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There's a lot of symmetry going around.

The Jays sit at 51-51, which they've achieved by playing .500 ball on the road (27-27) and at home (24-24.) So much for Home Field Advantage (which in baseball, normally runs about 54-46.)

60 games remaining will allow the manager to turn over his five starters a dozen times. If one of those starters was Roy Halladay, and if the Blue Jays were competing for something, another manager (read John Gibbons) might take advantage of the six off days between now and the end of the season to skip the fifth starter and keep his ace working on regular rest. But on this team, this year - what's the point?

There's been no official word who will get the ball on Saturday against Seattle. I assume it will be Jesse Litsch, but Mills and Stewart have both been mentioned as candidates. I found the team's decision to give Jo-Jo Reyes 20 starts while sending Litsch to AAA vaguely... offensive. Among other things, baseball is - or ought to be - a meritocracy. You should earn what you get, and you should get what you earn. There is no way Reyes had earned opportunities that Litsch had not, and that bothers me. I also think - correction, I know for damn sure - that the players notice things like that.

The idea of carrying someone on the roster who can't help you right now, but who you believe will be useful down the road - that's something altogether different. It's exactly the same as carrying a Rule 5 guy, something this franchise did with spectacular success back in the day. I have no doubt that it drove Bobby Cox and Jimy Williams and Cito Gaston out of their minds - each of whom was trying to win something that year, and each of whom was obliged to take a short-handed roster into a knife fight. There was a payoff. The first division winner had George Bell and Willie Upshaw in the lineup, Jim Acker and Gary Lavelle (acquired in a trade for Rule 5 pick Jim Gott) in the pen. The first World Series team had Manuel Lee and Kelly Gruber in the infield. The Jays haven't uncovered anything more useful than Tomas Perez this way in the past 20 years, but the principle is still valid - especially in a year when you don't expect to compete.

But I still don't get what they did with Reyes. They put him in a role where he had failed before, and sonovagun, he failed again. There's a well known definition of insanity that instantly comes to mind. But here's the thing - if you like his arm that much, why wouldn't you try something different with him? Scott Downs went 12-14, 5.35 as a major league starter - better than Reyes, but nowhere near good enough for the major leagues. I don't remember anyone around here thinking he was likely to amount to anything. But the previous regime saw something they liked, and found him a job he could actually do. I'd be surprised if Reyes turns out to be the next Scott Downs, but hey - we were all surprised when Scott Downs turned out to be Scott Downs.

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ayjackson - Monday, July 25 2011 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#239217) #

It's not hard to have a little bit of trade value when you're a young left handed starter with decent stuff.  Get on a little roll in July and get an offer.  He didn't, but it wasn't hard to see the plan.  At the end of the day, he got one more start since Litsch's DL stint was over.  As for Jesse, he hasn't earned much of anything in the past 2.5 seasons and he squandering another chance tonight.  If he truly deserves the spot, he'll have it.

He might have it anyway.

TamRa - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 12:23 AM EDT (#239219) #
Technically, tonight was Litsch's  SECOND start since he came off re-hab - it's not like a couple of months in exile - barely more than a week.

Also this:

The Jays haven't uncovered anything more useful than Tomas Perez this way in the past 20 years

Aquilino Lopez saved 34 games in 2003 - surely that's better than anything Tomas Perez ever did?



The_Game - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#239220) #
Reyes has been blocking Rzep for the entire season, that was perhaps the biggest problem with this "experiment." Because of JoJo, Rzep may be relegated a bullpen position going forward, despite the fact that he would have far more value in the rotation. It's still incredible to me that Reyes was the choice out of the two of them in ST after his track record in Atlanta. They must have really thought he had potential (even if nobody else saw it).

As for Litsch, he could still be a good #5 guy in the AL East (and certainly a decent pitcher in another division). If he ever manages to stay healthy for an entire season like 2008 again, he might even build some trade value. He was pitching fine before he went down to injury earlier this year, though, and shouldn't lose his job because of that.
TamRa - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 01:07 AM EDT (#239223) #
Well if we're talking about Zep, it could be argued he's better (at least in upside) than Listch and Villianueva too. the question "is it better to have SOME one who can do for us what Downs did or is it better to have the best possible #4/5 starter?" is one unto itself.

the consideration being - if none of the other mentioned starters can be a dominant late-game LH reliever (and the self evidently can't) then you have to ask yourself are you prepared to do without that in order to have the upgrade from (for instance) listch to Zep?

I'm a Zep fan from day one and i mourn the idea he might not get to be the starter he can be (not unlike Marshall in Chicago) but honestly, within the next 18 months there's almost certainly going to be five guys who are better than he can be in the rotation anyway (and if not, he can be switched back anytime the find another answer to the LHSU reliever question. so I've resigned myself to it.


hypobole - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#239224) #

They put him in a role where he had failed before, and sonovagun, he failed again. There's a well known definition of insanity that instantly comes to mind.

About 2 years ago, similar words could have been written about a certain utility player on the Jays roster - how did that turn out? I'm sure the Giants are glad they were insane enough to give that consistent failure Vogelsong  a spot in their rotation.

 

smcs - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 01:59 AM EDT (#239225) #
Also, remember that Scott Downs didn't become Scott Downs until age 30 or 31. Reyes doesn't show pronounced platoon splits (.840 OPS, .300 BABIP vs R & .834 OPS, .360 BABIP vs L) that Downs had. Reyes also hasn't seen a significant drop-off from his 1st time through the order to the 2nd time through the order, he has just gone from bad to worse as the game went on.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 03:25 AM EDT (#239226) #
I'm a Zep fan from day one and i mourn the idea he might not get to be the starter he can be (not unlike Marshall in Chicago) but honestly, within the next 18 months there's almost certainly going to be five guys who are better than he can be in the rotation anyway

In an alternate universe, you could say 'not unlike Marcum in Toronto.' Or Villanueva in Milwaukee, for an example of a guy I wasn't initially buying as a starter...
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 05:28 AM EDT (#239227) #
Aquilino Lopez saved 34 games in 2003

He saved 15 games in his career, which basically consisted of two seasons, five years apart. You sure?
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 05:33 AM EDT (#239228) #
About 2 years ago, similar words could have been written about a certain utility player on the Jays roster - how did that turn out?

If you're referring to Bautista, no way. Bautista had been a regular with the Pirates. He was acquired to provide depth, and he became a utility player here. From that point, he forced his way into the starting lineup. It was not handed to him.
AWeb - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 07:51 AM EDT (#239229) #

[Bautista] forced his way into the starting lineup. It was not handed to him.

This seems to be a radical re-reading of history. Bautista wasn't good in 2008, and had been terrible in 2009 right up until September 3 (.646 OPS, not great defense either), at which point he had received 289 PAs and there was absolutely nothing that anyone not associated with the team was seeing that made anyone think he was about to become a great hitter. From that point on in 2009 he had an OPS of 1.020, and all of those PAs the Jays gave him seemed like a good investment. But Bautista did nothing obvious (to non-coaches) to earn those September PAs, which could have been given to any called up player instead. I'm aware the Jays lacked an obvious replacement, but it seemed obvious at the time a replacement was needed. Heck, given that most of his greatness in Sept 2009 was in the last week, when he started poorly in 2010 (.703 OPS on May 2nd), it still wasn't obvious why he had been given an everyday job. All I'm saying is that if he forced his way into the starting lineup, he was given a long time to manage it.

Reyes would have been a great equivalent, going from a guy with no obviously great characteristics (but apparently lots of potential to a coaches eye, and a good minor league track record) to a Cy Young candidate. It didn't happen, and eventually second chances run out, but I don't see much difference, without the benefit of retrospect, in how Bautista and Reyes were handled - Bautista got a seasons worth of PAs before he amounted to anything particularly useful. I'm actually kind of worried that the Jays organization thinks it has special abilities at transforming players, when Bautista by any measure is a once a generation result. Possibly even a once a lifetime result, given the starkness of the turnaround.

uglyone - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 08:27 AM EDT (#239230) #
I don't see the bautista comparison at all. Even at his worst, joey was still a capable mlber....i.e. joey at his worst was better than jojo at his best.

Jojo may have been worth some sort of look...but for a guy who should never have been higher than 8-10th on the SP depth chart at any point, giving him 20 starts seems fairly ridiculous to me.

And I never understood the fear of him getting claimed if we sent him down.... I'd actually be more surprised if another team claimed him than if he cleared waivers now.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#239231) #
Bautista had an OPS+ of 94 and 96 in Pittsburgh.  In 2009, he was given a utility role, backing up Rolen and getting 1/2 time work in the outfield.  His defensive work in the outfield that year was superb, even though he didn't start to hit like Jose Bautista until September.  The equivalent for Reyes  would have been if the club started him off  in the bullpen where he succeeded and then gave him a chance when a starter was sent down or hit the DL.

If the club wanted to be adventurous, they could call up McGowan and Mills, and use them as a tandem 5th starter.  You could give Mills an inning between "starts".  I wouldn't mind that!

rpriske - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#239232) #

I think you have this backwards. To me, the reason Reyes was in the rotation is because they didn't see a future for him.

 

People like Litsch (and even more, Cecil, when he was down - or Snider), get 'pushed' out by worse players, not because the management thinks they aren't good, but that they think that in the long run they are better served by some time away from the spotlight and pressure of the major leagues.

If a guy like Reyes breaks the consecutive non-win record, the team doesn't care. They have nothing invested in him. The same goes for Villenueva, who thus far has defied the odds by NOT sucking...

Dave Till - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#239234) #
I found the team's decision to give Jo-Jo Reyes 20 starts while sending Litsch to AAA vaguely... offensive. Among other things, baseball is - or ought to be - a meritocracy. You should earn what you get, and you should get what you earn.

Litsch has had arm problems and seems to have kept himself in less than optimal shape at times, and is currently sporting an 8.16 ERA in 6 triple-A starts. I'm not sure that he merited a spot in the rotation.

The Jo-Jo Experiment could have worked out. He pitched well in stretches. But he turned out to just not have quite good enough stuff. He was basically a left-handed Josh Towers.

The organization seems to have made the decision that Brad Mills can't hack it at the major league level, I assume, since he isn't being considered for a rotation spot (at least, not yet) despite his excellent ERA in Las Vegas. If you leave out Mills, the Jays don't really have a lot of options better than Jo-Jo - or, at least, not significantly better. If Jo-Jo had been punted back in April, I doubt it would have made much difference to the pennant race.

I suspect that we will just have to be patient, and wait until the next batch of starting pitchers shows up. Sigh. Jam tomorrow and jam yesterday (i.e. 1992 and 1993), but never jam today.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#239235) #
The Jays did "uncover" Randy Wells in the Rule 5, even though they didn't keep him. His 2009/10 seasons probably outrank the entirety of Perez' career.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#239236) #
Dave, Rzepczynski has a career ERA+ of 100 in the rotation, and had killed in the AFL.  The club's decision to make him a reliever was built on the misguided notion that it was more important to have a replacement for Downs in the 8th inning left-handed relief role.  Yuck.
Flex - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#239237) #
I do respect the opinions of folks who think Rzep is being unfairly denied the chance to be a starter. But for myself, I just can't get worked up about it. There is nothing about him that screams must start to me. His stats are mediocre, and he has very little mound presence. I feel no great sense of confidence when he takes the mound.

That's not to say he's a bad pitcher. He's okay. But why he must start versus working in relief, I don't get.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#239239) #
His statistics are not mediocre in the least.  He has thrown 120 innings in the major leagues as a starter (prior to this year) with an ERA of 4.35.  That's above average (starters have an ERA+ of 95 due to the effect of the role on pitching effectiveness), and consistent with his minor league record.   For comparison purposes, Reyes has thrown 290 innings as a starter with an ERA of 5.73 and Brandon Morrow has a career ERA as a starter of 4.43 despite pitching some of the time in front of some great defences in a terrific pitching environment.

Underlying all of this is the idea that because Rzepczynski doesn't have a 92 mph fastball, he doesn't look like a starter. 


Hodgie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#239240) #
Just to play devil's advocate, why is there the assumption that Rzepcynski should be in the rotation? Yes, he killed the AFL but as a 25 year old with 120+ MLB innings at the time shouldn't he? His numbers as a starter are split almost equally between 60 good innings in 2009 and 60 below average innings in 2010. As a starter he has walked roughly 4.3/9 and has averaged just over 5 innings per start. That is not too say that it would be a bad idea to give him an extended look in the rotation but it doesn't exactly scream injustice either. Ultimately, with the arms eventually coming (Drabek, Stewart, Alvarez, McGuire) management may have decided that they wanted to groom Rzepczynski for a high-leverage relief role rather than be a place holder 4-5th starter. Just a possibility.
Flex - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#239241) #
I think you're right. It is all about how he looks on the mound and the impression he makes with his non-power stuff. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't choose Reyes over him as a starter. But still, coming out of last year I had the sense that Rzep was underwhelming as a starter with no sense of "if he could just harness his stuff" which I think pushed the Reyes experiment. And then when he had consistent success, for a while, as a reliever, it seemed he'd found his niche.

This is all terribly non-tangible, I freely admit. You rightly point out that his stats are better than average. He just doesn't "seem" to be better than average. Which is unfair.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#239243) #

Now that Reyes experiment is over, time to give Mills a chance.  At least see if he has value.

The truth is the Jays are loaded in the minors with arms.  Let's see what the guys in AAA can do and see if they might have value in a trade.  I would have no issue if some of them were shipped off for a rental like Heath Bell.

Hutchinson, Molina,etc are knocking on the door.  Time for these guys to move up or move on.

Mike Green - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#239244) #
There is absolutely no reason to believe that two of Drabek, Stewart, Alvarez, McGuire and Hutchison will be better starting pitchers than Rzepczynski in two years.  Leaving spots open for pitching prospects in the rotation is a mug's game due to the unpredictability of development and injury.

Take Alvarez.  Great stuff and young, with question marks about durability.  The model would be Pedro Martinez, who was given a year in the bullpen before being let loose on the league. 

AWeb - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#239245) #

I don't see the bautista comparison at all. Even at his worst, joey was still a capable mlber....i.e. joey at his worst was better than jojo at his best.

I'm sorry, but this is only true if you think capable means replacement level - until his September 2009 hot streak, Bautista had been worth almost exactly 0.0 WAR, and never much more at any particular time. At his worst, Bautista was bad enough that a bunch of organizations thought he wasn't worth having, and his performance was bad. He was essentially a replacement, AAA/MLB type guy. Like Mike McCoy (who features better defense and worse hitting, but is still essentially the living example of a replacement player)

Reyes was worse than that, but not that much.  I'm not saying I understand why the Jays gave him 20 starts this year, I'm just saying that 2 years ago, I didn't understand why they had given Bautista 400 plate appearances.

Hodgie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#239246) #
Fair enough Mike, although I would agree with you more if we were talking about leaving top of the rotation spots open for said prospects. Assuming for a moment that Rzepczynski is a league average pitcher, what in your estimation is more valuable; 150-160 innings of league average starting pitching or 60-70 innings of above average, high-leverage relief ala The Scott Downs Experiment?

I am pegging 150-160 innings as Rzepczynski has never averaged 6 innings a start in any year of professional ball.

Mike Green - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#239248) #
Rzepczynski's reasonable expectation would be 180 innings of 105 ERA+ of starter's innings.  That would be a helluva lot more valuable than 60 innings of eighth inning relief work with a leverage of 1.3 (his this year) to 1.6 ( a typical Scott Downs year in Toronto). 
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#239249) #
it still wasn't obvious why he had been given an everyday job.

I don't see that he was given an everyday job. He came off the bench to replace Aaron Hill on September 7 2009 and proceeded to take one. He had most definitely been a utility guy until then. He had started about half the team's games (69 of 137) and that had been all over the diamond - 21 starts at 3b, 37 in lf, 10 in rf, 1 cf.
greenfrog - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#239250) #
I don't see Rzep as the kind of pitcher who will hold up well throwing 180+ IP in the AL East. My guess is he would get exposed throwing 100+ pitches against good lineups, who will learn to lay off the slider. He might have some good nights, but there will be other nights when he gets hammered. IMO, he doesn't have the stuff to dominate on a regular basis.

I too could see him being successful as a a Scott Downs sort of reliever going forward. He seems to have found his niche, one that is hard to fill these days (good lefty relievers are currently in high demand). Why mess with a good thing? Just my opinion - I respect the contrary viewpoint.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#239251) #
As to why Bautista was actually on the roster going into September 2009, I actually explained it at the time!

An odd player. Obviously a very handy guy to have around. In the day of the 12 man bullpen, a guy who can play all three outfield spots, both corner infield positions, and probably the middle infield in an emergency is pretty useful. He doesn't hit for much of an average, but he gets on base more often than Aaron Hill (not to mention Vernon Wells.) Doesn't have much power to start with, and he showed less than usual this season.

Don't you just love that last sentence?
AWeb - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#239253) #

I don't dispute that Bautista deserved a roster spot as the utility guy, but I think it's fair to say the Jays thought he was more than that based on nothing that was obvious to fans. Hill went down and Bautista got a full-time chance - lots of players could have been given that chance, and they picked him. And I don't think it was consolidated for the fans until May 2010, when he showed he could hit like a beast for more than the last week in September (when it went from a good three weeks to an awesome month).

All I am am contending is that there was no obvious reason to think Bautista just needed a chance to show what he could do by the time the Jays had him. Almost zero players show essentially nothing in a part-time (2/3 of the time for a few years) role and become significantly better as a full-time player - it just doesn't happen very often. There was also no obvious reason Reyes needed 20 starts. Bautista worked out, Reyes did not. And I worry that the Jays will continue to give guys with no track record of success a long time to prove themselves, to the detriment of the team, in an attempt to re-capture a "Bautista moment" which isn't going to happen again.

Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#239255) #
Hill went down and Bautista got a full-time chance

At that moment, Bautista had gone 1 for his last 17, but someone had to play. As you recall, the Jays had dumped Alex Rios in mid-August. Gaston tried playing Snider in RF and Lind in LF for a couple of weeks, before putting Snider back in LF and Lind back at DH. (The pitchers had probably organized a petition.) By September, Joe Inglett and Bautista were sharing starts in RF. When Hill came out of the September 7 game, Bautista and Johnny Mac were the only options available. Bautista started hitting home runs, and then - and only then - did he stay in the lineup.
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#239257) #

There is absolutely no reason to believe that two of Drabek, Stewart, Alvarez, McGuire and Hutchison will be better starting pitchers than Rzepczynski in two years.

Except their stuff's apparently better, their control's better, they have more durable builds, and more average-or-above pitches to use for starting (remember that Rzep is effectively a 2 pitch pitcher; that changeup is pretty horrible). All in all, in a scouting oriented organization, of course all these guys are considered starters ahead of Rzep. If the plan is then to groom him into a shutdown reliever, you don't let a spring training twinge by Morrow get in the way when there are other options on hand.

Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#239258) #
Huh. I stand corrected on the 'durable build' part. He's got to be the shortest looking 6-3/205 I've ever seen.
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#239259) #

And everyone other than fangraphs has him listed as 6-1, and when combined with his slinging delivery makes the short stature impression in my head understandable. Of course, I'm just ignoring the fact that I lumped Drabek in with the 'durable build' crowd... I mean, it's not like he has an undurable build, but it's not that 6-3 to 6-6, barrel-chest and broad shoulder frame.

Hodgie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#239260) #
I don't know, given Rzepczynski's major and minor league track record I would have to believe that 180+ innings is not really a reasonable expectation but rather an optimistic projection. He has never topped 5 2/3 innings as an average start in a season at any level and would have to make 32 starts every game in a season at that rate to hit 180 IP. If he was able to do that consistently then obviously he would be more valuable in the rotation, I just don't see that as the most likely outcome.
Hodgie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#239261) #
Of course, given how often I am wrong watch Rzepczynski turn into a 220 inning workhorse.
neosark - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#239262) #
Regarding Litsch and his injuries the past few years. What doesn't seem to get mentioned enough is the importance of diet and conditioning. I have been studying the body and performance pretty intensely and I'm amazed that players making millions of $ are not paying enough attention to this. I can't help but wonder if he (and others FF etc.) ate very healthy food (nutritious, no food combining) did Yoga and low intensity weight training that would increase the strength and range of motion in all his joints. AA and company are innovators, they should really look into this IMO. I can't get over the difference in strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and endurance. Yoga was made for pitchers.
MatO - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#239263) #

Two ot the greatest pitchers in Blue Jay history, Dave Stieb and Jimmy Key, I guess wouldn't qualify for the term "durable build".  If you believe Baseball Reference then David Wells would since he apparently weighed 187 lbs.  I think we should be very careful when throwing terms like that around.

No young pitcher of any quality is going to have 180IP in a single season prior to coming to the majors anymore. 

Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#239264) #
No, no they wouldn't. Of course, i didn't mean to imply that it was a be-all-end-all, but more of another check on the list of "projecting a #2/#3 starting pitcher. Also, Wells et al show the issues of us outsiders relying on external (and often extremely outdated info) for this. I suspect the team would have a more up-to-date tape measure and scale, however. Also, the scouts would have more educated guesses as to who's more likely to get soft as they age vs a frame that can hold a shape that doesn't resemble a pear.

And it's quite possible he could be a #2/#3, but i can see the org's line of thinking in putting a predominently 2 pitch pitcher whose fastball goes from below avg velo to above in the pen (with a movement tick up from good to silly) in the pen.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#239265) #
There is absolutely no reason to believe that two of Drabek, Stewart, Alvarez, McGuire and Hutchison will be better starting pitchers than Rzepczynski in two years.

No kidding. While there's every reason to hope, there is no reason to believe. There's a better chance that two of those guys will be out of baseball in five years than that two of them will be major league starters.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#239267) #
If you believe Baseball Reference then David Wells... apparently weighed 187 lbs.

Maybe they weighed him in high school? At the end of his career, the Dodgers listed Wells at 250 pounds, and I think the Jays used to say 215-225 back in the early 90s.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#239268) #
It really comes down to this for me:

Career as Starter:

1) B.Morrow (26): 58gs, 5.6ip/gs, 10.1k/9, 2.4k/bb, 4.43era, 3.48fip, 3.73xfip, +.121war/gs
2) R.Romero (26): 81gs, 6.5ip/gs, 7.5k/9, 2.0k/bb, 3.81era, 3.91fip, 3.77xfip, +.109war/gs
3) M.Rzep'ski (25): 23gs, 5.4ip/gs, 8.3k/9, 1.9k/bb, 4.35era, 4.39fip, 3.94xfip, +.070war/gs
4) B.Cecil (24): 54gs, 6.0ip/gs, 6.4k/9, 2.0k/bb, 4.63era, 4.52fip, 4.34xfip, +.061war/gs
5) C.Janssen (29): 22gs, 5.3ip/gs, 4.1k/9, 1.9k/bb, 5.45era, 4.93fip, 4.69xfip, +.059war/gs
6) J.Litsch (26): 67gs, 5.8ip/gs, 4.8k/9, 1.9k/bb, 4.15era, 4.77fip, 4.53xfip, +.054war/gs
7) C.Villanueva (27): 38gs, 5.7ip/gs, 5.8k/9, 2.1k/bb, 4.60era, 4.73fip, 4.52xfip, +.042war/gs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
8) Z.Stewart (24): 3gs, 5.6ip/gs, 5.4k/9, 2.0k/bb, 4.86era, 4.43fip, 4.06xfip, +.033war/gs
9) J.Reyes (26): 57gs, 5.2ip/gs, 5.6k/9, 1.5k/bb, 5.73era, 5.08fip, 4.67xfip, +.012war/gs
10) K.Drabek (23): 17gs, 5.3ip/gs, 6.0k/9, 1.1k/bb, 5.52era, 5.20fip, 4.73xfip, +.000war/gs
11) B.Mills (26): 5gs, 4.6ip/gs, 8.6k/9, 1.5k/bb, 8.22era, 6.65fip, 5.35xfip, -.040war/gs

- No fewer than 7 guys who had proven to be significantly better than replacement value as starters. (JoJo not one of them)

- JoJo in the same performance category after 57 starts as 3 kids (Drabek, Stewart, Mills) in their first brief shots at MLB action.


It takes a pair of giant greek balls to give that guy 20 starts when he's surrounded by so many guys more worthy of getting them.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#239270) #
I have been, I think, a little obnoxious for a rather long time on the subject of Jo-Jo (a man who thought he was a pitcher, but he was... never mind.)

I think this is a good time to remind myself (and, by extension, everybody else!) of two pieces of Ancient Folk Wisdom:

1. You can never have enough pitching.

Why? Well for one thing...

2. There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

To hammer that impression more fully into my skull, let's step into the Way-Back machine and peruse the list of Blue Jays pitching prospects who were featured in this very site's season-ending Top 30 prospects reports.

2004

2. Josh Banks
3. Brandon League
4. Francisco Rosario
5. Shaun Marcum
6. Gustavo Chacin
7. Dustin McGowan
8. Jamie Vermilyea
10. David Purcey
11. Adam Peterson
15. Vince Perkins
16. Davis Romero
17. Ismael Ramirez
23. Tom Mastny
25. Jason Arnold
26. Chi-hung Cheung
27. Bubbie Buzachero
30. Jordan de Jong

2005

1. Dustin McGowan
2. David Purcey
3. Casey Janssen
4. Zach Jackson
7. Ricky Romero
8. Josh Banks
9. Shaun Marcum
10. Francisco Rosario
11. Davis Romero
14. Vince Perkins
16. Chi-hung Cheung
19. Ismael Ramirez
21. Kyle Yates
22. Jamie Vermilyea
25. Robert Ray
26. Lee Gronkiewicz
30. Paul Philips

2006
4. Ricky Romero
5. Davis Romero
6. Francisco Rosario
7. David Purcey
8. Chi-hung Cheung
9. Jesse Litsch
11. Ty Taubenheim
12. Kyle Yates
13. Ismael Ramirez
14. Josh Banks
17. Jamie Vermilyea
18. Eric Fowler
23. Po-Hsuan Keng
24. Tracey Thorpe
26. Paul Phillips
28. Billy Carnline
29. Kyle Ginley
30. Shane Benson

2007
2. Brett Cecil
7. Ricky Romero
8. David Purcey
9. Kyle Ginley
10. Marc Rzepczynski
14. Josh Banks
17. Chi-hung Cheung
18. Lee Gronkiewicz
19. Adrian Martin
24. Nathan Starner
25. Kyle Yates
27. Brad Mills
28. Brandon Magee
29. A.J. Wideman

2008
2. Brett Cecil
6. Brad Mills
9. Ricky Romero
10. Marc Rzepczynski
14. Robert Ray
16 Scott Richmond
17. Tim Collins
19. Kyle Ginley
21. Zach Dials
22. Davis Romero
27. Joel Carreno
29. Andrew Liebel

2009
1. Zach Stewart
3. Henderson Alvarez
4. Chad Jenkins
9. Daniel Farquhar
10. Tim Collins
11. Brad Mills
13. Andrew Liebel
17. Bobby Bell
21. Luis Perez
23. Bobby Ray
27. Reidier Gonzalez
28. Trystan Magnuson
30. Chuck Huggins

Not a whole lot of major league starters to be found. Ricky Romero is the one unqualified success, followed closely by Shaun Marcum (losing an entire season to TJ surgery is something of a bump in the road, no?) Brett Cecil, Jesse Litsch, Dustin McGowan, Gustavo Chacin have all had flashes of success but...
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#239271) #
Well, considering the spring designs were Romero, Morrow, Cecil, Litsch and Drabek, can we really complain about JoJo that much? I mean, he was at least 6th in line, had no options left, the org thought he might be fixable (and appeared to have some success in that regards after a month), and appears to like Rzep more as a late inning reliever.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#239272) #
Ah, Davis Romero.  There was another swing and miss from me.  I still think that I'm over .300, but not by much. 
uglyone - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#239273) #
Personally, I was hoping to see a rotation of Romero/Morrow/Cecil/Litsch/Rzep this year, with the two top pitching prospects Drabek/Stewart pushing for a look, and Villy there for spot duty if needed. I thought Mills deserved a look at MLB duty, but that he was probably looking at having to earn his dues in the bullpen first.

That's the way I saw it, at least.

I never even considered that JoJo was ever going to be in the picture, considering he had shown over near 40 starts that he wasn't MLB calibre, and had struggled something awful (5.70era) in Vegas after coming over in the trade.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#239274) #
Or you could even go back to 1997, when the Jays had four pitchers in Baseball America's Top 100. Roy Halladay became incredible, but only after completely falling apart; Chris Carpenter was okay for a few years, then suffered what could have been a career-ending injury, then became an ace with another team; Kelvim Escobar was all over the place and suffered some serious injuries, putting up most of his best years with another team; Billy Koch was a good reliever for a few years, then fell apart and was out of baseball before he was thirty.

Even when a pitching prospect does pan out, there's no saying where, when, or how it will happen.
92-93 - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#239275) #
Jon Lester, 2006-2007, first 26 MLB starts : 144ip 4.68era 110k 74bb 17hr
Marc Rzepczynski 2009-2010, first 23 MLB starts : 124ip 4.35era 116k 60bb 15hr

Yes, Lester was a year younger, but it's downright silly to relegate Zep to the bullpen when you aren't contending before finding out he CAN'T be a starter.

There is no reason for Brett Lawrie to be in the minor leagues right now. If he's healthy, call him up. Enough with this road nonsense.
Kasi - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#239276) #
There is no reason to compare Lester to Rzep. Lester's stuff is far far better than Scrabble. Not to mention his getting cancer and going through treatment for it.
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#239279) #
With the way the media has latched on to him this year compared to past prospects, I find the notion of 'road nonsense' to be near-nonsense.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#239280) #
Yes, Lester was a year younger, but it's downright silly to relegate Zep to the bullpen when you aren't contending before finding out he CAN'T be a starter.

I agree completely. Rzepczynski hasn't proved, to my satisfaction anyway, that he can't do the job. Hell, he's probably had as many quality starts in his career as Reyes...

(OK, I went and checked. Not quite: Rzepczynski has 10 QS in 23 MLB starts, Reyes has 15 QS in 57 MLB starts.)
Matthew E - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#239282) #
With the way the media has latched on to him this year compared to past prospects, I find the notion of 'road nonsense' to be near-nonsense.

Here's what they should do. Announce that they're bringing up Chris Woodward, while the team is on the road. But secretly it's Lawrie wearing Woodward's uniform and, like, a fake mustache or something. You might be able to get him into two or three games as the starting third baseman before anyone figured it out, and by then the pressure would be off.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#239283) #
Lester's stuff is far far better than Scrabble.

I don't think that's why Lester's been more successful. (I feel a rant coming on - must suppress, suppress, suppress!)

Okay. I will concede that it's better to have impressive stuff than... not to have it. In fact, I'll concede that it's probably more important than having neat handwriting.

Probably.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#239284) #
Anyway - there were 53 different pitchers named during the years in the Top Prospect Lists.

Of those 53, exactly 3 of them are currently in a major league rotation: Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil, and Shaun Marcum (would some of the longtime minor league watchers tell us whether or not Marcum has the worst stuff of the 53?)

Another 5 can currently be found in a major league bullpen: Rzepczynski and Janssen in Toronto, League in Seattle, Purcey in Detroit, Collins in Kansas City.

Another 18 are currently in the minors. Of that group, 13 are in the Toronto system: (Liebel, Mills, Jenkins, Farquhar, McGowan, Alvarez, Litsch, Carreno, Perez, Gonzalez, Ray, Richmond, Stewart) and five are working in other systems: Magnuson-OAK, Jackson-TEX, Phillips-TBR, Banks-SFG, Chacin-NYM.

Francisco Rosario was in the Mexican League earlier this season, but he's since been released. Same with Vince Perkins in New Hampshire.

The other 26 don't appear to be playing pro ball anymore. That's half the prospects from the last seven years.
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#239286) #

Yes, Lester was a year younger, but it's downright silly to relegate Zep to the bullpen when you aren't contending before finding out he CAN'T be a starter.

Lester's stuff is far far better than Scrabble.

I don't think that's why Lester's been more successful. (I feel a rant coming on - must suppress, suppress, suppress!)

Okay. I will concede that it's better to have impressive stuff than... not to have it. In fact, I'll concede that it's probably more important than having neat handwriting.

It's not just impressive stuff, he has more stuff (he has 4 above average pitches, 2 of which neutralize righties) and better command with it. They really only have left-handedness as the only thing that makes them remotely comparable.

As for whether or not it's 'silly' or not to not start him, his fastball in the rotation is below average (both in terms of velo and, if it's more your thing, fangraphs run expectancy), he relies on his slider 30% of the time, and has a sub-par changeup. Throw in command issues, and I don't understand how it's 'silly' for the Jays to look at him as a bullpen arm. Maybe he should be in AA learning to command his fastball and work on a changeup instead. Unless he brings at least one of those pitches significantly forward in a starting role, the decision to 'Downs' him makes sense to me.

92-93 - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#239287) #
If you think anyone is comparing Zep & Lester's stuff, you've sorely missed the point.

It's silly because they had until 2015 to find out if he can be an effective reliever. There was nothing to lose by seeing if he could start this year.
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#239288) #
...Or, I was pointing out that the comparrison of their stats to that point was of no particular value because their composition is so radically different.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#239289) #
the decision to 'Downs' him makes sense to me.

Maybe that is and always was to be his true destiny - but unlike Downs (or Reyes) Rzepczynski hadn't yet failed as a starter. He hadn't yet proved he couldn't do it. He's had 23 career starts, he's 6-8, 4.35. He's struck out 114 batters in 124 innings. He's allowed 122 hits and 60 BB in those innings. The walks are indeed a problem - that's a rather Purcey-ish walk rate - but I wouldn't have given up on him quite yet. Not yet.
smcs - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#239291) #
Jon Lester also got rocked his first time through the order in his first season (1.036 OPS), but was much better the 2nd (.695 OPS) and 3rd (.652 OPS) through. His second year, he was his best the first time through, and got slightly worse as games wore on. Rzepczynski had far more pronounced platoon splits and posted OPS's of .654, .795, .898 in his first, second and third time through the order, respectively. There is also a big drop-off in effectiveness when comparing pitches 26-50 and pitches 51-75.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#239292) #
any which way you slice and dice it, there's far more justification to put Rzep in for 20 starts this year than Reyes.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#239293) #
There is no reason for Brett Lawrie to be in the minor leagues right now.

He broke his wrist and missed a month and a half. Spending a week or two in AAA to make sure he's fully recovered doesn't seem like a bad idea.
92-93 - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#239294) #
But he's going to magically recover in time for the road trip, right? It would help if you quoted the part where I said - "if he's healthy, call him up."
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#239295) #
He's had over a month off! It would be stupid for the team to not give him time to get back up to game speed and to make sure that the gains he made in plate discipline and defense have remained intact.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#239296) #
You can be "healthy" and not 100%, as we've seen many times, particularly where hand & wrist injuries are concerned. If you can make sure his swing & timing are back to normal at AAA, why wouldn't you do that? What possible difference can it make if he's called up now or in two weeks?
92-93 - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#239297) #
He could, heaven forbid, make the Blue Jays a better team?
Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#239298) #

And it hurts to make sure a) he's recovered, b) he's up to game speed, c) his plate discipline developments are intact d) his defensive improvements haven't been affected during the layoff?

If it were a vet who already had consolidated skills, sure, go nuts. Give him a few reps to make sure he's good to go and then put him on a plane after a few days. In this case, though, we're talking about someone who was consolidating skill improvements, and it doesn't hurt to make sure those are intact before bringing him up.

Kasi - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#239299) #
I don't disagree with the premise that Rzep vs Reyes that Rzep should win. My point was that I agree with what others were saying in regard to him staying in the rotation with the players we have coming up. Until he shows he can have some sort of command, he doesn't have good enough quality pitches to overcome his huge walk rate as a starter. Morrow does. (and also not that the difference between Morrow and Romero in walk rate is narrowing quite fast)
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#239300) #
By the way, I just checked and I can now confirm that neither Jo-Jo Reyes nor Kyle Drabek, despite their ineptitude this season, have managed to even come close to cracking the Top 10 on my surely legendary piece on the worst Blue Jays starters ever.

Which featured that immortal metric, my own gift to sabrmetrics - the Suckage Index. Surely you remember?

The Top 10 (or Bottom 10, if you prefer) remains:

 1. Dave Lemanczyk, 1978
 2. Roy Halladay, 2000
 3. Josh Towers, 2006
 4. Jack Morris, 1993
 5. Jerry Garvin, 1978
 6. Danny Darwin, 1995
 7. Jack Kucek, 1980
 8. Todd Stottlemyre, 1988
 9. Bill Singer, 1977
10. Jeff Byrd, 1977
Paul D - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#239301) #
mlbtraderumors is reporting that the Jays are serious contenders for Ubaldo Jimenez
Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#239302) #
Colorado is apparently asking for He says the Rockies require "three sure-thing young players, including one pitcher who goes into their rotation immediately." Suggestions?
Ron - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#239303) #
The other 26 don't appear to be playing pro ball anymore. That's half the prospects from the last seven years.

Bubba Buzachero is currently pitching in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

The league also features: Josh Towers, Antonio Alfonseca, Juan Rincon, Esteban Yan, Wes Bankston, Danny Putnam, Brian Stokes, Toby Hall, Pedro Feliz,  Ruddy Lugo, JR House, Lew Ford, TJ Beam, JD Durbin, John Halama, Tommy Everidge, Wayne Lydon, Matt Watson, Justin Huber, Corey Thurman, Sean Stidfole, and Val Majewski.
Landomar - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#239304) #

I like Ubaldo Jimenez a lot.  He would be controllable for 2012 ($4.2 million) and 2013 ($5.75 million club option).  If he's available, then I would look to make a serious offer for him. 

Jdog - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#239305) #
Jiminez package:

Zach Stewart, Travis D'Arnaud, Moises Sierra

I'm just throwing out a guess. If I was AA I would be trying to sell D'Arnaud now while his value is at its highest. He has had back injuries in the past and thats not a good thing for a catcher. Stewart being a groundball sinker guy would make sense for Colorado.

Spifficus - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#239306) #
I'd be going the other way and offering Stewart, Thames and Arencibia as the meat of it. Of course, I probably wouldn't be getting the deal done with that trio.
smcs - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#239307) #
Jimenez has options on 2013 and 2014 for $5.75M and $8M, but he can void his 2014 option if traded. He also has a bunch of escalators based on Cy Young's, MVPs, All-Star games and innings pitched, but he is still locked up very cheaply. His peripherals look similar to last year, but the BABIP is up quite a bit. He's getting killed at home (which is a change for him), but absolutely dominating away from Coors Field: 9 GS, 60.1 IP, .178/.267/.268, 9.7 K/9, 2.95 K/BB.

Drabek + Snider or Lawrie + Gose or d'Arnaud is what I would be asking for if I were Colorado. Make the price so ridiculous that you can't say no.

Mike Green - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#239308) #
A sure-thing pitcher? Hah. Ubaldo Jimenez is not a sure thing.

What I would say is: "you tell me which pitcher you like to start the deal with, and then we can talk about other players." Drabek gives you one set of other players, Stewart gives you another. Or maybe they have a hankering for Villanueva or Morrow or Cecil.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#239309) #
Drabek/Lawrie/Gose or d'Arnaud would be a laughably bad trade. Ubaldo is not Roy Halladay.
Shane - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#239310) #

I wouldn't trade d'Arnaud or Snider. You get rid of those two then you not only need a LF, CF, 2nd baseman AND a catcher to field a hopefully higher echelon hitting club. You still don't have a solid starting stuff yet even with Ubaldo, and no real mainstays in the bullpen going forward. You just take from one hopeful strength to adding to another hopeful strong spot. More time and development is needed from numerous players, I wouldn't see this as sensible.

smcs - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#239311) #
Drabek/Lawrie/Gose or d'Arnaud would be a laughably bad trade. Ubaldo is not Roy Halladay.

Exactly. I don't think the Rockies want to trade him, but if you ask for the moon, someone might try to give it to you.
dan gordon - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#239312) #

Rotoworld (D.Knobler) says the Jays are a longshot for Jiminez and the Yankees (sigh) are the leading candidates to get him.  Montero was mentioned.

Would love to get him, but it depends on what the Rockies consider "can't miss".  I wouldn't consider guys like Sierra and Stewart to be "can't miss" prospects.  I would consider Thames, a pitching prospect other than Drabek, and a catching prospect, but that might not get it done.  Maybe if you make it a 4 for 1 by adding another pitcher.

What's with all the beanings?  Farrell said Bautista wanted to stay in the game, so he's probably OK. 

More interesting fielding by Corey Patterson today.  The pitcher's reaction in the bullpen, which you could see in the background, said it all.

Magpie - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#239313) #
Ubaldo Jimenez is not a sure thing.

Nobody is a sure thing, but this guy comes close. He's been consistent, he's been healthy, he has a live arm, and he knows what he's doing on the mound. This (2011) is what passes for a down season, and I'll still take it. I wouldn't give them Morrow-Snider-d'Arnaud, but I'd sure kick the tires.
Gerry - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#239315) #
On another topic..... several of Travis Snider's swings tonight were of the roundhouse variety that got him dispatched to Las Vegas earlier this season.

Extra work in the cage tomorrow should be the prescription.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#239317) #
Colorado is apparently asking for He says the Rockies require "three sure-thing young players, including one pitcher who goes into their rotation immediately." Suggestions?

well Jo-Jo obviously fits that last requirement.
Paul D - Tuesday, July 26 2011 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#239319) #
I wouldn't offer the packages you guys are suggesting for Jimenez.  I would call up Seattle and offer them for King Felix though.
Cynicalguy - Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#239322) #

For Ubaldo Jimenez I would have no problems including Drabek and Thames in a package, but not D'Arnaud as I think he has a chance to be an above average bat at a premium position.  I also wouldn't include Arencibia.

In terms of Rzep, I think given the chance he can be a good #3 started in the AL East.  Those of you who think he doesn't have the stuff or the mound presense to be a good starter also think he won't improve from his first 120IP in the majors, in which he didn't look awful including against AL East opponents, unlike say Drabek.  He averaged 9.5Ks per 9IP in the minors and if he can improve his control with less walks, he can go further into games, which I think can happen with more experience. 

jerjapan - Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#239338) #

The other 26 don't appear to be playing pro ball anymore. That's half the prospects from the last seven years.

Magpie, pitching prospects will break your heart, but I think you are underestimating the current quality of the Jay's farm system in general, and our top pitching prospects particularly.  I started following the team closely in the late 80s and to my recollection, we currently have the best group of pitching prospects I've ever seen in the system.  I think it's FAR more likely that 2 of Drabeck, Stewart, Alvarez, McGuire and Hutchison will be in a MLB rotation in 5 years that out of baseball.  You can't compare this group to, say, Josh Banks, Davis Romero and Lee Gronkevitz (still can't spell that guys name).


Shane - Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#239340) #
WhiteSox-Jays deal is close. Jackson, Teahen to TOR. Frasor-plus someone to CWS. Money could be involved in deal.
92-93 - Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#239343) #
Barry Davis is reporting Mills is en route to TOR and was told he will work out of the bullpen, which makes me think Luis Perez could be involved in a deal.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#239344) #
WhiteSox-Jays deal is close. Jackson, Teahen to TOR. Frasor-plus someone to CWS. Money could be involved in deal.

What.
Brent S - Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#239346) #
Not to imply anything, but the Cardinals and Sox were reportedly discussing a Jackson/Rasmus deal not too long ago.
St. Louis scout Bruce Benedict watched Jackson pitch on July 15th.

AA is wily, but flipping him to the Cards seems too good to be true.
ZekeBella - Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#239347) #
Spifficus - Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#239349) #

Barry Davis is reporting Mills is en route to TOR and was told he will work out of the bullpen, which makes me think Luis Perez could be involved in a deal.

Could be that a spot is opening up from the second half of a flip, such as Jackson and Rzep for Rasmus. Hoping it's one of the righties, though (I actually do like Rzep).

BlueJayWay - Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#239350) #
Seems it has real legs [url]http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/07/blue-jays-in-serious-talks-for-edwin-jackson.html[/url]
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, July 27 2011 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#239352) #
Don't know why that hypertext didn't work
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