay - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#233037) #
If you dig deeper, the numbers are still good for Litsch.  The contact rate in the zone (and outside the zone) is way down from even his pre-surgery days.  He's not giving up a lot of fly balls and he throws strikes. 

You'd have to assume the Jays are well aware of that, if we are.  There must be a rationale for this move, but not sure what.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#233038) #
It must have to do with remaining options.
China fan - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#233039) #

Bauxites, who goes down when Morrow and Davis are back?

Luis Perez will almost certainly be demoted when Morrow returns.  As for Davis:  I hope it is Rivera, rather than Patterson, who makes room for Davis.  Patterson at least seems to have some life to him.  Plus some speed.

Paul D - Tuesday, April 19 2011 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#233051) #
The Mets have optioned Brad Emaus, meaning, I think, that the Jays can have him back if they want him.
robertdudek - Wednesday, April 20 2011 @ 03:57 AM EDT (#233139) #
If you dig deeper, the numbers are still good for Litsch.  The contact rate in the zone (and outside the zone) is way down from even his pre-surgery days.  He's not giving up a lot of fly balls and he throws strikes. 

Bad move.

I wouldn't put too much stock in 3 starts, Mike.

Personally I don't see Litsch as a long-term starter. At the same time I don't think he deserves to be demoted based on merit.

I absolutely HATE the current option rules.
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